Activity 1: Web Name Game
Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A ball of yarn
Preparation for Activity
- Review the Closing, where a ball of yarn is used in a similar way. If you want to use this ball of yarn again for the Closing, be ready to begin untangling the web of yarn and re-rolling the ball once this activity is done. You may wish to choose a volunteer to roll the yarn while you tell the story, "We Are All One."
Description of Activity
Invite the children to sit in a circle. When everyone is settled, hold the ball of yarn in your hand and say:
Hello. My name is (your name).
I love to (something that you love to do).
Holding onto the end of the yarn, pass the ball to someone else in the circle. Greet that person by saying:
Hello, (person's name).
Prompt the person to respond with these words:
My name is (person's name).
I love to (something that he/she loves to do).
Instruct the person to hold onto a piece of the yarn, pass the ball of yarn to someone else in the circle, and say:
Hello, (person's name).
The new person holding the ball of yarn repeats the process, saying "Hello," sharing his/her name, and telling something he/she loves to do before passing the ball of yarn along to someone new.
As the ball of yarn gets passed, the yarn will begin to form a web. Encourage children to gently toss the ball of yarn across the circle. If the ball of yarn is only passed and never tossed, no web will form.
When all participants are included in the web, invite everyone to stands up and hold onto their pieces of yarn. Then, gently tugs on the yarn you are holding. Ask the group:
- If I pull on my yarn, who here can feel it?
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?
Allow some children 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 - only you can't see the yarn. When we pull on the web or if we break it, all of the other animals and plants feel it, just as you could all feel it when I pulled on this yarn. Just like our web fell apart as some of us began to let go.
That's why we have a Unitarian Universalist principle that says we are all part of the interdependent web of all existence.
This exercise serves multiple purposes. It gives the children a chance to become familiar with one another's names while introducing the session theme, "We are all one." A tangible web of yarn can help make the notion of interconnectedness more concrete for seven- and eight-year-olds. In addition, by greeting one another as the yarn is passed, the children get to welcome and be welcomed into the Moral Tales community.