Jesus’ Birth through the Eyes of Isaiah
Drama- Newsroom Workshop
Summary of Lesson Activity:
Create a news broadcast with time-traveling reporters interviewing Isaiah and other Biblical characters to learn about prophets, and the coming Messiah. [4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]
- Read the scripture for this lesson.
- Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
- Gather the materials
- Easel; appropriate marker
- A copy of The Children’s Illustrated Bible
- Copies of attached interview sheets
- Pencils or pens
- Videotaping equipment: movie camera, tripod, extension cord, TV with camera hook up cords
- Props: Microphone, Scene clapper, a sign: “WFUMC”
- Optional: Costumes
Advances Preparation Requirements:
- Make sure you understand the flow of the newscast – read director’s notes at end of this lesson. You may wish to sketch out the plan on the easel.
- Set up videotaping equipment. Make sure that you know how to work the camera.
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the WFUMC Newsroom. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]
Ask: Are you excited about Christmas coming?
Are you ready for Christmas – do you have decorations up?
Say: Christmas is something we plan for way in advance isn’t it? Today we’re going to talk about how Jesus’ birth was something God planned for, for a very long time. God told the world about the coming birth of Jesus – way before it happened! In fact, about 700 years before it happened a prophet named Isaiah told about the coming birth of Christ. Since today we are set up here as the newsroom of WFUMC, we will be time-travelers to report this news from the Bible. Before we get started, let’s begin with prayer. (Normally we ask for prayer requests. Because this is a full workshop we’ll forgo gathering requests and doing the Lord’s Prayer.)
Say: “Dear God, Thank you for your special message given long ago to the prophets – telling them about Jesus’ coming birth. Your message was a promise of hope. Today as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, we too are filled with hope because we are reminded of your love for us. Amen.”
Dig- Main Content and Reflection
Ask: Have you all seen news reporters on TV interviewing people?
Say: Today we’ll be time-travelers back about 2,700 some years – to report the news around the time of the prophet Isaiah.
Ask: What do you know about Isaiah? (prophet in Old Testament times)
What is a prophet?
Say: A prophet is God's special messenger. A prophet tells God's messages.
Ask: How is a prophet different from someone like a fortune-teller?
Say: A prophet doesn't look into a crystal ball and guess what will happen; a prophet knows what will happen because a prophet brings a message from God.
Ask: What kinds of messages do you suppose God gave prophets?
Say: Sometimes the messages were “shape up” – in other words, a warning. Sometimes the messages were brought to people who were feeling down and discouraged – messages of hope. We are going to be exploring some of Isaiah’s messages of hope – messages about the coming of Jesus.
Say: At this time we are going to be breaking into groups. Each group will prepare a different part of our news show. Your group needs to follow the instructions on their handout. You have about 7 minutes to prepare your scene; then we’ll videotape it.
Separate into groups – Prepare the News:
Ask the Shepherd to help you break students into groups – see director’s notes as to number and size of each group.
[Note: This workshop has been written for 8 (or more) participants. If you have less than 8, eliminate scene four. Discuss the worksheet for scene 4 as a group, after the first three scenes have been filmed; then film scene four. There is plenty of room for more than 8 students. Refer to director’s notes.]
Once the kids are in groups, give each group a different “Interview Sheet.” Pass out pencils or pens. Also give:
Scene 1: The Children’s Illustrated Bible
Scene 2, 3 and 4: Bibles
You may need to help the students as they do their research and develop their interviews. Encourage them to look at the referenced Bibles verses to develop their interview. As you help the students develop their interviews, enhance their learning by telling them what you learned from the overview material.
Watch the clock; give a five-minute and a two-minute warning. [Start taping by 10:12]
Video the News/View the News:
When the time is up, gather everyone together for a quick pre-production meeting.
If desired (and if enough time) allow a quick search for an appropriate costume.
Explain how each group will be signaled when a scene is being started or stopped.
Explain how you’ll tape each of the scenes, stopping in between to get into position. (Feel free, between scenes to ask any thought- provoking questions.)
Videotaping the news
Each scene needs to move quickly.
If there is time, you may wish to film the participants spinning backwards to represent that passing of time while someone stands still and moves the clock forward in time.
When done, hook the camera to the TV, rewind and enjoy!
Say: God told the prophets about Jesus’ birth way before it happened. The people at that time were in need of a message of hope. God's love was so great that God planned to send a Savior, the anointed one, the Messiah, to cancel out our sin and to establish God's kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness on earth. As we prepare for Christmas, remember to think of Christmas as celebrating God’s gift of love to us.
If you have extra time:
Add a late breaking interview to the news story. Interview a Shepherd, present on the hillside when the angels brought news of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.
How did you learn what Isaiah said would happen? (hint: it was in Hebrew scripture)
When did you think God would do these things? (hint: they’d been waiting a long time)
Isaiah had said that the people would see a great light.
You saw some of God's other messengers, the angels. Did you connect them with Isaiah's prophecy?
- Camp, Anne. “Rotation.org Writing Team Lessons On The Birth Of Jesus Through The Eyes Of Isaiah: Video Workshop.” 2002. http://rotation.infopop.cc/6/u...6059161&m=3736020261
- McIntyre, Judy. “River Community Church…Advent/Christmas through the eyes of Isaiah: Drama/Video Workshop.” 2003. http://rotation.infopop.cc/6/u...66081431&m=928607994
A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First UMC
Ann Arbor, MI
Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
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