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it.” By the middle of  rst grade, children will be doing much better in this area.•  ey have short attention spans. Accommodate their need for a change of pace every ten minutes or so. Inte- grate movement into your lesson plan, and try a variety of approaches—using their senses, marching, singing, dancing, or playing a game. Break things up by having them move from their tables or desks to sit in a circle on the  oor for discussion, prayer, or a story.•  ey won’t always “get it” the  rst time. Check under- standing frequently, especially when presenting new material. Ask children to tell you what you said in their own words, or ask questions to assess what they have learned.•  ey are concrete thinkers. Tie into their reality in the examples you use, the stories you tell, and the questions you ask. Because religion and faith are by nature based on spiritual realities, it is important to provide examples and comparisons children understand. Strive to make the truths of faith applicable to their daily experience.•  ey are learning. Be patient with them. Establish classroom routines to help them develop basic orga- nizational skills and to learn boundaries. Give clear directions and repeat directions. Don’t expect them to get everything.•  ey don’t like to make mistakes. Let them know it is okay to be wrong. It’s okay to ask for help. Encourage them to look for the good in what they do. Help them to be patient with themselves. “You didn’t get it this time, but maybe you will the next time.”•  ey are curious. Some of their questions may surprise you.  at’s because they have heard many things that they don’t quite understand. Respond with honestyet simple answers. Don’t suggest that they shouldn’t be asking such a question or that questions are out of place. Rather, encourage and respect their curiosity.•  ey know they do things that are wrong.  ey know that sometimes they do hurtful things on purpose. It is di cult for them to distinguish between moral evil and accidents or mistakes.  ey tend to gauge the serious- ness or wrongness of an action by the reaction theyget. If a parent yells, or they get in trouble, it must be really wrong, therefore, sinful.  ey are not yet ready to acknowledge and take responsibility for actions that are wrong because they disobey God’s rules.1. A Promise Is Special—page 4Point out that the name of this book and of their weekly lessons is Promise. Ask the children to brainstorm.• What is a promise?• What other words or feelings does the word promisemake you think of?Discuss making and keeping promises. Let the children share stories about making or receiving promises.• What kind of promises have you made? To whom didyou make a promise?• Who made a promise to you? What did they promise?• How does it feel to keep a promise to someone?• How does it feel when someone keeps a promise to you?Help the children  nd a promise from God on this page. “I will send Jesus, my Son, to help you.” Let them highlight or underline the promise.Help them  nd a promise from Jesus on this page. “I call you my friends.” Let them highlight or underline the promise.Emphasize that God always keeps his promises to us. Jesus is always true to his word. We can trust God and Jesus.2. Promises—page 5Be sure the children understand the directions. Younger children may not be able to read the material yet. Read the questions and answers aloud, pausing to let them mark their answers.As the children are considering the promise they could make to God, you might want to remind them of the promises of God and Jesus on page 4.  is may help them formulate their own promise.After the activity, read the text at the bottom of the page.  is will help you summarize and reinforce the discussion you have had.Give each child a large paper heart. Ask them to copy their promise to God onto the heart.  en have them draw a picture of how they will ful ll their promise. Have the chil- dren take home their heart pictures as reminders of their promise to God. Encourage them to tell their family about the promise and the picture. Suggest that they display their pictures at home where they can be reminded every day of their promise.5

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