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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Esther Becomes Queen

For the next two weeks we get to talk about Esther. What a wonderful story with lots of lessons that can be applied to our every day lives. Today's lesson is on how Esther became queen. What application is best made? We could talk about obedience/respect for those who take care of us (Esther/Mordecai). We could talk about using wisdom when approaching a difficult situation (Esther when she goes to visit the King for the night). We could talk about how we should stand up for what is right even if we get punished for it (Queen Vashti). We could talk about learning not to talk too much (Mordecai advised Esther not to tell her ancestry). Then there's the lesson about Mordecai warning Esther about the plot against the King -- but that's for Wednesday night.

Lesson Plan:

Kings of Israel/Judah: I think the kids are getting the Kings of Judah down (at least when they sing the song).

Ecclesiastes 12:8-13: We copied the 4th section Wednesday night. This morning we'll read it together, say it from memory together and if anyone wants to attempt what we've written from memory, they'll get a chance to do that.

Esther: Introduce the main characters of the story (King Ahaseurus, Queen Vashti, Mordecai, Esther). Write their names on the board and give a brief description of who they are (their position, who they're related to, etc). Tell the story of Esther becoming queen. I'll be reading from Esther 1 and 2 and making comments as necessary as we go along.

Book of the Old Testament: This is going well. Just a couple of them have trouble with the Minor Prophets.

Prayer

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nehemiah

If you're keeping up with my lesson plans you'll notice a large jump from the last one to this one. I'm still hanging in there and teaching. I just haven't blogged about it.

We are studying from Nehemiah. After 70 years in captivity, the Israelites are being allowed back into the promised land. It is a mess. They have had to do lots of work to get back in shape to worship God and to live in. If anyone doubts that God takes care of his own, reading the last chapters of 2 Chronicles and then Ezra and Nehemiah should resolve those doubts. Not only did God allow the Israelites to be taken away, He caused King Cyrus to send them back and pay for the rebuilding of the temple. It gives me great comfort to know that God took care of the Israelites. I know that He will take care of me just the same.

Lesson Plan:

Kings of Israel/Judah:
I think the kids are getting the Kings of Judah down (at least when they sing the song).

Ecclesiastes 12:8-13: We started our new memory work and are doing well learning it. It is not quite as easy as the last one was but the kids needed a good challenge at the end of the year. This morning, we'll read through it and the try to quote the first 3 verses from memory.

Nehemiah: Today we'll start our study of Nehemiah. This is the great lesson where the people all stood while Ezra read from the book of the law. I hope to teach the class how important it is to respect God's word -- to give attention to it when it is being read and to want to learn more as the people did when they came back the second day so they could understand it better.

Book of the Old Testament: We're still working on cementing the books of the OT into their heads. We need to concetrate on the Minor Prophets.

Prayer

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Fiery Furnace -- Daniel 3

Tonight we get to read about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. What a lesson in faith. We'll also be finishing up our memory work of Proberbs 6:6-11. This has been an easy one. Since we've sung Glenda's "Go To The Ant" song since these kids were little, it came very easily to them. The only problem has been that they want to sing the words instead of say them. I wouldn't normally be bothered by that but the words in the song are not exactly what the NKJV says.

Lesson Plan:


Kings of Israel/Judah:
Review the Kings from Timeline as we sing.

Proverbs 6:6-11: Sign the wall night.

The Fiery Furnace: I plan to read and discuss as we go along. This is a story they are all familiar with. They'll probably want to tell me the story themselves. Maybe I'll let them do that first and then read it from the Bible.

Sing: The Kingdom of God (We shall Stand)

Book of the Old Testament: Pass out scrolls and let them put their scrolls in the appropriate basket.

Prayer

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream Continued

Last week I had high hopes of talking about both of Nebuchadnezzar's dreams (Daniel 2 and Daniel 4) in class. There just wasn't enough time. Since we had our gospel meeting last week, we didn't have a Wednesday evening class, so I'm going to continue with Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the great tree this week.

I have an activity planned that compares the two dreams and hopefully help the kids remember both of them better. It is a 2-pocket, self-correcting activity. Click on the picture below to see instructions and printables in pdf.

Nebuchadnezzar's Dreams


Lesson Plan:


Kings of Israel: Review the Kings from Timeline as we sing.

Proverbs 6:6-11: We will do a quick review of this. Wednesday night we'll spend more time and let those that can say it sign the wall.

Nebuchadnezzar's Second Dream: Read Daniel 4. This is such a wonderful lesson on repentance. Nebuchadnezzar does a complete turn around after being totally humiliated.

Sing: The Kingdom of God (We shall Stand) -- We were supposed to have sung this last week and I forgot. We'll definitely find time this week.

Book of the Old Testament: Pass out scrolls and let them put their scrolls in the appropriate basket.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Nebuchadnezzar -- His Dreams

What an exciting lesson. We get to start learning the adventures of Daniel. Tomorrow's lesson will be about Nebuchadnezzar's two dreams -- the statue and the tree. These stories (like so many in the Bible) are so exciting that visuals are not really needed at this age. Just open the book and read (with enthusiasm) and discuss as we go. That seems to work really well with this group of kids.

This is the second week into our last quarter of the year and of the Old Testament. Last week we studied at the Babylonian Empire. We looked at a globe to see where everything took place in comparison to us. We also looked at some pictures of artifacts found dating back to the Babylonian Empire from an Eyewitness book we've had around here for years. We reviewed the Bible story beginning with the exodus from Egypt. We discussed the events leading up to and including the destroying of the temple and Jerusalem. We also discussed God's promise that they would return to the land in 70 years.

This quarter, the wall decoration emphasizes the books of the Old Testament and the divisions they belong to. We made baskets out of placemats and attached them to the wall and labeled them -- Law, History, Poetry, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets. We made a scroll for each book of the OT. The kids will get to take turns placing the scrolls in the correct basket. Hopefully, this activity will not only help them remember the books of the OT but it will help them visualize how the OT is organized and help them realize that the Bible is a book of books (or scrolls).






We haven't done anything with our Wall of Faith for quite a while. We have added names of people we have recently studied or are about to study. The students will get to put the people's names either on the Wall of Faith or in the Pocket of Shame.

Another goal I have for this quarter is to memorize the Kings of Israel. Last quarter we did pretty good with the Kings of Judah. We are using Glenda Schales' songs to help us out. Those songs plus a good timeline are really all that's needed.


Lesson Plan:

Kings of Israel: Review the Kings from Timeline as we sing.

Proverbs 6:6-11: We will do our last copy work today. Hopefully next week they can all recite it so they can "sign the wall".

Book of the Old Testament: Introduce the new wall activity. Pass out scrolls and let them put their scrolls in the appropriate basket.

Nebuchadnezzar: Read Daniel 1 and 2. We may just get to do the first dream this time. If so, we'll do the dream about the tree and Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation and repentance next week.

Sing: The Kingdom of God (We shall Stand) -- I don't remember which is the title but those are some of the key words. This is a song out of hymnal that talks about all the kingdoms of the earth passing away but the kingdom of God is eternal.


Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Amos -- True Worship

Our topic for the week is the Minor Prophets. That's a lot of ground to cover in 2 class sessions. There is so much to talk about. So, we will just center on one thing that Amos prophesied about. Hopefully this lesson will plant the seed of how we should apply the lessons God was teaching the Israelites to us today.

Amos 5:21-23 says: I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offrerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, or I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.

The people still worshiped God. They offered sacrifices to Him. He had told them to do that years ago. Now, He's saying He won't accept them. Why? It was just noise to Him. They didn't love Him or consider Him the One True God. They also worshiped false gods that they had built with their own hands. Because of this God was going to bring destruction to them, take them away from the land He had given them.

How do we apply this to ourselves today? We look at what God expects from us in our worship? Are we free to do what we please? God has given us instructions through commands and examples of how we would worship Him. Today in class we will talk about the different aspects of our worship and how we are to worship in God spirit and in truth. Not just make lip service so we can say it is done.

Lesson Plan:


Kings of Judah: Review the Kings from Timeline then sing The 20 Kings of Judah (another of Glenda's songs).

