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Alternate Activity 1: Interdependent Web Game with Yarn
Activity time: 8 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A large ball of yarn
Description of Activity
Creating their own web of yarn makes the notion of interconnectedness tangible for a group of seven-, eight- and nine-year-olds. Invite the children to sit in a circle. When everyone is settled, hold the ball of yarn in your hand and say:
We are going to make a web to represent the interdependent web of life. Each of us will choose an animal or plant to be in our web.
Hold one end of the yarn. Choose an animal or plant that exists in the real interdependent web - for example, an oak tree, a frog, a honeybee, seaweed, a tiger. Tell the children what you are in the web, hold your end of the yarn, and toss the ball to someone else in the circle. Prompt that person to select a living being to be in the web. Instruct them to hold their piece of the yarn, name an animal or plant, and toss the ball of yarn to someone else. Encourage children to gently toss the yarn across the circle; if the yarn is only passed and never tossed, a web cannot form.
When all participants have joined the web, ask the last person to toss the yarn back to you. Invite everyone to stand up, still holding the yarn, and gently pull the web taut.
Tug on the yarn you are holding. Ask the group:
If I pull on my yarn, who here can feel it?
You may wish to address children by the animal or plant they chose to represent: "If Maya, the dolphin, tugs on our web, can Elias, the coyote, feel her tug?"
Then, drop the yarn you are holding. Ask:
When I drop my yarn, what happens to the web? What would happen if more people dropped their yarn?
Choose a few volunteers to drop their yarn to see what happens. After the children have offered a few observations, tell the group in your own words:
The Earth is a lot like this web. We are connected to everything in our world by a web just like this one. We are connected to ... (mention some animals and plants the children have named). In real life, you can't see the web. Even so, when we pull on it or if we break it, all the other animals and plants can feel it. Just as you could all feel it when I pulled on the yarn. Just as our web of yarn fell apart as some of us began to let go.
Our seventh Unitarian Universalist Principle reminds us we are all part of the interdependent web of all life. When we do faithful actions that follow our seventh Principle, we are respecting the web of life and helping protect everything that lives on the Earth we all share.
Ask two or three volunteers to untangle the web and roll up the ball of yarn.
Including All Participants
Invite the group to stand to form the web only if all participants are able to do so.