Director of Religious Education

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 πŸ™‚

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.

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

Welcome to a new year! It was wonderful to gather the children back after our holidays. We played Circle Round the Chalice, read The Mitten (thinking about Reverend Brian’s words a few Sundays ago during the gifts service, about unexpected surprises, and seeing things differently) and made signs to remind our grownups about the warm clothing drive ending next Sunday. If you have HEB gift cards or warm clothing with tags please bring them for asylum seekers at the border. All sizes from infant on up needed, things like hats, mittens, gloves, coats.

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

This week we talked about New Year’s intentions. First, we warmed up by creating some ridiculous Mad Libs resolutions. One example: Do 4.5 billion push-ups every day πŸ™‚ Then we looked at the 7 UU Principles that we’ve been circling back to every class and brainstormed what kinds of real intentions we could create based on those. Finally, kids chose their favorite one to write up on a paper chain which they attached to the chain of the person next to them. They are now hanging in our classroom to remind us of our interconnected intentions throughout the year.

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

This week the Wildflower Youth group met for the first time in 2020 and practiced circling. We played a game, made a centerpiece based on the values they chose, and explored the topic of an inclusive and connected community. The youth actively listened and shared experiences of inclusion and exclusion with the help of a talking piece.

Roots class with Marie (pre-K to first grade):

We spent our last class together of 2019 practicing The Friendly Beasts for our procession next week, which will be right at the beginning of the service. We also painted our salt dough ornaments from last week.

Seedlings class with Piaf (2nd grade to 4th grade):

For our last class of the year, we painted salt dough ornaments. It was a fun opportunity to practice some problem-solving and perseverance when some of the ornaments didn’t turn out as expected πŸ™‚

Youth group with Solveij (5th grade & Middle School):

Our youth group decided to spend our last meeting this year planning for the future! We brainstormed for our upcoming camping trip, including a fundraiser. We practiced differed brainstorming styles (round-robin and star bursting), and came up with plans for a Family Movie Night fundraiser. Keep an eye out for more info to come!

In our combined class this week, we began by reviewing The Friendly Beasts hymn that we learned the last time we met. We also unveiled the finished animals that kids had worked on the last time and that are now outlined & cut out. We’ll be singing and presenting the animals at the intergenerational service on December 22. Finally, we made salt dough ornaments that can be painted next time.

This week, all three classes gathered together in the Community Room to learn the Friendly Beast song that we’ll be singing at the December 22 intergenerational service. Kids also created various props to use during the service, including a large brown donkey, a red-and-white cow, a sheep with curly horns, and a selection of doves.