Student-Led Week of Prayer: God’s Power is All Around Us
Clouds in a bottle? Rainbows in a glass? Air pressure in a balloon? Loadstones picking up paper clips? What could all these things be a part of?
Every year the sixth graders are given the opportunity to lead out with the spring Week of Prayer for grades kindergarten through fifth. It provides them with a great opportunity to work on a variety of skills like public speaking, memorization, program designing, Power Point making, team work, music, and mentoring younger students while growing in their own spiritual walk. This year we decided to tie science skills in with the program by focusing on the powers around us like air pressure, the power of light, magnetism, and more. We included science experiments with each presentation and drew on lessons from our science curriculum.
First we cleared our room to make space for the 60 plus students that would attend each presentation. Then we created a science lab focal point using bulletin board paper and simple graphics hanging from the ceiling. We also set up a lab table with our document camera for showing the experiments on the screen up front.
Students presented in pairs of two dressed in lab coats and with microphones. I wrote out scripts for them to memorize, and they made 3X5″ note cards and Power Points to help prompt them as they spoke. During practice I encouraged them to engage the audience as much as they could while performing the experiment(s) that went with their presentations.
Students also made song service Power Points and performed special music. It took about one week of daily practice and preparation for them to be ready to present the program.
The students who came eagerly volunteered to be a part of the program when volunteers were called for. Because we presented the same program four times a day, by the second and third time my students were experts at handling the presentation and the volunteers.
My students who were not speaking, leading song service, performing special music, having prayer, working the computer, or picture and video taking were always asked to sit in the audience with the visitors to help with noise control and to model the correct responses to the day’s presenters. Therefore, every student had a responsibility every day.
I have done Week of Prayer this way with my students now for the past six years and believe my students get far more out of the program this way than when we invite an adult guest. And I know the students who attend it do as well because my current class can recall with great detail the songs, themes, and Bible stories from the Weeks of Prayer that have taken place since they were in second grade. It’s neat to hear students ask when they enter my class, “Do we get to put on a Week of Prayer this year? I’ve been waiting for when it will be my turn.”