FAITH QUEST

 

The Beatitudes

 

Antioch Arcade

 

Scripture:  Matthew 5: 1-12

 

Memory Verse/Key Verse:  “Pay attention, my children! Follow my advice, and you will be happy.”  Proverbs 8:32 (CEV)

 

Concepts:      

·        God blesses those who follow Jesus.

·        We are disciples devoted to God, when we do God's will.

·        When we do God's will, we feel God's blessings.

 

Objectives:    

1.      Older children will locate the Beatitudes in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the passage is in Matthew.

2.      The children will read or hear the passage.

3.      The class will play Beatitudes Bingo to reinforce their familiarity with the Beatitudes and to learn the meanings of unfamiliar words and phrases.

4.      The class will discuss what it means to be a disciple and to be blessed.

 

Procedure:                        

Welcome and Introductions:

1.      Greet the children and introduce yourself.

 

2.      Open with a brief prayer (optional, as they have just prayed in Great Hall).

 

3.      Explain the purpose of this workshop. “Today we’re going to play a game to help us to learn about the Beatitudes.”

 

Scripture/Bible Story:

1.      Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible (Contemporary English Version). The shepherds will have extra Bibles. 

 

2.      Help the students to find the book of Matthew. Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this. Many of the children will already know the four Gospels. If necessary, remind them that the Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. Ask whether Matthew is in the Old or New Testament (It tells about Jesus so it’s in the New Testament). Make sure everyone knows that Matthew is the first book in the New Testament.

 

After they’ve found Matthew, help them find chapter 5, verse 1. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.

 

3.      Read or review the passage. With older children, you might let them take turns reading the verses. With younger children in the early weeks, tell them to listen carefully while you read it and count how many times they hear something and they’re not sure what it means. In later weeks, with younger children you might begin each Beatitude and let them finish it.

 

The Beatitudes (CEV):

 

1          When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the side of a mountain and sat down.

Jesus’ disciples gathered around him, 2 and he taught them:

3          God blesses those people who depend only on him. They belong to the kingdom of heaven!

4           God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort!

5          God blesses those people who are humble. The earth will belong to them!

6          God blesses those people who want to obey him more than to eat or drink. They will be given what they want!

7          God blesses those people who are merciful. They will be treated with mercy!

8          God blesses those people whose hearts are pure. They will see him!

9           God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called his children!

10        God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right. They belong to the kingdom of heaven.

11       God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago.

 

Application:

 

Grades 3-5: Beatitudes Bingo:

Tell the children to close their Bibles. Pass out the bingo cards and counters (beans, buttons, or other small objects). The “Beatitudes” square in the middle of all the cards is free, so tell all the children to cover it with a counter. Have questions on slips of paper in a bowl. Explain:

 

“I’m going to draw questions out of this bowl. When I call out a question, look on your card and see if you see the answer to the question. Most of the questions are fill-in-the-blanks, where I’ll read part of one of the Beatitudes and you have to fill in the missing words. If you think you have the answer on your card, raise your hand.”

 

As you ask each question, call on someone to answer it. If that person gets it wrong, keep taking answers until someone gets it right. Then everyone who has the correct answer on their card should cover it with a counter. Discuss the answer with the class before going on to the next question. The purpose of the game is to provide opportunities to teach the vocabulary and meaning of the Beatitudes, so try to cover all the discussion points.

 

Tell the children: “When you cover five squares in a row, call out ‘Beatitudes.’” When that happens, don’t end the game; keep playing until you’ve used all the questions. By the end, most players should have completed a row. Optional: Give small prize, such as a sticker, bookmark or pencil, to the players as they finish – and to any players who haven’t covered a row when you run out of questions.

 

Questions, discussion points and bingo cards are at the end of the lesson plan.

 

Grades 1-2: Play the game and discuss the answers as above, but write each answer on the white board so the non-readers can find it on their cards. Have the shepherds go around and help the kids. If the questions are too hard, use the multiple-choice option.

 

Reflection Time: (10:30)

1.      Recite the Bible memory verse learned in the Great Hall. “Pay attention, my children! Follow my advice, and you will be happy.” -- Proverbs 8:32

 

2.      Discuss: In the Beatitudes, Jesus gives his followers advice on how to live. What are some of the things he tells them to do? (depend on God, be humble, obey God, be merciful, make peace, do what’s right even when people treat you badly for it, etc.)

