The Beatitudes Lesson Set - FUMC Ann Arbor, MI

The Beatitudes


A Lesson Set written by Carol Hulbert from:
First United Methodist Church
120 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

 

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

SUMMARY of Workshops:


--for 1st- 6th grade:

  • COOKING: kids have breakfast while practicing some Beatitudes – taking care of someone else’s needs and learning humility. Thanks to Kim Trimboli who wrote the Writing Team lesson from which this one was adapted. We ran two cooking workshops each week, to fit everyone in.

--for 4th-6th grade

  • ART: The Beatitudes are “keys” to how we should live. Make keys to illustrate some or all of the Beatitudes. To view this lesson, see: http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve...6049692/m/3486049692
  • VIDEO: View the live-action video, The Visual Bible: Matthew showing Jesus teaching the Beatitudes; discuss the relevance of the Beatitudes in our lives.

--for 1st- 3rd grade:

  • DRAMA: Explore sign language to discover how to express the Beatitudes.
  • GAMES: Explore living as Jesus taught while playing a life-size board game.

 

Scripture Reference: Matthew 5:1-10

 

Key Verse: “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Matthew 5:3-10 (NIV)

 

Rotation Objectives - After completing this Rotation, participants will be able to:

  • Name that the Beatitudes are found in the New Testament in the Gospel of Matthew.
  • Identify the meaning of the word “Gospel” and name the four Gospels.
  • Locate the Beatitudes in the book of Matthew (Third grade and up).
  • Describe the Sermon on the Mount is a collection of Jesus’ teachings.
  • Analyze the Beatitudes and incorporate them as “keys” to how we should live.

    Story Background: Story Setting
    After Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness, he went to Galilee, and settled in the village of Capernaum. Located near the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum was a busy place – filled with farmers, fishermen and trading. It was here that Jesus called his first disciples. Soon word of Jesus’ teaching and healing spread throughout the region, and crowds of people followed him.

    What was new and exciting about Jesus’ ministry was that he didn’t preach only in the temple – he spoke outside, where a great many people could gather and all could hear him. His words were meant for everyone, not just the powerful and privileged. His teaching appealed to all people – young and old, men and women, the healthy and the sick, the rich and the poor. It was in such an outdoor setting that Jesus preached what we know as “The Sermon on the Mount.”

    Now when he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him (Matthew 5:1).

    The implication is that Jesus was teaching primarily to his disciples, however surely there was also a crowd. The end of the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 7:28-29 gives us this clue:

    When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

    So we picture the scene – Jesus sitting on the hillside surrounded by his disciples, with a second layer of ordinary people spread out around him, hanging on his every word. These ordinary folks had the potential to become followers of Jesus. Surely Jesus wanted all present to hear what he had to say about living life with God’s values.

    The Sermon on the Mount
    The Sermon on the Mount is probably Jesus’ best-known sermon, but that doesn’t make it easy to understand, or to put into practice! It is certainly a long sermon – covering three chapters in Matthew’s Gospel. Scholars speculate that perhaps Jesus didn’t speak the entire Sermon on the Mount in one setting. Matthew may have compiled several of Jesus’ teaching sessions – lumping together Jesus’ lessons about the character and behaviors that are expected of his followers. Regardless of how it was spoken, The Sermon on the Mount covers a lot of material. We will focus our Rotation on the start of Jesus’ famous sermon – “The Beatitudes.”

    The Beatitudes – blessed are …
    Before we began studying the Beatitudes we need an understanding of the word “blessed” which starts each of the eight Beatitudes. In Greek, the word is makarios. In a non-religious context this means “happy” or “fortunate.” Thus you might read a translation (such as the Good News Bible) that states, “Happy are those…” But one must be careful in using the word “happy.” Jesus isn’t talking about a subjective feeling we may have. It’s not a happiness that depends on external circumstances, as in: if I buy that house then I’ll be happy, or if I have that car then I’ll be content. Jesus is talking about the supreme happiness that comes from the blessings that God bestows on us. When we live life according to the teaching of the Beatitudes, then we are truly blessed by God.

    Each of the eight Beatitudes starts with a pronouncement of blessedness and is followed by two other components – a desired “character trait,” and a promise to those who exemplify this trait.
    The promises are described in a number of similar ways – possession of the kingdom of heaven, comfort, etc.

    Each Beatitude consists of:
           A pronouncement of         +        a desired character trait        +        a promise
                    blessedness                             or attitude    


    Our main focus will be on understanding the middle component – and rather than thinking of it as a character trait, it would be better to call it an “attitude.” Jesus asks us to acquire all eight of these attitudes. We can think of the Beatitudes as key-attitudes. It kind of has a nice ring. Key attitudes sounds like “Beatitudes!” These are the keys to how we should live. How will we acquire the keys that open the doors to a fulfilled life with God? Let’s look at each of the Beatitudes.

    Blessed are the poor in spirit…
    …and he began to teach them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:2-3).

    In this case the word “poor” does not mean monetary poverty. Instead it refers to people who recognize how spiritually poor they are without God. Blessings come to those who don’t rely on their own skills or possessions; they look with dependency to God! Think about how our culture rewards independence, self-confidence, and self-reliance. Be dependant on God? It can be hard to acquire this “key attitude” in today’s world. Question for thought: In your own life, how have you been blessed by recognizing your spiritual bankruptcy?

    Blessed are those who mourn…
    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4).

