Elementary Spiritual Formation: second to fifth grade
Students are responsible for signing themselves in, and committing to participating in the class.
First is circle time, wherein students introduce themselves, followed by lesson/activity. The lesson is based on eight major themes of the Bible. The progression of the themes is linear, based on the Bible, but the way the teachers form the lesson may be based on stories, saints, Christian practices, etc. As elementary school children develop, they are moving from concrete thinkers to abstract thinkers who are beginning to grasp more complex concepts.
Discussion time is next, where students discuss the topic, participate in that evening’s activity and journal. The class breaks into two groups, by the teachers’ discretion, often by grade or gender.
If there’s time, students have free play where they can play games, Legos, or use art supplies.
At the end of the hour, we close with body prayer, a spiritual practice which encourages a focused time of prayer by holding our bodies in a symbolic posture, typically related to the content of the prayer.
Monthly Schedule of Elementary Spiritual Formation:
May: Kingdom Come
Summer: teacher’s choice
Each month, the topic is explored in four different ways. If there is a fifth Sunday in the month, there will not be class.
Week One: Learning and Belief During this time, the students are introduced to the story in a variety of ways: reading, storytelling, dramatic play, etc. to familiarize themselves with the topic.
Week Two: Physicality This week, the children take the story that they heard and interact with it physically--through games, art, dance or movement, music, etc.
Week Three: Worship Gathering Participation By the third week, students have heard and experienced the story, so they find a way to share it with our community. They may contribute something to the Gathering, create something for the community, or demonstrate what they have learned in myriad other ways.
Week Four: Service and Hospitality Now that the children have learned the story using their minds, experienced it using their bodies, and shared it with our church community, it is time for them to put the story into action for the good of the greater community. We believe that performing regular acts of service are an important component to every person’s spiritual development.