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

Faith In Action: Exploring Ways to Exercise Fire Power

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

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

Preparation for Activity

  • Research groups in your area that do good work that connects with the theme of "fire power." This might include an organization that involves people standing up for justice, such as groups working on rights for immigrants, marriage equality, or protection of the environment or animals. The topic of global warming connects with the metaphor of fire; activities to combat global warming would be appropriate for the "fire power" sessions.

Description of Activity

In keeping with this program's theme of building leadership, the Faith in Action projects 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. As in the "Earth" and "Air" sections, the "Fire" section's Faith in Action activities comprise a four-session block.

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 "fire power." (Given the association of the phrase "fire power" with weapons, you may wish to substitute the phrase "the power of fire.")

Remind the group that the power of fire is the power of direct action-ways you claim and shine your power to change the world. Offer, and write on newsprint, some examples of local groups or individuals whose work connects with the power of fire. Invite participants to share any other examples of people working with the power of fire. Record these contributions. Then ask participants to brainstorm ideas of projects that they might be able to undertake within the month (or, the time frame of the fire sessions). On a fresh sheet of newsprint, write 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 that quieter/more shy participants are encouraged to share their views, and that discussion is not dominated by those who think the quickest or speak the loudest. Offer to place dots for a child who has mobility limitations, or have another participant place dots for them.