Most weeks, the elementary group ages 4-8 will participate in Spirit Play.
After a greeting ritual and chalice lighting, the teacher will tell a Spirit Play story. Following the story, children select a “work” or activity to do individually. Children wrap up with a Joys and Concerns sharing circle.
The Spirit Play curriculum is a UU adaptation of the Godly Play curriculum by Jerome Berryman combined with aspects of the Montessori Method, by Maria Montessori. The purpose of Spirit Play is to help children find their own answers to some existential questions:
- How do we choose to live our lives?
- What are our gifts?
- How do we use them?
- Where did we come from?
- What is our purpose?
- Why are we lonely and sad sometimes?
- Why do we die?
- How do the various world religions interpret these questions?
Stories have been developed using current children’s literature, myths, religious stories and church history that cover answers from various sources to the questions above. Using visual aids to bring the story to life, children are encouraged to engage with the material through open-ended Wondering Questions, designed to spark curiosity and value the meanings that each child finds in the story.