**If the links to various printables and games that I have made do not work, please refer to the following yahoo groups. My files have been moved so they can continue to be free.

The Catholic Toolbox Printables Yahoo Group (activities, worksheets, booklets, puzzles, handwriting, Take Home Sheets, story wheels, etc.)


The Catholic Toolbox Games Yahoo Group (action games, card and board games, etc.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lesson Plan- Ash Wednesday & Lent (1st grade on up)

Ash Wednesday and Lent

For older students:

thereligionteacher.com- Ash Wednesday Lesson Plan which includes a full set of activities, worksheets, integration with the Ash Wednesday Video, and a short quiz to assess the students' progress.

thereligionteacher.com- Lent Project and Lesson Plan Ideas

For younger students:

Objectives: The students will be able to
- explain what happens on Ash Wednesday and where the ashes come from
- explain what abstinence and fasting is
- explain what we are supposed to do during Lent and why

Prayer, Take Home Sheet, and vocabulary from last week’s lesson

Vocabulary Words: (Write words on the board and discuss with class)

Lent- the time before Easter
Changed- to become different
Ash Wednesday- the first day of Lent
Penance- an act of religious devotion performed to show sorrow for having committed a sin.
Abstinence- to not do something
Fasting- going without food or eating less than you normally do
Almsgiving- doing good for others (gifts, money, or to help others)


Ash Wednesday (write it on the board)

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, blessed ashes are put on your forehead in the shape of a cross. These ashes are made by burning palm leaves which have been saved from last year’s Palm Sunday.

Ash Wednesday is also when we begin to do penance for Lent. Penance is an act of religious devotion performed to show sorrow for having committed a sin. We do this to improve our relationship with God and others. The Church suggests three special practices of penance for Lent:

(Write the bold words on the board).

Pray- go to Mass more often, pray more often.

During Lent the Stations of the Cross (prayers about the journey Jesus made to his crucifixion on Good Friday) are said at our church every Friday. My family goes to this every Friday during Lent.

Can you think of other ideas?

Fast- going without food or eating less. It can also mean giving up a certain food or treat.

My husband is giving up Diet Coke during Lent. My son is eating less sweets during Lent.

Can you think of other ideas?

Almsgiving- means doing good for others. That can be giving gifts of money or help to others.

The money my husband does not spend for Diet Cokes he will collect. At the end of Lent he will give the money to the poor.

Can you think of other ideas?


Introduce activities: What day does Lent begin? Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday Worksheet- Put number one through seven on the board. Read each question and write the correct word by the number after the student has answered the question. Have the students fill in the blanks on their paper with the correct answer from the word bank.
My files are huge so to keep them free I post all my printables at The Catholic Toolbox Printables Yahoo Group- activities, worksheets, booklets, puzzles, handwriting, Take Home Sheets, story wheels, etc.

Review Ash Wednesday:

Once a year you can see many people with a black smudge on their forehead. Do you know what it is? (The Sign of the Cross made with blessed ashes.)

The day the cross is made on everyone’s forehead with blessed ashes is called what? (Ash Wednesday)

Ash Wednesday is the first day of what? (Lent and write it on the board)

Lent is the time before Easter, the day we celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead. The Sign of the Cross made with ashes reminds us of Jesus’ great love and that he died on the cross so that we could live with him forever in heaven.

Lent lasts for 40 days (not counting Sundays). Why 40 days? (The 40 days recalls the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, fasting and being tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).

Lent beings on Ash Wednesday and ends on what day? (Lent officially ends at sundown on Holy Thursday.)

What is the color for Lent? (violet)

During Lent we do fasting (write fasting on the board). Fasting means going without food or eating less. It can also mean giving up a certain food or treat. The rules of fasting state that only one full meal a day can be taken. Two small meals, are allowed but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals breaks the fast, but drinking liquids does not. The rule of fasting is required for Catholics from age 18 to 59.

You are six years old. Do you do fasting during Lent? (No)

What about your parents? Do they fast during Lent? (Yes)

What days do Catholics fast? (On Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday.)

During Lent, Catholics do abstinence (write abstinence on the board). Abstinence means to not eat meat. The rule of abstinence for all Catholics requires those 14 years of age and older not to eat meat on Fridays during Lent and on Ash Wednesday.

My son is 16, does he do abstinence during Lent? (Yes)

You are six years old, do you do abstinence during Lent? (No)

Do your teachers do abstinence during Lent? (Yes)

What can we eat that is not meat? (Fish and other seafood, vegetables, eggs, milk and other dairy products.)

Do we fast and do abstinence every day during Lent? No, we only fast and do abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. During Lent, every Friday we must practice abstinence (not eat meat).

