Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Riddle and Mystery: A Program on the Big Questions for Grade 6

Alternate Activity 4: Wonder Art

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Scratch-Art paper, and scratch tools such as toothpicks (round is better) for all participants
  • A copy of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, Singing the Living Tradition
  • Optional: Large sheets of black construction paper and pastel or chalk crayons for all participants
  • Optional: A recording of Reading 530 in Singing the Living Tradition, "Out of the Stars," or quiet background music to accompany someone reading aloud, and an audio player

Preparation for Activity

  • Obtain materials. Scratch-Art paper is unusual and fun, so choose that instead of construction paper if you can. Dick Blick (retail stores or website) is one source for Scratch-Art paper.
  • Arrange meeting space so youth can share materials as needed, yet work independently.
  • Optional: Make a recording of someone reading "Out of the Stars" aloud. Or, obtain an anthem by Betsy Jo Angebranndt, published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, based on Weston's words.
  • Optional: Choose quiet background music to play while you read Weston's words aloud.
  • Optional: Identify a place where you can display youth's artwork after this activity. Obtain permission, if you need it. Prepare the text of the Weston reading to display with the artwork.

Description of Activity

Youth draw as you read words poetically describing the beginning of life.

Settle participants at work tables or on a floor. Distribute Scratch-Art paper and toothpicks or construction paper and pastels/crayons to share.

Ask for a quiet, meditative moment, and invite youth to use the materials to create whatever they wish after you begin reading the words or playing the music. Say their creations can be abstract or realistic, whatever they like. Read the words slowly and dramatically; they are very powerful. If you have more time, you may wish to pause, then repeat the reading.

When the artwork is complete or time is running out, give youth a chance to stand back, examine and comment on what they have done. If possible, display their artwork. You may wish to also post the text of the reading.