    It is tempting to think of mourning only in the context of death. But Jesus meant more than this type of sorrow – job loss, sickness, a loved one being deployed to a war zone, not making the team, or a best friend who moves away – all reasons for mourning. Add to this list: those who mourn the injustices of this world, and those who recognize the pain that their own sin causes.
    This sounds like a difficult “key attitude” to acquire! Question for thought: Can we honestly see ourselves as “blessed” when bad things happen? Thankfully Jesus says these sorrows are a source of blessing – in all our times of mourning, God comforts us.

    Blessed are the meek…
    Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

    “Meek” has a negative connotation – weak and defenseless. Aren’t the meek ignored and trampled underfoot? We need to look to the Greek to understand what Jesus had in mind – “meek” translates as “gentle,” “humble,” “considerate,” “courteous.” Those with a “key attitude” of meekness are humble people – they are patient, they don’t need to be first, they restrain their anger, they have a servant attitude. The meek also humble themselves before God – they accept God’s guidance in all things. God is in control. Question for thought: can we say, “I’m going to remain cool, calm and corrected?” (Schuller)

    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

    It’s not unusual to hear people say, “I’m starving!” when actually they are just feeling a few hunger pangs. Few people really know what true hunger is. The same for thirst – a turn of the tap, and water is available. But in this Beatitude Jesus isn’t talking about food and drink – he’s talking about justice. Injustices from Jesus’ time still exist today. It isn’t always enough to send a check to aid a worthy cause – we must fight for right with as much passion as one who works for food and water. A commercial for a sports drink asks, “Is it in you?” Question for thought: “Is the hunger [for justice] in you?”

    Blessed are the merciful…
    Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7).

    Webster’s dictionary defines mercy as “kindness in excess of what is expected; kind or compassionate treatment; the power to forgive.” Mercy is more than just having compassion for people in need; it includes those who act on their compassion. As part of human nature, we get our feelings hurt, sometimes too easily. Rather than forgive and try to work things out, it’s off to court we go. Mercy is when the victim’s family forgives a murderer. To show us how to acquire this “key attitude,” God sent Jesus who lived among us, saw things with his own eyes, and felt the things we do. Question for thought: If Jesus can forgive his tormentors from the cross should we do less?

    Blessed are the pure in heart…
    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8).

    Unblemished, perfect, flawless – these are the words that come to mind when one thinks of “pure.” Ivory Soap claims to be 99.44 percent pure – almost, but not quite. Jesus was pure in heart. We can strive to be pure in heart by being completely focused on following God. From such a devoted focus flow the characteristics of being “pure” that commonly come to mind – no distractions from other desires; no hurtful thoughts; completely open, honest, and sincere in all our relationships – with God and with other people. Attaining this “key attitude” can take a lifetime of training! And what of the promise of seeing God? Jesus didn’t just mean “in heaven.” When we are focused on God, we catch glimpses of God at work in this world. Question for thought: Think of a time when you have been focused on God. How did you see God at work?

    Blessed are the peacemakers…
    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9).

    This “key attitude” sounds simple, but there is more to it. Jesus is talking about right relations between people. In nearly any setting one can find a “troublemaker” and a “peacemaker.” The troublemaker always seems to have a negative attitude or creates ill will in some way, while the peacemaker is always trying to set things straight, and reconcile hostile groups. But being a peacemaker requires that one has his or her own peaceful heart. “When we have a peaceful heart we are better equipped to work for peace in a larger setting” (Bauknight). Question for thought: Are you at peace with yourself so as to work to create right relationships?

    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness…
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10).

    If the disciples figured following Jesus would be easy, they were in for a rude awakening! Jesus knew that his followers needed to prepare for persecution. Even today, Christians must take a stand on issues that are sometimes controversial or unpopular. This can be an uncomfortable “key attitude” to acquire! Everyone knows how hard it is to be the person who is “different.” Question for thought: Are you up for the challenge of persecution?

    Wrap up
    The Beatitudes give us a framework for living – key attitudes to acquire in order to become faithful disciples. In turn, having these attitudes leads to blessings beyond measure.

    References:
  • Barclay, William. Matthew. New York: Hyperion Books, 1993.
  • Bauknight, Brian. “Jesus’ Little Instruction Book For Life.” Sermon Series- Christ United Methodist Church (Bethel Park, PA). 2003. http://www.christumc.net/Web%2...on%20Menu%202003.htm
  • Burton, Julie. “Rotation.org Writing Team Lesson On the Beatitudes: Bible Background.” 2003
    http://rotation.infopop.cc/6/u...6049692&m=6876049692
  • Crane, Amy. “Lesson: The Sermon on the Mount.” 2001. http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve...6088121/m/4926088121
  • Henry, Matthew. “Commentary on Matthew 5”. Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible. http://bible.crosswalk.com/Com...?book=mt&chapter=005
  • Keathley III, J. Hampton. “The Sermon on the Mount.” Biblical Studies Foundation. http://www.bible.org/docs/nt/topics/smount.htm
  • Schuller, Robert. The Be-Happy Attitudes. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1985.
  • Stott, John. The Beatitudes: Developing Spiritual Character. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998.


    ------------
    If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
    Hulbert, Carol. "The Beatitudes: Bible Background." Sept. 2009. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.
 
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THE BEATITUDES

COOKING WORKSHOP

 

SUMMARY OF LESSON ACTIVITY: Students have breakfast while practicing some Beatitudes – taking care of the needs of someone else and learning humility. [Note: 1st – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

 

A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from:
First United Methodist Church
120 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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.

 

 

Scripture Reference & Key Bible Verse & Objectives: 

Refer to first post in this lesson set.

 

 


 

Leader Preparation:

 

Read the scripture for this lesson.
Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.

