Sunday, May 10, 2009

activities for John 15: vines and other tangled thoughts 1

You may find more thoughts about vines or John 15 somewhere in this blog over the past 4 years. Vines are alive.

Consider some non-artsy-craftsy activities. Doing!

-a family field trip to your local vineyard. You might even find someone there who goes to church and has thoughts about the Vine and it's branches from a vintager's perspective. See if they'll let you come in winter, spring, summer, and harvest time. Watch the plants and activities at the vineyard change.

-use wild grapes in someone's woods or unkept garden. Consider a visit so you can see, touch and smell them.

-grapes: see, touch, smell, eat! There are many varieties and many products including stuffed grape leaves.

- any garden vine (to notice the little tendrils that climb and hold on)

-take cameras, draw pictures, paint pictures, or write about the experience

- google nature crafts for vines or leaves (instead of Bible crafts for John 15). Some craft stores have artificial vines or dried vines for crafts.

The value of any of these outdoor (plant touching, smelling) activities and using your senses is the opportunity to grow a personal link to God's creation - learning through taste, sight, sound, smell, touch. Yes God is an invisible God but if I understand the scriptures correctly, His invisible attributes are accessible to us through what He's made. You don't really know what a vine tells you about God if you've never seen or touched or smelled a vine. It's just head knowledge. Head knowledge and drawing conclusions may be higher order thinking but not sure how real it is if you've never held a pile of dirt in your hands or interacted with a plant. Knowing everything you can about vines because you read books isn't like spending a lifetime tending and growing grape vines. It's not the same. It's not the same "knowing".

-consider a cooking activity. Consider making grape juice, lol!! Do you know someone who makes home made wine?

If you have no grapes or grape vines you might be able to track down a gardener or plant person to talk about vines. Ask them to bring samples!

If worse comes to worst and you have to revert to in-class lecture format

-a library book with big colored pictures of vine-tending. You would have to read through ahead of time and prepare a simple presentation to go with the most meaningful, descriptive pictures.

-Photos of grape vines at different stages of growth

-a short video about vine tending for older kids. There may even be a decent book out there like A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm. A Vine dresser looks at John 15?

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