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Thursday, August 24, 2006

To My Email Subscribers

Hi! It has come to my attention that you have not been receiving email updates when I enter a new blog post. After checking into it, I discovered that the service I was using is no longer up and running. They did refer me to another service (feedblitz) that will do the same thing. You should begin receiving email messages everytime I update the blog from now on.

I appreciate your interest in my blog and hope you have found some of the information useful. I'd love to hear from once in a while.

Diana Dow

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Parables -- The Good Samaritan

What a difference a year makes. I have 3 and 4 year olds in my Bible class. The sorting activity we did Sunday AM (separating the good fish from the bad fish) was a good example of this. The 2 four year olds caught on quickly and had the fish separated in no time. The 2 three year olds never did quite get the hang of it. In fact, my 3 year old wanted to line his fish up like he does his little cars at home. I'll try to give them some time tonight to repeat this activity. Maybe the 3 year olds will get the idea.

We'll be studying about the Good Samaritan tonight. I've had a rough week this week and didn't get the next page for the popup book ready. We'll just have to do The Good Samaritan tonight and Sunday AM. I've got a lot of good stuff in my Toddler Good Samaritan box I can use.

My lesson plan is:

Sing: Jesus Loves Me and The B-I-B-L-E with sign language.


The Good Fish/Bad Fish Magnet Puzzle -- We'll do this one again. I haven't finished the Good Samaritan puzzle yet.

Sing: Parables of Jesus.

Activity: Use Little People's figures (wheel chair, patient, doctor and helper) from my Good Samaritan Toddler box. There is enough of these to for each child to have a set. Talk about people that need help and ways we can help them.

The Parables Flip Chart. We'll go over all the parables tonight.

Blacklight Story -- The Good Samaritan

Attendance Chart: The attendance chart has a picture of Jesus teaching people. Each class, the children will add a picture of the parable we learned that day.

Sit on floor. Have each child sit on the floor after they've put their attendance chart sticker up.

Activity: This is the same activity from Sunday AM. This will be a good time to repeat it. I made large (about 3" wide) fish. Some are very cute and some are quite ugly. We'll put those on the floor in a pile. The children will get to sort through the fish, putting the "good" fish in one pile and the "bad" fish another.

Pop-up Book. Since I don't have a page ready to complete for tonight, we'll just use the book for review. The kids love to find the coin, sheep and son. Now that there are fish to sort through, this book takes a little time.

Sing new songs: The Bright Red Crab and Bumbling Bumble Bee.

Review previous lessons with the Song Timeline.

End class with a prayer. Let each child that wants to say a prayer.

If there's time talk about manners in the church building using the flashcards in the room.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Parables -- The Good Fish/Bad Fish

This is another parable (like The Prodigal Son) that I'm not going to get into vocabulary these kids can't possibly grasp hold of. The traditional title for this parable is The Parable of the Dragnet. The lesson Jesus was teaching with this parable is that we will all be judged in the end. The good will be separated from the bad.

Wednesday PM we took a walk to "sow" seeds outside. The kids were a little dumbstruck by the whole expedition. It was a good activity, they just weren't used to getting out of the classroom like that. While we were going back inside, one of the little boys stopped and picked up the sunflower seeds we had "sown". I'm not sure if he wanted to save them for himself, or if he is just very neat.

My lesson plan is:

Sing: Jesus Loves Me and The B-I-B-L-E with sign language.


The Good Fish/Bad Fish Magnet Puzzle

Sing: Parables of Jesus.

The Parables Flip Chart. We'll review the previous parables add the story of the sower.

Attendance Chart: The attendance chart has a picture of Jesus teaching people. Each class, the children will add a picture of the parable we learned that day.

Sit on floor. Have each child sit on the floor after they've put their attendance chart sticker up.

Activity: I made large (about 3" wide) fish. Some are very cute and some are quite ugly. We'll put those on the floor in a pile. The children will get to sort through the fish, putting the "good" fish in one pile and the "bad" fish another.

Pop-up Book. The popup page today is sorting the "good" fish from the "bad" fish. Each child has a popup page with picture of a boat on it. There is a pocket "net" glued to the side of the boat. There are small fish like the ones used in the above activity in each child's net. There are also pocket "buckets glued to the page. The children will get to sort their fish into the proper buckets.