Gather the following materials

  • Easel; appropriate maker
  • For 3rd grade & up: Adventure Bibles
  • The Young Reader’s Bible (for 1st and 2nd graders)
  • The leader’s Adventure Bible
  • Tablecloths, napkins, cups, bowls & plates
  • Silverware (knifes & spoons)
  • A variety of breakfast foods: bread or bagels, jellies, butter, fruit, cereal
  • One (JUST ONE ! ) donut - preferably with sprinkles!
  • Milk & OJ
  • Madlib sheets (one for every 2 students - see end of lesson for downloadable file)

 

 

Before Start of Class:

  • Load up a serving cart with breakfast items. (See note below about the donut.) Add a pitcher of water.
  • Arrange the food on one of the side tables so that students can readily see the bounty of food awaiting them.
  • If needed, slice the bread or cut the bagels in half. Place the utensils & napkins next to the food.
  • Place tablecloth on the table.
  • Write on the easel the words: “Beatitudes”  “Meek” "Humble"

 



 

Opening – Welcome & Lesson Introduction:

 
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cooking Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Ask the Shepherd to take attendance & do name tags while you start the lesson.


Say: Today we are in the cooking workshop or rather, the eating workshop! Hopefully everyone is hungry because we will be having breakfast. Our breakfast will be served in a different way.

Ask: Before we have breakfast, what can you tell me about the Beatitudes? (allow all replies; this helps you to hear what students know/don't know)

 
Say: We are learning this month about Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” which includes Jesus’ teachings called The Beatitudes. God sent his son Jesus into the world to teach us how we should live. Let’s listen to what Jesus had to say about how we should do this.

 


Dig - Main Content & Reflection:


Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus teaching his disciples? (in the New Testament)
What are the first four books of the New Testament?
What do we call the first four books of the New Testament? (the Gospels)

For 3rd grade- 6th grade:


Say: The word gospel means “good news.” In the Gospels, Jesus teaches us good news.


Do:  Distribute Adventure Bibles. Teach the quick way to find the New Testament. (Opening the Bible in middle lands you usually in Psalms. Taking just the back half and finding middle of that, gets you to beginning of NT.)

Have everyone find Matthew 5:1.
Point out that the chapter numbers are large, and in these Bibles they are yellow; the verse numbers are smaller.
Have students notice the heading at Matthew 5:1 (“the Beatitudes").


Have every one to look at the box on the bottom left side of page 1056. Read them this note. [It says: “The Beatitudes are special sayings of Jesus. They explain how to be blessed. Blessed means “truly happy.” Some people think that money or power will bring them happiness, but Jesus wants his listeners to know how they can be truly happy.”]


Ask: I thought that money was what made people happy? (accept all responses)
Say: Let’s listen to other Beatitudes that will help us be truly happy or blessed.
Read to them Matthew 5:1-10.

 

For 1st and 2nd grade:

 

Say: We find Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes in the New Testament in the book of Matthew.


Show them the picture on page 280 and 281 of The Young Reader’s Bible. [We aren’t going to read any of the words in this Bible – just using it for the picture.]


Since younger students visit this workshop later in the Rotation, prompt them with questions such as –

 

Who taught us the Beatitudes? (Jesus)
Why is there a crowd of people around Jesus?
What did Jesus do when He saw the crowd? (sat down and began to teach)
What did Jesus say?
What do you suppose the people listening to Jesus thought about the Beatitudes?
What do you think of the Beatitudes?

 

For all students:


Make sure that you are holding a Bible open to Matthew 5.


Say: Today we are going to focus on one of the eight Beatitudes that Jesus taught. Jesus said… [Read Matthew 5:5 from an Adventure Bible.]

Ask: What does the word “meek” mean? [Refer to the easel.]


Say: Some people might say that “meek” means someone who doesn’t stick up for them selves – someone who may get bullied or pushed around. Someone who does what others want. That is not what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are the meek.” What Jesus meant was, “blessed are those who are considerate, patient, who don’t need to be first, who are humble.


Ask: Who likes to be first in line when it’s time to line up for recess at school?

Who in your family gets to open the first gift on Christmas?
Is it hard to wait; to let someone else go first?
Is it hard to care about someone else without worrying about yourself?

Say: You are going to get a chance to help each other this morning with breakfast. We are going to practice being meek. First let’s wash our hands.

Have everyone wash their hands and stand near the food table. See if they remember what meek means.

Say: Jesus taught us to be considerate, and patient; to put someone else's needs first, and also to let others help us if we need help.

 


Explain the rules of breakfast:

 

Say: I had mentioned that we would be serving breakfast in a different way today. There are certain “rules” about our breakfast. It is like a game.


Ask: Does a game work if you don’t follow the rules? (no)

Explain the rules for breakfast:

  • You may NOT get any food for yourself.
  • You will work in pairs. When asked a question you may only respond “yes” or “no.”


You and the Shepherd should model the question process.

 

Workshop Leader: Would you like some cereal?
Shepherd: No
Workshop Leader: Do you want some juice?
Shepherd: Yes
(workshop leader pours a small amount of juice)
Workshop Leader: Would you like a donut?
Shepherd: No
Workshop Leader: Do you have enough breakfast?
Shepherd: No
Workshop Leader: Do you want a half a bagel?.... etc.

Continue explaining the rules for breakfast:

  • You may not ask for any food for yourself.
  • No pointing or giving details. (Only Yes or No).
  • No one will start to eat until everyone is served.

