Beatitudes: Blessed are the Peacemakers Lesson Set by Elmgrove U.M.C.

Editor's Note:

This lesson is a good example of making use of many peacemaking resources and stories of peacemaking.   Check with your denominational HQ for resources.

 




Peace & Peacemaking

Lesson Set


Memory Verse:

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called Children of God.” - Matthew 5:9

Contents of this Post: 

  • Art Workshop - Peacemakers in Action (K-1 & 2-4)
  • Computer Workshop - Is God Colorblind? (5-7 & 8-12)
  • Drama Workshop - Conflict Resolution (K-1 & 2-4)
  • Drama Workshop - Conflict Resolution (5-7 & 8-12)
  • Games Workshop - Different and Alike (K-1 & 2-4)
  • Games Workshop - Material Possessions (5-7 & 8-12)
  • Storytelling Workshop – Journey to Cambodia (K-1 & 2-4)
  • Storytelling Workshop - Hungry Decisions (5-7 & 8-12)
  • Biblical Background & Additional Background  (additional post)

Peacemaking
Art Workshop

K-1 & Grades 2-4

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will make a book containing pictures of themselves as peacemakers.


Scripture Reference:

Micah 4:3c-4 - “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will hear about the lives and contributions of peacemakers, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela
  • Students will hear about young people and children who have made contributions as peacemakers
  • Students will brainstorm ideas for how they could be (or already are) peacemakers.

Materials:

  • Desmond Tutu: Religious Leader Devoted to Freedom by Patricia Lantier-Sampon, 1991, Gareth Stevens Children’s Books, ISBN: 0-8368-0459-7
  • Mandela: From the Life of the South African Statesman by Floyd Cooper, 1996, Philomel Books, a division of The Putnam & Grosset Group, ISBN: 0-399-22942-6
  • Summarized story of South Africa, Tutu and Mandela (provided in this packet)
  • Instant camera w/film
  • Pre-assembled books for completion by the children
  • Crayons, markers, etc for decorating their books
  • Tape

Preparation:

  • Read both books and the summarized version (below) and practice reading them aloud. Some of the South African words (and especially names) may be difficult to pronounce.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Begin with prayer: “Good morning, Lord. We’re glad to be here together this morning. Bless us with fun and laughter as we learn. Amen.”
Have the children help look up the memory verse in their Bibles. You may choose a volunteer to read it to the class or they may prefer to read it together. With the youngest class you may choose to read it to them and have them repeat it with you afterward.

Define/review the definitions of “blessed” and “peacemaker.” Some concepts to re-enforce are:

  • God wants us to try to get along with other people, even if they are different than we are
  • Peacemakers look for ways people are alike rather than concentrating on ways that people are different

Introduce the lesson by telling the children that they are going to hear about two famous men and how they helped to make peace. Especially with these age groups, it may be important to tell them that both men are still alive today and still making peace.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Tell the stories of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela using the books and/or the story printed in this packet.  (See it here below in this post)

Note: The books referenced above are quite good but will be too much to share for our class time. The book about Nelson Mandela is a picture book and will be more suitable to these age groups than the book on Desmond Tutu. That book, however, has some excellent photographs that may be of help in getting the main points across to the classes. You may choose only to paraphrase both books using them only for their pictures. These age groups will respond better by being able to see what you are talking about, so I strongly recommend using the books at least for that purpose.

Another Note: Some especially good pictures can be found in the book on Desmond Tutu on pages 18, 23, 30, and 40. The glossary and list of important dates beginning on page 61 may also be helpful to you.


After sharing the story(s), ask the children if they have ever heard of the Nobel Peace Price? Tell them that it is a prize given once each year to the person (or occasionally persons) who has worked the hardest to make peace in the world. It is given to only one person in the whole world every year! It is a great honor to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu have won.

Ask the children if they can think of times when they were peacemakers. It might have been at home, in their neighborhood, in school, or someplace else. How do they help people to get along with each other? Help them to develop a list of ideas of both things they have done and things they can think of that they could do.

Project:
Introduce the art project by telling them they are going to make a book containing pictures of themselves as peacemakers. Each page will show them doing something to make peace. The picture can be of something they have done or something that they could do.

Before they start drawing in the books, take a picture of each one of them (separately) with the instant camera. Watch their pictures appear, but don’t touch the surface of the photograph until it’s completely dry.

