Respect Life Like Saint Francis

Teach respect for creation and the importance of protecting human life.

Here is an activity to use to teach your students how to treat all of God's creation with respect.
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Here is an activity to use to teach your students how to treat all of God’s creation with respect.

Scripture Reading

Genesis 1:20-28


Through the example of Francis of Assisi, we ask God’s blessing on all creation, and we thank God for letting us share the Earth with all creatures.


If possible, bring your dog, or arrange for someone in the parish to bring their dog to class (a large, friendly dog works best for this activity). When the dog enters the room, listen for reactions from the students. Introduce the dog by name, and explain to the students that this special guest is there to help them understand more about how to treat all of God’s creation with respect.

Discussion Questions

  • Do you have any pets?
  • How do you feel when you see someone walking his or her dog?
  • Does it make you feel happy when you see a pet?

Invite students to discuss how different one dog is from another. It might be helpful to bring in pictures or toy stuffed dogs to illustrate your point. Then have the students share with one another how all dogs are the same. You can remind the students that regardless of size, color of coat, shape, ears, paws, etc., a dog is a dog.

Then ask a similar question, such as, “Should people be treated the same, regardless of their color of skin or hair, shape, age, size (remind children that unborn babies are very small), etc.?”

Remind students of the Scripture passage they just read. God created all things, but he made human beings special because they are made in his own image. Ask students: “Since every person was made in the image and likeness of God, regardless of whether they are short, tall, black, white, with long hair or short hair, shouldn’t they be treated with dignity and respect?”

Closing Prayer

Thank you, God, for all the animals and people you created. Help us to always remember to treat all living creatures and especially humans with respect. Amen.


Lisa Covington has 15 years of parish ministry experience and is currently the director of pastoral formation at St. Mary Church, Evansville, Indiana. She is also a workshop presenter and enjoys making the aspects of our Catholic faith engaging for catechists and students. 

This article originally appeared in RTJ’s creative catechist October 2013.

Image credit:Purplexsu /




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