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LearningCycles series Twelve Who Changed the World Creative Activities for Teaching about Jesus' Disciples

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Creative Activities for Teaching about Jesus' Disciples
LearningCycles series
Twelve Who Changed the World

The LearningCycles series offers a creative approach to faith formation based on different learning styles, appropriate for K-5th graders.  Each LearningCycles unit generally includes seven workshops: Art, Story & Games, Drama & Activity, Music, Kitchen, Movie, and Publishing.  This series works well for whole family/intergenerational catechesis and is a great basis for grandparent camps or other vacation bible schools.

For centuries, people have examined the lives of the twelve who were said to have been closest to Jesus. These disciples that Jesus called together for a common purpose were from very different backgrounds, but for all their differences and for whatever arguments they may have had, the fact remains that (with the exception of Judas) they took all they had learned at the feet of their master and spread his message far and wide.

When Jesus said, “Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” he was calling very ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He asked them to love one another as he loved them and, in so doing, to be an example to others. He promised he would never leave them alone and that they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus says the same thing to us.

  • Art Workshop – Make sand art and learn about one of the sacred symbols of early Christians—the fish—as a way to explore the question, “How do we know that someone is a disciple?”
  • Publishing Workshop – Divide into teams, learn about the different disciples, and share research findings with the class.
  • Drama Workshop – Re-create the story of Jesus calling the fishermen, using their bodies to make a scripture machine.
  • Movie Workshop – Watch a video about Jesus and the disciples and talk about the ordinary people that Jesus chose to be his followers and closest friends. (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
  • Story Workshop – Hear the stories of Jesus and the disciples, and play games to learn more about who they were.
  • Kitchen Workshop – Bake and decorate fish-shaped cookies with 12 different kinds of toppings. Ask what it means to “fish for people.” 
  • Music Workshop – Sing songs about the disciples and work on learning the names of all 12.

Click to find additional resources for use with this unit.

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This reproducible eResource is sold with a lifetime license for use within a parish, school, or diocesan office. You are allowed to make unlimited copies for use within your own community. You may also email these to members of your team or participants in your program. If you serve more than one parish or school, each should purchase its own license. You may not post our eResources to any web site without explicit permission to do so. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for cooperating with our honor system regarding our product licenses.

Format: eResource
Product code: LR215
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 40 pages
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources
Written by Tracey E. Herzer