THINK ABOUT IT
Discuss: What does the word “include” mean? What does it mean to “welcome” someone? What are some of the times and places that we include and welcome other people (games, conversations, parties, in our homes, etc.)?
Brainstorm as a class: Think of all the different ways to make other people feel welcome and included. As students come up with ideas, invite everyone to turn to their classmates and act out the idea (i.e. handshake, wave, smile, etc.).
For older students: Give each student a sticky note or small piece of paper. Have them write or draw a way to make someone feel welcome and included (tell them they cannot use the word welcome). When the students have written their ideas have them say or do the action they have on their paper. Post them on a board or make a collage with all the ways to say welcome. On top of board/collage write, “Welcome, Neighbor!”
GIVE THANKS AND PRAISE
Create a box, or some sort of container that has the following words on or by it: “Thank you, God, for all the people who are nice to us and make us feel comfortable in new places.”
Have each student think of someone who included them or welcomed them into a class, group, or activity. Give each student a small piece of paper and have them write the name of the person that welcomed them. When everyone is done writing have the students put the paper with the name on it in the box/container.
As a class, pray the words: “Thank you God for all these people who were nice to us and made us feel comfortable in a new place.”
Discuss Jesus tells us to love our neighbor. What are ways that we can better welcome someone who is new to our school or community; or maybe someone who does not feel included in our class or school.