Proverbs 6:6-11: We did our 2nd copy work on Wednesday evening. The kids are really enjoying this one. I have trouble getting them to say the Proverbs and not sing Glenda's "Go To The Ant" song.

Discuss Prophets: Discuss what a prophet is -- messenger of God, who they were, who they prophesied to and what Jesus said about them in Matthew 5.

Amos: Read Amos 5. Go back and talk about verses 21-25

Worship: Talk about the things God wants us to do to worship Him. I have a folder activity and a memory game from a previous class that we will use to help them remember this part of the lesson.

Sing: We Worship God

Review previous lessons by singing songs we've learned

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ezekiel

We are studying about Ezekiel this morning. I find it a little difficult to teach about the prophets because we get so little time to spend on each one. It is also difficult for me because it is the part of the Bible I am the least familiar with. I hope to convey to my students and my own children the importance of knowing all of the Bible. I want them to be confident that the Bible was written for their understanding and because of that it is possible to understand it. This morning we will talk about who Ezekiel was, when he prophesied and who he prophesied to. We'll talk about some of the visions of the opening chapters. I want to teach them that, while these visions are unusual to us, they were given to Ezekiel to make things easier for him and the people to understand God's message.

I hope to read at least 3 chapters in class -- 1-3. Chapter 1 talks about the 4 cheribum and the wheels that accompanied/carried them. Chapter 2 talks about God telling Ezekiel to eat the scroll. Chapter 3 tells Ezekiel not to be afraid of the people he is to talk to (Israelites) but to tell them what God wants them to hear regardless of their reaction.

We'll then jump to chapter 12 and read about how Ezekiel was supposed to demonstrate to the people about the captivity they would endure. As I try to visualize this, I can't help but smile. I picture this old man that I'm sure everyone considers pretty odd by this time acting out the steps involved in being a captive -- packing up his stuff, putting it out in the front yard, then at night taking it all to the wall and digging a hole in the wall.

I plan on introducing one of Glenda Schales songs -- Ezekiel. It talks about the dry bones vision that Ezekiel saw. We won't cover that until Wednesday night but I want to start singing the song to them this morning anyway.

Wednesday night we started new memory work. We have memorized Psalm 23, 100, 127 and 1 this year. I was going to go ahead and work on another Psalm when one of the students said, "Let's memorize something in Proverbs." I couldn't resist his request so we are working on Proverbs 6:6-11. This is the Proverbs about the ant and the sluggard. The kids were thrilled to get to do this. They have been singing Glenda's song -- Go To The Ant O Sluggard -- for years. This will be a welcome relief to the difficult Psalms we have been working on.

Lesson Plan:

Kings of Judah: Review the Kings from Timeline then sing The 20 Kings of Judah (another of Glenda's songs).

Proverbs 6:6-11: We did our first copy work on Wednesday evening. We'll read it aloud today and recite in unison from memory the part we copied Wednesday evening.

Discuss Prophets: Discuss what a prophet is -- messenger of God, who they were, who they prophesied to and what Jesus said about them in Matthew 5.

Ezekiel: Read Ezekiel 1-3 and then chapter 12. Discuss as we go along.

Sing: Ezekiel by Glenda Schales

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jeremiah

This is a sad day. We have to read in Jeremiah how disappointed, or should I say disgusted, God is with Judah. He even tells them that they are have done worse than Israel. I plan on starting class with a review of Genesis 12 1-3 where God first gives His 3 promises to Abraham -- Nation, Land, Spiritual Blessing. We'll then review how God went about fulfilling these promises.

God made Abraham's descendants a great nation when he gave them a law at Mt Sinai. He gave them the land when Joshua leads them into the promised land and they take possession. The promise of a spiritual blessing (Christ coming) had yet to be fulfilled when the descendants of Abraham behaved so badly that God took the land away . First, the Assyrians came and bit by bit took away the Northern Kingdom (Israel) into captivity. Most of the land God had given them, He took away. Then, Jeremiah is told by God to tell the Southern Kingdom (Judah) about their fate -- they will be taken away from the land as well. This comes about during King Zedekiah's reign.

Why does God do this? What have they done that was so wrong? God simply says in Jeremiah 1:16 "because they have forsaken Me." He then elaborates quite a bit on that but basically that is what happened. What about the spiritual blessing? Will God keep His promise? He does -- in His time.

Lesson Plan:

Psalm 1: On Wednesday night we officially completed Psalm 1. Only one student was able to "sign the wall" because he had completed it to my satisfaction. Hopefully a couple of more can do it this morning.

Review Promises to Abraham: Genesis 12

Review when promises were fulfilled: Nation -- Exodus 20, Land -- Joshua, Spiritual blessing -- still waiting at this point.

Jeremiah's prophecy: Read Jeremiah 1. Keep reading if there is time and the kids are listening well.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Isaiah

This morning our class will study Isaiah. The students have been fascinated with the fact that God told prophets what would happen years before it ever happened. I hope to build on that enthusiasm this morning by reading Isaiah 53 and Matthew 27. Depending on the mood of the class, I hope to read from Isaiah and then read from Matthew then go back and read from Isaiah again. Sometimes they have a longer attention span than at other times. Hopefully, this morning is one of those times. I think once they've heard both passages that Isaiah 53 will mean more to them.

Lesson Plan:


Psalm 1: We finished copying this last week. A couple of the kids have it memorized. A couple more are almost there.

Introduce Isaiah: Read the first several verses of Isaiah 1 to give the kids an idea of who Isaiah was and who he prophesied to. Help them locate Isaiah on the timeline.

Isaiah 6:1-8: This was part of the assigned reading for the week. I want them to see how many of our hymns come straight from scripture. Verse 8 is where the hymn Here Am I Send Me comes from (I think that's the title of the hymn).

Sing: Here Am I

Isaiah 53/Matthew 27: Read and compare the two passages concentrating on the verses that are prophesied in Isaiah.


Map work: The map work is going well. If we have time, we'll take turns taking all the labels off and putting them all back on. I hope to have blank maps Wednesday evening for them to label and color.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Athaliah, Hezekiah and The Assyrian Captivity

Yes, you saw that right. We covered it all this morning. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. There were 5 students and 4 of them were very interested in it all. The 5th one wasn't. I've talked about him on here for years now. He is growing up and maturing in many ways but he craves attention. He wants all eyes on him at all times. His distractions are always difficult but with so much to cover this morning, it was was too much for me. I told him that if he didn't want to listen, he didn't have to but he had to be quiet and not distract anymore. The rest of the class he put his head down on the table and pretended to be asleep. Class went on smoothly from then on. It broke my heart to see him so ready to shut the Bible out. I just hope that while he was being defiant and pretending to be asleep that he heard what was said. He's such a smart boy.

Our class went something like this:

We reviewed the story of how God lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Then, we read from the Bible about the Assyrian captivity 2 Kings 17:19-41.

Then we read about Athaliah 2 Kings 11.

Then we read about Hezekiah 2 Kings 18-20. We didn't read it all. We read the beginning of his reign and about God giving him 15 more years to live.

We had a little time left so we reviewed Psalm 1 and let each of them try it on their own. They do pretty well, except for the last verse. Hopefully they'll have that down next time.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rehoboam

For some reason, I have trouble keeping regular lesson plans going during the Summer. It seems especially difficult during August. Maybe it's because my mind is on other things. For the past two years, we've been taking one of my sons to Florida College. It seems that I can't concentrate on too many things at once anymore. While we're dealing with getting him off, my Bible class lessons suffer. That is my excuse for not getting lesson plans done last week.

Last week we studied about Ahab, Naboth and Jezebel. They, like so many other people in the Bible, are fascinating. My routine for this class has been to read the scripture with them and make comments as necessary. I try to read it with as much voice inflection as possible to hold their attention and help their understanding. Reading about how Ahab whined like a 2 year old when he didn't get his way really got the kids attention. Of course, Jezebel's death was fascinating to them but they also we intrigued with the way the 70 sons of Ahab were killed.

