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Reply to "DRAMA, PUPPET, STORYTELLING Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Lazarus"

The Raising of Lazarus

Newsroom Workshop: 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Create (and watch) a mock TV newscast where the students interview the participants in the story of Lazarus. [Note: This workshop was visited by 3rd grade and up.]

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Bibles; One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
  • Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
  • Copies of interview sheets (at least 3 copies for each class) 
  • Pencils or pens
  • Costumes
  • Videotaping equipment: digital camera or video recorder, tripod, extension cord, TV
  • Props: Microphone, Scene clapper, news desk with a sign: “WFUMC” 

Before Start of Class:

  • Practice telling the story using the paraphrase. 
  • Decide what parts of the room to use for the various scenes. (May not want to shoot scenes with hallway windows in background; would be distracting if people walk by.)
  • Set up the video camera on the tripod. Review how the camera works.
  • Prepare the interview sheets by filling in these character names at the top: Martha, Mary, One of Jesus’ disciples. [If you will have a large group of students, add Lazarus. One group even added Jesus as a character to interview.]


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the WFUMC Newsroom. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Pass around a basket to collect any offering.
[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: Let’s begin with prayer.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: Dear God, Help us to understand your son Jesus. You sent him to live on earth where he had feelings just like we do. Yet he also had your power – he raised Lazarus from the dead. Help us understand this story for our own lives. Join me as we pray as Jesus taught us to pray (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.

Say: This is the newsroom of WFUMC. Today we’ll be videotaping a news broadcast on the story of Lazarus. We want to get to the bottom of the story – I have heard that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead – we just want to find out what’s going on, because it’s our job to report the news. Like all newscasts, ours will need reporters and people being interviewed. We’ll get it all ready, practice, and videotape it, and hopefully we’ll have time to watch our news show. Let’s first review our story.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Distribute Bibles.

Ask: Where in the Bible would we find a story about Jesus? (in the New Testament)
What are the first four books of the New Testament? (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
What do we call those first four books? 

Say: We call the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels. If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the gospel section of your Bible. [Show the classroom Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do tabs using the kit provided, for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.] 

Have everyone find John, chapter 11, verse 1. 
[Remind them of the quick way to find the New Testament: Opening the Bible in middle lands you usually in Psalms. Taking just the back half and finding middle of that, gets you to beginning of NT.]

Ask: What does the heading say at the top of this section of the Bible? (the death of Lazarus)
Say: The heading gives us a clue as to what our story is about. Keep your Bibles open but listen as I read you this story. 

Hold a copy of the story in an open Bible while you read the story.
[Note: After the first week of the Rotation the students will become more familiar with the story. Have them locate the scripture in their Bibles. Then ask them to tell you the story. Fill in any missing details by using their Bibles. Don’t read the paraphrase unless it is necessary.]

Say: We are going to explore this story. The way we are going to do this is to break into groups. Each group will have a handout to help them prepare a part of the news show.

Separate into groups – Prepare the News:
Ask the Shepherd to help you break the students into groups – preferably groups with 2 or 3 in each. If you have a large number of students place them in the “Disciple” group and have 2 students be interviewed as disciples. Even if students don’t want to have an on-camera part, assign them to a group to help do “research”. Once the kids are in groups, give each group a different “Interview Sheet.” Pass out pencils or pens.

You and the shepherd may need to help the students as they do their research and develop their interviews. Encourage them to look at the story in their Bibles to determine the questions to ask.

Hints of questions for each character:
Martha: Why did you feel that if Jesus had been there your brother Lazarus would not have died? Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26) What did Jesus mean by this? Why did you not want the rock moved from in front of the tomb?

Mary: How did you react when Jesus didn’t come right away? How did you feel when you first saw Jesus? How did you feel when Jesus started crying with you? How did you feel when Lazarus came out of the tomb? 

Disciple: Why do you suppose that Jesus didn’t go right away to Lazarus? Did it make you nervous going back to Judea, knowing that Jesus had his life threatened? What did you think when Jesus said Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” (John 11:14-15) How did you feel when you heard people in the crowd saying, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” (John 11:37)

Watch the clock; give a five-minute and a two-minute warning. [Start taping by 10:12]

Videotape the News, then View the News:
When the time is up, gather everyone together. 
Ask someone to be the announcer and give them the announcer script (see attached).

Instruct the students on how the news should flow: starting with the opening announcer, who will pass off to a reporter. Tell the reporters that they will need to pass off to other reporters.

Videotape the news. 

When done, hook the digital camera to the TV and enjoy!

Say: Jesus came to release us from our tombs of sin. Jesus sets us free and unbinds us. He releases us to new life in God just as Lazarus was set free from his grave clothes. All who believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, receive through him the gift of eternal life.

Attachment: Opening announcers part
News Anchor reads: 

We interrupt today's special six-hour presentation on “Great Moments in Methodist History” to bring you this special news bulletin. We have just heard rumors that a man in Bethany has been raised from the dead! For more on this breaking story, we go live to our ace reporter in the field.

Attachment: Interview Sheets

Your character is: _________________________

Lazarus has been raised from the dead! Your job is to interview your character to find out more about what happened from their point of view.

 The role of your character in the story.
 How this character might have felt.

Three questions we want to ask & how we will answer these questions:

A lesson written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. 
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

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