Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A different approach to sunday learning...

I'm sorting through poetry and found some Psalm-inspired poems . Some of the imagery got me thinking. I have an adventure for you:

Start with one thing from scripture that God is compared to - ie. Rock. (Call these themed lessons, or noun-ed lessons if you want.) Use the scripture, the story, some science, some pretending. Play a game. Sing a song. Make something. Think: activities that give kids opportunity to interact with the Rock (or whatever thing) the way it's used in the passage or the story to describe God.


God is my shield. I thought about little children hiding behind their parents. Or why not do a whole lesson on Biblical shields? (as age-appropriate)

Take one item. Start very very simple and work your way up. A shield was to protect a soldier from arrows, right? So he didn't get hurt? Make a shield. Let the kids have a sock ball battle and hide behind shields. How is God like a shield? What if my shield is small? What if my shield is big?

Find the biggest rock within walking distance. Touch it. Climb it. Hide behind it. How is God like a rock? What did David mean when he called God His Rock?

God is my hiding place. God is the place where I hide. Talk about secret places and hiding places. Play hide and seek. Make a fort. You could have a lot of fun with this. You can go pretty young with this, too. If they're little you can hide as a group. Find lots of different places to hide.

Some parents might protest the use of soldiers or war games or hiding from soldiers in a cave or a rock (unless you have military families) but isn't that what David did?

God is my Shepherd? I'm His sheep. Find a shepherd! Bring in a speaker. Visit a sheep farm! Watch the sheep. Touch the sheep! Smell the sheep . . .

Write a list of all the different kid-friendly nouns that God is compared to in scripture. See how many you can think of before you look them up. See how many your teens can think of!

Pick one. Can you design a whole hour of learning around it? How would toddlers interact with the Rock? Preschoolers? Elementary? Middle School? Teens? Ok...toddlers might misunderstand and think the rock is God but the point is that interacting with a Rock is different than just hearing about it. Kids will pull a different kind of learning out of the experience. A rock is pretty concrete but I'm thinking that the learning will be more than the sum of its parts.

You get the idea! As you design your lesson, go visit your classroom or any away-from-the-classroom site you might be considering without your kids and imagine your kids exploring this and craft your time in a way that will enable them to be active learners exploring the specific word that God is compared to. See what your kids can teach you about God being our [rock].

You can have lots of fun with this!

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