Artistic activities are important to the development of children’s creativity and mental skills, and from an early age they should be given the opportunity to exercise their imagination through freestyle drawing and other forms of artistic expression. However, in many parts of the world, children will have had little chance to draw prior to the age of five or six. It is with this in mind that coloring sheets have been provided with the lessons for children in the first year of a program for their spiritual education. For them, coloring in the pictures is one of the most engaging periods of the class, which also includes memorization, singing, storytelling, and game playing. The activity creates in them the necessary confidence to move on to more complex artistic activities in subsequent grades. It is a means to develop their dexterity and a sense of discipline and can help to enhance their appreciation of beauty.
A lesson on the spiritual quality of patience can be viewed here as an example.
Each of the lessons in Grade 1 is structured around a specific spiritual quality — such as generosity, kindness, and forgiveness — with the aim of contributing to the development of the character of the children. Every coloring sheet, then, includes at the bottom of the page the quotation the children have been asked to memorize during class. This provides teachers with yet another opportunity to reinforce the theme of the day’s lesson. By asking the class questions about the depictions in the drawings, teachers can give children a chance to articulate ideas and make connections in their minds as they talk about what is happening in the picture.
To make it easier for teachers of Grade 1 to print the coloring sheets for use in their classes, they are being made available here with the corresponding quotations in many languages, so that they can be downloaded and reproduced as needed. If you have suggestions for other drawings to go along with the lessons, we would be most happy to receive them.