This is a lesson designed to connect faith with care of both the environment and our neighbors. This “lesson” is a game designed for elementary school aged children, with options for older children, tweens, and teens.
Scripture: Matthew 7:12 (the Golden Rule)
Opening Question for Discussion: How does the Golden Rule apply to care of God’s creation?
Game – Where Does it Go?
- Make a list of ALL of the items in your classroom.
- Include paper, craft materials, water, plants, supplies, books, posters, light bulbs, and any other items children can identify.
- Older children might widen their “game” to the entire church building and grounds, including pesticides, herbicides, and sewage.
- List or draw all items on a chalk or white board. Assign children to teams and ask them to identify where each item will go once it leaves the building (or their homes, if crafts are taken home). Items may be divided up by category if the list is lengthy.
- This is a teachable moment! Children may need help from adults to learn about landfills, water treatment plants, recycling facilities and other disposal sites. Be prepared, and have this information ready for them. (Hint: the answers may not be pretty!)
- Everybody wins! Have a supply of healthy snacks and drinks or sustainably produced prizes for everyone in the class.
- Who lives near disposal sites, like landfills and water treatment plants?
- Would you want to live near these places? Why or why not?
- How can we dispose of materials in a way that shows kindness and respect to our neighbors and to God’s creation?
Closing Prayer: We thank you, Lord, for all of the earth and for all people who live on our earth. Help us to see all people as neighbors. Help us to treat others with the kindness, respect, and dignity with which we would want to be treated ourselves. Help us to live in harmony with all other people and with your creation. In Christ’s name, Amen.
This lesson is excerpted from Earth Our Garden Home: Creation Care Lessons for Children by Cynthia Coe. Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.