Baha’i School Lesson – Ornaments of Honesty

Each Sunday, I teach a class to 5-9 year-olds at our local Baha’i Sunday School. Though it’s definitely work, I enjoy it immensely. The kids are sweet, funny, and a little obnoxious, as most 5-9 year-olds are. And I enjoy the challenge of trying to boil down complex spiritual concepts into concrete nuggets the kids can digest.

Each week, we focus on a virtue. This week it was HONESTY. We worked through the meaning and implication of this quote from the Baha’i writings, going over what the words mean and why it’s important to be truthful and honest.

“Beautify your tongues, O people, with truthfulness, and adorn your souls with the ornament of honesty.”

While the kids colored, I read a story from Baha’i history about a man whose honesty won the heart of an official who’d previously been prejudiced against the Baha’is. Then we also read this book:

It’s a very cute take on “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” story, and always a big hit with the kids.
Then, to go along with our quote of the day, we made “ornaments of honesty” using a craft I modified from a Brilliant Star activity. (This would actually make a great Valentine’s Day craft as well.) 
First, we made individual trays of salt dough – equal parts salt, flour, and water. 
That was a very messy business. I thought the kids would love the messiness aspect, but they were surprisingly squeamish. Go figure.
Once their dough was sufficiently mixed, they pressed it onto pieces of cardboard. We used a cookie cutter to make a heart shape (to tie in the idea that honesty is one way we show love to others). Then I had them pick one color from a big stash of beads to outline their hearts.
After that, they used beads to create their own unique mosaic inside and outside the heart. 
Finally, we punched a hole for the kids who wanted to hang their ornaments, and sent them home in a Ziploc bag (the crafts, not the kids). They’d air dry them at home.
All in all, it was a pretty fun lesson. (And a great way to use up the gazillion beads we’ve collected over the years.) I think next time I’ll mix up the dough beforehand, though. Save myself some mess and drama. 🙂

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 6

  1. annie- i just thought i’d tell you how things went at our classes. we’ve actually had 2 so far. the first one was a bit of a dud though. it was only 1 family with kids that have done classes before so we waited a bit for more to come but no such luck. so we got through prayers, a story and quote. by the way- the story. after going to the library and digging through all the books trying to find the wolf who cried boy, i finally found it in the wrong section- my annoyance was overturned with excitement! when we got home i read it to peter…he did not approve and thought it was too morbid! haha….i find that funny on quite a few levels, but especially because you of all ppl are really into censoring what kind of media your child is exposed to- and peter did not find it appropriate! even for the 8-10 year olds! anyway- so i had to find another story, luckily we had done this lesson before in china and i actually had what i thought was a simple story- however when i told it to peter he just couldn’t understand. i think he finally figured it out when the children acted it out!
    so the second class another family came- too bad the first family didn’t come, so we did the lesson once more and was able to get through the whole class. we also added a trust/honesty game that they seemed to enjoy and the ornaments were a hit.
    after all that! i just wanted to say thanks!

  2. Jama, I am planning to document more classes – I don’t know why I haven’t done it before. I know it’s always so helpful to me when other teachers share!

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