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For Educators

About this Issue

August 2017—Healthy Bodies

It is a rare (or perhaps nonexistent) person today who makes it to adolescence without experiencing some anxiety about the “flaws” of his or her body. Size-zero models and actresses and steroid-enhanced athletes are offered up as ideal body types. At the same time, all kinds of unhealthy foods are marketed to children, who often get far less physical activity than they should. This issue is not about being the “food police” or convincing children to give up the technology they love. This is about the central idea that human beings are made in the image of God and that our bodies are a gift from our Creator. With this knowledge, we try to treat our bodies with respect and the appropriate care. It should also help children understand that no matter how they feel about their bodies, they are wholly loved and accepted by God. And just as we respect our own bodies, we respect other people—whatever the size, shape, or ability of their bodies—because they too are created in the image of God.

 

Stories: In “Time for a Tune-Up,” Max reluctantly joins his friend Jacob in a “tune-up” as they adopt new, healthier habits.

In “A Special Gift,” Sammy’s friend who is on an elite dance team starts skipping lunch so she can “look her best” when she’s on stage. Sammy, who also loves dance, wonders if she should do the same.

In “Tree Frog Trail,” our continuing feature series, Callie and Zoe plan a fitness fair for their neighborhood.

In “Mr. Toothpick,” Ignacio is excited about the opening of a new community pool until a classmate makes fun of his skinny frame. Pool fun is ruined for him until he realizes that everyone’s body is different and that his physique isn’t important to the people who care about him.

In “Lily’s Iron Ears,” Tessa’s friend Lily is ridiculed by some of the classmates because Lily wears hearing aids. Together the two friends come up with a plan to help the other students understand things from Lily’s point of view.

 

Pocketsful of Scripture includes readings from Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes.

Where in God’s World? looks at Malaysia.

Coming up: This month’s issue includes the application for readers to serve on our 2018 Kids’ Advisory Board. Find more information here: Kids Advisory Board

 

September 2017—School Rules! 

We know that school is difficult for some children, whether for academic or social reasons or some combination of the two. But we want to encourage our readers to find and build on the positive aspects of school. What does it mean to live out our faith at school (regardless of the form school takes)? How do we live as Christians in the context of schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, relationships with teachers and classmates? How can our faith help us when school does become a struggle?

October 2017—Everyday Heroes

What constitutes a hero in the eyes of a child? A superstar entertainer? An elite athlete? A world leader or historical figure? True heroes often seem hard to find, but perhaps we should look around our own neighborhoods, communities, churches, schools, and even homes. Maybe we would find an abundance of heroes among those we see every day. This issue should help children recognize and appreciate those everyday heroes—people who quietly work to help others, people whose efforts are often taken for granted, people who try to live the way Jesus taught us to live. We also want this issue to help children to recognize their own potential to be everyday heroes.

November 2017—Gratitude 

Gratitude is (or should be) a hallmark of our lives as Christians every day, not just on the fourth Thursday of November. But at times we may focus more on what we don’t have that we wish we did or feel we should. How do we help our children cultivate gratitude in their everyday lives? How do our lives reflect the gratitude that we say we feel? If we truly are grateful, what kind of actions flow from that gratitude?

December 2017—Waiting and Welcoming

The December issue of Pockets takes on a life of its own as we prepare to welcome Jesus once again. We turn to Advent themes such as waiting, hoping, preparing our hearts; and Christmas themes such as sharing love, joy, and peace. This issue should help children begin to understand how Jesus’ birth, God’s incarnation, is made new for them each Advent and Christmas and how this sense of Emmanuel, God with us, guides our lives throughout the year.

 

mhooper

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