Sunday, May 6, 2018

Visual Faith Academic Enrichment for Middle-Schoolers

 I have been teaching a Visual Faith Academic Enrichment program for middle-schoolers since April. This is a 9-week/twice-a-week/40 minute- sessions course.

It's been an interesting few weeks. The whole class  - 24 of them - is following along and completing the projects. Since most of them signed up for this, I know they're interested.....maybe those who "ended up" in the class will decide that maybe God put them there for a reason ;)

We made notebook covers for composition notebooks so that they would have a place to journal and keep "tests" of projects/tools I share with them. I don't believe any of them have journaling Bibles, and the ones they have are for daily school use, so their journaling for now will be in notebooks.

We also made paper bag "gratitude"journals. I asked them to write down 2 things every day that they are thankful for.....and praise God for them. I made a card for the front that says "Hey, God....." and on the inside cover, they can write or stamp "thank you for....." The paper bag booklet has pockets for more personal writing, if they like. They attached  lined paper to each page to write their thanks on. We added scrapbook paper to the front and back of the booklet. We've played with Gelatos™, water color pencils, stencils, lettering, etc. This week we'll do another tip-in and  the tissue technique. 

When they come into the classroom, I usually have a contemporary worship song playing, based on the theme of that month (courage, truth, strength). They are supposed to get their place card with their name on it and write a couple of things they need prayers about, and to pray for them while they doodle around those thoughts f)

The place card is a copy of two prayer cards printed together and folded in half. I added their name on the front, and handed them out the first time we met. I asked them to keep the prayer card on the back blank. This past week I asked them to direct the back card to one person in their life they'd like to pray about the rest of the days we meet. I will leave it up to them if they want to sign them.

They would write on the back of the card: Dear._______,
I have been praying for you. 
On the front they will put specific things they prayed about, then color/doodle around them as they pray those thoughts.
They will separate the cards in June and give/mail the card to the person they prayed for. The other card may be placed in their Bible or notebook. i

Layout draft.
This class isn't all about projects, art tools and art....I found a series of books* that works really well as a devotion time for the group. The topics (mentioned above) with appropriate scripture and the stories in the books help us create visual expressions of them...helping us to remember. For example a sextant was used to save a lost crew and ship and that story had another story relating how a woman used The Word as her sextant in her marriage.

I am learning along with the students and the art teacher who is gathering ideas to carry on in her classes. After talking with the students, I set up a Visual Faith Youth Community for them (and other youth) on FaceBook. Hopefully, they will share with each other. I will monitor it and parents may join for their children. If you know of a parent/child(12-18) wants to join the FaceBook group, make a request at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/VFYouth/

Our God is our creator and He gave each of us the abilities to create in various ways.....I am so thankful to be able to do this teaching to His glory.

Feel free to contact me with any questions on how you'd like to create a series of classes for youth.

* Character Stories for Families by Barbara Rainey at FamilyLife at ChristianBook.com.

Blessings......
Candice


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