Rotation.org Writing Team
Kingdom Parables: Seed, Leaven, Treasure, Pearl
Summary of Activities
Students play the flying game "Galilee Flyer" on the computer to discover and complete Bible verses taken from the four parables, As they fly, they also encounter "pop-ups" and bonus questions about each parable that help explain the meaning of each parable. Once all the content is found, the player is alerted to land on the airfield and collect their "pilot ranking." Their score is based on how well they matched the phrases.
Note: Sunday Software has made this program FREE to our Supporting Members.
To download go here!
If you don't have multiple computers available, but do have one PC and LCD projector available, you can project this game on the wall and have students take turns coming forward to fly and look for Bible verses in the game landscape. See the graphic below in "Game On."
Scripture for the Lesson
- Parable of the Mustard Seed - Matthew 13:31-32
- Parable of the Leaven - Matthew 13:33
- Parable of the Treasure in the Field - Matthew 13:44
- Parable of the Pearl - Matthew 13:45-46
Galilee Flyer includes the complete text of the four parables in NRSV. Students can read them when they fly close to the summit of Mt. Hippus (located in the game's landscape). The scriptures are also seen in the floating verses that the students are hunting for.
See the Bible Background at rotation.org for this set's complete list of objectives and additional insights into each parable.
This lesson is particularly good at helping students memorize the four Kingdom Parables.
Preparation and Materials
Software and Game Play Notes
It is important that the teacher previews and knows how to play the game. You or a teaching assistant will need to demonstrate how to take-off and land the plane. It will help if students have some prior experience flying the plane. Players can 'crash' the airplane, but they will get several chances to try again without having to go back to the beginning and lose the verses they have completed. Read the Galilee Flyer Teacher's Guide by Sunday Software.
There are seven incomplete parable verses floating in the game landscape. When students fly into them, an incomplete version of one of the verses appears. Student must select from a set of possible answers to complete the verse and continue flying. After each correct verse completion, a pop-up window presents some additional information about the parable. See the Student Handout for the list of verses. Each parable verse is found in two different places in the landscape to make them easier to find and reinforce memory. Numerous multiple choice questions about the parables are also found floating in the landscape. Once students have found and completed all seven verses, they will be prompted to land and receive a score.
Galilee Flyer works on a wide-variety of Windows PCs, older to new. If you have just one computer available, students can take turns flying and looking for verses. A helper can easily help a player steer the plane, while others can help spot verses to collect as you fly. The game pauses when things pop-open, so you can switch players at those points as well.
About the three handouts attached to this lesson
- G.Flyer-KofG-Verses.pdf —For the teacher only. This is the answer key to the 7 verses. It also has the text of the "pop-up" comments that appear after each verse is completed.
- G.Flyer-KofG-Questions.pdf —For the teacher only. This is the answer key to the multiple choice questions floating around Galilee.
- G.Flyer-Student-Handout.pdf —Print this for your student to fill-out as they fly. It contains a list of all the parable verses to be completed, a list of all the pop-up comments, and a list of all the multiple choice questions that can be found in the game.
- Remember to read the Galilee Flyer's Teacher Guide for helpful "how-to" hints.
Welcome your students and explain how today's lesson will unfold.
Start up the game and walk them through the following controls. (The scripture reading is part of this "test flight.")
1. Keyboard controls. On the airfield, press "Home" and the forward arrow key to take off. The Home and End adjust for speed. Show them how you "climb" using the arrow keys. Note that the plane gains altitude slowly so they must learn how to climb otherwise they will crash. Note the verse counter, airspeed, and compass settings on the screen.
2. Find the scriptures atop Mt Hippus (the mountain directly in front of you when you take off). Read the Parables aloud to the entire class. The scriptures are NRSV. If you want to use another version, pull out your classroom Bibles at this point.
3. Verse and Question Icons. After reading the scriptures on Mt Hippus, fly over to a nearby floating "V" Verse icon and show them how to answer it correctly. As you approach the floating "V" icon, note that the "V" on the pilot's display flashes green when there's a "V" icon nearby. Show them how to select the right answer.
4. Fly back to the airfield and show them how to land the plane. Remind them that they can only land on the airfield after they have collected the 7 verses and the game tells them to land.
5. Now let them go practice for 3 minutes on their own computer (if you have multiple PCs). As they practice, give them a few more pointers (see the Galilee Flyer teaching tips). You should also announce that they will get a higher pilot ranking if they have fewer incorrect "V" Verse answers and correctly answer the floating "Q" Question icons.
One or Two Computers:
Sit next to your students and guide them. Help them understand how to avoid crashing, and give them hints about the verses, if needed.
Have helpers sit between computers to assist and offer advice. Make sure students are sharing turns at the controls.
One Computer for a Group:
If you have one PC and an LCD projector, you can project the game on the wall for a larger group. Tips: If you're using a laptop, plug a spare keyboard into the laptop's USB port so that the students can navigate using the full-size keyboard. This is especially helpful as the arrow keys on laptop computers tend to be very cramped. The game pauses any time you land, and any time a Verse or Question panel has been opened. These are good spots to invite the next student to come up and help you fly the plane.
It will take a 3rd grader about 25 minutes to complete the game, figuring on one "re-start" if they have no previously experience with the game and controls.
A set of discussion questions will pop open when you fly across the floating blue "D" icon and ruins found in the Galilee landscape. Gather your students around one computer and go find the Discussion ruins with the plane. Alternately, discuss the questions away from the computers. Here are the three discussion questions found in the game...
Kingdom Parables (the text found in the game's discussion area)
1. Many of the people Jesus met hoped the world would be a better place in the future. They looked forward to a time when God would rule over all. Jesus surprised them by teaching that the Kingdom of God was here and possible right now —if we would only open our eyes to see it.
- Where can you see the Kingdom of God happening in our world?
- What things are you doing that are part of God's Kingdom on earth?
2. By using the images of seeds and leaven or yeast, Jesus was teaching that little things can do BIG things.
- Name one small change you can make in your life right now that would make you a better friend, family member, church member, child of God.
3. Using the images of hidden treasure and a found pearl, Jesus taught that the Kingdom could be right under your nose ...but you must be looking for it to see it. Jesus also taught that it will cost you something to gain the Kingdom of God —to make it part of you.
- What things might you have to give up in order to make the Kingdom of God God (-the rule of God) part of your life?
For those short on time, and for younger players: Start the game in "easy" mode. The plane will fly slower giving you more time to react. Ignore the "Q" questions floating in the landscape and focus only on finding all the "V" verses that need to be completed. The Questions are not required to complete the game. The Questions are found on one of the attachments to this lesson and can be asked and discussed apart from the game.
Have helpers on hand to help younger children steer the plane and pay attention to where they are flying.
If projecting the game from a single laptop computer, it is recommended that you borrow and plug-in a full-size keyboard into to the laptop's USB port. The arrow keys on a full-size keyboard are easier to steer the plane with, and allows the teacher to "help" using the laptop keyboard without crowding out the student at the extension keyboard.
Written by the Rotation.org Writing Team
Copyright 2017, Rotation.org Inc.
Galilee Flyer images and handouts from Sunday Software, used with permission.