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Curriculum (Grades K-8) 2020-21

In this unprecedented time, the UUFA is dedicated to providing a quality educational experience for all of our students.  To that end, supplemental activities and class activity materials (art supplies, worksheets, take-home activities) are being provided to registered families.  Materials can be picked up between 1:00 and 5:00 pm on the dates listed on this page (subject to change, depending on weather and family availability, families will be notified ahead of time of any changes), and others will be delivered to homes after 5:30 pm during these weeks.  Please contact the Religious Educator (releducator@uufames.org) if you would like to arrange delivery or schedule a different pickup time.

 

Curriculum Overview

Kindergarten and First Grade:
This year, the Kindergarten and 1st grade age group will learn from two separate curricula. Introductions to each curriculum are listed below. Students will receive all necessary lesson plans in advance, whether they are delivered or picked up from the fellowship.

Wonderful Welcome:
Welcome. Welcome in love. Welcome in friendship. Welcome in faith. The Wonderful Welcome curriculum engages and challenges leaders and children alike to explore how and why we are willing to welcome others into our lives. We welcome not only strangers, but family, our peers, our neighbors and even entities that are not people such as our animal friends and nature itself.  How do we welcome? We welcome by sharing intangible gifts, those positive qualities which we all have inside us such as kindness, love, invitation, covenant and empathy. In this program, children learn to articulate and express a variety of intangible gifts, empowering them to share these gifts with others.

The intangible gifts explored in Wonderful Welcome are all components of welcoming itself, a core Unitarian Universalist value. This program helps children understand and practice other values central to Unitarian Universalism such as friendship, hospitality, and fairness. It offers children safe, positive and intentional ways to relate to one another, the people in their families, and the world around them as they investigate how they use gifts they can't see or touch to welcome others into their lives. Children will think about the intangible gifts they bring into the world, and the intangible gifts they receive. When and how do they get love from others? When and how do they show empathy? Who has given them the gift of friendship? How do they show that they want to be someone's friend? What does "helping" look like?

Objectives:

  • Expand children's understanding of their relationships with others, including people they know, people they will meet and all life that shares our planet
  • Create opportunities for children to identify and practice a wide variety of welcoming behaviors; activate children's capacity to welcome many manifestations of the interconnected web of life, including people, animals and the natural environment
  • Teach children the concept of "intangible gifts," qualities that can be shared but cannot be seen or held
  • Teach the importance of welcoming as an act of Unitarian Universalist faith and as an expression of our Unitarian Universalist Principles
  • Develop and enrich children's sense of belonging to their religious education peer community, their congregational community and the larger Unitarian Universalist faith community
  • Introduce practices of stewardship
  • Help children create a shared atmosphere that encourages a sense of reverence, awe, gratitude and wonder.

Love Surrounds Us:
At the core of our Unitarian Universalist community are our seven Principles. The Principles encompass all the ingredients of a good and faith-filled life based on equality, freedom, peace, acceptance, truth, care, and love. This program explores all the Principles in the context of Beloved Community.  The program concentrates on the communities that are most recognizable to kindergarteners and first graders—their Beloved Communities of family/home, school, neighborhood. Participants engage in activities that emphasize the love they feel in community.

Objectives:

  • Teach the seven Unitarian Universalist Principles
  • Develop connections among love, the Principles, and the communities of home, school, faith, and world
  • Lift up Unitarian Universalism and the Principles in activities and stories
  • Teach children skills for forgiveness, love, sharing, acceptance, caring, and peace in a loving community
  • Explore rituals that help us focus on and celebrate UU Principles.

Second and Third Grades: 
This year, the 2nd and 3rd grade age group will learn from Cartuuns. This is a brand new curriculum to this fellowship, and involves both in-class and optional take-home activities including crafts, recipes, and more! Introduction to Cartuuns is below. Students will receive all necessary lesson plans in advance, whether they are delivered or picked up from the Fellowship.

