Monthly Archives: November 2008

Pump You Up


hans-and-franz

Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that God uses difficult times and circumstances to make us stronger. It’s a play off the Saturday Night Live skit on Hans and Franz, but the kids will not need to be familiar with the skit to enjoy the humor. It’s best if there are two leaders to do the lesson, but you can do it with just one.

Materials

  • Sweat pants and a sweat shirt (for both)
  • Newspaper (or something else to stuff inside your sweats to simulate muscles)
  • Thick belts (or something that looks like a weight belt)
  • Dowel rod (3/4 inch diameter)
  • Styrofoam balls (2 – six-inch diameter or larger)
  • Duct tape
  • Black spray paint
  • Sheet of paper with some writing on it. (It doesn’t matter what it says.)

Preparation

· Make a set of “barbells” by following these steps:

o Paint the two Styrofoam balls black.

o Wrap the duct tape around the dowel rod from top to bottom so that it is completely covered.

o Attach the two Styrofoam balls to either end of the dowel rod.

· Put on the sweats, and stuff them with newspaper to make it look like you’ve got huge muscles all over your body.

· Practice the script (and your Austrian accent).

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

Hans: “Good morning (afternoon, evening) little boys and girls. My name is Hans.”

Franz: “Ya, ya, and I’m Franz, and we’re here to….”

Both: “Pump….you up!” (Clap hands in unison on the word ‘pump.’ Then point to all the kids in exaggerated motions, and do poses like they would do at a body building competition.)

Hans: “But before we can pump you up tonight, we have a letter to read from one of our fans.” (Hans pulls out letter. Franz celebrates letter with some exaggerated poses.)

Hans: “Dear, Hans and Franz: Lifting weights hurts my muscles. Isn’t there an easier way to get properly pumped up?” (Crumples paper, and throws away.)

Hans: “Can you believe that, Franz? This girlie-man wants properly pumped up muscles without it hurting his weak and flabby body. What do you think about that?”

Franz: “Well, Hans, I can hardly believe he could pick up a pencil to write with those teeny tiny muscles of his.”

Hans: “Ya, maybe he had his mommy-wommy write it for him.”

Franz: “Ya, right! Kids, hear me now and believe me later, you cannot get a properly pumped up body like this one (does a few poses) without pain.”

Hans: “So true! As the King of Pumptitude, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, says, ‘No pain – no gain!’”

Franz: “See this barbell here?” (Point to barbell.

Franz: “They will give me perfectly shaped ab muscles and glutes.”

Hans: “Ya, and perfect pinky toe muscles, too, ya!”

Franz: “Well, theses weights actually tear down my muscle tissue. Then, my body repairs my muscles and makes them stronger than before.”

Hans: “Tearing down your muscles first is how weights work to….”

Both: “Pump….you up!”

Franz: “Hans, I went to church the other day.”

Hans: “Ya, Franz. I bet you had more muscle than even the pastor.”

Franz: “Ya, Hans, but he said something that convinced me he is no girlie-man.”

Hans: “What was it, Franz?”

Franz: “He said that sometimes bad things happen to us and tear us down like puny muscle tissue. But then God builds us back up stronger than we were before!”

Hans: “Hey, Franz, it sounds like that pastor has some really super-sized spiritual muscles!”

Franz: “Ya, Hans. Maybe he’s the King of Spiritual Pumptitude.”

Hans: “Kids, hear me now and write to me next Christmas, hard times build up your puny spiritual muscles!”

Franz: “No more talking. Time to show these kids how powerful our muscles are.”

Hans: “Ya, watch me lift this barbell through the roof into the outer atmosphere.” (Pretend to try to pick up the barbell several times. Exaggerate the strain you are exerting, and eventually fail. Then, let Franz try with no success.)

Franz: (Whispering to Hans loudly enough that everyone can hear.) “Hans, this is obviously cemented to the floor. That’s the reason we can’t pick it up.”

