Sunday, January 8, 2012

Everybody Cooks Rice

One of my basic tasks as a religious educator is to teach tolerance, acceptance, and open-mind/heartedness. Today I had created a plan for our Way Cool Sunday School and Children's Chapel that combined observing MLK day, discussing immigration justice (our special social justice issue this year, heading into the "Justice GA" in June), and some more general Welcoming Congregation work.

Planning the Sunday, I knew that it needed to be fun and keep the kids' attention, and be something that we could accomplish within the limited time. And I came up with what I think was a great plan, involving a guest speaker (who did a great job and taught the kids a song in Spanish), the book Everybody Cooks Rice and then five different rice recipes I cooked and brought in for tasting, and a project to write Welcome signs in many different languages that we could hang around the RE wing of the church.

It reminded me, though, that we were taught in grad school to avoid "holidays and food" as the main way to teach multiculturalism. Because there isn't much depth to that, of course, and because you can end up perpetuating more stereotypes. Those are all good reasons, and we should keep best practices in mind.

On the other hand - the kids love food! Any time I bring food into the class, it's a hit. Today was fun, and the kids really did enjoy themselves. One little boy said to me, "I'm glad I came to church today", another told me "this is the best rice I've ever had", a little girl was very proud of her Welcome sign and wanted me hang it up right then and there, the parents who were there told me it was a great lesson, and the guest speaker left happy and thanked me for the opportunity. I rate it a success. :)





No comments:

Post a Comment