Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of the story "The Change the World Kids"
- A chime, rain stick, or other calming sound instrument
- A large, shallow dish filled with water, to demonstrate ripple effect
- A globe or world map
- Optional: Picture of a spider web or a toy spider and web
- Newsprint, markers and tape
- Optional: Fidget object basket (Session 2, Leader Resource 2)
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story a few times. Consider telling the story rather than reading it. Practice telling it aloud.
- Plan how you will use the dish of water, the globe or world map, and any items from the story basket while telling the story. Set these items close at hand.
- Post blank newsprint near the storytelling area.
Description of Activity
In this activity you will tell the story "The Change the World Kids," about contemporary Unitarian Universalist children in Vermont who formed a group for action based on our seventh Unitarian Universalist Principle, respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. You might say:
Unitarian Universalists believe our world is like one big web we share with all the plants and animals and people that live on Earth. If the web is so big, how can one child or even a group of children help take care of it? That's what our story is about.
Before you begin, look around the room and make eye contact with each person. Read or tell the story.
Sound the instrument to indicate that the story is over.
Ask children to describe the projects mentioned in the story. Hold up the globe or world map and point out Vermont, Costa Rica and Rwanda. Then ask:
- I wonder, what does it mean when we say we are a part of an interdependent web of all existence?
Allow discussion. One way to describe the web of life would be to show a picture or toy spider web and say:
When a spider makes a web, every part is connected to another part. If you pull one part of the web, that pulls the whole web. Nature is like that. If you do something that affects one part of nature, it can affect all of nature.
Continue discussion with these questions:
- Could that mean every place on the globe is connected? Is everything that lives in other places connected to us? Do you think the Change the World Kids would agree with that idea?
- I wonder, why did the Change the World Kids decide to form an action club?
- I wonder what their motto means: "No one can do everything, but everyone can do something." (Affirm that no one needs to feel they must help a big problem by themselves, but if everyone does a little, together it can help a lot.)
Phebe and Nika in this story realized that children can make a difference. Do you believe kids' actions can start a ripple effect for positive change? I wonder, what ideas do you have for ways children can help protect the Earth? I wonder, what things could we do in our congregation to help protect the Earth?
Indicate the newsprint. Tell the children you will list their ideas for how children can help protect the Earth and the living beings that share our interconnected web. Allow the children to respond without adult input, at first. As concrete ideas emerge for protecting the Earth, briefly note them on the newsprint. Use phrasing the children can copy on their "Make a Difference" posters in the next activity. If needed, prompt:
- Turn off lights when you are not using them.
- Ride a bicycle, walk, or take a bus instead of driving a car.
- Dry your clothes in the sun on a clothesline.
- Use cloth bags instead of asking for plastic bags at a store.
- Recycle used papers, bottles, and cans.
- Turn off the water in the sink while you brush your teeth.
- Turn down the heat or air conditioning in your house.
- Plant trees.
- Change your light bulbs to ones that use less electricity.
- Throw food wrappers in the trash instead of on the ground.
Thank all the children for their ideas. Reinforce that there are indeed many things children can do to help protect the Earth.