Scripture: Luke 19:1-10
Introductory Activity – Confetti Toss
- Gather a large amount of paper confetti and paper bags.
Allow each child to get a handful of confetti. When you say “Go,” kids can toss the confetti. Encourage them to continue to pick up confetti and toss it. Hand out more confetti as available. After a minute or so, call for kids to stop. Give each child a paper bag and ask him to pick up the confetti and put it in the bag. Clean up as much confetti as you can.
Tell kids: “It was easy to scatter and toss the confetti. It was harder to pick up the confetti. Sometimes it is easy to treat people in a mean or unkind way, especially if they are unkind to us. However, we cannot easily fix it when we are mean. It is better to act in a loving way in the first place.” Tell kids that you will be talking about showing love to all people.
Note: Sweep or vacuum the area to clean up all the confetti before moving to next activity. Get kids to help!
Live It Out – Rhythm Reading
- Gather large pieces of paper and markers.
Tell the children to find Life Verse in their Bibles. Talk about showing love to one another. Note that sometimes people are difficult to love. Guide the children to talk about ways they can show love, especially to people hard to love. Post a large piece of paper and print the words and phrases that children suggest. Encourage the girls and boys to talk about situations they may have encountered. Ask how the children were able to resolve those problems.
Read through the list you have made. Children may think of other words or phrases to add to the list. Tell children they can use the words and phrases to write several sentences for a rhythm reading. They may want paper and pencils to experiment with sentences before creating final versions. Tell kids that the final reading should have about six or seven short sentences. Listen to ideas and lead kids to choose what they want in the reading. They may want to begin and end with the same sentence. Allow them to lead the process. Print the sentences on a clean piece of paper and post it on the wall.
Guide the kids to read the sentences aloud together. Lead the group to read the words again. This time, help them to clap a rhythm or rhythmic pattern as they read the words. Try two or three different rhythms. If time remains, allow the children to decorate or illustrate the reading they have written.
Teaching Tip: You may want to make a video of kids doing the rhythm reading. You could send a copy of the video to each child or post the video on an appropriate social media site (with parent permission).
Introductory Activity – Tabletop Golf
- Gather paper cups, pompoms, craft sticks, and index cards.
- Print these words on index cards, one word per card: Jericho, crowd, tax collector, tree, short, Jesus.
- Cut a three-sided notch down into the cup. Place the cup upside down on a table, so the notch makes an opening like a tunnel or cave.
Give a child a pompom and a craft stick. He should lay the pompom on the table opposite from the cup and use the craft stick to hit the pompom, trying to get the pompom in “hole” in the cup. If the pompom goes in, give the group one of the cards with a story word. If the ball misses, another child gets a turn. When all the story words are revealed, challenge the children to name the person in the Bible story. Tell them that they will talk about how to show love to people who are hard to love.
Teaching Tip: Create several sets so teams or groups of children can play at once.
Live It Out – Reversal Role Plays
- Gather pencils and paper.
Guide children to list people whom are difficult to show love to or times it may be difficult to show love to someone else. (Answers could include bully, coach who isn’t fair, cafeteria server, grouchy neighbor, rude fan at a ball game, kid on another sports team, teacher who seems to dislike me.) Write the ideas on paper. Then lead kids to write out some scenarios. (For example, The coach always chooses Katie to be the pitcher.) Write at least five scenarios.
Choose a scenario and ask a child to help you play it out. The child will play the “hard to love” person and you will play the person showing love. Pause as you role-play and ask for input from those watching. Do this a couple of times. (If the teacher plays this role, children may feel less self-conscious and more active in developing solutions.) Play out a few of the scenarios as time allows.
Give children an opportunity to think about one specific situation that could occur this week in which they will need to choose to love others. Pray, asking God to help boys and girls show love to others throughout this week.