I found something on Pinterest that I thought was extremely cool: The Puzzle Project started by Jeff Kelly, Sandy Taylor, and Marie Maber. One day maybe I will send off for my own puzzle piece and join their collection, but for now, I think it's a great exercise to go along with today's lesson. I pulled up The Puzzle Project website and talked to the kids about the originators and their traveling project after we talked about the above scripture and Jesus' words. We then talked about who we are spiritually. I asked, "What kind of a person are you? What is important to you?" I encouraged the kids to draw something they felt strongly about.
Puzzle Template (free download from
Pencil & eraser
Markers and/or other decorative items
Pre-Class Prep:Print one puzzle piece for each child onto the cardstock. Cut out the pieces so they will be ready for the kids to decorate.
I originally tried using art board for the puzzle pieces because there has been a large stack of it in the classroom at church for years. I thought this would be a good way to use it up.
Wrong! Ideally, yes, the art board would be more sturdy... but it is very difficult to cut without slanting the edges in various directions which will alter the way the pieces fit together. I spent hours trying to get clean, straight cuts through the full thickness of the board to no avail. I finally gave up and went to card stock. The downside to card stock is it curls slightly when completely covered in markers. All in all, it was fine. I used ample tape on the backside to hold each piece flat against the wall. If anyone finds something better than card stock, please leave a comment below.
This is my test piece:
I allowed the kids to use whatever materials they wanted.The resulting textures were a nice touch.
TIP: I made the mistake of handing out the pieces in the same orientation to each child. Some pictures will end up upside down or facing one side or the other in order to get them to fit together unless the kids have different sides as top and bottom. For example: looking at the first picture in this post, one will notice the piece I decorated is positioned sideways on the wall. As more children add their pieces, I will spin their piece around before they decorate it so everyone can have their artwork right side up.
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