Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story book
Preparation for Activity
- Choose a story from the following suggestions, or from any of the books suggested for in Session 11, Activity 4, Story:
- Daddy, Papa, and Me by Leslea Newman, 2009. A toddler spends the day with their daddies (the gender of the child is non-specific). From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there's no limit to what a loving family can do together.
- Heather Has Two Mommies: 20th Anniversary Edition by Leslea Newman, 2009. This updated and revised version of Heather Has Two Mommies offers an enjoyable, upbeat, age-appropriate introduction to the idea of family diversity.
- Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman, 2009. A toddler spends the day with its mommies (the gender of the child is non-specific). From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there's no limit to what a loving family can do together.
- Two Homes by Claire Masurel, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton, 2003. The gently reassuring text focuses on what is gained rather than lost when parents divorce, while the sensitive illustrations, depicting two unique homes in all their small details, firmly establish Alex's place in both homes.
- We Belong Together: A Book about Adoption and Families by Todd Parr, 2007. Popular author-illustrator Parr illustrates the rewards of family ties in this heartfelt, supportive book geared toward adopted children and their parents.
- Lucy's Family Tree by Karen Halvorsen Schreck, 2006. Lucy comes home from school with an assignment to create a family tree, but she worries that her adoption from Mexico makes her family too "different." She asks her parents to write a note excusing her from the task.
- This Is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by James Ransome, 2013. The story of one family's journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer.
- Review How to Read a Story Book, under Resources in the Introduction.
- Ascertain if the group includes any foster children, adoptees, or children in mixed-race, LGBTQ, or other diverse families for whom you would like to provide some extra support and reassurance that their family is recognized by the congregation as a loving family, too. You may wish to alert families ahead of time to the topic of diverse families, so that they are able to prepare their children and so that you can discuss any issues that might arise during this activity and determine how best to affirm the child.
Description of Activity
Hold up the book and say, in these words or your own,
Here's how I am going to read the story. Does anyone need to move so that they can see and hear?
This will help children move if they need to and then get settled before the story is started, so they don't interrupt the reading. It also serves as a reminder that if they stand or sit right in front of the pages, no one else can see. Invite them to find a place to settle so that everyone can see. When all are ready, read the story. When you finish reading, ask if anyone has thoughts about the story that they would like to share.
Including All Participants
Seat a child with hearing or sight difficulties near the reader.