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Lesson 13 : Being a good friend

In this fifth set of lessons in grade two, we’re looking at how to be a good friend. Lesson 13 focuses on the one true friend, that we will always have by our side – God. Because he loves each one of us and cares for us all, He overlooks our shortcomings and forgives us when we forget to follow His guidance. Knowing that God is there for us always, makes us feel we’re never alone. Of course, there are many other friends we have as well, some stay with us for a long time, some come and go. It’s these relationships we need to nourish and look after.

We’ve decided to choose a different prayer to learn by heart for this set of lessons – it is this one:

We decided to memorise it by learning the tune with it – haven’t quite decided which one yet, either from Anthony and Michael’s Strive CD or Tara Ellis’ Devotions.

After spending quite a bit of time on making sure we understand all the words in this prayer, we moved on to making friendship bracelets – yay!

We used this lovely tutorial for an easy way of braiding the fishbone pattern bracelets. Using embroidery cotton (get cheap 5 colour packs from the Warehouse, for approx NZ$2.50), the children made some gorgeous bracelets – we might have to do this again, it was fun!

To finish off, we shared the story of Howard Kelly – and the famous story A GLASS OF MILK. Unfortunately we ran out of time to look at the other story in the lesson and do any of the drama. But we might be able to complete that next week.

See you all then!

Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart…

Today was our first full lesson, at the new venue – and with lots of children! yay! For those of you, that have been following my blog and haven’t heard – we’re now participating at regular children’s classes offered in Masterton, at Ko Te Aroha.

We learnt a new song together “My first counsel” in a big group first, thanks Te Maehe and Stefan for the guitar support! The song’s words were also part of the quote the children memorised in their respective classes:

“O Son of Spirit! My first counsel is this, possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart…”

In the 9-11 year olds class, we also looked at the children’s prayer “O God, guide me, protect me…”. Using simple cards, with the phrases written on them, we read the prayer together multiple times and then removed more and more of cards. At the end all children could say the prayer without the cards at all – very impressive!

After a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the children coloured in the picture for today’s lesson. With amazing patience and care, they carefully created beautiful, colourful pictures (see some of the photographs below). We finished off with the game ‘Burning Thirst’ – where the children’s arms are tied to sticks, so they can’t bend their elbows. They pretend they are two people in the desert coming upon an oasis (glass of water) – having wandered for hours in the hot, dry desert they long to drink it, but have to find a way to do so, even though they can’t bend heir arms. The children worked out the solution immediately; working together and helping the other person to drink first, taking turns this way, both could quench their thirst! Bravo!

The older classes working their age-groups. And below – the Burning Thirst game…

I’ve collated all the colouring-in pictures from the Grade 1 book, and stuck them into a pdf (2 up on an A4 – which makes it more efficient for photocopying) – you can download them from here.

Cookies were delivered in the nick of time…

…the baked goodies did make it to the truck on Monday last week. And only in the nick of time too, the train was over an hour late, but I got a ride from a friendly co-commuter – thank goodness! There was a lovely fabric banner to sign for everyone too, see the quick mobile phone pics below 🙂

Bake-off time :: Christchurch, those cookies are coming!!!

After lots of flour, sugar, mixing, rolling, cutting, icing (and some tasting) – we are happy to announce, the cookies are ready! Two ice-cream containers full to the top with Gingerbread hearts and Swiss Mailänderlis – yum! They’ll be going to Wellington on the train with me in the morning – wohooooo!

And decorating the boxes….

Christchurch – our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you…! Kudos to all at The Great Sunday Bake-off – you go guys!!!

Next Sunday we’ll get back to our regular children’s class lessons – see you all there 🙂

Lesson 2 : Have a pure, kind and radiant heart

What a beautiful day we had to learn about purity of heart. So much sunshine, in and outside the classroom 🙂 After prayers, we started our lesson with learning a new quote by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:

“He is God!  O God, my God!  Bestow upon me a pure heart, like unto a pearl.”

The beautifully illustrated version of it, was our colouring in activity at the end of class too. (See today’s lesson in pdf format for a copy of it.)

