Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Faithful Journeys: A Program about Pilgrimages of Faith in Action for Grades 2-3

Activity 5: Creative Exploration - Make a Difference Posters and Reusable Cloth Bags

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • "Make a Difference" Posters
    • Sheets of blank poster paper for all participants
    • Copies of Handout 1, Bright Ideas to Protect the Web, for all participants
    • Scissors (including left-handed scissors), glue sticks, and markers or colored pencils to share
    • Newsprint with list of children's ideas from Activity 4
    • Optional: Tape, push pins or sticky putty to display posters
  • Cloth Bags
    • Plain (undecorated) cloth bags
    • Fabric markers or squeezable fabric paint
    • Smocks for children and newspaper to cover worktables

Preparation for Activity

  • Purchase plain cloth bags from Oriental Trading Company or at an arts and crafts store. Bags should be large enough to prove useful. If you plan to sell decorated cloth bags at an It's Easy to Be Green sale and fundraiser (Faith in Action), you may wish to buy extra.
  • Set up two work stations, one for decorating cloth bags and another for making posters.
    • Place newspaper or other protective table covering over the table where you will decorate cloth bags. Set smocks, cloth bags, and fabric markers or paints on the table.
    • Set copies of Handout 1 on table with blank sheets of poster paper, scissors, glue sticks, and markers or colored pencils. Post newsprint with list of children's ideas nearby.
  • Optional: Confer with your minister, director of religious education, and building committee chair to determine where, when, and how to hang "Make a Difference" posters in your congregational facilities without damaging painted or wooden surfaces.
  • Optional: Select community venues such as libraries, health clubs, stores or restaurants and ask proprietors to display posters.
  • Optional: Arrange to visit community venues to post the posters.

Description of Activity

Tell the children they can choose to do either or both activities: decorate a cloth bag and/or make a poster.

Explain that cloth bags can be used over and over again, which helps people use and discard fewer plastic bags. Invite children to think of times they might use a cloth bag; affirm grocery shopping, collecting shells at a beach, bringing lunch to school, or carrying extra clothes to school or to sleep over at a friend's house. Tell them they may decorate bags any way they like. If you plan to offer cloth bags at an It's Easy to Be Green sale and fundraiser (Faith in Action), invite children to decorate some to sell.

Explain that the "Make a Difference" posters will share ideas for protecting the Earth. Children may write or draw about an idea from the group discussion (indicate the newsprint with the list, from Activity 4), an idea from the handout they will find on the work table, or another idea they think of for protecting the Earth. Tell them they may take their posters home. Or, if you have arranged to display the posters in the congregation or at community venues, tell children the plan and how many posters you hope they will make today.

Ask children to select an activity and move to the appropriate table. Explain that they can leave that table when they are done and work on the other project also. Or, you might form two groups, one for each activity, and invite children to switch to the other activity after 10 minutes.

Have children put on smocks to decorate cloth bags. If you are using fabric paint, set completed bags aside to dry.

Extension Activity: Displaying "Make a Difference" Posters

During coffee hour, help children post their "Make a Difference" posters at pre-arranged places in the congregational building. You might announce the poster display at coffee hour so members will be sure to notice the messages.

Have children bring "Make a Difference" posters to community venues as a group or in small, adult-led groups - ideally, immediately after the session or on another day soon afterward. Invite a representative at each venue to tell the children about their establishment's environmentally friendly practices.