Along with all of the children’s books and storybook Bibles you can find in our Christian Education cabinet, there are a few materials to which I would like to draw your attention. These materials can help you learn about Church seasons and practices, and plan activities, games, and story responses for your students. For ideas about how to lead your students in hearing and responding to Bible stories, check out a list of ideas here. If you need more ideas, categorized by season or story response, you may find them on our Pinterest page. Finally, if you are in a bind and in need of materials on a Sunday morning, you can find materials to be copied in a binder marked Church School Materials for Copying.
Alleluia: Words of Praise by Michael Podesta is a collection of graphic, Scriptural word art. Creating similar art using the words of Scripture makes a fun activity for older children who are of writing age and enjoyable viewing for children of all ages.
A String and a Prayer: How to Use and Make Prayer Beads by Eleanor Wiley and Maggie Oman Shannon is a book that explores the significance of prayer beads for different cultures, offering suggestions on how one might go about creating beads for personal devotion and prayer. Using this book is good for generating ideas, but to lead your students in making Anglican Prayer Beads, check out this resource.
Journey to the Heart: Centering Prayer for Children by Frank X. Jelenek is written to introduce children to the practice of centering prayer. This book may be especially helpful to you if you are thinking about a prayer practice that introduces meditation, stillness, or silence, all things our children will need to practice and learn over time. This could be a great Lenten resource for your class!
Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God by Ellen Morris Prewitt. Use this resource to generate ideas on how to make crosses from collected and found items. Ask them to bring items from home, go outside and find items, mix in items from the supply closet, and allow your students to prayerfully immerse themselves in reflecting on the cross. This book can help you make such an activity a meaningful, prayerful endeavor.
Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God and it’s companion Praying in Color Kid’s Edition both by Sybil MacBeth can help your students immerse themselves in thanksgiving to God and for the gifts of God and intercession for others. These books are a wonderful way to teach children to pray and to welcome children who are not yet of writing age to pray in a new way. Part 3 on Practice gives lots of wonderful ideas that would make great starting places for prayer journals.
Praying with Scripture (Volume 1) is a collection of guided reflections for children that is intended to teach them how to pray with Scripture stories. This book encourages conversation and asks students to see themselves with the pages and narrative of Scripture. Since the stories are limited, if this is a resource that you find helpful, let me know and I will happily purchase some more volumes for your use.
Praying with the Body: Bringing the Psalms to Life by Roy DeLeon, ObiSB offers some exciting opportunities for your students to engage in prayerful body movement. This book encourages creative movement (some prescribed by the book and other movements that might be created by your students). Given that the liturgy is a work that involves our whole bodies and lives, this resource would be a wonderful starting point for a teacher who wants to encourage exploring Biblical stories, songs, prayers from the BCP, or Psalms with body movement. Pair this book with Psalms for Young Children (also in our Christian Education supply closet) to get your students moving and praying!
Writing to God: 40 Days of Praying with my Pen by Rachel G. Hackenberg is a great resource for older children who are of writing age. The book offers a poem written by the author, a liturgical refrain, and a passage of Scripture, followed by a writing prompt. 40 days of such prompts are followed up with prompts for each day of Holy Week making this a excellent companion for Lenten journaling for you or your class. The index at the back of the book lists the Scripture prompts in case you are looking for something specific outside of the Lenten Season.