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Alternate Activity 1: Body Tracings (20 minutes), Workshop 6: Hope, Compassion and Strength

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

Materials for Activity

  • Rolls of blank paper at least 36 inches wide
  • Colored pencils, markers and (optional) arts and crafts supplies such as construction paper, scissors (including left-handed scissors), glitter or sequins, glue sticks and tape
  • Optional: Bright light

Preparation for Activity

  • Cut or tear paper in generous lengths to accommodate participants' heights.
  • Make sure the meeting space has adequate, clean work tables and floor space for all participants to work on their body tracings. If needed, rearrange furniture and/or find an additional room the group can use for this activity.
  • Set out markers and (optional) arts and crafts materials to share.
  • Optional: Use a length of the newsprint to write and display the words "Open Minds, Loving Hearts, Helping Hands" as a backdrop for the activity.

Description of Activity

Like Activity 3, Time and Talent Exploration, this activity gives participants a chance to consider the ways they contribute to meeting the needs of others.

Direct pairs of participants to trace one another's bodies with a pencil as their partner lies on a length of paper—without pressing too close to anyone's body. Then ask participants to write or draw on their body outline the ways they use their bodies to help others. Suggest some of their gifts may be associated with particular body parts. For example, near the tracing of their ears someone might write, "I listen with compassion when my friends have problems to talk about."

Give everyone a chance to admire one another's work. Ask if they learned anything new about somebody in the group. If participants have been shy about coming forward with how they help their community, and if you think participants know one another well enough, allow a brief exchange of sincere compliments or appreciation for what they know one another to be good at.

Including All Participants

If it is difficult for someone to lie on the floor, they could stand against a wall for someone to trace their shape. If someone needs to remain seated, consider making a rough outline on about the right size paper. Or, if you have a bright light available, tape paper to a wall and use the light to cast each participant's shadow in profile. Have everyone cut out and decorate a silhouette instead of a tracing.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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