Tape the photographs onto the last page of their books so that their faces show through the holes in each page above it. Now they can draw their bodies and some scenery to depict themselves as peacemakers in action.

Don’t forget to have them title their books and to write the memory verse in it somewhere.

Closing:

“Thank you, Lord, for all the ways that we can make peace in our world. We know we are your children!”


This lesson written by Ruth Kroboth, Elmgrove United Methodist Church

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 



Here is the story for the Art lesson:
"South Africa, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela"


For hundreds of years, the country of South Africa was a place where a small group of people was very unfair to a big group of people. The people who were in charge (that small group of people) had not even been born in South Africa. They were white people from England and Holland. Their government was run using something called apartheid - which means “apartness.” The laws they made kept the black South Africans (who were born there) from having any rights or power. The black people could not live where the white people lived, or go where the white people went, or eat where the white people ate, or work where the white people worked. They were slaves in their own county.

The black people started to stand up for their rights. Led by a man named Nelson Mandela, the black people organized a group that was against apartheid. That made the white people in the government mad and they made rules that were even worse. Nelson Mandela’s group (called the African National Congress or ANC) was against violence. They tried to make peace between the white and black people. The government got even madder. Some black people were put in jail, hurt, and even killed. Nelson Mandela was sent to jail for the rest of his life for trying to make peace!

Finally the terrible government was stopped and the black people and the white people who lived in South Africa were declared to be equal! The new head of the government even let Nelson Mandela out of jail. He had been in jail for twenty-seven years! Five years after he was let out of jail, Nelson Mandela was elected President of all of South Africa!

Even though the old white government was gone, many people were angry about all that they had done to the black people. They wanted to punish them and to pay them back for all the years of bad. A minister named Desmond Tutu told people that instead of punishing them, God would want them to forgive just as God forgives us for the bad things that we do.

With the help of Desmond Tutu, the new government created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Rather than punishing and fighting, this group used their energy to help people make peace and live together. After all, white and black people could and still do live together in South Africa. With Desmond Tutu’s help, old hurts have begun to heal and people have learned to live together by forgiving each other.


Nelson Mandela and Desmond helped to bring peace to the nation of South Africa. With God’s help people have learned to live together!




Peacemaking
Computer Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses the Actual Reality CD and the Cal and Marty CD


Scripture Reference:

Micah 4:3c-4 - “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will explore the ideas of racism and prejudice and relate them to their own lives
  • Students will discuss the impulse to judge others and the benefits of finding common ground
  • Students will consider the way God sees people and (hopefully) pledge to see others as God sees them
  • Students will continue memorizing these important verses.

 

Materials:

  • CD - Actual Reality C
  • CD - Cal and Marty's Scripture Memory Game CD

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time. 
  • Gather the materials.
  • Explore the software.


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.


Opening Prayer:
Pray something like this: "Dear God, are we colorblind? Although we surely believe that we are, help us to drop our defenses and open our hearts and minds to what you have to say to us today. Amen."

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Actual Reality CD

Begin the CD and find your way to the Headline: Are you color blind?

** Please refer to Neil MacQueen's lesson plans/notes for Actual Reality at www.sundaysoftware.com.

 

 

Cal and Marty's Scripture Memory Game CD

Begin the CD and have the older student "edit in" the memory verses, adding a comment and 3 question quiz. Then switch computer and have them play another group's memory verse.

 

Closing:

End with a prayer.


 

This lesson was written by Ruth Kroboth, Elmgrove United Methodist Church

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

 




 

Peacemaking

Drama Workshop

K – 1st Grade & Grades 2 - 4

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Uses two different books for role playing.

Scripture Reference:

Micah 4:3c-4 - “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Lesson Objectives:

  • Children will understand that people do things differently than one another
  • Children will realize that God wants us to find ways to get along with people, even if they are different than we are
  • Children will explore some ways they can resolve conflicts and make peace with people who are different than they are.

 


Materials:

  • The Butter Battle Book, by Dr. Seuss, 1984 Random House, ISBN: 0-394-86580-4
  • Peace Begins with You, by Katherine Scholes, Illustrated by Robert Ingpen, 1990, Sierra Club Books, ISBN: 0-316-77436-7
  • Puppets, masks, or costumes (or not)

Preparation:

  • Read The Butter Battle Book and practice reading it aloud. It’s Dr. Seuss so it rhymes and has a distinctive rhythm along with some crazy silly words.
  • Read Peace Begins with You and practice reading it aloud. (You may want to paraphrase some parts for the K-1st grade class.)


