Ash Wednesday Lesson Plan

This Ash Wednesday lesson plan is a part of The Religion Teacher’s Lenten Activity Pack that you can buy on this website. This digital product includes seven lesson plans, nearly 20 worksheets, prayer ideas, and handouts to help students effectively learn about the season of Lent. Want a preview? Check out the Lenten Video Series that is used in conjunction with these resources.  

Ash Wednesday Lesson Plan Objectives and Assessments

SWBAT explain that ashes were used as a sign of repentance in the Old Testament. (Assessment: Class Discussion)
SWBAT explain why we wear ashes on Ash Wednesday. (Assessment: Ash Wednesday Quiz)
SWBAT make connections between what they decide to give up for Lent and the meaning of ashes on Ash Wednesday. (Assessment: Ash Wednesday Worksheet)

Ash Wednesday Learning Activities

1. Bell Work: Make a list of the things that you have in your life that you are thankful for (i.e. your iPod, your cell phone, your computer, your video game system, your new shoes, your favorite dress, etc.)

2. Prayer: Read the Ash Wednesday Psalm as a class. Announce the response, “Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned,” and read Psalm 51 from the USCCB website.

3. Reading: Read aloud the story of Jonah and the city of Nineveh (Jonah 3:1-10). Ask students, “What were the signs that the people of Nineveh used to show their repentance?”

4. Video: Ash Wednesday. Have students fill out the video graphic organizer while they watch.

5. Direct Instruction: Review the answers to the Ash Wednesday graphic organizer.

Ash Wednesday Worksheets6. Ash Wednesday Worksheet: From Ashes Wednesday to EasterGive students some time to write about what they have decided to give up for Lent this year. Remind them that we often desire things (even good things) that will one day become dust and ashes. We give things up for Lent to remember that all we have is a gift from God and that being with God and following his will should be our greatest desire.

7. Assessment: Ash Wednesday Quiz

Do you like this lesson plan and the resources to accompany it? Get instant access to dozens of other resources in The Religion Teacher’s Lenten Activity Pack.


Free eBook on Lesson Planning

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About Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Ave Maria Press and the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach, and Praying the Angelus.


  1. Thank you very much for you time and your generiousity to continue share the gifts and blessings you have…God bless

  2. Catholicism is well-integrated with Scripture here.

  3. This is exactly what I was searching for today on my day off!
    What wonderful resources!

  4. This is exactly what I was searching for today on my day off!
    What wonderful resources!

  5. Jared, this is excellent! I’m totally using this in my sixth grade catechism class tomorrow! Thank you so much! :)

  6. One more thing…I just read your bio…my husband and I were Class 6 ACE graduates. Go Irish! :)

  7. CARLOTA says:


  8. Karen Blair says:


    Thanks for putting the lent activity pack together. It has been very helpful in planning a cohesive Lent unit. It pulls in a lot of what we just studied in our history of our faith. My kids have enjoyed the lessons so far!

  9. Wonderful ideas here Jared! Here’s another suggestion – especially for high school teachers and catechists –

  10. Meghann Kirzeder says:

    Thanks, Jared – adapted this today for our weekly staff prayer!

  11. Dianne says:


    What grade level(s) is the Religion Teacher’s Lenten Activity Pack geared towards? I am interested in purchasing it, but would like to know what classes I’d be able to use them for.


  12. Ma. Goretti says:

    I like your lesson plan. It is simple, yet objectives and assessments are very practical.

    • Thank you so much. “Practical” is so important to me. I never publish anything on this website before asking myself, “Is this practical? Could a teacher or catechists easily use this in his or her classroom?”

  13. Michelle Pool says:

    Where can I download the lenten-activity-pack for free. Next Wednesday is the beginning of lent and I want to teach my pupils about Ash Wednesday and lent . So please help me.

  14. What a great lesson plan! The video is a good tool (especially for the visual learners, like me). Thanks for sharing.

  15. Dear Jared,
    Thank you very much for putting out this Lenten package.I found it very useful as an adjuant to our regular lessons.

  16. Missy says:

    Thank you for putting together and sharing all of these wonderful lesson plans and activities! This is my first year as a catechist and the lay out of your page and information makes so much sense and is saving me so much time in my planning.

  17. Thank you so much! this video about Ash Wednesday is great!God bless!

  18. Saw this in my email this morning and my kids are on Feb vacation so over breakfast we did this and made a commitment as a family. Thanks for putting this together.

  19. What a wonderful presentation! Have a blessed Thursday!

  20. In your Ash Wednesday quiz worksheet it is stated that “In the early Church the Order of _____________
    wore ashes as a sign of their penance. What is the answer to that statment.
    Please respond.

  21. Ruthie Rivera says:

    Thank You so much for sharing all the lesson plans and activities. May the good Lord Bless you always.

  22. Sr. Cecil Villamil, LGC says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! You are a gift to us, Religion teachers.. continue to be a gift to others

  23. Chris Beahan says:

    Great lesson!

  24. Thank you Jared you are a blessing I will one day become the best religious educator through you

  25. Francisca Main says:

    Dear Jared,

    Thank you very much for sharing your faith and knowledge with us. It is truly a great help for me as a religion teacher. I really appreciate it! God bless you always.

  26. Praise the Lord!! This was so helpful. Thank you so much. God bless you

  27. Sr.Maria says:

    Thank you ,I am a religious nun and I joined just want to say thank you and may the good Lord bless you always. …..lots of love and prayers