Elementary Children in RE
(from Dr. Nita Penfold's website, www.spirit-play.com)
We see the purpose of religious education as helping children in living into their own answers to the existential questions: Where did we come from? What are we doing here? How do we choose to live our lives? What happens when we die? We use the Montessori approach and Berryman's morning as worship approach for the structure of the morning. As in Montessori, the key elements are the classroom environment and the teachers. These elements free the children to work at their own pace on their own issues after an initial lesson.
The Door Keeper helps the children get ready to enter the classroom as parents drop them off. The Storyteller leads the circle in the story of the day, followed by the wondering.
Children choose an art response or to work with a story previously heard, helped by the Door Keeper.
Children participate in clean up, and may follow with a feast (snack) with the Storyteller. Leave-taking is a formal process of saying good-bye to the Storyteller when parents arrive and children are ready.
Stories have been developed in the following categories: Unitarian Universalist Lessons and Stories, Promises (Principles), Sources, Stories of the Mystery, Beginnings and Endings, Sacred Places, Church Corner, Ways to Pray, and Heroes and Heroines
Spirit Play is the RE Model that will be used in the preschool—kindergarten and early—upper elementary classes this year. There will be two Spirit Play classrooms, one for each of these mixed aged groups. Please join us for our parent orientation!
Stories explored by this group will including the following sources:
- Promise Stories for Older Children
written by Connie Dunn, edited by Nita Penfold.
Two groups of 7 stories based on Unitarian Universalist figures written for 5th & 6th grades and 7th and 8th grades. Also includes an adapted Promises lesson for the older children and the UU Principles Game.
- Holidays and Holydays for Spirit Play
original curriculum by Charlene Brotman (used with permission), edited for Spirit Play by Nita Penfold
- NeoPagan Sabbats in the style of Holidays and Holydays
written by Jessica Zebrine Gray.
8 Stories with lesson on Wheel of the Year. For all ages.