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K-12 Writing Activities with a Spiritual Emphasis. Pollyanna Barnes, chair Rondi Aastrup Marcia Daniel Roberta Merrow Apryl Symonds. Introduction and Purpose.

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K-12 Writing Activities with a Spiritual Emphasis

Pollyanna Barnes, chair

Rondi Aastrup

Marcia Daniel

Roberta Merrow

Apryl Symonds


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Introduction and Purpose

  • Spirituality in writing does not entail just prayer before a class and reading a text. It involves saturating the whole lesson with spirituality, setting the spiritual foundation with Biblical principles and teaching concepts and practices through them, so that the student understands their practicality and applicability. The following are topics and activities that integrate faith and learning in the writing class, grades K-12. Additionally, sample lessons are provided to exemplify this approach to teaching.


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Topics and Activities (in no particular order)

  • Poetry of the Bible*

  • Prose of the Bible

  • Explore different genres in the Bible

  • Write a poem that illustrates a principle from the Bible

  • Write a sketch that illustrates a principle from the Bible


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  • The Bible as a novel*

    • Using The Book of God

      • Writing the Bible as a story

      • Research

        • Culture, history, psychology, religion

      • Writing process

      • Modernize it

  • Do different writing activities with topics/stories in the Bible

    • Make up a song, a rap, a skit, a poem


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  • Include the Spirit of Prophecy

    • How can we make it more interesting, more applicable and relevant to students? Help them see the value of EGW

      • Bring her words to other elements…what does she say about historical events…

      • Work through Messages to Young People…debateissues, act out pros and cons of what she’s saying…correlation between what she says and what’s happening

  • Advertisements…create an ad for something they’ve read in the Bible or EGW


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Steps to Christ or Ministry of Healing to teach essay writing*

Biblical applications in a writing format to illustrate the writing process and support with literature

Write and illustrate a parable*

Modern day proverbs…every culture has them…*


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Writing workshop…create an ad for someone to come to Christ…

Write a generic lesson plan that would work for writing with the focus of applying Biblical principles or S-of-P

Come up with ideas as to how we can do this…one example of that lesson plan on each level…list various ways that it can be used in writing across the curriculum…include goals and preferred practices…list resources


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  • Elements of the lesson plan Christ…

    • High school is more in depth and more independent

    • Generic components

      • Objectives

        • Understand genre

        • Apply form and principle to their own work

        • Reflect on principle and apply to own life

        • Share/publish/present

  • Journals/diaries of Bible characters, Adventist pioneers

  • Biographies or autobiographies or memoirs of Bible characters, Adventist pioneers


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    Write a teen/kid’s devotional Christ…

    Participate in the Insight writing contest or submit to it or the Junior Guide

    Write a children’s book and illustrate it and share it with elementary kids

    Interview with God…research God’s character via Bible, then create an interview of Him from what you’ve learned

    How to use this across the curriculum…curriculum connections


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    Newsletter of a particular Biblical place/era/group/person Christ…

    Write an epistle similar to any one of the Biblical epistles

    Write their own Adventist Girl story

    Write some Adventist Boy stories

    Write a hymn

    Write a play about…a Biblical story…a pioneer story…the background of a hymn…an old testament king…


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    Design and carry out a family worship (beginning to end) Christ…

    Write their spiritual memoir

    Keep a prayer journal

    Design and maintain a blog

    Design a website about a Bible character, an Adventist pioneer

    Create a webquest about a character, pioneer, spiritual topic

    Create a power point about a Bible character, pioneer, spiritual topic


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     Have each group come up with a skit that demonstrates the joy that comes in putting Jesus first, Others next, and Yourself last.

