Forgiveness Means Letting Go of Hard Feelings - Activity/Object Lesson
Prep: Gather 6 large rocks, and with a marker write on them words such as:
anger, sadness, frustration, disappointment, annoyed, impatient. Find a plastic ice cream bucket, beach pail, or a fabric bag, into which all of the rocks can fit.
Discuss: When we hold onto bad feelings because of something somebody else did, it actually makes us feel worse. But when we can let go of hard feelings and forgive others, we can feel free and happy.
Activity: Ask for a volunteer to come to the front of the class and hold the empty bucket.
Round One: Give a few scenarios, such as "Your little brother borrowed your favorite toy without asking and then he accidentally broke it. When he told you what happened, you were [insert emotion word on rock]." With each scenario, place one of the heavy rocks into the bucket. Ask the child things like, "Is the bucket getting heavier?" Depending on the size of the rocks, the child may not be able to hold all six. Allow other children to help hold the bucket if needed.
Round Two: Read the scenarios again, this time adding the following phrase to the end: ...and you said, "That's okay, I forgive you." Each time the scenario ends with this phrase allow the children to get rid of one of the rocks. Ask, "Is the bucket feeling lighter?" Continue until the bucket is completely empty.