During the forty days of Lent we are like a caterpillar. We try to change to live our new life more fully.

We try to do more things that show we love God. How could we show our love for God? (By praying and listening to his Word.)

We try to love others as Jesus did. We do special things for others during Lent. We try to change. We want to become people who do not hurt others by what we say or do.

Ask student questions from the Lent Take Home Sheet out loud in class.

Introduce activities: What do you know about Lent? Let’s find out.

Mini Book- All About Lent (coloring booklet)
Have students read the mini book out loud in class by taking turns (each read a page) and take home to read to their parents. Students can also color mini book.
My files are huge so to keep them free I post all my printables at The Catholic Toolbox Printables Yahoo Group- activities, worksheets, booklets, puzzles, handwriting, Take Home Sheets, story wheels, etc.

fcpeace.com- My Lenten Resolution Egg
Every Sunday during Lent, think back on your week and decide how well you did with your resolution. Check the box that best describes your effort.

sundayschoolkids.com- About Lent lesson with activities

catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com- 40 Ideas for 40 Days

kindercraze.com- Sharing Lenten Love with Good Deeds (a printable good deeds chart for children)

faithandfabric.blogspot.com- ACTIVITY: Countdown to Easter Activities
To celebrate Lent this year, try something new - at the start of Lent, you create a chain out of forty strips of paper - each of the strips has a simple activity for the day that you are encouraged to do together as a family. As the strips are torn off, and the activity completed, the chain gets shorter and shorter as it counts down to Easter Sunday.

catholicinspired.com- Lenten Prayer Chain
Remove one link each day and pray for the people who are mentioned on that link. The neat thing is it doubles as a countdown to Easter!


catholicicing.com- Pray, Fast, Give Alms– a Lenten Craft for Kids
Use a paper plate, plastic silverware, and real pennies for that extra special touch.

faithandfabric.blogspot.com- Family Lent Promise Card

faithandfabric.blogspot.com- Lenten Prayer Stained Glass

Introduce craft: What happens during Ash Wednesday?

faithfilledfreebies.blogspot.com- Ash Wednesday Craft
Click on the craft image on the left to download the Google Doc

catholicinspired.com- Ash Wednesday Craft
This printable activity allows the kids to draw a picture of themselves and then add an ash cross to their forehead.

Introduce craft: What happens to a caterpillar? He changes into a butterfly. What are we supposed to do during Lent? We are to change. We are going to make something to show us how the caterpillar changed into a butterfly to remind us that we are to change during Lent and become more like Jesus.

Caterpillar to Butterfly Craft

enchantedlearning.com- Egg Carton Caterpillar
This is an easy way to make caterpillars using egg cartons, crayons or markers, scissors, and pipe cleaners. You could also have the students decorate the caterpillar by gluing small objects like beads, craft foam, cut out paper shapes, etc. Googly eyes are a nice touch also. I use this craft to emphasize that they are to change during Lent. I then at Easter use a butterfly craft to show how the caterpillar changed and became a butterfly.

Introduce craft/activity: What are alms? Long ago money given to the poor was called alms. We are going to make an Alms Jar to take home to remind us the importance of almsgiving and giving to the poor.

Alms Jar

Need: Jar with lid, sticker with “Alms Jar” printed on it, various things to glue on jar, glue

Directions: Have students decorate alms jar. Have them put sticker “Alms Jar” on the jar when they are finish decorating the jar.

The whole family can enter into the spirit of saving for alms. A glass jar is placed at the center of the table on Ash Wednesday, and all the money each family member saves as a result of self-denial from smoking, eating candy, going to movies or similar activities is put into it. Whatever you are sacrificing during Lent, that money you would of spent goes into the jar. The mother, buying simpler and cheaper foods for Lenten meals, puts the difference into the jar at meal time — so all can see where the cost of the dessert went! The children spend the first weeks of Lent investigating needy causes and charitable organizations and missions. They will have the responsibility of determining who gets the alms-fund. (Print this out and glue on an index card. Attach it or put inside the Alms Jar for the students to bring home for family to read).

catholicculture.org- Lenten Sacrifice Beans
A wonderful way to help younger children remind them to do penance during Lent, lima beans in a jar record each Lenten sacrifice.

Prayer Jar by paperdali.blogspot.com- Instead of just writing down a petition for our Lenten prayer jar, paperdali decided to draw the little petitions. Each strip has a picture and the beginning of a prayer for a child (or adult, actually) to finish. To enjoy, just download the page, cut along the dotted line, put them in a jar, and then put it in an accessible spot. During Lent, a child (or adult) can take out a strip during breakfast and begin the day with a prayer.


