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PRESCHOOL-The Beatitudes - FUMC Ann Arbor, MI

The Beatitudes for Preschool, ages 3 – 5
A Lesson Set written by folks from:
First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

Overview of all workshops in this Preschool Rotation:

  • Art #1 – making a bee puppet reminds us to bee kind, bee humble…
  • Games – games that reinforce being kind and loving others – “Jesus Says”, “Hug a Bee”, and “Beanbag Toss”.
  • Drama – role-play situations – practice living the Beatitudes.
  • Video – Veggie Tales “Madame Blueberry” – a thankful heart is a happy heart.
  • Cooking – all of this lesson can not be included in this posted set for copyright purposes. See reference to book used (in last post).
  • A second Art workshop was developed for our 2nd time through this lesson material. This was because we had numerous dairy allergies in our preschool classes in couldn't use the Cooking lesson.



Scripture Reference: Matthew 5:1-10
Key Bible Point/Verse: Jesus teaches us how to be kind, gentle and loving.

Rotation Objectives — children will learn that: 

  • Jesus teaches us through stories in the Bible.
  • Jesus taught us the “Beatitudes” – sayings that teach us how to act, including being gentle, kind and loving.
  • When we follow Jesus’ teaching, we’ll be truly happy.

 

For the Bible Background material on this lesson view our post at: 
http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve...=609105352#609105352

A Note about our Preschoolers
Our preschoolers include ages 3, 4 and Kindergarteners. They stay in their own rooms and the workshops come to them. As you will see we keep things simple for this age group.

 

Their basic schedule is:
15 min. free play
20-30 min. to do the lesson
15 min. music (led by music director)
The workshop leaders determine how to allocate time based on children’s needs.




Art Workshop #1:


Teaching method: Make a bee puppet to remind us to “bee” a good friend, be kind, loving, and helpful.

 

Reminder: This is a Preschool lesson set. Children grades 2 and up won't want to make a bee puppet.  

Leader Preparation:
Read the scripture for this lesson.
Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
Gather the following materials:

  • Yellow felt bee “bodies” (one per student) – sewn from a rectangle of yellow felt, approx. 3” x 9” (folded in half and sides sewn closed in a rough bee shape – i.e. tapered to head)
  • Sample bee puppet
  • Black pipe cleaners; Sharp scissors (adult use only)
  • Black crayons
  • Wiggly eyes (two per student); White glue; Small paper plates; Q-tips
  • White “fun foam”; Bee wing template
  • Sharpie fine-point pen (adult use only)
  • Coloring page (optional)

    Preparation Required Before Start of Class:
  • Cut out bee wings from fun foam. (Use template provided or “eyeball” it). [Older children might want to cut out their own wings using paper.]
  • Cut pipe cleaners into 3 pieces (use 1 piece per student).
  • Put a small amount of glue on several paper plates. Set out Q- tips as glue “dispensers”.
  • If you look at the sample bee, you’ll see where you need to cut little slits in the felt for the antennae and the wings – cut slits for the number of bees you think you might need.

Open/Dig


Whenever it is appropriate (after music) gather children in a circle on the rug. Allow them to respond to the following questions (try to give everyone a chance to participate):
Ask: How many of you like having friends?
What do you like to do with your friends?
If you want to be friends with someone, how do you treat them?

Repeat some of the “features” of being a good friend that the children have shared.
Say: Good friends share with one another, good friends are kind to each other, and good friends help each other. Today we’re learning that the Bible teaches us about being good friends. The Bible tells us how God wants us to live. Listen to this story.

Read the story from one of the story Bibles or storybooks. As the Rotation progresses, ask the students to tell you the story they’ve been hearing.

Take a minute to talk to the children about what they are going to be doing today.
Say: The story in the Bible that teaches us how to be good friends is called “the Beatitudes”. Say that word with me, “the Beatitudes”.
Bring out the sample bee. Have him buzz around and talk to the children, asking what they are learning.

Have the puppet Say: Since I am a bee, I know all about the “bee-atitudes”. The “bee-attitudes” are “bee kind”, “bee loving”, and “bee helpful”!
Have the bee invite the children to make a bee just like him.



Instructions for bee puppet:


Show children how to use black crayon to give their bee stripes, and a face. They’ll have to press down, but the crayon does work on felt. [Note: do not use washable markers, as the color will rub off on everything!]


