Tapestry of Faith: Windows and Mirrors: A Program about Diversity for Grades 4-5

Activity 3: Making a Machine

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Slips of paper with the names of common machines (blender, washing machine, car, etc.) and a basket to hold the slips of paper.

Preparation for Activity

  • Decide how you will form "families" of three to five children for this activity. ("Families" need not be all the same size.)
  • Prepare slips of paper with the names of common machines. You will need one slip for each small group you will form.
  • If possible, identify a separate rehearsal space for each small group; make sure you have enough adult supervision if you plan to send groups to multiple rooms.

Description of Activity

In this game, children experience how everyone's gifts and talents together comprise a community.

Form family groups. Have each family choose a slip of paper from the basket; each slip has a common working machine on it (blender, washing machine, car, etc). Each family will work together to "create" the machine, with each person as one part of the machine, complete with motion and noises.

Have all families practice their machines at the same time, taking care not to "peek" at the other families.

After about three to five minutes, call all the children together and have everyone sit down. Ask for each family unit to come to the front of the room one at a time. Invite them to demonstrate their machine without talking or making sounds; the other families must try to guess what machine they are. If the audience has trouble guessing, ask the performers to add sound. After each group performs, clap and cheer.

Ask if they know how this game relates to gifts and talents we are born with. Point out that each person in the family machine had a specific job to do to make the whole machine function. Each of us has different gifts that we should use to make the community stronger, better, more fair, more beautiful.

Including All Participants

Make sure children in small groups respectfully find jobs for all individuals in the group. You may gain a powerful "teachable moment" from how groups incorporate the different physical abilities among them.