[Note to workshop leader: A child could get a bowl of cereal without milk. Or without a spoon! This would be a good thing for discussion purposes. Please, DON’T RESCUE.  If a child sits there and no one asks that child if he/she wants anything, let that go on a while. If no one still notices, just ask if the kids have noticed whether everyone has been cared for. Capitalize on the chance for discussion.]

 

For 2nd – 6th graders:


Put out the one donut on the serving table. [Do NOT have a stash in the kitchen for later - it will diminish the impact!]

For 1st graders:

 

Bring out the one donut after everyone has been served and has started eating. Talk about what could have happened. (See discussion below)

 

Serve Breakfast:

 

Have students stand in pairs at the table and go thorough the questions routine. Adults should monitor this process. Make sure that questions can only be answered with a yes or a no, and that the responses are only yes or no.


When the member of a pair has their breakfast they may set it at their place at the table but return to do the questioning for their team member.

 


When everyone has been served, say a quick blessing and allow everyone to start eating.

 

Discussion (as are eating):

 

Ask: Did everyone get exactly what he or she wanted?

What happened?
How did you feel if you didn’t get exactly what you wanted?

Ask: What happened with the donut? [Or in the case of the 1st grade: What would have happened if this one donut had been a breakfast choice?]


Say: One of Jesus’ Beatitudes is “Blessed are the peacemakers…” To Jesus a peacemaker is someone who is always trying to set things straight between people.


Ask: If you are a peacemaker, what do you do about the donut?
What is the way to keep right relations between us?
How does this apply to your daily life?

Ask: Did everyone have the opportunity to serve someone else? How did that feel?

How did it feel to have someone serve you.
Have you ever had a kid your age serve you?
How can you practice serving other people in your daily life?
Can you think of a way that you can go home and serve one person in your family in some way?
How can you practice serving God every day?

 

If you need an extra activity:

 

Allow students to work on creating Madlibs in groups of two or three. Have everyone share their results with the group. (For younger students use just one sheet to do for the entire class.)

 

Closing:

 

Ask: Do you think it is easy to live the Beatitudes? (allow all answers)
Say: Living as Jesus taught is hard! When we use these ways of living – living the Beatitudes – we are living as disciples of Jesus. This makes the world a better place and we receive that long-lasting happiness that Jesus spoke about! Let’s have our prayer time.


Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.] A suggestion: “Jesus: Thank you for this food that we had to eat and the chance to practice your Beatitudes together. Thank you for the love you have for each of us. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

 



Resources:

 

------------
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "The Beatitudes: Cooking Lesson." Sept. 2009. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

 

 
 
 
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The Beatitudes: Art Workshop
We used the Writing Team material written by Carol Hulbert
Visit:
http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve...6049692/m/3486049692
[Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

(If you'd like to see my lesson, email me and I'll send you a copy.)
 
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The Beatitudes: Video Workshop
Written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
120 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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

Teaching method: View the live-action video, The Visual Bible: Matthew showing Jesus teaching the Beatitudes; discuss the relevance of the Beatitudes in our lives. [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

Leader Preparation:
Read the scripture for this lesson.
Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
Gather the following materials
  • DVD: Matthew, The Visual Bible
  • TV/DVD player
  • Snack items: Goldfish crackers, cups, napkins, water pitcher
  • Easel; appropriate marker
  • Bibles; One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
  • Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
  • A crown
  • Two or three beanbags (optional)

    Before Start of Class:
  • Listen to the provided MP3 file of the songs for this Rotation. Decide which song to incorporate into this lesson as a closing.
  • Fill a pitcher with ice and water. Gather enough plastic cups to serve water and Goldfish crackers.
  • Upstairs, prepare snack by pouring Goldfish crackers into cups. Pour cups of water.
  • Make sure you know how to use the TV/DVD, especially how to move by chapters and scanning forward and backward within a chapter.
  • Insert Disc 1 of the Visual Bible: Matthew DVD. If asked, start from the beginning of the disc. You want to be at the Main Menu. This is where this video will be started.
  • On the easel list these items: Messiah/Jesus, The Sermon on the Mount, Blessings >> The Beatitudes, Matthew.

    Opening:
    Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the video workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

    [Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance/do nametags, while you are starting your lesson.]

    Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.] A suggestion: “Thank you God for giving us Jesus who showed us how we should act and how we should live. Help us to learn how to be more like Jesus – how to be loving, gentle, kind, and peaceful. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

    Dig In:
    Put the crown on your head.
    Ask: If I put on this crown does that make me a king?
    What do you know about kings? (rich, powerful, important)
    If I was the king of a country and some another country invaded us, what would you expect me to do? (stop them, lead the army, kick out the invaders)

    Say: That is what many Jewish people in Jesus’ time thought the Messiah would do. [Refer to the word Messiah on the easel.] They were expecting that the Messiah would be a powerful king. The people were hoping this powerful king, this Messiah, would kick out the Romans who were making them pay taxes.
    Ask: Was Jesus that kind of a king? (no)

    Say: Jesus was a different kind of king. Jesus didn’t look like a king with fancy clothes and a golden crown. Jesus lived a simple life. Jesus didn’t talk about power and armies. Jesus talked about a different kind of kingdom – the kingdom of heaven. Today we are going to learn about a sermon that Jesus gave to many people – a sermon where Jesus talked about God’s kingdom.

    Ask: What is a sermon? (teaching by a religious leader)

    Have a short discussion about how the ministers of our church give a sermon every week – even adults need to learn about Jesus.

    Say: The sermon (or teaching) that Jesus gave is called “the Sermon on the Mount.” [Refer to the easel.]
    Ask: Do you know why it’s called the Sermon on the Mount?
    Say: We’ll watch for that in the movie – as to why it’s called the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of the teachings of Jesus. Jesus began his sermon with a description of who receives God’s blessing.