    Story of Job


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    8 Sample Lesson Plans joy that comes in putting

    • Biblical short story

    • Adventist Pioneer biography

    • Hebrew poetry

    • Parable writing

    • Expository essay using Steps to Christ

    • Writing through the Proverbs

      • 5-day plan with devotional

    • Persuasive writing using Ministry of Healing

    • Writing prayers


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    HEALTH/TEMPERANCE – Spirit of Prophecy joy that comes in putting

    • Main Idea/Supporting details

      • Read the quotation/references from a selection of EGW’s writings on health.

      • determine the lesson/Main idea/Health tip that EGW is portraying using Ministry of Healing, and the Adventist Home,

    • Writing/Opinion Essay

      • Choose one of the 8 health tips and write an opinion essay on it. (Do you agree? Why/Why not?


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    • Grades 6 – 12 Research a concordance /bible : find a text to substantiate these quotations

    • Grades 2-5, use the Text bank to correlate verses with the quotations

    • Writing Prompt for health/temperance:

      • How does this quotation relate to your personal life? How can you improve based on what you have read in this tip?

      • Will your salvation be impacted if you do not eat meat?


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  • Persuasive Essay Prompt:

    • Some people are concerned that students are not as healthy as they should be. They think that regular exercise and information about good health habits are essential parts of an education. Therefore, some people want to require a daily physical education and health class for all students. Write a persuasive essay stating whether or not you agree that all students should be required to take a daily physical education and health class. Give reasons why you think as you do.


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    Report: to substantiate these quotations Educationally generated report that relates to the 8 health principles and publish in a literary forum

    Debate – pros and cons of various health tips (Caffeine Debate), make a graph, persuasive essay

    Design an exercise program

    Design an Ad/Flyer promoting a healthy lifestyle (Use ideas from the 8 health tips)


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    “Guarding the Avenues of your Mind?” to substantiate these quotations

    • In what areas would youfocus on to protect your mind? (Present in song, skit, poem, art, audio-visual, powerpoint) J2E 1,2,5,6,7,8,9

  • Create a comic strip character and story about “Guard the Avenues of Your Mind?”

  • Prayer*

  • Write a prayer of Thanksgiving/Repentance to God


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    Story endings (Beginning, middle, end) Create an alternate ending to the following stories. How do you think it should have ended? Draw a picture to match your ending

    Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Three Hebrew Boys, Writing on the Wall, Samson’s last hour of strength

    Peter walking on the water


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    When bad things happen to Christians, is God still leading in their lives?

    Yes. “I will not fail you or abandon you” (Joshua 1:5). “I am with you always, even unto the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). “Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when faith is tested, your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything” (James 1:2, 3).


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    Should personal appearance make a difference in our treatment of others?

    No. In 1 Samuel 16:7 the Lord says that He does not look at the outward appearance of a person but at his thoughts and intentions. Also read Philippians 2:3: “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.”


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    Some Internet Resources treatment of others?

    • http://circle.adventist.org/files/jae/jae200163033703.pdf

    • Using the Word: Studying Biblical references in poetry

    • http://circle.adventist.org/browse/resource.phtml?leaf=7408

    • Solo time with God…a teen devotional

    • http://circle.adventist.org/browse/resource.phtml?leaf=2782

    • Interview with God…movie, article, power point

    • http://www.innvista.com/culture/religion/bible/compare/hebrew.htm

    • Parallelism in Hebrew Poetry

    • http://www.whiteestate.org/vez/apr07/vez1.html

    • Ellen White Visionary for Kids, an e-zine for ages 9-14

    • http://www.whiteestate.org/godsmessenger.html

    • God’s Messenger, 38 lessons for grades 1-12

    • http://www.whiteestate.org/vez/vez.html

    • The White Estate

    • http://www.aplib.org/

    • Adventist Pioneer Library

    • http://www.asdal.org/sdare/arsweb.html

    • Adventist Historical Resources on the Web

    • http://circle.adventist.org/browse/resource.phtml?leaf=1198

    • Circle: Adventist Pioneer Library

    • http://www.adventistheritage.org/transaction.php?category=4

    • Adventist Heritage Ministry website


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