Activities to Inspire Family Conversations About Our Interconnectedness
byMarian S. Taylor Illustrated by Amy Duarte
Book Cover & Preview Text
I AM With You All Ways
Goal of Lesson:
This book is written in a poetry format. The goal is to have children look at the world differently and to see Love everywhere in everything. As the children listen to the poem, it is hoped that their interest will be heightened and that they will begin seeing Spirit everywhere in everything.
Materials needed: I AM With You All Ways by Marian S. Taylor
Pictures of clouds, trees and rainbows
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw
Paper (tissue paper or printer paper in legal size)
Apples (cut them in half around the middle)
Paper for writing exercises
Getting ready to read:
Ask the following questions and allow time for response.
• Have you ever seen a cloud that looked like a shape?
o Take responses and allow them to describe.
• Have you ever seen a rainbow?
o Take responses and allow them to describe how it felt to see the colors.
Reading the book:
• Read “I AM With You All Ways,” pausing on each page. Have the child look at the photographs and then at the drawings. What are the similarities? What are the differences?
Linguistic: Language/Writing Activities
• The following suggestions are given for creative writing activities. Reread the following selections from the book and talk about the meaning of the words on these pages. Have the child write a sentence or two reflecting their thoughts about the phrases. They can also draw a picture to accompany their thoughts. For younger children, the leader can write the sentence for the child. The child could then draw a picture to explain the sentence.
o Look at pages 8 and 9. This cloud looks like a dove flying by. Where do you think this dove is going?
o Look at pages 12 and 13. If you saw this angel in the sky, what would she be saying to you?
o Look at pages 14 and 15. These animals are hiding in the roots of this tree. What would they be saying to each other? Why would they be hiding
o Look at pages 16 and 17. This tree has a face in the side of the trunk. If you saw this tree, what would you say to the tree?
Logic: Science and/or Math
• Talk about shapes: Circle, square, triangle, rectangle and heart shape.
o Go out of doors and look for shapes in nature. For example: a flower or a tree nut might have a circular shape. A pine tree might have a triangular shape. Rocks/stones can have many shapes like a circle, square, triangle, rectangle or heart shape.
o Please look for heart shapes.
o If you are unable to go out of doors, you might find some photos of natural objects that you could use to show shapes in nature and make the same point.
Kinesthetic: Physical movement
• Go outdoors and take some pictures with a camera or cell phone. Each child should take one picture and then try to draw or paint that picture. These could be displayed with the photograph taped or stapled to the drawing.
• There are many songs to express love. You may wish to research other selections that would express love and the feeling of unity. In addition, you can have the children put their own words to the tune of a familiar melody. A couple of songs to think about:
“Jesus Loves Me”
“That’s the Glory of Love”
• Wrapping paper activity (or just a piece of construction paper with apple prints on it)
o Give each child a large sheet of tissue paper or newsprint paper.
o Put different colors of tempera paint on individual paper plates.
o Cut several apples in half. The cut is through the fleshy part of the apple, not stem to stem. When you cut the apple in half this way, you will see that the seed area at the center of the apple will look like a star inside the apple. The apple is then dipped into the paint and the print is stamped onto the paper in a repeated manner.
o The child can dictate a sentence or they can write a sentence about the star inside of them. The star inside of them is the special part of them… something they like to do or something they are really good at or something that they feel is special about them.
o They could respond to the prompt: I AM _______________.
o It is important to focus on things like being nice to others, helping family or friends, and /or something that is a special gift they possess. For example: I AM a child of God. I AM kind to others. I AM loving towards others.
• Have the children sit in a circle and share their ideas about expressing the star inside of them. What is it that they see inside of themselves. It would be wonderful if they could talk about the gifts of their classmates and share with each other… what is the star inside their friends?
• Give each child a mirror or have them share a mirror. Allow the children to look into the mirror and then draw a picture of themselves. When they look in the mirror or at the picture, they could repeat: “I love you. I really love you.” It is important to love thyself and practice self-care. It allows for a healthy outlook and soul discovery.
These books and activities can be used at home, in a camp setting, in a group setting, or anywhere children explore their worlds. The intent is to have children interact with the natural world. The activities are presented to encourage them to observe nature and the people and circumstances around them. It is hoped that children will start to observe their surroundings, to experience the world from a little different perspective, and to gain insight into themselves.
Hopefully, all participants will interact with their natural world through participating in these activities. In this way, and through the conversations with the adults who are working with them, the participants will be introduced to the concept of seeing miracles everywhere in everything.
About the Author
Marian S. Taylor, EdD, is a retired university professor. Her career began at the elementary level where she taught first grade and served as a reading specialist. She was director of the university laboratory school and a chairperson of a university department. She taught undergraduate and graduate classes while at the university and spent many years directing the program for the development of reading specialists.
Marian has been very involved with her family and with church activities. She is the mother of three grown children and is very proud of her grandchildren.