Tomorrow, we will study about Rehoboam. This is such a good lesson on how we should listen to the right people when seeking advice. We should have some lively discussion in the morning.

Lesson Plan:

Psalm 1: Read it from the back of their notebook. Say in unison what we've memorized so far. We are almost finished copying and memorizing this Psalm.

Sing: I Shall Not Be Moved. If you aren't familiar with this hymn it is the one that says: As a tree planted by the water, I shall not be moved. I'm teaching the kids to do the 4/4 hand movemet with this song. I've got a couple of kids that some natural talent. Hopefully they will become leaders in our public worship in years to come.

Bible Story: Read/paraphrase the story of Rehoboam as told in 2 Chroniclas 10-12

Sing: Rehoboam/Jeroboam

Map work: The map work is going well. If we have time, we'll take turns taking all the labels off and putting them all back on.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Prayer

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Jonah

AFter taking a full week off from teaching to attend Singing School, I'm ready to get back to action. During the week I was gone, the class studied the last part of Elijah's life. Then, the Sunday I came back we studied Elisha. We had to cover it all in one class period due to our regular Wednesday night singing. Now we're on to Jonah. It's times like these that I have to remind myself that Bible class is/should not be the only place the children are learning about God. Hopefully, in most cases here, they are learning at home as well.


Lesson Plan:


Psalm 1: Read it from the back of their notebook. Say in unison what we've memorized so far. If anyone would like to say the memory work on their own, we'll give them time to do that.

Review: Review the whole Bible story using the timeline on the wall as a guide.

Bible Story: Read/paraphrase the book of Jonah.

Map work: Talk about some of the key places on the map. Take off 2 or three labels per student and let them see if they can remember where to put them.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Sing: Sing: Jonah

Prayer

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Elijah on Mr Carmel -- 1 Kings 18

Wednesday evening we finished up studying Elijah and the widow. We also made some good progress on our memory work (Psalm 1). This morning we will be studying about Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel. This is a fascinating story that I didn't really appreciate until I was grown. I'm not sure if it was because I had never studied it as a child or if I just never appreciated it.

God has been showing his power to His people ever since they were in Egypt. The Israelites continually choose to follow the people around them and worship their gods. What an insult to the one true God -- the one that made us all -- the one that made the wood and the stone that the false gods were formed from. This test on Mt Carmel put the prophets of Baal as well as Ahab to shame. Did their desire to worship earthly gods change?

I would like to think if I was there at the foot of Mt Sinai or if I was on Mt Carmel or if I had been there at the fall of Jericho that I would have been one that chose to follow God. That I would have been the mother that trained her children well enough that they trained their children to follow God. It's easy to look back and say, "Why didn't they follow God?" But, are we doing the very thing today that they did then?


Lesson Plan:


Psalm 1: Read it from the back of their notebook. Say in unison what we've memorized so far. If anyone would like to say the memory work on their own, we'll give them time to do that.

Review: Review the story of Jeroboam. Review chapter 17 of 1 Kings.

Bible Story: Read/paraphrase 1 Kings 18. I may use the white board to draw some of this story for them.

Map work: Talk about some of the key places on the map. Take off 2 or three labels per student and let them see if they can remember where to put them.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes.

Sing: Sing: Rehoboam/Jeroboam.

Prayer

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Elijah -- 1 Kings 17

Summer is here and I am less organized. That seems to be the pattern of my summer Bible classes. I just don't seem to get my act together to jot down a lesson plan before class. Such was the class Wednesday night. We finished up studying about Jeroboam. The lesson was presented by reading from the Bible and paraphrasing as necessary to keep the kids' attention. At this age, the kids are all pretty familiar with the more prominent Bible stories -- David, Noah, Joseph, Jonah, etc. This is usually the first time they actually remember much about most of these kings. They listened like it was the first time they had heard it. I think that's one of the reasons I enjoy teaching this age. They love to hear any Bible story but when it's one that is so exciting and one they've never heard, then they are enthralled. They were really interested in the part where the man of God is killed by the lion and the lion and donkey just sit there on the side of the road. To tell you the truth, I was fascinated too and I've taught this lesson before.

Tomorrow, we'll study about Elijah. They should be familiar with the part where Elijah is fed by the ravens. They will probably even be somewhat familiar with the story of the widow and her son. (That's how far we'll get tomorrow). What they probably haven't heard until now is why there was no rain. So we'll talk about Ahab tomorrow as well.

We got a good start with Psalm 1 Wednesday evening. We didn't get it started Sunday because when I went to the building to make copies, the color copier was broken. So, we put it off until Wednesday. We had a little extra time at the end of class so they took turns choosing one of the other Psalms we had memorized to say by themselves. Of course, they all chose Psalm 23. We then did Psalm 100 and Psalm 127 together.


Lesson Plan:


Introduce Psalm 1: Read it from the back of their notebook.

Review: Review the story of Jeroboam. Give a brief synopsis of the kings of Israel up until King Ahab.

Bible Story: Read/paraphrase 1 Kings 17. There will probably be time to cover the whole chapter but if not, we can do it Wednesday evening.

Map work: Talk about some of the key places on the map. Take off 2 or three labels per student and let them see if they can remember where to put them.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes. Some of the kids really like doing these. Some don't.

Sing: I wrote a new song for this lesson -- Rehoboam/Jeroboam.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Jeroboam

Today starts a new quarter. We will be studying the divided kingdom. One thing I wish I had concentrated on during our study of the united kingdom was the map of that time. To go in now and say that the kingdom is divided won't make much sense to them because they never really got a full grasp of what the kingdom was like before. So, I put a large map (enlarged with an overhead) on one wall. The map is unlabeled. I will put velcro dots on the map and let the kids put the labels on the map. Hopefully, after a few weeks they'll get the idea of what this map looks like.

We will be memorizing Psalm 1 this quarter. It should take approximately 7 weeks to get it memorized.

Lesson Plan:

Introduce Psalm 1: Read it from the back of their notebook

Review: Since we have been studying the books of poetry for the last quarter, we need to spend quite a bit of time reviewing the whole Bible story. We will use the timeline in the room to help with this review. This will also be a good time to introduce the large map on the wall.

Bible Story: Tell the story of how Jeroboam became king. The rest of the story will be saved for Wednesday night.

Worship Notes: Pass out worship notes. Some of the kids really like doing these. Some don't.

Sing: I wrote a new song for this lesson -- Rehoboam/Jeroboam.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Song of Solomon

VBS is over. Now we're on to our regular Bible classes. Today is the last day of the quarter. We've been studying the books of poetry. Because our monthly Wednesday evening singing is this Wednesday night, I just get one class session to teach these kids about Song of Solomon.

This quarter we memorized Psalm 100 and Psalm 127. We also are learning to recognize some key passages and which book of poetry they belong in. You may remember the wall decoration we had where the kids put the phrase or verse in the correct poetry book. Here's a picture of it:



I thought it would be fun to test the adults out there on this so I scoured the internet to find a way to make an online multiple choice quiz. If you would like, click the link and see just how much you know about the books of poetry.

How Well Do You Know The Books Of Poetry » Quizzes


Lesson Plan:

Marriage: To make sure this activity goes smoothly, we need to jump right in there and do it at the beginning of class. This idea came out of the Shaping Hearts for God curriculum and from a friend on Facebook. Each child will have 2 paper dolls. We have some of the die cut people in the resource room to use for this. We'll talk about God's plan for marriage going back to the beginning (Genesis) to find out what His plan is. I'll let each child glue their couple together -- either holding hands or with their arms around each other. As these dry, we'll continue on with our lesson

Bible Facts: The kids have had the opportunity to view all the Bible facts in the light boxes. We'll review today. This was a great activity that was a challenge to get started but once it was up and running was something they looked forward to every class.

Psalm 127: We'll review this and let anyone that hasn't gotten to say it all the way through by themselves do so.

Song of Solomon: We'll read parts of chapter 2 (most of the phrases to be put on the wall come this chapter) and chapters 4 and 5. These 2 chapters are the ones where they are describing each other. We'll talk a little about the descriptions and the language used.

