Great Ideas for Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving this Lent

Try one of these reader-submitted ideas for prayer, fasting and almsgiving in your school this Lent.

Our readers help their students live out the three pillars of Lent in creative and meaningful ways!

Make Lenten penance more meaningful than just giving up candy

Each year during the Lenten season, I offer students an opportunity to practice Lenten sacrifice by giving up one recess a week to grow even more in their faith. I’m always surprised to see how many students choose to attend this optional faith

Every year is a different theme. For instance, one year we spent time getting to know our new student Bibles and focused on parables of forgiveness. This year we are focusing on the arts and faith with a Lenten theme. Students are learning about religious artists as they analyze specific artwork. I always incorporate a Christian song that ties to the message of the day. In addition, students are given a weekly Bible passage to memorize. Once they can recite it, they get to choose a holy card.

The final session is always a hands-on Lenten project. Students embrace the sacrifice and the faith experience, which I pray they will continue to practice throughout their lives, especially during the Lenten season.

~ Submitted by Julie Taylor, principal at St. Mary School in Edgerton, Ohio

Incorporate writing, research, and critical thinking skills into fund-raising ideas for Lenten almsgiving

Sixth-grade students were challenged to write an essay about how a disaster damaged or destroyed their church. In that essay, they had to write about three fund-raisers they would hold to bring in enough donations to repair or rebuild. They also made for their story a model church that included five major objects (the Stations, an altar, a crucifix, and whatever else they wanted to add). Upon completion, they were to give an oral report to the lower grades.

~ Submitted by Carolyn Price, a teacher from Calvert Catholic Schools in Tiffin, Ohio

Use technology to evaluate charitable-giving options

During Lent I have students download the app One Today. I put them in groups of four or five students. Each day at the beginning of class, the groups have five minutes to look through the app and decide which organization should get their dollar. Then one member of each group shares their choice and reasoning with the class. This way, not only do they give alms, but they also learn about the social issues in our world.

~ Submitted by a teacher from California who prefers to remain anonymous

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