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Before You Start (Windows and Mirrors)

Window/Mirror Panels

Decide the panels' format and size. This will be based on how you plan to exhibit the panels at the conclusion of the program, and how many opportunities the children will have to complete their panels. If you will present only five sessions of this program, do not give children huge panels to fill. Canvas board panels, the sides of corrugated boxes, pre-cut plywood or another kind of stiff board could all work.

In Session 2, when you introduce this ongoing project, be sure to engage children in a concept of the collective display and how their individual panels will be included as part of a whole.

For each session, make sure children have the materials they need to complete the Window/Mirror assignment in the appropriate size and scale for their panels. The materials should include reflective paper such as Mylar (R), a variety of other colored papers, stickers, ribbon, permanent markers, scissors, and glue sticks and tape. Gather arts and crafts materials in one or more baskets for use in each session. Access to the same materials will give the children's panels visual continuity.

Have all the arts and crafts materials ready for the first session. In Session 1, participants make outer and inner self-portraits which some may later wish to include in the Window/Mirror Panels they begin in Session 2.

Canvas Boards and Alternatives

Canvas boards come in sizes from 22x36-inch down to 10x14-inch and smaller. They can be ordered individually or in packages of 12 from MisterArt.com . The largest size would be good if you plan on doing all 16 sessions. You can cut corrugated cardboard panels from the sides of large boxes, or begin collecting the stiff cardboard backs of notepads.

Reflective Frames for Panels

You may wish to prepare panels for participants by making a reflective frame with strips of Mylar or another reflective material. Frames should be attached to the board. Rolls of Mylar are also available at MisterArt.com. You could also cover the entire cardboard with aluminum foil or reflective gift wrap, then take a ruler and mark a three-inch frame around the edge with a black permanent marker.

The Right Adhesives

The best adhesive to use with Mylar would be Mod Podge or an acrylic medium soft gel. Double-sided tape will also work but is sometimes hard to manage. Mod Podge or soft gel will also work well with paper and collage elements. Use a craft stick to apply. For paper, you could also use a good glue stick; UHU Color glue sticks show in color when you apply them but dry clear.

Exhibit for the Congregation

It is important to display participants' panels for the congregation, as a window into the children and their learning. Depending on the number and format of panels, you could:

  • Attach panels together on the back with duct tape in the shape of window panes. For example, if you have nine children's panels, tape together three in a row, then tape all three rows together. If you have more, make several "paned windows" and display them down the sides of a corridor.
  • Display panels behind a window. Create a "window" with a sheet of plexiglass or by stretching clear, plastic window insulation material over a simple frame you can build with wooden dowels or lengths of molding. Mount the "window" ten or so inches in front of the panels, so viewers look through it to see them.

To enhance the mirror effect, display the panels on a background of reflective material or, if your congregation has them, long closet mirrors.

Tape the panels together with duct tape to stand, accordion-style, on a display table.

A Real Window

If your congregation has one available, consider adapting the Window/Mirror project for children to work with water-based paints on a real window, adding another artistic reflection/expression in each session. Take a photograph of the completed window to display after the window is washed clean. You may wish to frame and display the photo; consider what a collection of fourth and fifth-graders' Window/Mirror panels would communicate once the congregation uses this curriculum over time.

Materials for Window s and Mirror s Opening

The Opening for this program suggests placing the chalice on a reflective surface, such as a round mirror. You are invited to dress up the chalice plate with reflective decorations such as stick-on plastic gems, pieces of sea glass or foil confetti.

This program also suggests an Opening Words Basket, holding a variety of chalice lighting readings on separate slips of paper. Find guidance and resources for the Opening Words Basket in Session 1.

This chart provides a snapshot of Windows and Mirrors for long-range planning:

Session

Central Story

Faith in Action Activity

1 Looking In / Looking Out

Charles Darwin

Congregation Self-Portrait

2 Me in Faith Community / Faith Community in Me

Jelly Beans

Seven Cents a Day

3 We Need Not Think Alike to Love Alike

Thomas Starr King

Congregational Faith Family Tree

4 Building a Community of Forgiveness

Teaching a Thief

International Forgiveness Day

5 The Blessing of Imperfection

The Water Bearer's Garden

Smile Train Fundraiser

6 All Ages Share Particular Gifts

The Children's Crusade

Multi-Generational Congregational Event

7 Let's Talk

The Curse of Babel

Practicing What We Speak

8 Eyes on the Prize

Henry Hampton

Congregational Audit

9 Lean on Me

The First Supporter

Congregational Support

10 Service Is the Rent We Pay for Living

Arjuna's Service to His People

Service Project for Congregation Staff Member

11 Privilege Is a Blessing We Give Away to Be in Community

Juliette Hampton Morgan

Sharing Our Gifts, Skills and Talents

12 Making Visible the Invisible

Yammani and the Soji

Thank You Notes

13 Images of Injustice

Oliver Twist

Changing, Like Scrooge

14 All Work Has Honor

Beautiful Hands

Let Justice Roll

15 Prayer Is a Place to Grow a Soul

Letter to Nancy ; Finding God in Silence

Building and Walking a Labyrinth

16 Choose to Be UU

Dorothea Dix

Plan a Worship Service

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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