Perhaps the best-known part of the Sermon on the Mount is Jesus' teaching of the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12, "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you." This basic principle is taught in many religions, and it often appears in elementary school curricula. Children can easily understand the Golden Rule. Making a craft on this theme provides pupils with a visual reminder of this important standard.
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Giant Class Ruler
Give each child a piece of yellow construction paper. Tell the class to position the paper vertically, portrait-style. At the top of the paper, instruct children to write one quality that they appreciate in a friend. Below that, have them draw a picture illustrating what they wrote. Staple the children's pictures in a long row on the wall. The yellow papers together will look like a long "golden ruler." Above the artwork, write "How to Obey the Golden Rule."
Tell children they will be decorating frames for a special friend. Give each child a frame and instruct them to write words or draw pictures describing the things they like best about their friend. Help children name the character traits of a good friend, such as honesty and kindness. When pupils are finished with the craft, say, "What if we put your picture in this frame instead? Would the words you wrote describe you, too?"
Golden Rule Game
Before class, draw 10 circles on a sheet of paper. Inside five of the circles, write an action that reflects the Golden Rule, such as "Share my toys." In the other five circles, write actions that don't reflect the Golden Rule, such as "Argue with my parents." Make a copy of this paper for each pupil, preferably on yellow paper. In class, let children cut out the circles and attach a paper clip to each. Show children how to tie a piece of yarn to the end of a ruler. On the other end of the yarn, attach a small magnet. Let children play a game in which they use the ruler to "fish" for the circles. Whoever ends up with the most Golden Rule circles wins.
Hearts of Gold
Obtain a wooden heart for each child and spray-paint it gold. After discussing the Golden Rule in class, give pupils sparkly markers or puff paint and show them how to write "The Golden Rule helps me love others." Have them decorate the heart with shiny stickers and gems. Tell pupils to put this plaque somewhere where they will see it each day so they will be reminded to observe the Golden Rule.
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