Books of Poetry Activity: Let them take turns reading the cards with the poetry phrases on them and choose which book they belong in. This is the first time they will be doing this with all 5 books.

Bible Facts Light Boxes: Quickly go through the questions from the previous Bible facts.

Marriage again: All this time, the couple they glued together should be on the table in front of them. Talk about marriage again. Then we'll talk about divorce and how much God hates divorce. Read Malachi 2:16. Briefly talk about some of the problems arise when a couple chooses to divorce. Then let them "divorce" their couple by tearing them apart. This should leave some damaged paper dolls. Hopefully the message that divorce is not good will be driven home.

Sing: Let them choose their favorite songs. Since we just finished VBS this may include some of those songs as well.

Review Memory Work: If there is time, review Psalms 23, 100 or 127

Prayer

Friday, June 26, 2009

VBS -- Remember Your Creator -- Friday

It's the last day of our VBS. It has been a lot of fun as well as a lot of work. Danny was looking through some old VBS song books he had put together. It was interesting to see the topics we've studied in the past. I think the earliest he came across was 1991. Back then we were buying packaged curriculum. The curriculum available years ago was actually pretty good stuff. Then, things changed. It seemed like all of the publishers were competing to see who could have the most exciting, fun-filled VBS. Many of themes I've seen published had to be looked through deeply to find any Bible being taught. So, we started writing our own. Basically, Danny comes up with a theme with a few scriptures and objectives and then tells the teachers to go for it. Our teachers have always worked very hard and the students come away with lessons that just can't be found in modern packaged VBS curricula. I'm very proud of our teachers and the work they put into this. It is not only good for the students. It is good for the teacher as well. It is a known fact that the teacher always learns more than the student does.

Tomorrow's lesson is on Timothy. Timothy was chosen because as a young boy his mother and grandmother taught him about God. He later went on to become a teacher of God's word to many other people. He's a great example for our young people to follow. My class will be talking about how thankful we should be to the people that teach us about God. Whether it's our parents or grandparents or teachers or whoever, we need to realize what a gift they have given us. We'll also talk about how we can teach others like Timothy did. Now, I know that 5 and 6 year olds are a little young to be having Bible studies with their friends, they can begin thinking now that teaching others is something they will want to do later.

As I sit here typing at 12:30 AM I just realized that I forgot to do a project for tomorrow. Unless I wake up early to do it, I guess it will have to wait for another class time. I'm sure we'll have plenty to do tomorrow as it is.

Lesson Plan:

Attendance Chart: Each child will add Timothy to the chart

Creation Bulletin board: I'll let them add as many of the animals that are left as they want to.

Activities Room: We go to the activities room about 10:30.

Memory Work: Pass out Memory booklets. "Read" the passage with them. They should be able to say the whole verse by now. Most of them have 3 stickers already. The 4th one will complete the picture of their animal.

Song: We'll sing the Remember Your Creator song about Timothy.

Introduction to Timothy: Pass our Timothy books. The first activity in the book is to draw a picture of someone that has taught them about God.

Tell Story of Josiah: We will read the story of Timothy from their little books.

Timothy Puzzle: This is an eight piece puzzle I made using one of the pictures in the little book. It goes into the pocket inside the front cover.

Sing: Thank You This song is a mouthful. We worked on it Thursday so they are a little familiar with it.

Blacklight story: I've been wanting to show this one to them for the past couple of days. I will make time for it today.

Get Ready To Go: Pass out back packs and let them start filling it with their stuff they did this week. Pass out each book and remind them briefly about the story. Pass out the memory booklet and see if they say the verse from memory again. Pass out the pillow cases. Pass out the attendance charts (these will have to be folded to fit in the back pack) and the attendance certificates.

Pictures: Take a group picture

Songs: Let the students choose their favorite song to sing.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

VBS -- Remember Your Creator -- Thursday

Josiah is the lesson for today. Josiah is a great example of a young man standing up to the establishment of his day and doing things God's way. My class will be concentrating on the respect Josiah had for God's word once he found it.

This lesson is not as easy as the others to prepare for because there just isn't that much available out there in the way of visual aids. One of the problems we run up against making our own VBS curriculum is the lack of visual aids. I know that most teachers are like myself and scour the internet for material to use. We have a few good sources of visuals in our resource room and this year, Danny (my husband) put his artistic skills to good use and drew pictures of the Bible characters we are studying. Now if I could get him to do that all the time, I'd have it made.

I plan on doing the "big" art project today. I had the kids draw a picture of themselves on Monday. Then, the ones that can copy are going to copy the phrase from Samuel "Speak Lord, I'm listening". Tonight I plan to go over their pictures and copy work with a sharpie, scan them in the computer and print them with iron-on stuff so I can iron them onto a pillow case. I have placed a square of contact paper to the middle of their white pillow cases where I am going to iron on their picture. Today, they will spray around the contact paper and wherever else they want on the pillow case with fabric spray paint. Tomorrow they will have a pillow case they decorated that hopefully will remind them of our lesson about Samuel and how listened to God.


Lesson Plan:

Attendance Chart: Each child will add Josiah to the chart

Creation Bulletin board: Our bulletin board is beginning to look like something now.

Creation Stickers: Light blue paper with birds. This will be the last of these sticker pages to do and will go in their memory book with the rest of them.

Activities Room: We go to the activities room about 10:30.

Memory Work: Pass out Memory booklets. "Read" the passage with them. Allow them to copy the passage. The activity today is to learn to say thank you by spelling it out in sign language.

Song: Introduce the theme song for the week: Remember Your Creator. This is a song I wrote. There are 2 verses that will be sung everyday and then each day a verse dedicated to the Bible character we're studying about will be included. We'll sing the Josiah verse today. Click here to listen to a recording of Remember Your Creator In The Days Of Your Youth -- Josiah.

Introduction to Josiah: Pass our Josiah books. Today we will be learning about respecting God's word and how a young king destroyed all the idols and people that were involved in worshiping those idols. The activities on the first page are to help them know the difference in God's book and man's books. There are pictures of stories we learn from the Bible and stories we read in picture books -- Noah, Creation, Baby Jesus, Little Bear, Clifford, Madeline. They will decide if the pictures go under the "God's Book" column or the "Man's Book" column. The 2nd activity is similar but there are pockets with actual pictures of book covers from books like Corduroy, Harry The Dirty Dog, etc. There is a little book made of black construction paper with white paper stapled inside to represent the Bible. The ones that would like will get to write GOD inside their "Bible".

Tell Story of Josiah: We will read the story of Josiah from their little books.

Sing: Josiah

Review Memory Work: Go over the memory verse either with their booklets or just by memory. Today they should be able to put their third sticker on the back of their books. Some of them can tell what their pictures are already. Some will need to wait until the last sticker is in place.

Samuel Pillowcase: Go outside and paint the pillowcases. I live next door to the church building and I have a clothes line in the backyard. We will be hanging the pillowcases from the clothesline to paint and to dry.

Blacklight story: If there is time use the blacklight flip chart about things God made.

One last song: If there is time I'll introduce a new song to them called Thank You. It is intended to be sung on Friday, but it is long with lots of words and fun to sing so we'll start it today -- if there is time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

VBS -- Remember Your Creator -- Wednesday

Here we are in the middle of the week. The class is settling in to a routine. The kids are getting a little more used to me. They all have such different and sweet personalities. One sweet little girl likes to give Jesus as the answer to most questions. She's learned early what I didn't figure out until High School -- if you don't know the answer, it's probably Jesus. Actually, in my classes growing up it always seemed to be Paul. I have one little boy that doesn't want to lick the back of his stickers. I think I'll just give him a glue stick today. I have one (mine) that likes to talk too much. I need to put him away from the little girl he sat by yesterday. They talked and talked.

I didn't have time to work on Samuel's pillowcase with them yesterday. We'll need to do some today. I'm saving the painting (I bought spray paint for fabric. I hope it won't be too messy) until Thursday. The temperature is very, very hot here. It's supposed to be 100 for the next 3 days. I'm planning on doing the painting outside. But, that is tomorrow.

