Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Prayer Experiences {The Multiple Intelligences in Religious Education}



This fall I've been sharing ideas about teaching kids with all different kinds of strengths. Back in this post I explained the background of the Multiple Intelligence theory and why I think it naturally has a place in Religious Education classrooms.  Providing each child we teach with an encounter with Christ in line with his or her unique dignity is something all educators should be striving for.  In this post, I decided to round up some ideas for creating prayer experiences that would cater to each of the eight smarts. 

Below I provide just a few ideas under each intelligence that could help you provide unique prayer experiences for your students.  Most could be adapted for various ages.  Let the needs and talents of your individual students be your guide!  (If I have additional resources for a specific activity, a link is provided in purple within the lists.)  Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments!

Picture Smart Kids (Visual-Spatial Intelligence)
-Create artwork while listening to a Bible Story or hymn or use a coloring page to memorize a new Bible verse
-Make a smash prayer journal to collect prayer cards, pictures, notes, and lists to help focus prayer time
-Illustrate the Mysteries of the Rosary and create a booklet

Word Smart Kids (Linguistic Intelligence)
-Start a prayer journal and write out prayers to God, reflections, thanksgivings, and intentions
-Compose an original prayer and read it for the class or family
-Memorize a new prayer like the Angelus, the Memorare, the Hail Holy Queen, or the Anima Christi

Body Smart Kids (Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence)
-Learn a prayer in sign language and teach the motions to someone else
-Choreograph movements to a favorite praise and worship song
-Learn to use Pope Francis’ Five Finger prayer or this similar version
-Incorporate movement during prayer, like moving beads on a Rosary, untying knots while praying the Our Lady Undoer of Knots Novena, adding a stone to a prayer jar, lighting candles, etc.

People Smart Kids (Interpersonal Intelligence)
-Create a prayer intention board posted in the classroom or home with a list of people who need prayers
-Volunteer to visit the homebound or sick to pray with them
-Interview a class or family about their favorite Saints and organize a litany
-Set up prayer partners among a group of people

Self Smart Kids (Intrapersonal Intelligence)
-Create a quiet prayer corner for the home or classroom with a Bible, religious art, a statue, etc.
-Try the Lectio Divina method of studying Scripture
-Create a prayer box as a place for a class or family to collect intentions

Music Smart Kids (Musical Intelligence)
-Explore different types of liturgical music like Gregorian chant, hymns, or praise and worship
-Learn to sing or play a new prayer
-Set the words of a favorite prayer or Bible verse to an original tune

Nature Smart Kids (Natural Intelligence)
-Help with landscaping around the church or parish property
-Research and plant a Mary Garden as a place of prayer
-Visit an outdoor shrine or Stations of the Cross or go on a Rosary walk in the neighborhood

Number Smart Kids (Logical/Mathematical Intelligence)
-Create word puzzles about memorized prayers, trade with a friend and solve
-Collect and count the prayers for a Spiritual Bouquet for a specific cause
-Research the history of the Rosary and the significance of the number of prayers it contains

Click here for a printable handout with these ideas for teaching prayer to all the multiple intelligences:

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