Monday, June 08, 2009

Fruits of the Spirit: Intro Lesson

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control...." Galatians 5:22-23

Welcome to the first weekly lesson on The Fruits of the Spirit! Each Monday for the next ten weeks, I will be posting a lesson I have completed with my children on the Fruits of the Spirit. Today is the introductory lesson which sets the tone for the rest of this summer series.

I started the first lesson by discussing fruit with my children, talking about what fruits they like and what makes those particular fruits so incredibly delicious to their little tummies. We discussed what good things fruits do for our bodies (i.e. providing nourishment, helping sustain energy..BTW, I don't think I used the word "sustain" with my 2 and 4 year old, giving our bodies vitamins) and why it is important to eat them.

We then talked about how the Bible tells us about some behaviors Jesus wants to see us show in our lives everyday. He has labeled these behaviors as the "Fruits of the Spirit" because just like real fruits, these fruits/behaviors help our bodies. These desired behaviors help us be the best person that we can be and demonstrate our love for Jesus to those around us.

After that discussion, we read the book "Nine Fruits Alive" by Mindy MacDonald. This is a great introduction to the Fruits of the Spirit, provided in an interesting and easy to comprehend format. My kids love this book. Isaac can practically quote it from cover to cover and they both can tell you what behavior each fruit represents.

After reading the book, we pulled out our art supplies and set out to create a "Fruits of the Spirit" placemat from which to dine on all summer long. I found this handy coloring sheet, which I printed off from my computer. The kids colored it, then mounted it to a sheet of construction paper, which was then mounted to a sturdy piece of card stock.

Obviously one needs quite a bit of glue for all this mounting of paper.
After all the coloring and gluing were completed, I took these beauties to Kinkos and had them laminated in heavy plastic. Such lamination is a bit more expensive than the typical kind done at office supply stores for about 25 cents a foot, however it is very sturdy and will hold up (fingers crossed!) to a summer's worth of food eaten on it.

Here are the completed placemats:

Another great extension activity would be to create a family poster of the "Fruit of the Spirit" tree. I made one last year and it lives on our refrigerator. I drew the outlines and Isaac colored it (Evelyn was still in the crayon-eating phase at the time). Again we had it laminated and we all get to enjoy it everyday. It is often discussed at the dinner table, especially when we are dining on a fruit that happens to be illustrated on our

Here is a link to the post in which I discuss this poster.

We closed our time in a little prayer, asking God to help us learn how to have desirable behaviors such as the ones outlined in the Fruits of the Spirit.

Some other great books about the Fruit of the Spirit include:

The Fruit of the Spirit is Jesus in Me

Music Machine: Fruit of the Spirit (CD)

Kids Travel Guide to the Fruit of the Spirit (older children)

The Bear Series by Melody Carlson (I would love to have this series for the kids, but have yet to find it in a boxed set. I would likely have to sell some of my plasma in order to purchase them individually).

Anyone know of any other great resources that could be used for this series?


Jennifer Reinsch said...

Uncle Charlie (google "Uncle Charlie" and it will send you to his website) has both CD's and DVD's with the traditional Fruit of the Spirit song amped up. The DVD version has a little video that makes the song fun. You used to be able to buy each clip separately (I don't know if you still can). Plus, I do know that you can watch or listen a sample of all of their songs. He has some really good ones.

Kristi said...

Thanks for posting great summer ideas again! I bought this book last summer when you recommended it and can't wait to get cracking again. Have you heard any of the "Hide 'Em in Your Heart" memory verses from Steve Green? We LOVE them and particularly like his song entitled The Fruit of the Spirit. It's on iTunes under "Hide 'Em in Your Heart Vol. 2". Thanks again for all of your wonderful insights. I may not comment much, but still follow your blog. You have converted me to an every-other-week grocery shopper, too! ; )