Cartuuns
Capturing a child’s attention today can be difficult. Widespread television viewing, video game playing, and internet surfing has created an environment where children need visual stimulation, and some form of entertainment, to maintain interest. There is no reason why children can’t have fun while they are learning; judicial use of children’s entertainment can be used to help children process their feelings and for exploration of values and ethics.  This curriculum uses animated shorts from Pixar and Disney to facilitate discussion around values, ethics, and feelings. The shorts are short in length, with most running between three and eleven minutes; the short length will alleviate boredom, and allow all children to see the animation in its entirety, grounding the discussion in a shared experience.

Objectives:

  • Give students flexibility during class time
  • Allow children to use UU language outside of class
  • Challenge children to question media and become open to other interpretations
  • Engage children in video media through a shortened timeframe

Fourth and Fifth Grades:
This year, the 4th and 5th grade age group will learn from two separate curricula. Introductions to each curriculum are listed below. Students will receive all necessary lesson plans in advance, whether they are delivered or picked up from the fellowship. This class will participate in short-term “Faith in Action” projects, which will be administered via class or in their handouts. There will not be a Faith in Action project each week, but the students will learn about the projects before they happen. FIA projects could be as simple as reading an internet article, or as broad as completing a “challenge” (like writing a short paragraph about a subject, or completing a worksheet with an adult.)

Windows and Mirrors
Windows and Mirrors nurtures children's ability to identify their own experiences and perspectives and to seek out, care about and respect those of others. The sessions unpack topics that lend themselves to diverse experiences and perspectives—for example, faith heritage, public service, anti-racism and prayer. The program teaches that there are always multiple viewpoints and everyone's viewpoint matters.  The metaphor of windows and mirrors represents the dynamic relationship among our awareness of self, our perceptions of others, and others' perceptions of us. Beginning in Session 2, an ongoing art activity gives children a way to respond to the metaphor creatively and concretely. Participants do guided work on individual Window/Mirror Panels in each session to explore looking inward and looking outward in terms of the session's topic. As a mirror, the panel reflects the individual child. As a window, it represents their view and connections beyond themselves to the congregation, other communities to which they belong and the world.

Objectives:

  • Present Unitarian Universalism as a faith that is lived out through identifying and acting on responsibility toward one another
  • Introduce the reality and the impact of multiple perspectives and multiple experiences as we live in this world
  • Use the metaphor of a window and a mirror to help children better understand themselves in relation to others
  • Present the windows and mirrors metaphor as an effective tool for understanding and living our Unitarian Universalist Principles
  • Guide children to identify and respect their own values, views and needs as well as those of others in a variety of contexts; teach that to do so is a faith practice
  • Provide children with practice in observation, interpretation and critical thinking
  • Develop children's empathy, open-mindedness and respect for differences, seen and unseen.

Sing to the Power
The word "power" often has a negative connotation. It may remind us of the corruption that seems inevitable when people pursue power for its own sake. We may feel overwhelmed by the power of giant institutions. But everyone has power, and the capacity to choose how and when to use it. Sing to the Power affirms our Unitarian Universalist heritage of confronting "powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love." Participants experience their own power, and understand how it can help them to be leaders. Sing to the Power uses a metaphor of the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water—as a framework to explore different forms of power. Four four-session units explore each element. The four elements are illustrated with a large paper or fabric wall hanging begun in the first session and decorated throughout the program.

Objectives:

  • Explore kinds of power that can be used to create positive change
  • Enrich Unitarian Universalist identity with stories of people who used their power for the sake of "justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love"
  • Develop participants' sense of themselves as leaders
  • Promote exercising one's own powers to create positive change, even in very small ways
  • Build community, with an emphasis on the power of religious community to change the world for the better.

Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades: 
This year, the middle school age group will learn from the new Building Bridges curriculum. The introduction to this curriculum is below. Students will receive all necessary lesson plans in advance, whether they are delivered or picked up from the fellowship.
This program will bookend well with Holy Days and Holidays/World Faiths, which each student in the middle school age group will have completed, and the Coming of Age program. Please contact the Religious Educator with any questions.

