Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 1, Opening Words for Basket
- Leader Resource 3, Circle of Elements Mural Instructions
- Leader Resource 4, "Connection" Circle, and tape
- Leader Resource 5, Closing Words for Basket, and a basket
- Circle of Elements mural from Activity 5
- For beads: Elastic cord, large beads in earth-tone colors (one for each participant, plus a few extra)
- Taking It Home handout
Preparation for Activity
- Print Leader Resource 4 on green or tan paper. Cut out the circle. Find the position on the Circle of Elements Mural where you will post the "Connection" circle, by referring to Leader Resource 3, Circle of Elements Mural Instructions.
- Print Leader Resource 5, Closing Words for Basket. Cut apart the short readings and place them in the basket. (Feel free to add additional readings throughout the program.)
- Print an extra copy of Leader Resource 5, and make sure you have an intact copy of Leader Resource 1, Opening Words for Basket. You will offer these to the children who volunteer to read opening or closing words next time the group meets, so they may choose and prepare their reading in advance. Keep copies of Leader Resource 1 and Leader Resource 5 on hand throughout the program.
- Download and adapt the Taking It Home section and copy as a handout for all participants (you may wish to email to parents as well).
- Cut elastic cord into bracelet lengths-approximately 6 inches, one for each participant plus a few extra. At one end of each length, make a knot large enough to secure a bead.
- Decide where you will keep the bracelets between sessions. The bracelets are used in every Closing, so we suggest you keep them in your religious education space rather than sending them home with the children. You might use the Closing Words Basket to hold the bracelets-in-progress.
Description of Activity
Explain that the session is almost over and the group will now work together as a community to clean the meeting space. Ask everyone to first clean their own area and put away the materials they were using, then clean another area or help someone else. No one should sit in the circle until the meeting space is clean.
Gather the group in a circle. Tape the "connection" circle (Leader Resource 4) outside the "Earth" quadrant of the Circle of Elements mural, in the position shown on Leader Resource 3. Say:
Earth power connects us, like roots that weave together under the ground.
Explain that over the course of this program the children will create bead bracelets that represent the different kinds of elemental power. Invite each participant to take a bead and a length of string, and, as they take the items, to share one connection they have with someone else in the room.
Choose a reading from the Closing Words Basket and read it in closing.
Ask for (and record) volunteers to lead the opening and closing readings for the next session. Offer the volunteers a copy of Leader Resource 1, Opening Words for Basket or Leader Resource 5, Closing Words for Basket they may take home to choose and practice their readings. Tell them they are also welcome to choose their reading from a basket when they come next time.
Invite participants to put the bracelets they started in the Closing Words Basket. Distribute Taking It Home. Thank and dismiss participants.
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