Celebrating the Pro-Life Spirit in Your Classroom
By Lori Ann Watson
Let’s make a big deal about January 19. That’s the date set for the 2018 March for Life, the biggest pro-life event of the year. The main rally and march will be held in Washington, D.C., but cities around the country hold satellite events, and you can bring the March right into your own classroom. We rounded up a few ideas to save you some planning time.
EWTN covers the March for life each year. Live coverage this year runs from 9 am until 5:30 pm Eastern time the day of the March. EWTN will also run the smaller One Life L.A. March (which is Los Angeles’ satellite event) on Saturday, January 20 from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Host a Mini-March
Plan a route around the school campus or through your local area. Then gather your students and a few other classes, craft some signs, and take the pro-life message out into the public square.
A pro-life, student-created bulletin board brings the spirit of the March into your classroom (or hallway) and makes a powerful statement to visitors. Here are a few simple ideas for student-made boards you can pull together in a snap:
- “Celebrate Life!”
To kick off this activity, hold a class discussion about why we can be grateful that our moms and dads chose life for us. What are we thankful for that we never would have experienced if we hadn’t been born? What are we glad we’ve gotten to do with our lives? Which special moments in life have meant the most to us, making us glad that we got the chance to live them? Have students write down their own special moments and other things they treasure in this life, and have each child choose the best one and record his or her favorite by answering the question “Why are you glad your parents chose life?”
Post your “Celebrate Life!” title with New Year’s noisemakers and curly ribbon on the bulletin board, along with the sentence starter “Why are you glad your parents chose life?” Arrange your students’ responses around it, and let your bulletin board remind passersby that each life is a treasure. For added impact, post each child’s picture next to his or her response.
- “Love Saves Lives”
This is the theme for the 2018 March, and it works easily into a bulletin board display. Catholic Icing provides this beautiful Annunciation coloring page that your students can color, to be arranged with your “Love Saves Lives” title.
- “One Life Can Change the World”
Using this easy popsicle-stick activity, have each child craft the infant Jesus’ manger on construction paper. Post their work, and use the title “One Life Can Change the World” for your board. Another option is to use a coloring sheet instead of the craft. CatholicIcing.com’s Baby Jesus craft ideas page is great for sparking ideas for your own variations on this theme.
Pro-Life Books, Movies, and Other Resources
There are many pro-life resources available that are appropriate for classroom use, including these. (Individual teacher preview is recommended.)
For elementary grades:
Angel in the Waters, by Regina Doman
Beginnings, by Lori Ann Watson
Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss
For Middle Grades:
Rosa, Sola, by Carmela Martino
For Upper Grades:
Life-Changing Love, by Theresa Linden
8 Notes to a Nobody, by Cynthia Toney
Umbert the Unborn (comic strip and blog), by Gary Cangemi
Bella (the movie), produced by Metanoia Films
Throw a Pro-Life Pizza (or Pie) Party
There’s not much kids love more than a party, and if there’s anything worth making an all-out hubbub over, it’s life!
Collect Pro-Life Quotes
Mother Theresa said, “How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” Saints and celebrities over the years have summed up the pro-life spirit with phrases that really hit home. Have your students be on the lookout for them, and encourage them to bring them in to copy onto a bulletin-board paper “mural.”
Let’s make the most of that March for Life energy this January. We will be praying for you as you celebrate!
Lori Ann Watson teaches, homeschools, blogs about Catholicism, and almost never gets caught up on laundry. She writes from North Central Florida.