Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Moral Tales: A Program on Making Choices for Grades 2-3

Activity 2: Introducing The "Moral Compass"

Part of Moral Tales

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A bold marker, or two pieces of card stock and tape or a stapler
  • Optional: A hand-held compass
  • Leader Resource 1, Moral Compass Poster

Preparation for Activity

  • Make a poster-size Moral Compass as directed in the Leader Resource 1, Moral Compass Poster.
  • If you have done Session 1: We Are All One, write the word "Interdependence" on a piece of card stock to attach to the Moral Compass poster. Or, if you prefer, write the word "Interdependence" directly on the poster.
  • Write the phrase "Inner Voice" on a separate piece of card stock to attach to the Moral Compass poster. Or, if you prefer, write the phrase "Inner Voice" directly on the poster.
  • Display the Moral Compass poster on a wall or easel where the children can see it and you can easily reach it. If you cannot display the Moral Compass poster continually for the duration of the Moral Tales program, identify a place to store the Moral Compass in between sessions.

Description of Activity

If you have brought a real, hand-held compass, show it to the children. Ask if anyone knows what it is, and what it is used for. Affirm correct answers.

Pass the compass around. Tell the children that this is a compass just like the ones that travelers used in the old days to find their way when they were lost or exploring new lands. Show them how the needle always points to the North.

Say, in your own words:

Sometimes when people need to figure out which way to go, they use a compass. The compass has a special needle. No matter how you hold a compass or whatever you do, the needle always points in the direction of north.

If people go on a long hike, and are not sure if they are on the right path, or if someone is looking at the stars in the sky at night and wants to know which constellations are in the north, they might look at a compass.

Sometimes we have tough decisions to make in our lives. It can almost feel like we are lost, like we do not know which way we are going, when we do not know the right thing to do. Has anyone ever felt like that?

Allow a few responses. If you like, let one or two children tell a story if the stories seem relevant. Then continue:

Sometimes we know how to act for goodness or for justice. Other times, we are not so sure. We might wish we had something like a compass to help us figure out the right direction to go.

Indicate the Moral Compass poster. Ask the children:

  • In what ways does our poster look like a real compass?

Allow some responses. Then say,

In Moral Tales, our compass poster will help us learn about some different directions we can take to find goodness and justice. Each time we meet, we will explore a new way to move in the direction of goodness and justice and will write it on our Moral Compass poster.

If the group has done Session 1: We Are All One, write or post the word "Interdependence" on the Moral Compass poster. Ask:

  • What do you remember about the story we heard last time we were together in Moral Tales?

You may need to prompt. Bring the group to a recollection of the story's refrain, "We are all one." Say, in your own words:

"We are all one" means that everyone and every living thing on this Earth is connected. When we don't know what is right and what is wrong, sometimes it helps to remember that every one of us, and every animal, and even every plant on our Earth are connected and depend on one another.

We have put the word "Interdependence" on our Moral Compass poster, to remind us of that.

Now tell the children, in your own words:

Another thing that can help people figure out how to point themselves toward goodness and justice is to use their conscience.

Ask if anyone knows what a conscience is. Affirm correct responses. Then say,

Everyone has a conscience. Adults and children. Every human being. Your conscience is like a voice inside your head that tells you when something is unfair, or when you are about to do something that is mean or wrong. Sometimes, if you are not sure what you should do, listening hard to your own conscience can help you figure it out.

In a few minutes, we are going to hear a story about a time when one boy used his conscience - his own inner voice - to figure out the right thing to do.

Post or write "Inner Voice" on the Moral Compass poster. Turn the "goodness and justice" needle toward the phrase "Inner Voice." Then say,

Let's point the "goodness and justice" needle on our Moral Compass to "Inner Voice," to help us get ready for the story.