Hearts and Sunshine

Are you ready to transform the bare walls of your classroom into vibrant works of art? A beautiful faith-filled bulletin board can place your students in the right direction at the start of the school year. The two boards that I’m sharing today are designed to inspire good deeds in a caring classroom community.

“Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16 is the inspiration for the bulletin board that I created for my fourth graders last year. I started our discussion of this verse by asking my students what the song This Little Light of Mine is all about.  It is a favorite song that is sung at our weekly school mass. I also asked my students what they notice about the saints and their shining halos. My students seemed excited to think about how we shine with the light of God’s love when we love God and others. We all have the opportunity to shine like the saints!
Next, I gave each of my students a strip of yellow construction paper to write on and decorate. They wrote about a few good deeds that they can do at school and at home that give glory to God. I arranged all of the strips to create one giant sun with rays of light. I added a few extra rays of sunshine and the display turned out beautifully.

It was almost a year ago when we celebrated the canonization of St. Teresa of Calcutta. Her feast day is September 5th which coincides perfectly with the beginning of the school year. After sharing the story of her amazing life with my fifth graders I told them to ponder her words, “Do small things with great love.” I gave them time to think, pair and share about what this means to them. Their ten year old wisdom was lovely:
“I can’t do something as big as feeding all of the hungry people in the world, but I can do little things such as donating canned food to a food bank.”
“I can put my whole heart into the good deeds that I do for my family.”
“Many little acts of kindness can add up into something really great!”
After our sweet discussion I gave my students construction paper hearts to write about the little things they can do with great love at school and at home. My students also decorated their hearts and they looked beautiful. I arranged the hearts next to a drawing of St. Teresa and I added a caption from 1 John 4:7. Finally, I traced the drawing of St. Teresa from one of my favorite blogs called Look to Him and Be Radiant:
I was certainly inspired by reading the hearts and sunshine in the fourth and fifth grade hallways of my school. The truth and beauty of their words and artwork were a joyful sight. I hope that these projects bring inspiration to you, too!

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