Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Faith In Action: Wisdom from the Islamic World

Materials for Activity

  • Computer with Internet access
  • The text of the six Unitarian Universalist Sources
  • Optional: Puppets or materials for making puppets, or costumes, set pieces, and stage make-up

Preparation for Activity

  • Have stories available for the group to read and select for performance. The Outrageous Wisdom of Nasruddin website offers 15 stories. Mulla Nasruddin tales appear in other Tapestry of Faith curricula; find those stories online here in the program Amazing Grace and here in the program Moral Tales. Also find Nasruddin tales at your congregational, religious education, or local library. Look in books that have wisdom tales, stories from Sufism (a mystical branch of Islam), or tales from the Middle East.
  • Have the Unitarian Universalist Sources available to review with the group.

Description of Activity

Participants share a wisdom tale from the Islamic world with others in the religious education community.

As Unitarian Universalists, we acknowledge that wisdom can come to us from many different sources. Review our Unitarian Universalist Sources with the group. Note that UUs learn from wisdom tales-stories from many lands, handed down through generations. If you have brought books of wisdom tales, let participants browse through them for a few moments.

Ask if anyone has ever heard a story about a character named Mulla Nasruddin. You might remind them of stories used in other Tapestry of Faith programs (see Preparation for Activity). Ask if the group would like to present one of these stories to the congregation. Venues might include Children's Chapel, a multigenerational service, a youth or Religious Education year-end service, a retreat, a potluck, Wednesday night fellowship time, or another gathering that might appreciate entertainment.

After you decide when to present the wisdom tale, seek permission and guidance from the religious educator, minister, worship leader, or other congregational leader, as appropriate. You might also seek assistance from theater professionals in the congregation.

Decide as a group on your criteria for choosing a story; then select one to present.

Decide if youth will act out the parts or use puppets. Schedule time to work on puppets, sets, and/or costumes. Choose volunteer puppeteers and/or actors. Rehearse and present. At the end of the presentation, if appropriate, ask the audience for the moral of the story.

After the presentation, gather the group and discuss the process. What would you do differently next time? What worked well?