Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kindness - Ephesians 4:32

Taken From High Pointe Church - Thompson MA
a) To teach the students that being kind to one another is bigger than just being kind to fellow Christians, but rather, we are being asked to be sacrificial as Jesus was for us, while we were yet sinners. - 
b) At the same time teach them that one form of kindness is to follow the rules that should be followed.

Method: Playing a game that teaches what this type of kindness feels like.  Later lesson plans will teach other types of kindness.

Step 1: Play the Color Dot Game - Sticky Hands Competition.
Place sheets of construction paper around the center of the room. We used a couple of hundred of sheets total of 6 different colors. They should be very close to each other or even touching, but do not take time to make it look or feel organized.  Random and fast is fine.

The Rules: You call out a color, and all the children jump to that color.  If they touch the carpet with one of the feet (more than just over hang) they are out.  They can jump to another color, but they have to be on the color you call in a reasonable amount of time - 3 or 4 seconds.  Then they are allowed to push other students off their color with Sticky Hands.

         Sticky Hands - they face each other and place the open palms on each other's palm, without grasping fingers.  Grasping fingers might cause injury or aggressive behavior until they understand both the game and the message, so no grasping fingers this week. Then they try to make the other person move off the called color.  You do not have to wait for any particular amount of time.  If you want them out faster, wait for them to push each other. If you want the game to last, make it about jumping colors at first.


Celebrate the winner.

Play several time.

Step 2: Game Debrief:  Ask them how it felt when they were pushed off by:
1) Someone cheating
2) Someone who let you push them off
3) Someone so big they slammed you to the ground

Draw out the answers a bit, so they understand that playing at their best is ok but hurting someone or over powering them is not ok.

That letting someone win obviously is not Kindness.

That cheating is not Kindness.

Step 3: Read Ephesians 4:32 to the students.  

Ephesians 4:32 (ESV): "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

Three major points to cover - 

1) Being Kind means tenderhearted - relate that to NOT destroying someone but playing within the rules, watching out for each others safety.  Ask them how they could be tenderhearted to others in their family and lives.

2) Forgiving one another - Ask them if they are still angry at not winning.  Ask them why?  Ask them who they could forgive in their lives.

3) God in Christ, Jesus, forgave us while we were yet sinners - in other words, we were not yet Christians.  This verse means EVERYBODY, not just Christians.

Play the game again, this time with no colored paper, just facing each other trying to make the other fall down or move. Moving even one foot equals loss.  Change partners frequently.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


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The Purpose of this Lesson Plan: To teach 1st through 5th graders what it means when we say that God is Always With You, and what it feels like to know that he is always there.

Method: This lesson plan is designed as a standalone lesson plan, meaning that you don’t need to use any others, but it is also part of a series of 4 lessons plans, because our experience is that this concept takes more than one class to illustrate to anyone, including children.

As with our other lesson plans, we teach the physical meaning or “feeling” of being surrounded by protection, then we relate it to scripture and have the children give us examples in their lives. We have also found it best to end with the same drill we start class with so the children’s memory is reinforced with a physical example and with something that they consider fun and easy to understand.
The Drill – Angle Armies: Admittedly this lesson plan was inspired by Chris Tomlin’s Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies], so you might want to use that song in your class, though that is by no means necessary.

Materials Needed: 3 Children or 1 Child and two Helpers as contestants. The rest of the class as attackers.

How to Play: Have the children form as large a circle around the center of the room as you can, and number all but three with consecutive numbers. In this example, 1 through 8.

Take a “Contestant” the boy in the middle, and two “Guardians” the two golden boys in front of and behind the Contestant, and place them in the middle of the numbered children.

The Rules are simple. When a child’s number is called, the try to tag the contestant. If a Guardian touches them, or they make contact with a guardian, they sit down right where they are, and are out, no longer able to attack the contestant.

The Game Director, you, call numbers out. Start with 1 at a time. If they do not make it to the end untouched, then go to debrief below (failure to win = unsafe in the middle). If they do make it the end, make the drill harder by calling first one number (number 1) then quickly, 2 more (number 2 and 3) then 3 more (numbers 4, 5 and 6) then quickly, everyone. You are trying to make them fail. (Many teachers think that failure is to tramatic for young minds, but in this case, “failure” is the feeling we want to have so we can conquer it. Once you have failure, go to debrief below.

Debrief: Bring the Children in, and ask them:
a) Why they were unable to protect the contestant. Lead them to something that deals with “too many” attackers.
b) Then as the contestant what it felt like to be defeated. You are looking for something along the lines of “hopeless,” “let down,” “abandoned,” or some other negative emotion.

The Solution: Play the game exactly the same way, starting
with one attacker at a time, if that was the failure point before, but not more than 2 attackers at a time no matter the failure point. (You need to have a successful defense if possible during this phase.) THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT YOU NOW HAVE 4 GUARDIANS.

If you do have failure with 4 guardians it is generally for 1 of 2 reason, and you need to watch so you know which reason, during debrief for the solution. The two reasons are:

a) Defenders LEFT the contestant to pursue attackers, or they abandoned them

b) Contestant lacked faith, and either attacked on his own right, or ran away.

The Solution Debrief: In this section you are either getting your students to see that their reason for victory was that they relied on their guardians or their reason for failure was that they tried to win or defend on their own, or the guardians were not good guardians and left their side.

Either way, this is an illustration of what it feels like to fully rely on God for his protection, or what it should have felt like. (If they failed, and you have time, make the necessary corrections by selecting better guardians, using helpers or teaching the existing guardians how to win, and replay the game – if you don’t have time, explain why they lost.)

This week you should teach either 1 or both of the following verse. Either you read the verse or have them read the verse. Stop when necessary to explain and/or illustrate what words mean, tying them into the drill they just played whenever possible.

(Feel free to use whatever translation your church or you prefer – the spirit makes the bible the same for each of us not matter the translation, so if this one does not work for you, pick another.

Isaiah 41:13 (KJV) – “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

Important points to cover: 1) God is so close it is as if he is holding your hand, or he is actually holding your hand. 2) He is telling you two things about this closeness – first to be brave and second he will not just be by your side, he will actually help you through it. – THIS IS LIKE THE GAME, WHERE THE GUARDIANS WERE SO CLOSE THEY COULD TOUCH YOU, AND THEY KEPT YOU SAFE, IF YOU JUST HAD FAITH THAT THEY WOULD.

John 14:16 (KJV) – “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;”

Important points to cover: 1)This verse is telling you that Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit and that this will be our comforter if we believe. – (Make sure they know that this was before Pentecost – we now have the holy spirit because of this promise.) 2) Jesus is also telling us that the Holy Spirit, God, WILL BE WITH US FOREVER. AGAIN, LIKE THE GAME, THE GUARDIANS WERE ALWAYS THERE AND CLOSE, TO PROTECT AND COMFORT YOU, SO TOO WILL THE HOLY SPIRIT BE THERE, INSIDE OF YOU.

If you have time, play the game (drill) on more time, using the words of the verse to get the new guardians to be comforters and be close – always.
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