Allow them to shape the pipe cleaners into antennae. Show them how to weave the antennae through the two holes you precut at the top of the bee. Allow them to weave the wings onto the bee’s back and to glue on eyes. Show them how to use the puppet.

Be sure to write the child’s name on their project (on back of wing is good place – use Sharpie pen.) Involve the students in the cleanup process.



Reflect (”Play” with the puppets):


When a group of children have finished their bees, have them bring their bees to the rug.
Say: Let’s use our bees to learn the Beatitudes. I’ll tell you an example. If you think I’m describing living as Jesus taught – the Bee-attitudes – have your bee buzz in the air like this (show them). If you think it’s not, keep your bee on your lap. 

  • Sally comforts her friend when she hurts herself on the playground. (Buzz)
  • Your sister got a really neat toy for Christmas. You took it from her.
  • Brian always wants to choose what game we should play.
  • Tony helps his brother and sister settle their argument. (Buzz)
  • Emily has Amy over for a play date. When Amy goes home she thanks Emily for having her over. (Buzz)

Add some of your own ideas or get the children to make some up!

Closing:


Say: You may take your bee home. As you play with your bee, remember that God wants us to be loving, kind, and helpful.

Ask children if they have anything they would like to pray for. Include these requests in your prayer. Optional words: Dear God, be with us as we grow and learn. Help us remember to live as you taught us. Amen.



Resources:


Our Basic bee design from:http://daniellesplace.com/rroom/html/busy_bee.cfm which now requires a free membership subscription to access.

“Bee kind” coloring pages from http://biblekidsfunzone.com/color/springbabybee.html
http://www.daniellesplace.com/...riendscolorsheet.gif and http://www.daniellesplace.com/images/beesheet.gif

If you use this lesson, please be humble and give the author credit - include the following two lines:
Hulbert, Carol. “The Beatitudes for Preschoolers: Art 1.” 2004.


-----
Edited to add information about our 2nd time through this Rotation.

 
Games Workshop
Part of a set of 5 workshops for preschoolers (ages 3-5) from:
First United Methodist Church
120 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Teaching method: Learn about how Jesus teaches us the Beatitudes in the Bible; play games that reinforce being kind and loving others.

Leader Preparation:
Read the scripture for this lesson.
Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
Gather the following materials:
  • Two or three different Bibles to show the children (preferable different color and size)
  • Beanbag
  • Ball

    Open/Dig
    Whenever it is appropriate (after music) gather children in a circle on the rug. Show them a Bible (one that has the word “Bible” on it, in large letters).
    Say: I have some books to show you today.
    Ask: What can you tell me about this book? (color, size, etc.) Some of the children (especially the older children) may recognize the word “Bible”.
    Say: This book is a Bible. We can read stories about Jesus in this Bible.

    Show them a different Bible – one that is different in color or size. Repeat process of asking how they would describe the book. Identify it as another Bible.
    Say: You noticed lots of differences about these Bibles. Even though they may look different on the outside – they all tell us about Jesus. They all tell us that Jesus loves us. I am happy to know that we have the Bible, which is full of stories about Jesus. Do you know that in the Bible we can read about Jesus teaching us? We just learned about Jesus being born but now we’ll learn about when Jesus was a young man and Jesus taught us “the Beatitudes”. The Beatitudes teach us how we should act towards each other.

    Read the story from one of the story Bibles or storybooks. As the Rotation progresses, ask the students to tell you the story they’ve been hearing.

    Say: Jesus taught us the Beatitudes so we would know how to treat other people.
    Ask: What is something you learned from this Bible story? (work towards idea of being kind and loving, but accept all responses that reinforce any of the Beatitudes)

    Say: Let’s play some games that help us learn the Beatitudes.

    Suggested Games:
    Jesus Says:(variation on “Simon Says”)
    Have the students stand where they can see you. Give instructions that the children are to follow only if you precede your instructions with the words “Jesus says”. Example: “Jesus says give someone a pat on the back.” (An instruction they would follow); whereas they should ignore “hit someone”.
    Examples of phrases: give someone a hug, tell someone you’re glad they are here, have a group hug, say I’m glad you’re my friend, ask would you like to play, etc.
    Note: No one is out of the game if they goof up. Play until interest wanes.

