Lesson Title: "Stained Glass" Bulletin Board

Grade Level or Age Group: I have used this activity with grade 7-8 students, but it could very easily be adapted and used with students of any age.

Lesson Objectives:
The students will reflect on the uniqueness of each person and of their role in God's plan.

Materials Needed:

  • A large piece of black bristol board.
  • A number of smaller pieces of bristol board in various colors.
  • Glue, masking tape, exacto knife.
  • Appropriate scripture passage(s).

Religious EducationContents/Activities:
1. Prepare the "Stained Glass Window" in the following fashion:

  • Choose a meaningful pattern for your stained glass design - one that somehow reflects the themes of belonging to the Body of Christ and having special unique gifts to bring to a given community. I chose to do a cross because it is a simple pattern. If you are more creative, you could do a church building similar to the one above, or the figure of Jesus similar to the one depicted on the right. What I describe below is the process I used to do the cross. You will obviously adapt that to the design you are using.
  • For the cross, I drew a the mosaic/stained glass with a pencil - various triangular shapes with a 1 cm border between them (to simulate the lead border in real stained glass window). I cut out the shapes and left the border intact. I used the cut out triangles as patterns to make colored replacements for each of the holes (again out of bristle board) making sure that the colors would "paint" the desired picture when the pieces were replaced in the holes. I placed the black "frame" of the "stained glass" picture on the bulletin board I put a making tape on the "back" side of each colored piece.
2. In class with the students, you could use the following process:

  • Give each student, or let them pick, one of the pieces of the pieces that will make up the design you prepared. Ask them to right their names on the "front" or "top" side of the piece.
  • Invite the students in small groups of 3-4 to come up to the bulletin board to place their piece where it belongs. They can help each other find the right spot for the pieces they have.
  • Once all of the students have finished, read one or several excerpts from the following scripture passages. You can obviously choose other texts that you find more appropriate:

    • Romans 12; 4-21 "...so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others..."
    • 1 Corinthians 12 "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."
    • Ephesians 4 "From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."

3. Help them draw out some of the implications of what they have just done. You could do this by asking questions:

  • Is our class like this "stained glass" picture? How?
  • What would have happened if people had not helped each other putting the pieces up where they belonged? What happens in a class when people don't help each other?
  • What would have happened if people had tried to fit their piece in the wrong holes. Can this also happen in a class? How?
  • What would happen if one or more people had not wanted or had not been there to get up and add their pieces to the picture? What does that tell us about how things should be in a group like ours?
  • All the pieces are of different shapes and different colors. Is that a good thing? How does that apply to people in this classroom?
  • Ask the students to make connections between the above points and the scripture passage(s) you read. It might be helpful to read the text(s) again here or to have the students read them.
  • What does our "stained glass" picture and this/these passage(s) from the Bible tell us about how we should treat each other in this class?

4. Invite the students to journal about what they just did and discussed.

NOTE: A lot of work? Yes it is, but I made the "stained glass" frame sturdy enough to last several years and I simply replaced the colored pieces each year. I believe it was well worth the effort.

©Gilles Côté, 2001 If you use this lesson plan, please acknowledge your source.

Related: Lesson Plans - Ecclesiology - Creed - Models of the Church