Enjoy this All Saints Day lesson plan, suitable for children in grades 1–3.
The children will
identify saints as those who have died and now live with God in heaven.
recognize that we celebrate the feast of All Saints every November 1.
see the saints as examples of how we can live our lives.
Book of saints
Initiate a brief discussion about Halloween. Ask: Does anyone know why we celebrate Halloween on October 31? (It is the day before All Saints Day.) If the children are not sure, say: I will write a hint on the board. Write “All Hallow’s Eve.” Say: This is where the name Halloween comes from. Does anyone know what hallow means? (holy) Say: A hallowed person is another name for a saint. We call October 31 All Hallow’s Eve because it is the eve of All Saints Day, which is November 1.
Explain the reason for celebrating the feast of All Saints. Say: November 1 is a special day called the feast of All Saints. It is the day the Church celebrates with all the people who have died and are now with God in heaven. We go to Mass and remember that all these holy people are happy with God.
Then say: Everyone who has lived and died in Jesus’ love is a saint. Some of these people are members of our family, our friends, and our neighbors. We do not know the names of all the saints. Some of these people were so much like Jesus that after they died, the Church said they were definitely in heaven. Do you know the names of some of these saints? (Answers will vary.)
Distribute Student Handout A (Some of Our Special Friends in Heaven), and guide the children in completing it.
Tell the children about patron saints. Say: When we think of the saints in heaven, we think of saints who are special to us. Many people are named for special saints. For example, if someone’s name is Elizabeth or Francis, his or her patron saint would be Saint Elizabeth or Saint Francis. If you have a saint’s name or a favorite saint, share a story with the children about that saint. Ask the children to tell you any saint names they would like you to look up in the book of saints that you brought. Look up the names and read the stories aloud.
Help the children understand that we are all saints-in-the-making. Say: Saints are people who love Jesus and share his love with others. We can all live like the saints even while we are still on earth. Who can think of one way to live like a saint at home? at school? in your neighborhood? When the children have given examples, say: God calls each of us to be saints. We become saints by doing things like those we just mentioned. Then when we die, we will live with God in heaven.
Point out how the saints were people just like us. Say: Saints were people just like us. They felt hungry, tired, angry, and disappointed sometimes, just as we do. But the saints did difficult things even when they didn’t want to because they loved God. Think of one thing you will do today because you love God. [Pause] In your heart, promise God that you will do it even if it is hard.
Lead the children in prayer using Student Handout B (Prayer Service).
Print out the handout Family Handout (Favorite Family Saints) and have the children take it home to share with their families.
Teach the children the song “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
Prepare a Litany of the Saints using the children’s patron saints.
Let the children act out skits about some of their favorite saints.