Sing new songs: The Bright Red Crab and Bumbling Bumble Bee.

Review previous lessons with the Song Timeline.

End class with a prayer. Let each child that wants to say a prayer.

If there's time talk about manners in the church building using the flashcards in the room.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Parables -- The Sower

Now that we've finished the 3 "lost" parables, it's time to move on to some of the others. Tonight, we'll talking about the parable of the sower. This is a very visual parable.


My lesson plan is:

Sing: Jesus Loves Me and The B-I-B-L-E with sign language.


The Sower Magnet Puzzle

Sing: Parables of Jesus.

The Parables Flip Chart. We'll review the previous parables add the story of the sower.

Take a Walk. I'm not real big on doing this at this congregation, because we have to go through the adult class to get outside, but this parable just begs for a walk outside. We'll take some sunflower seeds and "plant" them on the pavement, on the rocky driveway, in some weeds and on the good ground. This will be a strong visual for the kids to help them remember the story.

Pop-up Book. We'll be making a pop-up book this month. Each parable will have a page in the book. This week we will be making a lift the flap page. The page is of a garden scene with a road, rocks, weeds and good ground. The kids will get to glue sunflower seeds in the different areas on the page. Then there is a flap on the good ground (We'll need to make sure a sunflower seed gets on top of the flap). When they lift the flap, they'll see gorgeous sunflowers.

Attendance Chart: The attendance chart has a picture of Jesus teaching people. Each class, the children will add a picture of the parable we learned that day.


Sing new songs: The Bright Red Crab and Bumbling Bumble Bee. We now have huge plush flower for the kids to hold while I "fly" the bumble bee from flower to flower.

Review previous lessons with the Song Timeline.

End class with a prayer. Let each child that wants to say a prayer.

If there's time talk about manners in the church building using the flashcards in the room.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Parables -- The Lost Son

Wed PM's class was fun. I pulled the shepherd's hats out of the David box. Three of the kids wore them nearly the entire class. I had hidden toy sheep around the room earlier that day. Well, they were found before class ever started. We rehid them and they got to look for them again.

This week we'll talk about the Lost Son. I know that traditionally this is called The Prodigal Son, but that's a word that my 3 and 4 year olds don't know, so I'm going to use language they understand. Like the last 2 lessons, this one emphasizes that we can return to Jesus, and that He is happy when we do. There are lots of other lessons to bring out in this particular parable (jealous, faithful son), but we're going to keep it very basic.


I looked in my toddler box about the Prodigal Son and found a great flip chart and a peek box that I'm going to use this morning. We also have a black light that I found in the resource room. The popup book page today will be a picture of a road. The children will glue the father on the left hand side of the road. He will be looking down the long road. There is a flap that opens up revealing the same road, but even longer. When they open the flap, they will see the son very small in the distance, walking towards his father.

My lesson plan is:

Sing: Jesus Loves Me and The B-I-B-L-E with sign language.


The Lost Son Magnet Puzzle

Sing: Parables of Jesus. This song teaches the kids what a parable is for. It doesn't actually use the word parable though. It calls them stories. The parables highlighted are the 3 lost parables.

The Parables Flip Chart. We'll just go over the introductory card and then the 3 lost parables. Later we'll add the other parables. This is really a short flip chart. I could just find 1 picture for each parable.

Pop-up Book. We'll be making a pop-up book this month. Each parable will have a page in the book. This week we will be making a lift the flap page. It is described above. Each class we will do a different page and glue the pages together to make a book.

Attendance Chart: The attendance chart has a picture of Jesus teaching people. Each class, the children will add a picture of the parable we learned that day.

The Lost Sheep Blacklight Story

Sing new songs: The Bright Red Crab and Bumbling Bumble Bee. These songs went over well Wed PM.


Review previous lessons with the Song Timeline.

End class with a prayer. Let each child that wants to say a prayer.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Parables -- The Lost Sheep

It is now Friday morning and I'm just now writing the lesson plan for last Wednesday night. I sat at the computer Wednesday to write it down, and the computer was running so slow, I just quit. Whenever I don't get the lesson plan done, I realize how much I depend on it to help me teach. Having a lesson plan in front relieves me of the job of thinking what to do next. Wednesday PM's class was fine, but I had a trouble moving from one activity to the next. I taught for year without a written lesson plan. I don't know how I did it. Maybe it's just that I'm getting old and need the extra help.

