Using Art to Teach Students About the Beatitudes
Wow, I actually thought of this little display piece idea by myself. We teachers can do that. Not everything has to come from a book. I actually always wonder why teachers have children do worksheets on various topics instead of whipping out art supplies and letting them present that information in a poster project or mural.
In the case of teaching the Beatitudes, I use a little art project that lends itself to a fun display item when done. Religion lends itself to lots of great craft ideas. I find my job with Religious studies is to simply impart the history of our Religion and I enjoy doing this in creative ways.
Teaching the Beatitudes
The heart of the lesson is actually familiarizing the children with the Beatitudes, which is where you would begin.
- Read the story of the Sermon on the Mount to the children and let them know this is when Jesus spoke to the disciples about how they should live their lives to obtain real happiness.
- During this Sermon He related to them what we know as the Beatitudes.
- Introduce the Beatitudes to the children and then ask them to choose one that they feel personally connected to.
- I model this by telling them that I love to pray, so I feel connected to the Beatitude Blessed are they who realize their own helplessness and turn to God for help. They shall have God as their strength.
- I write that Beatitude on the board and point out that it has two parts. The first part relates how we might live and the second part relates the benefits of subscribing to this way of life.
After the children share their own chosen Beatitude have them separate the two parts, as they will need to do this for the project. Next, have them take a piece of card stock approximately fourteen inches long and fold it horizontally to make a rectangular table tent.
- On the front of the "card" I tell them to illustrate the first part of their Beatitude.
- I tell them to flip the card open and illustrate the second part of the Beatitude on the inside.
- When hung on the wall the first part of the Beatitude should be on display.
- Passerby's can lift open the card to view the rest of the Beatitude.
I encourage the students to use fancy lettering, borders, and religious symbols to make an attractive display piece. Typically, between all the children in the class, most of the Beatitudes end up being highlighted on the display. It's a fun activity, and helps to reinforce the Beatitudes with the children, and in the case of teaching the Beatitudes the goal would be that the children remember what they are. Of course, for them to live the Beatitudes they'll have to know what they are.