Summary of Lesson Activities:
Learn about how Jesus teaches us the Beatitudes in the Bible; play games that reinforce being kind and loving others.
For scripture and objectives - see above.
- Read the scripture for this lesson.
- Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
- Gather the materials.
- Two or three different Bibles to show the children (preferable different color and size)
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Open with a prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Whenever it is appropriate (after music) gather children in a circle on the rug. Show them a Bible (one that has the word “Bible” on it, in large letters).
Say: I have some books to show you today.
- Ask: What can you tell me about this book? (color, size, etc.) Some of the children (especially the older children) may recognize the word “Bible”.
Say: This book is a Bible. We can read stories about Jesus in this Bible.
Show them a different Bible – one that is different in color or size. Repeat process of asking how they would describe the book. Identify it as another Bible.
Say: You noticed lots of differences about these Bibles. Even though they may look different on the outside – they all tell us about Jesus. They all tell us that Jesus loves us. I am happy to know that we have the Bible, which is full of stories about Jesus. Do you know that in the Bible we can read about Jesus teaching us? We just learned about Jesus being born but now we’ll learn about when Jesus was a young man and Jesus taught us “the Beatitudes”. The Beatitudes teach us how we should act towards each other.
Read the story from one of the story Bibles or storybooks. As the Rotation progresses, ask the students to tell you the story they’ve been hearing.
Say: Jesus taught us the Beatitudes so we would know how to treat other people.
- Ask: What is something you learned from this Bible story? (work towards idea of being kind and loving, but accept all responses that reinforce any of the Beatitudes)
Say: Let’s play some games that help us learn the Beatitudes.
Jesus Says:(variation on “Simon Says)
Have the students stand where they can see you. Give instructions that the children are to follow only if you precede your instructions with the words “Jesus says”. Example: “Jesus says give someone a pat on the back.” (An instruction they would follow); whereas they should ignore “hit someone”.
Examples of phrases: give someone a hug, tell someone you’re glad they are here, have a group hug, say I’m glad you’re my friend, ask would you like to play, etc.
Note: No one is out of the game if they goof up. Play until interest wanes.
Have children sit in a circle. Say: In this game we’ll toss a beanbag to each other. When you catch the beanbag tell us one way that Jesus wants us to act. You may need to provide prompts such as “I am kind when I… help mom, play with my sister, share with my brother, and feed the dog. Or, I help other people when… Or I am loving when I … Or I can share by… Note: Might need to say: the Beatitudes instruct us to be kind. How can we be kind while playing this game? (not throwing beanbag too hard, saying person’s name before tossing it to them)
Gather the children standing in a circle. Choose one person to stand in the middle of the circle. Toss them the ball.
Say: The Beatitudes teach us to bee kind and loving. We’re going to pretend to be bumble bees as we practice being bee-ing kind and loving.
Have the students circle around the person in the middle (buzzing of course!). Then when you say, “let’s show God’s love to name of child”, everyone goes into the middle and hugs that child. Have students gather into circle again and allow that child to toss the ball to choose the next child. Continue until all have had a chance to be hugged.
Say: The Bible tells us how Jesus wants us to live. In the story in the Bible called the Beatitudes, Jesus teaches us to be kind and loving. When we live as Jesus taught in the Beatitudes, we can be truly happy.
Ask children if they have anything they would like to pray for. Include these requests in your prayer. Optional words: “Dear God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for teaching us through the Bible. Be with us as we grow and learn. Help us remember to live as you taught us. Amen”
- The Preschool Worker’s Encyclopedia of Bible Teaching Ideas: New Testament. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2001.
A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First United Methodist
Ann Arbor, MI
If you use this lesson, please be humble and give the author credit - include the following two lines:
Hulbert, Carol. “The Beatitudes for Preschoolers.” 2004.
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