There are many many Martin Luther King Jr. resources around. I wanted something that could spark conversation so decided on this from Teachers Pay Teachers.
There are various statements and the children have to decide if they are just or unjust. They range from the reasonably straight forward “Teachers choose the kids with nice clothes to be student of the week” to the more complex, “Parents make decisions for their kids”. It has some American vocabulary but I plan on reading the statements aloud so will translate on the go. You could miss out or rewrite the relevant cards.
For an older group of children this could be a pair work or small group activity. It might be interesting to see how their choices compare and would be a good discussion point for the wider group.
After dividing the statements, the children have the opportunity to come up with their own just and unjust statements.
This session worked well with our 4-6 year old group. There was some more time at the end of the session so the children drew pictures of things they would like to change in the world.
For the first session of the year I like to do an activity where we look back at the year, see where we are and to look forward. This is quite difficult for younger children who don’t really have much concept of when things have happened.
This year however, I have found this great printable page to use as a focus for this. It covers past, present and future. I particularly like the gender and age neutral figure that the children can decorate as themselves. Also that some prompts are very obvious and others need a bit more thought, making it suitable for a wider range of children.
In our group the children range from 4 to 8 and they will all be able to participate in this activity, although the younger ones will likely need quite a bit of help with the actual writing.
How I Use This in a Session
After our opening circle I will ask the children if they know what it means that it is a new year and introduce or discuss the idea of a year being the length of time it takes for the earth to go around the sun. We can demonstrate this as a group with one child (being the earth) walking around the others (as the sun) speaking the months of the year.
For older children we could introduce the idea of different countries or faiths celebrating the New Year at different points in the sun’s cycle. E.g. Chinese New Year in February or the Pagan year beginning at Samhain. Also we could introduce the idea of the lunar calendar.
Round up this section with this or similar – “Whenever the New Year is celebrated it is a good time to look at the year that has just finished and the year that is to come so we are going to think about some of the things that have happened, what is happening now and what we might like to happen in the next year.”
Colour and fill in the activity sheet.
For the closing circle I would ask the children to make some wishes for the next year. A wish for themselves, a wish for a specific person other than themselves and a wish for the world.
Today at Bright Lights (Sunday School) we looked at what animals do in the winter. I normally source worksheets from teaching resource websites but I couldn’t find anything that covered the subject in the way I wanted so I made one myself.
The animals are, hedgehog, dormouse, butterfly, swallow, lizard, snake (duh), goose and fish.
The migrating ones are the swallow, goose, butterfly and fish.
The hedgehog, dormouse, lizard and snake hibernate. Technically reptiles don’t hibernate as it is something only mammals can do but they do sleep through the winter.
We discussed what migrating and hibernating was, did the worksheet and made nests from leaves such as a hedgehog may make to hibernate in.
The children then played at being hedgehogs. Curling up in to a ball when I pretended to be a predator and snuffling at the ground for worms. It was a very comical sight.
Activity Tips – For younger children I would pre cut the animals.
If you are colouring in the animals, do this BEFORE sticking or the damp paper will rip.