Introduce game: How well do you know Lent? Let’s find out.

christiancrafters.com- Bible Tic Tac Toe
Scroll down for directions. Use Lent questions from above to play this game.

Bible Bowl- Students will test their Bible knowledge as they bowl their way to win. Use Lent trivia questions to play this game. (The Super Bible Game Book by Linda Standke, page 121 - 127).

Hangman- (Players try to solve the Lent mystery word). The teacher picks a Lent word that is written on a piece of paper out of a bowl. The teacher then starts the hangman game by writing a blank line for each letter in the word. Teacher then picks someone to guess a letter. (Write on the chalkboard the letters that were guessed that were not in the mystery word). If a letter is guess correctly, it is written in the appropriate blank(s) and that person who guessed correctly gets another turn. They can guess another letter or guess the mystery word. If the person is incorrect, another player gets a turn. Whoever guessed the mystery word gets to pick a Lent word out of the bowl and start the hangman game.

The following activities are free, however they are only to be used for classroom and personal use. They may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted. All graphics/images/clipart etc. used on these games are not my own and are from various internet sources.

*My files are huge so to keep them free I post all my games at The Catholic Toolbox Games Yahoo Group

Journey Through Lent Game- A fun way to review Lent. The objective of the game is to get the most points by answering questions about Lent. Set an egg timer for a specified time. Have a player roll the die on the floor in front of the class. If the die lands on a blank space, they do not answer a question. If the die lands on “?”, they are asked a question by the teacher about Lent. If the player answers correctly, they receive a point (you can use tokens, write it on the board, etc.). If they are not correct, they do not receive a point. Players must collect as many points as they can. The game is over when the egg timer goes off. Whoever has the most points, wins. You can play this game individually or in teams. For an added challenge, you can also have “Lose 1 Point” and “Take 1 Point” on one or a couple of the sides of the die. When a player rolls “Lose 1 Point”, they must lose 1 point. If a player rolls “Take 1 Point”, they may take a point from any player they choose.

Lentopoly- is a game that is meant to incorporate the 3 aspects of Lent: prayer, fasting & almsgiving. By doing the charitable acts each day the child “earns” tokens (nails, pennies, beans, etc.). You can have a container full of tokens and each child has their own jar to put their ‘earned’ tokens into each day. On Easter the tokens are replaced with jelly beans or other candy/item of your choice. Parents can play too! If you decide to use money, you should decide what organization will get your money on Easter – your parish, pro-life group, rice bowl, etc.


Introduce snack: What is supposed to happen to us during Lent? We are to try and be more like Jesus.

dltk-kids.com- Popcorn Praises

Lenten Hot Cross Buns- Story with song and directions to make Lenten Hot Cross Buns. (Kids Explore American's Catholic Heritage, page 165).

Introduce snack: What used to be the Lenten bread in the early centuries of the Christian era? (The pretzel.)

catholicculture.org- Introduction: We are going to make pretzels too (recipe included).

catholicculture.org- Pretzel Recipe

pillsbury.com- Mini Soft Pretzels with Dip
Make these easy pretzels with or without dip. A great reference for Lent.

pillsbury.com- Soft Pesto Pretzels
Make this easy pretzel recipe without pesto and cheese using refrigerated breadsticks. Sprinkle with caraway seed and coarse salt before baking.

Puzzles, Mazes, Worksheets:

catholicicing.com- Printable Lenten Calendar for Kids
This is my Printable Lenten Calendar for Kids. It’s free for everyone to print! This year, I’m offering it in black and white, in color, and also as a blank page so you can fill in any language! I have also updated the file to include Lenten calendars that readers have submitted in different languages.

Lenten Calendar by waltzingm.com- A lenten calendar to count down the 40 days of Lent based on a 40 days in the desert theme with an oasis on each Sunday (scroll down to this).

zephyrhillblog.com- Printable Calendars for Lent

lifes-commotion.armyfamilyok.com- 40 Days of Lent Color by Number
I’m calling this a color-by-number, but it’s not really that. LOL Once space is colored in for each day of Lent. Certain spaces are specific colors. When completed at the end of Lent, it’ll be a picture that represents Lent/Easter. There is a key so that you know what color each space should be colored.
apples4theteacher.com- printables and interactive worksheets associated with Ash Wednesday

teacherspayteachers.com- Ash Wednesday Worksheet for Lent

teachervision.com- The Season of Lent (word scramble)

pflaum.com- Four times during the school year, Pflaum Gospel Weeklies provides three ready-to-print activities for each level; Seeds (Preschool), Promise (Grades K-1), Good News (Grades 2-3), Venture (Grades 4-6) and Visions (Grades 7-8). Plus each season special features for the entire family.

