Grades 4+ Week 4: Building a Community of Forgiveness

We have already completed the five weeks of the year with a few of the projects from the Tapestry of Faith, Windows and Mirrors curriculum. Here’s what we did during week 4!

Learn more about the children’s program on the Children’s Religious Exploration (CRE) page.

Learning Objectives

  • Practice the skills of offering forgiveness to those who have broken a covenant
  • Connect their own thoughts and experiences with a story about a group of Buddhist students’ experience of covenant and forgiveness
  • Articulate ways they express and consider ways to enforce the group covenant
  • Understand how practicing forgiveness helps heal hurt feelings
  • Commit to practicing at home forgiveness skills learned during the session

Story: Teaching a Thief

We read Teaching a Thief. Teaching a Thief” is taken from Kindness, A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom by Sarah Conover and Valerie Wahl (Boston: Skinner House, 2010). Availavle from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop. All rights reserved.

Discussion questions

  • Have you ever been like the other students-angry when it seemed that someone got away with breaking the rules?
  • Have you ever been like the thief-breaking a rule of your family or group?
  • When should people be forgiven and why?
  • Are there acts that are unforgivable?
  • Are there people who are unforgivable?
  • What would happen if you forgave them?


We started working on our panels. Every week the kids create an image that solidifies the lessons and their thinking/discussion about the story. This week, the kids used a heart shape to symbolize forgiveness. They were first asked to finish the sentence “Forgiveness is…”, then they wrote that sentence onto the heart. They were also given some understanding of background, middle ground, and foreground so that they could plan their design in the “order of operations”. As it turned out, Arun and Asha had just studied the Math version of “order of operations” with their dad, so it was really cool that they could make the connection between Math and decision making.