Prayer Bulletin Board
We’ve been learning to pray in the 4-6 year old class. The kids have been saying prayers long before I started teaching the class but their prayers were pretty limited to “Thank you for______” and “Thank you for______”. This is all good but I wanted them to learn how to praise God through prayer and also that it is important to ask God for help.
The bulletin board is simple and can be done on any size board although the one in my classroom is a very nice large one. The background is black which makes the white and the bright colors really pop. Since the students are pre-readers and emerging readers, the words are kept to a minimum. The words I wanted the students to focus on are in bright colors and a little larger than the rest.
The fist week, we discussed praising God. I chose some common praise words and phrases. Each were printed in a different font and color to add interest. This may not have been the best idea because the emerging readers would really have benefited from simpler fonts but I thought it looked good so I went with it.
During class, we talked about each word or phrase, adding them to the board as we discussed them. These are not words that the students typically use in their everyday life so it is important that they say the words. Just hearing someone else say them is not as good as actually saying it themselves.
After all the words were added to the praise section, each student said a prayer using at least one of the new phrases. This was very challenging for the younger ones but the oldest student did very well.
The second week, we talked about thanking God. This is what they are very used to doing so it is not a new concept. In fact, children at this age can go on and on and on with thanking God for everything. It always makes me smile to see them with bowed heads and closed eyes peeking a little around the room to see what else they can thank God for.
Before class I had asked their parents/grandparents to send pictures of things they are thankful for. Their pictures along with a couple of others I found were added to the board as we talked about each one of them. The students were excited to see pictures of themselves. They couldn’t imagine how I had gotten hold of them. One is a picture of his family, another of his toys and another of his pet.
After reviewing the praise section and adding pictures to the thanks section, each child said a prayer using at least one praise phrase and a few thank you’s. The praise phrases were easier for them to include and, of course, not only did they thank God for things on the board, but everything else they could think of.
The third week, we talked about asking God for things. As we had done with the others, we talked about each picture as we added it to the board. We talked about people in the congregation who were sick. We talked about people in the congregation who were traveling. We talked about things they might be afraid of, etc.
After discussing what we should ask God for, the students each said a prayer using at least one praise phrase, some thank you’s and asking God for to help those traveling, the sick, help them to be good (the boy with a thumbs up), etc. I was surprised how difficult it was for them to ask God for things. They kept wanting to thank God for the sick, the travelers, etc. Hopefully over the next quarter praising God and asking Him for help will begin to be more natural.
Here is the completed bulletin Board: