Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Slingshot-making supplies for each participant:
- Y-shaped sticks, about six inches long. Collect them outdoors or ask a woodworker to create them
- Two large, thick elastic bands, cut to create a straight piece or two 8-inch pieces of 1/4 inch wide elastic, the type used for home sewing projects
- Four inch by two inch rectangle of artificial leather fabric, such as Naugahyde
- Single hole punch
- Small foam beads
- Adult-sized winter vest (fleece, down, etc) or PFD boating vest
- Adult sized wide belt
- Optional: Trash can lid with handle
- Optional: Picture of a slingshot
Preparation for Activity
- Be sure that there are at least two adults or youth to meet with this breakout group.
- Hold the leather rectangles so that the four inch dimension is horizontal and punch a hole in each end about one inch from the edge.
- Set out supplies.
Description of Activity
Invite children to use their imaginations and pretend to be David the shepherd. An adult or youth in the group might ask:
- What does a shepherd do?
- What dangers might a shepherd face? (Wolves that try to eat the sheep, bad weather, sheep who wander into dangerous places.)
- What can a child shepherd do that might be harder for an adult? (Run faster, have an easier time getting into tight places.)
Explain that a shepherd in David's time had a simple tool to keep the wolves and other dangers away. It was called a slingshot. Show a picture of a slingshot if you have one or describe what it is and how it works. Say: "We are going to make our own pretend slingshots." Invite adults, youth, and older children to help the younger children with the assembly process, taping one end of each piece of elastic to one prong of the Y-shaped stick and looping the other end through one of the holes in the piece of artificial leather before knotting.
Remind participants that this is a pretend slingshot, not an actual one, and use a foam bead to demonstrate how a slingshot works.
Take the vest and the belt and say that you will pretend this is the King's armor that David tried on. Invite a small child to try on the much-too-big clothing, and give them a trash can lid as a shield if you have one. Ask: "What is the problem with this grown-up armor? Why does it not work for a child?"
Invite each child in turn to try being David the shepherd, keeping away a wolf with the slingshot (a youth or adult might play the wolf). After they try being David the shepherd, invite them to try on, and then reject, the armor, as David did.
End the activity by reminding participants that David was a child in this story, and that he stood up to the bully by being himself and doing what he did best.