Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Moral Compass poster
- Newsprint, markers and tape
- Several copies of Leader Resource 2, What Would UU Do? Dilemma Slips, and scissors
- Sound maker
Preparation for Activity
- If you are leading Moral Tales on your own, invite your director of religious education, another leader, or a parent volunteer to join you in leading this activity.
- Get the Moral Compass poster ready for children to spin the needle so it will land on a specific word or phrase. If you have not used the Moral Compass poster, or yours does not have a working "spinner," you will need to write, on a piece of newsprint, the virtues children can use to solve their dilemmas. See Leader Resource 3, List of Moral Tales Session Concepts for a list of words and short phrases you can write and post.
- If the group has six or fewer children, have them do this as a whole-group activity and working on each dilemma together. If you have seven or more, decide how you will make two or three teams so that each team includes children who tend to be articulate and engaged. If the group is large, make as many teams as you have adults to help them.
- Print out several copies of Leader Resource 2, What Would UU Do? Dilemma Slips. Cut apart the dilemma slips. Dilemmas are designed to pull in all of the ways to get to goodness and justice (virtues) the Moral Tales curriculum presents. You may wish to pull out five or six favorites for the game that particularly apply to concepts your Moral Tales program has covered.
- Prepare an area where the teams can sit on either side (or in three different locations) and the role plays can happen in the middle.
- Post a piece of newsprint for keeping track of teams' points.
Description of Activity
In this culminating activity for the Moral Tales curriculum the group reviews the concepts they have learned across all of the session by playing a team role-playing game. By using the title of "What would UU do?" you are reinforcing their identity as Unitarian Universalists and reminding them about principles and qualities that we value.
Indicate the Moral Compass poster or the newsprint where you have listed the concepts the group has explored in Moral Tales. Guide the children to remember each session and its central story. For instance, you may point to "Interdependence" and remind the children about the story, "We Are All One."
You may need to briefly define the concepts on the Moral Compass or newsprint list for the group. Do not spend more than five minutes revisiting past Moral Tales sessions.
Now invite the children to play a game called, "What Would UU Do?" (If you want to excite them, pretend to be a TV game host and say it very dramatically.) Tell them:
In this game you will use all of the wisdom you have about what is good and what is fair and how we can act for goodness and justice, no matter what problems you face. "UU" in this game stands for Unitarian Universalist. As Unitarian Universalists, we share common beliefs about how to be a good and fair person.
This game will look similar to "Family Feud," in that it is played between two teams and the players on each team work together.
Form two teams. Be sure that both teams have children who take leadership roles, children who are comfortable with self-expression, and children whom you think understand and can articulate the concepts the group has learned.
Describe the game:
Each team will sit on opposite sides of the room or open space. Choose one person to close their eyes and spin the Moral Compass. The person will have to spin it until the needle lands on specific words. Do not let the other team see which words you landed on!
As children arrange themselves in teams and choose the child who will spin, be ready with dilemma slips. Visit teams, one at a time. Help the spinner spin the Moral Compass or, if you do not have a spinnable Moral Compass, help the child close his/her eyes and randomly put his/her finger on one of the words or phrases you have written on newsprint to represent sessions of Moral Tales.
When the needle lands on a word or phrase, say (quietly) to the team:
Using this trait, what could you do to solve this problem... ?
And read the team the dilemma you have chosen for them.
If you have two adults, have an adult work with each team to make sure they grasp the meaning of the virtue they are to use, the nature of the dilemma they are to solve, and the task at hand.
Let the children in both groups brainstorm actions that they could take. If the challenge and the trait are not a good fit, allow the team to choose another virtue from the Moral Compass or the list on newsprint. Use leading questions such as; "How could we use the Golden Rule to solve this problem?", "Would it take courage to solve this problem?" or "How would it help to have faith if you had a problem like this?"
Allow teams about five minutes to choose a response to the dilemma that uses a specific virtue. Then, help each team craft a role play. Determine how many parts are needed and add parts to be sure that everyone is included. Quickly practice acting out the scenario, making sure to include the trait.
An example of what this might look like would be if they worked with Dilemma #1 and the concept of "Inner voice". One child could pretend to be a child with a broken leg using crutches. The other children could talk to themselves out loud, saying things like, "I wonder what it is like having crutches?" "I would need help carrying things." "The right thing to do would be to help her with her lunchbox and backpack."
When teams are ready, ask them to each perform their role play for the other team. When the first team is done, invite the children on the other team to confer to guess what the dilemma was and what direction on the Moral Compass was used to solve it. Teams get 10 points for identifying the main trait and 1 point for each additional trait they think was shown in the role play. (This way there are no wrong answers!)
Give the other team only one or two minutes to write down the traits they saw and to have a spokesperson share them. Each time they name a virtue that was used, you may wish to sound the loud sound maker for effect and add a point to their side of the newsprint scoreboard. If it seems that children are simply looking at the Moral Compass poster and shouting out words, slow them down and ask for an example of how that trait was used.
When the team is done guessing look back at the list of compass traits and ask both groups if anything is missing from this list. "What other virtues were involved in solving this problem that are not on our list?" If words such as "compassion," "helpfulness" or "thoughtfulness" are mentioned, and they are not on your Moral Compass poster, you may like to add them.
Next, reverse roles so that the other team shares their role play and the opposite team guesses which traits were used. If you have time, give each team another chance to spin and another dilemma to solve.
Add the points at the end. You may mention:
In this game of What Would UU Do? the more points your team has, the better job the other team did of acting out their dilemma and their ideas for solving it. Good job, everyone!
To close this activity, bring children's attention back to the Moral Compass or newsprint list of virtues. Say, in your own words:
Isn't it wonderful to know that there are so many ways that we can learn to be good and fair people in this world?