Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of story, "How Coyote Stole Fire"
- Optional: A plaster of Paris hearth made in Activity 1: A Home Hearth
- Optional: “How Coyote Stole Fire” coloring sheet, and crayons
Preparation for Activity
- Review the story, "How Coyote Stole Fire."
- Decide whether you will tell the short or longer version. Print out the story, and prepare to tell the story in your own words so you do not have to read directly from the page.
- Optional: Learn more about the role of the coyote in Native American cultures from web links and books provided in the Resources section under "Find Out More."
- Optional: Print the coloring sheet and copy for all participants. Place coloring sheets and crayons where children can use them when invited but will not be distracted beforehand.
Description of Activity
Gather participants in a circle. In the center of the circle you may wish to place a hearth made by one of the children in Activity 1: A Home Hearth.
Say in your own words:
Earth-centered traditions had little separation between their home life and their faith life. When darkness came, with no electricity to keep lights burning, people would sit together around a hearth and tell stories for education and entertainment. People from these traditions still gather around fire to tell these stories which are about what they value and believe. Some of these old stories hold truth for us today, as well.
Tell the group that this Native American story gives us a way to think about the warmth that all humans need. Read aloud or tell in your own words the version of "How Coyote Stole Fire" that you have chosen.
Pause after reading or telling the story. Guide a discussion using these questions:
- Why did the humans need fire?
- Why did Coyote want to help?
- Why did the Fire Beings want to keep the fire?
- How did Coyote steal the fire?
- What did Wood do? How did Wood help bring fire to the humans?
Including All Participants
Offer children the opportunity to color the illustration provided for “How Coyote Stole Fire” to engage different learning styles and to help children focus on or relate to the story. A coloring activity can be a "preview" of a story. It can work as a quiet activity to help children physically settle. You might use it afterward to help the group recall and respond to the story.