Handwork for UU Curriculum, v. 0.1
This section is still in development
Material on this page is copyright (c) 2016 Dan Harper

Handwork is an excellent way to reinforce the material you are teaching in Sunday school. “Handwork is the planned modification of construction materials with the hands or hand tools to clarify learning experiences in all subjects adapted to a handwork approach” (Louis V. Newkirk, Integrated Handwork for Elementary Schools” Teachers Guide is Use and Techniques [New York: Silver Burdett Co., 1940], p. 8). Handwork can help you reinforce the topic of the lesson, especially with those kinesthetic learners. But handwork should also be just plain fun, a way to make Sunday school seem less like school and more like summer camp.

Handwork can be used with just about every religious education topic; most of the projects listed on this page have been used in religious education settings.

2 Dimensional Arts
Book Making and Paper Making
Maps and Charts
Paper Arts
Print Making

3 Dimensional Arts
Clay Modeling (and other plastic 3-D media)
Fabric Arts

Handwork for the Lively Arts
Child-sized Projects
Dioramas and Panoramas

Other Arts and Crafts
3-D Printing
Toy Making

If you’re trying to decide whether to use handwork, or one of the lively arts (drama, videos, audio recordings, etc.), here are pros and cons of each:

Handwork —
Pros: often good for children who are kinesthetic learners; children express their ideas in an objective medium; children develop handiness with common tools; children may discover a new leisure-time activity; may result in a physical object which can be taken home or shared with the congregation
Cons: requires materials which must be located or purchased; requires advance preparation time by the teacher; projects may take more than one session to complete.

Lively arts —
— may be good for children who are kinesthetic learners; children express their ideas in a performance;
— children learn public speaking and public presence;
— generally requires less advance preparation;
— may result in a performance which can be presented to the congregation
— may require props which must be located or purchased;
— certain lively arts (e.g., movement, dancing, drama) may be less attractive to some boys;
— some children may receive lessons in certain lively arts (e.g., music) while others do not.