The Lost Sheep lesson went well. We had a blacklight story already prepared in the resource room. I pulled the shepherd hats and the toy sheep out of the David box. I would like to have these in this box, but since we're just talking about the Lost Sheep for one class session, it hardly seems worth it to buy or make all of this stuff. Maybe next time around we can add them.

I asked one of my helpers to bring her camera so I can get some pictures from the Life of Christ lessons online. She was glad she brought it when the shepherd hats came out. She got lots of good pictures.

I introduced two new songs: The Bright Red Crab and Bumbling Bumble Bee. These songs were inspired by two new toys that arrived to our "store". Scroll down to see the pictures of these cute toys.

My lesson plan is:

Sing: Jesus Loves Me and The B-I-B-L-E with sign language.

Encourage the children to let me put the Shepherd's hats on.

The Lost Sheep Magnet Puzzle

Sing: Parables of Jesus. This song teaches the kids what a parable is for. It doesn't actually use the word parable though. It calls them stories. The parables highlighted are the 3 lost parables.

The Parables Flip Chart. We'll just go over the introductory card and then the 3 lost parables. Later we'll add the other parables. This is really a short flip chart. I could just find 1 picture for each parable.

Pop-up Book. We'll be making a pop-up book this month. Each parable will have a page in the book. This week we will be making a turn the wheel page. The wheel is behind a mountain (or large rock) and as the child turns the wheel, they help the shepherd "find" his lost sheep. Each class we will do a different page and glue the pages together to make a book.

Attendance Chart: The attendance chart has a picture of Jesus teaching people. Each class, the children will add a picture of the parable we learned that day.

Before class I hid toy sheep around the room. Let each child take a turn finding the "lost sheep".

The Lost Sheep Blacklight Story

Sing new songs: The Bright Red Crab and Bumbling Bumble Bee. I have a toy wooden crab to help illustrate the crab song.

Bright Red Crab Grasping Toy

I have a toy wooden bee to help with the bee song. I gave each child a toy flower to hold and while we sang I flew the bee from flower to flower. Then each child got a chance to help fly the bee.

Bumbling Bumble Bee


Review previous lessons with the Song Timeline.

End class with a prayer. Let each child that wants to say a prayer.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Parables -- The Lost Coin

Tomorrow begins our study of Jesus' parables. I've chosen 6 that I thought would be easy to teach the kids and that I thought they would enjoy. We'll study:

  • The Lost Coin
  • The Lost Sheep
  • The Prodigal Son
  • The Sower
  • The Good Fish/Bad Fish
  • The Good Samaritan


We have 7 class sessions this month, but I just chose to teach 6 parables so we could have a week a review at the end. We'll start our study with the Lost Parables. They go with the song we'll be singing this month and they are fun to teach. Tomorrow we will talk about the Lost Coin.

My lesson plan is:

Sing: Jesus Loves Me and The B-I-B-L-E with sign language.

The Lost Coin Magnet Puzzle

Sing: Parables of Jesus. This song teaches the kids what a parable is for. It doesn't actually use the word parable though. It calls them stories. The parables highlighted are the 3 lost parables.

The Parables Flip Chart. We'll just go over the introductory card and then the 3 lost parables. Later we'll add the other parables. This is really a short flip chart. I could just find 1 picture for each parable.

Pop-up Book. We'll be making a pop-up book this month. Each parable will have a page in the book. This week we will be making a lift the flap page. Under the flap(the woman's broom) the kids will glue a penny. Each class we will do a different page and glue the pages together to make a book.

Attendance Chart: The attendance chart has a picture of Jesus teaching people. Each class, the children will add a picture of the parable we learned that day.

Have children put their heads down on the table with their eyes shut. Hide a few pennies around the room. Let the children use the flashlights to find their penny. Talk to the children about how happy they were about find their penny. Remind them that the woman was just as happy to find her coin. God is happy when we turn back to him too.


Review previous lessons with the Song Timeline.

End class with a prayer. Let each child that wants to say a prayer.