    Ask: What is a blessing? (students might be familiar with use of the word “blessing” to mean prayer before eating – as in “saying the blessing.” Are looking for an understanding that a blessing is something good – a feeling of well-being or supreme happiness – that comes from God)

    Say: So Jesus started his Sermon on the Mount with a description of who receives God’s blessing. We call these blessings – the Beatitudes. There are eight Beatitudes and they all start off with the words “blessed are…” Let’s read these Beatitudes.

    Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus teaching his disciples?
    What are the first four books of the New Testament? (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
    What do we call those first four books? (the Gospels)

    Say: The word Gospel means “good news.” Jesus teaches us good news! If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the Gospel section of your Bible.
    [Show the classroom Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do a Gospel tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]

    Distribute Bibles.
    Have the students find the book of Mathew, chapter 5, and verse 1.
    Read the scripture together (verses 1-10). [Towards the end of the Rotation, try asking the students if they know any of the Beatitudes. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy. It is not necessary for them to “memorize” the Beatitudes.]
    If scripture has been read, when you are finished…
    Say: For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us…
    The class says: Thanks be to God!

    Say: Let’s watch our movie; then we can talk some more about what Jesus’ words meant.

    Ask the Shepherd to help you distribute the snack.

    Say: The person we will hear talking at the beginning of the video is Matthew.
    Ask: Who was Matthew? (disciple of Jesus, wrote the Gospel of Matthew)

    Show the Video:
    START the video at the beginning. (From the MAIN MENU, choose PLAY MOVIE.)
    Watch about 2 minutes (Matthew explains a bit about who he is).

    TURN OFF SOUND (but continue showing the video) when the “1:1” appears in the lower right hand corner.

    POINT OUT Matthew, sitting on the rock.

    Continue just watching with the sound off. When it shows the 2 men sitting writing (when the 1:13 appears in the lower right hand corner)….
    Say: Matthew is telling stories about Jesus. These other men with him appear to be writing down what Matthew is saying. Matthew didn’t have a computer to help him write his Gospel!
    Ask: Would you have liked to have been there, listening to Matthew tell his stories? (accept any answers)

    WATCH another 40 seconds.
    PAUSE after it shows the written page that the scribe is working on. (Matthew gets up and looks over the scribes shoulder.)

    Select MENU. From MAIN MENU, choose “SEARCH BY EVENT”, choose “7-12”.

    Say: We’ll watch a bit of Jesus’ work before we see the Sermon on the Mount.
    Turn the sound up. Choose “THE CALLING OF THE FIRST DISCIPLES”.

    WATCH about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Jesus calls his disciples and heals a woman (Peter’s mother).

    PAUSE when the people are shown sitting on a hillside.
    Say: Listen as Jesus teaches what we call the Beatitudes. Imagine yourself as being there.

    WATCH about 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
    PAUSE after the verse number “5:12” disappears from the lower right corner (after Jesus says, “ Rejoice and be glad…in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”)

    Say: We’ll stop here, but Jesus goes on to give the rest of his Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount covers three chapters in the book of Matthew! It was a long sermon.
    Ask: Who can tell me why it is called the Sermon on the Mount? (because given on the side of a mountain)

    Discussion:
    Have the class recall the details of the gathering crowds as they listened to Jesus.
    Ask: What age levels did the people represent? Young? Old? In between? Were they healthy? Sick?
    What did you notice about the people's faces and the reactions of the crowds as they listened to Jesus? [If necessary rewind and watch again. “Don't be afraid to view an important scene a second time. Kids (and adults) watch movies over and over all the time.” (MacQueen)]
    Why did the people come to hear Jesus? Would you have gone?
    What do you suppose it was like to be on the hill listening to Jesus?

    Discuss the meaning of the Beatitudes. Cover whatever you have time for (allowing some time for “Closing.”) You could ask students which of the Beatitudes they would like to better understand.

    Ask questions (such as the following) to see how well they understand the Beatitudes. Use the information in the overview materials to assist in your discussion. As you talk about each Beatitude make sure the following is discussed:
    WHY did Jesus think these were such important ideas?
    WHO is someone you know that exemplifies (lives) that Beatitude?

    Example questions:
    o What does the word “mourn” mean? Tell about a time you were sad. What made you feel better? What are some ways to comfort someone?
    o What does it mean to be “meek”?
    o What does the word “mercy” mean?
    o What does someone do if they are a “peacemaker”? How can you be a peacemaker?
    o What is pure in heart?
    o What does the word “persecution” mean? (being treated badly for what you believe)
    o What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
    o How does a person “see God”?
    o What does it mean to be called “children of God”?
    o What do the Beatitudes tell us about God’s kingdom?

    Closing:
    Ask: Do you think it is easy to live the Beatitudes? (allow all answers)
    Say: Living as Jesus taught is hard! When we use these key ways of living – living the Beatitudes – we are living as disciples of Jesus.
    Ask: Do you suppose the rewards of living the Beatitudes is something you want to strive for? (allow all answers)

    Say: Jesus loves you! Living the Beatitudes makes the world a better place and we receive that long-lasting happiness that Jesus spoke about!

    Close by having the children sing one of the following two songs: (Note: words to songs can not be included here due to copyright reasons. The songs were: Song of Hope, a Schutmaat/Argentinian Folk Melody and Go Now in Peace by Natalie Sleeth.

