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While sharing is vital to harmonious play, it's not something that comes naturally to most children. The concept of sharing, like so many other life lessons, must be taught to be understood. Sunday school teachers can practice this skill with their pupils by engaging them in simple, church-themed sharing games and activities. Once students see the value of sharing first-hand, they will be more likely to engage in the practice.
Use Teamwork to Create a Cross
Pair students up and ask them to share a pencil and a piece of paper while creating a cross. To prepare for this activity, print off sheets of dot paper. When the Sunday school students arrive in class, pair them up. You can let the students select the pairs, or pair off based on problems that you have noticed in class. Provide each group with a pencil and a sheet of dot paper. Tell each group that they must create a cross by connecting the dots on the paper. Their cross can be as big or as small as they wish, just so long as they work together to make the figure. Explain to the students that they must each only connect two dots before passing the pencil on to their partner. Allow the students to work together, creating their crosses cooperatively. Once they have completed their work, provide them with art supplies and let them work together to decorate their creation. Ask the students to sign their names as co-creators of the cross and hang the images on a classroom bulletin board or wall.
Learn About the Pluses and Minuses of Sharing
Allow students to see how happy sharing can make people by engaging in a "pluses and minuses of sharing" activity. To prepare for this activity, count out a number of index cards equal to the number of students in your class. Divide the cards in half, labeling one half with plus signs and the other half with minus signs. Purchase a bag of candy. When students arrive in class, give them each four pieces of candy, but tell them not to open or eat the sweets. After giving the students the candy, explain to them that they are going to have to use their sharing skills to complete an activity. Provide each student with one of the plus/minus cards, without looking at the symbol that the card contains. Once every student has a card, ask the student to look at the symbol on their card. Tell the students that if their card has a minus, they must give one of their pieces of candy to a student who has a plus on his card. After the students have made the trades, recollect the cards, shuffle them, and redistribute them. Continue trading and passing out cards until students have gained practice in sharing. As the activity ends, allow students to open and eat their candy.
Show That Sharing Has Its Rewards
A fun game to teach sharing while the children are also engaged in their regular Sunday School activities is a sharing contest. Create a poster that contains the names of all students in the class. When the students arrive, explain that they are going to put their sharing skills to the test by engaging in a competition. To win, students must share as graciously and frequently as they can all through Sunday School. Tell the students that they are actually going to be the ones who determine who wins the contest. Whenever they see someone share, they can come up to the poster and put a tally or a sticker under the sharing student's name. The student who has the most tallies or stickers at the end of school wins the game and gets a special prize.
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Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.
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