It was my last few weeks with my students.
I knew I was leaving, but they didn’t. I was excited to move on from the disaster that had been the past school year, and start over in a new season of life, but I was also heartbroken, knowing that I would never have the opportunity to influence this same group of students again.
My 9th and 10th graders had finished their curriculum a little early, and I was trying to create meaningful activities to fill the remaining class periods of the school year. I kept asking myself, “What have I not taught them? What do they need to know? If I could teach my kiddos anything, what would it be?”
And that’s how this simple project was born. Because a search of my end-of-the-year-teacher-tired brain led me to my true heart for my students which was to know Christ, and to make Him known.
In the end, looking back over my four years of teaching these students, I realized…
I didn’t really care if they could diagram a sentence;
I didn’t really care if they could write a research paper;
I didn’t really care if they could pick out all the figurative language in a poem;
well I mean, I did, but most of all, I cared whether or not they would be joining me in Heaven someday, and also whether not they knew how to share Jesus with someone else.
I realized that all too often, I was in a room full of Christian teens who knew how to parrot answers to basic Bible questions, but when the rubber met the road, they didn’t deeply know why they believe what they believe. They were not prepared to share their faith. Perhaps, for some of them, it wasn’t really their faith at all.
Every year, I told my students that the goal of the Christian English Language Arts classroom is to teach them to be effective communicators, because truly, they have the greatest Message of all to communicate.
So for our final activity of the year before we took exams, signed yearbooks, and cleaned out lockers, I taught them how to write a Gospel tract– a simple brochure outlining some key facet of their faith.
I had them work in groups of two to make the endeavor less daunting, and I was thrilled at the discussions it prompted in my classroom. I loved that they had their Bibles open, asking each other questions about their faith and how to share their beliefs with someone else.
Are you inspired to try this project with your students? You can get it for FREE from my TPT store right now! All the work of planning and organizing is done for you- just download, print, and teach.