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

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Hi Godly Play Teachers,
Welcome to our lesson for Aug 3, the Parable of the Mustard Seed, found in Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, and Luke 13:18-19.

The children love this parable, and if you help them process it through the wondering questions, they're sure to come up with some profound thoughts and ideas.

The wondering questions are in the book. I'll have them printed out for you. Thank you for documenting the children's responses. They're so interesting for the parents-and for the rest of us!

Now, for some ideas to spark their imaginations as they do their work, making a gift to God...

1. How big do they imagine the mustard seed growing? Why not lay out butcher paper on the floor and let the children draw the tree? I've seen a class of fours do this, so I know all of ours can do it to. One team of kids could draw and fill in the tree, another do the leaves, another do the birds and birds' nests, and another do the sower.
Our fourth grade class did this  and it turned out great!

2. Children could individually glue a seed to a paper and draw what the tree will grow to be.
3. Kids could make a mustard tree out of pipe cleaners. They could even add birds!

4. You could plant a seed, if you haven't done that lately. It might be fun to plant grass seeds and draw a face on the pot/cup so as it sprouts it looks like hair.

5. The kids could make their own parable box for this one. There's felt in the resource room for the different parts, and they could also make a person out of a clothespin, birds and nests out of clay.

6. Make a mustard seed necklace as shown here

7. Sample different kids of mustard with pretzels or crackers as a snack.


Enjoy!
Becky

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Parable of the Leaven

Hi Godly Play Teachers, Welcome to our lesson for July 27, the Parable of the Leaven, found in Matthew 13:33 and Luke 13:20-21.

It will be interesting to see what the children make of this parable. As Godly Play often encourages us, it's good to remember that the children may find meanings that we haven't even thought of- meanings we can learn from- so it's important not to steer them too much towards our own understanding.
It's also good to share how much three measures of flour is. I've read that it's enough to make a dozen loaves of bread- enough bread to feed 100 people!

Be sure to use the wondering questions to help them tease out their own thoughts from their heads.  I'd love to be able to share them with the parents in the newsletter, without names attached, of course.

Idea Sparkers for the Make a Gift to God time.
1. It might be fun to depict the parable by drawing out exactly how much bread this tiny bit of leaven can make rise. The children could make a mural showing the title of the parable, a drawing of a small amount of yeast, the dozen loaves of bread, and the baker woman. They could write out the short parable at the bottom, and we could put it on one of our big bulletin boards. Drawing out the dozen loaves would bring home how much bread the parable is talking about.

2. Eat bread!
You could also compare unleavened bread with leavened bread by sampling each.

3. The older children could work on the question of how do you show your leavening--or what kind of leaven are you? How do we participate in the kingdom of God? What things do we do to "make the bread of the kingdom rise?" To further the God's kingdom- to make the world like God wants it to be? This could be done in drawings, with a collage, a poster that the class works on together or separately.

4. Experiment with yeast, testing what happens to warm sugar water with yeast in it. We may have yeast packets in the resource room.

Thanks, y'all!
Enjoy!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Parable of the Sower

Hi Godly Play Teachers,
Welcome to our lesson for July 20, the Parable of the Sower.

Jesus told this parable to answer the question, "What is the kingdom of heaven (God's kingdom) like?" The wondering questions this week are really important, because they can help the children understand the meaning of the parable. I hope you'll let the children struggle with each question. Sometimes it's very tempting to give them your answer, but a little mind struggling will allow them to find an answer that they can own-instead of one they don't really get, but feel you want them to believe. Even if they go down a wayward road, (if so we can always ask more questions to try to help them find their way) we will have "planted the seed" (how appropriate!) which they may discover later.

As you ask the wondering questions, if children have trouble, try to help them put themselves in the place of the sower. (Particularly helpful for questions 3,6,7,8,13,14)

So the important wondering questions we'll use this week are:
1. I wonder if the person had a name.
2. I wonder who the person could really be?
3. I wonder if the person was happy when the birds came and ate the seeds.
4. I wonder if the birds were happy then they saw the sower.
5. I wonder who the birds really are.
6. I wonder what the person was doing when the little seeds could not get their roots in among the stones.
7. I wonder what the person was doing when the little seeds were choked by the thorns.
8. I wonder what the person was doing when the little seeds were growing in the good earth.
9. I wonder what the harvest could really be?
10. I wonder what the sower used for seed?
11. I wonder what the sower sold?
12. I wonder what the sower kept for food?
13. I wonder if the sower was surprised at the harvest?
14. I wonder what part surprised the sower most?

Idea Sparkers for our Create a Gift for God time:

1. This would be a perfect time to actually sow some seeds. You could use Styrofoam cups or small terra cotta pots which the kids could decorate, then fill with soil in which to plant a seed. You could also have them write a verse on a popsickle stick to put in the soil near the seeds they sow. They could choose a verse from the Bible story (a good way to have them look up the story themselves) or use Psalm 119:16b  “I Shall not forget your Word.”

3. Children could also reproduce the parts of the parable box-the sower, the birds, the pots, the rocky ground, the thorns, the plants.

4. Children could illustrate the parable with watercolors or markers or colored pencils.

Enjoy!