Sun Circle: A Ritual for A Group of Children
From Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children
by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac;
Activity: Form a circle and use oranges to symbolize the sun. Recall the many gifts that we receive from the sun.
Goals: Understand the important things that the sun provides for us, such as food, energy, heat and light. Understand that we can show our appreciation for these gifts.
Age: Younger Children and Older Children
Procedure: Have the children stand in a circle with their eyes closed. Have each child hold one hand open, palm up, in front of him or her. Take chilled orange sections, or pieces of other bright, sunshine-like fruit, and place one in each waiting hand. Ask the children to guess what you have passed out. Once someone has guessed correctly instruct the children to open their eyes but not to eat the oranges yet. Hold up a whole orange and tell the children that it represents the sun. Have each child name one thing that we receive from the sun; then he or she can eat the orange slice. Remind the children that it is the food energy created from sunlight by plants that enables people to do this, or any other activity.
Materials: Sunny area, enough chilled and peeled oranges to provide one section for each child, a whole orange.
A suggestion from BabooKyra: I’m going to do this with my campers. The only thing I’m going to change is that we will pick the oranges ourselves and use whole oranges. After the ritual, I’ll give them spices to make pomanders. The scent will remind them of camp for years.
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