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

Activity 6: Window/Mirror Panel - Making Invisible Hands Visible

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • All participants' Window/Mirror Panels
  • A variety of illustrated magazines to cut up
  • Blank paper, cut to a size that can be added to the Window/Mirror panels
  • Optional: Hand-shaped stickers, or rubber stamps with hand images, and ink pads
  • Basket(s) of Window/Mirror panel materials:
    • Sheets of Mylar(R) in several colors, shiny gift wrap, aluminum foil and other reflective paper
    • Sheets of plain or construction paper
    • Scraps of fabric
    • Color markers (permanent markers work best on Mylar)
    • Glue sticks, tape (including double-sided tape) and scissors (including left-hand scissors)
    • Optional: Stick-on sequins, a hole-puncher, yarn, ribbon and a variety of magazines to cut up

Preparation for Activity

  • Gather magazines for participants to cut up. Look for ones with "lifestyle" images to which children will relate (in sizes that will fit on the paper you provide) such as travel, sports, architecture, and music magazines or clothing, furniture, or toy catalogs.
  • Optional: Obtain small hand-shaped stickers or stamps, from an arts and crafts store or online source. Find small palm-print, multicolored stickers (Helping Hands mini-stickers) on the Teacher Created Resources website.
  • Have materials easily accessible.

Description of Activity

Ask the children to bring their Window/Mirror Panels to work tables. Distribute magazines to cut up. Say, in your own words:

Look through the magazines and find an image that represents something you love having or doing. Then, reflect on the image you chose. Think about the place, activity or item in the picture. Who made it? Who owns those unseen hands? Who are the people not in the picture whose work brings enjoyment to you?

Invite the children to cut out a magazine image of an activity, place or item they enjoy, glue it on blank paper or directly on their Window/Mirror Panel, and indicate the invisible contributors by surrounding the image with drawings, additional magazine cutouts, stamps or stickers (if you have brought them), and/or writing.

You might use these questions to help spark participants' thoughts:

  • What work went into building that boat/theater/basketball court/piano?
  • What kind of factory is that skateboard/iPod/lipstick/bicycle made in?
  • Who might have planted the seeds that grew into the plants that were harvested for that meal?
  • How does water get to a swimming pool? Who makes sure the pool is filled with clean water at the right temperature?
  • Who mowed that lawn? Who picks up the garbage in that park?

Give the group a two-minute warning so they have time to affix their images to their Window/Mirror panels, clean up materials and store their Window/Mirror panels.