Friday, November 10, 2006

Teaching Quakerism to Unitarians

I've volunteered to teach a two-lesson program about Quakerism to the children at the local Unitarian Fellowship. They are doing a year-long unit on religions of the world. Apparently, some other groups have gone in to do stuff with them.

Age range is 5 to 14, anywhere from five to fifteen kids. I'd have them for under an hour, with assistants. It had all sounded easy when I had volunteered for this last spring, but at that time, I was told I'd be presenting to a group of 12-14-year-olds, which would have been much easier. I guess they've changed their program a little...

The program facilitator says the group is "active" and tends to go for the story/drama activity followed by an art/drama application.

I had one idea to do a listening activity (borrowed from the FGC Education site), where the kids lie on the floor with their heads together in a star formation and then focus on something and sense how the Light pulls at them. But how long would we be able to do that?

If anyone has done this sort of presentation before, I'd appreciate suggestions, tips, ideas, websites to go to, etc.

5 Comments:

At 12:43 AM, Blogger Robin M. said...

5 to 14 is huge. Hopefully the whole range won't show up on your Sunday and you can tailor your plan a little bit.

I'm thinking about one of the FGC curriculum packets about George Fox or John Woolman or William Penn - they usually have suggestions for a variety of ages, so you could have some options.

I think it would be hard to get a mixed age and gender group of kids to lie on the floor together. It might require a higher level of trust than you'll be able to achieve in two lessons, or maybe not - it depends on the kids, of course.

I also wonder if you could do a lesson on the Inner Light, the Inner Seed, and the idea that Christ has come to teach his [sic] people himself. I don't have a set curriculum on that, it's just the germ of an idea.

One other idea would be to talk some about Quaker business practice and then try it out - how to listen for the Truth in each person's words.

Good luck!

 
At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Marshall Massey (Iowa YM [C]) said...

A couple of ideas here. I don't know if they're any good --

One. Let your group imagine itself a congregation. Ask each kid to think of something she (he) would say to the preacher and the congregation standing on a back pew, George Fox style. (It could be anything -- doesn't have to be a Quaker sermon, could be just "hello, everybody!") Then they can get in a costume (costumes make it safer & more fun) & do it!

Two. Let each kid imagine herself (himself) as John Woolman, visiting a slaveholder --

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger kwattles said...

I have an acquaintance who is Unitarian. She asked me one time for ideas of how to "do a Quaker meeting." Apparently in her congregation they were doing a Buddhist meditation one week, a Native American ceremony the next week, and a Quaker meeting the week after that. She was the M.C. for the Quaker meeting.

I was at a loss. I told her the elements of ceremony that I'm accustomed to (settling into worship, hand-shaking at the end) and explained that the rest is up to the movings of the Spirit, but as I recall (this was some years ago) she decided it wouldn't be enough for her group.

She asked if I could come and tell them about it, but I was busy and I guess a little uneasy about the whole idea. I never heard what came of it.

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger Nancy A said...

I ended up teaching one lesson about what quakerism is, then we made medieval posters of quaker sayings. The next lesson, we made our own query books and made lovely covers with wallpaper. The kids were great and participated well.

 
At 3:53 PM, Blogger Robin Edgar said...

Well there is plenty of capital 'T' truth in my critical words about U*U injustices, abuses and hypocrisy. . .

 

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