Jesus tells his followers that when they live that way, God will bless them. What do you think “bless” means? (make happy, bring good things).

 

Who was Jesus talking to? (His disciples—the special 12 and a crowd of his followers) When we follow Jesus, we are his disciples too.

 

Jesus says that God blesses us even if we are insulted and mistreated because we try to follow Jesus. Do you feel happy when you’re mistreated? (No) So sometimes even when we don’t feel happy, we still have God’s blessing. It is always a blessing to be a disciple of Jesus, even when we can’t see or feel the blessing right away.

  ...

3. Hand out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. (TIP: Fill in the “workshop” blanks ahead of time; otherwise, the children will spend the entire journal time spelling out “Antioch Arcade.”) Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento – maybe one of the bingo counters -- to paste in their journal as a reminder of the workshop.

 

Tell the children to choose one of the Beatitudes and write or draw a picture of how they can follow it this week. Examples: Be humble by going last in line to recess or by not bragging. Be merciful by forgiving someone who does something mean. Make peace by being friendly to someone you’ve argued with. Encourage them to think of specific people and specific actions they can take.

 

Extra Activity:

Grades 3-5: If you have time, introduce the class to the traditional wording of the Beatitudes using the New Revised Standard Version (see end of lesson plan). Have them open their CEV Bibles again to Matthew 5.

Explain: “The Bible was not originally written in English; the books of the Bible were written in two different ancient languages. The book of Matthew was written in Greek. When we read the Bible, we are reading an English translation. Today we read the Beatitudes from the Contemporary English Version, which translates the ancient Greek language into very modern English. The more traditional English translations use different words to say the same thing. Let’s see if you can recognize the Beatitudes in a more traditional English version.”

 

Read each traditional Beatitude out loud and let the children try to match it to its CEV counterpart.

OR, cut the passage apart so each Beatitude is on a separate strip of paper. Let volunteers draw a strip, read the traditional Beatitude and match it to its CEV counterpart.

Closing:

Ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer. Suggestion: Choose some verses from this prayer based on the Beatitudes. With younger children you might use just the last verse.

 


Lord Jesus, I am happy
When you are by my side.
You are my friend and teacher
My helper and my guide.

 

Comfort me, dear Jesus,
When I am feeling sad.
Let your love surround me,
Help me to be glad.

 

Teach me to be kind, Lord.
And I will grow like you,
Helping those who are in need;
Serving, as you would do.

 

When I follow you, Lord,
You make everything all right.
You make me feel so happy.
You fill me with delight.

 

When others are unkind,
In what they say or do,
Help me to forgive them, Lord,
Before the day is through.

 

Lord, help my eyes to look to you,
My hands to do your will.
Teach my ears to hear your word,
And my heart to love you still.

 

When others get upset, Lord,
Let my words, I pray,
Bring peace and happiness
To make a better day.

 

Lord, no matter what my friends say,
No matter what they do,
Give me strength to always say,
"I will follow you!"


 

Prayer by Jacqueline Weber, published in The Beatitudes by Alan and Linda Parry, Prayers with Bears Series. Source: Catholic Curriculum Online.

 

Teacher preparation in advance:

 

1.      Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.      Prepare opening and closing prayers.

3.      Gather supplies and cut apart the Bingo cards and questions. If you plan to use the extra activity, have those materials ready as well.



Supply List

 

Pencils (in supply bin; the shepherds also have pencils)

Dry-erase marker (in supply bin)

Journal sheets (Marcia Hale will deliver the first week)

Bingo cards

Bingo questions, cut apart

Bowl for bingo questions

Bingo counters (beans or other small items)

Memory verse written large to display on wall

Masking tape for posting memory verse

Memento for journal (optional)

Traditional Beatitudes for optional extra activity

 


Traditional Beatitudes (NRSV)

 

 

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

 

 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

 

 

 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

 

 

 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

 

 

 

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

 

 

 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

 

 

 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

 

 

 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

 

 

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Beatitudes Bingo Questions

 

 

Finish this verse:

God blesses those people who depend only on God. They belong to the ________.

