Teaching kids the Beatitudes as found in the Bible, in Matthew 5:3-12, requires more than rote memorisation. While such activities have merit, reinforcing the principles that Jesus taught requires a review and application. Whether using computer to drag the corresponding phrase to the correct match as in "A Kid's Heart: The Beatitudes Match Game" or a simple tic-tac-toe outline, there are multiple game formats to teach and review the Beatitudes.
Equation and Matching Games
BibleWise (biblewise.com)suggests making equations such as PS (poor in spirit) equals KH (kingdom of heaven). Having students make their own equations gives them independence in learning the important principles the Beatitudes teach.
One type of popular Beatitude game is the matching game designed by A Kid's Heart (akidsheart.com). In this game, players click and drag a "Blessed are" phrase to match the results. For example, the phrase "Blessed are the poor in spirit" is matched with the spiritual reward "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Fill in the Blank
In a game by Sporcle, children find the phrase "blessed are" and the reward Jesus promises. Children type in the group of people who will receive the reward. For example, they would type "hungry" with the phrase "they shall be filled." One caution is that this game is timed for four minutes, and players need to know the spelling of the group they intend to submit, such as "the persecuted." This technicality makes the game more difficult than other matching games, but some older middle school students may appreciate this challenge.
Trivia Behind the Beatitudes
A "Fun Trivia" game on the Beatitudes based on the NIV (New International Version) of the Bible can be played online or printed out. This game begins with a question on where the Beatitudes are found in the Bible and then asks both multiple-choice and one-word-answer questions. It is suitable for a preview to a unit on the Beatitudes or a review of what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount.
While there are eight Beatitudes taught by Jesus, a nine question "who" tic-tac-toe game can be made and played in pairs or with teams. The answers on the board would be: Jesus, they who mourn, the poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers,and the persecuted. The questions would be: Who in the Bible spoke the Beatitudes? Who will be comforted? Who will inherit the earth? Who will be filled? Who will obtain mercy? Who will see God? Who will be called the children of God? Who will have the kingdom of heaven?
Once these nine answers are one the board, ask nine questions in random order (preferably called out after "drawing" the answer from a envelope or small can). This review game should be an enjoyment for all learners.
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