Lesson Five

Service

 

Buddhism
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and
compassion are the things which renew humanity.

Buddha

Christianity
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things
Matthew 12:35

Baha'i Faith
That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service
of the entire human race.

Baha'u'llah

Be kind to all around and serve one another
Abdu'l-Baha

 

Discuss: What service means. Examples of how the children see service practiced in their daily lives. How service is practiced in your class. What various situations would look like without someone practicing service. Why service is important.

 

Books that reinforce the theme of service
(Books can be previewed @ http://www.amazon.com)
If you don't want to purchase books, consider requesting them at your local library.

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters By: Barack Obama
Sara Finds a Mitzva By: Rebeka Simhaee
26 Big Things Small Hands Do By: Coleen Paratore
The Wednesday Surprise By: Eve Bunting
Boxes for Katje By: Candace Fleming
Trashy Town By: Andrea Zimmerman

 

Activities to support theme of service
Remember to plan enough time for the children to help clean up after each of their activities. It's another opportunity for them to put into practice the virtues they're learning.

  1. What's My Service?
    With the children sitting in a circle and one outside the room, the group decides what service the child waiting outside will provide. Their friend is called back to the circle and goes around the circle asking the group members what items they need to perform their service. For example, if the group has decided their friend is going to wash the family car the first child could say, "You'll need a bucket." The next might say, "You'll need a rag." After each hint the child doing the service guesses the imaginary service they will perform. Once they guess correctly it's the next child's turn.
  2. Service, It's in the Bag
    Collect small items that the children could encounter or use while being of service. Consider household items like dish clothes, dusters, forks, plastic cups, newspapers, shoes, garden gloves, small toys, etc. Have the children sit in a circle and take turns pulling an item out of the bag without looking in the bag. They then share a suggestion of how that item might be used to be of service. Examples: Dish cloth- I can clean the table after dinner. Trash Bag- I can take out the trash. Fork- I can help set the table for dinner. Toy- I can put toys away. Garden gloves- I can help pull weeds from our garden. Canvas tote bag- I can help carry groceries etc.
  1. Marshmallow Virtue Draw
    Write virtue words on marshmallows using food writer markers. The class can take turns drawing a marshmallow and sharing a true story of how they have seen that virtue practiced by someone being of service. They can eat the marshmallow after sharing. You could also do this with virtues just written on slips of paper . . . but it's not quite as fun.

 

Arts and Crafts Ideas

  1. Decorate dish towels, canvas tote bags or aprons with fabric markers.
  2. Grow Helping Hands
    Consider printing the quote that goes with your lesson so the children can attach it to their projects.
    Kids use paint brushes and washable paint to paint green leaves and stems for tall flowers on either large sheets of finger paint paper or poster paper. Then they paint the blossom by painting their whole hand and pressing their hand on the paper. This gets pretty messy so it's a good project for outside. And it helps to have a garden hose handy.
  3. Decorative Car Trash Boxes
    Have the kids bring empty food boxes and used wrapping paper and/or pictures from magazines to class. Suggest cereal or cracker boxes that can be turned into decorative car trash boxes. Cut the top flaps off the box. Cut out a rectangular hole out of the top front and back of the box to form a handle. Crease the two side panels on the top half of the box inward. Have the kids choose the pictures or papers that they would like to use to decorate the box. Have them glue the pictures onto the boxes and then paint over the whole box with a thin coat of Mod Podge. Plan to use the Mod Podge in a well ventilated area or outside. The projects will probably take a few hours to dry completely.

  4. Matthew 12:35 Treasure of the Heart 3D Picture
    Print a treasure chest coloring page and have the kids fill it with virtue hearts. I found this treasure chest at http://www.coloring.ws/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.coloring.ws/people/chest.gif

  5. Offer a Helping Hand Cookie
    Kids make helping hand cookies to give away and attach a note saying a service they are willing to provide for someone. Before class, make sugar cookies in the shape of a hand and frost with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract, and just enough water to make it easy to spread. It's best to plan ahead and frost the cookies at least one day before to ensure the frosting has enough time to harden completely before class. During class, the kids can decorate the cookies with Food Writers Edible Decorating Markers. Food Writers work just like regular markers and are available in many grocery stores, craft stores, or online.

  6. Thank You for Your Service Cookie Cards
    Kids decorate cookies using Food Writers to turn them into Thank You cards to thank another person for their service. They could thank a teacher, coach, babysitter or even a family member. Before class, make sugar cookies in the shape of a card and frost with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract, and just enough water to make it easy to spread. It's best to plan ahead and frost the cookies at least one day before to ensure the frosting has enough time to harden completely before class. During class, the kids can decorate the cookies with Food Writers Edible Decorating Markers. Food Writers work just like regular markers and are available in many grocery stores, craft stores, or online.

 

Music
"So Many Ways I Can Help" Todd Werner's Character Counts CD
"Look at Me, Follow Me" Baha'i children's song
"Helping Hands"

 

Snack Idea
Remember to plan for hand washing or provide antibacterial wet wipes.

  1. Serve One Another
    Use the snack time to explore the concept of service. Pair the children and have them take turns serving each other refreshments. The server should ask the person they are serving what they like and dish up their refreshments from a small smorgasbord of options.
  2. What could be better than S'more-Virtues!
    If you've already been writing on marshmallows for the Marshmallow Virtue Draw activity above have the kids write virtue words on marshmallows using Food Writers. Put a little chocolate on a graham cracker & top with a virtue marshmallow. Microwave the s'more for a few seconds and watch while the virtue puffs up huge and shrinks back down as it cools. If you're camping it would be even more fun to make them the traditional way over a camp fire.

 

Service Project Idea

  1. Teddy Bear (or Stuffed Animals) Drive.
    Look into having your class donate Teddy Bears to your local police or fire station. Many police and fire stations keep them on hand to comfort children in times of distress. Call a local police or fire station to find out what their needs are and if it's suitable to bring your class. Get permission from all the parents/guardians before taking children on any service projects and have parents accompany the class to provide adequate adult supervision.


2011 The Gift of Virtues.com