 


Answer: kingdom of heaven


Multiple-choice option:

Kingdom of Israel

Kingdom of heaven

Kingdom of Narnia


 

Discuss: (Note to leader: skip this discussion point if you have already drawn the other question in which “kingdom of heaven” is used).

What do we usually think of when we hear the word heaven? (Place you go when you die to be with God.) When Jesus says “kingdom of heaven,” it’s the same as saying the “kingdom of God.” It’s not something we find when we die, it’s the world right now in this life. When we depend on and trust God, follow Jesus’ teachings and try to live the way Jesus lived, we are working toward making life on earth right now the kingdom of heaven.

 

Finish this verse:

God blesses those people who grieve. They will find ________________!


Answer: Comfort.

 


Multiple-choice option:

Money

Treasure

Comfort


 

Discuss: What does “grieve” mean? (To feel sad) What are some things that can make people grieve? (Death of a person or a pet, having a friend move away, etc.) When Jesus said God comforts people who grieve, he might have been talking about people who had lost a loved one or had something sad happen to him. He also might have been talking about people who were sad about all the things that are wrong with the world and all the ways in which people don’t act as though they’re living in the kingdom of God.


Finish this verse:

God blesses those people who are humble. The ___________ will belong to them!


Answer: earth

 


Multiple-choice option:

Earth

Sun

Kingdom


 

Discuss: What does “humble” mean? (not proud or haughty, not showing off or bragging, admitting when you’re wrong, not thinking you’re better than other people)

 

Finish this verse:

God blesses those people who want to obey him more than to ____________. They will be given what they want!


Answer: eat or drink

 


Multiple-choice option:

Laugh or play

Eat or drink

Dance or sing


 

 

Finish this verse:

God blesses those people who are merciful. They will be treated with ____________!


Answer: mercy


Multiple-choice option:

Mercy

Respect

Comfort


Discuss: What does “merciful” mean? (Being kind, forgiving, compassionate, sometimes even toward people who have done something wrong and don’t deserve kind treatment.) We all need mercy sometimes, from other people and from God, so we need to show mercy ourselves.


Finish this verse:

God blesses those people whose hearts are _______. They will see God!


Answer: pure.

 


Multiple-choice option:

Healthy

Strong

Pure


 

Discuss: What do you think a “pure heart” is? (Loving God and other people, wanting to do what’s right)

 

Finish this verse:

God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called ____________!




Answer: God’s children

 


Multiple-choice option:

God’s children

Angels

Good people


 

Discuss: What is “peace”? (Not fighting or arguing) Sometimes we need to make peace with people we’re mad at, and sometimes we can make peace by helping other people get along with each other.

 

In Bible passage that tells us the Beatitudes, who is talking?

 


Answer: Jesus

 


Multiple-choice option:

Jesus

Matthew

Moses


 

 

 


Finish this verse:

God blesses those people who are treated badly for ____________. They belong to the kingdom of heaven.


Answer: doing right

 


Multiple-choice option:

Talking

Doing right

Being smart


 

Discuss: (Note to leader: skip this discussion point if you have already drawn the other question in which “kingdom of heaven” is used).

What do we usually think of when we hear the word heaven? (Where you go when you die to be with God.) When Jesus says “kingdom of heaven,” it’s the same as saying the “kingdom of God.” It’s not something we find when we die, it’s the world right now in this life. When we depend on and trust God, follow Jesus’ teachings and try to live the way Jesus lived, we are working toward making life on earth right now the kingdom of heaven.

 

Finish this verse:

God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the ____________ who lived long ago.

 


Answer: prophets

 


Multiple-choice option:

Ancestors

Preachers

Prophets


 

Discuss: What does “insult” mean? (to say something mean, to hurt somebody’s feelings.) What does “mistreat” mean? (to treat badly, to abuse, to hurt, to be mean to somebody.)

What’s a prophet? (somebody who brings a message from God.) The Bible tells lots of stories about prophets who brought messages from God telling people what they were doing wrong. The people didn’t want to hear the truth, and they punished the prophets for speaking the truth.

 

 

In what book of the Bible do we find the Beatitudes?

 


Answer: Matthew

 


Multiple-choice option:

Matthew

Mark

John