Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Wonderful Welcome group covenant (from Session 2: Everyone Is Welcome)
- Newsprint, markers and tape
Preparation for Activity
- Be ready to use the language of covenant rather than the language of rules during this activity. Covenant words include agreement, promise, group choices or group decisions.
Description of Activity
Gather the children in a circle. Direct their attention to the covenant poster they created together in Session 2. Review the covenant to remind the group of their work and to bring new participants on board. Ask the children if they still think it is a good agreement for their Wonderful Welcome group and allow some discussion.
Now ask, "How well have we been keeping our covenant when we are together?" Children may mention times when the covenant has not been kept. If they do not, prompt them. You may need to mention specific incidents, for example, "Remember last time we met, no one helped clean up?" Avoid tying a covenant-keeping lapse to a particular child.
Then say, in your own words:
You know, we didn't really make any plans for what to do if someone does not follow our covenant. If someone in the group does not follow the covenant, how do you think we should respond?
Elicit responses. It will be important to differentiate among behaviors; there will not be one consequence that will fit every kind of lapse. If a child breaks a covenanted promise that is important for the safety of the group, such as by hitting another child, time out might be an appropriate consequence. However, if someone is talking out of turn, a more appropriate consequence might be to stop the discussion, turn everyone's attention to the covenant, and remind everyone of the agreements.
Record the consequences that the group agrees on. You may wish to post this list in your meeting space.