Cleanliness is an important part of Baha’i life. Apart from keeping our bodies and clothes clean, we must also keep our homes clean as well.
Prayers/readings for study
Be ye the very essence of cleanliness amongst mankind. (Baha’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas)
…[I]n all conditions, cleanliness and sanctity, purity and delicacy exalt humanity… (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Abbas)
Reverse scavenger hunt. The children are given a collection of 15-20 sticky notes representing different things that might be found around the home. One by one, the children pick one note and stick it on the door of the room where the thing it represents should be put away: for example, a note reading “sock” might go on the door to the bedroom; “broom” would go on the door to the broom closet; a TV remote control would go in the living room; and so on. If the class is not being held in a home, different “stations” can be set up around the classroom to represent the different rooms of a home.
Children divide a sheet of paper into two halves. On one half, they draw a room that exemplifies the Bahá’í standard of cleanliness (clean floor and walls, no trash or other things lying around, bed made, etc); on the other, they draw the same room, but lacking cleanliness (messy, dirty, etc.)
Print out an image of a messy room, such as this one, making enough copies for all the children. Give the children a list of objects to find in the room (i.e. wallet, pencil case, piggy bank, etc.), and let them each search for them individually.
Here’s a cooperative game we came up with to help our children think about helping to clean up around the house, in the context of a lesson on cleanliness. On a set of post-it notes, come up with a good number of things you might find laying around a home. About 15 or 20 things should be fine. Stick all of the post-it notes onto a sheet of paper and present them to the children. One by one, the children must pick one post-it note and stick it on the door of the room where the thing it represents should be put away. For example, a sock goes in the dresser, which is usually in the bedroom, so the post-it note would go on the door to the bedroom; a broom would go in the broom closet; a TV remote control would go in the living room; and so on. If the class is not being held in a home, different “stations” can be set up around the classroom to represent the different rooms of a home. You can also include some “garbage” items that should be placed in the trash, or “recyclable” items that should be recycled, or even “reusable” items, depending on your preference.
Once all the post-it notes have been placed, inspect them to make sure all are placed properly. Once this is done, gather them all up again and place them back on the paper. Next repeat the exercise once more, but instead of having the children come up one by one to pick a post-it note, ask them to divide them evenly amongst themselves, and have them go all at once to place them where they should go. Once this second round is done, inspect them again to make sure all are placed properly, and gather them up again once done. Finally, ask the children to reflect on the exercise. How long did it take to put everything away when placing the post-it notes one by one? How long did it take when everyone placed their notes at the same time? What about when we clean the classroom, or our room, or our house? Does it take longer when we work alone, or when we work together?