Hans: (Whispering back) “Ya, Franz. Let’s play a trick on all these girly-men in the audience. (To audience) This barbell is too easy for us to lift. One of you puny people should come try to lift it so that it will be more of a challenge to you. Who wants to try?” (Pick the smallest volunteer you can find – preferably a girl – and let her come lift the barbell. When she does, look at each other in mock surprise and say…)

Both: “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” (….as you pretend to bow down to the volunteer. Then thank her, and send her back to her seat.)

Franz: “So, kids, when something bad happens to you, remember to ask God how He wants to grow your puny spiritual muscles.” (So several muscle flexes, and then end lesson.)

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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, faith, Object Lesson, Spiritual Growth, struggles, test, tool

Tell Two Friends


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson helps kids understand the impact they each can have on the Kingdom if they will help to lead just a few people to Christ during their lifetime.

Materials

  • Beads (You can also use beans, rice, BBs – anything small that you can gather in the appropriate amounts.)
  • Ziplock bags
  • Permanent marker
  • A large, see-through bucket, vase or jar
  • Tray to fit under the bucket, vase or jar to catch the overflow beads
  • Display table

Preparation

· Put beads in bags and label them (with the permanent marker) according to the following allotments.  (I don’t actually count the beads when I get into the higher numbers.  I find out how many will fit into a measuring cup or drinking cup (approximately).  Then, I just estimate how many beads I’ve put in the bags by how many cups I used.)

o #1 – 2 beads

o #2 – 4 beads

o #3 – 8 beads

o #4 – 16 beads

o #5 – 32 beads

o #6 – 64 beads

o #7 – 128 beads

o #8 – 256 beads

o #9 – 512 beads

o #10 – 1024 beads

o #11 – 2048 beads

o #12 – 4096 beads

o #13 – 8192 beads

· You can do more than thirteen bags if you have enough beads. Follow the same procedure as above.

· Set up the bucket, vase or jar on the display table with the tray underneath it.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Does anyone know what the Great Commission is?” (Listen for responses. If the children don’t know, have them read it in Matthew 28:16-20.)

· “One of the last things Jesus asked the disciples to do was to go and make more disciples, so it’s very important that we share our faith in Jesus with the people He has put into our lives.”

· “Knowing about Jesus is such an incredible thing that we should want to share it with lots of people.”

· “We want them to come to heaven with us, right?” (Listen for responses.)

· “I want to show you the power of sharing your faith with other people.”

· “If everyone who ever believed in Jesus would just help two other people come to know Him, it would absolutely change the world!”

· “Let me show you how….I need 13 volunteers.” (Select 13 volunteers, and line them up, and hand each of them a bag of beads in order from #1 to #13. #1 should be closest to the display table.)

· “These beads in the bags I’ve given our volunteers represent people.”

· “Let’s say that someone led two people to Jesus during his lifetime.” (Show beads.)

· That would be three people who knew Jesus, right (the first person plus the two he led to Jesus)?” (Have first volunteer empty beads into the bucket.)

· “If each of those two people then led two people to Jesus, there would be 7 people who knew Jesus. (original 3 + 4 new)” (Have volunteer #2 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those people then led two people to Jesus, there would then be 15 people who knew Jesus. (original 7 + 8).” (Have volunteer #3 empty beads into bucket.)

· “So far, that’s not a lot of beads, but keep watching!”

· “If each of those people then led two people to Jesus, there would be 31 people who knew Jesus (15 original + 16 more).” (Have volunteer #4 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 63 (31+32).” (Have volunteer #5 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 127 (63+64).” (Have volunteer #6 empty beads into bucket.)

· “Still doesn’t look like much, I know, but keep watching!”

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 255 (127+128).” (Have volunteer #7 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 511 (255+256).” (Have volunteer #8 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 1023 (511+512).” (Have volunteer #9 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 2047 (1023+1024).” (Have volunteer #10 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 4095 (2047+2048).” (Have volunteer #11 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 8191 (4095+4096).” (Have volunteer #12 empty beads into bucket.)

