One of the requirements in my class is creativity. I am trying to reach teens in a different way. I want to give them new tools to discover a relationship with God. In order to do that we, my students and I, both have to be very open and creative.
I constantly push my students to think outside the box. They are each required to create and present a prayer. The requirements within the assignment are that they engage the class, bring in the theme of what we are learning, and have a direct prayer to God at the end.
I have had students make cupcakes and cookies, sharing them with the class if they thanked God for another sweet treat in their lives; go outside and play teambuilding games and bring it back to we are all in it together; bring in helium balloons which we all wrote a petition on and released into the sky; and so many more. But yesterday was the best I have seen yet!
Ashby took the time to cut out small cardboard rectangles and paint them black. She also created small pieces of paper with computer apps on them. She divided the students into groups and asked them to put which ever apps they used the most on their “cardboard iPad”. The students were having fun discussing their choices of apps.
Then she talked with the students about how much of a teen’s life is spent on these apps and iPads. She instructed the students to write under three of the apps ways they could use that app to help those who are suffering (which is our theme right now).
The students came up with great ideas. One group said to take pictures of those suffering and post them on Instagram to spread awareness to that cause. They also said they could take the time they use on those apps to instead pray or volunteer their time at a hospital or nursing home. Then Ashby ended with a heartfelt prayer to God to help the students do the things they wrote on their iPads and to reflect on how their time could be better spent.
I was so proud of Ashby. She took lots of time to prepare this creative activity. She put so much thought into the idea of how to help others who are suffering and made it relevant to her age group. The students enjoyed the activity and hopefully it will make them think twice the next time they pick up their iPad or download another app. Everyone can do something to help others.
We as teachers need to challenge our students to be creative. We need to lead by example and give them the opportunity to grow in their faith. If we don’t ask them to go deeper how many will do it on their own? Thank you, Ashby, for taking this prayer assignment and creating an idea that will stay with me and hopefully the students for a long time to come.
Copyright 2014 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp
About the Author
Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp - mom of 4 teens/wife for 20+ years. Lori has been writing at her own website Faith Filled Mom. She writes about the journey of faith we live daily and the ability to recognize God. She is a retreat director at Sacred Heart Academy HS. She just earned her MA in Pastoral Ministry as well as a certification in spiritual direction.