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.
Some of Jesus’ most well-known words can be found in the “Sermon on the Mount,” when Jesus addresses a crowd in Matthew 5:1-7; 27 (and echoed in the very similar “Sermon on the Plain” in Luke’s Gospel). The themes or teachings laid out by Jesus in these stories, commonly known as the Beatitudes, offer a whole new way of thinking about God and each other.
Jesus turns our expectations upside down in the Beatitudes as he makes it clear who is “blessed”—the poor, the powerless, the down-trodden, the sad, the people who work for peace. This LearningCycle provides an opportunity to talk with children about the difference between God’s values and the values sometimes illustrated in our society. Being meek, poor in Spirit, merciful and pure of heart are not generally thought to be the most important or valuable in today’s world. We tend to value strength, power, wealth, and cleverness, but in the Beatitudes, we are reminded that the Kingdom of God that we are called to build here and now doesn’t often look like the kingdoms of the world.
- Art Workshop – Create and use a blessing cup to think about how we can be mindful of our blessings and share them.
- Publishing Workshop – Divide into teams and brainstorm a modern interpretation of the Beatitudes and how they might be communicated in today’s world.
- Drama Workshop – Act out scenarios of blessing and talk about what it means to be blessed.
- Movie Workshop – Watch a video interpreting the Beatitudes and discuss what they saw and how they might find echoes of the Beatitudes in their day-to-day lives. (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
- Story Workshop – Hear stories about the characteristics explained in the Beatitudes and create a “Blessing Book:” to explore ways that we might treat each other.
- Kitchen Workshop – Create “Beatitude Cookies,” which look much like fortune cookies and talk about the difference between blessings and good luck.
- Music Workshop – Sing songs about blessings as a way to reflect and pray with the theme.
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|Dimensions:||8½" x 11"|
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources