During my time on practicum, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the grade 6 retreat. For this half-day event, all the grade 6 students and teachers travelled to Saint Bernard Parish, where they participated in a number of games and activities. My fellow student teacher and I were in charge of leading an activity that centred on building community. We decided to lead the activity with the following reading and prayer as it is a Catholic school, with many students preparing for confirmation:
Community is like a large mosaic. Each little piece seems so insignificant. One piece is bright red, another cold blue or dull green, another warm purple, another sharp yellow, another shining gold. Some look precious, others ordinary. Some look valuable… some look gaudy, others delicate.
As individual stones, we can do little with them except compare them and judge their beauty and value. When, however, all these little stones are brought together in one big mosaic portraying the face of Christ, who would ever question the importance of any one of them? Together in the one mosaic, each little stone is indispensable and makes a unique contribution to the glory of God. That is community, a fellowship of little people who, together, make God visible to the world.
God, you have gifted each one of us with unique potential to contribute to the mosaic of our school community. We take a moment to thank you in silence for our talents and skills. These mosaics represent the uniqueness, gifts and talents we all bring to our learning community.
Gracious God, we thank You for these gifts, unique to each one of us. May we always rejoice in whom You have made us and dedicate our gifts to the general good. Help us communicate with respect and care for one another. Give us open ears and minds as we listen, share and build our community.
We lift our voices to our God, who gathers us together in the name of Jesus, Amen.
For each grade 6 homeroom class, we had a table set up with the following:
- a wooden cross
- one tube of Tombow multi mono liquid glue
- 1 inch square glass tiles x 34 (enough for the class)
- a toothpick (in case glue needs unclogging)
The homeroom teachers were stationed at their respective tables, and students were told that they would be able to select a tile to add to their community cross mosaic. As they were waiting in line to place their tile on the cross, they were instructed to think about what it represents and how they would use their individual gifts to contribute to their learning community. The teacher assisted with glueing and tile placement. After placing the tile on the cross, students used the quiet moments to reflect on the experience and think about the people in their lives to whom they wished to dedicate a prayer. It was a heartwarming activity that contributed to a beautiful day of love and friendship among the grade sixes! Each mosaic cross was then placed on the prayer table in each class as a representation of community. It was accompanied by a framed copy of the reading and prayer from above. Teachers and students alike seemed to thoroughly enjoy this activity, and these crosses will stay with the grade 6 classes until their farewell in June!