As an educator, teaching character development is just as important as teaching academic subjects. But how do you make character development fun and engaging for your students? Enter Little Pot, a vessel created by the potter to grow fruit. It provides an excellent opportunity for teaching children about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This and the following six articles will compile seven free lesson plans that use Little Pot’s fruit-growing cycle as the key to character education. Whether you’re teaching in a classroom, homeschooling, or working with a church group, these lesson plans are designed to be adaptable to different age groups and learning styles.
By the end of these lessons, your students will have learned the science behind Little Pot growing fruit and discover how it connects to how their creator grows character traits in them. So, let’s get started on this journey of growing character with Little Pot!Read more: 7 Free Lesson Plans for Teaching How to Grow Character with Little Pot – 1.
Why use Little Pot for character development?
Little Pot is a simple yet powerful tool that can help you teach character development to your students. It’s an object lesson that allows you to illustrate complex concepts in a way that’s easy for children to understand. Little Pot’s fruit-growing cycle can be used to teach what is required for character traits, including identity, humility, integrity, relationships, and knowledge. Moreover, Little Pot is a tangible reminder of the creator’s love and care for us. It symbolizes how God nurtures us and helps us grow into the people He wants us to be.
When you use Little Pot for character development, you’re not just teaching your students about good behavior. You’re helping them better understand who they are and who they want to be. You’re helping them know that character is not fixed or innate but something God cultivates and develops over time. Using Little Pot as a teaching tool, you can help your students develop the skills and attitudes they need to become the vessel God created them to be. Each week, we will discuss one of the following lesson plans.
- Lesson Plan 1: Identity and Knowing Who You Are
- Lesson Plan 2: Humility and How to Contain It
- Lesson Plan 3: Planting the Right Seeds
- Lesson Plan 4: Strong and Upright Integrity
- Lesson Plan 5: Fostering Healthy Relationships
- Lesson Plan 6: Blooming Knowledge
- Lesson Plan 7: Producing Fruit of the Spirit
1. Free lesson plans for teaching identity – knowing who you are
This series’s first free lesson plan concerns identity and understanding who you are and “whose” you are. Let’s begin with identifying that you are a person deeply loved.
Why begin with identity?
Throughout the New Testament in Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and all of Paul’s letters to the church, he reminds them that their identity is in Christ. They confused the gospel message that Christ chose them, died to save them, and brought them into God’s family with the idea that they must do things to earn His favor and love. Likewise, we embrace religion and strive to please a god whose love is conditional. This leads us to a work-based theology; therefore, we believe character is derived through our behaviors alone.
Instead, knowing that God chooses us and loves us so much that He died to save us causes us to respond to others differently. Research shows that the effects of feeling loved are evident in our brains, bodies, and behaviors. Behaviors exhibiting bad character are often demonstrated in children who feel unloved. No amount of character education can combat what happens in the heart of an unloved child.
Gender Identity affects Character Education.
Gender identity has become a fluid concept. In society’s attempt at giving children choices, they now can question their gender and whether their creator made a mistake. Today, gender identity is defined as something different than the sex assigned at birth by physical characteristics. Even though most children will label themselves as a boy or girl before their third birthday, the number of adults identifying as different is snowballing. The world says that your identity exists in your mind. You can choose it apart from your creator. Consequently, knowing who you are has become entangled with your character and behaviors.
If you don’t accept that your identity rests in your creator, you are probably searching for it through a career, position, or relationship. We often identify ourselves through the things we hold. Let’s consider Little Pot’s journey.
Little Pot’s identity
In the story of Little Pot, the vessel identifies as a paper pot, a coin pot, a dirt pot, and a flower pot. Before the potter names it His fruit pot, Little Pot seeks and changes its identity based on what it holds. Likewise, we believe the things in life we hold define us. And, if what we have does not fit the identity we seek, we are told that we can change who and what we are. On the surface, this concept allows us to encourage children and appear tolerant of their individual choices. However, when taken to the extreme, there are no absolutes presented.
Even though Little Pot identifies itself as different pots throughout the story, it does not question who made it and how it was made. In the second book, the potter creates a teapot. Little Pot watches and compares itself to the new vessel. It wonders if being a teapot is better than being a fruit pot. However, it never believes that the potter made it incorrectly. The potter’s design for each vessel is absolute. The potter creates the vessels and has a purpose for each. To question the Potter’s decisions is to question God’s authority.
Therefore, this lesson aims to help your students understand that they are unique and valuable individuals loved and accepted by their creator. God did not make a mistake in how He created them. If you’re able, share the following Bible verse with them.
Bible verses for identity
But Lord, you are our father.
We are like clay, and you are the potter. Your hands made us all.
The clay does not ask the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ The thing that is made doesn’t say to its maker, ‘You have no hands.’
A potter has the right to do whatever he wants with his clay. He can make something from the same lump for a special occasion or everyday use.
We have this treasure from God. But we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This shows that this extraordinary power is from God, not from us
2 Corinthians 4:7
The set of the lesson
To start the lesson, you can ask your students to introduce themselves and share something that makes them unique. Ask them what they want to be. Most likely, they will respond with a job they want to have one day. Ask them if their job should define who they are. Then discuss with them what makes us who we are. Read the story of The Little Pot and talk about what the Little Pot wanted to be. Point out that Little Pot believed it was something different based on what it held. Then point out that the potter was making the choices by giving and taking things away from the vessel. In the end, the potter is growing fruit through the pot. Likewise, our creator wants to produce fruit through us. The fruit we grow is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Tell the students that today we will create a little pot too.
Procedures for making a little pot
Give each student a ball of Crayola Clay and two googly eyes.
- Roll your clay into a ball between your hands.
- Stick your thumb into the ball.
- Pinch and turn the edges.
- Add the googly eyes by pushing them into the wet clay.
- You can also add a small nose with a tiny ball of clay.
- Use your thumbnail to make a smile.
- Set the pots in a safe place to dry overnight.
Even though each student follows the same steps, they will see that their creation differs from everyone else’s. You can then explain how we are all created differently. Even if you gave everyone a second ball of clay, the next one they made would look different from the first. Each creation has a unique shape and size. Explain that you will identify the clay pots by the name of the child who made them. Likewise, our identity should be in who created us too. Just as their creations carry their thumbprint and marks from their hands, we are made in God’s image.
For a moment, pretend their clay creations came to life. How would they feel if their vessel did not like how it was made? It would be silly for the clay to question the potter and to think it could remake itself better. As the artist, you would want your creation to appreciate how you designed it.
Next, help each child understand a perfect potter molded and shaped each person.
More free lesson plans for teaching character
Finally, you can talk about how our identity is not based on our looks, achievements, or accomplishments but on who made us. You can use Little Pot to illustrate how our creator values and loves us. In conclusion, share with them that the next lessons follow Little Pot’s process of growing fruit. That cycle will show us how to have good character and produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Next week, we will cover the second of our free lesson plans teaching about humility.
In the next few weeks, we will give you more free lesson plans teaching character education. The complete curriculum includes worksheets, activities, posters, and more. You can purchase the complete curriculum here for just $10.25.
Become a fruit-bearing vessel like Little Pot!
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