Activity 1: Story - Know Yourself
Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copy of the story, "Know Yourself"
- A few coins
- Large box for donations
- Optional: Fidget basket (see Session 1, Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects)
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story so you will be comfortable telling or reading it to the children.
- Optional: Make a sign for the donations box. It could say "Gifts of 'treasure' from the Signs group to [name of your congregation]."
- Optional: If you have a basket of fidget objects for children who will listen and learn more effectively with something in their hands, make the basket available during this activity. See Session 1, Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects for a full description of fidget baskets and guidance for using them.
Description of Activity
Participants hear a story about generosity, from the Middle East.
Invite the children to sit comfortably. Read or tell the story. Use coins as props to help you tell the story.
Process with these questions:
- This story comes to us from the Middle East. It mentions Allah. Who is Allah? [Allah is a name for God in the Muslim religion.]
- People who practice the religion of Islam are called Muslims. Muslims are found all over the world, though the religion was born in the Middle East. As part of their religion, Muslims are expected to give to others who need help. In Islam, giving to the poor and those in need is considered just as important as praying. The yearly giving is called zakaat. If you are a Muslim, to pay your zakaat is a sign of love for and obedience to Allah. It is a sign of your faith.
- Why does the man say he is more generous than the zakaat requires him to be or the woman expects him to be? What does he mean that he knows himself?
- For Unitarian Universalists, being generous is a sign of our faith when we give to help make things more fair, like the man did in the story. Being generous can also be a sign of our faith when we give to support something we love. Muslim culture and many other cultures teach that the more generously you give something away, the more it will return to you. When we give to our congregation, do you think that can be true? That the more generous we are, the more we get back?
- Think of a time you were generous. How did it make you feel?
Including All Participants
You may wish to make fidget objects available to children who find it difficult to sit still while listening to a story or can focus better with sensory stimulation. For a full description and guidance, see Session 1, Leader Resource 2.
Consider using rug squares in the storytelling area. Place them in a semi-circle with the rule "One person per square." This can be very helpful for controlling active bodies.