This is my 13th year of teaching Lent to third graders, and I’m in need of some fresh new projects and activities for my students. While I will still use my usual activities—they will still be new to this group of third graders—I have realized that adding new activities and projects helps keep me engaged and challenged.
This year I will include my usual Ash Wednesday video that shows photos of our foreheads after receiving ashes. We will also participate in CRS Rice Bowl. I have been encouraged by Pope Francis’s message to create a “culture of encounter” during Lent. To do my part in creating this culture, I will share the videos that CRS produces to help my students understand the people who they help through CRS Rice Bowl and how Catholic social teaching is being applied. I will also give my students the suggested meatless recipes from each country to take home. Every year, some of the students’ families try out the recipes.
With my usual Lenten activities set, I am ready to begin my hunt for new ideas.
I went to Pinterest and typed “Lent for children” in the search box, and many ideas were displayed. One idea that popped up reminded me of all the Lent and Easter picture books I have in my classroom. A popular Christmas activity is to read an Advent or Christmas picture book every day in Advent. One blogger pulled together a Lenten and Easter picture book to read for every day in Lent. I recognized many titles, some of which I might want to add to my bookshelf.
I also discovered a global Lent project with other classrooms called Living Lent with Love. In this project, classrooms from around the country challenge one another to do a local activity of love. We may be making cards for the elderly in a nursing home or picking up trash in a local park. I can’t wait to see what challenge we get!
What projects and activities do you have planned for Lent?
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