Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

Because our school only meets for the first two weeks of December, I have to cram all four weeks of Advent into two weeks of instructional time.  After my experience taking art with my students last year, which you can read about here, I really wanted to connect prayer and art with my eighth grade students in our celebration of Advent.  A perusal of various pinterest boards got the creative juices flowing, and I combined a bunch of ideas I found online into this one project: paint chip prayer bookmarks.

For this activity you need:

  • a LOT of purple paint chips
  • a fair amount of pink paint chips
  • large index cards or cardstock
  • glue
  • scissors
  • fine tip markers- I really like fine tip Sharpies for this project
  • Bibles

In a five day teaching week, here is how I accomplish the project:

Day One: Prep the craft.  I trim off the words from the paint samples before distributing to the students. Students glue the paint chip to an index card or cardstock and leave it to dry overnight.  We then use the concordance in the class Bibles to look for 3 verses related to that week’s theme.  Week one is hope, week two is peace, week three is joy and week four is love.

Days Two, Three and Four: students write one verse each day during our class prayer time.  We end prayer by going around the room and sharing our verse for that day.

Day Five: Students choose what to do with their bookmark.  If they are keeping the bookmark for their own reflection, they write a prayer for hope, peace, joy and love on the back to match the theme we are studying that week.  If they are gifting their bookmark to someone, they write an encouraging note to that person on the back of the bookmark.

Some years, like this one, I will have to condense and do two themes per week so we can hit all four before they go home on break.  I haven’t decided if I just want to double up each week’s plan or speed up the process so it’s Monday and Tuesday on one virtue and Wednesday and Thursday on the other with Friday as our reflection day for both virtues.  I think I will try both ways and let you know which one works better.

For more ideas like this, please consider liking my Facebook page and following the blog.  Happy almost Advent!

 

 

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