Activity time: 8 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers and tape
Preparation for Activity
- If the children will have an opportunity to teach and lead this song during a congregational worship service, review Alternate Activity 3 before this session. Designate a co-leader to make a handout from this activity's newsprint notes.
- If you do not know the song, "If You're Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands," ask someone to teach it to you (most teachers of young children probably know it).
- If you are uncomfortable leading a song, invite another adult in your congregation to come and lead this activity.
- Post blank newsprint. Make two columns for "Feelings" and "Motions."
Description of Activity
Gather in a standing circle. Introduce the song "If You Want Justice and You Know it, Clap Your Hands," sung to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands." Say the group will create and sing their own justice version of the song.
Ask participants to name ways they might feel when something is unfair. To help the discussion, suggest frustrated, angry, discouraged, hopeful, scared or disgusted. Ask the group what motions they might make to represent each feeling - for example, stamp your feet, wave your arms, punch a fist in the air, jump up and down, say a prayer (palms pressed together), make a snarl or give a hoot. Write the feeling words with the motions on the newsprint. Phrase them to fit in the song: If you want justice and [you're disgusted], [stomp your feet].
When you have at least five ideas listed, sing the song together, using the phrases to make verses and acting out the motions for each verse. Make sure children are standing with enough room so they will not knock into one another. Begin and end with "If You Want Justice and You Know It, Clap Your Hands."
Including All Participants
If the group includes children with limited mobility, encourage participants to name actions that everyone can do.