· “If each of those led two people to Jesus, there would be 16384 (8191+8192).” (Have volunteer #13 empty beads into bucket. If the beads haven’t started overflowing before this point, they should now.)

· “Now think about that! From the first two people who shared Jesus, over 16,000 people came to know Christ!”

· “Do you think you could tell two people about Jesus?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Can you tell one in the coming week?” (Listen for responses.)

“Then do it! When you get to heaven, you might be greeted by 16,000 or more people who want to thank you for starting the chain of events that led them to know Jesus!”

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Evangelism, Great Commission, Hands-on, Object Lesson, Witness

Touch of the Master’s Hand


Time

10-15 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches that God uses what the world hardly values. The touch of the Master’s hand makes all the difference in a person’s life. This lesson is inspired by the poem by Myra B. Welch (printed at the end of the lesson).

Materials

· A violin if you can borrow one. If not, then use a photograph, or just describe the old violin well.

Preparation

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Let me tell you a story.”

· “An auctioneer waited for the next piece of merchandise to be wheeled out.”

· “To his disappointment, he saw that it was the old violin.”

· “He had spent time inspecting it before the auction began.”

· “It was weathered and worn, dusty and scuffed, with a split in the neck and some mold on the chin rest.”

· “He was sure it next to worthless, so he started the bidding low.”

· “’Who will give me a dollar?’”

· “’One dollar – Now who will give me two?’”

· “’Two dollars – Now who will give me three?’”

· “’Three dollars – Now who will give me four?’”

· “’Anyone? Anyone? Then, three dollars it is. Going once….Going twice….’”

· “From the back of the room, a chair screeched as a gray-haired man scooted it back to take a stand.”

· “All eyes were on him as he walked to the front of the room and picked up the old violin.”

· “He wiped off the dust and then took a moment to tune the strings.”

· “Picking up the bow, he began to play.”

· “The old violin came to life! Such was the beauty of the music the man played that it brought tears to they eyes of many sitting in their chairs.”

· “When he was done, he quietly laid the violin down on the table and walked out of the auction hall.”

· “A moment went by in complete silence. Then the auctioneer said, ‘Who will bid on the old violin? Do I hear $1,000 dollars?’” (Look expectantly at the group of kids until one of them raises a hand. Make the group part of the auction.)

· “’One thousand! But who will make it two?’” (Find another child with a hand raised and point to him/her. Keep this up for several raisings of the bid to let several kids play a part. It’s not important how high they take the bidding. Have fun with it.)

· “’Two thousand! Yes, and three? Three thousand to that gentleman there! Yes, who will make it four? Four thousand to the lovely young lady!….” (When you are ready to move on, say…)

· “’______ thousand! Going once! Going twice, and gone to the young person in that row!’”

· “A cheer went up, but some wept at what they had just seen.”

· “’What made the difference?’ one of them asked, and the auctioneer replied, ‘It was the thing that always makes the difference, my friends. It was the touch of the master’s hand.’”

· “Then gathering his things, he turned and left, wiping a tear from his eye.”

· “Many people are like that old violin, and the world will tell you and them that they aren’t worth anything.”

· “They will point out everything that’s wrong with the person but nothing that is right, and they will say that the person will never amount to much, never achieve anything worthwhile, never make a difference on this planet.”

· “But I want you to know that God doesn’t make junk and that every person on this earth is made in His image.”

· “Some are old and dusty, some are broken in some way, some are out of tune with the rest of the world.”

· “Some wear their scuffs on the outside where you can see them, and some wear their scuffs in their hearts where you can’t.”

· “But no matter what’s wrong with them, they can still do incredible things in the Master’s hand. That’s our Master, Jesus.”

· “If they will just trust Him with their beat up and broken lives, He will help them make beautiful music.”

· “That music will be a blessing to others, and they will all wonder how such beauty can come from something they thought was so worthless.”

· “You know, this lesson is based upon a poem written by a woman named Myra B. Welch.” (Read poem if you like.)

· “She lived a long time ago (1877-1959) and had such bad arthritis that she had to stay in a wheelchair. She loved to play the organ, but the arthritis made it impossible.”

