Monday, September 15, 2014

The Exodus

Hi Godly Play Teachers,
Welcome to our lesson for Sept 21, The Exodus, found in Exodus 11:1-15:21. The Godly Play script is in the yellow (Fall) book, p. 65-72.

When we left Moses last week, he was getting ready to go with Aaron to speak to the Pharaoh and to do what God told him to do: set the people free. Would he have the courage? Would God help him? How would it all play out? This week we get to celebrate the answers to these questions.

I would suggest telling the story as the script describes, and then, when Moses enters the scene, recap last week's story before moving on, so that children can connect the two stories.

I'd also suggest that it would really be fun and meaningful for the children to celebrate the story with an exploration of the seder meal, if you like, as described below. If you're not up for that, I'll at least have matzo for each classroom for the children to try.

I've changed the wondering questions a little bit:
1. I wonder what part of the story you like the best.
2. I wonder what part is the most important.
3. I wonder if you were one of God's people, how you might have felt when the Pharaoh set you free to follow Moses.
4. I wonder what you might have felt as you saw the sea part and a path emerge.
5. I wonder what part of this part of this story is about you, or what God is teaching you about Himself in this story.

Create a Gift for God Time
1. Children could recreate the story scene of the crossing of the Red Sea. Let children decide how they want to recreate this. They could make the pieces of the story- like the chain, the felt water that can be parted, the people, etc.
There's an amazing example here. Take a look!
Here's another example.
I'll have blue paper and felt.

2. Children could work together to create a long chain, symbolizing the slavery the people of God had to be freed from. Here's a pic of last years chain from 2nd grade.





3.This would be a perfect time for the children to celebrate the seder meal. We did this in VBS this summer and the children might remember enough to teach you about it! Just bring me a clean receipt and I'll be glad to reimburse you. The meal is so full of meaning, all centered around this story.
 Here's a guide with a simple explanation.
This allows our children to experience the Passover in a small way.


 Flickr photo courtesy of Imaginary Girl, through creative commons

4. Children could make an instrument like Miriam might have used to celebrate the exodus. Look here for an example of a paper plate shaker. Let the children decorate it as they wish. I'll have paper plates and jingle bells, if you want to use them.

Thanks y'all, for helping our children not only hear the story of the Exodus, but participate in it as well!
Love, Becky

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Story of Moses: The Beginning

Hi Godly Play Teachers,
Welcome to our lesson for Sept 14, The Story of Moses, found in Exodus 1:8-17:7, 19:1- 40:38. The script is adapted from the story found in the pink Enrichment Presentations for Fall book, p.58-65.  Sunday school teachers, I will emailed you a copy of the adapted script. If you'd like a copy, feel free to email me and I'll try to send it out to you.



What an exciting story- and one children always love. Perhaps as we think about Moses' humble beginning, our children will reflect on their own beginnings and know that they can be used by God to do great things for God's kingdom as well. Most all of us can identify with not feeling up to the task or equipped to serve God. Moses' story shows that willingness is all that it takes, that God will take care of the rest.

The timing of this story works well too with our story schedule, since we just shared the lesson of Joseph and will cover the Exodus story next. This adapted script ends right before Moses goes to talk with the Pharaoh, so the Exodus story can be shared as written in its Godly Play script. Be sure to end this story helping the children enjoy the suspense for next week's lesson. It would be wonderful for them to go home asking what happens next, and reflecting on the story of the day.

Here are the wondering questions:

1.       I wonder what was your favorite part of today’s story?
2.       I wonder what was the most important part?
3.       I wonder if Moses ever made bad choices.  I wonder if God can use people who sometimes make mistakes.
4.       I wonder how Moses felt when God told him that God wanted Moses to set the people free from slavery.
5.       I wonder what Moses did to get ready to speak to the Pharaoh about setting the people free.
What fun the children will have in our Make A Gift for God Time!

Here are some ideas to get the children started in planning their work:

1. Children can recreate the Moses in the Reeds scene, as shown here. (Scroll down to the part showing Moses in an Egg Carton Cup) Children can make their own basket and baby Moses using an a cup cut from an egg carton or paper bag- and whatever they like to make Moses (paper or a cotton ball for a head, felt for a blanket, etc). Blue construction paper could be the river and green for the reeds. They could even make the rest of the materials in the Godly Play story basket: a paper chain, a shepherd's crook, the burning bush.
So that they get more invested in their work, allow them to make as many choices as to how they create the scene as possible.
I'll have egg cartons, cotton balls, felt, and construction paper on hand on the cart at the end of the hall. Be sure to take photos of their work! :)

 2. What would the burning bush look like? Children can use their imaginations to recreate it with tissue paper or other materials. Look here for another way to represent it. I'll have tissue paper and stones on hand for you on the cart.


