TAP goes to Collage – Modifying TAP for Youth Groups!
My best friend Leslie wants to use TAP for the summer youth program at Orinda Community Church. Leslie has been watching her son doing TAP in my class this year and I am so pleased and honored that she thinks it’s a program that has legs.
Ecotheology and TAP:
TAP connects with eco theology, whose central idea is that we need to look after ALL of God’s creation. This is a concept that runs through all the major religious traditions in the world and feels like a powerful hope for our future. Mobilizing religious communities along with environmental activism, with youth at the fore. Cool. See Sallie McFague’s A New Climate for Theology – God, the World and Global Warming for a readable, scientifically accurate and urgent call for action by church communities.
Youth Group Parameters:
It’s a 7 week program, 7 x 40 minute Sunday School classes with a variety of ages (7-15ish) and different kids each time. 2 to 14 kids attend on any given class. Think One Room School House. No computers easily accessible. Oh, and different teachers each week too. Sounds crazy but it works I think mostly because all the children are known and loved by the different ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’ in the church family.
TAP modified for OCC Sunday School (our starting plan anyway):
1. TAP 1: How are you connected to nature?
Discussion of the question for survival, and for convenience, comfort and happiness. Use the sheet as a guide for a class bulletin board collage.
Leslie will be adding some bible verses and the idea that looking after nature is looking after all of God’s creation for each activity.
2. TAP 2: What’s Wrong With the World?
Search for news headlines in magazines, newspapers and seed with some environment magazines. Make a big collage on the next bulletin board of the ones that grab kid’s attention. We will leave this as open as practical. Kids choice and voice are vital to their ownership and engagement.
The teacher will help group the headlines by general topic.
The objective will be to decide as a group which issue to take action about.
3. TAP 3: What’s Right With the World?
Another magazine search and/or a photo shoot with point and shoot/cell phone cameras where they look for signs of hope in the church grounds, in magazines for organizations already taking action, places and animals they love. Maybe bringing in more pics from home to add to the collage. Maybe inviting members of the congregation to add to the collage too. (We have a climate change group of adults that may be interested to get involved.)
The bulletin collage displays will help keep a record of where the group has been for them and for the congregation.
4. TAP 11: Do what you love to save the world!
As with the class activity, the children may start with an open-ended sharing of what they love to do. Then another sharing of a million things they could do to help the world, including ideas in the display of “What’s right with the world”. The teacher will help the group see connections between what they love and the issue they have chosen and help the group reach consensus about what action the group wants to take, using the group process used in several of our committees.
5. TAP 17: Project Management to Plan action – Make a work flow chart to display.
Maybe practice with the “Make a Chicken Dinner” game in the appendix, or the Lemonade Stand. Or just brainstorm tasks they’ll have to do. Write them on post-its. Make a bulletin display of the work flow. Assign who does what by when. Have parent input/participation to add stuff into family calendars.
6. Doing and documenting their action.
Taking lots of pics of what they are doing. This part may be done outside of Sunday School time. Could be as a group, or individuals and sub-groups. We’re not sure how it’s going to shape up yet.
7. Celebrating what they achieved!
What makes a good celebration will depend on what action they took, how it went and what the kids want to do to celebrate.
I’m excited to see how this works in a very different setting! Stay tuned for updates.
Could this be something that might work in your after school club, youth group or other out-of-school group too?