Lesson Title: "Bless me!"
Grade Level or Age Group: Intermediate to grade 10.
Lesson Objectives: The students will be invited to reflect on how what we say to or about others either "blesses" them or "curses" them.
- 6-10 sticky labels per students in your group.
- A list of positive descriptive adjectives for people.
- A scripture passage.
Prepare the "Stained Glass Window" in the following fashion:
1. Explain to the students that they will be given half a dozen labels each and that they are to write down on each of them a list of positive things about 6 of the students in class. They can, if they want to, and time allows, get more labels to describe more students.
2. Once the students have the labels, tell them that once they have finished the labels they will be asked to get up and stick the labels on the students they have described. They must, however, wait until they are told to do so.
3. You may wish to provide a list of descriptive adjectives to help the students describe their peers, especially personality traits as opposed to physical traits.
4. Once you see that most of the students have finished, tell them to go and stick the labels on the students they have described. I have found it necessary to remind them not to put the sticky labels in a person's hair.
5. Once people are done, invite everyone to remove the labels and t stick them on a blank sheet of paper or on one of their binders.
6. Invite the students to express how they feel about all the good things that people have said about them.
7. Point out that the words we use to talk to others or to talk about them are very powerful: they have the power to bless them - to boost them up and give them more life; they also have the power to curse them - to crush others and take away life.
8. You might want to use the text on "Bread and Stone" given in a previous lesson to help the students reflect on the choice we all have of being life-givers as opposed to being sources of pain and death for others.
9. Finish by reading one or more appropriate scripture passage(s) you have selected. Some suggestions:
Numbers 6 ; 24-27
"The LORD bless you and keep you;
Genesis 12; 1-3
Now the LORD said to Abram, " Go forth from your country, And
from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land
which I will show you;
"Trust is the key to entering the kingdom. Jesus came into the world to make us holy, to make us a part of his plan. In the reading from Genesis, God speaks in a special way to Abram (Genesis 12:1-4). God says, Abram, I want to do something for you. God is saying the same thing to us: I want to make you great. And the way I am going to make you great is that I want to bless you. And when I bless you, that means you are going to be a blessing for others. Everyone will find a blessing in you. What is so exciting about this is that the call to holiness is a call to be an instrument of bringing life and goodness to our brothers and sisters. Thats the heart of what it means to be a Christian. To be a Christian means that we want to be used, in the sense of being an instrument or a vessel. We want to be a source of goodness for the people around us. That is our inheritance."
Pastoral Reflections - Monsignor Don L. Fischer
Matthew 5; 21-24
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder,
and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. brother, `Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
1 John 3; 15
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
NOTE: There is the risk in this activity that some of the students will receive few stickers and will be hurt by this. I have found (especially with 14-16 year old students) that most often in a larger class there are enough students who are sensitive about the feelings of others and who make an effort to write stickers for those students who might be left out. These students are usually the ones who will request more than the minimum six stickers. Make sure you give them the time to fill these in. I also made a point of writing up my own stickers especially for those students who might be marginalized.
©Gilles Côté, 2000 If you copy information from this page please acknowledge your source.