Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Poster board and glue
Preparation for Activity
- Make a poster of congregational leaders: Collect and cut out photos of five to ten congregational leaders, and tape them to poster board. Make sure you know each person's name and leadership role(s). Seek diversity in ethnicity/race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and type of leadership (i.e., board members, musical leaders, building and grounds committee chair, nursery volunteers, ushers). Include staff. Make sure you include a youth, such as one who helps in the RE program.
- If any congregants helped the group by making the stoles the children will receive today, collect their photo and leave space for them on the poster, but do not yet post them (unless they are posted for another leadership activity). You will post them in Activity 4.
- On newsprint, draw a large outline of a genderless, generic person. Set the newsprint aside.
Description of Activity
Children brainstorm qualities of a good leader.
Say, in your own words:
When we played Follow the Leader, we took turns being the leader. Unitarian Universalists think it is important that everyone gets a turn at being the leader. Why? [Affirm that it is important because it is more fair, because no one person should have to assume all the responsibility, and because different people bring different talents and skills and different ways of being a leader.]
Because we believe in shared leadership, taking a turn at being a leader is a sign of our faith. Our congregation has many people who provide leadership and service. Here are some of them.
Show the group the poster of congregational leaders. Help the children identify the leaders and what they do in the congregation that is leadership.
Ask: "Can children be leaders, too? Invite volunteers to tell about their leadership at home, at school, at the congregation, or in the community. They might be scout leaders. Their classroom at school might designate daily or weekly leaders who help the teacher, collect papers, or lead lines. They might have helped lead a food drive at the congregation, been the lead in a holiday pageant, or sang a solo in the choir. Ask if any are role models for younger siblings or family friends.
Post the newsprint of the human outline. Invite children to think of their experiences in leading, other leaders they know, and think about playing Follow the Leader. What qualities make a good leader? If you wish, invite them to consider movies or stories they know that feature a good leader. What qualities does that character have?
Invite children to be quiet for one minute to think.
Then invite them to share "popcorn style," popping up as they name a quality for you to write inside the human figure. Alternately, if any participants wish to, they may write the qualities on newsprint themselves. Tell them not to worry about spelling, but if they have spelling questions, they can ask you and co-leaders.
Read the qualities aloud. Make sure the list includes:
Leaders listen to everyone.
Leaders are fair.
Leaders also know how to follow at times, and to take turns. Add other qualities you think are missing.
Post the newsprint where you can refer to it throughout this session and in future sessions.