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Rainbow Bridge Story and Learning Activities

Each class will have the Rainbow Bridge book by Audrey Wood, and a 9 foot rainbow ribbon as one of their activity kits.

Activity number one is to read the book aloud to the class, and then ask them to paint or draw (on paper or digitally) an illustration of the story. Please select six of the best illustrations to send to Camp so we can feature them online in the Student Gallery.

Next, outdoors in a wide open space, designate two areas - one will be Santa Cruz Island, the other will be the mainland. Select a tall female student to play the role of Hutash. Now, have the student all stand on the 'island'. Ask them to talk and joke among themselves and to then begin to talk louder among themselves. When their voices raise loudly, Hutash then must arrive and clap her hands, commanding the humans to stop making their terrible racket. She then will invite them to send 2/3s of their group to the mainland to find new villages.

In order for the students to pass from the island to the mainland, their challenge is to make it beneath the Rainbow Bridge streamer with out touching it. IF they touch it or it touches them, they must become dolphins and swim off into the Channel waters. Hutash stands mid way between the two locations, and with wide arcs of her arm, snaps the beautiful ribbon in a high arc over her head, from left to right, allowing the streamer to create a bright rainbow arch in the air. The students trying to cross must then watch her motions, try to see when the time is right, and scoot under the arch. They can not cross over outside the arch, it must be UNDER the arch. There is a point in every pass where the arc creates enough space to pass, but it doesn't last long this is a good game to build eye/body coordination, to understand timing and rhythm, to think about an important native legend - and to have fun ! Everyone wins since they either remain on the island cheering their friends, they reach the mainland safely, or they become playful dolphins in the sea.

To conclude the game, you could have the islanders 'paddle' over to the mainland for the annual Hutash celebration, and enjoy a feast of snacks together, Chumash-style.

Painting from the Rainbow Bridge by Robert Florczak and Audrey Wood