Beatitudes Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Use this Study.com lesson plan to help students interpret the Beatitudes. Have students point out similarities and differences, then adapt them using informal language.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the Beatitudes
  • interpret the meanings of the Beatitudes
  • collaborate to rewrite Beatitudes in informal language

Length:

45 minutes to 1 hour

Materials

  • Copies of the Beatitudes, one for each student or grouping
  • Beatitudes written in 2 sections and cut apart, enough so each student gets one part

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1

Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2

Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Instructions

  • Tell students they will be reading and analyzing the Beatitudes.
  • With students, read the Study.com lesson What Are the Beatitudes? - Definition & Meaning.
  • Help students organize content by taking notes and defining unknown words or concepts.
  • After reading the first section, 'What Are the Beatitudes?', discuss:
    • Where does the word 'beatitudes' come from?
    • What was Jesus describing in the Beatitudes?
    • Discuss how the Beatitudes have influenced social issues or students.
  • Continue reading. Point out that each Beatitude has two sections, 'Blessed are those' and 'for they shall'.
  • Create a t-chart labeled 'Beatitude' and 'Message'. Fill in as you read.

Activity

  • Give each student one half of a Beatitude and have them find the other half to determine their partner pairing for the activity.
  • Tell students they will rewrite the Beatitudes into more simple, informal language. Pass out copies of the Beatitudes.
  • Demonstrate the process using the first Beatitude - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Write the Beatitude on chart paper. Work with the class to determine an informal way to get the same message across, such as 'Being humble is a good thing.'
  • Explain to students that interpretations may differ.
  • Have students rewrite Beatitudes. Share with class. Discuss similarities and differences in interpretations.

Extensions

  • Have students research influential religious leaders, like Gandhi and Mother Theresa. Focus on the message in their teachings and beliefs.
  • Ask students to create their own set of Beatitudes. What do they think it means to be blessed?

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