Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Sing to the Power: A Social Justice Program for Children Grades 4-5

Activity 5: Circle of Elements Mural

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Leader Resource 3, Circle of Elements Mural Instructions
  • Paper, poster board, or fabric
  • Paper or fabric and appropriate drawing tools (crayons, markers, permanent markers, or fabric paint), and tape or glue sticks
  • Optional: Magazines to cut up, scissors (including left-handed scissors), and glue sticks
  • Optional: Found objects that might represent earth, such as dried leaves or pebbles, and a hot glue gun

Preparation for Activity

  • Using Leader Resource 3, plan how you will create and display a graphic mural to represent the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water:
    • Identify a wall space or easel you can use for the duration of this program. You will need enough wall space to post, over the course of the program, 16 six-inch circles in a circle. In the middle area, you will post four circle quadrants-one for each element. The children will decorate a new quadrant in each session that introduces a new element. This session introduces earth. Session 5 introduces air; Session 9 introduces water; Session 13 introduces fire.
    • Obtain materials for the mural and for drawings/decorations the children will create and post on the mural. You might use large sheets of paper or poster board, or a fabric such as canvas to make the mural. You can cut the paper or fabric into four quarters of a large circle. Or, you can draw a circle with four quadrants on one very large sheet. As Leader Resource 3 shows, the mural takes the shape of a circle with a cross marking the quarters. The bottom left quarter will represent earth; the top left quarter, air; the top right, fire; and the bottom right, water. Make all four quarters now. You may wish to display all four quarters beginning with this session. Or, reveal it gradually, adding a new quarter at each session that introduces a new element.
  • Set out materials on work tables for children to prepare drawings or decorations to post in the "earth" quadrant of the Circle of Elements mural.
  • Optional: Set up a station where an adult can guide participants' use of a glue gun.

Description of Activity

This activity introduces the graphic representation of four kinds of elemental power we embody (earth, air, fire, and water) which the group will build as the program proceeds. At the beginning of each four-session block, the children decorate a quadrant of the circle-shaped graphic to illustrate the new element. At the end of each session, the children add a small circle to the border of the quadrant they are exploring. Each quadrant has four circles with words that lift up aspects of that element's power; today's circle frames the word "connection," a part of earth power.

Tell the group:

We'll have chances to explore four kinds of power in this program: earth power, air power, fire power, and water power. Today we'll start a mural by decorating the bottom left area with symbols of earth power.

Distribute paper or fabric and markers, magazines and scissors, and found objects or other decorations you have obtained. Invite the children to decorate a piece which you will then help them attach to the "earth" section of the mural. Explain how you will help participants use the glue gun, if you have one.

Save several minutes to engage the group in clean-up.