Tapestry of Faith: Love Will Guide Us: A Program for Grades 2-3 that Applies the Wisdom of the Six Sources to the Big Questions

Activity 1: Rain Sticks

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Cardboard paper-towel tubes
  • Paper grocery bags
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue sticks or tape; pencils, crayons, and markers; stickers
  • Dried beans, unpopped popcorn, or uncooked rice or tiny pasta

Preparation for Activity

  • Make a sample rain stick:
    • Trace the end of a cardboard tube on a piece of grocery bag paper. Draw a second, larger circle around that circle. Connect the two circles with "spoke" lines. Then, cut out the larger circle and cut along the spokes. Repeat to make a cover for the other end of the tube.
    • Cut two pieces of aluminum foil, each 6 inches wide and half the length of the tube. Scrunch each strip of foil into a long, thin, snake-like shape. Then, twist it into a spring shape.
    • Glue a paper circle to one end of the tube, to cover the bottom opening.
    • Insert the aluminum foil springs into the tube.
    • Pour dried beans into the tube, about 1/10 full.
    • Glue the other paper circle to the top of the tube to seal the rain stick.
    • Decorate the tube.
  • Make two paper circles and two aluminum foil strips for each cardboard tube.
  • Set out materials at work tables.
  • Optional: Before participants arrive, with plenty of time for glue to dry, glue one circle to each tube to cover the bottom opening.

Description of Activity

Show participants the rain stick you have made and invite them to make their own rain sticks. Demonstrate and help them:

1. Take a circle and, folding up the spokes, glue it to the bottom of the tube.

2. Scrunch two strips of foil into long, thin, snake-like shapes.

3. Twist each foil strip into a spring shape.

4. Insert the foil springs into the tube.

5. Pour dried beans into the tube until it is about 1/10 full.

6. Glue on the second paper circle to cover the top.

7. Decorate the tube with crayons, markers, and stickers.

Before they seal their rain sticks, invite the children to experiment to see how different amounts and different types of seeds and beans change the sound.

When everyone is finished, have participants sit in a circle with their rain sticks. Say, in your own words:

Today we will hear a story of one person's imagination of how the world started. The story doesn't answer any questions, but it may make you wonder. Do you wonder how we got here? Did we come from God? Or did we come here some other way? Maybe some of us came from ocean. Or maybe we came from the sky. Let's listen!

Invite participants, one at a time, to turn their rain sticks over once. As the rain sticks sound, one after the other, the sound of "rain" will grow louder and then fade.

Ask participants if they can hear the "rain" in their tubes. If your group is active, you may want to collect rain sticks before the beginning of the story so the noise is not disruptive.

Including All Participants

Have a co-leader partner with any child who lacks the dexterity to make a rain stick on their own.