Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Love Connects Us: A Program on Living in Unitarian Universalist Covenant for Grades 4-5

Activity 1: Tug of Friendship

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A long rope and (optional) a utility knife

Preparation for Activity

  • Identify an open floor space large enough to accommodate all members of the group seated in a circle on the floor. If you need to, arrange for an alternate space for this activity.

Description of Activity

Ask the group to sit on the floor in a circle, without touching. Lay the rope down inside the group's circle and knot it securely to make a loop a foot or two smaller than the circle itself. You may wish to trim the rope.

Ask if anyone is familiar with the game Tug of War. Invite a volunteer to explain that game. Then tell the group they will not play Tug of War but a different game called Tug of Friendship, since we are exploring peaceful ways of interacting with others.

Ask all participants to take hold of the rope with both hands and, by pulling and tugging on the rope, get everyone in the group to their feet.

When all are standing, invite them to use the same process to lower everyone back to the floor.

After much laughing and tugging, the group will manage this task. If time allows, let them repeat it.

Then, invite reflection with questions such as:

How is this game different from Tug of War?

Did it feel like everyone was participating equally? Why or why not?

How did it feel to have everyone working together instead of two teams opposing each other?

How were you "dwelling together in peace" while you played this game? What was peaceful about it?

Including All Participants

If any participant has mobility limitations which would make this game impossible or unsafe, use an alternate activity. Alternative Activity 2, Musical Chairs Remix, offers a similar experience and at least one sedentary role.

If a participant with limited mobility has upper body strength and flexibility, they may be able to join in tugging everyone to their feet but need support to stand in the circle and/or help tug the group back down. Explain this game to the individual ahead of time. Figure out together how they can safely and meaningfully participate; for example, you might suggest a leader or peer stand behind them, outside the rope circle, to give physical support.

You can omit the final task of returning the group to a sitting position, if that part would exclude a participant.