Wednesday, January 31, 2007

John The Baptist's Ministry

Our lesson tonight will be about John The Baptist. We've already talked about his miraculous birth and the events that surrounded it. Tonight, after a little review, we'll talk about how he lived, what he taught and. most important, how he prepared the way for Jesus.

Our text for tonight will be Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-20; and John 1:1-28. This is the first class we will need to read from all 4 gospels. I plan to tell about John in my own words and then to read from the scripture. I usually throw out impromptu question to see if they are understanding what we're reading. They are usually on top of things and answer them well.

My Lesson Plan:

Sing: Tell Me The Story of Jesus -- This went over better Sunday AM. I started talking to them about why we sing. I told them we sing to teach and encourage each other and to praise God. I told them that if they didn't want to sing, they must not want to teach or encourage anyone, and they must not want to praise God. Well, they all sang -- I hope with a willing a heart.

Review what we've studied so far.

Today's lesson: John The Baptist. I pretty much went over what I was going to teach above. I also want to go ahead and tell about Herod arresting him, since it is in the Luke reading. The rest of the story (his beheading) will be talked about in depth later.

Review the New Testament cards on the wall. We've done the 4 gospels. They are learning them very well. I want to encourage them to memorize (or at least become very familiar with) the key verses. This isn't in our list of things to memorize this quarter. There are a couple of kids that think the other memory work is way easy, so maybe they will be challenged by this.

Before they go to their stations, I will go over the Wise Man/Foolish Man passage. We will read it aloud and go over one of the activities at the station. We'll do this again, and talk in detail about what this passage means. I will encourage them to not only be able to say it from memory, but to write it from memory. There are forms at each station they can do this on.

Let them spend time in the stations.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jesus Grows Up

Wednesday night, we studied about the wise men coming to visit Jesus. It is a common misconception that they came and visited Jesus the very night He was born. All the nativity scenes we see during the Christmas season have them right there (some of them even have Santa Claus there). But, the Bible tells us that the wise men came to visit Jesus in the house he was staying in. Since the Bible tells us that He was born in a stable, they couldn't have visited Him that night. His parents obviously found better shelter for the young family. We aren't sure how old Jesus was when the wise men came to visit, but we can be sure He was under 2 years old. That's what Herod thought at least when he ordered all the babies killed under 2 years old.

Tomorrow's lesson is about Jesus growing up. We will talk about Jesus' family leaving Egypt, at God's request, and returning to Bethlehem and then on to Nazareth. We will talk about how His parents thought He was lost when they were on their way home from the temple. We will also learn that He grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

The activity I will add to the Bible lesson review station is about 6 children of the Bible that did great things. The children will have the opportunity to look them up in their Bibles, read about them and decided which statements are about which child. They will also learn some things they can do, as children, to be pleasing to God.

My Lesson Plan:

Sing: Tell Me The Story of Jesus -- The kids didn't like this too much. They apparently haven't been singing in class recently. We'll give it another shot and hopefully they will warm up to the idea.

Review what we've studied so far.

Today's lesson: Jesus Grows Up Have the children turn in their Bibles to Luke 2:39-52 Read the passage aloud. I've been letting the scriptures speak for themselves for the most part. Every once in a while, I stop reading and discuss something that be difficult to understand. These kids are all pretty smart and seem to understand reading from the scriptures.

Review the New Testament cards on the wall and introduce John.

They've had a few weeks to get used to the stations. I need to start getting down to business on helping them memorize the passages I've asked them to memorize. Before they go to their stations, I will go over the Wise Man/Foolish Man passage. We will read it aloud and go over one of the activities at the station.

Let them spend time in the stations.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Jesus is Named and Visits the Temple

Our text for tomorrow will be Luke 2:21-38. This is a very touching story about the old man Simeon who had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he was the "Lord's Christ". When he takes the baby Jesus in his arms, you can just feel the emotion he is feeling as he blesses the baby. Just imagine what it was like for Joseph and Mary, who knew they had a very special child, but to see this old man react in such a way. The Bible said they "marveled at those things which were spoken of Him." It makes you wonder if they really understood the magnitude of what God had blessed them with.

The kids seem to be enjoying the stations. They sit down at them and pretty much stay with the same one for the rest of the class. I haven't figured out if they are afraid to get up and move around or if they are so enthralled in their activity that they just want to stay there. Of course, it could also be that I talk too much at the beginning of class and they don't have much time to do the stations.

My Lesson Plan:

Sing: Tell Me The Story of Jesus -- I have a poster on the wall with the words of this song written on it along with pictures depicting Jesus' life.

Tell the story of Jesus as we've studied in Luke. Then pick up reading in Luke 2:21 and continue to Luke 38 to tell today's story.

Review the New Testament cards on the wall and introduce Luke.

Go over The Wise Man from Matthew 7. They are to memorize this and do all the activities in the station. Encourage them to do the activities in their project folder also.

Let them spend time in the stations.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Birth of Christ

I didn't have time to write a lesson plan for Sunday AM. We studied the birth of John. We read Luke 1:57-80. Tonight we will be studying the birth of Christ. This is such a pivotal story in the Bible. The prophets have been prophesying of His coming since the beginning. I will take some time tonight to retell the Bible story again from the beginning. I want to do this from time to time so we don't forget the big picture.

