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Activity

LITTLE HAND/BIG HAND

A young hand with an old hand links the past to the future

Hands allow us to make a fundamental human connection. Holding someone's hand can be an expression of love, comfort, and security. It can mean a great deal
to both a child and an older adult. Hand-holding can also have an especially poignant intergenerational significance – it shows the linking of past and future. A young hand in an old hand is an often-used symbol of connections across generations.

A younger child and an older adult can compare their hands.

Start with a warm-up exercise to focus attention on your hands. Shake, wriggle, and rub them. Watch and experience them. How does it feel when you move them? Can you move them any way you want?

How do your hands look? Examine both sides of both your left and right hands. What do you see? What does the skin look like? How long are your fingernails? Are you wearing any rings? What pattern do the "life lines" on your palm follow?

How are your left and right hands similar? Different?

Now, how are a young hand and an old hand the same? Different? What are some things a child does with their hands? What are some things an older person does? Is one person's hand "better" than the other's? Why or why not?

Using a pencil, one person traces the other person's left hand onto a large, single sheet of paper. Then reverse. In the end, a little hand and a big hand can appear side-by-side, or the child's hand can appear inside the adult's hand. What do you see?

Each person can write down some key words describing their hand and/or their feelings about their hand. Put the words inside, outside, or curving around the shape of the hand. Be creative!

Trace the outline of each hand in the person's favorite color, and add any appropriate decorations or symbols like a heart, star, or smiling face.

To finish off, each person signs their name under their hand, and then they shake each other's real hands.

© SV Bosak, www.legacyproject.org

Materials
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Large sheet of paper
Pen/pencil
Pencil crayons

Connections
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Schools (social
  studies; art;
  language arts)
Seniors groups
Families

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