Reformation Day Unit Study

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Did you know that Halloween lands on the same day as the little- known, mostly uncelebrated Christian holiday, Reformation Day?

Yes, October 31st is the very day we celebrate Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Chapel!

Statue of Martin Luther

You may be one of the many families out there trying hard to think of a creative alternative to celebrating Halloween.

Why not celebrate by doing a fun- packed unit study on the Reformation?


Half the draw of Halloween for kids is getting dressed up in a costume. Kids love to play dress up and there is no wrong in that.

It’s fun for adults sometimes, too.

During this unit study we will be visiting Germany, so why not have a blast by dressing up in German folk dress?

You can order costumes online or use what you have at home.

All boys really need are some suspenders, a pair of shorts and a dress shirt. Girls will need a blouse, an overall dress with a full skirt and an apron. 

You might also want to decorate your homeschooling space in German colors and decorations.

Bible: Salvation by Grace Alone

The very foundation of the Reformation is based on salvation by faith (not works), so an especially important Bible lesson would be to talk about salvation through faith.

You may want to read the story of the thief on the cross in Luke 23:32-43.

That thief had no time to do good works.

He had done evil things and was paying for it by capital punishment, crucifixion, but salvation was offered to him by simply confessing his belief in Jesus. 

You may also want to read the story of Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8:9-25 and discuss how similar were Simon’s desire to buy the filling of the Holy Spirit and the Catholic Church’s selling of indulgences.

God’s gifts freely given cannot be earned or purchased.

A good Bible verse for this unit would be

Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Language Arts:  Parts of Speech

The short texts from this website on the history of the reformation would be excellent tool for labeling parts of speech. (i.e. underline all nouns, circle all verbs…)

Penmanship: The 95 Theses

Depending on how many children you have, you may want to divide up some of  the 95 theses among your children and have them write in a sentence or two and in their own words what each thesis meant.

You could even nail or tac their “thesis” to the door of your school area like Martin Luther did so that everyone can read what they wrote.

Reading: Reformation-based Books

Pre-K- 1st Grade:

Did Martin Luther Go on a Diet of Worms?

What Should I Do?

1st & 2nd Grade:

The Barber Who Wanted to Pray

2nd & 3rd Grade:

Reformation ABC’s

4th – 6th Grade:

Luther: Echoes of the Hammer

Reformation Fire

Middle School & High School:

Martin Luther- Life

Math: Fun Word Problems

  • If you lived in Leipzig which is 60 kilometers from Wittenberg how long would it take you to walk there to read Martin Luther’s 95 thesis if you walked 5 kilometers per hour?  How long would it take you if you lived in Berlin which is 90 kilometers from Wittenberg?
  • If Martin Luther hid out at Warburg castle for 43 weeks, how many days did he stay there?
  • You were a monk that read all 95 of Martin Luther’s Thesis and you agree with half of them, how many theses do you NOT agree with?
  • There were 7 diets that took place in Worms the first one took place in 829 but the one known as Diet of Worms was in 1521 when Martin Luther was questioned and confronted about his beliefs.  How many years took place between the first diet and the famous one in 1521?
  • Pope Leo X found 24 errors in Martin Luther’s 95 thesis, a monk found 7 more errors, the Archbishop found 9 errors, and Charles V found 2 more. How many errors did they find all together?

History: The History of the Reformation

Here is a video for younger grades:

and a coloring page of Martin Luther

under which they can write a few sentences about what they learned.

For children 4th grade and older an excellent choice would be watching the movie “Luther” and writing a full page narrative of what they learned.

Geography: Germany

Learning about the country of Germany (where the Reformation began) would be an excellent geography lesson.

Here is a map of Germany that you children can study and color. You may want them to draw lines to and from the places that Martin Luther travelled.

You may also want your children to color the flag of Germany.

This short lesson on Germany is an excellent geography lesson for grades 3 and up.

Science: Fermentation

Did you know that a German scientist Eduard Buechner was the first chemist to extract fluid from ground yeast thus discovering the fluid that could ferment a sugar solution?

Learning about the process of fermentation or Zymology could be the perfect science lesson for this unit study.

Here is an article from Britannica Kids that could be very useful for younger and older grades alike.

You could do a lab with your kids and make your own yogurt culture by cutting a whole lemon and leaving it in a cup of WHOLE milk for 13- 16 hours.

This creates good bacteria in the milk which can be added to cooked milk to make yogurt.

This is a great way for kids to see how the fermentation process works.

Here is a very informative website that has great tips and a yummy homemade yogurt recipe.

Music: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

The hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” was written by Martin Luther and would be an excellent song to learn.

You can simply learn to sing it as a family for music appreciation with this video.

Or if your child is learning an instrument, it would be a particularly good song to learn at this time.

Here is a free download for beginners sheet music for the hymn,

and here is a YouTube tutorial:

Cooking: Typical German Food

The national dish of Germany is Saurbratten which is a sort of beef stew. 

It might be fun to spend some time cooking as a family. Making a yummy typical German stew

some soft pretzels

with a “Diet of Worms” for dessert

could be really fun! You could even invite some friends over for a fun October 31st Reformation Day Celebration. 


A fun Reformation Day celebration game could be playing “Never Have I Ever Candy Exchange”.

Everyone brings a giftwrapped package of candy.

You stand in a circle with your package between your feet. Ahead of time you prepare plenty of “Never Have I Ever” questions (i.e. Never have I ever talked in my sleep, ridden a motorcycle, picked my nose, broken my arm, etc.). 

You may want to add some Reformation type questions such as: Sang A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, been in a Catholic Church, gone to confession, met a priest, etc..

The first person is chosen by drawing straws.

They draw a question and everyone who has done what is on the paper moves to the center of the circle and must move to someone else’s empty spot (they may NOT return to their own spot).

The person that read the question opens the gift at their new spot. You play the game until all the gifts are opened.

The gift you end up with at the end of the game is yours.

As you can see, celebrating Reformation Day doesn’t have to be dull and somber.

Make it a fun, exciting experience; something the whole family will remember and talk about for years to come.

Comment below and let us know how you celebrated Reformation Day.

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