Lesson Nine

Selflessness / Compassion


love your neighbor as yourself;
Leviticus 19:18

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:39

"No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother
that which he desires for himself."

--Hadith of an-Nawawi 13

Baha'i Faith
Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.


Discuss: What selflessness and compassion means. Examples of how the children see selflessness or compassion practiced in their daily lives. How selflessness and compassion are practiced in your class. What various situations would look like without selflessness or compassion. Why selflessness and compassion are important.


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

Four Feet, Two Sandals By: Karen Lynn Williams
The Golden Rule By: Ilene Cooper
The Bubble By: Brian D. Mcclure
Jamaica Tag-Along By: Juanita Havill
The Rooster Prince of Breslov By: Ann Redisch Stampler


Activities that support the theme of selflessness and compassion
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. Musical Go-Round Posters (Combination Activity and Arts and Crafts project) This activity is similar to the traditional musical chairs game but revised to be a cooperative game so everyone wins. The activity can be done with or with out chairs. Put small poster boards in a circle (on each chair or on the floor). Plan on one poster per each child. Let the children choose a variety of markers to carry during the activity. Choose fun and appropriate music, like the song that you use in class, to set a fun tone for the activity. When the music starts the children walk around inside the circle of poster papers. When the music stops they quickly go to the nearest poster and start decorating it. They can to draw whatever they like. If they don't like to draw, they can be encouraged to make nice boarders on the posters or write virtue words such as love, peace, unity etc. Instruct the children not to illustrate the posters by writing their names during the activity. When the music starts again, they jump up and continue around the circle until the music stops. They again decorate whichever poster they are next to. After several rounds the children will have contributed to decorating most of the posters. The final time the music stops they decorate the poster that they will take home. You might want to give the kids a few extra minutes to decorate the one that will be theirs. Be sure to have them write their names on the last one so that they are easy to keep track of. They will all go home with fun posters that they've made for each other.


Arts and Crafts Ideas
Consider printing the quote that goes with your lesson so the children can attach it to their projects.

  1. Neighborhood Boxes
    Project supports lessons on Leviticus 19:18 and Matthew 22:39
    Have the kids bring a variety of empty food boxes with them to class (i.e., cereal, cracker, mac & cheese, popcorn etc.). Bring some extra boxes for kids in case they forget to bring their own. Cover the boxes with construction paper or brown grocery sack paper and decorate the boxes to make them look like houses and apartment buildings.
    *Quotes from other religions that this project works well with:
    "Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face." - Baha'u'llah
  2. Cereal Box Sandals
    A fun project to do if you read Four Feet, Two Sandals is to let the kids make their own sandals. The kids trace their feet on the cardboard of empty cereal boxes. Cut the foot outlines out and using a hole punch and yarn they can come up with creative ways of turning them into sandals. Encourage the kids to bring empty cereal boxes to class. Have plenty available so if some attempts don't turn out well they can try different ways.

  3. Face Photo Cut Out Boards to celebrate any of the quotes in the lesson.
    Help the kids make face photo cut out boards. (I used a tri-fold display board) Encourage them to be creative coming up with a variety of scenes. Once the boards are done it's fun for the kids to pose in front of a large mirror so they can see themselves in the scene. Take photos of the kids posing with each other. A fun idea is to save the photos and at the end of the year give each child a small collection of pictures of themselves posing with all their friends.
    * Remember to ask for parental consent before posting any pictures of minors on the Internet.


"The Golden Rule" (Do Unto Others) Jim Rule's Share This World CD


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

  1. Graham Cracker Houses
    This snack goes well will with a lesson on Leviticus 19:18 and Matthew 22:39.
    Let the kids turn graham cracker squares into houses by decorating with frosting.

    *Quotes from other religions that this project works well with:
    "Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face." - Baha'u'llah


Service Project Idea
Encourage the kids to talk to their parents and consider if there are service project opportunities in their own neighborhoods.

2011 The Gift of Virtues.com