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“Let’s Draw Our Prayers”

April 6, 2022 | Kristen Jordan

We have now been in the season of Lent for several weeks. 

Each day during worship throughout Lent, children have been hearing stories about the life of Jesus; who he met, the people he healed and who he drew close to. 

After hearing the story, children are invited to engage in the story through drawing: “Let’s draw our prayers”.  Through artwork, drawing with the special medium of oil pastels, they are invited to participate in and reflect upon the story in a different way than during typical worship seasons.

It is a quiet time during which the children may draw what they have heard or what they see.  Or they may think about how to include themselves in the story.  Who might they be or how might they feel if they were there when the story happened?  This quiet drawing time is a form of prayer, as children reflect on the story while they draw.  Each child is thinking about and producing their own individual images, while they are in community with everyone around them.  

Children draw beautiful and unique representations of what they hear and think.

Children are also offered a time later in our morning to share their drawings with their peers and hear what others have decided to include in their drawings.  

“This is the temple.” 

“This is the storm.” 

“This is Jesus.”

“These are the people.”

“This is me. I am telling Jesus not to worry.”

These times of reflection require children to relay details of their own work, and require attention by their peers.  Hearing others’ perspectives provides us with an opportunity to reflect and think and converse more deeply about the story or consider something we haven’t thought of before.

Children are invited to add more to their drawings later in the morning if they wish.  After listening to their peers and talking about the story through their drawings, children often want to add elements to their own drawings as they reflect on the story a bit more.  

Children also often have time to work with the worship basket to retell the story (or a version of it) on their own.  Each of these experiences help children to enter into consideration of the story in different ways and we hope that one or more of them resonates with the children.

As children participate in the stories of Jesus’ life in multiple ways–hearing and seeing the story told, drawing and reflecting, sharing and listening, revisiting their drawing, retelling it themselves–they have an opportunity to deepen their understanding and experiences with these stories.

We are nearing the end of Lent, when we will celebrate and remember Jesus death and resurrection through the children helping to act out small and manageable parts of the story.  This experience will offer yet another way for the children to engage in understanding of the events of Jesus’ life. 

Then the children will bring all of the stories home in the form of a book.  We hope you will enjoy sharing it together!

Kristen Jordan

Teacher, Rivers Class

Kristen Jordan began helping at Mustard Seed School in 2006, after her daughter had been a student in the preschool. She substituted for many years in all grades; in 2011, she returned to the classroom and has been a teacher in The Nest ever since.

Prior to the birth of her daughter Clara, in 2002, Ms. Jordan worked in Brooklyn as a first grade teacher with the New York City Public Schools. During this time, her school collaborated with the Brooklyn Museum, and this work helped Ms. Jordan develop a real interest in the parallels between the process of making art and the process of writing in the classroom. She thoroughly enjoys teaching both art and literacy to preschoolers.

Ms Jordan’s background includes work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. While at Teachers College, she trained with esteemed educator and author Lucy Calkins. Early in her teaching career, Ms. Jordan did not think that she wanted to teach very young children but her view has changed! She now really enjoys and takes great interest in young children and their development.

Ms. Jordan enjoys reading, working out, hiking, cooking, and spending time with her daughter and family. Although she has lived on the East Coast for a very long time, as a native of Oregon, she really loves the mountains!

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