    If you have extra time:
    Play a game with beanbags. Move to an open area of the room and stand in a circle.
    Say: In this game we’ll toss a beanbag to each other. When you catch the beanbag you’ll be telling us something about a Beatitude. For example – let’s start by talking about being a peacemaker. When you catch the beanbag, tell what you think it means to be a peacemaker, show us the sign language for peacemaker, or tell us what God’s blessing will be if we’re peacemakers.
    Toss the beanbag around a few times until everyone gets the hang of it, then switch to talk about a different Beatitude. To make it more interesting, add one or two more beanbags into the game so there is lots of activity and interaction!

    Resources:
  • Burton, Julie. “Rotation.org Writing Team Lesson On The Beatitudes: Video.” 2003. http://rotation.infopop.cc/6/u...6049692&m=9676049692
  • Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. “The Beatitudes: Holywood.” 2002. http://rotation.infopop.cc/6/u...6088121&m=8686013241
  • MacQueen, Neil. "A Brief Introduction to Teaching with Video.” 2002. http://www.sundaysoftware.com/video-tips.htm


    ------------
    If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
    Hulbert, Carol. "The Beatitudes: Video Lesson." Sept. 2009. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.
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    The Beatitudes: Drama Workshop
    Written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
    120 S. State Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104

    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

    Teaching method: Explore sign language to discover how to express the Beatitudes without spoken word. [Note: 1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop.]

    Leader Preparation:
    Read the scripture for this lesson.
    Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
    Gather the following materials
  • Computer with internet access (for preparation ahead of time)
  • Purple Adventure Bibles (for 3rd grade); one Purple Adventure Bible with tabs
  • For younger students: The Lion Book of Stories of Jesus
  • Two or three large beanbags

    Before Start of Class:
  • Use the sign language resources (see end of lesson) to learn to sign the words in the Beatitudes (computer and Internet access required). Learn the signs for “sermon” and “mountain” and “Jesus” and “blessed” and the signs for two or three of the Beatitudes – your choice! It may be necessary at times to use synonyms for words you can't find. It’s not necessary to sign every word.
  • Listen to the provided MP3 file of the songs for this Rotation. Decide which song to incorporate into this lesson as the closing.
  • Bookmark the purple Adventure Bible with tabs to the beginning of the New Testament (at Matthew). Keep this Bible for your use during class.
  • On the week when 3rd graders visit, distribute Bibles in a circle where you plan to sit.

    Opening:
    Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to your workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

    [Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance/name tags while you are starting your lesson.]

    Say: Today we are in the drama workshop. Sometimes when you visit the drama workshop we wear costumes and pretend that we are in Bible times and act out a Bible story. Today we will be doing a different type of drama. We’ll be doing drama with our hands. We will be learning parts of our Bible story, known as the Beatitudes, in sign language. First, let’s start with prayer.

    Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.] A suggestion: “Thank you God for giving us Jesus who showed us how we should act and how we should live. Help us to learn how to be more like Jesus – how to be loving, gentle, kind, and peaceful. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

    Dig In:
    Ask: What is a sermon? (a portion of a worship service where we are taught)

    Teach them the sign for sermon. [As you continue talking, when you use the words you’ve taught, use the sign for the words.]

    Say: There is a particular set of the teachings of Jesus that are called the “Sermon on the Mount.”

    Teach them the sign for mountain. Combine the two signs to represent the Sermon on the Mount.

    Say: These teachings are called the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus taught them on the side of a mountain – “Sermon on the Mount.” Because Jesus’ words have been given a special title this means that they are important words.
    Ask: Have you ever seen something so amazing that you dropped whatever you were doing to go and see what would happen next? (allow a few responses)

    Say: Crowds were following Jesus (use the sign for Jesus) from town to town because his preaching and healing were so amazing.

    Teach the sign for Jesus.

    Say: There was a large crowd that wanted to hear Jesus speak. So Jesus went up on the side of a mountain and sat down. Rabbis and teachers back then always sat down to teach. So Jesus’ disciples knew that since Jesus was sitting down, that he was going to teach them, so they listened carefully.

    Ask: Who can recall any of what Jesus said? (in later weeks in the Rotation – see if the students can recall the term “the Beatitudes” and any of his words)
    Say: Jesus spoke many wise things to the crowd. At the start of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he talked about what we call “the Beatitudes.”

    Ask: Does anyone know what the word Beatitudes means? (blessings)

    Teach the sign for blessing.

    Ask: What is a blessing? (students might be familiar with use of the word “blessing” to mean a prayer before eating – as in “saying the blessing” - are looking for an understanding that a blessing is something good – a feeling of well-being or supreme happiness – that comes from God)
    Say: Maybe you’ve heard some of the Beatitudes – there are eight of these special teachings of Jesus and they all start off with the words “blessed are…”

    Review the sign for blessed. Teach the students the signs for are. Add them together as “blessed are.”

    Say: Let’s read the Beatitudes in the Bible.

    Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus – in the Old Testament or the New Testament?
    Say: A story about Jesus and his disciples would be in the New Testament. The Bible is divided into two major sections – the Old Testament and the New Testament.

    Hold a purple Adventure Bible and show that there are two sections of the Bible. [Your bookmark!]

    Say: The Old Testament contains Bible stories that Jesus would have learned when he was your age. The New Testament is composed of stories about Jesus’ life and the start of the new church of followers of Jesus. When we read stories about Jesus we find them in a section of the New Testament called the “Gospels.”

    Ask: What are the names of the Gospels?
    What does the word “gospel” mean?
    Say: The word gospel means “good news.” In the Gospels, Jesus teaches us good news.