3. Younger kids (2nd grade?) would LOVE using a water table and setting up the scene with baby baskets and reeds as shown on this precious blog, here. Really! Check it out! You'll want to join in the fun if you take a look! I'LL HAVE A WATER TABLE ON HAND in the Children's activity room. Let me know if you want to come in and use it.


4. Older children might enjoy videoing a news reporter, interviewing bystanders who've observed different parts of Moses' life first hand. Children could even set it in modern times, if they wanted to. (How would it be different if it happened today?) My camera will be in the drawer. Be sure to video!

5. The class could make a group mural, collage style. Like this one:


Thanks, y'all!
Love, Becky

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Story of Joseph

Hi Godly Play Teachers, Welcome to our lesson for September 7, The Story of Joseph, found in Genesis 37:1-31 and 49:1-6. (The script is found in the pink Enrichment Presentations for Fall book, p.51-57.)


Since we just presented the Story of Jacob last week, this is the perfect time to talk about Jacob's son Joseph.  This story will help the children answer the question of how the people of God moved to Egypt and became slaves--which will help the Moses story and the Exodus story make more sense.

I'm sure that the children will find many parts of the story interesting- like the idea of Joseph being the favorite son, the sibling rivalry between the brothers, the enslavement and imprisonment of Joseph, the idea that dreams mean something, and the repairing of the relationship between Joseph and his brothers.

Ideas for our Make A Gift for God Time:
Remember that the activity will mean more to the children the more choices they have in how they decide what "work" to do and how they will accomplish it.

Children could recreate the story in some way.
1. Children could make a coat of many colors.
          There are lots of ways they could do this. Several are described here. If the children want to make a coat of construction paper and trimmings, I'll have construction paper, rickrack, buttons, etc on our cart at the end of the hall.

2. You could let the children pick scenes from Joseph's life to draw out and put them together to   make a mural of the different scenes. You could include in these the dreams he interpreted. We have plenty of huge mural paper.

 3. Kids could make Egyptian costume pieces and act out parts of the story. Costume pieces are shown here. We have all sorts of fabric, beads, card stock, etc for the costumes. I'll pull some to have on the cart at the end of the hall.

4. You could also help the children explore what God is teaching us through Joseph's story--how he mends his relationship with his brothers, despite everything, how he remains faithful to God in the middle of his troubles, and how God uses Joseph throughout his life. Could the children sketch and then paint with water colors ( or use marker or crayon) the scene of Joseph reuniting with his brothers? Maybe this could be a class project. Watercolors will be on my cart.

5. Don't forget that one choice for a child's work can always be to retell the story (using the materials that the teacher used) to another child. They love to handle the materials themselves and can use the laminated card to check themselves, to make sure they include all the parts of the story.

Hope these ideas help!
Love, Becky

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Story of Jacob

Hi Godly Play Teachers,
Welcome to our lesson for August 31, The Story of Jacob, found in Genesis 25-33,35. (The script is found in the pink Enrichment Presentations for Fall book, p.44-50.)

What a perfect time to present this story. When we finished last week's story, The Great Family, Isaac and Rebekah were married, Abraham died, and we shared that Isaac and Rebekah had children-who had children, who had children, etc. So who were their children? We can pick up right here with the Story of Jacob, ending with the formation of the 12 tribes of the Great Family, Israel.

Jacob's story is so rich with topics that children will want to explore, like sibling relationships, fairness and trickery, making choices, what is a blessing, the idea of wrestling with God. Hopefully there will be plenty of time in your wondering time to hear their thoughts on these and to help them explore their own ideas.

Ideas for their Give a Gift to God Time
1. Recreate some of the story materials so that the children can tell the story themselves at home. I would suggest showing them various materials we have on hand and ask, "I wonder what we could do with these items to help retell Jacob's story. I wonder how we might make a ladder or a bowl or a veil or people. I wonder how we could make Jacob or Esau."
A bowl can easily be made out of quick dry clay, a ladder could be made from popsickle sticks, veils from netting. Children can come up with their own ideas of how to make the objects if they have access to materials.

3. Act out the story!
Our children LOVE doing this. Why not break the story into scenes and let the children act them out? Simple props could be a bowl, the animal skin from the story basket, and netting for a veil (I'll have some in the resource room.) I'll have my camera ready to borrow to video if you like.

4. Have on hand marshmallows, pretzels and marshmallow cream, and see if the children can figure out how to make a ladder (Described here)Yum!

5. Teach the children how do to Jacob's ladder with a piece of string, as shown in this video. 

While you're practicing, talk about what the dream meant.
Thank you for all you do!
Love, Becky

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Great Family

Hi Godly Play Teachers,
Welcome to our lesson for August 24, The Great Family, found in Genesis 12-15, 24. (Script is found in the yellow Fall book, p.57-64.)


