Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lesson Plan- (Pre K - K): Ash Wednesday & Lent

Ash Wednesday & Lent

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

Prayer and questions from last week’s lesson.

Vocabulary Words:

The activity below is free, however it can only to be used for classroom and personal use. It may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit.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 activities are not my own and are from various internet sources.

Lent Word Wall- Word wall templates are large flash card printables that you can hang on the wall to aid children when they are learning or using new vocabulary words. (Explain each card to the children. Example: Ash Wednesday- What is happening in this picture? The priest is putting blessed ashes in the shape of a cross on the boy’s forehead. This happens on Ash Wednesday. Pray- What is happening in this picture? We pray more during Lent. Fast- What is this a picture of? Would you normally have more than a hotdog for lunch or dinner? What would you have? To fast means to eat less or to go without certain foods. Give- What is happening in this picture? The boy wants to give his teacher an apple. During Lent we should try and do more good things for others.)


Circle Time:

1. Ash Wednesday (write it on the board or hold up Word Wall card)

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 something that you do or are given to do in order to show that you are sad or sorry about doing something wrong. 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 or hold up Word Wall card).

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

During Lent the Stations of the Cross 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?

During Lent people older than you must do abstinence which means not to eat meat. They do not to eat meat on Fridays during Lent and on Ash Wednesday. What can they eat? They can eat fish and other seafood, vegetables, eggs, milk and other dairy products.

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?

Activities: Sharing Lenten Love with Good Deeds (a printable good deeds chart for children)

Introduce activities: What are we supposed to do during Lent? (We are to change and become more like Jesus.)

Read the story “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and ask questions from below.

What happened to the caterpillar? He changed into a butterfly.

Which life do you think is better, the caterpillar of the butterfly life? Why?

During Lent we are to try to “change”. We need to be kind to others and improve our relationship with God. TONS of The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities posted with links

Songs and/or Finger Plays: Lent Song for Kids (with actions and video)

Introduce songs and/or finger plays: What happened to the caterpillar? Roly-Poly Caterpillar (finger play)
Scroll down to this.

Into a corner crept, (place right pointer finger in left cupped hand)
Spun around himself a blanket (spin around)
Then for a long time slept. (place head on folded hands)
Roly-poly caterpillar (wiggle right pointer finger)
Wakening by and by, ("stretch" right pointer finger)
Found himself with beautiful wings
Changed to a butterfly. (flutter arms like wings) The Fuzzy Caterpillar (song and can be made into a finger play) tune to Itsy Bitsy Spider
Scroll down about halfway.

The little fuzzy caterpillar,
Curled up on a leaf.
Spun her little chrysalis,
and then fell fast asleep.
While she was sleeping,
She dreamed that she could fly,
And later when she woke up,
she was a butterfly.

Skits or Puppet Shows: Six Skits for Lent Observing Lint? (skit or puppet show) Preach the Gospel Show [Re: tithing cans during Lent] Skit or puppet show 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.


Introduce craft: We as Catholics focus on what 3 things during Lent? Praying, Fasting, and Giving Alms.
Use a paper plate, plastic silverware, and real pennies for that extra special touch. Pray, Fast, Give Alms– a Lenten Craft for Kids

Introduce craft: What happens during Ash Wednesday? Ash Wednesday Craft
Click on the craft image on the left to download the Google Doc 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 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). 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 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: Who needs lots of food so they can build a cocoon and become a butterfly?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The caterpillar is very hungry and must have lots of food so he can build his cocoon. Let’s play a relay race to see which team can collect the most food for the caterpillar.

Divide the class into teams and line each team behind a chair. Place a basket of plastic fruit for each team on the other side of the room. Place an empty basket on the chair in front of each team. When the teacher says “GO!” the first person from each team runs up and gets one piece of fruit and puts it in their team’s basket. They then go to the end of their team’s line and the next team member goes and gets a piece of fruit. When the teacher says, “STOP!” all players must stop what they are doing. Each team then counts how many pieces of fruit they have. The team with the most fruits wins.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game (board game): A Game of Counting, Colors and Contrasts- Emerge from a rainy day cocoon, gather up some friends, and enjoy this wonderful game based on Eric Carle's delightful children's book. In The Very Hungry Caterpillar Game, children go on a journey of learning and transformation as their caterpillar develops from egg to beautiful butterfly. Includes game board, four feedable caterpillar pieces, 40 food pieces, spinner, and instructions. For 2 to 4 players ages 3 and up. Story Sequencing Cards
Have children color and cut out cards. Then have the children put the cards in the same order as the story "The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. *You can also make 2 copies of the cards and have the children play Memory.

Chutes and Ladders- This would be great game for teaching about rewards and consequences for your actions. As kids travel along the game path, they encounter situations that reward them for good deeds by letting them climb the ladders or punish them for misbehaving by sending them down chutes.

These games 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.

Introduce games: During Lent we are to try to “change”. We need to be kind to others and improve our relationship with God.

Random Acts of Kindness: Children identify Random Acts of Kindness as they move around the board.

