Dealing with Grief: Grades 1 to 3

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Hands-on lesson and ideas to help children deal with
grief.

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1. Seasons
Put a mitten, sunscreen, umbrella, kite, sunglasses, rake, leaf,
and a package of hot chocolate in a paper sack.

*Say: I’m going to show you an object and you tell me
which season of the year it reminds you of. (Go through all the
items, except for the leaf.) Read aloud Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

*Say: Just as there are different seasons of the year,
there’s a time for everything. These verses say there is a time to
be born and a time to die. Everything that is born lives and
eventually dies. What happens to this leaf in the fall? Why has it
fallen? When someone we love dies, we’re usually very sad. God can
help us while we grieve over someone’s death.

2. A Look at God’s Book
*Say
: Jesus had a friend named Lazarus who died. This made
Jesus very sad. In John 11:35, the Bible says that Jesus cried.
This is the only time in the Bible that it says Jesus cried. Dress
up in biblical attire like Jesus. Or have a young person or adult
do so. In costume, tell the story of Lazarus from John 11:1-46. Involve children by allowing
them to interview Jesus. Have the storyteller “Jesus” talk about
how he felt when his friend died and about the hope we have because
Jesus came to die for our sins.

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*Say: How do you think Lazarus felt? Mary? Martha? How
would you have felt if your brother had died? if Jesus had brought
your brother back to life? Have you ever had someone close to you
die? Explain. How can Jesus help us when we’re sad?

3. Hopeful
Give each child one slip of paper, a pencil, and a yellow balloon.
Have children each write on their piece of paper something that
gives them hope when they’re sad. Explain that hope is the ability
to look forward to something better when we’re hurting. Have kids
each slip their paper into their balloon, blow up the balloon, and
tie it off. Put all the balloons in a pile in the middle of a
circle.

*Say: Pick out one balloon. On the count of three, sit
on your balloon and pop it. 1-2-3 POP! Go around the circle and
have each child read the message of hope on their slip. Read aloud
John 3:16.

*Say: Jesus promises to give eternal life to people who
choose to follow him. We may be sad when people die, but we can
have hope that if they followed Jesus, they’re in heaven with
him.

4. Snack-Let the children put together the
snack in “Food for Thought.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
You’ll need: Heat-and-serve bread sticks, no-stick
cooking spray, sugar, cinnamon, a knife, and cookie sheets.

Directions: *Say: When we’re sad, we can remember that
Jesus is always with us! The cross helps us think about him when
we’re sad because someone has died. Give each child one and a half
bread sticks. Have children pinch the long and the short pieces
together to form a cross. Have the children sprinkle the top of the
cross with sugar and cinnamon. Spray a cookie sheet with no-stick
spray. Place crosses on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Then
enjoy.

Created for GRADES 1-3

Elaine Friedrich is a director of elementary ministries in
Texas.

Excerpted from Children’s Ministry Magazine. Subscribe today!

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