Teaching Ideas : Lent Temptations
You can use the period between Shrove Tuesday and Easter to introduce the class to a range of themes illustrating what happened to Jesus when he was tempted by devil in the desert.
The children can select some of their own targets to avoid temptations at school and home to improve their social and academic skills.
Spend time teaching the class about what happened to Jesus in the lead up to Easter when he was tempted three times by the devil. You can read older children verses from one of the Gospels in the New Testament to explore the sequence of events. Some children can be supported by getting them to act out scenes from the story to illustrate what happened and how Jesus responded to the devil’s temptations. The class could make comic strips or flip books to show their understanding and the main themes in the story. The children could also try making some stained glass windows using black sugar and coloured tissue paper to show one of the three temptations which can then be displayed on the classroom windows.
You can allocate some time in English lessons to help the children identify and define the meanings of important vocabulary from the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. Provide some older children with a copy of the verses from a Gospel in the New Testament to identify and collect vocabulary. Other children can be supported by giving them a list of important words from the story. Get the class to produce crosswords to define the meaning of the words that they have collected. The children can write sentence clues for someone to identify vocabulary that can complete parts of the crossword. Everyone in the class can swap and try complete each other’s crosswords.
Spend time discussing with the class some of the issues or behaviour that might prevent everyone from learning effectively in the classroom such as shouting out answers to questions or chatting during classwork. Work with the children to select a resolution for the whole class to follow during Lent. Ask the class to suggest ways of avoiding being tempted by others to break the resolution such as reminding classmates of the resolution to only talk about the activity when working together. You can reward the children by getting the class to select an activity to complete if everyone has achieved the resolution by the end of Lent such as an extra PE lesson or an afternoon watching a favourite cartoon film. Use a display board at the front of the classroom to remind the children about the selected resolution. Allocate some time at the end of the day for the class to evaluate how well they have followed the resolution when working.
You can also challenge the class to select a temptation to avoid when at home such as eating no sweets or watching less television. Encourage the children to select achievable targets that they would be able to achieve over a short period of time and not for the whole period of Lent. Allocate some time during the week to get some children to share how well they have managed to avoid the selected temptations at home. Help the class discuss how to keep to their resolutions and avoid any temptations and how these same skills can be applied to other areas of their life.
Allow the children to share their ideas about temptation by planning and composing stories about what happened when a character was tempted by a friend to do something wrong. Split the class into pairs and get them to create flowcharts to show alternatives ways for their stories to develop if the character is or isn’t tempted a by a friend. The children can use one path through their flowcharts to help construct and write their stories. The completed stories can be turned into books to place in the school library alongside a special display about Lent.
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