Place your marker any where on the game board. Roll the die and move clockwise that many spaces. Read out loud whatever is on your space and say whether it is a Random Act of Kindness or not. If it is a Random Act of Kindness, receive 1 Random Acts of Kindness token (or milk cap, poker chip, etc.). If it is not a Random Act of Kindness, lose a token. When the player receives 10 Random Acts of Kindness tokens, they work their way around the board to “Spread Kindness”. Players must roll the exact number to “Spread Kindness”. Continue playing to find out who comes in second, third, fourth, etc.

The Golden Rule File Folder Game: This game helps promote why someone would use proper manners and etiquette in our daily lives.

Introduction: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What does this mean? It means we should treat others the same way you want them to treat you. That is easier said than done. Do you respect everyone and treat them kindly at all times? During our daily contact with others we can show compassion and generosity by treating them with respect and courtesy. This dignified and respectable behavior that we give to others is part of what Jesus was talking about. Try your best to treat others as you would like to be treated and you will find that it will help you so much in everyday life with getting a long with others.

Directions: Put the colored Game Cards in two different small baskets and set near the game board. Place your markers at START. Roll the die and move that many spaces. Follow the directions on the space you land on. If the space has a Roll Play activity on it, perform it to the best of your ability. If needed, the teacher will help you understand what to do and coach you how to do it correctly. If the space has True or False or P’s & Q’s on it, draw the corresponding card and read it out loud. Answer the question to the best of your ability (the teacher can coach the student if necessary).


Introduce snack: What is supposed to happen to us during Lent? We are to try and be more like Jesus. 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.) Introduction: We are going to make pretzels too (recipe included). Pretzel Recipe Mini Soft Pretzels with Dip
Make these easy pretzels with or without dip. A great reference for Lent. Soft Pesto Pretzels
Make this easy pretzel recipe without pesto and cheese using refrigerated breadsticks. Sprinkle with caraway seed and coarse salt before baking.


Prayers while students are doing coloring and/or puzzles. Ash Wednesday (coloring) Color the Spirit of Ash

All About Lent- mini 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. 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. 40 Day Cross Countdown

Lenten Calendar by 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). Kids Lent Calendar Coloring Page Lenten Journey 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. 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) Free Counting Book Printable for Any Theme (directions included) Printable Very Hungry Caterpillar Booklet (scroll down to this)
Students will need to write the numerals, use a hole puncher to make a hole in each fruit, and draw the caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly. Hungry Caterpillar True or False Counting Cards
Print, cut and laminate the cards. Have the children identify the number at the top of the card. Then have them count the items of food that the caterpillar is going to eat. If the number of items of food and the number on the card match, have the children clip a clothespin on the smiley face. If not, have them clip the clothespin on the sad face. Math Ideas for The Hungry Caterpillar (worksheets) Butterfly Books Help the Caterpillar (maze) Which butterfly is different? (find the difference)


Jessica said...

Those are great ideas. I'm going to pass them along to the Pre-K teacher at my sons school.

Amazing_Grace said...

Thanks Jessica! I hope they like it! :)

Anonymous said...

This is so great!! I am going to do a lot of this with my CCD class tomorrow!

Amazing_Grace said...

Amy Caroline-
I am so glad that you like my lesson plan. Please let us know how this goes with your class. :)

Deirdre Grimes said...

Hello, this is a wonderful resource, I am just starting a pray and play group at our local church and hope to use some of your plans here. Thanks again

Amazing_Grace said...

I'm so glad that you like my activities. :)

What a cute name for your class- Pray & Play Group!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these great ideas!! I'm going to use some of them with my Prep class tomorrow!

mommysoup said...

This is AWESOME! Lots of great ideas, well linked and explained! Thanks for explaining the word wall as a SAHM, I've been wondering how they work and everyone just assumes. These are also doable with both of my kids (4& 2) which makes it even better. Thank you!

Amazing_Grace said...

Thank you mommysoup! :)

Sharon said...

I can't thank you enough!! THANK YOU! :)
I teach the Early Childhood Education class at out parish (aka Sunday School, 3-5 yos). I was stumped trying to figure out a lesson plan to cover Ash Wed, etc.
I am so very grateful for all you've shared with us! I am using your lesson plan in my class tomorrow.
Thanks for freeing my of stress and a headache, and for such an amazing lesson plan.
I will say prayers for you! :)

Amazing_Grace said...

Thanks, Sharon! I hope your students like the lesson! :)

Unknown said...

These are great ideas! I love tying in the Very Hungy Caterpillar! With my preschools we do Radom acts of kindness too. I write their acts on egg shaped cutouts & we tape them in our basket hanging on the wall. I title the bulletin board "We Are "Egg-cellent" Examples of God's Love!"

Amazing_Grace said...

Jessica Scott- Great idea for a bulletin board! Thank you for sharing! :)

Unknown said...

this is amazing love the ideas going to use this for early childhood class

Amazing_Grace said...

Thank you Crystal Fortune for the kind words. Let us know how your class went. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for share.... from México blessings to you.
Ma. Elena

Unknown said...

Thank you for amazing and creative information and ideas. So very grateful. Stay blessed! Valerie South Africa