What a wonderful lesson, to learn that we are all descendants of God's great family, and that God is with us no matter where we go. The wondering questions are at the end of the script. I'll be especially curious to hear how the children respond to the wondering question, "I wonder where you are in the story or what part of the story is about you?"

Idea Starters for the Give a Gift to God Time:
1. Stars! Check out these GORGEOUS stars shown here, which would be easy for all ages to make. Children could write on the other side a Bible verse from this story, perhaps Genesis 15:5 " See the many stars. There are so many you cannot count them. Your family will be like that.”
Or make a moon and star like this:
Or let the children figure out how they'd like to make a star of their own.
2. The beginnings of the great family: make Sarah and Abraham and Isaac out of play clay or clothespins. Or make finger puppets of the family.  (Plenty -hundreds- of clothespins are in the art resource room in a cardboard box.

3. Each child individually- or all children together- could make a drawing of their part of the great family-- their birth family and church family, all on one piece of butcher paper.

4.Sand drawings or sand art - to remember the desert in the story. Make a simple drawing- or the child's name written in cursive- and cover the lines with glue, (I have new glue bottles in my office)  then sift colored sand over the glue. The glue will stick to the sand. Children could also include names of others in their family.

5. Act out the story: Abram and Sarai walking toward Haran, sleeping in their tent, walking along the Euphrates, Abram being with God and knowing God wanted them to move on, Abram building an altar in Shechem and then in Bethel and Hebron, God's promise to Abram, Sarah hearing she would have a son and laughing, Isaac and Rebekah.

6. Make a door hanger to commemorate Abram and Sarai's willingness to go where God led them. You could use 1 John 5:3: This Is Love for God:to Obey His Commands.

7. Let children who wish to make a map of the area of the story.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Flood and the Ark


Hi Godly Play Teachers,
Welcome to our lesson for August 17, The Flood and the Ark, found in Genesis 6:5 - 9:17 and found in The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Vol 2, 14 Presentations for Fall p. 49-56 (the orange book.)


This is bound to be a favorite story of the children. It's good to remember that Noah was a good man, but he wasn't sinless. He pleased God and God "found favor" with him because he loved God and obeyed him, and so his life can serve as an example to all of us.

I'm especially interested in how the children will respond to the wondering question, "I wonder where you are in the story or what part of the story is about you." Please do have someone write down their responses so we can share them. Thank you!

Idea Sparkers for the Give A Gift to God time:
 *A fun snack might be animal crackers. Just make sure they contain no peanut oil or tree nut oil, as we have children with severe allergies to nuts.

*You may have seen in the children's game room this mural that the children worked on together a couple of years ago for Noah's ark. Some children made the ark itself, others a rainbow, others pairs of animals (on separate sheets that they cut out and glued to the ark)  They LOVED doing this, and there was lots of ownership since each child got to pick what they made. Why not repeat it in your class?
*Kids could make an ark on paper and find magazine photos of animals to glue on to make a collage.

*Make an edible rainbow out of fruit!

*Make animals out of play dough for an ark the class makes.

*Play an animal matching game.

*Emphasize God's promise by making rainbow castanets, as shown here. Or make any of the other rainbow projects as shown here.
Or a rainbow of promises through people's hands, like this one our fifth graders did last year...

*Make an ark out of Popsicle sticks as shown here. Scroll 3/4 the way down.

Enjoy!
Love, Becky

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Creation

Hi Godly Play Teachers!
Welcome to our lesson for August 10, Creation, taken from Genesis 1:1-2:3, and also found in The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Vol2, the orange book, 14 Presentations for Fall.

What a wonderful story about gift giving and creating. As it says in the Godly Play book, you can tell much about the giver by looking at the gift, and what an incredible gift creation is! 

Be sure to ask the wondering questions. They're simple but they invite deep thinking!
1. I wonder which one of these days you like best.
2. I wonder which day is most important.
3. I wonder which day you are in or which one is especially about you.
4. I wonder if we can leave out any one of these days and still have all the days we need.

Classes at FBCGreenville might want to take a mini-field trip down the hall and take a look at our world created in tiles a few years ago during Sunday school.
What can they find on the tiles that shows God's creation?

For our Make a Gift for God time, here are some ideas to get the children started:
1. Choose a day (or assign a day) and invite the children to create and illustrate their own plaque or water color drawing- or clay sculpture or pencil drawing depicting that particular day. This could be done as a class mural or completed individually.
Here's an example in which children did water colors and then put them together.


2.Each child could make her/his own set of days, as is shown here.
Check out dozens of more ideas at the Pinterest site here.
Thank you for all you do for our children!
Becky