· “To many, Myra Welch must have been like the old violin – broken and of little worth. But to God, she was priceless!”

· “Though she couldn’t play her organ, she learned that she could write poetry by holding a pencil in each of her deformed hands and typing the words by pushing the keys with the erasers.”

· “Her poems all told of how she rejoiced in God’s love, and they have blessed millions of people around the world.”

· “The world saw her as broken, but the touch of her Master’s hand brought beautiful music from her that blessed many.”

· “And our Master, the Lord Jesus, can do the same for you, too!”

masters-hand

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

“Twas battered and scared, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar – now who’ll make it two _
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three”. . . but no!
From the room far back a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as an angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: “What am I bidden for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow;
“A thousand dollars – and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand – and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice
And going – and gone,” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand –
What changed its worth?” The man replied:
“The touch of the master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and torn with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd.
Much like the old violin.

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on,
He’s going once, and going twice –
He’s going – and almost gone!
But the MASTER comes, and the foolish crowd,
Never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the MASTER’S hand.

~Myra B. Welch

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Filed under Christianity, forgiveness, Jesus, Object Lesson, self-image, Self-worth, Transformation, Value

Radio Waves


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about how both God and the devil are competing for our attention. It uses the metaphor of radio towers sending signals to a radio.

Materials

  • Old radio (doesn’t need to work)
  • Two wire hangers
  • Aluminum foil
  • Printouts from “Radio Waves Construction” slides (see “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)
  • Tape

Preparation

· Make radio tower headpieces for two children. (Directions are in the “Radio Waves Construction” file on the “Lesson and Material Downloads” page.)

· Practice the script.

radio-waves-construction

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Hey! I found this old radio at the house, and I thought I would see if it still works.” (Pretend to find a station while making a static sound effect.)
  • “Have you ever had this problem? You can’t find a clear station on the radio.” (Listen for responses.)
  • “It’s frustrating, right?”
  • “That reminds me of how we communicate with God.”
  • “A lot of people say that they have a difficult time hearing God speak to them. Do you ever have a hard time hearing God speak to you?” (Listen for responses.)
  • “I understand what you mean, because I have a hard time, too, sometimes.”
  • “Let’s explore what causes this.” (Ask for two volunteers to come up. Place one of the radio tower headpieces on each one of them. Then place them at either end of the stage or teaching area so that one is on your left, and one is on your right. Ask them to make hand motions toward you like they are sending you signals.)
  • “Let’s pretend that these two people are different radio station towers and that I’m a radio.”
  • “This one is W-I-A-M, which are the call letters for Yahweh Broadcasting. In other words, this is God.”
  • “This one is K-L-I-E, which are the call letters for Lucifer Radio. In other words, this is the devil.”
  • “Now, the way a regular radio works is that it picks up radio waves from a radio tower.”
  • “You can change which station the radio is listening to by turning the dial.” (Pretend to twist your nose and then lean toward the station you are “hearing” at that moment.)
  • “The different radio stations compete with each other to get your attention.”
  • “Our two radio stations are in competition with each other, too.” (Make sure that both your volunteers are still making hand motions toward you.)
  • “If the devil can get you to listen to his radio station, he knows you won’t be listening to God’s radio station.” (Twist your nose, and lean toward the KLIE radio tower.)
  • “Whenever you listen to the devil’s radio station, it tells you to do what you want to do – not what God is asking you to do.”
  • “In fact, if you listen to the devil’s station long enough, you start to move closer to it so that you can hear it more clearly.” (Move closer to the volunteer with the KLIE radio tower.)
  • “It begins to sound really good to you, and you want to listen to it more and more.” (Demonstrate that you are really enjoying what you are hearing from KLIE.)
  • “Notice that WIAM is still sending me signals, but I’m not tuned into God’s station, so I don’t hear them.”
  • “And even if I decide I should start listening to God’s station, it won’t come in clearly right away.” (Twist your nose and lean toward the WIAM radio tower. Make a static noise and look like you are having a hard time hearing the station.)
  • “The reason I’m having trouble hearing God’s station is because I’ve moved so far away from it and because there is a lot of sin in the way.” (Ask for four or five volunteers to come up, and position them between you and the WIAM radio tower.)
  • “These guys represent all the sin that has sprung up in my life. They get in the way of the signals that WIAM is sending me.”
  • “So, if you’re not hearing God talk to you, maybe it’s because you are listening to His competitor’s station.”
  • “Maybe it’s because you are too far away from His signal and have too much sin between the two of you.”
  • “Does anyone know how I can get rid of all this sin and get closer to WIAM?” (Listen for responses. Specifically, you want to hear that you need to repent (say you are sorry) and ask for forgiveness.)
  • “That doesn’t sound too tough. ‘God, I’m really sorry for listening to your competitor’s radio station. I want to listen to You again. Will you please forgive me?’” (After you’ve said this, have your WIAM volunteer push through all the volunteers representing your sin in order to get near to you. Dismiss these volunteers, and then follow the WIAM volunteer back over to his/her side of the stage. Demonstrate that you are enjoying listing to God’s station.)
  • “You know, the great part about listening to WIAM is that I don’t feel guilty after I tune in. I always feel guilty after listening to KLIE.”
  • “Now, how do I make sure that I stay tuned into God’s station?” (Listen for responses. You are listening for responses such as ‘read your Bible,’ ‘pray,’ ‘go to church’…)
  • “Exactly! Now, don’t be surprised if when you first start reading your Bible, you hear a lot of static at first.”
  • “The words might be difficult to understand, and even when you understand them, they just look like words.”
  • “That happens, but keep tuning in to God’s station every day, and something cool starts to happen…you start to fine-tune your ability to hear God in what you read, and the words start to jump to life for you!”
  • “You will start to enjoy tuning in each day, and then you will start moving closer and closer to his tower.” (Demonstrate moving closer to the tower.)
  • “Before long, you won’t be interested in picking up the devil’s station at all.”
  • “He can do his best to get your attention, but you won’t pay any attention to him.” (Have KLIE volunteer make desperate gestures to try to get your attention, but ignore him/her. Then thank your volunteers and dismiss them.)