My Lesson Plan:

Tell the story of Jesus beginning with Creation
. Actually, I want to begin with John 1:1 and following. This review will go all the way to the story for tonight -- Jesus' birth.

Introduce the new folder activity for Bible lesson review station. It is about what is fact or fiction about the birth of Christ.

New Testament book pictures. We introduced Mark Sunday AM. We'll review the 2 we've done (Matthew and Mark) and encourage them to begin working in their project folder on the NT book section.

There are quite a few new folder activities in the various stations. I will introduce one for the Wise Man. It has pictures of Bible characters on cards. The cards have scripture on the back. The student is supposed to look up the scripture and read it. Then they are to decide if the character was being wise or foolish in that passage.

The rest of the class will be spent at the stations.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jesus' Birth Announced

The first class went well. I had a hard time getting my brain working at the 10-11 year old level. I wanted to start the class with Jesus Loves Me, but the kids weren't too thrilled with that idea. We reviewed the whole Bible. It was very interesting and quite an exercise for me. They were able to tell quite a few of the events themselves. We won't get to do that every time, but we do need to do it every once in a while.

I've added some new folder games for the stations. Now there is just one station that doesn't have any activities. That one is The Wise Man. I've got some ideas, so I just need the time to sit down and put them together.

Tonight we will be talking about Jesus' birth being announced. We read the beginning of Luke 1 Sunday AM when we talked about John's birth being announced. We'll finish the chapter tonight.

My Lesson Plan:

Review the announcement of John's birth

Discuss the announcement of Jesus' birth. Luke 1:26-56 and Isaiah 7:14

Introduce the John or Jesus folder game. This folder game will be put at the Bible lesson review station. This activity has a blue circle overlapping a yellow circle. It is green where they overlap. The children will read the cards that tell something about either John's or Jesus' or both births. If it is about both, it goes in the overlap area. After they are through, they will turn their cards over. The colored dot on the back of the cards will match the color of the circle if they have put them in the right place.

Introduce the New Testament book pictures. We introduced Matthew Sunday AM. We will review it and then explain how they will fill out the information about each book in their project folders.

The rest of the class will be spent at the stations.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

John's Birth Announced

Tomorrow is the first class in my new assignment. I've been teaching pre-schoolers for the past 15 months. Now, I get to move back to the group of kids I left when I was asked to teach the little ones. It is considered our Later Elementary class. There are 7 students -- 3 boys and 4 girls. We will spend the next year studying the New Testament. The first 6 months we will be studying the Life of Christ. The last 6 months we will be studying Acts and the Epistles.

The class will be set up with 8 stations around the room. Each station will have a variety of activities such as folder games for the child's kinesthetic side, recorded teaching for the audio learner and handwork to sink it deep into their brain. There will be a considerable amount of memory work. Each child will be encouraged to memorize all the material, but it is truly up to them how much they get done.

The stations are:

12 Apostles -- Memorize their names, learn some interesting things about each one, know where they can find their names in the Bible.
Salt and Light -- From the sermon on the mount. The students will learn the text and understand its meaning.
Lord's Prayer -- Memorize and be able to pray a prayer patterned after the one Jesus used to teach us to pray.
The Wise Man -- Memorize and understand what this passage is and why getting wisdom is so important.
The Beatitudes -- Memorize and be able to explain what they mean.
New Testament Books -- Memorize them in order, be able to find them quickly in the Bible, learn what each book is about, who wrote it, who it was written to.
Timeline and Map -- Be able to put the events of Jesus' life in order. Be able to map the places Jesus visited.
Bible Lesson Review -- Each class session I will present a new lesson. Most of these lessons will have a folder game or something similar to reinforce what we learned.

Each child will have a project folder where their written work is put. They will be copying each of the memory passages and doing some illustrating and written work. These project folders are based on Dinah Zike's Big Book of Books and Big Book of Projects.

Over the course of the year, the children will be given a Bible reading schedule that, if completed, will have them reading the entire New Testament. We will also be learning hymns that either pertain to the lessons or are especially encouraging to young people.

My Lesson Plan:

We'll begin the lesson with an overview of the entire Bible. Using the timeline as a guide, we'll talk about how God's creation, the fall of man, God's plan to save man, the unfolding of this plan throughout the Old Testament. This will probably take a good portion of the class.

Discuss the announcement of John the Baptist's birth. The children have read the scripture relating to this with their families. The amount of time spent will depend on their recollection of the events. I want to impress on them the place this event had in God's plan.

Pass out project folders. Discuss the different parts to them and give them a couple of minutes to get familiar with it.

Introduce the New Testament book pictures. We will be introducing one each Sunday. The first one, obviously, is Matthew. Pass out the reduced picture of the Matthew card to glue in their project folder. Fill the information it asks for together. The key verse for Matthew is Matthew 5:17. They should be able to do this independently after the first couple of weeks.

Pass out the Bible reading schedule for the quarter. Encourage them to read this independently (without mom or dad having to remind them). Pass out the memory work booklet so they can work on all the memory work at home.

If there is any time left (and this is doubtful), let them visit the station of their choice.