Beatitudes Art Workshop Lesson Plan
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Each child will create a word poster as a reminder of the Beatitudes in their own words.
Editor's Update: Doing a "Stained Glass" Version of this art activity
We suggest that students "translate" several of their favorite Beatitudes into their own words as part of your study, then write their translations directly on a transparency sheet (clear plastic sheets found in office supply stores) using various colorful markers and artistically drawing the letters. Then they flip over the plastic sheet and glue colorful pieces of tissue paper to the back side of the sheet using Mod Podge (thin glue). Once they've applied the tissue and glue, they can add a SECOND transparent sheet over the glue side and press it to cover the glue (this step keeps the glue from getting all over the place while students continue to handle their "stained glass window." By sandwiching the glue and tissue between two sheets, you can do the writing on the sheet last if you want to.
Tip: Use very little glue if you will be sandwiching your tissue between two sheets.
Following that students cut, decorate, and tape a posterboard "frame" around the transparent sheet to turn their creation into a "stained glass window" that can be hung.
Pictured: Example of the stained glass sheet using wax paper. Unfortunately, you cannot write on wax paper, hence the tip to use transparency sheets.
Tip: Have the teacher quickly add a "hanging string" to each student's finished window by stapling a short piece of string to two corners of the frame.
Tip: Students can also make a class display of all the Beatitudes for sharing with the congregation.
Scripture Reference: Matthew 5:1-12
Key Scripture Verse:
Matthew 5:3 God blesses those people who depend only on him. They belong to the kingdom of heaven. (Contemporary English Version)
“Pay attention my children! Follow my advice, and you will be happy.” Proverbs 8:32 (CEV)
- We are disciples devoted to God, when we do God’s will.
- When we do God’s will, we feel God’s blessings.
- God blesses those who follow Jesus.
- Students will learn that the Beatitudes, in the Gospel of Matthew, tell the story of Jesus explaining to his Apostles and the crowds of disciples or followers, what the characteristics of the community of believers are now and what they will be in the future.
- Students should understand that while the Ten Commandments tell believers what to do or not do, the Beatitudes describe how believers live as a community and work to bring heaven to earth.
- Children will learn to trust that God will take care of all who seek his kingdom and that Jesus’ followers will be blessed.
Teacher preparation in advance:
- Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.
- Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.
- Check the art room to see what supplies exist. Purchase needed supplies and make a sample.
- Duplicate the key Beatitude words printed in different font styles and sizes on various colors of paper (see link). Be sure that the duplicating ink will not run when covered with the Mod Podge.
- Prepare all the materials you will need for the creation process. Precut the poster board if necessary. Have the materials ready to go. There will be limited time for the creation process, so do everything you can to conserve time.
- Decide how you want to close the lesson. Prepare a prayer or use one of the group suggestions.
- Poster board (22” X 28” sheets cut into quarters are good)
- Mod Podge (available in pints, quarts or gallons)
- Broad brushes for spreading
- Disposable cups to hold Mod Podge
- Colored tissue paper
- Words (may be precut and sorted if that is easier)
Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself. A short prayer thanking God for being a part of our lives would be appropriate. Ask Jesus to help us to follow his guidance so that we may bring goodness to earth.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
1. Discuss the background to today’s story. Have the children use their Bibles to locate the verses in Matthew. This passage relates the central points of Jesus’ lessons. Similar to Moses going up to the mountain to bring down the Ten Commandments so that people would know how to be God’s people and how to treat each other, Jesus sits on the side of a mountain and expresses how God wants us to live now.
2. This is part of the Sermon on the Mount and the message that Jesus preached was unlike anything the people had heard before. Instead of living to become rich and powerful, they were to live as a Christian community overcoming hardship and finding happiness through belief in God’s kingdom. He told them not to take the easy path, but to take the right path. Just as it was important for Jesus’ disciples to listen carefully and follow the teachings, as disciples of Jesus Christ we should think and act together as a community to do good on earth.
3. In Matthew 5:3-12 God blesses those people:
- who depend only on him (need) - they belong in the kingdom of heaven.
- who grieve (over injustices in the world) - they will find comfort
- who are humble (gentle and nonviolent) - the earth will belong to them
- who want to obey him (to do right) - they will be given what they want
- who are merciful (patient and kind) - they will be treated with mercy
- whose hearts are pure (try not to sin) - they will see him
- who make peace (try to create it) - they will be called his children
- who are treated badly for doing right (hurt or made fun of for their beliefs and actions) - they belong to the kingdom of heaven
- who are insulted, mistreated and lied about because of me (Jesus)… - you will have a great reward in heaven
4. Jesus does not promise that God will make life on earth easy. People will not win as individuals or gain material things. What they will achieve is of greater importance. They will find the kingdom of heaven and possibly even bring some of it to earth by making the world a better place. A Christian community working together may find such a reward, just as Jesus did.
5. Take a minute to talk to the children about the creation they are going to be doing in this workshop. Tell them that they will make a collage of Beatitude words. Remind them that God has given us all gifts of creativity.
1. Create! Show the children a sample that you have made.
2. Have the children put on smocks. Pass out materials. Every child should have a heavy piece of cardboard or poster board and scissors. Colored tissue paper, dishes of Mod Podge with brushes, and preprinted words will be shared by all.
3. Steps: Have the children select and cut out “God blesses those people who” and affix it to the backing with thinly brushed Mod Podge. Then they can surround this with several other words from the Beatitudes and shapes cut from colored tissue. When they have all the pieces arranged and glued, they can coat the top surface so that it will shine.
4. Clean up! Mod Podge dries permanently hard so wash everything carefully. Involve all kids in this so that you will have time to share together in the closing. You may want to have a prearranged signal or sound for clean up and tell them at beginning of the art project what that will be - perhaps giving them a 5 minute warning and then the final clean up notice to allow those who need a bit more warning that they need to complete whatever they are working on.
5. Turn out lights and lock the classroom door when leaving.
Ask the shepherds to pass out Journals and pencils/markers. The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson – Why did Jesus preach this message? When bad things happen, why shouldn't we give up? What does it mean to bring heaven to earth? They may come up with their own questions. Draw a picture of yourself being kind to someone.
1. Encourage the children to think about Jesus’ message and how they can make the world a better place where they and others will be blessed.
2. Say the Key Memory Verse together (see above). You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can take home.
3. Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Thank God for sending Jesus to show us how to live so that we can do what is right and be blessed.
This Beatitudes Art Workshop lesson was originally posted by Catherine of the Kirk of Kildaire.