October 31, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Whether you decide to have an enormous celebration, or just touch on the life of Martin Luther, it is a subject that is important to share with our children. The Reformation shaped the landscape of Christianity and civilization for the next 500 years - and the Reformation continues to this day.
Martin Luther was ANYTHING but boring - he was fiery, humorous, and shocking. His personal quirks were interesting to say the least. Because of this, kids always enjoy learning about him!
(I also just finished a wonderful Martin Luther biography - well worth your time to read!)
This subject can be HUGE, however, so I like to break it down for kids.
Luther was known for three things:
- The doctrine of salvation by faith alone
- The belief that Scripture should be translated into the people's language
- The birth of congregational singing. He felt that music was of God, not of man. He was determined to restore congregational singing in the German language to the Church.
I've put together this list of resources and also a special free gift for you to help you celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Enjoy!
Martin Luther was NOT meek or mild. He could sometimes be offensive. He challenged the religious order of the day.
When I began teaching my children about him, I turned (as I always do) to good books. And remember, I always keeps things SIMPLE. Less is more.
Once we discovered a subject through a book I could then tell if my children wanted to explore further - I would add in notebooking, lapbooking, projects, field trips - as their interest continued.
Books About Martin Luther For Kids
When my children were young we read Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World over a span of two weeks during our Morning Time. I then used the book with my 4th-6th grade Sunday School class. It's a fabulous read aloud and accurate depiction of Martin Luther's life.
Movies About Martin Luther
Another simple way to get an overview of a subject is through a good documentary or movie.
The Torchlighters video (if you haven't watched these they are GREAT - and included with an Amazon Prime membership) is perfect for all ages, and the other two videos I recommend are better for upper elementary and older.
This video is EXCELLENT! The Story of Luther & The Reformation -- great for the entire family.
Notebooking & Martin Luther
Notebooking is the perfect way to delve a bit deeper into a subject. Take the knowledge from those books and movies and have your children document what they are learning. (We love to look back at our notebooks now that my children are older!)
We always turn to Notebooking Pages - they have a beautiful set about Martin Luther and other famous people of the Reformation.
Martin Luther & Music
Luther's first hymnal was published in 1524. It contained eight hymns, four written by himself. Later hymnals were also published for congregational use. He urged people to use the hymns at home and encouraged parochial schools to teach them to their students.
Working with skilled musicians, Luther also created new music for church choirs, organ, and other instruments during his life. And after his death in 1546, the first line of "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" was inscribed on his tomb.
Here's a simple organ arrangement of the hymn:
Another hymn by Martin Luther - done in a more contemporary style:
For a full listing of Martin Luther's hymns, visit Hymnary.org.
Other Activities to Learn About the Reformation
Free Reformation Unit Study & Lapbook from Homeschool Share
Teach Children a Reformation Hymn -- practical ideas to get your kids singing!
Free Printable Martin Luther coloring book (for littles)
The Reformation in LEGOS (kids can build while you read aloud about Martin Luther!)
The Words of Martin Luther Copywork
I've created a FREE download to help you teach your children about Martin Luther.
There are print and cursive downloads available. Each download contains 10 quotes from Martin Luther.
Combine this copywork with an engaging read aloud, a craft, and some hymn study and you have a simple celebration of Martin Luther for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!