Summary of Lesson Activities:
Role-play situations – practice living the Beatitudes – to be helping friends who are kind to one another.
For scripture and objectives - see above.
- Read the scripture for this lesson.
- Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
- Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
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. Allow them to respond to the following questions. (Try to give everyone a chance to participate):
- Ask: Who can tell me an example of being kind?
What about examples of being unkind?
Say: It is not kind to call someone names or say mean words. It’s much nicer to be around people who are kind.
- Ask: Maybe something happens by accident – you bump into someone but don’t mean to do so. What can you do when something like that happens? (saying sorry) Can you think of any other situations where kind words are helpful? (example: kind words help when people are angry or upset)
Say: Today we’re learning that the Bible teaches us about being kind. The Bible tells us how God wants us to live. The story in the Bible that teaches us about being kind is called “the Beatitudes”.
Have the children say the word “Beatitudes”.
Say: Jesus taught us the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are instructions on how we should live. When we live as Jesus taught in the Beatitudes, we can be truly happy.
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.
Take a minute to talk to the children about what they are going to be doing today.
- Ask: How many of you like to act out stories?
Say: Let’s do some pretending. You can all have a chance to act out a story. You can decide if you are going to act in a way that shows living as Jesus taught, or not following Jesus’ instructions.
Clear space in front of the group (or move to a different part of the room). Read a skit to the group. You may need to talk about the skit a bit as a group, so everyone understands it. Then ask two students to act out the situation. You can do this in several ways:
- Have them first enact how a situation should not be handled, and then act out a second time as Jesus would want us to respond. (First skit below details the two ways a skit could go.)
- Let the two students decide if they want to act out the situation in such a way that follows the Beatitudes, or does not follow them.
- A variation on the above, is that the two actors secretly choose a way to act, and the rest of the group decides if their skit is following the Beatitudes or not.
- After each skit, discuss how it applies to living life as Jesus taught us in the Beatitudes.
Choose as many as you have time for, or for as long as the children are interested.
- Two friends are having a play date. They are trying to decide what they should do. Example of not living the Beatitudes: one insists on always choosing what they should do. Example of living the Beatitudes: they both share ideas and listen to each other. Sometimes they give in to each other.
- Your friend gets mad at you and says mean words that hurt your feelings.
Example of living the Beatitudes: count to ten in your head, walk away to cool off, etc.
- Your brother is sick in bed.
- Your sister lost her favorite doll.
- There is a new student in class.
- Your next-door neighbor is a grandmother. She doesn’t have many visitors. She seems lonely.
- Your mom is really tired and there are toys all over the floor.
- A child in your class is frustrated because they can’t get their coat on.
- You and your friend are building Lego’s. Your friend needs a certain Lego that is out of her reach but close to you.
- Your class is on a field trip. It’s cold, but you’re ok because you have a coat and a sweater. There is one child who has no coat and is only wearing a t-shirt.
- Ask the children to think of some situations to act out.
Have each child tell you one thing they can do this week to be kind.
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”
Part of a set of 5 workshops for preschoolers (ages 3-5) 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.
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.