    For 3rd grade:
    Distribute purple Adventure Bibles.
    Say: Next week you will be receiving your Bibles in church. Let’s practice finding the New Testament and the Gospels. If you bring your Bibles to class, as we talk about the collections of the books of the Bible you can receive tabs such as are in this Bible. [Show the tabs.]
    Teach them the quick way to find the New Testament. (Opening the Bible in middle lands you usually in Psalms. Taking just the back half and finding middle of that, gets you to beginning of NT.) Have them find Matthew 5:1.
    Point out that the chapter numbers are large, and in these Bibles they are yellow; the verse numbers are smaller.
    Say: I am going to read the Beatitudes. Follow along if you’d like to do so.
    Read to them Matthew 5:1-10.

    For 1st and 2nd graders:
    Say: We find Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew.
    Show them the picture on page 31 of the book The Lion Book of Stories of Jesus. Read to them the Beatitudes from an NIV Bible. [Maybe someone will notice that there’s something wrong with the picture – Jesus is standing!]

    For all students:
    Say: For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us,
    The class says: Thanks be to God!

    Teach more signs:
    Say: When Jesus first taught the Beatitudes, he meant to teach and encourage his followers. Jesus’ followers were ordinary people like you and I. They weren’t especially powerful or important, and maybe they had troubles in their lives. Jesus wanted his followers to know that if they were faithful to God they would be blessed.

    Ask: That sounds good doesn’t it – to be blessed?
    Say: We can all receive the blessings that Jesus offers if we follow Jesus’ teaching in the Beatitudes. To help us to follow Jesus’ Beatitudes, let’s learn some of them in sign language.

    Teach them the signs for two or three Beatitudes – use your judgment depending on their attention span! As you teach the students a particular Beatitude, talk about the meaning of words and what the Beatitude itself means. Use the information in the background materials for discussion.

    Closing:
    Ask: Do you think it is easy to live the Beatitudes? (allow all answers)
    Say: Living as Jesus taught is hard! When we use these key ways of living, living the Beatitudes, we are living as disciples of Jesus. This makes the world a better place and we receive that long-lasting happiness that Jesus spoke about!

    Close by having the children sing one of the two songs… Note: words to songs can not be included here due to copyright reasons. The songs were: Song of Hope, a Schutmaat/Argentinian Folk Melody and Go Now in Peace by Natalie Sleeth.

    If you have extra time:
    If students (especially younger ones) need to do something active, for a change of pace play a game with beanbags. Stand in a circle.
    Say: In this game we’ll toss a beanbag to each other. When you catch the beanbag you’ll be telling us something about a Beatitude. For example – let’s start by talking about being a peacemaker. When you catch the beanbag, tell what you think it means to be a peacemaker or tell us what God’s blessing will be if we’re peacemakers.

    Toss the beanbag around a few times until everyone gets the hang of it, then switch to talk about a different Beatitude. You could also ask students when they receive a beanbag to show the sign for the Beatitude being discussed. To make it more interesting, add one or two more beanbags into the game so there is lots of activity and interaction!

    Sign Language Resources:
    For most words, first try:
    http://www.signingsavvy.com/
    or use –
    http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm

    For specific words…
  • Sermon: http://www.signingsavvy.com/se...x=0&submitSearch.y=0
    (You can slow down the signs on this web site by clicking the button to the left of the print button.)
  • Mount (use mountain): http://www.signingsavvy.com/se...x=0&submitSearch.y=0
  • Jesus:
    http://www.signingsavvy.com/se...x=0&submitSearch.y=0
  • Blessed (use bless):
    http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/BLESS
    (To help explain this sign to the students, Say: Think of a blessing as coming from the mouth to someone)
  • Are:
    http://www.signingsavvy.com/se...x=0&submitSearch.y=0
    (Explain that this is the sign for the letter “R” coming straight from the lips. You can see the letter sign R better at: http://www.signingsavvy.com/browse-letter.php
  • Spirit:
    http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/SPIRIT/6106/2
  • Righteous:
    http://valleybible.net/DeafMin...ry/asl_righteous.php
  • Merciful and mercy – use compassion:
    http://valleybible.net/DeafMin...y/asl_compassion.php
  • Heart:
    http://valleybible.net/DeafMin...ionary/asl_heart.php
  • Peacemakers – use peace:
    http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/PEACE/2062/1
  • Persecuted – use persecute:
    http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/PERSECUTE/6943/1
  • Mourn – use sad
  • Comforted – use comfort
  • Inherit – I couldn’t find this word signed anywhere
  • Thirst – use thirsty
  • Filled – use “filled with” on signingsavvy.com

    Resources:
  • Butler, Sheila. “Rotation.org Writing Team Lessons On The Beatitudes: Drama Workshop.” 2003. http://rotation.infopop.cc/6/u...6049692&m=3966049692
  • Dudley-Smith, Timothy. The Lion Book of Stories of Jesus. Belleville, MI: Lion Publishing, 1986.
  • Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. “The Beatitudes: Praising Puppets.” 2002. http://www.kirkofkildaire.org/...eatitudesPuppets.htm
  • Michigan State University: Communication Technology Laboratory. American Sign Language Browser. 2009. http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm
  • Signing Savvy. 2009. http://www.signingsavvy.com/browse-letter.php
  • Valley Bible Church American Sigh Language (ASL) Dictionary of Religious Words. 1999-2009. http://valleybible.net/DeafMin...y/asl_dictionary.php


    ------------
    If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
    Hulbert, Carol. "The Beatitudes: Drama Lesson." Sept. 2009. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.
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    The Beatitudes: Games Workshop


    Written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
    120 S. State Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104

    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

    Teaching method: Explore how to live as Jesus taught while playing a Beatitudes life-sized board game. [Note: 1st – 2nd graders visited this workshop. 3rd graders will go to a special Bible class on the week they would have visited this workshop.]


