As we head into Lent, it's good to reflect and teach our students what these days before Easter are really about. Let's face it, sometimes kids get focused on "giving up" something and that's as far as they go in their thinking. They have no idea why they are doing it.
So what is the point of Lent? Put simply, Lent is a time we give things up that distract us from God. Filling that time back up with focus on God helps us as we lean on God to get us through our "desert".
preparing our hearts for Easter
Imitating Jesus in his 40 days in the desert
developing self-mastery and self-control
re-aligning our lives and our plans with God's plan
making more room for God in our everyday lives
prayer + fasting + almsgiving
penance or making amends
and much more
Here's a simple way to teach younger students to make more room for God in their daily lives. Flat Jesus. Remember Flat Stanley? Well, take it a bit further and have your students make Flat Jesus. Flat Jesus can go with them everywhere during Lent. Children can chat with Him, share him with others and just enjoy hanging out and spending time with Him. Imagine that!
If your students are giving something up, they can talk with Flat Jesus about their struggles to stay on track with their commitment.
If you students are choosing to do something for Lent (be more forgiving, volunteer to help others, etc...), your students can bring Flat Jesus along to remind them why they are doing these things.
Flat Jesus can also be used to share Jesus with others. Students can make an extra one and mail it to a relative, family friend or neighbor. Flat Jesus can be shared with parents- "Take Jesus to work with you today. He can stay in your bag but know he's there for you."
to spend time with Jesus regularly
to turn to Jesus when they need help
to enjoy Jesus' company
to talk with Jesus throughout the day
how to evangelize
I don't know about you, but I think that's a win. I'm praying God pours his blessings upon you and your students this Lent.
Want 2 printable patterns? Grab them here. There are two options included: trace, cut and piece together or just cut out and color. Have fun with it!
Every teacher wants their students to become committed readers. Here's a simple "how to" cheat sheet you can provide to help PARENTS support their kids in their reading journey. I call it the Sneaky Parent's Guide to Growing Readers because it's filled with loving, savvy tips to make reading feel fun and desirable.