The story we read today, was from a new book, called ‘Daily Reflections and Stories for Children‘. It is compiled by Munirih Hodge and Margo Styan – and the short stories are beautiful – 19 different ones, all arranged by virtues and spiritual qualities. The one we read today, was about two visitors who came to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. They didn’t like each other at all, but ‘Abdu’l-Bahá showed them how to be friends and told them ‘My home is the home of joy and delight. My home is the home of laughter … Whoever enters through the portals of this home must go out with a gladsome heart.” They left the house the best of friends. 🙂

To visualise how precious our hearts are and how practicing kindness and radiance can help us to keep them pure, just like a pearl – our craft was inspired by shells and pearls. See the pics for details…


After playing musical statues with Stefan Brown’s ‘Kindness’ song, we settled down for some calming colouring in. Well done everyone! What a lovely class!

Next week we’re having a special class as it’s ‘Ayyam-i-Há – the time of hospitality, celebrating unity and gifts… We’ll keep you posted on what’s planned, as soon as we have all details sorted 🙂

Lesson 17 : Pure, kind & radiant heart

This must be one of my favourite lessons 🙂 it is based on lesson 2 in Ruhi Book 3, and we’ve gone through it before. The children needed very little prompting to remember the quote for today’s lesson:

“O Son of Spirit! My first counsel is this: possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart.”

We changed the craft slightly too – painting beautiful hearts – pure, kind and radiant ones – but then stringing them up, instead of using them as magnets. We loved the way they look, when we wrote the words first with oil crayons, and then painted over with a water based paint – the brightly colourful results are gorgeous!

 (the lovely ‘heart-mobiles’ and their makers 🙂 )

For today’s story, we used an ‘old’ book I had from my parents, called ‘The Scottish Visitors’ – a story about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit to London. It’s beautifully illustrated, and the story suits age groups from 5 to 12 alike!

We finished the class by playing the game ‘Burning thirst’ (Ruhi book 3, page 18). Sticks are tied to childrens’ arms – to prevent them bending their elbows – and they pretend to have walked in the desert and are very thirsty. A glass of water is given to them and they have to try and drink it (only works if they work together and hold it for each other). 🙂

And then sang Stefan Brown’s song on ‘kindness’. Always a favourite of everyone in class. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday everyone and see you next week, which will be the last class of this term (19th September).

Lesson 11 : Kindness

Welcome back everyone! It’s been a fabulous first lesson after the school holidays 🙂

We talked about kindness, and what it means to be kind to each other, to animals, the planet, ourselves – to EVERYONE… Memorising the quote for today’s lesson was a breeze. Our children are learning them so quickly, it’s becoming second nature. Well done everyone!

After singing Stefan Brown’s song ‘Kindness‘, we made some peaceful and happy kindness-birds. A fabulous craft idea from the Australian Peace Pack material. It’s the little kindnesses we show each other that give us wings and lift our hearts and spirits!

It was great to see all the beautiful birds take flight…

We finished the class with the ‘Hidden Virtue’ game. Have a look at the lesson pdf for a description of how it is played – we had good fun with it and did at least 4 rounds 😉

Thanks all for  great class and see you next Sunday – when we’ll learn about Generosity (some cookie baking/decorating might be involved….) – yum!

Lesson 2: Kind and radiant hearts

We had a lovely second lesson at the Community Centre today. The theme for this lesson was ‘A pure, kind and radiant heart’. We sang Stefan Brown’s song called ‘Kindness’ and had lots of fun, coming up with lots of different rhythms and percussion for it. We learned a new quote by Baha’u’llah (see quote of the week on the right) and did a craft activity – where we painted little heart magnets. Have  look at the pictures, and I’ve posted a pdf of the complete lesson as well.

2_KindHeart (pdf for downloading)

Busy hands – making the ‘heart-magnets’…

We used crayons first to create a pattern on the cardboard hearts and then painted over it with watercolours – so easy and very pretty looking 🙂 it was hard to stop!

…to end the class, we played the game ‘Burning Thirst’. The children’s arms are tied to sticks, so they can’t bend their elbows. Then they pretend that they’ve been walking in the desert for a long time and are REALLY thirsty. They come upon a cup of water – how can they drink from it, without being able to bend their elbows and pick up the cup….?

…after lots of giggles and trial and error, they realise that they have to work together and hold the cup for each other to get any of the water! Well done!!!!!

Thanks also to Keith, who paid us a visit during children’s class today – it’s great having people popping in – all welcome 😉

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