catecheticalresources.com- Lent activities for grades 1 – 8

sacredhearthouston.org- Our Path During Lent
Each day you say a prayer, draw a † in a stone. Color a stone each day you help someone. Each day you accept help from someone, draw a smiley face. (Grade 1)

sacredhearthouston.org- Here are ways to serve others. Choose three things you will do during Lent. (Grade 2)

sacredhearthouston.org- Follow the maze below to complete the prayer that praises Jesus. (Grade 3)

sacredhearthouston.org- Stations of the Cross
Make a picture strip. Cut on the solid lines. Paste the two pieces together. Read your Stations of the Cross. (Grade 3)

sacredhearthouston.org- Prayer of Sorrow
Unscramble the words to complete the prayer. The words are in order. (Grade 4)

sacredhearthouston.org- Go to the Liturgical Calendar – Lent at blestarewe.com. Use the information there to fill in the blanks. (Grade 5)

sacredhearthouston.org- Lent and the Liturgical Calendar
To find out about them, go to the Liturgical Calendar – Lent at blestarewe.com/litcal/index.html. A church calendar or Bible will also help. (Grade 6)

dosmallthingswithlove.com- Lenten Worksheets for Kids

educationinvirtue.com- Lenten Worksheets for Kids

tes.com- A worksheet that gets pupils thinking about the Christian tradition of giving something up during Lent.

tes.com- This resource provides a fun and reflective activity relating to Lent and new beginnings. It supports the Here I Am topic Self-Giving, but can be easily adapted to suit your requirements. The activity can be used in collaboration with our Lent Calendar and Lent Liturgy to form part of your meaningful preparations for Easter.

thecompassnews.org- Scroll down for Lent worksheets

reallifeathome.com- Planning For Lent Printables

crusaders-for-christ.com- Fill out worksheet. You can either mark off each day as it passes or place one of the Sacred Heart stickers on the cross in the appropriate spot.

teachingandlearningresources.co.uk- Lent (crossword)

domestic-church.com- Lenten (crossword)

These puzzles/activity sheets are free, however they can only to be used for classroom and personal use. They may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit.

*My files are huge so to keep them free I post all my printables at The Catholic Toolbox Printables Yahoo Group (activities, worksheets, booklets, puzzles, handwriting, Take Home Sheets, story wheels, etc.)

Ash Wednesday- word search

Ash Wednesday- crossword

Ash Wednesday Worksheet- Have the students fill in the blanks on their paper with the correct answer from the word bank.

How Much Do You Know About Lent?- 20 true or false with answers

Skits or Puppet Shows:

youthsource.com- Six Skits for Lent

christiancrafters.com- Observing Lint? (skit or puppet show)

catholicmom.com- Preach the Gospel Show [Re: tithing cans during Lent] Skit or puppet show

youtube.com- Lent Puppet Show

*You can always record the puppet show on a audio tape and play it during the puppet show to make it easier for the children to do by themselves.


catholicicing.com- Lent Song for Kids (with actions and youtube.com video)

Homework: : Prayers and Take Home Sheet- (It is in MS Word and can be changed any way you like according to your student’s abilities.)
My files are huge so to keep them free I post all my printables at The Catholic Toolbox Printables Yahoo Group- activities, worksheets, booklets, puzzles, handwriting, Take Home Sheets, story wheels, etc.


Debbie said...

Wow! You have a lot of resources here!

Amazing_Grace said...

I did this lesson last Sunday. :)

Kathy said...

Girl, I am overwhelmed with the amount of work you have done here and I just can't thank you enough for sharing it all with us! What a TRUE BLESSING YOU ARE! Do you really understand that? Do you get how really amazing this is? I hope so, I will offer prayers of thanksgiving for you and your obvious calling. Sincerely ~ Kathy

Amazing_Grace said...

I really enjoy making religious activities for others. Hubby says I'm obsessed. Let's just say I have one weird hobby. :)

LittleFlower1220 said...

Your ideas for Lent have been featured on our blog site: http://raisinglittlesaints.blogspot.com/2010/02/lent-is-here-activities-for-children.html
Thank you for sharing!

Pro-Life Mom said...

I echo Kathy's sentiments & THANK YOU abundantly for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. GOD BLESS YOU!! :)

Anonymous said...


Jen Frost said...

There are so many great ideas here, and I'm honored to be included with them! We have a few more projects for kids available since this original post was created - feel free to share if you like: http://enterundermyroof.blogspot.com/2013/02/lent-activities.html

Amazing_Grace said...

Jen- I already added the posts you mentioned from your last comment. Thank you for letting us know. :)