Tapestry of Faith: Riddle and Mystery: A Program on the Big Questions for Grade 6

Activity 3: WCUU - The UU Advisor

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Microphone(s), video camera(s) and tripod(s), real or simulated
  • For studio set
    • Backdrop made in Session 1
    • Painter's tape or masking tape
  • Leader Resource 1, WCUU Script - The UU Advisor
  • Leader Resource 2, Dear Dr. Phayre and a basket to hold cut-up slips of paper
  • Paper for On-Air People's name cards, markers and string or tape
  • Timepiece
  • A copy of the Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources (Session 1, Leader Resource 1, or a poster in your meeting space)
  • Optional: Music player for theme song (see Session 1)
  • Optional: Studio lights (flashlights will do)

Preparation for Activity

  • This script calls for up to a minute of music to play, twice, while people are thinking. If the group does not use theme music or if the theme music is too short, choose some "thinking" music and bring a music player.
  • If necessary, arrange furniture, set up and test equipment and post backdrop. If you plan to record WCUU:
    • Make sure electrical outlets are nearby if you will need them.
    • Pay attention to lighting. Do not set On-Air People in front of a sunlit window.
    • If you are using on-camera microphones, direct On-Air People to speak toward the camera. Invite the Director or Floor Director to use the phrase "Quiet on the Set... Rolling... " followed by a silent countdown from five, using the fingers of one hand, ending with pointing to the On-Air Person to cue them to begin speaking.
  • Copy Leader Resource 1 for everyone who will need a script for the broadcast. This script has seven On-Air people-an Anchor, a NUUs (pronounced "News") Analyst, Dr. Phayre and four Candidates. (Note: You may use a different number of Candidates-adapt the script before you print it out.) If the group is small, co-leaders can be Studio Crew; if the group is large, the Studio Crew might include a director, a floor director, a camera operator, a sound engineer, a lighting director, a script supervisor and multiple production assistants.
  • Print out Leader Resource 2. Cut the numbered paragraphs into separate slips of paper. Fold the slips and place in a basket.

Description of Activity

This WCUU activity has two parts. Part 1 is the broadcast, in which four Candidates vie to become WCUU's new Dr. Phayre, the person who dispenses advice in response to viewer questions. Part 2 is a discussion which gives other youth a chance to answer questions similar to those fielded by the Candidates. It is important to make time for this second part of the activity so all the youth have a chance to wrestle with the questions.

Part 1. Participants present a WCUU broadcast involving seven On-Air People-an Anchor, Dr. Phayre, four Candidates and a NUUs Analyst. The Studio Crew might include a director, a floor director, a camera operator, a sound engineer, a lighting director, a script supervisor and multiple production assistants.

Assign roles, using volunteers for On-Air People and Studio Crew. You might invite the Kid for the Day to be the Anchor. Give participants who need to follow the script a moment to look it over (but do not distribute the Dr. Phayre "letters"-each poses a typical sixth grade situation in which a youth protests that something is not fair.). Review the script with the youth if any may have limited reading skills.

Tell the group when the show should end to keep the session on schedule; assign a Studio Crew member (director or floor director) to watch the time.

Begin the broadcast.

After the broadcast, ask participants how it went. Ask them to summarize how typical Unitarian Universalists respond to today's Big Question: "Is life fair?" Do they think non-UU viewers would understand Unitarian Universalism better after seeing this WCUU broadcast?

Part 2. Expand the discussion by asking the entire group to consider some of the Dr. Phayre questions. Start with questions not used in the broadcast. Invite volunteers who were not On-Air People to answer questions, or pose questions to the whole group. Help the youth understand:

  • The Unitarian Universalist Principles can help us decide what to do and how to act.
  • It is not always easy to apply a Principle to a specific question or action, but it is still worth trying.
  • What makes it difficult is that the Principles are general guidelines, while our problems are specific. Applying guidelines to specific problems is a challenge just about everybody has to face from time to time. Judges and lawyers need to do that frequently. So do teachers, when they need to interpret general school rules. Deciding what to do in an unfair situation can be tough, but it would be impossible if we had no guiding principles at all.

Including All Participants

Arrange the WCUU activity with respect for any participant limitations. If some youth have limited mobility, adjust WCUU parts to fit them.

Be alert and quickly stop any youth from applying a racist stereotype to the Dr. Phayre role.