Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Love Surrounds Us: A Program on the UU Principles and Beloved Community for Grades K-1

Activity 3: Basic Needs for All

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A globe
  • Clay
  • Leader Resource 1, Basic Needs
  • Drawing paper and coloring tools
  • Pictures of children from many countries

Preparation for Activity

  • Obtain international pictures of a variety of people. Be sure to include children; be sure to include North Americans. You can download some from the Kids National Geographic website.
  • Put a small lump of clay on the globe where the congregation is located.
  • Print out Leader Resource 1. With a fine-tipped marker, make an X to show the approximate location of your faith community. Draw four shapes near the X: three circles and one heart. Then, draw a circle in each area of the map to include continents and other land areas. South America, Canada, Asia, Australia, SE Asia, Soviet Union, Europe, Africa, India. Then, copy the resource for all participants.
  • Set coloring tools at work tables.

Description of Activity

This activity introduces the world and helps children understand how sharing across borders can help people around the world meet their basic needs.

Gather the participants around the globe. Indicate where they are right now-the spot where you have placed a lump of clay. Then ask:

  • I wonder how many places there are in the world?
  • Who can tell me some places they know about? (Work through several of these with participants. Once a child shares an area, help find it on the globe. Place a small lump of clay. Talk about how far it is from where you are. Talk about whether it the place is in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere. Talk about whether the temperature is hot or cold.)

Show pictures of people from other places. Talk about what is the same and different about the pictures. Then ask:

I wonder what are the basic needs are of all the people in all these places? I will tell you there are four things all the people in our pictures have or need.

Help participants to identify food, a place to live, clothing, and love as the four basic needs.

Settle the children at work tables and distribute the maps. Invite them to notice how the globe and their map are the same, and how they are different. Distribute coloring tools. Then, say, in your own words:

Our sixth Principle is, "We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world." For the world to be peaceful, fair, and free all people need to share food and clothing, have a place to live and know love. This can happen in our local beloved community as well as our global community.

Ask them to look at their map. Tell them they will use it as you all work together to see how people are all connected. Say:

We will work together to see how we are all connected. Who can find the X on your map? Put your pencils on the X. That's about where we are right now. Let's think about a basic need, food, clothing, housing, or love, we have to share with others. Who has an idea? (Accept all answers.)

Invite the children to think about who needs food:

Let's start with food. What kind of food can we share with others?

Distribute drawing paper, and say:

Draw a picture of a food you would like to share in one of the circles by the X. Now draw a line to another circle where you would like to share food. Draw a picture of the same kind of food in that other circle. Draw a picture of the same kind of food in that circle.

Allow children to finish their drawings. Then say:

How about clothing? What kind of clothing does it seem like others need in the world? Draw a picture of a kind of clothing in one circle by the X. Draw the same picture of clothing in another circle on your map. Now connect those two circles with a line.

Again, allow children to finish their drawings. Then say:

Let's talk about shelter. Are all kinds of shelter or homes the same? Some people might live in a tent. Some people might live in an apartment. How can we share shelter? It's hard to send a house to someone. There is an organization called Habitat for Humanity that sends volunteers to help build houses where people need them. Or, we could send building tools or building materials. What could we send? Let's draw a picture of nails or wood or tin in the other circle by the X. Now pick a place to send the building materials and draw the same picture in that circle. Draw a connecting line.

After most children are done drawing "shelter," say:

Now we're going to send love to others. How do we do that? (Affirm all answers) We can send love through our thoughts and prayers and loving actions by being sure we have done all we can to make the world peaceful, free, and fair. Draw a picture in the heart shape and choose another place to send the love.

Invite volunteers to hold up their pictures. Ask: Are all our pictures the same? Point out all the different ways children thought of to provide basic needs for others.

Invite the group to stand and hold hands to send a blessing of love around the world. Use these words:

We live in a world where not everyone has the basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and love taken care of. Help us remember to share some of what we have with others.