Activity time: 45 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Flower bulbs or seeds
- Shovels, trowels, and large containers of water
Preparation for Activity
- Identify a local cemetery or memorial garden and arrange with its caretakers to plant flowers.
- Arrange transportation to the site.
- Communicate all relevant information to participants' parents.
- Optional: Create an intergenerational activity by inviting the children's parents or the entire congregation to participate. If you choose to do this, tell the congregation the story "Why Death Is Like the Banana Tree" and/or use text from Taking It Home and the session Introduction to explain what the children did and learned in this session.
Description of Activity
Travel to the local cemetery you have selected. Gather in a circle and ask the children what they know about cemeteries. Say, in your own words:
Cemeteries are special places where a person's body can be buried when they die. The gravestones have the names of the people whose bodies are there. Some people come to a cemetery to visit their loved ones who have died, to remember them and place flowers on their tomb. We will plant flowers here, so new life can grow from the old life.
Have children plant the bulbs or seeds in the location selected.
Debrief the experience with questions such as:
- I wonder what sorts of thoughts or feelings you had about going to a cemetery before we went?
- I wonder what sorts of thoughts or feelings you had when we got to the cemetery?
- Was anything about the cemetery surprising?
- I wonder how people will feel when they see the flowers we planted?
Including All Participants
Make sure the planting site is fully accessible to everyone in the group.