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Taking It Home, Session 14: Love Surrounds Us in Nature

In "Love Surrounds Us," a Tapestry of Faith program

It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature's gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever. — Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States

IN TODAY'S SESSION... the participants learned about the Unitarian Universalist principle about caring for our planet Earth and every living thing that shares it with us. We read a story about how the animals in a rainforest convinced someone how important even one tree can be their existence. This session demonstrated how we are all interconnected and as human beings, we have the responsibility to care for the earth and everything on it.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Participants learned about some specific rainforest animals. Ask your child about the unusual and exotic animals that live in the rainforest and what they can remember about them. Have them share with the entire family.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Ask family members what places or animals on earth they are concerned about. How can your family find out more? Explore the Internet or the local library together.

Family Adventure. What kinds of animal rescue agencies are located near you? Are there animal shelters or perhaps a raptor center nearby? Are there any wildlife rehabilitation centers nearby? Visit one to see how your family can help these animals, such as donating food or towels. After your visit, discuss the experience. How did everyone feel about the visit? Was it difficult to see the animals? Is there something that you could do to minimize the need for such organizations? What did you learn?

Family Discovery. Go to the World Wildlife Fund website and find out what animals are endangered. Choose an animal that the entire family is interested in. Find out more about that animal and identify things to do every day to help save that animal. Consider "adopting" this animal or check out a local zoo to see if they have adopt-an-animal opportunities to help the wild cousins of their endangered residents.

A Family Game. Charades: Ask every family member to write the name of an unusual animal on a piece of paper and fold it up and put in a bowl. Each person picks a paper and acts out the animal and until other family members guess what it is. The person who wrote the animal may not guess, but if they get their own animal they can act it out. You cannot talk or give letter clues (e.g., using your fingers to shape an "L" for "lion"). Pair adults or older children with younger children, if appropriate.

A Family Ritual. For a specified period of time, choose books about animals to read before bed. Have different family members take turns reading aloud.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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