Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- For Rainbow Wall Hanging:
- Wide ribbon in each of the colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet); or, thick yarn in all seven colors
- Scissors, including left-handed scissors
- Yardstick or measuring tape
- Two sticks or dowels approximately three feet long
- A rope for hanging the finished piece
- Optional: Beads, shells with holes through them, and other decorative items
Preparation for Activity
- Read the Description of Activity so you understand what materials will work best for the rainbow wall hanging in your meeting space, for your program. Think about how wide and long you want a wall hanging to be, to make sure you obtain adequate supplies. Consider how many sessions of the program you will do; in each session, participants tie items to the hanging. Identify a place to display the wall hanging for the duration of this program-ideally, a location in your meeting space that is both easy to see and easy to reach. Obtain permission and arrange to have someone help you affix the hanging, if needed.
- Set out materials on work tables.
Description of Activity
This activity introduces the metaphor of knots that unifies this curriculum. The children work cooperatively to create an art object which will evolve as they add items to it in subsequent sessions.
Tell the group that together they will make a "rainbow sign," a rainbow wall hanging for the group to use throughout this program. Ask if any know what makes a rainbow. Affirm that the colors we see in a rainbow are light made visible. In these words or your own, say:
The spectrum of colors in a rainbow is really just a set of different reflections of the same light. Communities, such as our Unitarian Universalist congregation, sometimes use a rainbow as a symbol that we belong together. A rainbow says "We are connected. We share the same humanity, although we may look different from one another." Likewise, in our Love Connects Us sessions we will discover different ways the individuals in this group belong together, ways we are tied together in our beloved community.
Show them the ribbon and a dowel. Explain that they will:
1. Cut lengths of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet ribbon.
2. Arrange the lengths of ribbon in clusters by color.
3. Tie the ribbons to the dowel so they hang in a rainbow pattern.
Indicate where the finished product will hang. Allow the group to decide how many strands of each color they will use. Suggest they cut lengths of ribbon that are double the desired length of the wall hanging, so they can drape these over one stick or dowel so the two ends hang evenly, below. Explain that after all the ribbon is hung, they will tie the bottom ends of ribbon to the other dowel.
Now assign tasks. Invite a volunteer to use a yardstick or measuring tape to determine how long each strand should be (double the desired length). Have some participants cut the ribbon. Others can arrange the strands in color groups and tie strands to the dowel using a square knot.
If you wish, children can tie beads or other decorative items to the ends of the ribbon. However, leave the middle open, as you will use it in future sessions.
Leave room along the dowel to tie two ends of a rope by which you can hang the finished piece. Optional: Instead of a rope, have children make a braid using multiple colors of ribbon.
Hang the finished art work in your meeting space now or sometime before the next meeting.
Including All Participants
Children who lack the dexterity to measure, cut, or tie ribbon can participate by holding the dowel while others tie ribbon to it.