Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Signs of Our Faith: A Program about Being UU Every Day for Grades 2-3

Activity 1: Story - Oshun Loses Her Beauty

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story so you will be comfortable telling or reading it to the children.
  • Optional: Print Leader Resource 1, Santerian Gods and Goddesses. Plan how you will use the images when you tell the story.
  • Optional: Copy the handout for all participants.
  • 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. See Session 1, Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects for a full description of fidget baskets and guidance for using them.

Description of Activity

Child respond to a story about recognizing what makes us unique.

If you wish, distribute the coloring page (Handout 1) and crayons. Invite children to color during (or after) the story.

Tell or read the story, starting with the introduction that gives background about the Santeria religion:

The Orisha are gods that came originally from Nigeria, in West Africa, as part of the Yoruba religion. The gods travelled with African people who were stolen as slaves from Africa and brought to North and Central America. Today, a religion named Santeria is based on these gods and is practiced in Cuba, Brazil, and parts of Central America. We also have practitioners here in the United States. Though stories about the Orisha may not mean the same to us as they do to Santerians, we can find great wisdom in them and we are thankful for being allowed to share them.

Process the story with these questions:

  • The other Orisha thought Oshun's special gift was her beauty. They did not recognize that her persistence was the gift that would save the day. [Make sure children understand "persistence" as a quality; use an example from the story.] Has that ever happened to you? Has there been a time when someone underestimated your gifts, talents, or abilities? [Let everyone who wants to share do so; give this conversation more time, if needed.]
  • Have you ever been judged more by your looks than your actions? This is what we call prejudice and it is not fair.
  • There are some things we can tell by looking at someone. For example, I can tell the color of your shoes. But there are many more things you cannot tell by looking at someone. What are examples of things you cannot tell by looking at someone?

Affirm that each of us is a complicated human being, made up of many different abilities, thoughts, and identities. Like Oshun, we are all beautiful souls with unique gifts to share in our community.

If participants are coloring handouts, point out the various unique ways they have chosen to color the birds.