Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Love Surrounds Us: A Program on the UU Principles and Beloved Community for Grades K-1

Activity 2: Story, The Talking Stick

Activity time: 10 minutes

"The Talking Stick" Illustration by Suzi Grossman

Download a coloring sheet (PDF) for "The Talking Stick."

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story.
  • Optional: Using instructions in Activity 3, Talking Sticks, make a sample talking stick. Set it aside to show the children at the end of the story.
  • Optional: Download, print, and copy the coloring sheet (PDF). Place coloring sheets and crayons where children can use them when invited but will not be distracted beforehand.

Description of Activity

The story retells a Lakota Sioux legend. When the U.S. government began settling on the native peoples' homelands, the Sioux, including the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota tribes, occupied the Great Plains, a part of North America that includes grasslands, hills, and streams but not a lot of forests. Summers for them were hot and the winter was long and cold. The Sioux culture centered on using horses to hunt buffalo for food.

Gather participants so that they can see and hear the leader telling the story.

Tell the children you will tell them a very old legend from the Sioux tribe of American Indians-a story that explains how the Sioux began using talking sticks in their tribal meetings. If you have a talking stick to use as an example, conceal it until the end of the story when the grandmother makes the first talking stick.

Read or tell the story. Once you have finished, lead a discussion with these questions:

  • Whose idea was the talking stick?
  • Who was the first human to make a talking stick?
  • What was the eagle trying to do by suggesting talking sticks?
  • What gave the eagle the idea for making talking sticks?
  • Can you think of any other object the grandmother could have made to use the same way?