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Begin with prayer: “God, thank you for this day and for our time together. Help us to live as friends even though we are all different. Amen.”

Share the memory verse with the class (or ask them if they remember it if this is not the first week of the month.) Have the children find Matthew 5:9 in their Bibles and read it together with you.

Define/review the definitions of “blessed” and “peacemaker.” Some concepts to re-enforce are:

  • God wants us to try to get along with other people, even if they are different than we are
  • Peacemakers look for ways people are alike rather than concentrating on ways that people are different


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Tell the children that you’re going to share a story with them about people who do not get along at all. Ask them to look for characters who may be peacemakers as they listen to the story.

Read The Butter Battle Book to the class, showing them the pictures as you go along.

Discuss the book:

  • How do the Yooks and the Zooks feel about each other? (they are enemies)
  • What is the difference between the Yooks and the Zooks? (the way they butter their bread)
  • Who is right? Does it matter?
  • How do they handle the fact that they are different? (they build bigger & bigger weapons to use against each other)
  • Are there any peacemakers in this book? (nope)
  • What could you do to help make peace between the Yooks and the Zooks?


Discuss the children‘s own experiences:

  • What are some things that you do that others do differently? (habits, family customs - think mostly personally and locally)
  • Do you know people who fight over things that they do differently? Have you ever fought with anyone over a difference?
  • Can kids be peacemakers? Have you ever been a peacemaker?


Tell the children you’d like to share another book with them - a book about peace.

Read the book Peace Begins with You, showing them the pictures as you go along.

Have the children role-play to find ways to resolve conflicts and make peace. Use the suggested scenarios below and/or make up your own. (The children may have some ideas for role-playing scenarios.) You may want to use puppets, masks, or costumes, as long as they don’t get in the way of the message.

 

Closing:


End the lesson with prayer: “God, we all face troubles in our lives. Thank you that we can be peacemakers. We are glad to be Your children. Amen”

Tips for Role-Playing:

  • Use fictitious names so students understand that they are not playing themselves.
  • Be clear that these are to be short scenes - develop a problem and find a solution without getting off track - facilitation and side-coaching are key.
  • When the role-play situation has developed, freeze the action and ask open-ended questions such as: What’s going on here? How does it make you feel?
  • After the scene has played out, ask for ideas on other outcomes. How could our characters have done differently? Have them re-play the scene using the suggestions.
  • Ask the players how they felt in their roles. Help them to separate themselves from their characters. What would you have done differently yourself? How did you feel as the character?

Role-Play Scenarios:

Today is Pam‘s first day in a new school. She’s had a pretty good morning and now it’s time for lunch. She goes through the line, gets her food, and sits at the only empty spot she sees. As soon as she begins to eat, another girl taps her on the shoulder and says, “Hey that’s my seat! Get out!”

Chad is a 6th grader with a big Science test tomorrow. He’s waited until the last minute to study and is really nervous about the test. He’s in the living room and has just gotten into his studying when his little sister, Nicole gets home from school. She’s had a tough day and wants to relax. She puts on her favorite CD, turns it up loud, and starts to dance.

Last year was Allison’s first year in Brownies. She loved her troop leader and she was friends with all of the girls in the troop. She can’t wait for the meetings to begin this year. A week before the first meeting her mom gets a call saying that a new troop that is forming and Allison has been assigned to it. After the first meeting she comes home crying because she doesn’t know anyone in the new troop. She says they all seem like geeks.

Jeff is turning 8 and has invited a group of friends to his birthday party at the roller skating rink. Jeff is a good skater and so are most of his party guests. Jeff’s best friend, Tad is a beginner when it comes to skating, but Jeff and the other guests are helping him out. A boy they don’t know is a guest at a different birthday party that is going on at the same time at the rink. He keeps zooming past Tad bumping into him and calling him names.


5-7th Grades & 8-12th Grades


Materials:

  • The Butter Battle Book, by Dr. Seuss, 1984 Random House, ISBN: 0-394-86580-4
  • “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain - text follows in this packet
  • Puppets, masks, or costumes (or not)


Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Begin with prayer:
“God, thank you for this day and for our time together. Help us to live as friends even though we are all different. Amen.”

Share the memory verse with the class (or ask them if they remember it if this is not the first week of the month.) Have the children find Matthew 5:9 in their Bibles and read it together with you. Have them find Micah 4:3c-4 and read it together with you.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

 

Tell the children that you’re going to share a story with them about people who do not get along at all. Ask them to look for characters who may be peacemakers as they listen to the story.
Read The Butter Battle Book to the class, showing them the pictures as you go along.

