This 1st grade Greatest Commandment lesson uses the Greatest Commandment as a way to help students learn more about Jesus. Jesus is God’s special son who taught us how to live. The Greatest Commandment focuses on how Jesus taught us that we need to do all things in love.
Lead a class discussion using these prompts:
- Who was Jesus?….. [God’s son]
- What was the most important message from Jesus. In other words what did he teach us?….. [He taught us how to live and how to take care of each other.]
- How did He do this?….. [He taught us the Commandments]
- What is a Commandment?….. [a special rule from God that we need to always follow]
- To sum up all the Commandments He taught us the Law of Love which is the Greatest Commandment. Do you know what this is?….. [answers will vary]
- Since we are unsure of the exact wording this special Commandment where can read it from? …(where is God’s written word?)….. [in the Bible]
But before we read it from the Bible let’s take a look at a picture together to learn a little bit more about Jesus
Artwork: Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch
Show this Google slide full size and ask students the prompts
Scripture: The Greatest Commandment
Open your Bible to Mark 12:30-31 and read the Greatest Commandment out loud to your class
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Discuss the Greatest Commandment
Draw a big heart on white board and fill it in with the words of the Greatest Commandment. Then draw another heart next to it, and write the simplified version of “Love God” & “Love others”.
Where are your heart, mind and soul?
Ask the kids to:
- Point to their heart! (easy)
- Point to their mind! (easy)
- Point to their soul….where is it? Is it an actual part inside your body? Then explain
- it is an invisible part of us
- it connects us to God
- it makes us different from animals
- it gives us power to understand how to do good
Say the Greatest Commandment together as a class and have everyone point to their heart, mind and soul as you say those particular body parts. Tell them it means that every fiber in our body needs to love God fiercely and deeply.
What does Love mean?
Ask the kids about how we show love to God and love to others? Write their responses on the white board. Some possible responses are:
- Go to church
- Read Bible
- Believe in God’s power
- Be nice
- Be kind
- Be understanding
- Do kind acts
Activity 1: Greatest Commandment Fill-In Blank Worksheet
Craft: Greatest Commandment Foldable Heart
Make this fun foldable Greatest Commandment heart offered for free from Christian Preschool Printables. In the inside underneath the flaps, ask them draw on one side a picture to represent love God and on the other side a picture to represent loving others.
Watch this awesome video for full directions.
Greatest Commandment Game: What is Love?
What does Jesus’ command to love look like? That is an important question. This fun game allows everyone to think about how they are called to embody Jesus’ definition of love in daily life.
It is played as a fun relay style with 2 teams competing against each other. Teams race each other to place words on the right game board. All details on how to make the game boards and how to play are on this post.
Bible Verse Memory Activity:
Option 1: Whiteboard game
Write this verse on the whiteboard:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind
After having the children recite it a few times together, erase one word and have them recite it again. Continue doing this until all the words are erased.
Option 2: Online drag and drop game
See this post for a fun online game for filling in the blanks of the Greatest Commandment verse by drag and drop. Play against the timer and play it multiple times until the verse is memorized.
Love Race Game
This game from Sermons4kids is an easy way to have a simple competitive race to emphasize that love is the heart of Jesus’ message.
- Put 2 big pieces of paper on the floor and leave a marker next to each one.
- Divide the children into teams. Show each team the paper they will run to, one team player at a time.
- Team members will run to the paper one at a time and write the word LOVE with a marker.
- After 3 minutes of playing, the team that writes the word LOVE on their paper the most times will be the winner.
The lesson this week discusses how God gave us his only Son to teach us how much He loves us and show us how to live. Jesus taught us the Greatest Commandment which is called the Law of Love.
You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it:You shall love your neighbor as yourself.Mark 12:30-31
We filled out a big heart to represent both parts of the Greatest Commandment and played a memory game to help memorize the verse. Continue working on fully memorizing the verse at home.
• How do you show love to God?
• How do you show love to your neighbor?
Thank you for the opportunity to teach your child.
Your Child’s Catechist