Bahá'í Learning Resources - Environmental Stewardship and Justice
prepared under the direction of the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States
for the Preach-in on Global Warming, February 2014
Optional Supplement For Children’s Classes
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 288
To the Children’s Class Teachers: Every child is a noble being with latent gifts and capacities that are valuable to all humanity. For a new generation to create a better world, however, those children require spiritual education to develop the beliefs, habits and behaviors that are conducive to the advancement of civilization. The curriculum used in Baha’i children’s classes around the world places emphasis on learning to think, to reflect and to apply spiritual laws to the life of the individual and society. To build on the groundwork laid by the curriculum, this document is offered as a resource for children’s class teachers seeking to plant the seeds of environmental stewardship and justice in the fertile soil of their pupils’ young hearts. One suggestion for using this resource is to integrate themes that relate to climate change, featured in a 2009 issue of Brilliant Star magazine, with four selected lessons from the Ruhi Institute curriculum. When possible, teachers may wish to accompany the lessons with an outdoor activity for hands-on exploration of the beauty and wonder of the natural world.
Objective: To integrate awareness about Earth’s changing climate into virtues lessons carried out by classes promoting Baha’i spiritual education of children, and to share ideas with children’s class teachers for earth-friendly activities and learning materials.
Included below are:
• Reference to four selected lessons in Teaching Children's Classes - Grade 1, the Ruhi curriculum for Baha’i spiritual education of children: each lesson covers a spiritual principle that relates to how children can help protect the environment.
• Selected pages from an award-winning environmental issue of Brilliant Star Magazine, a Baha’i publication for children. (Links to PDFs of these pages are provided.)
Children's Classes Grade 1 - Selected Lessons:
The following citations of lesson materials refer to the book—titled Children’s Classes, Grade 1*—used to offer Baha’i spiritual education to all children of that grade level in the community. Based on the belief that the education of children is essential to the transformation of society, the materials seek to start small children on the path towards developing the spiritual qualities needed to draw closer to God.
• “Humility,” Lesson 9, pp. 34-36
• “Justice,” Lesson 2, pp. 15-18
• “Equity and Compassion,” Lesson 13, pp. 45-48
• “Kindness,” Lesson 16 pp. 53-55
* Note: Lesson and page numbers could vary depending upon the version of the book being used, since the contents are constantly evolving. Children’s Classes, Grade 1, Prepublication Edition (Version 1.2.1.PE.IN, Ruhi Institute) was used to create the above references.
Many Bahá'í communities have trained teachers using this book and classes are open to all children. If you are interested in joining with others using this book, please find a Bahá'í community near you and ask about children’s classes. To locate a Bahá'í community in the U.S. you can use this link: http://find.bahai.us/ or contact the U.S. Bahá'í Office of Public Affairs bahaisUS@usbnc.org 202-833-8990.
Brilliant Star magazine highlights:
The following pages are from the March/April 2009 issue of Brilliant Star titled “Caring for Our Planet” which won the 2010 APEX Award of Excellence for Green Writing. The issue was produced in observance of the “UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005-2014.” These pages are to be paired with the above lessons.
“Caring for Our Planet” March/April 2009 (Download pdf files)
p. 4 Happy Earth Day song (Pair with the lesson on Humility)
p. 5 How Big is Your Footprint (Pair with the lesson on Justice)
p. 7 Spring Fling Fun (Pair with the lesson on Equity and Compassion)
p. 10 Message in a Bottle (Pair with the lesson on Kindness)
p. 20-21 Forest Photo Expedition (Pair with the lesson on Equity and Compassion)
p. 28 Living in a Green House (Pair with any of the four lessons!)
Prepared by the United States Bahá'í Community for the Preach-in on Global Warming, 2014.
Last updated 16 January 2014