    Beanbag Toss:
    Have children sit in a circle. Say: In this game we’ll toss a beanbag to each other. When you catch the beanbag tell us one way that Jesus wants us to act. You may need to provide prompts such as “I am kind when I… help mom, play with my sister, share with my brother, and feed the dog. Or, I help other people when… Or I am loving when I … Or I can share by… Note: Might need to say: the Beatitudes instruct us to be kind. How can we be kind while playing this game? (not throwing beanbag too hard, saying person’s name before tossing it to them)

    Hug-a-Bee:
    Gather the children standing in a circle. Choose one person to stand in the middle of the circle. Toss them the ball.
    Say: The Beatitudes teach us to bee kind and loving. We’re going to pretend to be bumble bees as we practice being bee-ing kind and loving.
    Have the students circle around the person in the middle (buzzing of course!). Then when you say, “let’s show God’s love to name of child”, everyone goes into the middle and hugs that child. Have students gather into circle again and allow that child to toss the ball to choose the next child. Continue until all have had a chance to be hugged.

    Closing:
    Say: The Bible tells us how Jesus wants us to live. In the story in the Bible called the Beatitudes, Jesus teaches us to be kind and loving. When we live as Jesus taught in the Beatitudes, we can be truly happy.

    Ask children if they have anything they would like to pray for. Include these requests in your prayer. Optional words: “Dear God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for teaching us through the Bible. Be with us as we grow and learn. Help us remember to live as you taught us. Amen”

    Resources:
    The Preschool Worker’s Encyclopedia of Bible Teaching Ideas: New Testament. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2001.

    If you use this lesson, please be humble and give the author credit - include the following two lines:
    Hulbert, Carol. “The Beatitudes for Preschoolers.” 2004. http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=1206067121&f=5626088121&m=707608495

    Also include the above listed resource in your reference list.

    [This message was edited by CreativeCarol on January 08, 2004 at 03:26 PM.]
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    Drama Workshop:
    Part of a set of 5 workshops for preschoolers (ages 3-5) from:
    First United Methodist Church
    120 S. State Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104

    Teaching method: Role-play situations – practice living the Beatitudes – to be helping friends who are kind to one another.

    Leader Preparation:
    Read the scripture for this lesson.
    Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
    Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
    Gather the following materials:
  • None needed

    Open/Dig
    Whenever it is appropriate (after music) gather children in a circle on the rug. Allow them to respond to the following questions. (Try to give everyone a chance to participate):
    Ask: Who can tell me an example of being kind?
    What about examples of being unkind?

    Say: It is not kind to call someone names or say mean words. It’s much nicer to be around people who are kind.
    Ask: Maybe something happens by accident – you bump into someone but don’t mean to do so. What can you do when something like that happens? (saying sorry) Can you think of any other situations where kind words are helpful? (example: kind words help when people are angry or upset)

    Say: Today we’re learning that the Bible teaches us about being kind. The Bible tells us how God wants us to live. The story in the Bible that teaches us about being kind is called “the Beatitudes”.
    Have the children say the word “Beatitudes”.

    Say: Jesus taught us the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are instructions on how we should live. When we live as Jesus taught in the Beatitudes, we can be truly happy.

    Read the story from one of the story Bibles or storybooks. As the Rotation progresses, ask the students to tell you the story they’ve been hearing.

    Take a minute to talk to the children about what they are going to be doing today.
    Ask: How many of you like to act out stories?
    Say: Let’s do some pretending. You can all have a chance to act out a story. You can decide if you are going to act in a way that shows living as Jesus taught, or not following Jesus’ instructions.

    Clear space in front of the group (or move to a different part of the room). Read a skit to the group. You may need to talk about the skit a bit as a group, so everyone understands it. Then ask two students to act out the situation. You can do this in several ways:
  • Have them first enact how a situation should not be handled, and then act out a second time as Jesus would want us to respond. (First skit below details the two ways a skit could go.)
  • Let the two students decide if they want to act out the situation in such a way that follows the Beatitudes, or does not follow them.
  • A variation on the above, is that the two actors secretly choose a way to act, and the rest of the group decides if their skit is following the Beatitudes or not.

