Myrtle Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, believed our mission was not to “entertain the children, but instead, to draw them out.” The Living Curriculum is an approach or philosophy which affirms that the curriculum–that which is to be learned or known–lives within the adult, child or teen, themselves. It moves us past the belief that teachers have all the answers and need to impart them to the students. Instead, there is a realization that all of us are uniquely unfolding on our spiritual path, having access to the Spirit within.
The Living Curriculum is a process of spiritual support used to assist children, teens, families, and the church community in co-creating successful living. It honors the inherent wholeness and wisdom within each one of us, and utilizes storytelling and experiential creative expression to “draw out” the Truth we already know. The process helps us to explore spiritual principles and to become aware of how the Five Basic Principles operate in our lives.
To assist in creating a meaningful, effective experience or lesson using the Living Curriculum philosophy, we incoprorate six steps into every lesson:
1. Identify which issue, theme, or need is currently active in your group's lives.
2. Use a story, movie passage, song, Bible story, and/or experiential activity that will introduce the issue/theme and help the participants connect to it.
3. Find a method to explore the issue or theme in order to make it relevant, for example: “wonder questions,” role-playing, puppets, visualization, meditation, etc.
4. Use open-ended questions: How do you see yourself in this character? How do you see this experience in your daily life? How do you see this experience in the world? How are you going to use this experience in your life?
5. Choose an open-ended activity to awaken the story within, for example: art activities, music, movement, games, journaling etc. Expressing spirituality is a multi-sensory experience.
6. Allow time for participants to share, if they choose, what the experience awakened in them. Encourage action related to the story.