Lesson plan

Forgiveness of Others

Forgiveness is an important skill to cultivate. In this lesson, students will hear a story about forgiveness, practise forgiveness through breathing and discussion, and create a craft that includes words of forgiveness.
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Students will be able to define the word "forgiveness," practise forgiveness techniques, and colour and create a hand with "forgiveness fingers."

(10 minutes)
  • Bring students together in a circle, either seated or standing.
  • Ask, "Has a friend ever made you sad or upset? What happened?"
  • Take 2–3 responses from the class. Try to make connections between students' comments.
  • Ask, "Has anyone forgiven a friend or someone who made you sad? What was that like?"
  • Take 2–3 responses. Try to make connections between students' comments.
  • Give an appropriate example of a time when someone has forgiven you in your life.
  • Explain how you felt when you were forgiven. Now share an appropriate example of when you've forgiven someone else.
  • Ask, "What is forgiveness?"
(15 minutes)
  • Tell students that they will be watching a video and hearing a story about forgiveness.
  • Ask them to notice how the friends in the video become upset with each other and how forgiveness happens.
  • Play the video "Rosa Learns Forgiveness."
  • Lead a discussion about the video using the following guiding questions:
    • What made Rosa so upset? What did Ana do?
    • How did Rosa feel after Ana says mean things to her?
    • How did Ana ask for forgiveness?
    • How did Rosa respond?
  • Explain that we can do these same things, just like in the story.
  • Write the following under "Forgiveness" on the board:
    1. Say, "I am sorry."
    2. Accept an apology.
    3. Listen to the other person.
    4. Remember the things you love about the person.
    5. Accept that people make mistakes.
    6. Take deep breaths when upset.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that deep breaths can be helpful when we feel hurt or angry, and when it is hard to forgive someone.
  • Guide and model for the class to take out their "forgiveness fingers" (by holding up one hand).
  • Guide and model placing your pointer finger on the bottom of your opposite thumb, and breathe in as you trace your finger up to the tip, and breathe out as your finger goes down to the base.
  • Guide and model moving your pointer finger up and down with your breath through all ten fingers.
  • Ask, "How do you feel? What do you notice?"
  • Review the Forgiveness Fingers worksheet with the class.
(15 minutes)
  • Dismiss students back to their seats to work on their Forgiveness Fingers worksheet.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to write about a time they were forgiven.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students when working on independent work to ensure understanding of the concept of forgiveness and "forgiveness fingers" practise.

(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room and check student comprehension of forgiveness and "forgiveness fingers" practise during independent work.
(5 minutes)
  • Bring students back together in a circle.
  • Ask them to bring their Forgiveness Fingers worksheet.
  • Ask the class to read aloud the five forgiveness words with you.
  • Point to each word on the hand and read with the class.
  • Ask them to turn to a partner to show them their hands and review the words of forgiveness with their partner.
  • Ask, "What are some ways we can forgive others? How does it feel when someone forgives us?"
  • Explain that the hands will be hung up in the classroom as a reminder of how we may ask for forgiveness and how we may offer forgiveness.

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