Monday, July 27, 2015

The Creation Story

Hi Godly Play Teachers!
Welcome to our lesson for August 2, 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!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Circle of the Church Year

Hi Godly Play Teachers! Welcome to the Circle of the Church Year, our Godly Play lesson for this Sunday, July 26.
This is one of my favorite lessons of the year. The calendar makes so much sense that I think we should teach it to adults as well!

The lesson comes with wondering questions. I'll include them in your class folder as well.

Hints for the Create-a-gift-for-God time:

For younger children:
1. Younger children are already learning about calendars and enjoy displaying what they know. Why not go ahead and print on a paper for each child, "Thank You God, for Our Church Year!" Then they could write out the month names and draw things beside each month that they are thankful for...Like a birthday cake on their birthday month. Snow by January. A Valentines heart by February. Kites by March (or basketball, for March Madness!)  This is a perfect time to reinforce the special times that the church celebrates on their own calendars- and what time of the year in which they occur.

2. If a younger child wants to make his own calendar, why not? It doesn't have to be a calendar like we could make. Younger children often like writing their numbers. It would be fun to have different calendars on hand to talk about different ways we keep record of time. I can see lots of inroads for discussion on the church's calendar with this.

3. Here's another idea that would be great for younger children- and let's them practice their knowledge of what color goes with what season, etc.  Take a look at it!

4. Why not play with the colors of the church calendar (purple, green, red, white). Here's a pinterest site with lots of ideas especially great for younger children, but enjoyable for older as well! (It will make you happy just to look, I promise!) The bead necklace version of the calendar is great!

For older children:
The children could make their own rendition of the Godly Play Calendar with a paper plate, a color copy (that I can provide if you tell me by Thursday), a brad, and a fun foam arrow. Susan D. came up with this, and it works great!

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Hi Godly Play Teachers,
Welcome to our lesson for July 19, 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.


Monday, July 6, 2015

The Parable of the Leaven

Hi Godly Play Teachers, Welcome to our lesson for July 12, 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!