Building Bridges
Building Bridges is a world religions program to deepen youth's understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search.
The program is organized roughly chronologically, capturing the strong parallel between societal change and religious evolution over human history. The Religions Time Line helps illustrate the emergence of religions in clusters at different points in history. However, this is not a history course. It is a series of workshops that attempts to lovingly and reverently examine some of the closest kept treasures of the human heart. This exploration nurtures participants' positive outlook toward other faiths and the people who follow them. To study religion together is to invite a certain amount of discomfort for individuals and conflict in a group. This program provides youth a unique opportunity to engage the world's diversity of faiths in a safe, affirming atmosphere that is grounded in Unitarian Universalist faith. As facilitators, acknowledge tensions and disagreement and model how to work toward understanding. Help create an environment where respectful exploration and questioning are encouraged, where differences are encountered with open minds and hearts.

Objectives:

  • Increase knowledge of religions practiced around the world and in local communities
  • Understand how religion addresses basic human needs
  • Fosters acceptance of the diverse forms that religious expression takes
  • Build awareness of the diversity of followers within every faith; understand that to know someone's religious identity is not the same as knowing what that person thinks, believes, or practices
  • Support the faith development of participants
  • Empower youth to better appreciate human diversity and connect with others and be able to respectfully discuss important matters with people with whom they disagree
  • Nurture open-mindedness and critical inquiry.

Faith in Action Project:
The 6th-8th grade class will complete a long-term Faith in Action project, which they will work on through the program year. This project will be to create a fundraiser to raise money for their chosen charity. This charity will be chosen by the students in April of 2021, with the fundraiser beginning that month as well. Students will need to discuss ways to raise money and awareness for their chosen charity which could include the possibility of reaching out to other congregations, talking to classmates or family and even creating a video/speech to read in service.

Students will receive handouts and materials for each class. Among these handouts will be a “Response to service”. This worksheet can be completed during the last service of each month, which middle students may attend instead of Soul Matters. When students complete the “response to service”, they can then share it with their class during the start of the next month’s classes during the following week. Completing these take home worksheets will earn the students ‘points’, which they can use while voting for their charities in April. The more Soul Matters services you attend, the more worksheets you can fill out, and the more points you can earn! If you have more points, you have more votes when it comes time to vote for charities for the Faith in Action project.
 

