This lesson uses the book Meet Jesus: The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher, by Lynn Tuttel Gunney, to share the life of Jesus as a wise teacher and the lessons we can learn from how he lived his life.
Materials and Setup
Materials & Setup:
Book: Meet Jesus: The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher, by Lynn Tuttel Gunney
Summary of the Story:
The historical life of Jesus is told in the midst of the many lessons he taught for our lives.
Suggestions for reading for teacher spiritual preparation before exercise/lesson:
The book has numerous Biblical references at the end, some of which are:
Luke 2:4-6, 39-40
Worship in Song, A Friends Hymnal
#78 The Friendly Beasts
#261 I Would Be True
#105 O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee
#115 Lord of the Dance
Let There be Peace on Earth (#18 in Songs of the Spirit)
Materials Needed for Activity Response
For Individual Art Response:
- drawing paper
- crayons, markers, or pastels
- other supplies
For Teacher-directed Activities:
- paper and pens for creating a story book, perhaps titled: “Lessons from Jesus: Stories of Kindness.
- Depending upon the nature of the fund-raiser, create lists of what’s needed with the children as you help them get their plans organized.
Take Home Notes (one per family)
Note for children to take home after exercise/lesson or to email to parents during week prior to this lesson:
Today we read Meet Jesus: The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher, by Lynn Tuttel Gunney. We learned about the life of Jesus and the many lessons he taught us.
Welcome the children to the circle. Be sure to introduce everyone, if visitors are present.
Invite children and adults to go around the circle sharing one or two plusses and minuses from their day or week. It helps to ask for 2 items only, either 2 of one or one of each. Children are comfortable with a limit, unless another person’s comment sparks another one for an individual child.
Sing a centering song, such as “God’s Love is a Light,” hymn #218, Worship in Song, A Friends Hymnal, and/or one of the songs suggested in Materials Tab. In addition, or instead of, use breathing or other exercise to center the group. The simplest way is to breathe deeply three times. Adding lifting arms up and down with the breath or holding tummy during deep breaths can help.
Show the cover of the book, read the title and author’s name. Ask the children a question that invites them to wonder about the story.
“Today we are going to learn about a very special teacher named Jesus. I wonder why his life, a very long time ago, is still important to us?” Then, “Let’s see what happens.”
Read the story, holding the book so all can see. Depending on reader’s comfort level with the children, allow comments during the story, especially from younger children.
After reading the story, invite the children to wonder about the story with you.
- I wonder what you liked in the story today?
- I wonder if you are in this story?
- I wonder how you can live like Jesus?
After the children have finished wondering and are ready to go to the next activity, introduce the option for Individual Reflective Art Response or a Teacher-directed Activity.
Individual Reflective Art Response
Children choose from a collection of attractive art supplies and work individually for about 15 minutes to create something of importance to the child. It may or may not be a direct reflection on the story they just heard and wondered about.
Options for Teacher-directed Activities
Taking one story from the life of Jesus, “The Good Samaritan,” ask the children to tell stories of how they have done kind things for others. Record their stories of kindness into a book.
(For older kids) Have a fund-raiser to support a local charity. It could be a bake sale, or plant sale in the spring, or car wash. However, the planning and the actual baking or putting the plants into little pots, or washing of cars, should be done by the children themselves.
- Identify charity and financial goal
- Letter of permission and support from meeting, including:
- budget for cost of supplies
- staffing by kids and adults
- date and rain date
- Plan publicity – what kind/where
Provide a 5-minute warning before the children need to clean up. After clean up, gather the children in a circle and ask them to name one thing for which they are grateful. Sing songs while waiting for their parents to pick them up, or before joining the adults after the rise of Meeting for Worship.
If the children join their loved ones while Meeting for Worship is still in progress, before you lead them back to the meeting room, invite them to remember how they still themselves and some things about the morning that they may want to think about during the final moments of Meeting for Worship.
Hand out the Take Home Notes, if using, as parents pick up the children in the First Day School room, or after the rise of Meeting for Worship, if joining loved ones in worship.
Sparkling Still provides tools for teachers of children ages 3-12. Included are sample lessons, a master lesson plan, ideas for building classroom community, an introduction to wondering questions and more.
Sparkling Still provides useful instructions on:
- Creating the circle and other components of your time together: pages 5-22
- Reading out loud with children: pages 16-17
- Wondering with children and adults: pages vii-xi and 6-7
- Individual Art Responses: page 7
- Art Supplies: pages 20-22
Credits: Anne Collins (SCYM), Sally Farneth (PhYM), Susan Hopkins (PacYM), and Erika Mittag (SCYM), Exercise Authors