The year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg church door. This action started a series of events which shined the light of the gospel of justification by faith, transforming the church. All Protestant churches can trace their history back to this day and this action by Martin Luther.
Our children need to know our church history and this is great time to teach and talk to them about it. Today I'm sharing about activities and resources you can use over the next month to help them understand the importance of the Reformation to the church today.
Create a Reformation Lapbook: One year we created a lapbook in homeschool to celebrate the Reformation. I used three file folders, stapling them together to create one big folder. I found various worksheets online which we added to the lapbook. (If you do a search, you can find Martin Luther coloring pages, notebooking pages, and other handouts/worksheets that can be used in a lapbook). We talked about the 5 solas of the Reformation and wrote them down. We did a timeline of events during the Reformation. We also studied Martin Luther's hymn "Almighty Fortress is Our God" and included that.
Books to Read:
Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed The World: This is a great picture book for younger elementary kids that tells the story of Martin Luther and the 95 theses.
The Barber Who Wanted to Pray: This is another great children's book, by R.C. Sproul. Martin Luther's barber once asked him how to pray and he wrote a little book on prayer for his barber. This picture book tells that story.
Rebels Rescued: A Student's Guide to Reformed Theology: This excellent book is great for helping older kids understand the Reformation and the basics of Reformed theology.
John Calvin: After Darkness Light (Trailblazers): While the Reformation began with Martin Luther, it didn't end with him. Consider having your older children read the biographies of some of the other Reformers, such as this one we've read about John Calvin. The author also has one on John Knox.
The Church History ABCs: Augustine and 25 Other Heroes of the Faith: I read this picture book to my kids when they were young. Each page shares about an important person in church history.
Reformation ABCs: The People, Places, and Things of the Reformation_from A to Z: This is another picture book by the same author of Church History ABC's.
Guarding the Treasure: How God's People Preserve God's Word (Biography): This is one we read in homeschool. Each chapter is about a different person in church history who guarded God's Word, including several people during the Reformation.God's Story: A Student's Guide to Church History: I recently got this one for my oldest son to read because he has been curious about church history in general.
Torchlighers has a cartoon video for children about Martin Luther.
Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer is a documentary using live-action storytelling. The film inclues R.C. Sproul, Carl Trueman, Steven J. Lawson, among others.
Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World is an excellent documentary on PBS. It's a typical documentary, including actors portraying moments in Luther's life as well as interviews with theologians and historians. It would probably interest older children, middle to high school.
Luther (by MGM) is movie suitable for older children (adolescents) which tells the history of Martin Luther nailing his theses and what unfolded afterward.
Because Martin Luther was put on trial in Worms, Germany (pronounced Verms), make your kids a snack of crushed cookies, pudding, and gummy worms. We did this one year for homeschool and it was a hit!
Build a medieval church out of Legos with a big front door and have Martin Luther place his 95 theses on the front door.
Turn a door in your house into a Wittenberg door and have your children pin Martin Luther's theses on it.
Enjoy traditional German food!
How will you celebrate 500 years since the Reformation?