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Reply to "DRAMA, PUPPETS, STORYTELLING Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Pentecost"

Pentecost

Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will participate in a noisy creative dramatics celebration of the Spirit in many languages (with optional videotaping) and will consider our call to go out as with the Spirit as missionaries.

Scripture:

Acts 2

Memory Verse:"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8) (NIV)

Objectives for rotation

At the end of the rotation, the students will

  • know where Acts is in the New Testament and know that it is the story of the early church after Jesus' death and resurrection.
  • be able to retell the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
  • begin to understand the role of the Holy Spirit.
  • understand that the Spirt is with us as we are called to share the Good News.
  • find their own answer to Acts 2:37 in response to the coming of the Spirit: "Brothers, what shall we do?"
  • repeat the memory verse.
  • think about how the believers felt when they received the Holy Spirit.
  • know that missionaries go out to other countries to share the Good News.

Teacher preparation:

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study, Sunday. It will be very important for you to attend this study.
  • Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
  • Purchase or request additional supplies.
  • Ask people for more foreign language phrases. You may be surprised at what languages your friends and co-workers know.
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model (tm) at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member.

Room set-up:
A large clear space will be needed so the "Holy Spirit" can run around the gathered disciples.

Supply List:

  • Bible time costumes
  • red scarves or pieces of lightweight fabric (chiffon works well)
  • world map or globe
  • index cards with "Jesus is alive" in different languages
  • video camera or cellphone, tripod
  • A TV with cables to the camera so you can watch the video
  • Flip chart or white board and writing utensils


Lesson Plan

Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, ask the shepherd or co-leader to supply a temporary badge. Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.

We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but you may open with prayer if you feel led to do so.

Explain the purpose of this workshop. Use kid-friendly words to give a brief overview of what the children are going to learn and do. Tell the children that Acts is the story of the disciples and others going out into the world to spread the good news. Remind them what Jesus told his followers in our memory verse: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

Dig:

Scripture/Bible Story:
Read the scripture. Because the passage is too long, read Acts 2:1-13 together and then the leader should tell "the rest of the story." (Encourage the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses and reading along.)

Discuss the story:

  • Who were the people in the story? [Disciples (Peter is named), "believers", Holy Spirit, listeners]
  • Where did the story take place? [Jerusalem]
  • I wonder what everyone was saying when they all began speaking in different languages.
  • Teach children to say "Jesus is alive!" in different languages. Find where those languages are spoken on the map or globe.


Ask the children what sorts of things they think that Peter said that would lead 3000 people to be baptized. List the suggestions on the flip chart for later.

How would you feel if you were

  • someone hearing strangers suddenly speaking your language
  • a believer when you saw a tongue of fire on your friend
  • a believer who suddenly spoke unfamiliar languages?


Application:

Drama warm-up exercises:

  • Go around the circle and each person should try to say "Jesus is alive" in a different way (for example: matter of fact, surprised, frightened, as a question, excited, sad, mad, shy, loud). See how many times you can go around the circle before repeating a way of saying the phrase.
  • You are one of the believers gathered together after Jesus died. No one is sure what should be done next. "Suddenly, there is a noise from the sky which sounds like the blowing of a violent wind, and if fills the whole house where we are sitting. Then you see what look like tongues of fire which spread out and come to rest on each person here." (Adapted from Acts 2: 2-3.) Show how you think everyone may have reacted to the loud wind, tongues of fire, and strange languages coming out of their mouths.


Put on Bible time costumes.
Assign parts and act out the story for the video camera. (This will be easier if the camera is stationary and everyone faces the camera when speaking.)
Some suggestions:

  • Begin the drama with someone reading the narration from the Bible (Acts 2:1-7, allowing time for students to ad-lib dialog and sound effects as appropriate).
  • For the coming of the Holy Spirit: a few students can run around the group holding the red fabric high. This will give a feeling of wind and confusion and flames.
  • For the speaking in tongues, give each child a card with a foreign phrase written on it. Have everyone shout as loud as they can at the same time (you may want to establish a quiet signal for when you feel it is time to move on with the action).
  • For Peter's speech, have one of the students speak to the crowd using some of the suggestions from the earlier discussion. (Have the flip chart with key words visible.)
  • Depending on the size of the class, some students can be both the believers who were speaking in tongues and the listeners who were baptized. Or the listeners can be "off screen."
    Watch the video, then discuss other things that can be added to the performance. If time permits, reassign parts and do it again.

Reflection:

Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

  • What were the results of Pentecost? How do these results continue today?
  • Do we have the Holy Spirit with us?
  • What is a witness? How can we "witness to the ends of the earth"?
  • Talk about missionaries, particularly missionaries your congregation may be sponsoring or in contact with. Find where they are on the map or globe.


Review the memory verse. Recite the verse as call and response. The first few times, the teacher says a phrase and then the students echo it. After they are comfortable with it, divide the class in half. One half says one phrase and then the other half says the other phrase. All say the citation together.
But you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses
to the ends of the earth.
(Acts 1:8)

Closing prayer:
Your prayer should include a request for the Holy Spirit to go with each child as he/she carries the Good News to the world this week.

Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Give everyone the parent take-home flyer the first week of the rotation; give it only to children who were absent and have not yet received it the other weeks of the rotation.

Additional Suggestions:
Older children: Ask if anyone knows a foreign language and can say "Jesus is alive" or "Jesus loves you."
Younger Children: Select just a few cards for the speaking in different languages.


Resources

  • Lesson plan by Amy Crane previously posted at rotation.org.

Pentecost: the Coming of the Holy Spirit
Language cards


Phrases in other languages (variations of Jesus loves you, Jesus is alive, or Jesus is risen).
(Note that some languages use a different alphabet or characters, so the phrases are spelled out phonetically.)

Filipino: Bukey ang Jesu Christo.

Greek: Eseus erne Zotanos

Taiwanese: Yah so go wah. (Jesus has risen.)

Russian: Christos gzyork mezdinyanos

Gallic: Jesus cha a gla bretha.

German: Jesus lebt. (Jesus lives.)

Spanish: ¡Jesus está vivo! (Jesus lives.)

Mandarin (Chinese): Yay su ai ni. (Jesus loves you.)

Korean: Yae su nu sa dang da. (Jesus loves you.)


This lesson was written by Amy Crane for River Community Church in Prairieville, Louisiana.

Copyright 2003 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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