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Activity 5: "Live in Balance" Posters (25 minutes), Session 10: Footprints: Treading Softly on Earth

In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers and tape
  • Large sheets of poster board, at least one for every two or three participants
  • A permanent marker that will write on coffee filter paper
  • Color markers
  • Medium-size paper coffee filters, one for every two or three participants
  • String or yarn
  • Single-hole hole-puncher
  • Stapler
  • Nature magazines to cut up or other pictures from nature, scissors (including left-handed scissors) and glue sticks or tape

Preparation for Activity

  • On the top of each piece of poster board write, "Live in Balance. The Earth Needs... "
  • Punch three holes on the edges of each coffee filter, in a triangular pattern, as on a parachute
  • On each coffee filter write the phrase, "The parachuting cat says... " using the permanent marker
  • Cut the string into approximately six-inch pieces. Tie each string into a hole on a coffee filter. Tie the bottoms loosely together, as a parachute.
  • Cut out pictures of a variety of creatures and plants from the magazines. Provide additional magazines and scissors for participants to cut out more pictures.

Description of Activity

Say in your own words:

In our lap-sitting circle, we saw that when one person left the circle it made it harder for everyone else to keep balance. In the story we just heard we learned that when one kind of animal dies or there are too many of one kind of animal, that can make it hard for nature to keep its balance. We learned about scientists who used chemicals in Borneo which killed some animals and made nature get out of balance.

We are going to make posters about keeping balance but first we're going to think about what things the Earth needs to be in balance.

As children name ideas, write each idea concisely on the sheet of newsprint you have posted. Allow no more than two or three minutes for this part of the activity. If the children have difficulty coming up with ideas, suggest things such as clean water, good atmosphere, clean air, insects to eat weeds, different kinds of birds, trees, different kinds of plants, pollinators or safe places for all animals to live.

Next form pairs or small groups of children and invite them to work together to create a "Live in Balance" poster. Read them the heading ("Live in Balance, the Earth Needs... ") and ask them to make pictures of everything they can think of that the Earth needs to have balance. Invite them to focus on one of the Earth's needs that the group has generated, and use pictures to show it. Not all children will be interested in doing or able to do this, but it may give some a helpful structure for this task. Others may be helped by an invitation to think broadly; you can point out that all creatures and plants have a role in nature's balance, so their posters can have lots of different animals on them.

Children can glue on pictures that you have cut out, or cut out their own to use.

Give each pair or small group a coffee filter parachute. Help them glue or staple it to the top of their poster so it reads, "The parachuting cat says ... Live in Balance, the Earth Needs... " If they like, one person can cut out or draw a picture of a cat to glue or staple to the bottom of the parachute. Hang completed posters on the wall of your meeting space or display them for the larger congregation.

The goal of this activity is to deepen the understanding of balance in nature and encourage a respect for all life within the web of existence. Concepts are reinforced through naming and artistically representing things that the Earth needs in order to remain in balance.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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