Discuss the book:

  • Yes, this is a children’s book, but what are the messages that Dr. Seuss has hidden amongst the rhyming words, silly pictures, and outlandish weapons? (Among others: People fight over silly differences./Small matters can turn into major issues if not addressed constructively./We pass our prejudices on to our children.)
  • Does the conflict between the Yooks and the Zooks remind you of any conflict from your own life or in the world? (Explain that the book was written during the Cold War between the US and what was then the Soviet Union.)
  • What can be done to avoid or to stop such conflicts?


Read “The War Prayer” to the class.

Discuss the story:

  • Who do you think the aged stranger in the story represents? (An angel? Jesus? Voice of God?)
  • Was the aged stranger crazy? Why do you think the people thought he was crazy? (Their own cause was so firmly engrained in them they couldn’t see the other point of view.)
  • Have you ever thought of the other side of war? What do people think about the people in Afganistan? Iraq? North Korea?
  • There have been wars and fighting all throughout history (Cain & Abel). Why do people fight? Will they ever stop? Is teaching peace a good idea? Will it help?

Knowing our 5th – 12th grade kids, I suspect they will have plenty to say and I would encourage as much conversation as can take place based on their cues and comments. Role-playing (as described in the lesson for the younger classes) may be something the class is interested in. If so, feel free to use situations similar to those mentioned above although these kids will very likely have ideas of their own from which to work.

 

Closing:

End with prayer: “God of all the world, thank you for the chance to discuss such serious issues. Thank you for the guidance of the Bible as we try to make sense of war and fighting. We are truly Children of God and peacemakers in Your world. Amen.”


This lesson was written by Ruth Kroboth, Elmgrove United Methodist Church

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

 




 

Peacemaking

Games Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses a series of international children's games.

 

Scripture Reference:

Micah 4:3c-4 - “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword
against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will be familiar with the living conditions and daily lives of people from a sampling of countries around the world.
  • Students will be able to identify some differences and similarities between their lives and those of people from a sampling of countries around the world.
  • Older students (Grades 5-7 & 8-12) will consider their own material goods and how important they really are to their survival.
  • Older students (Grades 5-7 & 8-12) will exercise their group decision-making skills.

 

K - 1 Grade & Grades 2 - 4

 

Overview:
The class will learn about children and their lives from a sampling of countries around the world. They will play games that are unique to some of these countries.


Materials:

  • Wake Up, World! A Day in the Life of Children Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer, 1999, Henry Holt and Company in association with Oxfam, ISBN: 0-8050-6293-9
  • Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley in association with the United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF), 1995, DK Publishing, ISBN: 0-7894-0201-7
  • Whatever items necessary for the game(s) that you choose – from the list of games below.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Begin with Prayer:
“Good morning, God. Help us to find you in our work and our play. Help us to find you in the faces of all the people of the world. Amen.”

Introduce/re-introduce the memory verse. Have the children help look up the memory verse in their Bibles. You may choose a volunteer to read it to the class or they may prefer to read it together. With the youngest class you may choose to read it to them and have them repeat it with you afterward.

Define/review the definitions of “blessed” and “peacemaker.” Some concepts to re-enforce are:

  • God wants us to try to get along with other people, even if they are different than we are
  • Peacemakers look for ways people are alike rather than concentrating on ways that people are different

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

 

Tell the students that one of the best ways to be a peacemaker and to help others to be peacemakers is to see all of the people of the world as God’s creations. Stress that even though we may look different, speak different languages, have different abilities or different customs, we are alike in many ways.
Show the children one or both of the books, Wake Up, World! A Day in the Life of Children Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer and Children Just Like Me: A Unique Celebration of Children Around the World by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley in association with the United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF). Both books introduce the children from different parts of the world and describe their lives and their daily routines.

The rest of the lesson should be a mixture of exploring the book(s) and playing games. Please refer to the list of games and their rules that follows, choose one or more and help the children to play it/them. The amount of time spent with the book(s) and the game(s) is up to you and the class. If they are enjoying the book(s), great – keep going! If you begin to lose their attention, pause for a game then return to the book.

Closing:

“Thank you, Lord for games and for fun. Thank you for being with us and for being with children all over the world. Amen.”