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Filed under Bible study, Christianity, Focus, God's Will, Listening to God, Obedience, Object Lesson, prayer, Satan's tactics, spiritual disciplines

Ripples


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the impact of our actions on others. It uses silly string and will make a huge mess, but it’s easy to clean up, and the kids will enjoy it.

Materials

· Enough cans of silly string (a.k.a., crazy string or crazy ribbon) for 6-8 children to have one.

Preparation

· Get the cans of silly string / crazy string ready for the children to use.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “How many of you know that the things you do and say have an impact on the people around you?” (Look for a show of hands.)

· “Let’s do an activity to illustrate this.” (Ask for 6-8 volunteers. Place the first one in the center of the teaching area. Place the others at different distances around the center volunteer. Make sure that the center person has clear line-of-sight for all the others. See diagram below.)

ripples

· “This person (gesture to center person) represents each of us, and all these other people represent the people in our lives. Our brothers and sisters, our parents, our friends at school and other people we know.”

· “When we say things and do things, they send off ripples like when a pebble is dropped into a pool of water.”

· “Those ripples go out from you and touch those people around you.”  (Hand the center volunteer a can of silly string, and have him/her spray it while turning in a circle. Silly string should fly out and hit all the people around the center person.)

· “Now, you can send out positive ripples, or you can send out negative ripples.” (Spin your volunteer once clockwise while he/she sprays silly string. This can represent positive ripples. Then spin the volunteer once counter-clockwise while spraying. This can represent negative ripples.)

· “Positive ripples usually make those around you feel good.  Negative ripples typically make them feel bad.”

· “What kind of ripples do you want to send out?” (Assumed response: ’Positive ones.’)

· “Sure, I knew that.  But sometimes when we say mean things or do hurtful things or even when we aren’t even paying much attention at all, we send out negative ripples.”