    Leader Preparation:
    Read the scripture for this lesson.
    Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
    Gather the following materials

    • Life-sized game board – canvas tarp with painted spaces (4 colors)
    • Game wheel (with corresponding 4 colors)
    • A large piece of fabric to cover the game wheel
    • Game questions (for questions see: http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve...6049692/m/9266049692 )
    • Story Bible: The Big Book About Jesus; one purple Adventure Bible

      Before Start of Class:
    • Listen to the provided MP3 file of the songs for this Rotation. Decide which song to incorporate into this lesson as a closing.
    • Sort through the game questions and note any that are inappropriate for the class you will have (too easy or too hard).
    • Cover the game wheel so it won’t distract the students during storytelling.

      Opening:
      Gather students sitting in a circle on the carpet. Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Games Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

      [Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance/name tags while you are starting your lesson.]

      Say: I would like to go around the circle and have everyone say their name and one thing that makes you happy.

      Allow all to respond. [Passing is ok if they can’t think of anything. You don’t want this to take too long!]

      Say: Thank you for sharing with us what makes you happy.
      Ask: Do any of the things you listed provide long-lasting happiness or do they only provide happiness for a little while? (accept a few answers)

      Say: Today we will learn more about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount includes a collection of Jesus’ teachings called “the Beatitudes.” Jesus gave us the Beatitudes as “keys” to how we should live. We can think of the Beatitudes as being keys that open the doors to long-lasting happiness.

      Ask: Does anyone know where Jesus taught the Beatitudes?
      Say: Jesus taught the Beatitudes while sitting on the side of a mountain. That’s why it’s called the Sermon on the Mount. In Bible-times disciples were people who hung out with Jesus. They learned from Jesus and they tried to be like Jesus. Later they taught others about what they’d learned.
      Ask: Do you suppose that today we can be disciples of Jesus?
      Can we learn from Jesus and try to be like him and try to teach others?

      Say: Yes! We can be Jesus’ disciples! It’s part of why we come to church – to learn about Jesus so we can be his disciples. Before we learn about the Beatitudes, let’s have a time of prayer.

      Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.] A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for this day and for everyone who is here today. We ask that you help us learn about you and how you would have us live as your disciples. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

      Dig In:
      Ask: If we want to read something that Jesus said, where would we find it – in the Old Testament or the New Testament of the Bible? (new)
      Ask: Who can tell me the first four books of the New Testament?
      We have a name for what we call these first four books of the New Testament. Can anyone tell me what that name is? (the Gospels)
      Say: The word Gospel means “good news.” These first four books of the New Testament tell the story of the good news about Jesus. Our story can be found in the Gospel of Matthew.

      Show them the picture for story # 8 (“Jesus’ Famous Sayings" in the book, The Big Book About Jesus.

      Say: Here is a picture of Jesus teaching the people and his disciples. Jesus told the people eight Beatitudes. [You could count off the eight speech balloons in this picture.] Listen while I read the Beatitudes from a Bible. Listen carefully because we’ll be playing a game where I will be asking you questions about our Bible passage.

      Read Matthew 5:3-10 from a purple Adventure Bible.

      Say: For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us…
      The class says: Thanks be to God!

      Say: We say those words in the worship service after the scripture is read.

      Play the Game:
      Lay out the canvas game boards. Have everyone take off his/her shoes.
      Explain that students will work in teams to move across the game board – squeezing onto spaces as needed. The object of the game is not to be first to reach the end, but for all teams to reach the end, or to get as far as time permits, and to have fun doing it.

      Ask the Shepherd to help you divide the class into teams of 2 or 3 players each. [Preferably in 2’s but 3 is ok if needed]. Have the team with the person whose birthday is this month, go first. [Remind everyone that the meek - those not judged by the world’s standards to be strong and powerful – will inherit the earth.]

      One member of a team spins the wheel. While the wheel is spinning, ask the question of the team. All the people on a team should confer/work on an answer. Checking Bibles is OK! (for readers) Remind the children that only the team in play should be talking. You might just ask the same question a second time so everyone should listen carefully. Take time for discussion! If the team answers correctly they get to move to the next space that is the color that was spun. Note: it is OK to start groups of kids from different ends of the game board.
      Stop the game so as to allow enough time for “closing”.

      Closing:
      Have the children sing one of the two songs… Note: words to songs can not be included here due to copyright reasons. The songs were: Song of Hope, a Schutmaat/Argentinian Folk Melody and Go Now in Peace by Natalie Sleeth.

      Say: Living as Jesus taught is hard! When we live as Jesus taught us to live – when we live the Beatitudes – we receive God’s blessings. Jesus loves you! Living the Beatitudes makes the world a better place and we receive that long-lasting happiness that Jesus spoke about!

      If you have extra time:
      Ask more game questions.

      Resources:
    • Crane, Amy. “Rotation.org Writing Team Lesson On The Beatitudes: Games Lesson.” 2003. http://rotation.infopop.cc/6/u...6049692&m=9266049692
    • Water, Mark. The Big Book About Jesus. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995.


      ------------
      If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
      Hulbert, Carol. "The Beatitudes: Games Lesson." Sept. 2009. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.





      If you have found these workshops useful it would make my day if you let me know about it (and/or please make a contribution to rotation.org - see here for details. Thanks!
     
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