Bringing the Rotation Story to the Congregation through Interactive Drama
We try a few times each year to bring the story we have been studying in Sunday school to the congregation. In our church we have children's story time, usually an object talk done by the minister. Occasionally, I will let him know I'd like to take over children's time the last Sunday of a rotation.
Generally, I involve some or all of the children and some or all of the congregation through storytelling (with participation) or drama. Most often it involves humor and requirements are:
- the material must be simple
- either no props or very simple props
- scripts (a copy for each participant often copied on front/back cardstock and part highlighted for ease of reading)
- I prefer - narrating story and having the kids act it out.
- length of 5-10 minutes.
Sometimes we will do the drama done in our Drama workshop.
Sometimes I will pull children and congregation members from their seats and we do the skit with no warning, practice, or prep (always fun and always a hit).
I will often take a part (crowd, women, God, Holy Spirit, Soldiers, nature, sound effects, etc.) and make the congregation do that part - this now gets everyone involved.
I will type up overheads of their lines and have my assistant run the overhead. So they will know when it's their turn to speak I always do an introduction by saying "... and the Crowd said..." and also doing an exaggerated rolling motion towards them with my hand - they may sing their lines, do them in rolling rhyme, or with an accent. I practice a couple of times with them so they understand what I want - and sometimes with a bit of encouraging fun, help them get their inner child to feel free to come out and play.
For material anything by author Stephen James is excellent. I've also found good skits or interactive stories by searching the internet, or reading from a storybook. Sometimes just some simpl adjusting of the material to suit my needs .
The Sunday school does two full church services a year. One before Christmas and one the 1st of June. This June we will be bringing the Fall of Jericho to the congregation. We have a small rural church that has a balcony. We will be blocking off the back 3 rows of pews. The people of Jericho will be in the balcony with Rahab and 2 spy puppets, a red rope, and several Styrofoam bricks. The Israelites, priests with horns, and Joshua will be marching around the congregation below. I will be dressed as a high priest who is retelling the story and that script includes directions for the actors to follow. The spies will be lowered from the balcony (2 puppets attached to a red rope) and when the walls fall, they will really fall, as the bricks are dropped from the above balcony (and why the back rows are blocked, so no one sits there).
I can guarantee you that half the congregation will have found themselves sitting down with their bibles the following week to read the book of Joshua and they will chuckle away as they remember falling bricks and a puppet spy who had his eyes covered as he slithered down the rope to safety!