For Samuel's story, I used the black light flip chart. If you've never used one of these, you're missing out. There are only 3 kids in class that have seen these used before. They are always thrilled with them, but the new kids were totally mesmerized.

Today's lesson is about David and how he showed faith and courage in God at a young age. He then went on to become the king of Israel. It is a favorite story with kids and I love to teach it. I'll be using a flip chart I made years ago and a black light story as well.

Yesterday in our activities room we tie dyed t-shirts. We've done this every year and the kids love it. It always seems to fit in to what we're learning. These shirts are very colorful and help remind the kids about Joseph's coat of many colors.

Lesson Plan:


Attendance Chart: Each child will add David to the chart

Creation Bulletin board: Our bulletin board is beginning to look like something now.

Creation Stickers: Green paper with animals stickers today

Activities Room: We go to the activities room about 10:30.

Memory Work: Pass out Memory booklets. "Read" the passage with them. Allow them to copy the passage. The activity for today is a word search. It just has six words and they are animals that God made. They've been looking ahead in the book and keep wanting to do this one.

Song: Introduce the theme song for the week: Remember Your Creator. This is a song I wrote. There are 2 verses that will be sung everyday and then each day a verse dedicated to the Bible character we're studying about will be included. We'll sing the David verse today. Click here to listen to a recording of Remember Your Creator In The Days Of Your Youth -- David. Again, it's not online yet but hopefully will be by the end of the week.

Introduction to David: Pass our David books. We will be learning about faith and courage. The first activity in the book is a place to draw a picture of something they are afraid of. The last activity in the book will be about praying to God when we are afraid. We will trace their hand in a praying position and those that can will write a short prayer to God. Those that can't write will dictate it one to a teacher. There is also a puzzle of David and Goliath they can put together.

Tell Story of David: There is a flip chart for this one. I may get to use the blacklight story too.

Sing: David

Review Memory Work: Go over the memory verse either with their booklets or just by memory.

Samuel Pillowcase: We are working on a week long activity. Yesterday they drew a picture of themselves. Today they will copy (those that can) what Samuel said to God "Speak Lord, I'm listening". This is the activity we didn't get to yesterday. Hopefully we'll have time today.

Blacklight story: If there is time use the blacklight flip chart about things God made.

One last song: If there is time I'll introduce a new song to them called Thank You. It is intended to be sung on Friday, but it is long with lots of words and fun to sing so we'll start it today -- if there is time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

VBS -- Remember Your Creator -- Tuesday

We survived day one. It went pretty well. I had 7 students and one assistant. We discussed Joseph and began our memory verse. The activities room room involved some very basic watercolor. Today, she plans on letting the children draw flowers around the watercolor splotches they made yesterday. Like I said yesterday, I really like having her do this because I would not be very good at it.

When I was originally assigned the group I'm working with, it was going to be 6 and 7 year olds. I got busy planning my lessons for that age. As we saw which kids were going to be coming my class was changed to 5 and 6 year olds. That doesn't seem like a big deal but it is. I was gearing the activities towards kids that for the most part could read and write some. Now, I have a group that is only beginning to read. There's one little boy that doesn't even know how to hold a pencil. I have an activity that requires them to copy their memory verse. I have 3 out of 7 that even attempt it. One thing about teaching a Bible class, especially a VBS, is that you have to be flexible.


Lesson Plan:


Attendance Chart: Each child will add Samuel to the chart

Creation Bulletin board: They enjoyed this yesterday. The bulletin board is getting full of pictures.

Creation Stickers: Today, they will be sticking fish on dark blue paper.

Activities Room: We go to the activities room about 10:30. This is where it fit in yesterday.

Memory Work: Pass out Memory booklets. "Read" the passage with them. Allow them to copy the passage. Let them color the shapes with a dot in it. The colored part will read GOD.

Song: Introduce the theme song for the week: Remember Your Creator. This is a song I wrote. There are 2 verses that will be sung everyday and then each day a verse dedicated to the Bible character we're studying about will be included. Sing Samuel today. Click here to listen to a recording of Remember Your Creator In The Days Of Your Youth --Samuel.
Introduction to Samuel: Pass our Samuel books. We will be learning about how to listen and obey today. The first activity in the book has 4 pictures of various animals. I will use a See 'n Say and play the animal sounds. They are supposed to listen carefully and stick (lick and stick) the picture in the Samuel book. They don't all have the same pictures so they are going to have to listen carefully and not just look at what their neighbor is doing.

Tell Story of Samuel: There is a flip chart for this one. I may get to use the blacklight story too.

Sing: Samuel

Choices Activity: In the back of their book they are to draw a picture of something I describe. It will be a flower. They will have to listen carefully to do this one.

Review Memory Work: Go over the memory verse either with their booklets or just by memory.

Samuel Pillowcase: We are working on a week long activity. Yesterday they drew a picture of themselves. Today they will copy (those that can) what Samuel said to God "Speak Lord, I'm listening".

Blacklight story: If there is time use the blacklight flip chart about things God made.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

VBS -- Remember Your Creator -- Monday

Our VBS starts in the morning.

Theme: Remember Your Creator In The Days Of Your Youth

Monday: Joseph -- Making Good Choices -- Became a ruler in Egypt
Tuesday: Samuel -- Listening and Obeying -- Became a Judge/Priest
Wednesday: David -- Having Faith and Courage -- Became a King
Thursday: Josiah -- Respecting God's Word -- Was a King That Restored Worship As God Intended It
Friday: Timothy -- Teaching Others What You Have Learned -- Taught Others About Christ

Our week will be spent studying Bible characters that were faithful to God as children or young men. These same Bible characters were used by God to do great things later on. My class is 5 and 6 year olds. At this time, I plan on having about 7 in attendance. That, of course, is subject to change.

The wall decorations are pretty simple this year. I'll have some pictures to post later. One of the things I want to teach this age is who their Creator is. So, one of the walls is about God's creation. Right now, it is 2 bulletin boards (bulletin board paper with border put around it to simulate real bulletin boards) with nothing on them but a black sky and water on one and a blue sky and green grass on another. Each day, each child will get to choose one item (animal, fish, bird, star, etc) to place on the bulletin board. By the end of the week, the bulletin boards will be full of things that God made.

The kids are going to be memorizing Ecclesiastes 12:1 -- "Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “ I have no pleasure in them." The passage has been divided into 4 parts. Each day the children will copy (I know this might be a stretch for 5 and 6 year olds-- we'll see how it goes) the section for that day and do an activity with it. Each day, they will get to stick stickers of things God made in their booklet also. Hopefully, they will have the verse memorized by Friday.

Each child will get a booklet for each character we are studying. The booklets have the story plus several activities and a song that goes with it. We'll do as many of the activities in class that we have time for or that their attention will allow. Other activities can be completed at home. By the end of the week, they'll 5 booklets that tell the stories we learned and a booklet with their memory work. All of these will go into a backpack that has the theme of the VBS ironed on the front. We'll also be working on decorating a pillowcase to remind them of the story of Samuel. This is a 4 part project so, it's the only artsy sort of thing we're doing in class.

As usual, there will be an activity room that the kids will get to go to each day. The teacher in this room is the local high school art teacher and a member here at Huntington. She will be doing art projects that will help reinforce the lessons we're studying in class. I love this because art things are not my favorite thing to do. We don't have to mess up our classroom with that kind of stuff and we all get to leave the classroom for a little while. This breaks the class time up nicely.

Lesson Plan:

Attendance Chart: Each day they will put a picture of the Bible character we are studying on their attendance chart.

Creation Bulletin board: After discussing the theme of the week, we'll talk about who their Creator is and what He has done for us. Let each choose a picture to add to the bulletin board.

Creation Stickers: Pass out black paper and planet stickers to each child. Let them put their stickers on their paper. Set aside for a little bit.

Memory Work: Pass out Memory booklets. "Read" the passage with them. Allow them to copy the passage. Trace the letters at the bottom of the page (It spells GOD). Show them how to glue their black paper with planets on the next page.

