The Widow at Zarephath's Kitchen
Storytelling and Cooking Workshop Script
Summary of Lesson Activities:
The children will assist the widow in baking unleavened bread.
Here is a script for a STORYTELLING + COOKING lessons that was salvaged from the old board and adapted by Neil MacQueen to make it into a story-cooking workshop. It's incomplete but rather simple, and demonstrates combining storytelling with cooking to make a yummy workshop.
- Read the story ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- Bread Ingredients
- Cooking supplies.
- Biblical dress with an apron and head wrap
- Jar of flour
- Jug of oil
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Open with a prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
The Storyteller is the Widow of Zarephath.
As she tells her story she involves the children in helping her bake unleavened bread using oil and flour, and make jam using dates and figs.
Biblical dress with an apron and head wrap. Ingredients for unleavened bread (from any one of a number of recipes you can easily find on the web, Flour, oil, dates, figs, bowls, spoons, baking trays, and a way to wash hands.
Script with cooking notes:
Come in! Welcome to my home. You’ll have to excuse the mess. (Wipe away flour on cheek) It’s baking day here. Is it cold outside? (Allow students to answer) Well, it is pretty toasty in here – the oven is working overtime. Come on in and make yourself at home. Sit here on the floor – we don’t always use chairs. (Have students sit in a circle at the foot of the Widow) I find it quite comfy – don’t you?
I haven’t seen you around town before. Are you travelers? new to the area? Have you been to Zarephath before? It’s such a small town, but I love living on the coast. Can you smell the salt air coming from The Great Sea? Sure our town is not as big as Tyre in the south or Sidon in the north - not even big enough for most maps, but we call it home.
I’m trying to get all the bread my family needs for the week prepared today. It’s been a bit more of a chore since my husband has been gone. You see, I’m a widow. Do you know what that means? My husband passed away a few years ago. We do miss him, so. (Pause to reflect) There are many widows in the land of Israel these days. I’m not an Israelite by birth, but my status helps me fit in bit more.
Invite children to help you make some bread.
First, everyone must wash their hands.
Second, pass out one bowl for every two children.
Then, have them come get ingredients from you to make unleaved bread.
Continue telling your story, stopping to show them how to make the bread and spread it on the baking sheet. You will be making UNLEAVENED bread using any one of a variety of recipes. You need one that bakes quickly. In a moment you'll also be making jam.
When the prophet Elijah first came to our house, it hadn't rained for two years. He said that it was a sign of God's displeasure, for we had worshipped other gods. Have you ever heard of Elijah? (Pause as younger students will want to share what they’ve learned).
I first met him one very bleak day. My son and I were at the town gate gathering sticks for my fire in preparation for making a final meal for my son and me. Yes. Our last meal. I only had a handful of flour left and little oil let at home – enough for one meal. We were starving. (sigh) Well, first, I see this holy man sitting there. And then Elijah asks me to bring him a little water, which I did even though I was weak. I didn't want to displease his god. And I understand travelers get very thirsty on the hot, dusty road. But then, he asked me for more – a piece of bread.
I couldn’t believe it! In times like these, did he really think I would have anything to spare? I could tell by looking at him that he was an Israelite, so I told him about the situation. I was ready to cry thinking about how this would be our last meal. My family was going to die – with or without it.
But then Elijah said something very special, which I will never forget: “Don’t be afraid.”
There was something very comforting about how he said that. And then he had further instructions:
“Go home and do as you have said. But, first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.’” (vs. 13-14)
- Teacher pauses to put children's unleavened bread in the oven. Now you will finish the story and give them some FRUIT TO MASH UP, which will create a jam to put on the bread when it is done. Choose DATES and FIGS which were traditional in the Middle East.==
Continuing with story...
At first I thought this was some trick. After all, there were some pretty evil people in Israel, those who were only looking out for themselves. We lived in Zarephath, a poor town just on the border of Israel. They didn't like us and we didn't like them!
Besides, what kind of person would take a family’s last meal? But, there was something holy and calm about this man. I could tell he was special. He showed me respect, and he was confident in his words. He inspired me, so I did exactly what I was told to do – made the cake for Elijah and then some for my son and myself.
And, you know what? Something extraordinary happened. The jar of flour and jar of oil I had...there was barely any left before Elijah came to my house. But as I made the bread, I noticed more flour and oil were there than before. And when I went to make more bread, there was MORE flour and oil! Here let me show you.
- Pull out the jar of flour and jug of oil and show to students.--
This jar and jug have not been empty since! Can you believe it! I might not have been a believer before of this God of Elijah. But it sure caught my attention! Only God can cause a miracle to happen. I started to think he was a man of God, ----but then, just when things were looking good, something awful happened. My little boy died. He died of hunger.
And that's when I became a believer in Elijah's God.
Elijah took my son in his arms, and cried. He cried aloud to God, and my boy opened his eyes. Not only does my family have food, and not only did I have my son back, but now we also have God! I will never doubt again. I started asking Elijah all sorts of questions, and he taught me who the real God was, and how he wanted me and my son to live our lives... to follow the commandments, and worship him only. Do you remember the commandments?
Now let's prepare some fruit jam for our bread.... Because believing in Elijah's God is a sweet thing! and we need sweetness for our bread.
I hope that this story has inspired you to believe in Elijah's God and make him your own as we have.
(this is a script outline)
End with a prayer.
A lesson written by Cathy Walz from: St John Lutheran Church
Forest Park, IL
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