Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Activity 3: Happy Human Art Project

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Handout 2, Happy Human
  • Supplies for two-dimensional and three-dimensional art and craft work

Preparation for Activity

  • Identify a place to make a gallery of Humanistic art to share with the congregation.
  • Photocopy Handout 2 for participants and/or post a large copy of it.
  • Decide which materials you will make available for the art.
  • Optional: Enlist artistic volunteers from the congregation to lead art experiences.

Description of Activity

This activity is an opportunity for participants to engage aesthetically and spiritually with the humanist concepts they have been exploring intellectually.

Explain that participants will express some of their thoughts and feelings about humanist beliefs and values non-verbally. Remind them that an important tenet of Humanism is human happiness, attained through personal fulfillment and the achievement of the common good. We can each be happier if all can be happy.

Our well-being is connected to the well-being of all humankind.

Post or hand out the picture of the Happy Human and explain that the image was designed for the British Humanist Society and has since been adopted by many Humanists, primarily secular Humanists, in other countries.

Ask, "Why do you think it is important to secular Humanists to have a happy image?" (Possible answers: some religious people think you can't be happy without God; Humanists have a reputation for being very serious.)

Say, "Think about the Humanist values and beliefs we have talked about today, and think about your own. What do you think really makes a human happy? What would a happy world look like?"

Direct participants to the art materials you have gathered and invite them to take (at least) 15 minutes to express themselves non-verbally in response to those questions.

Tell them they will be invited to share their art and their feelings with the group.

When time is up, gather the group in a circle for sharing and arrange to display their collective work for the congregation with an appropriate title, such as What Makes a Happy Human?