Song: Introduce the theme song for the week: Remember Your Creator. This is a song I wrote. There are 2 verses that will be sung everyday and then each day a verse dedicated to the Bible character we're studying about will be included. Click here to listen to a recording of Remember Your Creator In The Days Of Your Youth -- Joseph.


Introduction to Joseph: Pass our Joseph books. Pass out pictures of good/bad choices and let them glue (I painted these with watered down glue so hopefully they'll be "lick and stick") pictures in the columns labeled Good and Bad. These pictures are of things that they should recognize as being obviously good and bad activities. Discuss with them about making good choices in their lives.

Tell Story of Joseph: Even though we'll be going over the entire story of Joseph, we're going to be concentrating on the choice Joseph made to run from Potiphar's wife. I'm going to use some pictures I have to help tell the story the first time through. I will retell the story again before class is over letting them "read" along with me in their Joseph Booklets.

Sing: Joseph What Will You Choose. This a song I wrote for this class. It briefly tells the story of Joseph choosing to run away from Potiphar's Wife. ng.

Choices Activity: The back of their Joseph booklet has a place for them to draw a picture. I will present a scenario of a time they might have to make a choice (I have yet to decide what scenario to use). We'll discuss it and then they will get to draw a picture of the choice they made. This will be something about telling the truth, or cleaning up after themselves, or obeying their parents.

Review Memory Work: Go over the memory verse either with their booklets or just by memory.

Activities Room: I'm not sure where this is going to fit in. We'll be flexible tomorrow and just go when we're told.

Sing: Joseph This a song I wrote a few years ago. It doesn't necessarily go along with Joseph making the right choice, but it is a fun one to sing.

Ecclesiastes

It's been a while since I last blogged about my Bible class. The class has gone on, there's just been a lot going on around here. The main thing that has gotten me bogged down is our upcoming VBS. It starts Monday. I'll tell more about that later.

Since my last entry we finished our study of Proverbs and got started with Ecclesiastes. Our last lesson Proverbs was the last chapter on the Worthy Woman. I had a class of 8 7 and 8 year old boys that night. They sat across the table from me with their sweet little faces while I proceeded to tell them what kind of woman they should choose for a wife. When we got to the part about the woman stays up late and gets up early, my son said, "You don't do that Mom". I can't deny it. I do half of it quite well -- stay up late. It's that getting up early thing I have trouble with.

The end of the chapter says, “ Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” I told the boys that they needed to be sure and tell their wife that when they get married. One of the little boys said, "I think that through the years I'll probably forget that."

Then we started Ecclesiastes. We studied the opening and chapter 3. The next lesson was on the first part of chapter 12. The first verse is our theme for our VBS so I spent time explaining that in light of the VBS. Then we went on to the description of the elderly. I didn't tell them who it was talking about. I told them they had to figure it out. Well, eventually I had to help them along. Our modern technology has made it so that our elderly don't have near the handicaps they had years ago. The boys didn't know the elderly lost their teeth or that their eyesight was dim. They really enjoyed talking about it.

On thing I did that really helped was to type out the scripture and pass it out to everyone. I read out of the New King James and it varies as to has their Bible and who has the New King James version. For older kids, reading out of different translations is not a big problem, but this age needs the same one available to them. Those that could read well enough to follow along really appreciated having the copy to look at. There was plenty of room down one side of the page for a drawing so after our lesson I told them to draw a picture of who Ecclesiastes 12 described. The discussion going on during their drawing was entertaining. I'm glad their grandparents weren't there. :)

Today's lesson is on the last few verses of Chapter 12. We'll follow the same basic format as the previous lesson. They'll have the scripture typed out for them so they can follow along. We'll discuss and do lots of review. They are almost completely through memorizing Psalm 127. Since VBS starts Monday I'm not going to get another memory work going just yet. We'll wait until next week.

Lesson Plan:

Bible Facts: Add the next 2 facts.

Psalm 127: Two of the kids have successfully said this alone. There are 2 more that need a little work.


Review: Discuss the previous 2 lessons on Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 12:9-14: Read and discuss


Books of Poetry: If there is time, let them do this activity.

Sing: Glenda Schales' Uz Was. and Go To The Ant
We'll also sing Make A Joyful Shout.

If there is time, review Psalm 23 and Psalm 100.

Prayer

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Proverbs -- Go To The Ant

Tomorrow's lesson is on work. Proverbs 6:6-11 paints a great picture in your mind of an industrious ant that works without having to be told. This passage is great for the kids on its own but add to it Glenda Schales song "Go To The Ant" and it is unforgettable. The only thing I wish I had done ahead of time was to have an ant farm in the classroom for the kids to watch. Maybe I can get that ready for next week.

We will have an activity using the same Q/A book from Dinah Zike's Big Book of Books that we used Wednesday night. I get kind of in a rut at times. When something works well once, I figure it will work well again. At the bottom of the lesson plan, you'll find a link to the files and a picture of the activity.

Lesson Plan:

Bible Facts: Add the next 2 facts. I think they've finally gotten the hang of this.

Psalm 127: Review the first two parts that we have copied. Read the entire chapter out loud in unison. Do the activity (word scramble)


Review: Remind them about what Proverbs are and who wrote them. Talk about wisdom and then review the lesson on the parent/child relationship.

Proverbs 6:6-11: Read aloud and discuss. Sing Glenda's song (Go To The Ant)

Activity: Do the activity described in the introduction.

Books of Poetry: If there is time, let them do this activity.

Sing: Glenda Schales' Uz Was.
We'll also sing Make A Joyful Shout.

If there is time, review Psalm 23 and Psalm 100.

Prayer



Proverbs -- The Parent/Child Relationship

Wednesday evening we continued our study of Proverbs by looking at the parent/child relationship. We used a Question/Answer booklet that I learned to use in Dinah Zike's Big Book of Books. If you haven't heard or used this book yet, you need to look at it. When I found it, years ago, it changed the way I teach. The little booklets Dinah Zike shares in her book help the teacher and the student to "divide the data". Or, in other words, break down what you're trying to teach into manageable parts that will help the student retain the information.

This booklet asks the question: What's a parent to do? and What's a child to do? The child is asked to read passages from the Bible (they are printed on cards so they don't have to look them up in the Bible unless you would like for them to) and decide if these passages are instructions for the parent or for the child. They then, lift the appropriate flap on their Q/A book and glue the passage in the correct spot. This activity requires the child to read or have someone nearby to help them read when necessary. Their are 12 passages in all. If this is going too take more time in your class than you can allot, feel free to choose fewer of the passages.

The activity can be done after going over all the passages together or they can be discussed as they children are doing the activity. I did it as they were doing the activity but I just had 3 in class that night. It would have been better to discuss before if there had been anymore there.

To make the booklet, copy the files on copy paper. I used colored paper for the cover and white paper for the passages. Fold the cover in half with pictures on the outside. Then fold it in half again so that the picture of the parents and the pictures of the children playing baseball are on the inside. Using scissors, cut on the fold between the pictures mentioned above. This creates 2 flaps: one for the parents and one for the child. The pictures of the mom, dad and little boy are the cover. Cut the passages apart on the lines. In class, pass out the booklets with the passages and give each child a glue stick. Have the students read the passage and decide if this is an instruction to the parent or to the child. Glue the passage under the appropriate flap.

Click on the picture to download the files for this project.





Sunday, May 24, 2009

Proverbs -- A study in Wisdom

This morning we will begin studying Proverbs. Our class we will do an overview of Proverbs 1-9. We will be concentrating on the importance of having wisdom. Last quarter when we studied about Solomon asking for wisdom we talked about how James tells us to pray for wisdom. We'll do a review of Solomon's request, talk about James and then talk about some of the highlights of Proverbs 1-9.

Lesson Plan:


Bible Facts:
Add the next 2 facts. Encourage students to look at them as they come into the classroom.

Psalm 127: Review the first part that we copied on Wednesday evening. Read the entire chapter out loud in unison.

Review: Discuss Solomon's request for wisdom.

Wisdom: Discuss the meaning of wisdom.

Proverbs 1-9:
Read the 1st chapter and as much of the next 3 as their wiggly bodies will allow. We will be reviewing this on Wednesday night so if they don't get it all this morning, they will have another chance.



