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Alternate Activity 2: Basket Game

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Basket or flat bowl about ten inches in diameter, one for every five participants
  • Heavy, light-colored cardboard
  • Markers, various colors, to share

Preparation for Activity

  • Cut cardboard into two-inch squares, one for each participant plus a few extra. Note: To play the game, each small group will need five squares with drawings on one side. In case the number of participants is not a multiple of five, draw chalices on a few of the squares.
  • Set markers on work tables for children to share.
  • Practice playing the game.

Description of Activity

Tell the children, in your own words:

We are going to play a game that comes from the Native American Zuni tribe. The Zuni would use symbols common in their surroundings, such as animals, the sun, and trees. We will use the chalice symbol to remind us of our tradition's symbol.

Distribute the squares and ask everyone to draw a chalice on one side of their square with color markers. Tell them to leave the back of their square totally blank. Remind them that a chalice can look any way they like; it just needs a cup and a flame.

When children are done, place five of their squares in each basket. (Make sure five are in each basket, using chalices you have drawn.)

Assign five participants to a basket and have each group of five go to a different area of the room. Each player throws the squares up from the basket and tries to catch them all in the basket. The object is to gain points by having your throw with the most chalices facing up. Allow each participant to keep track of their own score. Participants take turns throwing until someone reaches ten points. Score as follows:

5 chalices face up = 10 points

4 chalices face up = 4 points

3 chalices face up = 3 points

2 chalices face up = 2 points

1 chalice face up = 1 points

After the game, re-gather participants and ask:

  • How is playing a game like giving every person a voice? (Everyone gets a turn, it is orderly, and no one has a better chance than anyone else.)
  • Do you think people playing a game like this one helped the Zuni live better with each other? Why or why not?

Including All Participants

Invite a child who is physically unable to toss the basket of squares to keep track of the score for a group of five players, and/or have a partner toss up the basket for them.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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