Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirituality and the Arts in Children's Programming: A Resource for Religious Educators

Connecting to a theme such as getting along together in peace using story and drama

  • Begin with drawing in a thin layer of sand on cookie sheets.
  • Read or tell a peace story (such as The Terrible Things by Eve Bunting) while the children are moving the sand with their fingers and hands.
  • Have a few minutes of silence when you finish the story. Ask them what they think is the most important part of the story. You may get many different answers. Ask if there is a different way the story could end.
  • Suggest that the children could act out the parts of the story or make a new ending and act that out.
  • Have children form groups (or go by themselves) according to what they thought was important.
  • Have the groups decide how to act out their part of the story. You may wish to have some fabric, construction paper, markers, scissors and other materials for them to use to make masks or other props.
  • Be available to help them as they need it
  • Decide which group should go first in the sequence of the story. Let children act out the story either as you read (for younger groups) or as the children read or tell it with their dialog.
  • Have the other groups watch the show. Leaders should model a positive and supportive response about what they liked about each group's performance.
  • After all the groups have finished, ask the children how they felt as they told the story with their bodies and if they are satisfied with the ending. Ask open-ended questions about the process, not the performance.
  • Pass out cards (for younger group do this orally) and have children write down one word about peace. Put the cards in a basket, mixing them up, then have each child read one as a closing.