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Activity 3: River Scene — Planting the Riverbanks (20 minutes), Workshop 3: Separate Fires, Kindle One Flame

In "Gather the Spirit," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

  • River Scene mural (Workshop 1, Activity 2)
  • Drawing supplies such as oil pastels; color markers; paints, paintbrushes and cups of water (and newspapers or drop cloth)
  • Plain drawing paper, (optional) construction paper in greens, browns and other natural colors, scissors (including left-handed scissors) and glue sticks and tape
  • Optional: Music and music player

Preparation for Activity

  • Retrieve the group's River Scene if it is not already posted where the group can work on it. Set up work areas where participants can create either directly on the River Scene or on drawing paper to attach the mural.
  • Optional: If this is the first time the group will work on the River Scene, read Workshop 1, Activity 2. Plan how you will introduce the River Scene mural into today's workshop. You might invite some participants to begin the River Scene (as directed in Workshop 1) and others to add the fish and animals suggested for this workshop.
  • Optional: Play music while participants work on the River Scene. See Before You Start in this program's Introduction for suggestions. Or, consider songs that evoke riverbanks, such as "Shenandoah." The band R.E.M. has a song, "Cuyahoga", about the environmentally challenged Ohio River. Many songs have been recorded about the Mississippi River. Instrumentals include Ferde Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite, Mississippi Suite and Hudson River Suite. Promonade on the Nile by Soliman Gamil on his 1997 CD Map of Egypt Before the Sands is a different option. Johann Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz is an upbeat classical piece.

Description of Activity

Participants continue creation of the River Scene, begun in Workshop 1, Activity 2, this time adding plant life. Say something like:

We are going to add to our River Scene now. We will add plant life to the banks of the river. You have about ten minutes to make your creations.

Begin playing quiet music if desired.

With a few minutes remaining, invite participants to clean up and share what they have made. Then gather the group and invite all to look at the River Scene for a minute. You might say:

Look at the plant life added to this river. How do plants enhance the riverbank? Who and what will benefit from the plant life? Let's imagine we are walking through the plants on this river. What would we feel and smell, hear and see? Take a moment of silence to be a part of this river scene.

Including All Participants

Provide a variety of work spaces so that people with varied abilities can work easily and comfortably. If standing and attaching their work to the river scene is challenging for some, let them work with partners who can help display their creations.

Not everyone is comfortable making drawings. You can suggest some participants use construction paper to create plants and attach these to the mural. Avoid extravagant praise as well as critiques of participant contributions—affirm all who help shape the River Scene.

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 Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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