Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Moral Tales: A Program on Making Choices for Grades 2-3

Activity 6: Etching In Stone

Part of Moral Tales

Activity time: 13 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Air-drying modeling clay
  • Pencils or toothpicks for all participants
  • Paper plates and plastic sandwich bags for all participants

Preparation for Activity

  • Purchase modeling clay that will air-dry (see Leader Resources).
  • Make sure pencils have soft tips. Sharp points may break off.
  • Think of a time when someone showed you kindness that you can use as an example. Prepare a short phrase that tells the story and would fit if scratched into a small, clay rock. You may wish to inscribe a clay rock ahead of time, to show the group.

Description of Activity

This activity will focus the children on a kindness someone else has shown them and give them the experiences of reliving, documenting, and sharing the story of how that felt.

Gather children at work tables and distribute a paper plate with a fist-sized lump of clay on it, a pencil or several toothpicks, and a plastic sandwich bag. Tell them they will now have a chance to make a lasting image of a positive memory, just as Mussa did in the story. Say, in your own words:

Shape your clay into the shape of a rock. Push into the clay with your pencil to write or draw about something that someone else did for you, out of kindness.

Help individuals who need it to think of something to write about or draw. Help children choose a very few words to represent their story, so their writing will not be too laborious and the words will fit on the clay rock. As they work, invite children to share their stories and images with the other, telling briefly about the particular experience that they wish to remember.

Invite the children to take home their clay rocks. Tell them the clay will harden quickly once it is removed from the sandwich bag. Suggest that when it dries, they share it with their family members. Remind them that by etching in clay that will harden, they are keeping the memory of kindness forever, as Mussa did.

Including All Participants

Offer to etch words in the clay for any reluctant writers or any child physically incapable of etching. Etch a short phrase or simply the name of the person who was kind to the child, and encourage the child to etch a picture to illustrate the happy memory.