This Little Light of Mine
This lesson uses the book This Little Light of Mine, illustrated by E.B. Lewis to celebrate the special Light we all have inside us. We can make it shine in many different ways.
Materials and Setup
Materials & Setup:
Book: This Little Light of Mine, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Video (2 minutes)
Summary of the Story:
Using the African-American spiritual, the verses of the song are illustrated with a variety of ways one can shine your Light to help make the world a better place.
Suggestions for reading for teacher spiritual preparation before exercise/lesson:
Matthew 5:16 Let your light shine so that all men can see your good works.
The following post may be useful as a reflection for teachers before teaching “This Little Light.”
Worship in Song, A Friends Hymnal
#266 This Little Light of Mine
#221 Magic Penny
#272 George Fox
Materials Needed for Activity Response
For Individual Art Response:
- drawing paper
- crayons, markers, or pastels
- other supplies
For Teacher-directed Activity:
- Tablet and pens for writing list of ways we let our Lights shine; ways we can help others.
- Tiny battery-operated tea lights
Take Home Notes (one per family):
Note for children to take home after exercise/lesson or to email to parents during week prior to this lesson:
Today we read This little Light of Mine, Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. We learned about our Inner Lights and how we can make them shine. The tiny tea lights are a concrete reminder for the children that they can make their Inner Lights shine.
Welcome the children to the circle. Be sure to introduce everyone, if visitors are present.
Invite children and adults to go around the circle sharing one or two plusses and minuses from their day or week. It helps to ask for 2 items only, either 2 of one or one of each. Children are comfortable with a limit, unless another person’s comment sparks another one for an individual child.
Sing a centering song, such as “God’s Love is a Light,” hymn #218, Worship in Song, A Friends Hymnal, and/or one of the songs suggested in Materials Tab. In addition, or instead of, use breathing or other exercise to center the group. The simplest way is to breathe deeply three times. Adding lifting arms up and down with the breath or holding tummy during deep breaths can help.
Show the cover of the book, read the title and author’s name. Ask the children a question that invites them to wonder about the story.
“I wonder about this little light…” Then, “Let’s see what happens.”
Read the story, holding the book so all can see. Depending on reader’s comfort level with the children, allow comments during the story, especially from younger children.
After reading the story, invite the children to wonder about the story with you.
- I wonder if you see yourself in this story?
- I wonder which picture is interesting to you?
- I wonder what you liked in the story today?
After the children have finished wondering and are ready to go to the next activity, introduce the option for Individual Reflective Art Response or a Teacher-directed Activity.
Individual Reflective Art Response
Children choose from a collection of attractive art supplies and work individually for about 15 minutes to create something of importance to the child. It may or may not be a direct reflection on the story they just heard and wondered about.
How can we let our lights shine? List the ways that you can help your family and friends. Share the ideas.
Wonder with the children about helping people we know from the meeting…
Provide tiny battery tea lights for the children to take home to remind them of their Inner Lights and that they can help others.
Provide a 5-minute warning before the children need to clean up. After clean up, gather the children in a circle and ask them to name one thing for which they are grateful. Sing songs while waiting for their parents to pick them up, or before joining the adults after the rise of Meeting for Worship.
If the children join their loved ones while Meeting for Worship is still in progress, before you lead them back to the meeting room, invite them to remember how they still themselves and some things about the morning that they may want to think about during the final moments of Meeting for Worship.
Hand out the Take Home Notes, if using, as parents pick up the children in the First Day School room, or after the rise of Meeting for Worship, if joining loved ones in worship.
Sparkling Still provides tools for teachers of children ages 3-12. Included are sample lessons, a master lesson plan, ideas for building classroom community, an introduction to wondering questions and more.
Sparkling Still provides useful instructions on:
- Creating the circle and other components of your time together: pages 5-22
- Reading out loud with children: pages 16-17
- Wondering with children and adults: pages vii-xi and 6-7
- Individual Art Responses: page 7
- Art Supplies: pages 20-22
Credits: Anne Collins (SCYM), Sally Farneth (PhYM), Susan Hopkins (PacYM), and Erika Mittag (SCYM), Exercise Authors