simple + meaningful curriculum for lasting impressions for both young + old

Intergenerational Activity Samples

Children, residents, and volunteers meet once a week for 30 minutes. Each week’s activity has a different theme and typically includes a story time feature or sing-along. Often, the residents will help to plan or prepare for the activities. Activities are sometimes completed in pairs, small groups or large groups. Learning topics include literacy, math, science, art, social/emotional development, and gross motor skills.

 

activity descriptions and outcomes

FAMILY TREE

What We Did

Students brought in photos of their families for a "Show and Tell About My Family" with the residents. After some conversation, one of the residents read the storybook There Are All Kinds Of Families aloud to help the students understand that the CHFM community is one big family. The residents and students then worked together to create the Holy Family Manor family tree using paper cutouts of hands and markers, encouraging the students to draw their families onto their piece of the tree. The activity concluded with a song and bracelet-making, using pipecleaners and beads to create their projects.

Why It Matters

The students were incredibly excited to share stories about their families with the residents, and the residents had a wonderful time listening to the children talk about their parents, brothers, and sisters. The family tree activity promoted a sense of family and closeness within the Manor and gave both students and residents a sense of belonging. Learning about other types of families helped the students' to understand diversity and broaden their definition of "family" in general, while the craft project allowed the students and residents to collaborate and feel productive at the same time.

WIND AND KITES

What We Did

Residents and students completed several activities about the weather in order to understand the way that wind and kites work. Residents blew bubbles and helped the students experiment holding wind socks in front of fans to see if they would be affected by the wind before extending their experimentation to other items such as feathers, paper, plastic cars, plastic bags, leaves, and other items in the room. This mini science experiment  was followed by a mini-lesson and game about weather and the rain cycle, and finished with a craft. The students and residents created kites, and then decided to see if they would fly in front of the fan like the other objects they had tested. 

Why It Matters

The science activity encouraged innovation and experimentation among both generations of participants, helping to foster new ideas and give them the confidence to continue to discover and explore new things. They also collaborated to create their kites before flying them in front of the fan. This type of interaction is very important for both the residents and the students, and connects them by allowing them to experience creativity and the growth of ideas together. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS

 

What We Did

The activity began with the students and residents coming together to sing the traditional Christmas carol, "O Come, All Ye Faithful." The students and residents were then presented with "Christmas Boxes," boxes with a hole cut in the top filled with small Christmas items such as a candy cane, a jingle bell, ribbon, nativity figures, and Christmas cards. All participants were invited to put their hand in the hole to try and guess what items they were feeling. The students counted down the days until Christmas, and listened to a resident read the storybook Listen To The Silent Night. After working together to complete a challenging Christmas carol game, the residents and students created Christmas cards that could be exchanged or taken home to be sent to others.

Why It Matters

The residents and students spread holiday cheer, love, and joy through each portion of this Christmas activity. Residents were able to talk to the students about about the meaning of Advent and Christmas, as well as help the students count to 24 and back, which gave them a sense of purpose and comfort. Holidays are a time for giving, and the Christmas card craft taught the students importance of both sharing and working together. They were then able to share their finished project with the residents and with their families

 

 

EMPTY TOMB

 

What We Did

The focus of this activity was to teach the Easter story in engaging and memorable ways that students and residents would find engaging and informative. Easter coloring sheets were paired with an audio recording of the Easter story, and the teacher asked questions about what they had learned that were answered by both residents and students. The residents read a prayer called the "Jelly Bean Prayer" and worked with the students to put jelly beans into plastic eggs as directed in the prayer. Finally, both generations used foam stickers and markers to decorate foam egg cut outs to make Easter decorations. 

Why It Matters

This activity required true collaboration and gave important individual roles to both generations. This reinforced the feeling of belonging and inclusion that we always try to achieve with intergenerational activities. Students depended on the residents to read them the prayer, while the residents relied on the tiny, nimble fingers of the students to peel the backs off of the stickers and place the jellybeans into the eggs. This activity promoted the understanding that sometimes roles may be different, but all are essential for collaboration and overall success. The Easter message was understood by all involved, and the end beautiful decorations were made for the students and seniors to keep.

If you have questions about our intergenerational program or want to volunteer, please contact Sister Antonina.

Back to the Intergenerational Program Overview.

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412.931.6996 - Main Number

412.931.9761 - Mt. Nazareth Learning Center

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301 Nazareth Way

Pittsburgh, PA 15229

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