Sunday school is a class that many children in Christian denominations attend in order to educate them on the Christian religion as well as the Bible. The Holy Book offers many examples in the Old and New Testaments regarding living life morally and ethically. Honesty is a moral taught in the Bible and Christan religion and which is applicable to the everyday life of children. Activities incorporating religion with the act of telling the truth can help educate students on the values of Christianity and how to live their life morally.
Cain and Abel
Read students the Old Testament story of Cain and Abel. The story presents a tale of two brothers, one of whom murders the other out of jealousy. When God asks Cain what happened to his brother, Cain lies to him and replies that he does not know. Ask the children discussion questions regarding the story of Cain and Abel. Hold a roundtable discussion about the sins Cain committed and what he should have said when God asked him about his brother.
Take the children outside during winter and have them each make a small snowball. Stand several feet in front of the students and hold up your own snowball and explain to them that the snowball represents a white lie. A white lie is a small lie or fib that you tell when you want to avoid the truth --for example, such as when the truth could get you into trouble with your parents. Instruct the students to roll their snowballs in the snow toward you. When they reach where you are standing, ask them to hold up their much larger snowballs. Explain to them that even small, white lies can lead to big lies. Tell the students that God calls upon us to be honest even in the smallest sense because a small lie could snowball to a much larger one.
In the Gospel of James, 3:6, the human tongue becomes an evil and poisonous instrument that could set fire to a man's entire life. Read this Bible passage to students and ask what they think this metaphor means. Explain to students that John is speaking of the tongue's ability to produce speech and, likewise, the potential for lying. A lie can make life very difficult and cause bad things to occur. Ask students to write short essays or paragraphs about how a particular lie could affect their life negatively. For example, a student could write about a person who lies about his golf score. When the truth comes out, that person could be disqualified or engender a reputation as a poor sportsman.
Have students sit in a circle and choose one student to begin the activity. Whisper in the ear of this student that he must make up a white lie about the student sitting to his left and whisper it to the person to their right. Instruct the class to whisper whatever they heard from the person next to them to the person to their right. The statement can be whispered only once, and the person must repeat as best they can what it is they heard. When the lie reaches the person to the left of the student who began the game, the student must announce to the group what he heard. The statement will likely have become very distorted since the initial white lie. This lesson should give students an example of how a white lie can change and grow through translations, and that when they tell a white lie, it can often get exaggerated in each retelling, becoming even more hurtful to the person it is about. The two-fold lesson will also demonstrate why white lies are damaging and how they can hurt people. Jesus teaches us to love our neighbors, and that involves being honest and truthful.
Michelle Barry graduated from Salve Regina University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Since then, she has worked as a reporter for the Wilbraham-Hampden Times, an editor for Month9Books and Evolved Publishing, editor and has spent the past seven years in marketing and graphic design. She also has an extensive background in dance.