Living the Gospel should have a focus of doing acts and having attitudes that create the Kingdom of God. Since the term Kingdom of God may seem a mysterious concept to children, I often tell them to think about the creation of the Kingdom of God as being a task of creating “Heaven on Earth”. Just think what we would experience every day if earth was like heaven! How happy, peaceful, and loving the world would be!
How do we create heaven on earth? By being virutuous. How do we live virtuously? By practicing the virtues. Virtues are gifts from God that we are to accept and use. St. Paul in 1 Corinthians deines the 3 most important virtues as being faith, hope and charity (love).
But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.1 Corinthians 13:13
These 3 important virtures are called the theological virtues. When we center our lives on these virtues, we create the Kingdom of God.
In this activity, the students choose an act of Faith, Hope, or Charity (love) they will commit to doing. Their commitment is shown by writing the act on a paper shape corresponding to which virtue the act applies to. All the classes shapes are then glued together on a poster board to make a class poster. The poster created can be displayed in a common area like a school hallway or a a church bulletin board. This activity is part of the Kingdom of God Lesson Plan for 4th and 5th grade.
Introduction of Faith, Hope and Charity Activity:
Use the white board to map explain what the 3 virtues are all about
What is a virtue?…………… [a good habit that helps us do good things as God’s wants us]
What do they do?…………..[they help us live the Gospel and create the Kingdom of God here and now]
What are the most important ones?.……………[the theological ones: faith, hope, and charity (love)]
Explain the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity:
- Start by listing the virtues and their symbols (first 2 columns)
- Then ask for the class to name an action that would show that virtue. As students respond, fill in the 3rd column with their ideas. Add some examples given in the table if they are having a hard time contributing ideas.
|Faith||Cross||Believing in God with whole heart|
Trusting that God will help us when we are sad, lonely or have challenges
Taking comfort in God’s everlasting love for us
|Hope||Anchor||Having full confidence in God’s plan for us|
Hoping in an everlasting union with God in heaven (realizing our lives have meaning)
Praying for everyone to get along and live peacefully
Hoping that everyone will accept each other’s differences
|Charity (Love)||Heart||Helping the poor|
Telling others we love them
Listening to others
Lifting someone’s spirits
Supplies for Virtues Activity:
- poster board (standard size of 22″ x 28″ works well)
- shapes of cross, heart, and anchor printed on card stock from template (see below) and cut into individuals
- poster caption from template, legal or 11″x17″ (see below) (optional)
- pencils & markers (various colors)
Templates for the Virtues Activity:
Directions for making the Faith, Hope and Charity Poster:
- Lay out the cross, anchor, and heart shapes in piles on a table at a central location.
- Instruct the kids take one shape and write on it how they will show that virtue.
- Ask them to share what they wrote with the rest of the class.
- Direct them to glue onto a poster board with thecaption: “Creating the Kingdom of God with acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity”. Use a print off of the graphic caption if you desire.
- Hang the poster somewhere where your church or school community can see it.