· “When people get negative ripples from someone, do you know what happens?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Many times, when someone gets negative ripples from someone, they send out their own negative ripples.”  (Hand one of the other volunteers – the one closest to the center volunteer – a can of silly string. Have him/her turn counter-clockwise and spray string.)

· “Those ripples go out from them to you and often to others around them – even people who had nothing to do with what happened between the two of you.  That doesn’t seem fair, does it?” (Hand another volunteer – one close to the second volunteer – a can of silly string, and have him/her spray while turning counter-clockwise.)

· “Those negative ripples go out and impact other people, who then sometimes give off their own negative ripples that affect other people around them and cause them to give off even more negative ripples.” (Hand out the rest of the cans, and have those volunteers spray in a counter-clockwise direction.)

· “When the negative ripples come back at you, your first temptation will be to send negative ripples back.” (Have all the volunteers do a few spins counter-clockwise while spraying.)

· “Before long, the first negative ripple you sent out could end up impacting lots of people – people you’ve never met.” (Point out any children left in the audience, who will no doubt have silly string all over them.)

· “But what if you worked harder at always giving off positive ripples?  What would happen then?”  (Listen for responses.)

· “The good ripples would go out and make other people want to give off good ripples.  Then those good ripples would make other people want to give off more good ripples to the people around them.” (Have the center volunteer do a turn clockwise while spraying. Then have the person closest do a clockwise turn, which will trigger the next closest person, which will trigger the next closest person, etc…)

· “That’s it!  That’s what I wanted to help you understand.  You could help a lot of people have a better day just by starting the first good ripple.” (Let the volunteers do a few last clockwise turns while spraying. Then thank and dismiss them.)

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Filed under Great Commandment, Hands-on, Kindness, Love, Object Lesson, Relationships

That’s Not Fair!


Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson helps kids to understand that unfair things happen to all of us. We can’t always change that, but we can change how we respond to what happens to us. If we look for the positive aspects, we might find that God has really blessed us through what originally looked unfair.

Materials

· “Magic Coloring Book & Crayons” from www.stevespanglerscience.com (about $15)

Preparation

· Practice the trick. You’ll need to be very smooth with your hand movements in order to fool the kids.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “I have a magic trick to show you today, and I’m going to need a volunteer.” (Select volunteer to join you up front.)

· “I went to the store the other day and bought a new coloring book, but when I got home, I found that all the pages were blank!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the bottom corner of the spine. Make sure that the child stands to the side so that the audience can see the blank pages.)

· “That’s so unfair! I used my whole allowance on this!”

· “But then I realized that I had the coolest coloring book in the world!”

· “I mean, other kids have coloring books with pictures already in them.”

· “All they can do is color them. I had page after page of blank paper, and I could draw anything I wanted.”

· “So I drew pictures on every page.” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the top corner of the spine. Black and white illustrations will appear.)

· “When I got done, I was really tired. So I put my cool coloring book under my pillow and I went to bed.”

· “In the morning, I got up, pulled out my cool coloring book, and flipped through the pictures.”

· “I was very surprised to see that I had colored in all the pages in my dreams!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the middle part of the spine. Colored pages will appear.)

· “At first, I thought this was really, really cool! But then I realized that there was nothing left to do with the book.”

· “I decided that I would try to un-color the book in my dreams.”

· “So I put it back under my pillow that night before I went to bed.”

· “When I got up the next morning, I was surprised to see that I had gone too far.”

· “Not only did I un-color the pages, but I un-drew them, too!” (Help child flip through the pages while you hold the bottom corner of the spine again.)

· “That may sound bad to you, but I thought it was really cool, because other kids have coloring books with pictures already in them. But I have a coloring book in which I can draw anything I want!” (Thank child and dismiss.)

· “Sometimes unfair things happen to us.”

· “We don’t get what we deserve. Someone gets more than us, or we get something bad that we didn’t deserve.”

· “Those things happen, but if we keep trusting God, He will bring good things out of bad. (Romans 8:28)”

· “We might even be surprised to find out that something that looked unfair at first really turned out to be a blessing in disguise!”

