Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Poster board or card stock fish, made from template in Leader Resource 1, Fishing for Friends
- Small, stick-on magnets for all participants
- Pencils for all participants
- Large envelope to store fish to use again
- Stick or dowel, approximately -inch in diameter and 18 inches long
- Length of string or yarn, approximately 36 inches
- One mid-sized magnet
Preparation for Activity
- Download and print out Leader Resource 1, Fishing for Friends. Cut out the fish template and trace it onto blank poster board, card stock or construction paper to make enough fish shapes for everyone in the group, including co-leaders and adult or teen volunteers. Fish should all be the same color and size.
- Make a magnetic fishing rod by tying one end of a string around a dowel and the other end around a medium-size magnet.
- Purchase all items at an arts and crafts store or a hardware store. You may find a good mid-size magnet for the fishing rod in a child's toy kit such as a magnetic building set.
Description of Activity
With children seated at work tables, distribute poster board fish and pencils to everyone (including co-leaders and volunteers). Ask everyone to write their name on a fish. Bring small, stick-on magnets around and affix one to the opposite side of each person's fish - the side without the name.
Collect all the fish, shuffle them, and place them on the floor in a single layer, with magnets up and names facing down. Invite each person, one at a time, to use the magnetic fishing line. You may say:
It is your turn to go fishing for a friend.
Once a fish is attached to the fishing line, ask the person to identify which friend is caught, find that person, and greet them by saying, "Good morning (or afternoon), (name of person whose fish was caught). Welcome to Moral Tales."
Then invite the friend who has been welcomed to fish for a friend. Repeat until everyone has been welcomed. Gather the fish at the end and keep for another time.
This exercise leads each person to extend and receive welcome. The random element of fishing adds suspense and prevents children from choosing who they will welcome and greeting only their particular friends in the group.