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Activity 1: Black Crayon Legacies

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Plain 8 1/2 x 11" paper
  • Crayons, black and a variety of different colors
  • Plastic knives, coins, pencils, or other objects for participants to rub a layer of crayon off paper
  • Optional: Store-bought multicolored scratch-art paper for all participants

Preparation for Activity

  • To make your own scratch-art paper, take a sheet of paper and cover it entirely by pressing down to color hard with a variety of colored crayons (but not black). Make a pattern of colors, if you choose. Then completely cover the sheet in black crayon so no other color shows. If you cut each sheet in half, you will have twice as many scratch-art sheets. Make sure you have enough for all participants.
  • Optional: Purchase multicolor scratch-art paper from a craft store or toy store.
  • Gather implements for children to rub the top, black layer of crayon off the paper.

Description of Activity

This activity helps children discover hands-on the meaning of the word "legacy" as something that others have left behind for you.

Ask if anyone knows what the word "legacy" means. Confirm any definitions children suggest that are correct, or close. Tell the group you will show them what a legacy is like.

Provide each child with a sheet of scratch-art paper and an implement sharp enough to rub off the top, black crayon layer (but not too sharp).

Invite the children to use their implement as if it were a pencil for drawing, and rub off the black layer of crayon. Suggest they think about a design they would like to make, such as stripes, circles, a flower, or a sun. As they rub off the top layer of crayon, they will reveal the bright colors underneath.

As children work on their pictures, explain that legacies are things left behind by people who came before us. Sometimes discovering a legacy can be a pleasant surprise - like scratching off the top color of our paper and finding many other colors underneath. Our ancestors - family members who lived before us - can leave us different kinds of legacies.

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