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

Activity 6: Gift Catchers

Activity time: 21 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Copy of Leader Resource 3, Gift Catchers Instructions, or a few for children to share
  • Copies of Handout 1, Affirmations, for participants to share
  • Blank sheets of 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper for all participants
  • Scissors (including left-handed scissors) and pencils, pen or fine-tip markers to share
  • Optional: Glue sticks
  • Optional: Affirmation stickers with phrases such as "You're Great!" on them
  • Newsprint, markers and tape

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the instructions for making a gift catcher, and make a model.

Description of Activity

Using your own words, say something like:

Our first Unitarian Universalist Principle says that all people have inherent worth and dignity. That means every person around the world is important - and every person in this Faithful Journeys group is important, too. Today we are going to make gift catchers to take home to remind us about our first Principle.

Hand out the blank paper, scissors, and (optional) copies of Leader Resource 3 to share. Show the group the model you created in advance. Tell the children everyone will fold their gift catchers before drawing or writing on them. Lead and help the group to complete steps 1 through 10 of the instructions.

When most children have completed folding their gift catchers, invite them to write their names on them and decorate the flat side (the opposite side from where they write numbers 1 through 8 on the triangle flaps). Suggest they make self-portraits, write their names in a decorative way and/or draw things they are good at or things they love.

Give a one-minute warning to finish. Then, gather the children in a circle, with their gift catchers. Distribute Handout 1. Explain that affirmations are nice things you say that express caring and appreciation for others. Read the affirmations aloud. Ask the group to suggest any other affirmations they would like you to spell out on the newsprint for them to use in their gift catchers.

Distribute markers and pencils and/or affirmation stickers. If you would like them to cut out affirmations from the Handout 1, pass around scissors and glue sticks. Invite the children to pass their gift catchers around for others to write or stick affirmations in one of the hidden triangle areas, and then pass along to the next child. Ask children to pay attention to whose gift catcher they are holding so they can tailor their affirmation to that person.

Note: Pass the gift catchers around until all are complete. In a small group, some children may write twice on each gift catcher. In larger groups, not all the children will get to write on everyone's gift catcher.

When all the gift catchers are filled with affirmations, return them to the children who made them. Show the group how to make the final folds so they can use the gift catchers, and invite them to use their gift catchers with one another.

Point out that while the affirmations were written for the owners of the gift catchers, when they use them with friends it will be an opportunity to affirm their friends, too.

Including All Participants

At this age there is a wide range in writing abilities. Give children the option of dictating their thoughts to an adult or older child in the group or drawing a picture message.