The Church Community & Ordinary Time Lesson Plan for 3rd Grade

Key Points  

The church is not a building but a community of people. When we read Scripture, we learn that the church is called to be Christ for others. Ordinary Time is a church season for us to grow in the church community by being Christ in the world.


Liturgical Calendar, community

Opening Discussion

Facilitate a group discussion by asking these questions:

  • Do any of you belong to sport teams or clubs?…… [various answers]
  • What makes you feel part of the team?…… [common goal to play together, improve skills]
  • What is Church?…… [a community of believers; a team of people who believes in Christ]
  • Why do we have a church?…… [to go to Mass, to pray together, and to help each other; just like a sport team the church has a goal and a purpose]
  • If our church burned down tonight, (the building) would we still have a church?…… [Yes!]
  • What is missing CH__ __CH?……[UR–It is a joke!– church is people!!!]

Activity: Finger Play

Teach the “oldie but goodie” finger play:

“Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors and see all the people!

Close the doors and listen to them pray, Open the doors. Live the Gospel today.”

Finger play to teach about church being people

Discuss Ordinary Time

Show a printed church liturgical wheel calendar and ask these questions:

  1. How many months in a year?…… [12]
  2. How many seasons?….. [4]
  3. Did you know the Church has seasons?
  4. What are the 2 main Church seasons?….. [Advent & Lent]
  5. When do they occur?….. [before the 2 main holidays of Christmas & Easter–so they help us get ready for those holidays]
  6. What are the Church seasonal colors?….blue=[Advent];purple=[Lent];green=[Ordinary]
  7. What color do you see the most?….. green=[Ordinary Time]

We will now learn how Jesus commanded the church to live during Ordinary Time

Scripture: Matthew 25:35-40

Pull out your Bibles and read Matthew 25: 35-40 as a class.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous[a] will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:35-40

Discuss the key points of the Scripture:

  • It calls the church to help others.
  • We need to be Jesus for others.
  • The ways to do this are through the actions listed which are officially called the Corporal Works of Mercy.

The Church and Corporal Works of Mercy

Review the Corporal Works of Mercy and how your church lives them out. Many of these ministries happen during Ordinary Time. An easy way to do this is to list the Corporal Works of Mercy on the whiteboard and then list next to them what ministries your church does to fulfill that Corporal Work of Mercy. Explain that many of these ministries happen during Ordinary Time.


If your church has paper bulletins, have the students search the bulletin for ministries that live out the Corporal Works of Mercy.

Activity: People of the Church Paper Chain Poster

Use the template printed on legal sized paper for an easy way to create a people chain

Use the template and the directions on this post to learn how to guide your students in making a paper chain of people at church. Ask them to personalize the silhouettes to make the people into family members, friends, priests, and church volunteers.

Use the finished paper chain people to create a fun community-building poster on black tag board. Hang the poster somewhere for the entire church community to see.

Closing Prayer

Say this prayer together and then follow with the Our Father.

Email to Families

At class this week we will talk about the purpose of the Catholic Church (see Matthew 25:35-40), the Church Liturgical year, and what the Catholic Church does during Ordinary Time to administer the needs of others.

We will make a paper people chain of church people to show that the church is a community following Jesus’ words.  Look for it hanging in the church commons.

Questions for the car ride home:

  • What does our church do to help others in the community?
  • How can our family help our church with its various ministries out in the community?

Spread the word
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