Summary of Lesson Activities:
After a visit from Zacchaeus, the children will retell his story using puppets and will explore what it means to be a friend to someone whom society has called an outcast.
Luke 19: 1-10
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Luke 19:10
Lesson Objectives for rotation
At the end of the rotation, the students will
- Be able to identify Luke as one of the four Gospels.
- Be able to locate and read the text.
- Know that Jesus came to save the lost.
- Begin to understand that Jesus loves us no matter what mistakes we have made.
- Begin to understand that our love for Jesus causes us to make changes in our lives .
- Repeat the memory verse.
- see everyone as a potential friend, even the outcasts.
Teacher preparation in advance:
- Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study.
- Learn the memory verse.
- Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. This will be our first month in the new church building. We will discuss the set-up process and the new morning schedule at the Bible Study.
- The bin with "normal" supplies is located in the Children's Ministry Office. Request additional supplies from __.
- Recruit someone to visit the class as Zacchaeus. The volunteer who has agreed to be Zacchaeus must know the information in the script and have learned the memory verse. Make sure he knows to cover the information in the script, as it is the basis for the lesson that follows. (Give him copies of the appropriate pages in Surprising Stories from People Jesus Met.)
This is a crowd-filled puppet show, so use a large puppet stage that a number of children can sit behind or cover an eight-foot table with a tablecloth and use that.
- Bible time puppets;
- puppet stage or a large table with a tablecloth;
- a puppet-sized tree that can be attached to the stage or stand on the puppet table (it can be made out of posterboard or something sturdier);
- leaves, sticker leaves, or some other memento for the journal page.
- An adult or youth volunteer dressed in Bible times clothes prepared to be Zacchaeus (see script and costume suggestions in Surprising Stories from People Jesus Met).
Opening - Welcome and Introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.
We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but you may open with prayer if you feel led to do so.
Explain the purpose of this workshop. Use kid friendly words to give a brief overview of what the children are going to learn and do.
Read the scripture: Luke 19:1-10. (Encourage the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses and volunteer to read out loud.)
[Introduction adapted from Surprising Stories from People Jesus Met.] "I am sure everyone here has known some mean people. What do you think makes a person mean? What actions tell you that someone is mean? Who do you think is the meanest person on television or in a book or movie? That's a lot of mean people!"
"We are going to have an important visitor today. At one time, if you went to Jericho and asked the people there who was the meanest person in town, our visitor is the person they would have chosen. But some things have changed after he met Jesus. Let's let Zacchaeus tell us his story. Welcome Zacchaeus!"
[Zacchaeus delivers his monolog as outlined in Surprising Stories from People Jesus Met.]
- "Does anyone have any questions for or about Zacchaeus?"
- "Thank you, Zacchaeus, for visiting with us today." [He leaves.]
- "Why do you think people disliked Zacchaeus?"
- "Why do you think it was so important to Zacchaeus that he see Jesus — so important to see Jesus that he risked embarrassing himself by climbing a tree?"
- "How would you feel if you were one of the townspeople and Jesus stopped to talk to Zacchaeus, of all people!?" [If it is early in the rotation, you may wish to take a moment to discuss the place of tax collectors in Jewish society; see Background Notes.]
- "How did Zacchaeus change after his meal with Jesus?"
- "I wonder what Jesus said to Zacchaeus during the meal they shared?"
- "What would you change in your life if you had a chance to meet Jesus?"
Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
"Now we are going to use our puppets and re-enact the story of Zacchaeus meeting Jesus. Let's think about the story. Who are characters in the story that our puppets can be?" [Zacchaeus, Jesus, disciples, Zacchaeus' family, people of Jericho crowded to see Jesus]
Introduce the puppets, puppet care, and puppet skills. If there are enough puppets, let each child have a puppet (any puppet) to practice manipulation. If there are not enough puppets, have everyone practice with "invisible puppets" (hand held like a puppet). Do this around the puppet stage/table. Demonstrate how to move the puppets. Have all the puppets jump, nod, shake their head, act happy, act sad, act afraid, act mad, collect money, pray, preach, climb a tree, etc. If desired, this can be done in a "Simon Says" game format.
Assign parts and have the children create movement and dialog as the scripture/narration is read. (See the script that follows or create your own.) Encourage creative dialog. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. We don't know if Zacchaeus had a wife and what she may have said when Jesus came home with Zacchaeus for dinner. We don't know what the poor people and the cheated people said when Zacchaeus gave them money.
