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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)