Books of Poetry: We now have all 8 statements for Psalms and 3 for Proverbs. This should be a much more challenging activity than it has been in the past.

Sing: Glenda Schales' Uz Was. We'll keep singing this one. Even my student that doesn't like to sing likes this one. We'll also sing Make A Joyful Shout.

If there is time, review Psalm 23 and Psalm 100.

Prayer

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Psalms Review

We've been studying Psalms for 5 weeks. That makes tonight our 10th lesson the Psalms. I've really enjoyed teaching but I think we need to spend tonight tying them all together. At the moment that we are in class learning about a particular Psalm, the kids are very attentive and receptive. The following class period when I ask what we studied last time, they are clueless. So, tonight we are going to do a review of what we've looked at so far.

Lesson Plan:

Bible Facts:
Add the next 2 facts.

Psalm 127:
We started memorizing Psalm 127 Sunday morning. We'll do our first copy work for this Psalm tonight.

Review the Psalms: Pass out cards with a Psalm listed to each child. Have that child look up the Psalm on his card. We aren't going to have time to read them all, they have memorized 2 of them and are working on the third so we're going to pay special attention to the other 4 on the cards. Have each child read at least the first verse of the Psalm. We'll spend a little time talking about it and then go to the next one. See picture below.

Psalm Memory Game: After we've reviewed the 7 Psalms on the cards (1, 19, 22, 23, 100, 127, 119) shuffle the cards up and turn them face down on the table. Place the other cards (these have the first verse of each of the psalms written on them) face down on the table. Take turns matching the cards like the memory game.


Books of Poetry: Spend some time putting the statements from Job and Psalms in the books on the wall.

Sing: Glenda Schales' Uz Was. Sing Make A Joyful Shout.

Review Bible Facts: Ask the questions on the back of the Bible facts cards.

Prayer

Click on picture below for pdf files of Psalm Memory Game.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Psalm 127 -- Children Are A Heritage

Here I go again with another lesson plan after the fact. I got busy making the arts and crafts project for tonight. Yes, you heard that right. I did an arts and crafts type project with my 7/8 year olds. I so rarely do this that kids were thrilled. For me to do something like this it has to meet some criteria. It can't take up too much time. It has to be something they will want to keep. It has to be something their parents will want them to keep. It has to be something that will keep teaching even after they get home.

Tonight we studied Psalm 127. I read the whole psalm to them but we concentrated our study tonight on the last half of the psalm.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Our craft project was to fill a quiver with arrows. The quiver was made ahead of time out of the colorful foam sheets. I used neutral colors hoping to resemble an actual quiver. The arrows were cut from cardstock. During class the students wrote names of themselves and their siblings on the arrows. They then put the arrows in the quiver and were to give their quiver full of their family's arrows to their dads. I saw several dads carrying quivers after class was over. Here is a picture:



Before we worked on the quivers we talked about how special children were to God and how special they are to their parents. One of the students has a new baby brother and he was smiling with this knowing look when we were talking about sweet babies.

We also added our Psalm 100 picture to the wall and I am happy to say that all 4 students that were present were able to sign the wall. That means they successfully, to my satisfaction recited the entire Psalm. Here's the picture that went on the wall:



It went on this wall:



With the time we had left, we reviewed activities we've done throughout the quarter. It was a simple class but sometimes, that's best.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Psalm 119 -- Instructional Psalms

Tomorrow's lesson will highlight the longest chapter in the Bible. As the years have gone by I have grown to appreciate this Psalm more and more. There are some fascinating things to talk to the kids about it. It is also the chapter we are using for the scripture on our bulletin board.

I want to start the lesson showing the kids samples of the Hebrew alphabet. Psalm 119 is written as an acrostic with each section labeled with a Hebrew letter. I printed a chart of the Hebrew alphabet from this website. I also printed out a short passage written in Hebrew from this website.

Psalm 119 Activity: Psalm 119 talks about God's word and uses a variety of descriptive words to do it I've chosen 8 verses (25-32) to read to children for this activity. I have graphics of an open Bible with the descriptive words from the passage written on each. These graphics will be passed out to the students. As I read the passage I want them to listen to carefully so they can raise their "open Bible" when they hear the word that is written on it. There are 8 descriptive words used in this passage: Law, Judgments, Testimonies, Commandments, word, Statutes, Precepts and Works. I hope this activity will build their vocabulary, help them understand the different ways God's word is described and give them a greater appreciation for Psalm 119. Click on the picture for the pdf of this activity.



Lesson Plan:

Bible Facts:
Add the next 2 facts. Encourage students to look at them as they come into the classroom.

Psalm 100: We'll do a quick review this morning.

Introduction to Psalm 119: Discuss the Hebrew alphabet: its history, what it looks like, who used it, etc. Pass visuals around that I discussed in the intro to this blog.

Psalm 119 Activity:
Do the activity as described in the intro to this blog.

God's Word:
Discuss the importance of God's law and following it. Psalm 119 was written during the Mosaical age and so the law that is talked about here is that law. We should take the same attitude exhibited in Psalm 119 toward the new law God gave us in the New Testament.

Psalm 19:
This Psalm talks about how precious the law of God is. We'll read at least part of it and then sing Psalm 10 from the hymn book.

Books of Poetry: Spend some time putting the statements from Job and Psalms in the books on the wall.

Sing: Glenda Schales' Uz Was. We'll keep singing this one. Even my student that doesn't like to sing likes this one. We'll also sing Make A Joyful Shout.

If there is time, review Psalm 23 and Psalm 100.

Prayer

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Messianic Psalms -- Psalms 22

This morning we'll be learning about messianic Psalms. Since we've been in the Old Testament for 15 months now, this will be a great time to remind them what the whole story is about. We'll start class with a review of the Bible story hitting all the highlights through the resurrection of Jesus. Then we'll go back and discuss how this was foretold in the Psalms.

Lesson Plan:

Bible Facts:
Add the next 2 facts. Wednesday evening they saw what messianic meant. I told the ones that asked how to pronounce but didn't elaborate. I hope they'll remember seeing that this morning.

P:salm 100: We'll do a quick review this morning. I hope to be ready to put our picture on the Hide It It In Your Heart wall Wednesday evening.

Review: Using the timeline, review the Bible story through Christ's resurrection/ascension.

Read from Matthew 27 (the story of Christ's death).

Psalm 22: Read Psalm 22 and discuss how this tells what will happen in Matthew 27. Impress on them the time difference between the foretelling of Christ's death and it actually happening.

Books of Poetry: We'll add all the Psalms statements this morning if there is time.

Sing: Glenda Schales' Uz Was. We'll keep singing this one. Even my student that doesn't like to sing likes this one. We'll also sing Make A Joyful Shout and possibly the Lord Is My Shepherd.


Prayer

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Psalm 136 -- A Review of the Exodus

I really enjoy sharing this Psalm with my students. It is very long but the topic is so familiar with the students that they enjoy it as well. So many of Psalms have abstract ideas that are hard for 7/8 year olds to understand without explanation.

I got busy working on an activity for this class and didn't have time to sit down and right out a lesson plan so I'm going to give an overview of what we did, not what we're going to do.

Review: We started class reviewing the Bible facts they have found in the Light Boxes on the wall. They've seen (and hopefully remember) 16 facts so far. I was pleased that they remembered it all so well.

Psalm 23: We spent last quarter memorizing Psalm 23 and last Sunday reviewing it for our Psalm study. We spent a little time reciting it as a group and then going around the table and reciting it individually.

Timeline Review: Since we were going to be studying Psalm 136 I wanted to make sure they remembered the main points of the history of God's people. We quickly reviewed (that means I didn't give them time to elaboriate -- they go into lots of detail that we didn't have time for) using the timeline from Creation to David.

Psalm 136: We read Psalm 136 (I gave them a choice to follow along in their Bible or to just listen and participate orally). I told them to say "For His mercy endures forever" after every phrase that I read. They went through all the emotions that you would expect a 7/8 year old to go through. At first they were really concentrating hoping to do it right. Then they fell into the routine and became very confident, Then they began to see this was going to be a long reading and started relaxing and getting a little silly. Then, with an admonition from me, they ended it with respectful attitudes and confidence. We quickly reviewed the history points that David brought out in the Psalm.

