A curriculum to support Love in Action was prepared in 2016. A lesson around Caring for Creation, including Bible Readings, and prayers can be found here – Love Reaches Out – 2018
Ideas for Great Entries for the “Love Reaches Out – Caring For Our World” Art & Writing competition.
1. Plant the seeds….
Once you’ve made the decision to promote the Love Reaches Out competition, don’t just leave it to chance! Be intentional about giving your children time and space to participate. Decide how and when you are going to introduce the competition. Some ideas include:
- Holiday or After-School Programmes
- Sunday School
- Holiday Sessions for Sunday School
- Local School Art/Writing lesson
- Kindergarten Activity or Playgroup Activity
Create an inspiring space where children are encouraged to feel comfortable and inspired to use their imaginations.
2. Germinate the seeds…
This year the focus of our “Love Reaches Out” theme is “Caring for Our World”. This can be interpreted in many ways. Your children may need a little help in discovering all the interpretations available to them. You may want to start out by having a brainstorming session about what it means to care for our world. There are a few different directions to go:
- Environmental (physical)
- Caring for the people of the World (geographical – places far and near)
- Caring for people of OUR world (who is a part of our world – neighbours, etc.)
3. Feed the seedlings….
Some resources to help you plan sessions with children:
Books: For example: Someday A Tree by Eve Bunting
Scripture: Genesis 1, Creation (God created the world and was very pleased with it. He put us in charge to look after it.)
2. Caring for the people of the world:
Use maps to find different areas of the world. God cares about everyone no matter where they live or how different their situation is to ours.
Access the World Vision or Tear Fund websites to find out if there are any particular crises that need prayer.
Scripture: The book of Acts is full of stories of Paul and the other apostles bringing the Gospel to the world of their time.
3. Caring for people of OUR world
Think about neighbours, classmates, church community, teachers, etc….Who are they and HOW can we care for them? (Remember birthdays, encourage people who are lonely, make meals for those who are sick, etc)
Scripture: The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37
More Resources: Children’s books:
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney: As a child Great-aunt Alice Rumphius resolved that when she grew up she would go to faraway places, live by the sea in her old age, and do something to make the world more beautiful–and she does all those things, the last being the most difficult of all.
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart: Bringing beauty to your world/neighbourhood by spreading joy and creating something beautiful.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown: One small person can transform the world.
While these books aren’t specifically Christian they reinforce the messages in Jesus’ teachings. They all focus on caring for others and looking after the world around us. They encourage us to be outward facing and not just inward facing. Learning to translate our “Christianese” into a language that the outside world can understand is a wonderful lesson in Love Reaching Out!
4. Nurturing the Seedlings…
As you and the children work out the way in which you want to express your message, help them to decide whether or not they want to write or create an artistic expression –or perhaps a mixture of both.
WRITTEN ENTRIES If they want to write, they may use poetry, narrative, fiction or essay. Of course age and development will make a difference, but try not to assume that “littlies” cannot write. Encourage creative spelling in the initial phase of writing. Allow them to use picture words or narrate their story so you can put it into words (“book spelling”) for them. (PLEASE just be sure you are true to THEIR ideas.) Here are some tips for making the environment friendly to writing:
- Offer lined and unlined paper.
- Have clipboards available as well as tables so children may find a spot for inspiration and park there.
- Offer many different coloured pens and pencils. Paper can also be multi-coloured.
- Some children like the feeling of writing on a notepad or a journal.
- Give them space and time to create something unique to them.
ART ENTRIES For art you’ll need to decide if you’re doing a group project or individual projects. Think about what they might need as well as what is attainable for the amount of adult supervision you have. Lots of painting might not be a great idea if you are short-staffed. (Children who are beyond the age requirements may like to assist you!) That said, be sure that good materials (pastels, pens, crayons, paints, inks, good paper, card to “frame” creations) are in abundance (as much as possible) and that children have free access to them. With individual projects, children may need help brainstorming, but try to avoid being too prescriptive.
5. Prepare the harvest…
As the judges look at the artwork presented, their eyes are naturally drawn toward art that is presented in a polished and lovely way. Children’s originality should be supported by a backdrop of some sort if it’s published on paper. Black card or construction paper that is slightly larger than your original paper works very nicely. Use the highest quality materials available to you. If your budget won’t allow for new items, ask your church or local community to donate materials. This boosts the children’s sense of importance for the project and it allows for a beautiful finished product. And most importantly HAVE FUN!
(Thanks to Kaila who originally prepared these ideas for the 2014 Competition)
Competition closes on 27 July 2018
Download these tips for “Growing Great Entries” in the Love Reaches Out – Caring for our World art and writing competition. Ideas for Developing Great Entries for 'Love Reaches Out' -Caring for Our World 2018