Jesus Calms the Storm
Drama/Movie Making Workshop
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Interview the workshop leader (who is an experienced sailor)
Pose as disciples and interview each other with the same questions
Create scene vignettes of the story, captured with digital camera
View the photos in the “theater” workshop on the big screen and narrate the story
Bible memory verse:
"Be still, and know that I am God” … the Lord Almighty is with us …” Psalm 46:10-11
Lesson Objectives: Throughout the four-week unit, children will be helped to
- Retell the story of Jesus calming the storm
- Explore why the disciples were afraid
- Identify with the disciples in the “storms” of their own lives
- Recall the qualities of God and God’s faithfulness to us in all situations
- Discuss and choose ways they will call on Jesus when they need help
NOTE: The workshop leader had a sailboat and was an experienced sailor. She brought some of her gear – life jacket, ropes, etc.
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- Index cards with questions on them.
- Spray Bottle
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome the children warmly into the workshop. Introduce yourself and tell them that you are an experienced sailor. Engage in a very brief conversation about sailing, asking if any of them have ever sailed before.
Tell them that in order to get to know you better and more about sailing, you’d like them to become investigative reporters. Put them in pairs or groups of three and give each group an index card that you have previously written one of these question starters on: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How. You may need duplicates of some of the questions, depending on how many children. Invite them to create one question as a group they’d like to ask you about sailing using the question starter word on their card. Partners should agree on the question. Distribute pencils and have them record their questions on their card. [Example: Who do you like to go sailing with? Or What would you do if …?]
After a few minutes, gather them together and invite them to ask you the questions they’ve created. Answer honestly.
Let them know that they should keep these questions handy because they may want to use their question again for another interview they’ll be conducting shortly.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Distribute Bibles and tell children that the story about Jesus we’re discovering this month is found in 3 of the 4 gospels. Ask which section of the Bible stories of Jesus would be found in – OT or NT? Ask if they can name the 4 gospels. This story is in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Have them turn to the Mark account in 4:35-41.
Read the story together in whatever way you’d like – you read odd verses, children read even verses aloud together; girls-even, boys-odd; around the circle, etc. If this is the third or fourth week of the unit, you can use a toy sailboat and pass it from child to child, having them each add on a sentence from the story so they are retelling it in their own words.
Let them know that it’s time to put their investigative skills to work again. Have kids choose and put on “disciple” costumes from selection on the rack. Get back in pairs/groups of three with their question card and spread out in the room. This time they are all the disciples that were in the boat with Jesus in the story. They should see if the question that they previously asked you could be asked of each other now as disciples and answered, in character. For the above example: “Who do you like to go sailing with?” it could be answered: “Jesus and the other disciples”. If the question will not work to ask of a disciple for this story, have them flip their card over and come up with a new question using that word. As they interview each other, walk around and listen in on their conversations. Encourage and support. After the pair/threesome answers their question have them trade cards with another group and continue till they’ve answered one of each of the types of questions.
The shepherd will now play the part of Jesus and all the kids will be the disciples. Tell them they will be doing a freeze frame of the following 8 scenes that you will describe by reading from the story. After they hear you read it they will get into positions that describe what they heard. Be sure to remind them there is no sound so their facial expressions and body language have to tell the story. When they are frozen, you’ll snap a photo. You can use the electric fan and spray bottle to help them imagine with “effects”. Scripture from NIV:
- That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side."
- Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
- Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.
- The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
- He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!"
- Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
- He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
- They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
After taking photos, give our “techie” the digital camera and USB cable. Have the kids put away their costumes, then quietly move to the movie theater. Popcorn and juice boxes will be pre-made and available as they enter.
At each photo, ask a different child to describe as best they can what was happening. You can follow what they say by reading the verses. Then pause before moving to the next photo and ask the following “I wonder” questions after each one:
- I wonder … do you always follow Jesus … even when you’re tired, or not having a good day, or angry.
- I wonder … what kind of storms are in your life right now … maybe having to do with your family, or school, or friends.
- I wonder … do you ever feel like Jesus doesn’t know what you’re going through.
- I wonder … do you go to Jesus when you need help with something, no matter how small or big the problem is.
- I wonder … do you realize how powerful and good and loving Jesus is.
- I wonder … do you know that Jesus can help you be calm even when things seem very chaotic and difficult.
- I wonder … does Jesus ever say to you “Why are you so afraid? Do you have no faith in me?”
- I wonder … how can you show yourself, God and others that you do trust in Jesus.
Conclude in prayer … inviting kids to add their thoughts from the “I wonder” statements. The shepherd can help lead this discussion if you prefer.
NOTE: We will print out the pictures and they will be available the following week for this group to use in the retelling of the story in the Science workshop.
A lesson written by Jan from: First Presbyterian Church,
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