Psalm 100: This is the Psalm we're memorizing right now. We're almost through. The copywork is done but since I missed so much last week we're going to spend one more week on it. The following are pictures of an activity put together to help them memorize this passage. They are pretty good about saying the passage but when they have to actually stop and read it and find the card that comes next, it's more of a challenge. Click on the picture to see instructions and the pdf files for this activity.








Song: Make A Joyful Noise by Diana Dow
Uz Was by Glenda Schales (they beg for this one every class)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Psalms of Guidance

After a week off from teaching, I'm eager to get back to my class. Last week, two friends taught lessons on Psalms of praise to my class. From what I heard they did an excellent job. I'm sorry I don't have their lesson to share with you here.

This week we will be studying Psalms of Guidance. Tomorrow morning we'll look closely at Psalm 23. this is the Psalm we memorized last quarter so the kids are very familiar with it. I hope to go more into details about what it means. We'll also spend time reviewing the memorization of it.

Lesson Plan:

Bible Facts: Add the next 2 facts. We've been doing this for 3 weeks now (6 classes). The students should have 12 facts memorized. We'll spend time reviewing the facts tomorrow.

P:salm 100: believe the substitutes from last week finished the copying of this psalm with the kids. We'll concentrate this week on memorizing it well. If they do good at this, we'll start Psalm 1 next week.

Tell the story: There isn't a story when studying Psalms, but this is the part of class we'll discuss Psalm 23.

Books of Poetry: We still just have statements from Job for this activity. Hopefully we'll add some Psalms next week.

Sing: Glenda Schales' Uz Was. We'll keep singing this one. Even my student that doesn't like to sing likes this one. We'll also sing Make A Joyful Shout and possibly the Lord Is My Shepherd.


Bible Facts: See if they can remember what facts they learned by looking the light boxes.

Prayer

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pictures of Wall Decoration

Tomorrow I won't be teaching my class so our family can go to Crockett where Danny is holding a meeting. Since I've had some spare time today that would normally be devoted to preparing for class, I decided to go next door and take some pictures of the activities talked about in the lesson plans for this quarter.

The first pictures are an idea that came from Shaping Hearts For God. The boxes are empty kleenex boxes painted or covered with paper. The 2 holes in front are to look into the box. There is a hole on the side that the flashlight shines in to. Each class there is a new Bible fact for the students to read. There are 2 of these boxes in the room. The Bible facts I'm using are directly related to the lesson of the day. The large flash light is a graphic that came with the materials from Shaping Hearts For God.



Here is a closeup. I attached the box with velcro to a posterboard. The flashlight is attached with velcro also.



The next 3 pictures are the same decoration/activity. Each of the poetry books is represented by a large "book" that opens and closes. Inside the books are strips of velcro. As we study each of the books we'll be adding 8 strips that have statements found in that particular book. For instance, in the book of Job is a strip that says, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." The students decide which book the statement came from and put it in the appropriate book on the wall. They also have to tell me who said it or something else about the statement. At this point, it's pretty easy because we've only studied one book. As the quarter progresses there will be more of a challenge.





Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Job 41 -- Leviathan

Once again I have fallen behind on creating lesson plans. We will be studying Job for the last time tonight. That has given us 4 class periods with Job. I have used no visual aids while teaching Job. I just read the story from the Bible and elaborated as necessary. Visual aids are nice and can be a great asset in helping the children understand God's word but sometimes we tend to depend so much on them that we don't think a student can learn without them. The children were totally involved in the lesson as I read from the Bible. In fact, after reading the first 2 chapters that first day, they wanted more. That's the way I like to leave a class -- with them wanting to know more.

The next class period we talked about the 3 friends of Job and their discussions with him. I didn't read much from the Bible for this class. I just chose a verse or 2 from each friend and then Job's response to each so they could get an idea of what the language of the book of Job was like. I then summarized (very simply I might add) what each friend had to say to Job.

Sunday morning, we talked about Elihu's comments to Job and then we finally got to read some of what God said to Job. We discussed how God talked to Job in a whirlwind and about the different ways that God has talked to people (burning bush, dream, small still voice, Bible). I was going to save "the rest of the story" for tonight but since there is one student that never gets to come on Wednesday evening I decided to tell all about God's reward for Job's faithfulness.

So, what does that leave for tonight? We're going to review and then I want to elaborate about leviathan. There is a whole chapter devoted to this awesome creature.


Lessons Plan:

Bible Facts: I have been adding 2 new facts about Job to the light boxes each class period. The kids are beginning to get into the routine of checking these boxes before class. Each class period, I review what was in the boxes before with the questions on the back of the cards that have already been viewed in the boxes.

Psalm 100: I divided Psalm 100 into 4 parts. We have copied and hopefully memorized the first 2. We'll review this toight.

Tell the story: Review the story of Job and then discuss the Leviathan. I made a list of Leviathan's physical characteristics. It would be good to have them draw a picture after they hear what the Leviathan looked like.

Books of Poetry: I have "books" on the wall that represent each book of poetry. These "books" open up and have velcro on the inside. The goal is to have cards with statements from each of the books and the students are to decide which book they came from. They will then put the card on the velcro in the appropriate "book". So far, we've just studied Job so it's pretty easy. All the cards go in Job's book. As the quarter progresses this should get more challenging.

Sing: Glenda Schales' Uz Was. This is a great song that simpy tells the story of Job.
Psalm 100 -- This is one I wrote to help memorize the chapter. Neither of these are online at this time.


Bible Facts: See if they can remember what facts they learned by looking the light boxes.

Prayer

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Job

Tomorrow morning, a new quarter begins. This quarter we will be studying the books of poetry. One of my helpers spent about 5 hours with me yesterday redecorating the room. I sure am glad she was able to come. It would've taken me twice as long to do it myself. We're adding a little something new this quarter. We've been following the outline presented in the Amplified Bible Curriculum. We've been using it for the past 8 years. It is a really good curriculum but something new would be nice. This quarter we're testing the waters with Shaping Hearts For God. This curriculum has basically the same outline as the one we're using so we are using it as supplemental material this quarter. We may continue to do that or we may switch to Shaping Hearts and use the other as supplemental.

One really nice thing about Shaping Hearts for God is they offer so many great ideas to help you decorate your room. You can even buy what they call logo graphics that are almost ready-made bulletin boards. That along with some of their suggestions is what we added to the room yesterday. I will add pictures later.

Our first 2 weeks this quarter will be on the book of Job. I would really like a song about Job. If you know of any, let me know.

We'll be memorizing Psalm 100 for the first half of this quarter. I'm going to try to add new parts of the memory work every class session. Last quarter I just added new parts on Wednesday evening. With our monthly Wednesday evening singings and the times I was out of town, it left too many weeks that we didn't add any new verses to our memory work.

Lessons Plan:

Bible Facts: I made light boxes like Shaping Hearts for God suggests and am putting facts that I want the kids to learn about the books of poetry. There are 2 light boxes so they will learn 2 new facts each class session. I will need to teach how to use the boxes and hopefully get them excited about checking them each time they come in to class. In the future, this should not be an activity that takes class time up. I hope they will do it before class.

Psalm 100: We are memorizing Psalm 100. I want to start each class with this activity this quarter. We'll read through the entire Psalm together and then they can have a few minutes to copy the first part in their notebooks. I'm trying to train them to do any copying they may have missed from absences before class. Maybe with Spring here, there won't be as many absences as there was last quarter.

Books of Poetry: Introduce the idea of Biblical poetry. Review the books of the OT so they can see where they fit in.

Tell the story: We'll be going over the first part of Job. By Wednesday night they should know the whole story up to where God starts to talk to Job in the whirlwind. I'll save that for next week. I want to tell the story by reading it from my Bible and making comments as necessary.

Bible Facts: See if they can remember what facts they learned by looking the light boxes.

Prayer