Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of the story "We Got Here Together"
- A large basket
- Objects related to the story-items which are beautiful, small, and appealing for children to hold, such as a snow globe; a photo of an unusual sea creature, like a sea cucumber; a blown glass piece with bubbles trapped inside; a toy fish
- A rain stick, or another instrument with a calm sound
- Optional: Box or small table and a decorative cloth cover
- Optional: Fidget basket (see Session 1, Leader Resource 4)
Preparation for Activity
- Place the story-related items and the rain stick in the story basket. Place the filled basket in the storytelling area you have designated.
- If you will make a centering table as a focal point for story objects, set up the box or table you will use next to your storytelling area. Place the decorative cloth on the table.
- Read the story a few times.
- Plan how you will use items from the story basket as props.
- Optional: If you have a basket of fidget objects for children who will listen and learn more effectively with something in their hands, make the basket available during this activity. Remind children where it is before you begin the "centering" part of this activity. See Session 1, Leader Resource 4, Fidget Objects for a full description of fidget baskets and guidance for using them.
Description of Activity
The story is a child-friendly example of the mystery and wonder of creation and is intended to be magical.
Invite children to gather for the story. Show them the storytelling basket. Say something like, "Let's see what's in our story basket this week."
Tell the group the items in the story basket will sit on the table after the children pass them around the circle. Take the story-related items from the basket, one at a time, and pass them around.
Name each object and ask a wondering question about each one, e.g., "I wonder how this works?"
As the items come back to you, display them on the table and say, in your own words:
Today we are exploring the mystery and wonder that is around us each and every day. There are many things we find amazing and wonderful, like stars in the night sky, or a new kitten or a tiny baby, or the sunrise or sunset, rainbows, or lightning, or other things that we just have to stop and look or listen or touch because they're just so... . awesome! Do you like that word? It's a great word to use for the Source we are going to explore today. This is the first Source and it says that Unitarian Universalists believe in the sense of wonder we all share. Awesome wonder!
Before you begin, consider turning the lights down. If someone is unable to close their eyes or sit still, they can hold the props while you read the story.
Remove the rain stick (or other sound instrument) from the story basket. Tell the children that every time you tell a story, you will first use an instrument to help them get their ears, minds, and bodies ready to listen. Invite everyone to sit and close their eyes if they are comfortable. Tell them that closing their eyes will help them focus on just listening.
In a calm voice, say:
As you breathe in, feel your body opening up with air. As you breathe out, feel yourself relaxing.
Repeat this once or twice. Then, say:
When I turn the rain stick over, listen as carefully as you can. See how long you can hear its sound. When you can no longer hear it, open your eyes and you will know it is time for the story to begin.
Use the rain stick. When the sound has gone, begin telling the story. Read or tell the story slowly, like a meditation. Use the rain stick again to indicate that the story is over.
- Can you imagine you were the bubble?
- Can you imagine you were the raindrop?
- What did the story make you think of?
- Can you imagine the different parts of nature that are connected?
- The raindrop and bubble are traveling in different directions, one up and one down. Both are important to nature. How do you imagine something in nature to be?
- Do you ever think about how a snowflake travels? How about sand? Where does sand come from and go to?
- How do you fit in with nature?