 

International Children's Games

Jan-Ken-Pon (Scissors, Paper, Rock) - from Japan

This game is the original “scissors, paper, rock.” Two opponents face each other. In unison, they chant “Jan-ken-pon.” On the first two words, players bring down their right hands, fist closed in a hammering gesture. On the third word, the hand is in one of three positions: rock (fist), scissors (first & second fingers extended), or paper (palm down, fingers splayed.) Rock defeats scissors. Scissors defeats paper. Paper defeats rock. The success of the game depends on each player’s willingness to display his choice of gesture without hesitating long enough to see his opponent’s choice.

Hana, Hana, Hana, Kuchi - from Japan
This game translates: “Nose, nose, nose, mouth,” but any facial features can be substituted. Two opponents face each other. The object of the game is to trick the opponent into following a gesture instead of a spoken direction. For example, the first player chants, “ear, ear, ear, eye.” Each time he says “ear” he points to his ear, except on the last word when he points instead to his nose, or either facial feature. his opponent must copy his motions by pointing to his own ear three times but be alert enough to point to his own eye instead of his nose. The second player must copy the first player’s gesture as quickly as he can. The faster the game, the more likely an error.


African Tick-Tack-Toe - from Nigeria
This two-player game requires a playing board drawn on paper or scratched in the dirt. Each player needs three small pebbles, coins, or buttons as playing pieces. Each player must have pieces of one kind or color. The first player starts the game by placing one of his pieces on any corner or place where lines intersect. The second player lays down one of his pieces. Play passes to the first player, who puts down a second piece, and so on. The object is to line up three of your own pieces while preventing your opponent from doing so. Unlike our own version to tick-tack-toe, if no one has succeeded in lining up three pieces (our “cat‘s game"), the game continues with players moving one of their pieces on each turn. When a player finally manages to get three of his own pieces in a straight line, the game is over.


Kelereng - from Indonesia
Kelereng, an Indonesian game of marbles, is a children's game for two players or more. The main equipment is a set of marbles; i.e.., small, round and solid stuff, usually transparent and of different colors. One set of marbles is placed at the center of an approximately 10- by 15 square foot ground or floor arena, in the form of a triangle or square. The number of marbles may vary from 2 to 8 or even more, depending on the number of players and agreement among them. (Each game may last from 20 to 30 minutes.)

How the Game is Played:
Each player has his or her own shooter marble to shoot the set. Shooting is done by placing the shooter marble between the index finger and the thumb and moving the thumb outward to shove the shooter marble in order to hit the marbles in the set. Player Number One starts the game by shooting at the set and goes on playing until he/she misses hitting any of the marbles from the set. Then, it is the other player's turn to shoot the set. Each player temporarily keeps any marbles that he/she can hit and move out of the triangle or square. The final session the game is scary. All the players take turns to beat each other. If a player's shooter marble gets hit, he/she loses and must give his/her temporary wins to the one who hits him/her. At the end of the game, the winner takes all.


Caught You! - from China
Have everyone but one person sit in a circle. The person sitting outside the circle is blindfolded and will yell “STOP!” when he/she chooses after each round of the game begins. It is important that the blindfolded person cannot see the people in the circle.

Once the blindfold is in place and secure, the leader begins the game by saying, “start.“ Those in the circle begin the game by passing a small ball around to each other. Whenever he/she chooses, the blindfolded person yells “STOP!” and, hearing that, the ball-passing stops. The person left holding the ball must stand and sing a song, tell a joke, or some other silly “penalty.”

Change the person outside the circle (blindfolded) often so that everyone gets
a chance at that job.


Down, Down, Down - from Australia
Gather all players into a circle. Start off with tennis ball or small “bouncy ball” and throw the ball continuously back and forth until somebody drops the ball when someone drops the ball you say "Down on one knee" then say the same person drops it a second time then you say "Down on two knees" then if the same person drops the ball again you say "Down on one elbow"and again you say "down on two elbows" and then chin and then you're out but remember you have to stay in the position you're in to catch the ball and throw the ball.


References:

  • Round the World: Crafts, Games & Activities by Jane Choun, 2000, Group Publishing, ISBN: 0-7644-2082-8

 

5-7 Grades & 8-12 Grades Games


Overview:

The class will play a simulation game that will not only test their ability to cooperate but will get them thinking about the value of material possessions. After some discussion about the game, they should have an opportunity to look at and discuss some of the pictures and facts in the book, Material World: A Global Family Portrait.

