Roots Class (pre-k to first grade) w/Marie:

This week we talked about the corona virus, did a lesson together about hand washing, and each child took home a small book about the virus. We’ll be making a stop at the bathroom sink to wash our hands T the start of each time we gather. Please help your child practice washing all parts of their hand, including the back, and scrub while singing Happy Birthday (twice!) or ABCs. 

You can read more about our talk about the virus here:– I wrote our conversation up because I think our words could be helpful to other grownups and children right now. It’s so important to talk together about the big, even scary things that are on our minds. 

Seedlings Class (2nd to 4th grade) w/Piaf:

This week we discussed the corona virus and created our own personalized booklet to take home. After talking about what the kids had heard at school and on the playground, we wondered how these experiences relate to our 7 UU principles. 

Then, we brainstormed fun hands-free greetings (such as waving, giving a peace sign, foot tapping, and more) and kids chose their favorite to record in their booklet. Next, children chose favorite songs that could hum to themselves while washing their hands for at least 20 seconds. We helped them time the songs so they know how much of it to sing/hum each time and they recorded their chosen song in the booklet. For our next page, we thought about what we could say in response to coronavirus prejudice. 

Finally,  we created a list of “calm down” things we can do when we’re feeling stressed or upset about this issue. The kids had lots of great self-care ideas, including exercising, breathing, distracting themselves with funny videos, reading, making art, hanging with pets, and talking to an adult.  

Wildflower Youth (5th grade & Middle School) w/Solveij:

On Sunday, the youth learned about Frances Harper, a black female abolitionist, poet, and women’s rights activist who joined the Unitarian Church after seeing many Unitarians participating in movements for justice. We reflected on what makes us feel connected to a spiritual community and what we want to do to seek justice, have fun, and enjoy our youth community for the rest of the school year!

Roots (pre-k to first grade) w/Marie:

We’re looking at the way some homes are based on friendship- next class the children will hear about Ruth and Naomi from the book of Ruth, and this week we read the true story of a very special and surprising friendship between a baby hippo and a very old tortoise. Home is a place where we are cared for, and that caretaking can look many different ways. 
In the spirit of animals I had to sing All God’s Critters Have a Place in the Choir with the children. I think we’ll sing it together more, it was a definite hit 🙂 

Seedlings (2nd to 4th grade) w/Piaf:

We continued our work on creating a UU board game based on our 7 principles. Since we have been referring back to them throughout the year, this is a fun way to consolidate our understanding of them and increase our familiarity with these core principles that we believe in at Wildflower. The next time we meet (Mar 1), the game will be ready to play, yay!

Wildflower Youth (5th & Middle School) w/Solveij:

On Sunday, a Wildflower community elder and climate justice activist, Susan Lippman, visited us to share her story. She talked about feeling confused as a white youth who had not experienced the pain of racism and segregation as black people did in the US. She recalled wondering why MLK and the civil rights movement leaders seemed to “be in such a hurry”, and our youth shared that many had similar confusion about why modern BLM activists are protesting. As an adult, Susan came to realize that what had been represented as “disruptive” acts of civil disobedience to her by the media were so important in making segregation and anti-black racism visible to the public, and the victories of the civil rights movement. We talked about how civil disobedience is a legacy from Thoreau, Ghandi and MLK that our youth are only four links away from the start of, and how it is a strategy of Xtinction Rebellion, a climate justice movement Susan is active in.

Roots Class (pre-k to 1st grade) w/Marie:

Continuing our thinking together about homes, we are talking about places that people gather together. The children came up with living rooms, kitchen, and the dining room as places people gather in their homes to be together for food, play, and just being together. I’m introducing the concept of hearth to them, an older word for the place people have gathered together for many many years, and this is something people do in their living spaces all over the world. We read the very beautiful picture book Mirror by Jeannie Baker. This lovely book takes you simultaneously through a day in a family’s world in Sydney, Australia and one in North Africa. I’m so enjoying our class focus on using what the children know from their own home experiences to connect as a group, and bridge that knowledge to the things we do together as Unitarian Universalists at our spiritual home at Wildflower. In our next class we’ll be building hearths.

Seedlings Class (2nd to 4th grade) w/Piaf:

This week we continued working on creating our board game. We are using our 7 UU Principles to guide the game-making, as well as enjoying the creative process of making the board and pieces. As kids shared differing ideas of how the game should work, we were able to practice one of the values (Each person should have a voice/vote.) We also brainstormed ways that people can follow these principles in their daily life as we created the scenarios that will be included in our “Pick a Card” pile.

Wildflower Youth (5th grade & Middle School) w/Solveij:

After participating with children in circling during the service, the Wildflower Youth group learned about another practice grounded Native American cultural and spiritual practice. We checked in with our whole selves — spiritual, mental, physical and emotional with a Medicine Wheel. We also played a game and talked about what we loved and would want to change about the Youth Camping Trip that we took last weekend.

Roots (pre-k to 1st grade) & Seedlings (2nd to 4th grade):

The Roots and Seedlings were combined this week for our special project of creating decorations for the amazing Valentine’s Day dance party that Wildflower is hosting to raise money for a new UU retreat for people who identify as queer/trans/nonbinary/agender. We began by discussing some of our UU principles and brainstorming loving and uplifting messages that we could include in our decorations. Then, kids created rainbow paper chains and faux tie-dye hearts, both with words of affirmation that the children chose.

The Wildflower Youth (5th grade & Middle School) began the first of many conversations about racial justice. They heard the voices of young Freedom Riders in the Civil Rights movement and leaders of the modern Black Youth Project. They then reflected on what they heard, discussed what they already knew about anti-racism, and shared what they would want to learn about movements for racial justice and black community liberation.

Roots Class w/Marie (pre-k to 1st grade):

This week the kids began with a circle for singing and checking in about their week. Then, they listened to a Native American folktale about coyote and friends risking their own safety to bring fire to the humans suffering in the cold. Finally, kids created finger puppets to act out the story with.

Seedlings Class w/Piaf (2nd grade to 4th grade):

Our group began working on creating a UU board game this week. We began by brainstorming the key elements of games we know and love (Monopoly, Life, Settlers of Catan, etc). Then we brainstormed about UU symbols and ideas that we’ve been talking about throughout the year. Finally, the kids came up with ideas about how to combine our two lists to create a game that reflects our church values. Finally, kids began decorating parts of the board that we’ll be using. We had many chances to practice one of our 7 Principles (Every person has a voice/vote) as we worked through the collaborative process! We will continue developing this game for several more weeks before we unveil it 🙂

Wildflower Youth Group w/Solveij (5th grade & Middle School):

Today the youth group had a recap of the “Big Nine” expectations for safe behavior in UU events, and practiced active consent and respecting boundaries through a game where they offered each other hugs, high fives, and pokes on the shoulder, listened first for whatever the other youth would like or not like, and then affirmed whatever their boundary was. They were also excited to go through the packing list and have some Q&A about the camping trip.