Ash Wednesday is fast approaching, and while I have my own goals for this Lent, I also seek to guide the Lenten experiences of my students. I have some classroom activities in place that we do each Lent (you can see many of them under the Church Year tab), but I tend to create something new each year to help the students' individual prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Last year it was these student created lists based on the Works of Mercy, and another year it was focused on the Stations of the Cross. This year I wanted to challenge the students to pray, fast, and give each day.
I created a printable that easily makes three pockets to hold ideas for these three marks of Lent. I also brainstormed a list of possible kid-friendly ways they can pray, fast, and give. You (or your kids) could also create your own ideas and write them on small cards or strips of paper. I would suggest that then each child pulls one idea from each pocket each morning and has the goal of completing that sacrifice or prayer by the end of the day. Then, the next morning, they choose three new things. I think this short term focus can help them be successful over the course of the long 40 days, and it also can stretch them in a new way each day, leaving room for the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts.
Here's how to make the foldable:
***Update! Printables also available in Spanish! Español (Folder here and idea strips here)***
1. Print both the Lent foldable and Pray, Fast, Give ideas. (Links to pdfs at bottom of post.) The Lent page should be printed back to front (you can run it back through your printer if you don't have two sided capability). The "Pray, Fast, Give" side should be printed upside down relative the the "Lent" side. I recommend printing on cardstock if possible. Color if desired.
2. Fold up the bottom of the "Pray, Fast, Give" side along the dotted line. My printer didn't print quite to the edge, so I also trimmed off the extra space along the bottom.
3. Then I stapled two staples on each side and two staples in between the three pockets. The nice thing is that a standard stapler will easily reach that far in, so no bending or weird folding necessary.
4. Cut out the "Pray, Fast, Give" suggestions (or create your own). I would recommend cutting out all the prayer ideas, then all the give ideas, etc. so that they don't get mixed up. Parents and teachers, this is an opportunity for you to pull out any of the suggestions that may not be appropriate to your children's situation, age, etc. There are also three blank strips for the students to add their own ideas.
5. Add the selected strips to the correct pockets. Hang up the Pray, Fast, Give printable on the fridge, or above a desk, or on a chalkboard and have the kids draw the prayer and sacrifice they will offer each day.
Click here for the Pray, Fast, Give Foldable:
Click here for the Pray, Fast, Give ideas:
Click here for a Lent: Pray, Fast, Give coloring page:
Click here for a Lent coloring page:
ideas for Lent here. What are you planning to do for Lent in your homes and classrooms?