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October is a great time to teach about Martin Luther and the Reformation. Here are five ways to help young children understand why the Reformation is so important.
- Talk about Luther’s rose and what the colors and symbols represent. Print off a black-and-white picture of Luther’s rose and have students color accordingly. To make the activity more challenging, older children may use paint and a quill.
- This activity will help children remember Martin Luther and the Ninety-Five Theses. In the construction or blocks-and-building center, provide children with plastic hammers. Put small squares of Velcro in various areas of the center. Laminate long strips of paper, and place small squares of Velcro on the paper. Have children pretend to hammer their paper where the Velcro is provided.
- Spend the week of Reformation coming up with a list of ninety-five things that God created. The teacher can write down the answers, or students can take turns depending on the age level.
- Play Martin Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” for the students. Ask the students, “What are some types of things that protect us and keep us safe?” Show pictures or bring in a few of the following items: an umbrella, a home, police officers, firefighters, sunscreen, sunglasses, toothpaste, winter jacket, and so on. Conclude the lesson by having the children work together to make a class fortress.
- The Catechism Vitamin Jar: vitamins help keep us healthy and strong. Have your students make a vitamin jar that will help nourish their understanding of Christ. Use either empty plastic prescription bottles or plastic jars. Next, decide what components of the Small Catechism you want to include in the vitamin jar based on age appropriateness. Type sentences, print, and cut into strips. Each child can fold the paper to put into their vitamin jar and decorate as desired. This activity is intended to include families as their child’s spiritual development grows. Families are encouraged to have the child select a “vitamin” each night as aspects of the catechism are discussed. The following are a few vitamin examples:
- What is a catechism?
- What is Baptism?
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Why do we say “our Father”?
- What is sin?
- How many commandments are there?
- What is the Bible?
Throughout these activities, help children understand that Martin Luther taught the church how important it was to read and know the Bible. The Bible teaches that Jesus paid for all our sins on the cross, and in Him, we have forgiveness and life forever!
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