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LearningCycles series When Jesus Was a Child Creative Activities for Teaching How Jesus Grew Up

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Creative Activities for Teaching How Jesus Grew Up
LearningCycles series
When Jesus Was a Child

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.

Our children grow up so fast – sometimes it seems as if we can see them changing right before our very eyes. Every day, they are learning new things, thinking new thoughts, creating new relationships and finding new ways to make their path in the world. They grow in so many different ways – intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially.

Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus grew in all these ways too – “Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.” He grew in wisdom – intellectually or emotionally. He grew in years –physical development. He grew in divine favor – in his relationship with God; and in human favor – in his relationship with other people. These are the same things we want for our children today.

We have little information about Jesus as a child, only 13 verses in Luke that tell us one story of the child Jesus and give us vague hints of what his childhood and adolescence might have been like. This cycle offers many openings for imaginative conversations about what Jesus could have been like as a child and provides an opportunity to talk about the important ways that we grow and all the areas where we learn, develop and change.

  • Art Workshop – Try a carpentry project as a way to explore what kinds of activities that Jesus might have done as a child.
  • Publishing Workshop – Examine how Jesus and his family likely worshipped based on historical knowledge of Jewish faith traditions and the importance of the Temple.
  • Drama Workshop – Create interviews with people who “knew” Jesus to imagine what everyday life might have been like for Jesus in that time period.
  • Movie Workshop – Watch a video about Jesus in the temple talking with the elders and discuss what it means or feels like to be “lost” and “found.” (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
  • Story Workshop – Trace your bodies and label the ways we grow and hear stories and play games that relate to how we grow.
  • Kitchen Workshop – Create a graham-cracker replica of Herod’s Temple where Jesus and his family would have gone as a way to learn about the layout of the Temple and its importance in Jewish worship.
  • Music Workshop – Sing songs about Jesus and growing up, and think about what other people might have thought or felt about Jesus when he was a child.

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: LR210
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 41 pages
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources
Written by Tracey E. Herzer