Materials:

  • Material World: A Global Family Portrait, by Peter Menzel, 1994, Sierra Club Books, ISBM: 0-87156-430-0
  • Pencil and paper for each person in the class

Note: Keep this class moving as there is quite a lot to do and it is all very worthwhile and enjoyable! Start on time and try to get the simulation game and a bit of discussion about it done in 40 minutes. That will give you about 20
minutes to look at the book together (sounds like a lot unless you’ve seen the book - it’s great!)



Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Begin by introducing the game “Shelter” - it is a simulation game. The goal of the game is to give the players an experience in cooperative decision-making and an opportunity to consider and express values as they relate to material possessions.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Divide the class into small groups (3 or 4 per group.)

Pass out pencil and paper to each student.

Tell the class:
A nuclear attack on this area is imminent. The people in your group will be sharing a survival shelter for an indefinite period of time. The shelter is equipped with basic requirements for physical survival and health (food, water, blankets, and medical supplies.)

Even though conditions will be somewhat cramped, it is anticipated that each member of the group will be able to bring to the shelter an unspecified number of items which he/she believes will be of value in the situation. Each person should now list up to 10 items that he/she would like to bring.

Have each person list up to 10 items they would choose to bring. Give them only about 5 minutes for this activity.

Now tell the class:
It is unlikely that there will be (a) enough room in the shelter and (b) time for each if you to bring all the items that you have listed. Therefore it is necessary to establish priorities.

Have the class take 3-5 minutes to review their lists (by themselves) and number the items in order of priority.

Tell the class:
Latest reports suggest that you will have to take refuge in the survival shelter within the next twenty-four hours. Meet with the other members of your group to decide which items from the individual lists may be brought. Bear in mind that you will not know until the last minute exactly how many extra items can be accommodated in the shelter. Please work under the assumption that it will be between 5 and 10 items. (For the purposes of this exercise, size and weight do not matter.)

Have the class take 10-15 minutes to draw up a list, in priority order, of up to 10 items. Instruct them to take into account each item’s value to an individual and value to the group. Voting is not permitted - try to reach agreement in some other way.

After the game take a few minutes to have the groups share with each other what they decided to take and how they did working together. They will likely be very forthcoming in sharing, but if they get stuck, here are some questions to get them talking:

  • On what basis were the decisions made?
  • How seriously did you take the individual priority lists?
  • Were the items finally chosen more for their importance to particular members of the group, or because they might benefit the group as a whole?
  • How difficult was it to make the choices?
  • Did each person have an opportunity to plead for the items on his/her own list?
  • Did people listen to what others had to say?
  • Were everyone’s needs considered?
  • Did any one person make the decisions or was there general agreement?
  • Did anyone feel that the final decision was unfair?
  • How did people feel about the way the decisions were made?
  • How could the decision-making process have been improved?
  • How do you think your group would function together if you really were thrust into a survival situation?


Show the class the book, Material World: A Global Family Portrait. Explain to them that photographers went to 30 countries and stayed with one family in each for a week’s time. During that time they interviewed the families, asking such questions as “What is each family member’s most valued possession?”, “What kind of a future do they see for their children?”, and “How many hours of TV do they watch per day?” At the end of the week, all of the family’s worldly goods were taken outside in front of their home where they were photographed with it. A key to the people and objects in the “big picture” is provided, as are statistics about each country and each family.

Once you get into it, your class will probably run over into church time and/or try to hide the book and keep it for themselves. It’s that good! Here are some suggested must-see pages:

pages 224-225: Toilets of the World (the country where each was photographed is listed at the bottom of each column of pictures)
pages 154- 161: Haiti
pages 96 -103: Uzbekistan
pages 57 - 63: China
pages 192-203: Albania
pages 228-235: Iraq
pages 22- 27: South Africa
pages 176-177: Meals of the World (the country where each was photographed is listed at the bottom of each column of pictures)
pages 36 - 37: Televisions of the World (the country where each was photographed is listed at the bottom of each column of pictures)

Closing:
Oh God we come to you with grateful hearts, knowing that we have been blessed with all that we need and so much more. Help us to remember those who are not as fortunate as we are. Amen.


References:

  • Simulation Games 1, by Pat Baker and Mary-Ruth Marshall, 1973, The Joint Board of Christian Education, Melbourne, Australia, ISBN: 0-85819-582-8

 

This lesson was written by Ruth Kroboth, Elmgrove United Methodist Church.

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

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