Category | School Ideas

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Preparation
Select a location where there are several large trees growing. You might also need a ground sheet children can lie on. You’ll need several Bibles.

Activity
Take your group to the selected trees. Form groups of no more than five and have each group select a tree. Have kids lie under the trees, looking up at the branches. Have a volunteer in each group read John 15:5-10, then have kids answer questions about themselves and their trees in their groups.

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Materials
Magnifying Glass

Lesson
Magnifying glasses are fascinating and lots of fun. Let the kids play with it for a minute – making their EYES big, looking at plants, etc. Point out that magnifying glasses are very useful. They are found in microscopes to help scientists & doctors see the “invisible,” and they are in telescopes to help us see things far, far away. The principle is easy – we look through them and can see things better.

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A young lady named Sally, relates an experience she had in a seminary class, given by her teacher, Dr. Smith. She says Dr. Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons.

One particular day, Sally walked into the seminary class and knew they were in for a fun day. On the wall was a big target, and on a nearby table were many darts. Dr. Smith told his children to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at the person’s picture, if they wished.

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connectdots.jpgMaterials
A difficult Connect-the-Dots puzzle that is not obvious as to the final results. (You might wish to have it photocopied to a transparency and use an OHP so all can see as you connect the dots.)

Activity
Hold up the connect-the-dots puzzle or show it on the OHP. Ask the children if they believe a picture will appear if you connect the dots.
* Let children guess what the final outcome might be if all the dots are connected?

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Materials
Obtain baby pictures of different people in the groups. Allow participants to attempt to identify the various people by their baby pictures.

Application
Parent’s have great expectations for their children. Every child is a bundle of potential. As they grow and mature, they discover their abilities and ultimately their place in life.

A children’s group, in many ways is like a baby. It starts out small, and it doesn’t know its abilities or where it fits into God’s picture, but as it grows and matures, God has a plan for it. If it a baby did not grow and mature we would be very concerned, but we seem content that our children’s group never grows.

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Materials 
* Find a few of the puzzles which display two pictures where there are differences between the pictures.
(If you cannot find such puzzles, photocopy a children’s coloring book then “whiteout” lines and add additional lines etc. to make your own puzzles. )
* As a variation, you can copy a couple puzzles to transparency sheets and place them on the overhead projector for children to find the differences.

Objective
Children must identify the differences in the two pictures.

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lightbulb.jpgOne key to effective teaching is concentration on one “big idea.”

Like a magnifying glass on a hot summer day, concentration turns ho-hum teaching into fiery hot teaching. It is the teacher’s job to select what is really important to teach and converge all of the teacher’s energy on that.

Too often the reason our children don’t get things is there was a lack of concentration on the part of the teacher. Focus down to ONE concept. Rewrite it if you need to… but focus on one truth for the lesson.

Too often teachers teach too little because they tried to teach too much.

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What is an Object Lesson?

An object lesson is the use of objects – insects, fruits, vegetables, animals, coins, thermometers, tools, weapons – to teach intellectual and spiritual truths. More than just a visual, an object lesson draws a truth from something you are showing or doing. Real objects, places and happenings can make learning come alive for children and adults.

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ADVANTAGES

  1. Objects attract and hold the attention of observers
  2. Objects can help simplify complex ideas and concepts.
  3. The high interest level extends to all age groups even though they are usually used with kids.
  4. Retention is very good due to the high interest as well as the identification of the truth with the object.
  5. Object lessons turn people’s “eyes into ears.” Because people think in terms of words and images, objects help them recall what is taught.
  6. Object lessons are fairly easy to use in a class and elaborate equipment is not necessary

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Jesus’ parables, “earthly stories with heavenly meaning,” made spiritual truth clear by relating it to the everyday experiences of life. “The kingdom of God . . . is like a mustard seed” (Luke 13:19). People could relate to the stories because they were drawn from real life. He used a coin to teach about taxes (Mark 12:16-17). He used the stones of magnificent buildings to explain the intensity of the end of the age (Mark 13:1-4).

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