Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copies of story, "Hare's Gifts" for all reader/actors
- Optional: "Hare's Gifts" coloring sheet, and crayons
Preparation for Activity
- Review the story, "Hare's Gifts." The story is provided in three different versions: one for an adult to read aloud or tell, one for two adults to present as a dialogue, and one for multiple reader/actors to present as a play. In the third version, children can perform some roles. Print enough copies of the version you will use.
- At least a week in advance, invite any adult or teen volunteers you will need to help present the story. Tell them what time they need to arrive and provide them with a copy of the story or the online link. Remind volunteers a day or two before the session and confirm that they will come.
- Practice reading the story (or your part) aloud so you will be able to present it effectively.
- If you have a Word Wall, be ready to explain what makes "Hare's Gifts" a "fable." A fable is a short tale, often not entirely realistic, that uses animals, made-up characters, or famous people to illustrate a moral or a lesson to be learned.
- 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
If the group has just done Activity 1: Animal Charades, tell the children they will now hear a story about doing fun things together as a group.
If you have adults or teens joining you to present the story, introduce them to the group.
Say, in your own words:
This story, "Hare's Gifts," is a fable. The characters in the fable are animals, but they talk and act like people do. Stories that are fables often have characters that are magical, such as talking animals or witches or genies, and they often have a message or a lesson to teach regular humans like ourselves.
Present the story.
After the story, ask the group what the title "Hare's Gifts" means. Draw them out by asking if anyone remembers Hare's first gift to the other animals. Point out that Hare's first gift was bringing the animals together to become a community.
Ask the children if anyone can tell you what a community is, or whether they belong to any communities. You may wish to offer a definition of community as "a group of people living together, living near one another, or having a common interest." Tell the group:
We all belong to many different communities, like neighborhoods and clubs. We have a faith community that is housed in this congregation. When people talk about having a "faith home" they mean that they have a congregation or a temple or church where they feel at home. It is a place where they are cared for and get to care for others. It is a place where they are comfortable being themselves and feel accepted and loved. A place where they are encouraged to give their gifts or their talents and where they can thank others for the gifts they bring.
Offer examples of how people in your faith home give to one another or create something for the shared use of people in the faith community. Will someone bring a snack to Creating Home today? Who sets out food for coffee hour? Do people sing in a choir to add music to the worship service? Does a greeter or usher assist with worship? Are there artworks in the building that a member of the faith community created?
Invite the children to compare experiences they have had in their shared faith home or in the broader community with the experiences Hare and Hyena had in the story. Do children know anyone like Hare, who makes celebrations happen by inviting everyone to contribute?
Including All Participants
Offer children the opportunity to color the illustration provided for “Hare's Gifts” 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.