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Filed under Challenges, Christianity, Coping skills, fairness, illusion, Magic, Object Lesson, struggles, test, tool

Joseph Over Easy


Time

30 minutes (15 minutes for decorating the eggs and 15 for telling the story)

Description

This object lesson tells the story of Joseph in an unusual way – with eggs. It helps the kids to learn about using puns while presenting a lesson about the reasons why bad things sometimes happen to good people.

Materials

· Sixteen eggs

· Pot for boiling eggs

· Food coloring, vinegar and several cups if you want the kids to dye the eggs (optional)

· Water

· Crayons or colored pencils for decorating the eggs

· Various props for decorating the eggs (optional)

· Table for the kids to decorate the eggs on and for teaching from

· Note cards (optional – you need these only if you plan to have the kids read out lines from the story.)

· Tall glass

Preparation

· Boil all the eggs, and then let them cool

· If you are going to have the kids dye the eggs, you will need to boil some water right before class. Put a teaspoon or two of vinegar into each of your cups. Then pour in the hot water, and add a few drops of food coloring to each cup. Make as many different colors as you like.

· Write the names of Joseph and his brothers (see below) on the bottom of 12 of the eggs. Two should be labeled, “Midianites.” The other two should be labeled “Jacob” and “Potiphar.”

o Reuben, Dan, Simeon, Gad, Levi, Asher, Judah, Naphtali, Issachar, Joseph, Zebulun, Benjamin

· Set out Crayons, colored pencils and any props you gathered for decorating the eggs.

