First Day School Curriculum Resources

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We often focus on story in the Quakes group, because it is an engaging and developmentally appropriate way to explore faith.

When building a lesson around a picture book, try to introduce it to the children in a way that ties it into the theme of the month.  Read it yourself a few times at home to get familiar with the pacing and emotion.  When the reading is over, ask the wondering questions and appreciate any responses the children give (repeating back what they said is the easiest and often best way to do this!).  There are no right answers.  I wonder what part of the story you liked best today?  I wonder which part of the story you think was most important?  I wonder where you are in the story?  I wonder if there's part of the story we could leave out and still have the whole story?  For the last 10-15 minutes of class, you can offer a craft and/or game that ties directly to the book or simply offer time to draw or play one of the games we have on hand.

We have a number of books in the Children's Library that you can use.  The FGC Bookstore is another resource for Quaker-oriented children's books.  The Brain Pickings site offers many thoughtful reviews of beautiful and profound (and generally non-religious) books for children. 

Some of our volunteers have received training in the Faith & PlayTM story-telling method.  A group of Friends developed these stories to share Quaker faith and practice and history in the Montessori-inspired style of Godly PlayTM.  Friends General Conference's Faith & Play page has a lot of information and links.  Let us know when you are interested in learning how to tell these stories yourself!

We also use Godly PlayTM stories when they fit with our curriculum.  These were developed by a Presbyterian minister and Episcopal priest to share biblical stories with children in a way that invites them to wonder.  We have found that some stories benefit from a few strategic edits to more comfortably fit with our Quaker values, especially gender equality, but on the whole these are beautiful and rich retellings of key Bible stories.  The Godly Play Foundation has plenty of information and also sells materials.  FMW has the materials for several stories, just ask if there's a particular one you are interested in.  The simple way these stories are told can be very profound for adults as well as children.


Additional Resources

Quaker Religious Education Collaborative

Balitmore Yearly Meeting Children's Religious Education Resource Page is no longer maintained, but the archive is available.

The FGC Bookstore

Brain Pickings reviews of children's books