The Lifespan Faith Development Committee is very excited to be offering Spirit Play as the primary curriculum for the kindergarten through sixth grade classes at Fellowship.
Adapted from several religious education programs by a UU minister, Spirit Play calls our children to engage in creative work. In doing so, they are inspired to wonder about life’s deepest questions: Who am I? What am I here to do? What happens after I die? What do I believe in?
The curriculum's style is based on the philosophy of Maria Montessori, who understood that children’s play is work. Through play, young people explore life and their place within our mysterious universe.
How does the curriculum foster this exploration? Here is a description of a typical Sunday class. After convening in their classroom, now known as a ‘sacred space, the young people sit on comfortable carpet squares and listen to a story. The story is told by one of our teachers, the ‘storyteller.’
After the story, the children leave their carpet seats to take work baskets of materials from shelves, which they bring to a new space. This space is marked by their very own rug, where they can sit and work with the materials, alone or with others. They may choose to create work related to the morning’s story, or to their own. Imagination is nourished by the teachers’ questions, which begin with the phrase, ‘I wonder.’
Through the stories and work, the children learn ‘to place themselves within the UU faith’ and to understand what that means in ideas and practice. What are the topics of these stories? The Spirit Play Curriculum offers 600 stories on topics including the seven UU principles, the sources from which we draw inspiration, community and social justice. And because creativity abounds in our teachers as well as the children, we will occasionally write our own stories, as we plan to do for the Sunday of the Fair Trade Bazaar.
For more information about Spirit Play, visit their website by clicking here: Spirit Play.