    After each skit, discuss how it applies to living life as Jesus taught us in the Beatitudes.

    The Skits:
    Choose as many as you have time for, or for as long as the children are interested.
  • Two friends are having a play date. They are trying to decide what they should do. Example of not living the Beatitudes: one insists on always choosing what they should do. Example of living the Beatitudes: they both share ideas and listen to each other. Sometimes they give in to each other.
  • Your friend gets mad at you and says mean words that hurt your feelings.
    Example of living the Beatitudes: count to ten in your head, walk away to cool off, etc.
  • Your brother is sick in bed.
  • Your sister lost her favorite doll.
  • There is a new student in class.
  • Your next-door neighbor is a grandmother. She doesn’t have many visitors. She seems lonely.
  • Your mom is really tired and there are toys all over the floor.
  • A child in your class is frustrated because they can’t get their coat on.
  • You and your friend are building Lego’s. Your friend needs a certain Lego that is out of her reach but close to you.
  • Your class is on a field trip. It’s cold, but you’re ok because you have a coat and a sweater. There is one child who has no coat and is only wearing a t-shirt.
  • Ask the children to think of some situations to act out.

    Closing:
    Have each child tell you one thing they can do this week to be kind.

    Ask children if they have anything they would like to pray for. Include these requests in your prayer. Optional words: “Dear God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for teaching us through the Bible. Be with us as we grow and learn. Help us remember to live as you taught us. Amen”

    If you use this lesson, please be humble and give the author credit - include the following two lines:
    Hulbert, Carol. “The Beatitudes for Preschoolers.” 2004. http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=1206067121&f=5626088121&m=707608495
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    Video Workshop:
    Part of a set of 5 workshops for preschoolers (ages 3-5) from:
    First United Methodist Church
    120 S. State Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104

    Teaching method: Watch a video with vegetables as characters – a blueberry is feeling blue because she wants more “stuff”. Then she learns that a thankful heart is a happy heart.

    Leader Preparation:
    Read the scripture for this lesson.
    Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
    Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
    Gather the following materials:
  • TV/VCR
  • The video, Veggie Tales “Madame Blueberry”

    Preparation Required Before Start of Class:
  • Make sure you know how to use the VCR.
  • Cue the video to the correct starting place – past the beginning advertisement and the opening song “Veggie Tales” (that shows scenes from other videos). Cue to start where the Tomato (Bob) is on the kitchen counter.

    Open/Dig
    Whenever it is appropriate (after music) gather children in a circle on the rug. Allow them to respond to the following questions. (Try to give everyone a chance to participate):
    Ask: Did you get nice gifts for Christmas? Did you get any new toys?
    Are you happy with your new toys? Are you still playing with them?
    Do you remember what you got for Christmas last year?
    Do you still play with any of those toys?

    Say: Sometimes we get something new and it’s very exciting and we’re very happy. But then after a while, it’s not so exciting; we get tired of our “new” toy. Then maybe, we start thinking about wanting another new toy, and then another new toy…
    Ask: Do we need to have lots of toys to be happy?
    What are some other things that make you happy?

    Say: I’ll tell you something that makes me happy. I am happy to know that Jesus loves me. Jesus loves you too. And I am happy to know that we have the Bible, which is full of stories about Jesus. Do you know that in the Bible we can read about Jesus teaching? One time Jesus taught about “the Beatitudes”. The Beatitudes are ways that Jesus wants us to live. One way Jesus wants us to live is to not want lots and lots of “stuff”.

    Read the story from one of the story Bibles or storybooks. As the Rotation progresses, ask the students to tell you the story they’ve been hearing.

    Say: We’re going to watch a Veggie Tales video that asks the question: How much stuff do we need to be happy?
    [You might wish to make sure everyone understands that in these videos, the characters are vegetables.]

    Start the video at the point indicated (see “Before Class”).
    PLAY about 6 minutes.

    PAUSE after the narrator says, “This is a day that Madame Blueberry learns a very important lesson”.
    Ask: Why is Madame Blueberry so sad? (she wants things she doesn’t have)

    PLAY about 5 minutes.
    STOP after they all leave the tree house to go to the “stuff mart”.
    FAST FORWARD through the “Silly Songs with Larry” skit and the “Love Songs with Mr. Lunt”. [We don’t have time to watch all of this.]
    PLAY when you see Madame Blueberry and entourage on their way through the woods.
    PLAY about 5 minutes.
    STOP when see shopping carts going out the door of the Stuff Mart.
    Ask: Madame Blueberry sure has a lot of stuff. Do you think she’s happy yet?