· (Optional) Write out or print out (see download file, “Joseph Over Easy – Script Cards” on the Lesson Material and Downloads page) the lines for the story on notecards. They are numbered below so that you will know what to put on each card.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We’re going to tell the story of Joseph and his brothers with these boiled eggs, but first, we need to decorate them so that they look like their characters in the story.” (Read off the name on the bottom of each of the eggs, and select a volunteer from the kids to decorate the egg. You can give them some ideas about how you think each character might look. How well they decorate the egg is not important – just that they have fun doing it. Once the eggs are decorated, it’s time to tell the story. Each child can keep the egg he/she decorated. Have them stand up if their character’s name is mentioned.)
  • “We are about to tell the story of Joseph and his brothers using these eggs. I’ve included a lot of puns in the story to make it funnier. Does anyone know what a pun is?” (Listen to responses, and add your own explanation if necessary.)
    • “A pun is a humorous use of a word. Often, the word sounds like another word, but it has a different meaning. Sometimes, the word is the exact same word as the word you would typically use, but you intend for the listener to know that you really mean another meaning of the same word. Puns are a fun way to make a joke, but they require you to think fast to catch the double meaning. An example of a pun would be if I had a jar of peanuts and said, ‘There sure are a lot of nuts in here.’ But instead of talking about the jar of peanuts, I was really talking about there being a lot of crazy people in the room.”
  • “So, we are going to use puns to tell this story. If you hear a pun (or any kind of joke), raise you hand to show that you got it. Okay, ready? Here we go…”
    • (Notecard #1) “We know a lot about Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, and we know a lot about Joseph and Benjamin, but the rest were pretty quiet. I think they had difficulty coming out of their shells.”
    • (Notecard #2) “Now, Joseph was different than his brothers. He was eggs-tra-special, eggs-traordinary. You could say he was egg-cellent in every way.”
    • (Notecard #3) “Compared to his brothers, you might even say he was unequally yolked.”
    • (Notecard #4) “His father knew it, and he made it known that Joseph was his favorite, his good little egg.”
    • (Notecard #5) “Jacob loved Joseph so much more than the rest of his brothers that he dyed him a shell of many colors.”
    • (Notecard # 6) “Now, you may think that being daddy’s favorite was egg-ceptional, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.”
    • (Notecard #7) “For one thing, Joseph’s brothers didn’t appreciate it at all, and they thought Joseph was just plain rotten.”
    • (Notecard #8) “For another, having his daddy crow about him all the time gave Joseph a bit of an egg-o.”
    • (Notecard #9) “You see, God had given Joseph the ability to interpret dreams. One day while he was ‘doze-n,’ he had a dream that his brothers bowed down and worshipped him.”
    • (Notecard #10) “When he told his brothers about the dream, it didn’t go over-easy with them.”
    • (Notecard #11) “They use to think Joseph was just eggcentric, but now they thought he was really egg-ravating.”
    • (Notecard #12) In fact, it made them boil with anger.”
    • (Notecard #13) “From that moment on, you might say Joseph’s bird was cooked.”
    • (Notecard #14) “His brothers began thinking of ways they could eggs-terminate him.”
    • (Notecard #15) “So one day, Joseph’s father asked him to go see if his brothers were doing what he egg-spected them to do.”
    • (Notecard #16 “They were supposed to be watching the sheep in Shechem, but when Joseph got there, he realized they had scrambled.”
    • (Notecard #17) “He finally found them in Dothan, but they saw him coming. ‘Here comes the dreamer,’ they said. ‘Let’s eggs-ecute him.’”
    • (Notecard #18) “That was the plan, but Joseph got clucky.”
    • (Notecard #19) “Reuben, the oldest brother, chickened out.”
    • (Notecard #20) “He didn’t want to be an eggs-cessory to a crime.”
    • (Notecard #21) “He convinced them not to eggs-ecute Joseph but just to egg-drop him in a dry well and leave him there. Joseph was in quite a soup!”
    • (Notecard #22) “This was just an eggs-cuse. Secretly, Reuben hoped to save his brother.”
    • (Notecard #23) “Reuben went away, but the brothers grabbed Joseph, shelled off his beautiful robe, and dropped him into a well. Fortunately, he landed sunny-side-up.”
    • (Notecard #24) “In the midst of all this egg-citement, along came a caravan of Midianite slave poachers.”
    • (Notecard #25) “So the brothers decided to sell Joseph for some chicken scratch.”
    • (Notecard #26) “I guess you could say he was fried.”
    • (Notecard #27) “When Reuben returned and found his brother gone, he cracked! He knew their father would blame him!”
    • (Notecard #28) “But his brothers said, ‘Reuben, don’t be an eggs-Benedict Arnold! We’re in this together.’”
    • (Notecard #30) “They took his beautiful coat and dyed it in goat’s blood. Then they showed their father.”
    • (Notecard #31) “Jacob just knew that Joseph had been eaten by wild breakfast eaters, and he was so upset, no one could comfort him for many days.”
    • (Notecard #32) “Meanwhile, Joseph was taken to Egg-ypt and sold as a slave to a man named Potiphar.” (End of Story)

  • “So that’s the beginning of Joseph’s story. Pretty terrible, huh?”
  • “Poor Joseph! How do you think he’s feeling right now?” (Take responses.)
  • “Have you ever felt that way?” (Listen to responses and comment as necessary.)
  • “What could make the brothers hate Joseph so much that they would sell him into slavery?” (Take responses.)
  • “Joseph wasn’t a bad guy. He didn’t deserve to be treated that way.”
  • “Why do you think God lets bad things happen to good people?” (Take responses.)
  • “God is a good God, and He’s an all-powerful God, but sometimes He lets bad things happen to good people.”
  • “I’ll tell you that any time something bad happens to a person who loves Jesus, there is one of two reasons why. It’s either to:
    • Help you, or to…
    • Help others.”
  • “God won’t always tell you what He’s doing, but He doesn’t mind you asking.”
  • “Sometimes He’ll show you why you are having a rough time.”
  • “Other times He just wants you to trust Him. But even if He won’t tell you why, believe that He has a very good reason.”
  • “He had a good reason in Joseph’s life, didn’t He? Can anyone tell me what it was?” (Take responses.)
  • “Well, if Joseph could trust God even though he experienced slavery and his brothers’ abuse, we can trust God in our circumstances, too.” (End lesson.)


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