Life is Precious, a four-week unit study for children in kindergarten through second grade, has a unique goal—to begin to instill in children attitudes that support love and respect for every human being’s life from conception onward. It accomplishes this by using delightful children’s books along with discussion and activities. This is definitely a Christian resource, often mentioning God as the creator of life, using Bible verses, and concluding lessons with prayer. While Life is Precious is written from a Catholic point of view, it should be suitable for all Christians who share the same respect for life.
Published by the American Life League, a pro-life organization, the study spends a large amount of time on the development of babies in the womb, providing accurate but age-appropriate information and illustrations that protect the innocence of young children. It presents a positive attitude rather than discussing abortion.
The parent guide serves as the core of the Life is Precious study. It includes a CD-ROM at the back of the guide with PDF templates to be printed for use with many of the activities as well as a 12-week fetal model and the Baby Steps DVD.
Each week, the study uses a different children’s book to focus on one aspect of respecting the life and dignity of all people. You will need to obtain the storybooks on your own.
The first week uses Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman, a delightful presentation of the development of a baby in the womb. This book is available in print, but you can also access it through Formed.
This lesson includes the concept that we are each given a guardian angel by God, and it stresses how much God loves each one of us.
Discussion comments and questions are included to help parents work through the lesson together. Templates are included for children to help create a poster and a flip-book showing fetal development plus a guardian angel prayer card.
A few full-color images are included in the teacher manual for the unit, and you will watch the five-minute Baby Steps DVD. (Baby Steps can also be watched for free online.)
The second week, you will read On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman, a story about how God created each person to be special and unique. Children will create their own book about themselves.
During the third week, Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss teaches children that we need to defend all people. This story expands the theme to people of all types and ages, stressing the importance of loyalty and courage in our defense of others. Children color pictures showing a timeline of human development from birth to old age. They sketch or paint a picture of a Who in Who-ville then they make a snack and create music with noisemakers or instruments.
During the final week, children listen to One by Kathryn Otoshi, a story about the importance of standing up for those who are weak. Children work with primary colors to create a color wheel with paints, make bookmarks, create popsicle stick puppets based on the storybook, and then act out a puppet show.
Since Life is Precious is a relatively short study, it can be used by families whether they are homeschooling or not. The stories and discussion are the heart of each lesson, even though activities definitely reinforce and enliven each lesson. So even if you skipped the activities, this would be a delightful and affirming unit study to use with your children.