Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Sing to the Power: A Social Justice Program for Children Grades 4-5

Faith In Action: Exploring Ways to Exercise Earth Power

Activity time: 35 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Stickers or adhesive dots

Preparation for Activity

  • Research groups in your area that do justice or service work that connects with the theme of "earth power"-for example, any organization that deals with food, such as a food pantry or soup kitchen, any organization that connects people with the earth, such as a community garden or nature preserve; or, using "earth power" as a metaphor, any organization that helps people become grounded in their place and heritage, such as a local history museum.

Description of Activity

In keeping with this program's theme of building leadership, the Faith in Action projects help participants build skills in identifying, planning, executing, and reflecting on work for the common good. Rather than offering a detailed project for each session, Sing to the Power provides structured ways for participants to voice their interests and follow through on their commitments. Faith in Action projects are presented in four-session blocks, in keeping with the four-session units for each element.

An action project begins with identifying a need. Begin by explaining that the group will create and carry out a Faith in Action project based on the theme of "earth power." Offer, and write down on newsprint, examples of local groups or individuals whose work connects with earth power. Invite participants to share any other examples of people working with earth power that they can think of. Record these contributions. Then ask participants to brainstorm ideas of projects they might be able to do within a month (or, the time frame of the earth power sessions). Write down all suggestions (including any ideas you might have).

Give each participant three stickers or dots. Ask them to vote for the suggestions they like best using their dots. They may put all three dots on one idea, or distribute them among up to three ideas. When voting is complete, identify the three ideas that got the most votes.

Now lead a discussion about what it would take to successfully complete each of the "top three" projects. What would be involved? What resources would you need? How much time would it take, and when would you spend that time? Who would you connect with? What might you learn? How might you contribute to the world?

When you have discussed all three projects, give each participant one more sticker/dot. Have them vote by placing their dot by the project they prefer. The project with the most votes will be your Faith in Action project for the month.

Including All Participants

Make sure you encourage quieter/more shy participants to share their views. Do not allow children who think the quickest or speak the loudest to dominate the discussion.