Schedule 2020-2021

Kindergarten and First Grade:
September 13, 2020 The Gift of Covenant
September 20, 2020 The Gift of Forgiveness
September 27, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Renewal)
October 4, 2020 The Gift of Invitation
October 11, 2020 The Gift of Friends
October 18, 2020 The Gift of Helping
October 25, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Deep Listening)
November 1, 2020 The Gift of Families
November 8, 2020 The Gift of Mutual Caring
November 15, 2020 The Gift of Protection
November 22, 2020 The Gift of Stewardship
November 29, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Healing)
December 6, 2020 The Gift of Learning Together
December 13, 2020 The Gift of Ourselves and Spirit
December 20, 2020 The Gift of Community
December 27, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Stillness)
January 3, 2021 Love Surrounds Us
January 10, 2021 New Friends
January 17, 2021 Forgiveness
January 24, 2021 Acceptance
January 31, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Imagination)
February 7, 2021 Love Surrounds Us in Ritual
February 14, 2021 Love Surrounds Us in Our History
February 21, 2021 Love Surrounds Us in Our Search
February 28, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Beloved Community)
March 7, 2021 Our Words Matter
March 14, 2021 Hear Our Voices
March 21, 2021 A Peaceful and Fair World
March 28, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Commitment)
April 4, 2021 Peaceful Choices
April 11, 2021 Love Surrounds Us in Nature
April 18, 2021 Our UU Principles
April 25, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Becoming)
May 2, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 9, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 16, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday 
May 23, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 30, 2021 Religious Education Sunday
Second and Third Grades:
September 6, 2020 Mike's New Car
September 13, 2020 Lou
September 20, 2020 La Luna
September 27, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Renewal)
October 4, 2020 Tin Toy
October 11, 2020 Jack-Jack Attack
October 18, 2020 Mater and the Ghostlight
October 25, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Deep Listening)
November 1, 2020 Sanjay's Super Team
November 8, 2020 Geri's Game
November 15, 2020 Presto
November 22, 2020 Partysaurus Rex
November 29, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Healing)
December 6, 2020 The Legend of Mor'du
December 13, 2020 Dug's Special Mission
December 20, 2020 BURN-E
December 27, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Stillness)
January 3, 2021 Partly Cloudy
January 10, 2021 Bao
January 17, 2021 Paperman
January 24, 2021 Red's Dream
January 31, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Imagination)
February 7, 2021 Lifted
February 14, 2021 Boundin'
February 21, 2021 Piper
February 28, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Beloved Community)
March 7, 2021 Day & Night
March 14, 2021 Feast
March 21, 2021 The Blue Umbrella
March 28, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Commitment)
April 4, 2021 Lava
April 11, 2021 One Man Band
April 18, 2021 Olaf's Frozen Adventure
April 25, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Becoming)
May 2, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 9, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 16, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday 
May 23, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 30, 2021 Religious Education Sunday
Fourth and Fifth Grades:
September 13, 2020 Me in Faith Community, Faith Community in Me
September 20, 2020 We Need Not Think Alike to Love Alike
September 27, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Renewal)
October 4, 2020 Building a Community of Forgiveness
October 11, 2020 The Blessing of Imperfection
October 18, 2020 All Ages Offer Gifts
October 25, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Deep Listening)
November 1, 2020 Eyes on the Prize
November 8, 2020 Lean on Me
November 15, 2020 Service is the Rent We Pay for Living
November 22, 2020 Privilege is a Blessing We Give Away to be in Community
November 29, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Healing)
December 6, 2020 Making Visible the Invisible
December 13, 2020 Images of Injustice
December 20, 2020 Choose to be UU
December 27, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Stillness)
January 3, 2021 The Power of Earth
January 10, 2021 The Power of Roots
January 17, 2021 The Power of Growth
January 24, 2021 The Power of Stillness
January 31, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Imagination)
February 7, 2021 The Power of Listening
February 14, 2021 The Power to Shine
February 21, 2021 The Power of Passion
February 28, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Beloved Community)
March 7, 2021 The Power of Action
March 14, 2021 The Power of Reaching Out
March 21, 2021 The Power of Water
March 28, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Commitment)
April 4, 2021 The Power of Persistence
April 11, 2021 The Power of Gathering
April 18, 2021 The Power to Make a Change
April 25, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Becoming)
May 2, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 9, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 16, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday 
May 23, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 30, 2021 Religious Education Sunday
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grades:
September 13, 2020 Treasure Everywhere
September 20, 2020 Unitarian Universalism: The Journey Starts at Home
September 27, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Renewal)
October 4, 2020 Indigenous Religions: The Earth Speaks
October 11, 2020 Hinduism: One God, A Thousand Faces
October 18, 2020 Judaism 1: The Birth of the Abrahamic Tradition
October 25, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Deep Listening)
November 1, 2020 Judaism 2: People of the Law
November 8, 2020 Introduction to Eastern Religions
November 15, 2020 Taoism
November 22, 2020 Buddhism 1: Waking Up
November 29, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Healing)
December 6, 2020 Buddhism 2: Right Living
December 13, 2020 Christianity 1
December 20, 2020 Christianity 2
December 27, 2020 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Stillness)
January 3, 2021 Islam 1: Peace by Surrender
January 10, 2021 Islam 2: Contemporary Issues
January 17, 2021 The 1800s: Five New Religions
January 24, 2021 Evangelical Christianity
January 31, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Imagination)
February 7, 2021 The Quakers: Lamb and Lion
February 14, 2021 Humanism: Just Us...And Everything Else
February 21, 2021 Atheism and Agnosticism: Not in Temples Made with Hands
February 28, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Beloved Community)
March 7, 2021 Cults: Lose Your Will, Lose Your Soul
March 14, 2021 Neo-Paganism: The Sacredness of Creation
March 21, 2021 Wider and Stronger
March 28, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Commitment)
April 4, 2021 Faith in Action Project
April 11, 2021 Faith in Action Project
April 18, 2021 Faith in Action Project
April 25, 2021 Soul Matters for Kids Large Group Activity (Theme: Becoming)
May 2, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 9, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 16, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday 
May 23, 2021 Prepare for Religious Education Sunday
May 30, 2021 Religious Education Sunday

 

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