    FAST FORWARD to where Bob, Larry and Madame B. are at the snack bar.
    PLAY about 3 minutes.
    STOP after Madame B. says, “What a lovely butterfly.”
    [You probably don’t have time for any more. There is 5 or 6 minutes of story remaining but we have just seen the “point” so can stop here.]

    Closing:
    Say: Having lots of stuff isn’t what makes us happy. Following Jesus’ instruction is what can make us happy.

    Ask children if they have anything they would like to pray for. Include these requests in your prayer. Optional words: “Dear God, We thank you for the many things you have given us. Help us to remember that having lots of things isn’t what’s most important. Following Jesus’ teaching will make us truly happy. Amen.”

    If you use this lesson, please be humble and give the author credit - include the following two lines:
    Hulbert, Carol. “The Beatitudes for Preschoolers.” 2004. http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=1206067121&f=5626088121&m=707608495
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    Cooking Workshop:
    Part of a set of 5 workshops for preschoolers (ages 3-5) from:
    First United Methodist Church
    120 S. State Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104

    Teaching method: Instant pudding becomes a medium for talking about feelings and being happy.

    Leader Preparation:
    Read the scripture for this lesson.
    Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
    Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
    Gather the following materials:
  • Stuffed animal (cat or dog)
  • Instant vanilla pudding (2 T. per child). Note a 5.9 oz (167 g) box contains about 15 T.
  • Milk (1/4 c. per child)
  • Quart-size zipper bags
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon (1 T.)
  • Plastic spoons; Paper cups
  • Hand sanitizer (or a sink)
  • Wet wipes for cleanup (or a sink)
  • Paper towels
  • Water pitcher
  • Bible

    Preparation Required Before Start of Class:
  • Put 2 T. of pudding mix into each zip bag. (Prepare for however many children you think you may have).
  • Fill up the pitcher with cold water.

    Open/Dig
    Whenever it is appropriate (after music) gather children in a circle on the rug. Have the stuffed animal in your lap.
    Ask about their pets or pets they might like to have (allow everyone to respond).
    Ask: When you’ve played with a pet, has anyone ever told you, “be gentle”?
    What does it mean to “be gentle”?
    What about being gentle with people – how are we acting if we are gentle with someone?

    Say: When we are gentle we aren’t rough, we think about other people’s feelings, and we use words like please and thank you. We are learning a Bible story that teaches us to be gentle. We just learned about Jesus’ birth, but in our Bible story today, Jesus is now grown up and teaches instructions on how to act. These instructions are called “the Beatitudes”. Listen to this story from the Bible.

    Read the story from one of the story Bibles or storybooks (see page 1). As the Rotation progresses, ask the students to tell you the story they’ve been hearing.

    Say: Sometimes when you read the Beatitudes, instead of talking about being gentle, the words say, “Happy are the meek”. Meek is another word for gentle. When we follow God’s teaching – when we are gentle with others, we can be truly happy. Let’s talk some more about being happy as we do a project.

    The project is a slight adaptation from page 53 of the book noted in Resources below. For copyright purposes I can not include the remainder of this lesson. The book is a good resource of games (this one I felt could be called “cooking”) for preschoolers through upper elementary. Basically they made a small amount of pudding in a bag and used it as a “template” to draw about feelings.

    Closing:
    Say: When we remember to be gentle it makes God happy – and it makes us happy too.

    Ask children if they have anything they would like to pray for. Include these requests in your prayer. Optional words: Dear God, Thank you for loving us. Thank you for teaching us through the Bible. Be with us as we grow. Help us to remember to be gentle. Amen.

    Resources
    The Humongous Book of games for Children’s Ministry. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2002.

    If you use this lesson, please be humble and give the author credit - include the following two lines:
    Hulbert, Carol. “The Beatitudes for Preschoolers.” 2004. http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=1206067121&f=5626088121&m=707608495
    Also reference the noted book if you buy and use that.

    If you have found these workshops useful it would make my day if you let me know about it. Thanks!
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