3rd-5th Grade‎ > ‎


Toolbox of Faith: Questioning

Materials for Council Circle

  • Tool of the Day — magnifying glass
  • Chalice, candle, and matches
  • One tea light or votive candle of a different color
  • Glass bowl, water, and polished pebbles (for all participants, plus one extra) for alternative to council candles in tray
  • Toolbox of Our Faith poster

Description of Activity

Light the chalice and Offer these words:

We are Unitarian Universalists

with minds that think,

hearts that love,

and hands that are ready to serve.

Sharing of Joys and Concerns
Invite participants to share important things in their lives. What they share may or may not be related to the session topic and discussion.
Invite participants to drop a stone into the bowl when they share. End the sharing by adding one last stone for unspoken joys and concerns.
Introduce the Tool of the Day
Hold up a magnifying glass. Tell the children it is the Tool of the Day.
Pass around the tool. As children pass it, invite them to share their prior experiences seeing or using magnifying glasses.
Lead a discussion to introduce the magnifying glass as a symbol of the value of questioning assumptions and looking more deeply and closely at things. Ask, "What do you think makes this a Unitarian Universalist tool?" Allow participants to share ideas. Affirm that there is no one answer.
Say, in your own words:
The magnifying glass represents the value we place on questioning and looking more closely and deeply at issues. Unitarian Universalism is a faith that values each person's path of questioning and each person's search for truth. This is a key part of growing in faith and deepening in religious understanding. One of the Sources of our faith is the use of reason and science. One of our Principles says that Unitarian Universalism affirms the free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We believe that everyone is not only free, but responsible, to question.

(copied and pasted from the opening activity)
Read or retell the story attached. Discuss the story using the following questions.
Invite participants to pass the Tool of the Day as a talking stick and respond to these questions. You needn't pose all the questions; use whichever you need to prompt discussion.
  • How does reflection help you see your internal self? How is it similar to the way a mirror helps you see your external self?
  • What are the situations when you are most reflective, or most able to be reflective (such as around a campfire, on a mountain top, at night)?
  • What kinds of things do you think about? What does your still, small voice say to you?
  • What experiences have you had when reflection has given you fresh ideas? Calmed you down? Helped you solve a problem?

(copied and pasted from Council Circle)
Read this benediction:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.
— Christian scripture (Romans 12)
Extinguish the Chalice.
Continue with the following activities:

Have You Ever?

Alternate Indoor Activity