Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Celebrating Baptism (and a Really Great FREEBIE)

FREE Baptism activity for Grades K-1
Last week my students learned about one of my very FAVORITE Religion topics to teach: Baptism.  I always look forward to our Baptism study because it is so EASY for the children to connect with. Most of them have been baptized and have photos from the event at home. Since nearly everyone was baptized as an infant, they don't have memories of the event, but they many have also attended the baptisms of younger siblings, cousins, and family friends. This makes them EXPERTS on the topic of Baptism. At the mere mention of "Baptism," the hands of my students go up and everyone has a story to tell. I capitalize on this high level of interest and experience and we have so much fun learning about this sacrament in the classroom.

Our Baptism study actually begins with all of the wonderful photos from my students' own Baptisms. I send a note home inviting all families to share photos from the occasion. We collect them on our classroom prayer table throughout the study. I often see my students use their free time to visit the table and study the photos.
LOTS of instructional ideas for teaching Baptism in a lower el classroom

If you look carefully, at the above image you will notice that the Bible is open to the story of Jesus' Baptism. I always take some time to share that story. It helps my kinders relate to Jesus on a very personal level and learn a little about John the Baptist as well.
Great Bible for Kindergarten classrooms

This is my FAVORITE children's Bible. I have many, but I love this one the most. The most common stories from the Old and New Testaments are included in the book, the pictures are so sweet and age-appropriate and the stories are very brief. Some of my higher readers actually look at this book from time-to-time and can read the stories independently. You can purchase My First Read-Aloud Bible from Amazon.

As our study progresses, I explain many of the symbols used at Baptism (such as water, white garments, and candles) along with the words the priest uses during the ceremony and the people you often see at Baptisms. After explaining baptismal elements to the class, we study each of the student photos more carefully to find some of those items. You should see my kids' faces light up as they connect the content learned in class to their OWN Baptisms.

Later in the week, the REALLY fun part happens: we PLAY Baptism in the classroom. I set out a baby doll (preferably with some type of white clothing), a bowl with water in it, a small cup, and a scarf. The children take turns role playing the sacrament of Baptism, rotating the parts of priest, parents, and godparents. (I drape the scarf over the shoulders of the student acting as the priest and we pretend it is a stole.)
LOTS of instructional ideas for teaching Baptism in a lower el classroom

As the young priest pours water over the doll's head he says the words of Baptism: 
I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
LOTS of instructional ideas for teaching Baptism in a lower el classroom

At the close of our study, I integrate Baptism into my ELA block with a writing response activity. Children write a list of people & things at Baptism. They also draw a picture of Baptism and fill in the blanks to complete the prayer the priest says as he pours water over the child's head.
FREE Baptism Activity for lower el students

I am so happy to share this Baptism Response Page with you for FREE! Click the image below to download.
FREE Baptism activity for K-1 classrooms

How do you teach your students about the sacrament of Baptism?


  1. I teach in a Christian school and this year I've had 2 students and their siblings baptized during our chapel services. What a tear-jerker that is!!!And such a great blessing of my job!

  2. This is too precious! I wish my child could be with you for great experiences like this! She loves talking about the baptisms she's seen as well as look at the pictures from hers. Doing something like this would really help her understand the it even more. I'm sharing this to a couple of my friends who teach in Catholic schools. :)
    Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning


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