Yet Another Unitarian Universalist Curriculum Site contains religious education curricula for use in Sunday schools in liberal congregations.
How to navigate this site
To navigate this site, first go to the landing page of the curriculum you are interested in, using the left-hand navigation bar. From each landing page, you will find links to individual lessons plans and other resources.
The landing page of each curriculum will have a version number (e.g., “v. 1.2”) near the top of the page. Version numbers less than 1 are still in development. In general, higher numbers have been through more revisions.
Who might want to use these curricula
Most of the curriculum guides on this site have grown out of Sunday school classes we have done with the children and youth at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto (UUCPA). If you are part of another liberal congregation, you will want to know a little about who we are, so you can judge if what we’re doing matches what you want to do.
A. These curricula have been designed to meet specific needs, and fit a specific schedule and cultural surroundings:
- With these curricula, children and youth attend the first fifteen minutes of each service, so a typical class session lasts 50 minutes
- A core goal of the curricula is to have fun and build community, so lesson plans generally allow significant time for check-in and (sometimes) free play
- The curricula are designed for a Sunday school year which is divided into four quarters: fall, UU identity; winter, Jewish and Christian heritage; early spring, world religions; late spring, spring project
- Since each quarter is 8 weeks long, each curriculum generally includes 8 lesson plans
- Curricula are designed for use in a white-minority county, with children and youth who are of European descent, African descent, South Asian descent, East Asian descent, South American descent — in their diverse families, we expect children and youth may hear stories from the Hebrew Bible, the Christian scriptures, the Ramayana, Buddhist traditions, etc., etc., and these curricula attempt to reinforce what they may hear at home, while introducing them to other stories and traditions
B. These curricula have been designed to meet four big educational goals:
- Young people will have fun and feel they are a part of a community
- Young people will gain the basic religious literacy expected in our society
- Young people will learn the skills associated with liberal religion (e.g., public speaking, group singing, basic leadership skills, interpersonal skills, etc.)
- Young people will be prepared to become Unitarian Universalist adults, should they choose to become Unitarian Universalists when they are old enough to make their own decisions
C. The curricula and lesson plans have been developed in partnership with teachers, children and youth, lay leaders, and the minister of religious education. Sunday school teachers have taught, given feedback, and contributed to the development of these curricula. Children and youth have participated in these programs, and provided feedback (in fact, one curriculum was co-written with a young person). These curricula are kid-friendly, teacher-friendly, and parent-friendly.
Above: Dan Harper teaching upper elementary children at UUCPA in 2009. They’re acting out a Jataka tale. (N.B.: facial features of legal minors have been deliberately blurred or altered to prevent recognition.)
Who we are
The compiler and general editor of this site is Rev. Dan Harper, associate minister of religious education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. For more than twenty years, Dan has served in Unitarian Universalist congregations ranging in size from 25 members to 550 members (3,000 members if you count Church of the Larger Fellowship, an online congregation). He has worked as director of religious education, minister of religious education, interim minister, and parish minister.
Other authors, teachers, etc., are credited within specific curricula.
You are welcome to use any of these curricula in your congregation. Teachers can access lessons from their tablet or smart phone, and/or they may make a printed copy of any page on this site for their own personal use. UU and other liberal congregations may print as many copies of curricula as they need for their Sunday schools. Some curricula are available as print copies or ebooks; purchase of a print copy will grant you permission to make unlimited copies for your congregation.
Regardless of any permission to copy curricula, each and every curriculum is protected by copyright. There are unscrupulous people out there who will take material from the Web that is not copyright-protected, turn around and slap their own copyright on it, and then bar the original author from publishing (and yes, Virginia, it has happened). Therefore:
The stated copyright holder retains copyright to all material on this site (except where explicitly noted otherwise). If you have any questions about permissions, you can contact the copyright holder directly, or contact:
UU Church of Palo Alto
505 E. Charleston Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
uucpa dot org
Copyright (c) 2014 Dan Harper