Activity 3: Circle Time

Activity 3: Circle Time
Activity 3: Circle Time

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice-lighting words, written on newsprint
  • Chalice with tea light flame or other preschool chalice option
  • Feelings Chart or Feelings Flashcards by Todd Parr

Preparation for Activity

  • Post the chalice-lighting words on the wall near the Circle Time area.
  • Although preschoolers' memories are not highly developed, with a little help most children will readily remember some of the special times they have had in the Chalice Children group. Be prepared to prompt them by mentioning activities and sessions they seemed to find especially engaging.

Description of Activity

Bring the chalice into the circle, either on the floor or on a small table or stand. Say, in these words or your own:

Welcome to Circle Time! First we light our chalice.

Point out where your chalice-lighting words are displayed. Say your chalice-lighting words as you "light" the chalice:

We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth, and the energy of action.

Say, in these words or your own:

Now we share our names and feelings. How are each of you feeling today? We will go around the circle and each say our name and point to how we're feeling today on the Feelings Chart [Feelings Flashcard]. If you would rather not share today, you may say, "No, thank you."

Once everyone who wishes to has shared, say, in these words or your own:

For all the feelings that we feel today, we know that we have our friends, our families, and our church [congregational] family to share them with.

Introduce today's theme, in these words or your own:

Today we celebrate our last day of Chalice Children. What are some things you remember about the time we've spent together, the good times everybody has had, and the friends we've made?

Ask:

  • What are some things that happen at church [our congregation]? [weddings, child dedications, memorials, friends, fun, holidays, our Chalice Children group, Teddy Bear Month, etc.]
  • What is our favorite symbol for our church [congregation]? [Hold up the chalice]

Say, in these words or your own:

That's right-it's a chalice! Our group is called Chalice Children, because the chalice is so important to us as Unitarian Universalists. Chalice Children come to [name of congregation] to make friends and learn about our church [congregation].

Point out the ways that the children have learned about the congregation by naming some of the activities you have done together-for example, tours of the inside and outside of your congregation, the flower ceremony (or other ceremonies), and playing the Memory Match Game.

Invite the children to join you in a responsive reading; as you read, indicate with words and motions which words and motions you wish them to repeat, and lead them (in a softer voice) when it is their turn to repeat:

Leader: We work and play together and make friends. Community is all around. [draw a circle with your hand]

All: Community is all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]

Leader: We want to grow in love and understanding. Love is all around. [draw a circle with your hand]

All: Love is all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]

Leader: We ask questions and wonder. Wonder is all around. [draw a circle with your hand]

All: Wonder is all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]

Leader: We look for answers inside of us. Our spirits are all around. [draw a circle with your hand]

All: Our spirits are all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]

Leader: We share with one another. Our friends are all around. [draw a circle with your hand]

All: Our friends are all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]

Leader: We want each person to be themselves. Our differences are all around. [draw a circle with your hand]

All: Our differences are all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]

Leader: We are connected to everything. All is all around. [draw a circle with your hand]

All: All is all around. [everyone draws a circle with their hand]

Conclude by saying, in these words or your own:

Today we are going to celebrate our time together by making an Everybody Picture so we can remember our Chalice Children group. But first, let's read one last story together.

Including All Participants

If any child has mobility challenges, you could hold your circle activities in a circle of chairs to make it easier to include a wheelchair or for a child to sit while wearing braces.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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