The program includes an Introduction and 16 sessions.
The sessions build as units:
- Unit 1 (Sessions 1, 2, 3, and 4) — Looking for Signs in Me
- Unit 2 (Sessions 5, 6, 7, and 8) — Looking for Signs in My Relationships
- Unit 3 (Sessions 9, 10, 11, and 12) — Looking for Signs in the Congregation
- Unit 4 (Sessions 13, 14, 15, and 16) — Looking for Signs in the World
Each session has its own Introduction, followed by a Session Plan.
In each session Introduction, find:
Quotations. The quotations that introduce each session are primarily for leaders, though at times you may wish to read one aloud to the group as an entry point to a session. Exploring a quotation together can help co-leaders feel grounded in the ideas and activities. These quotations are also included in Taking It Home for families to consider.
Goals. Reviewing the goals will help you understand the desired outcomes for the session and connect its content and methodologies with the four strands of the Tapestry of Faith religious education programs: ethical development, spiritual development, Unitarian Universalist identity development and faith development.
Learning Objectives. These show how participants will learn and grow as a result of the experience of the session. As you plan, apply your knowledge of the particular group of children, the time and space you have available, and your own strengths and interests as a leader to determine the most important and achievable learning objectives for the session. Choose activities that will serve them best.
Session-at-a-Glance. This table lists the session activities in a suggested order for a 60-minute session and provides an estimated time for completing each activity. The table includes all the core activities from the Opening through the Closing. The table also shows the Faith in Action activity for the session (though you will need additional time beyond the core 60-minute session to include a Faith in Action activity). The Session-at-a-Glance table also presents Alternate Activities with their estimated times.
Spiritual Preparation. Taking five or ten minutes to center yourself within the session's purpose and content will support and free you to be present with participants and provide the best possible learning experience. Each session offers a short Spiritual Preparation exercise to focus you on your own life and Unitarian Universalist faith. Calling forth your own experiences and beliefs will prepare you to bring the topic to the group in an authentic manner. We believe that teaching is a spiritual practice.
Following the Session Introduction, the Session Plan presents every element of the session in detail in the sequence established in the Session-at-a-Glance table. The materials and preparation needed and a step-by-step description are provided for each core activity, Faith in Action, and alternate activity. Additionally, the Session Plan provides Taking It Home with activities for families; Stories, Handouts, and Leader Resources for all session activities; and Find Out More with resources for leaders and parents to explore session topics further.
Adaptation to include all participants should always be part of your planning process. Under Including All Participants, many activities suggest specific modifications to make the activity manageable and meaningful for children with particular limitations or needs.
If you are reading this program online, you can move among a session's elements: Opening, Closing, Faith in Action, Activity 4, Story, etc. Each element occupies its own web page. You can click on "Print This Page" at any time. If you click on "Download Entire Program" or "Download Workshop" you will have a user-friendly document on your computer that you can customize as you choose, using your own word processing program. Once you decide which activities you will use, format and print only the materials you need.
To distribute Taking It Home and other handouts or letters to parents, you may wish to go green; download and adapt these documents, then use email to distribute to all children's families.