Activity time: 20 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Read the description of the game so you will be able to lead it smoothly.
- Read Alternate Activity 2, Unique Name Tags. If you have time, consider adding it at the close of this activity.
Description of Activity
Group the participants in triads and have children stand together with their teams. If there are fewer than nine participants, form pairs; one participant can be a team with a co-leader.
Give each team member a number: 1, 2, or 3. Tell the teams they will play a game called You and Me. Each team needs to come up with three (or two, if in pairs) ways they are all alike. The members should take turns asking one another questions until each member has discovered something all three (or both) have in common. They will need to remember the commonality, because they will each have to share it with people from other teams. Once they find the commonality, they may sit down to signal they are ready for the next part of the game. The first team to sit down wins.
Explain how you wish the participants to ask questions to find commonalities: For example, Person 1 might ask if everyone on the team is a child. Person 2 might ask if everyone goes to the UU congregation. Person 3 might ask if everyone likes playing video games. If one person does not like playing video games, Person 3 might ask if everyone is homeschooled. If all three team members are homeschooled, this team has completed the game and can sit down.
After all teams are done, invite each team to share their commonalities. Have the winning team go first.
Now, invite the teams to play another game: Me, Not You. In this game, each team member tries to identify a way they are different from other team members. Again, after every team member identifies a difference, the entire team should sit down to signal completion. Have each teams share their differences.
Process the game with these questions:
- Which was easier to find, commonalities or differences?
- Did anyone in the larger group share a difference with you?
- Were some of the differences surprising?
- Sometimes people are treated badly because they are different. Can anyone give an example? Does noticing that someone is different the same as treating someone badly? Should we be afraid to talk about our differences? Why or why not?
- What would our world be like if we were all alike in every way?
Help children understand that noticing differences does not need to lead to fear, hate, or any form of oppression. You might say:
Noticing a difference is not the same thing as rejecting or criticizing someone because they are different. We often notice or discover differences between ourselves and other people, and not a bad thing to respectfully talk about them. On the other hand, if we do not talk about our differences, it is easy to get into misunderstandings. We may start to think that everyone has the same experiences, beliefs, thoughts, and values that we do, and that is not true. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that our differences make us unique and uniqueness is not only beautiful, but needed. Appreciating our uniqueness can be a sign of our UU faith.
Including All Participants
If any children's mobility limitations make standing and sitting problematic, have the children signal their team is finished in another way, such as by raising their hands.