If there are more children than puppets, some can watch while the others do the puppet show. (The audience is a very important job!) Then, reassign parts and do it again. (Let those who watched the first time have first choice on parts for the second performance. If more than one child wants a part, draw names.)
If time permits, do the puppet show several times, allowing the children to create different dialog each time.
Pulling it all together (closing discussion):
- What were some of the mistakes that Zacchaeus made? What are some of the mistakes that we make?
- I wonder, did Jesus love Zacchaeus more before or after he said he was sorry? [Neither — he loves us no matter what we do or say.]
- There are some awfully unlovable people in this world. Do you know any? Are we called to love people, "no matter what," too? How can we do it?
Review the memory verse. Have the children echo the verse as you say it, phrase by phrase. After they seem familiar with it, have them say the entire verse in unison. If time permits, ask for volunteers to say the verse by themselves.
At 11:50 a.m. ask the Shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity. A sycamore leaf (or another leaf or a leaf sticker) would be appropriate.
"Think about people whom you try to avoid. Maybe they are mean to you. Maybe they look different, or act different. Maybe they smell a little. Or cheat. Once you think of someone, or a group of someones, write something that Jesus would want you to say to them. Or draw a picture of you being their friend."
You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as crossword puzzles, word search, games. See the Teacher's Background Notes or http://puzzlemaker.school.disc...m/chooseapuzzle.html and rotation.org for ideas.
At noon, ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.
Ask each child to name someone they would normally avoid as you pray for them — they may either say the name out loud or in their hearts.
Dear God, Thank you for the love that Jesus shows for each one of us, even when we act unlovable. Please help us reach out to the unlovable people in our lives, ______. Help us to love them, no matter what. Grant us guidance from the Spirit as we work to share the Good News with them and with others. Amen.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Give any specific instructions for clearing the workshop room.
Give everyone the parent take-home flyer the first week of the rotation; give it only to children who were absent and have not yet received it the other weeks of the rotation.
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas:
Older children: Sometimes older children think that puppets are babyish. If time permits, consider inviting a preschool class to see their "performance" (warn their teacher that it will NOT be a polished performance).
Younger Children: Encourage them to hold their puppets tall and to speak loudly and clearly, but remind them that this is not expected to be a polished performance. If the children's heads are showing behind the puppet stage or table, that is okay.
- Keefer, Mikal and John Cutshall. Surprising Stories from People Jesus Met. Loveland, Colorado: Group, 1998.
- For additional information on using puppets and drama to bring Bible stories to life, see Amy Crane's Puppet and Drama Workshop Instructions in the "Rotation Documents: Workshop Manuals" section of the IDEA AND LESSON EXCHANGE: http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve...121&m=5066088121
- For more help with storytelling, see Amy Crane's manual on Biblical Storytelling in the Rotation Documents: Workshop Manuals section of the IDEA AND LESSON EXCHANGE: http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve...121&m=4066088121
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
- NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® and NIV® are registered trademarks of International Bible Society. Use of either trademark for the offering of goods or services requires the prior written consent of International Bible Society.
Zacchaeus Puppetry Workshop Narrator's Script
Adapted from the New International Version
(Narrator should pause at indicated points to allow students to improvise dialog and act out the story with their puppets.)
Long ago, in the city of Jericho, there lived a man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector. He was wealthy.
(Read this part slowly. Pause often. Encourage the children to create a family and/or work life for Zacchaeus that shows what sort of person they think he was.)
One day Jesus was passing through Jericho. As always, a big crowd gathered to see Jesus.
(Crowd scene. Lot's of excited talking. Encourage the puppets to say why they want to see Jesus.)
Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.
(Zacchaeus moves around crowd, trying to see.)
So Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus.
(Zacchaeus puppet thinks and then runs and climbs the tree.)
When Jesus reached the spot by the sycamore tree, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus:
(Jesus should tell Zacchaeus to come down so he can dine with him. Zacchaeus comes down and greets Jesus.)
All the people saw this and began to mutter.
(Dialog about what a sinner Zacchaeus is and unbelief that Jesus is eating with him.)
At dinner, Zacchaeus made a promise to Jesus.
(Encourage students to add Zacchaeus' wife and other family members to the dinner scene at the end. What might have been said?)
(Zacchaeus announces he will give money to the poor and pay back what he should not have taken plus more. Jesus says the memory verse.)
Zacchaeus kept his promise to Jesus.
(Allow the children to improvise dialog between Zacchaeus and the people to whom he returns stolen money and between Zacchaeus and the poor people to whom he gives money.)
This lesson was written by Amy Crane (email@example.com) for River Community Church
Copyright 2003 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.
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