The Holy Spirit is often the most difficult person of the Trinity to explain to young people. They have seen plenty of art work depicting God the Son. They are at least able to wrap their minds around God the Father, even if their concept of him is as an old man with a white beard.
Teaching about the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is a little bit more challenging.
My co-catechist, Tim Will from the Alliance for Catholic Education, came up with a great Holy Spirit lesson. The kids had fun and they came to understand a key concept about the Holy Spirit:
Even though we cannot see the Holy Spirit, he is present around us just like the wind. And, just like the wind pushes a leaf through the air, the Holy Spirit guides us through life.
If you have a lesson about the Holy Spirit coming up, try this. Here is an abbreviated form of the lesson we gave to our students.
Holy Spirit Lesson Plan
SWBAT identify the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity.
SWBAT explain that the Holy Spirit helps and guides us.
Lesson Activities and Text
1. Pull up the Paper Toss Game on the SMARTBoard.
The purpose of the game is to toss a paper ball into a trash can. (Find the game online here.) The challenge, however, is to play the wind. A fan is blowing at various strengths for each shot and you must toss the paper at an angle to get it in the trash can.
2. Invite a few volunteers to play the game.
Pick a few students to come to the board to play the game. Pick the students who sit quietly with attentiveness. Give each student a few tries each to get the ball in the can.
3. Class Presentation & Discussion
Ask the students:
- Why was it so difficult to get the ball in the trash can? (Because the fan blew the ball out of the way.)
- Can you see the wind coming out of the fan? (No.)
- How do you know the wind is there? (It is blowing the paper.)
- When you go outside on a windy day, can you see the wind? (No.)
- How do you know the wind is blowing? (You either feel it or see it blowing things around.)
Make the connection between the Holy Spirit and the wind. Explain:
The Holy Spirit is a lot like the wind coming from a fan or the wind outside on a windy day. Even though we cannot see it, it is there. Just like the wind from the fan moved the paper, the Holy Spirit moves us. The Holy Spirit guides us and helps us when we need to make important choices. Sometimes we can feel the Spirit moving us in our hearts, just like we can feel the wind against our bodies.
4. Read Scripture
There are a few different Scripture passages that describe the Holy Spirit as the wind: Acts 2:2, John 3:8, and John 20:22.
“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Read these Scripture passages with the students and have them make connections between the wind and the Holy Spirit.
5. Assessment: Exit Card
Pass out index cards to each student as an “exit card.”
On one side have them draw a picture of the Holy Spirit.
On the other side, have them write what the Holy Spirit does.
You are checking to make sure they drew a picture of the wind, but if they draw a picture of tongues of fire or a dove too that is ok. On the other side you want to make sure they explain how the Holy Spirit guides us.
Additional Holy Spirit Lesson Resources
Holy Spirit Worksheets
There are a some worksheets to help teach about the Trinity and the Holy Spirit available for premium members. Or, if you are not a member, click on the image below to download three worksheets to help you teach about the Trinity, Holy Spirit, and Pentecost:
Enter your email and I will send you the worksheets.
Holy Spirit Video
Also, if you would like to teach the students about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, feel free to show them this popular video about the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
And here is the 7 Gifts of the Spirit lesson plan to go with it.