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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.
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
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.
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