Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy Sorting Activity

Preview: Download this free corporal and spiritual works of mercy printable activity for kids. A great way to teach children the importance of loving and taking care of our neighbors.
Download this free corporal works of mercy printable activity for kids. A great way to teach children the importance of loving and taking care of our neighbors.

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.

Corporal Works of Mercy Sort

Download this free corporal works of mercy printable activity for kids. A great way to teach children the importance of loving and taking care of our neighbors.

Works of Mercy allow us to extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need. Through the Corporal Works of Mercy we can help our neighbors with their material and physical needs. While many of the ways we can help involve adults and their time, talent and resources, children can help out in their own small ways, too.

This Corporal Works of Mercy sort not only helps students to learn the works and identify an image to represent each one, but it also gets them thinking about how they could help on their own, with their family and with their class.

Supplies Needed:

Corporal Works of Mercy sorting sheet (free download)

Scissors

Glue

Pencil

Crayons

To Use:

Color and cut out the pictures and the words for each of the Corporal Works of Mercy. They are in a mixed-up order before you cut them out to make matching a little more challenging.

Sort through and match the words to a picture that represents it. Once students find a match, have them glue the words in the first column and the pictures in the second column.

In the third column, have students write ideas for how they could help their neighbor through these Works of Mercy. This might involve a whole class discussion and brainstorming session. Try to get students to see that even though they are young, there are still things that they can do to help others.

Ideas for ways to live out the Corporal Works of Mercy:

In a discussion with the class, talk about ways that they could help others by themselves, ways they could work with their parents to help others and ways they could work together as a class to help others. Try to get them to think beyond just the words – for example, visiting the imprisoned can be more than just visiting people in jail. Who else in our community is imprisoned? Who else can’t get around because of illness, injury, age, lack of means, etc.?

This will take a lot of prompting and ideas from you as the teacher to get the ideas flowing. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

Feed the hungry – donate a meal to a needy family, collect canned goods to stock a food pantry, make sandwiches to give to the homeless, give restaurant gift cards to people in need, help at a soup kitchen

Shelter the homeless – make blankets for homeless shelters, make blessing bags for the homeless, help with your parish’s homeless outreach program, donate time at a shelter

Clothe the naked – donate outgrown clothes to a charity like St. Vincent de Paul, put hats, gloves, shirts, socks and underwear in blessing bags for the homeless, collect jackets and cold weather gear to donate

Visit the sick – make cards to take to a hospital, collect toys and books to deliver to a children’s hospital, visit a neighbor or family member who is sick and take them a meal

Visit the imprisoned – work with your parish’s prison ministry, donate to those who have family members in prison, visit a nursing home or homebound neighbor

Bury the dead – send a card to someone who has recently lost a loved one, visit a cemetery and pray, donate food and your time for funeral luncheonsb

Give drink to the thirsty – collect bottled water to donate to a shelter, donate water to a city with a water crisis such as Flint, MI or Detroit Public Schools

Give alms to the poor is also sometimes included on this list, though it is not one of the seven listed in this sorting activity. Donating money to organizations that can help provide services and support would be something you could list for each of the other works of mercy.

Spiritual Works of Mercy Sort

Download this free spiritual works of mercy printable activity for kids. A great way to teach children the importance of loving and taking care of our neighbors.

Through the Spiritual Works of Mercy we can help our neighbors with their spiritual needs. While we often think of adults helping others on their faith journey, children can help as well even though they are still learning the faith. The faith of a child is so innocent and deep, so there is no reason that children can’t help other children (and maybe even adults) by the things they do and say.

This Spiritual Works of Mercy sort not only helps students to learn the works and identify an image to represent each one, but it also gets them thinking about how they could help on their own, with their family and with their class.


Supplies Needed:

Spiritual Works of Mercy sorting sheet (free download)

Scissors

Glue

Pencil

Crayons


To Use:

Color and cut out the pictures and the words for each of the Spiritual Works of Mercy. They are already mixed up on the page before they are cut out in order to make matching a little more challenging.

Sort through and match the words to a picture that represents it. Once students find a match, have them glue the words in the first column and the pictures in the second column.


In the third column, have students write ideas for how they could help their neighbor through these Works of Mercy. This might involve a whole class discussion and brainstorming session. Try to get students to see that even though they are young, there are still things that they can do to help others.


Ideas for ways to live out the Spiritual Works of Mercy:


In a discussion with the class, talk about ways that they could help others by themselves, ways they could work with their family to help others, and ways they could work together as a class to help others. Some of these works of mercy might be tricky depending on the age of your students.


Help them to see that even kids can do these things at their own level and especially with other kids their own age. Get students thinking about situations on the playground, in their neighborhood, at their sporting events, etc. where these might apply and they could use that as an opportunity to grow closer to God and their neighbor through the Spiritual Works of Mercy.


This will take a lot of prompting and ideas from you as the teacher to get the ideas flowing. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.


Counseling the doubtful – show others about Christ through how you act and live your life, support friends who are struggling to believe in God by going to Mass or faith formation classes with them, answer questions for others about Christ and share your testimony and relationship


Instructing the ignorant – share your faith with others, be a part of a mission trip, help with a service project, invite someone to go to Mass with you and your family, learn more about your faith – be a lifelong learner, ask questions and talk about your faith to learn more


Admonishing the sinner – do not judge others for what they’ve done wrong, but help them to do the right thing, correct others kindly, show others compassion, lead by example


Comforting the sorrowful – listen and support others who are having a hard time, make a card for someone who could use some cheering up, spend time with someone who is struggling, make dinner for a family that is going through a difficult situation


Forgiving injuries – forgive as Jesus forgives, do not hold grudges – let it go, apologize and mean it, ask for forgiveness, go to confession, pray


Bearing wrongs patiently – talk about tips for solving problems with someone you are having a hard time with like be patient, walk away from the situation, take a deep breath, pray about it, ask God for help and patience with the person or situation


Praying for the living and the dead – make a list of prayer intentions, request mass intentions for a family member who has died, request mass intentions for a family or friend who could use extra prayers and support, pray for others, ask if there is anything specific you can pray for


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More Catholic Activities

Need some other Catholic crafts and printables? Check out some of the other activities that I wrote for Today's Catholic Teacher website.