Parable of the Sower
Creation Cooking Workshop
Summary of Lesson Activities:
This is a more detailed version of Jan of Napa's lesson above.
- 1 can of chocolate frosting,
- 4 graham crackers for each child,
- candy sprinkles,
- M & Ms,
- stringy candy (for thorns) like sour green apple straws,
- licorice vines, or cut up fruit roll-ups,
- plastic knives,
- paper napkins.
- Read the story ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and their guide, and open the workshop session with prayer. Ask God to reveal to each of you what He has to say to you about your relationship with Him today. The
Before beginning the lesson, review the memory verse, “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15
Review also the bonus verse, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
If this is the first Sunday of the rotation, it will not be apparent to the children why they are learning these verses to go with this lesson. However, you might ask the children what it means to “deceive yourselves” in the bonus verse. Explain that “to deceive” means “to trick” or “to lie about something”. Ask them also if they know the word “persevering” in the memory verse. Explain that “to persevere” means to go on and on without giving up, sort of like the “energizer bunny”. So the memory verse is about someone who goes on obediently following Jesus by faith.
Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
Introduce the Parable of the Sower by explaining first that Jesus was teaching large crowds of people. Matthew and Mark make it clear that the crowd was so big that Jesus got into a boat and taught the people who stood on the lakeshore. The crowd included people who were friendly toward Jesus and wanted to follow him. It also included people who didn’t care, who were just curious about Jesus, maybe wanting to see a spectacular miracle or something, and it included people who were actually opposed to Jesus, and who wanted to find something wrong with what he was doing and teaching.
Jesus was teaching using stories to teach a truth, stories with a hidden meaning; these stories were called “parables”. Some people listened to the stories and did not ask questions or even wonder about the stories. Other people, those who really wanted to be close followers of Jesus, wanted to know more about the meaning of the parables Jesus told. We can be thankful that Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower is written down in the first three books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Explain that we will learning a story about a farmer who went out to “sow” or plant seeds, and about the kinds of soils the seeds landed on and about the abundance of the crops they produced. Share the information from the “background” about how farmers “sowed” seeds in Jesus’ time.
(For younger children, be sure they understand that this is not “sewed”, meaning “stitched”.) If you want to show the various kinds of soils, jars are available in the resource room so you can prepare samples.
Have the children use their Bibles to find Matthew, the first book in the New Testament, then Mark, the second book, and then Luke the third book. (Grades 4 – 6 should be able to find Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8.)
Once they are able to do this, read the parable from Luke 8:4-8. (We’re using Luke because it’s concise, and our memory verse comes from Luke.) Do not go on to reading the explanation yet; let the children think about the parable as they experience it with their cooking lesson today. Do ask the children about Luke 8:8b, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Why would Jesus say that sort of thing? After they’ve shared, explain that Jesus was challenging them to think about the parable and learn its meaning. He was also indicating that this was an important teaching for them, just as it is for us.
[Reference: Cooking idea based on Jan Napa's post at rotation.org and a subsequent posting on the same site by Pam K.]
Cooking: Experiencing the Sower, the Seeds, and the Soils
Pass out the plastics knives and paper napkins, and give each child 4 graham crackers. Show the children the sprinkles. They will be the “seeds” from our story. Ask the children, “What happens if you drop seeds onto something hard?” (The seeds roll off; they don’t sink in or stick.)
Ask, “Which soil in the story was hard?” (The pathways were hard.) Ask, “What happened to the seeds that fell on the pathways?” (verse 5, “It was trampled on and the birds ate it up.") Pass the sprinkles, and tell the children to drop a pinch of sprinkles onto a plain, unfrosted graham cracker. Let them experience being “birds” and eating the seeds that roll off the hard “soil”. (Tell them to save the crackers to eat later, so we can compare our soils.)
Ask the children, “What happened to the seeds that landed on the rocky soil in the story?” (verse 6, “when it grew, the plants withered because they had no moisture.") Tell them they will have to make some “rocky soil” by putting a very thin layer of chocolate frosting on a graham cracker and then covering it with M & Ms (“rocks"). Then pass the sprinkles and have them drop a pinch of sprinkles onto their “rocky soil” to see what happens. Many “seeds” will roll off, and a few will go down between the M & Ms.
Ask the children, “What was third type of soil, and what happened to the seeds that landed on it?” (verse 7, “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.") Pass the frosting again, have the children apply a moderate amount to a graham cracker, and pass the “thorn” candy. Then pass out the sprinkles and have them drop a pinch of sprinkles on the “thorny soil” on their crackers. What happens? Could these seeds grow up to be large plants when the thorny weeds were hogging the food and water in the soil? (No)
Ask the children, “What was the fourth type of soil, and what happened to the seed that fell on it?” (verse 8, “Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown"). Explain that Matthew and Mark say a little more; they say that the seeds produced plants that yielded 30, 60 or 100 times what was sown. Pass the frosting, and have the children apply a generous amount to the remaining cracker. Then pass the sprinkles. Ask, “What happens to the seeds that fall on your ‘good soil’?” (They stick on top; if they were real seeds on soil, they would put down roots and grow.)
Before the children eat their crackers, have them answer the following questions, and then read Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower from Luke 8:9-15.
- Who do you think the sower is? (God, or Jesus, or anyone who spreads the “seed”. The children may say, “He’s the farmer."
- What do you think the seed is? (God’s word)
- What do think the birds are? (Something that takes away God’s word; the devil/evil)
- What is the hard soil? (A person who is resistant to God’s word, who doesn’t care about it)
- What is the rocky soil? (A person who, due to difficulties, believes for only a short time)
- What is the thorny soil? (A person who has competing interests and affection, who doesn’t put God first)
- What is the good soil? (A person who, by faith, seeks to follow and obey Jesus faithfully and completely)
After reading the Bible explanation and answers to these questions, pass out the Parable of the Sower pages, and review the application section on each of the four pages. (Reference: https://www.kidssundayschool.c...hat-fall-on-the-path) For older classes, like grades 5 & 6, these pages can be just review/take-home sheets. Older students, and maybe some younger ones, can answer the following questions.
- When Jesus said the “seed” was the “word of God”, what did he mean? (ANS: He meant that we should have faith in what God says in the Bible and should have faith in Jesus as the Son of God who died for our sins and rose to life on the third day.)
- How or why might a person be “hardened” concerning part or all of God’s word or concerning Jesus? (ANS: Some people are proud and unconcerned about the things of God. Some have had no teaching at home about God either. But a person can also be unbelieving concerning a PART of God’s word, and this is also a hindrance to the Kingdom of God since God does not rule that part of the person.)
- What might “rocky soil” be in a person’s life? (ANS: A person who just gives up following Jesus because it is a difficult and unpopular thing to do.)
- What can you do to avoid having thorny soil? (ANS: Put God first, read your Bible and pray every day.)
- Why does good “soil” produce fruit? (ANS: Because you’re listening to Jesus’ words from the Bible, believing Him, praying to Him, are filled with the Holy Spirit, and He makes the good things we call “fruit” happen. Part of that fruit is the “fruit of the Spirit” found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.)
End with a prayer.
A lesson originally posted by member lerner.
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.