Works of Mercy Tableau

Activity Objective

To teach the children the specific Works of Mercy

Lesson Outcome

The children will gain an understanding of the Works of Mercy.


  • Copies of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy:

Spiritual: acts of compassion by which we help our neighbors with their emotion and spiritual needs- instruct, console, forgive, advise, comfort, bear wrongs patiently

Corporal: kind acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs- feed the hungry, clothe the naked, bury the dead, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoend, give alms to the poor


  • Explain to the children what each of the Works of Mercy entails. (You may want to substitute "mourn" or "remember" the dead for "bury" the dead.)
  • Divide the children up into pairs (or threesomes depending on the number), one for each work of mercy.
  • Assign each group a specific work of mercy.
  • Explain that you want the children to present a single acted-out image or tableau, not a skit, which would exemplify their group's specific work of mercy.
  • Give the children about five minutes to work out a tableau for their work of mercy.
  • Remind the children that these are silent scenes?they cannot talk as part of the scene.
  • Bring the group together and have them sit facing forward, if possible.
  • Pass out sheets containing the different Works of Mercy, one per child.
  • Call the pairs up one by one and ask them to present their tableau. Have the group call out which work of mercy they think it is.
  • After the group has guessed the tableau, call another pair up, until all pairs have gone.
  • Explain to the group the importance of observing these important actions in following the work of Jesus.

Learning Styles

Body Smart, People Smart

Approximate Time

15 minutes


You may need to help with the guessing and tableau poses for the Spiritual Works of Mercy.


Be sure no group poses for too long without their scene being guessed.