Teaching the Great Commandment

UPDATE: This article & freebie were originally written for Today's Catholic Teacher. Today's Catholic Teacher has stopped publishing their magazine and recently shut down their website. I've moved the article and freebies here so that you can still access them. Sorry for the confusion with old links that no longer work. Hopefully we have that all taken care of now.

The Great Commandment craft for kids

To help students become familiar with and ultimately memorize The Great Commandment, have them create this mini Bible as a reference tool. The Bible has so many important lessons for us on how to live our lives, but learning The Great Commandment and living that out is a great place to start. This activity could be done in lower elementary classrooms and older students could even do it with less support and scaffolding.

Supplies Needed:

Brown Construction Paper

Gold Stickers (Alternate idea: Gold Ink Pad and Alphabet Stamps)



Great Commandment Printable (free - click to download)

Satin Ribbon


To Assemble:

The Great Commandment Bible craft for kids

Fold the brown paper in half to form a book. Use the gold stickers to spell out “The Holy Bible” on the cover. Instead of gold stickers, I used gold vinyl and cut the letters out for each student on my Silhouette Cameo. I don’t think I made the cut deep enough or the vinyl was too sticky, because it was really hard for my students to peel the letters off independently. I would recommend using actual stickers instead of vinyl especially for little learners.

Another option to get the gold look would be to get a gold ink pad and a set of alphabet stamps and have students stamp out “The Holy Bible” on the cover.

The Great Commandment Bible craft for kids

Once the front of the Bible is created, give each student The Great Commandment printable and have them cut the sections apart. Once the pieces are cut apart, have the students line them up on their desks in the correct order. To do this, I repeated The Great Commandment over and over to help them get the words in order.

I also had them pull out their activity book that goes with our textbook. One of the pages had The Great Commandment on it and they used that as a guide to help them find the words and put them in the correct order. They could also use the Bible and look up the scripture passage depending on the age of your students - Matthew 22:37, 39.

The Great Commandment Bible craft for kids

Once they have the words in order, double check to make sure it is correct before they glue.

Use the glue to stick the words and phrases in order on the inside of the Bible. If you print the printable to the original size and use 9” x 12” construction paper, it should take up the entire inside. Some of my students glued the words on the left page first and then the right so that it read like an actual book. Some just glued the words across both pages. Either way, it should fit so it is up to you (or your students) to decide the look they want to achieve.

After the words are glued in, add the ribbon to look like a bookmark in the Bible. We cut the satin ribbon in 11.5” strips ahead of time. On the backside of the Bible, tape a small amount of the ribbon (about ½”) to the top near the crease. Fold the rest of the ribbon over the top so that it hangs in the middle of the Bible. There should be a little bit hanging out at the bottom.

Once students are done, have them “read their Bibles” and practice The Great Commandment until they have it memorized.

The Great Commandment Bible craft for kids

Ideas for Differentiation:

This activity was originally written for first or second graders, but use the following adaptations to make it work for younger and older students.

Younger Students

  • Instead of making the Bible, just use the printable. Cut it apart like a puzzle and have student practice reassembling it. Make a key that can go on the bottom and have student put the pieces on top to match the words.
  • To have fewer pieces, just cut horizontal strips instead of cutting out words and phrases.
  • Create as a class.  Give each student a word or phrase and as a class reassemble the words in the correct order.

Older Students

  • Instead of using the printable, have students look up the verse in the Bible (Matthew 22:37, 39) and copy it into their Bible.
  • If students have already memorized The Great Commandment, have them write it in their Bible from memory.