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(WT) The Story of Creation ~ Audio-Visual, Video Workshop Lesson

Rotation.org Writing Team

The Story of Creation

Video Workshop Lesson

"Do Something to Care for Creation"


Summary of Activities

Students will read When God Made the World, a beautiful book about the Story of Creation written by Matthew Paul Turner. Then they will further explore the book's theme's by watching Mathew West's "Do Something" music video. They will follow up by recording their own messages—like those seen in the video and based on the book—to "do something for Creation."

A montage of images for the lesson on doing something for Creation

Scripture for the Lesson

Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 (NIV)

Key Verse:  Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
"So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them."

Lesson Objectives

  • See the Bible Background at rotation.org for insights on this story and this set's complete list of objectives.
  • This lesson focuses on what God created us to do.


Preparation and Materials

  • Read the Bible Background and scripture.
  • Print a copy of the song lyrics & questions (optional; for teacher's use).
  • Purchase (or borrow) and prepare to share a copy of the book When God Made the World (under $10). Place a sticky note on the page that begins, "So use every gift, every talent or shtick..."
  • Preview and prepare to show the "Do Something" music video by Matthew West. (On the day of class cue the video to skip any ads that may play.)
  • Assemble markers (in mostly dark colors) and recycled or recyclable paper or used cardboard, to make your "do something" signs. (Do not use posterboard as seen in the video.) Create one sign with large letters, which says, "Do Something!"
  • Recruit an assistant who can handle the tech setup and the recording in this lesson. Provide a video camera or a cell phone and the cords to connect it to a TV or screen for playback. (How-to instructions)
  • Use masking tape to mark a "stand here" spot on the floor in front of a blank wall, for creating your video.
  • On an easel or whiteboard, write in large letters: "Do Something."

    a star marks text of importance  See the tech notes at the end of this lesson for how to project the book to a large group, how to use your cellphone to show the YouTube video on a TV or screen, and how to download the video for teaching purposes, if you can't connect to the Internet in your classroom.


Lesson Plan

Opening

Welcome your students and explain what they'll be doing and learning in today's lesson.

Say:  First we’re going to explore the beauty and majesty of God’s Creation and our place in God's Creation, by reading the book When God Made the World. Then we will watch a video called "Do Something" that will inspire us to think about ways we can do something to care for God's Creation! Then—based on what we have read and seen—we'll make our own take-action-now video for Creation care!

Ask:  Our storybook is based on the first chapter of the first book of the Bible. Do you know the name of that first book? (It's Genesis.) Do you know what Genesis means? (Genesis means "beginning," "origin," "source.")  What do you think the book of Genesis is about? (accept a few replies)
Say:  Genesis is about the beginning of the universe and how God began to care, talk, and be faithful to his children—us!

  • Younger students:  Show the students where Genesis is located in the Bible.
  • Older students:  Ask them to locate Genesis in their Bibles and show them how to find it.

Read "When God Made the World"

Explain that the book retells the story of Creation in vivid words and illustrations.

If you're short on time, or if think your younger students will lose interest, see the notes at the end of this lesson for four pages of the book you could skip.
See below for other read-aloud hints.

a push pin This lesson uses this book as its extended and illustrated reading of the scripture passage. The book describes the six days of Creation in more poetic detail but doesn't mention the seventh (day of rest). Instead, it spends extra time on the sixth day concept of our place in Creation.
If your students haven't yet read the passage in another lesson in this set, or you want to include scripture reading, we suggest reading a "shortened version of Genesis 1 NIV." The endnotes also describe a short video (about 2 minutes) of an excerpt of the book's wonderful text.


Questions After the Reading

Ask:  What is your favorite part of God's creation that was mentioned in the book?

Read the first paragraph on the last page out loud again and ask students what they think it means. (Starting with the words, "And just like a star...")
Page from the book - how we live tells God's story

Say:
  Everything in Creation helps to tell a beautiful story about God. Even us!
Ask:  I wonder how helping to care for Creation helps to tell God's story?

Pause after asking this mostly rhetorical question, meant to spur thinking. You will begin to answer it in the following activities.


Read aloud
the first two sentences on the bookmarked page that begins: "So use every gift, every talent or shtick..."
Page from the book: use every gift & talent to make the world betterSay:  Shtick is a word that means "what you are interested in." This is basically saying, "Use whatever you've got—what God created in you—to make God's Creation a better place."
Ask:
  I wonder what are some specific things that we can do to take better care of God's Creation?

On the board, start a "Do Something" list of THINGS THAT GOD WANTS US TO DO. Offer a few ideas just read in the book. (Hug a tree, protect a bee...) Then, add more, as children offer them. Your list doesn't have to be comprehensive. This is a transition into the music video and sign-making activity which will focus on things God wants us to care about and "do."

Watch "Do Something"

Say:  We're now going to watch a music video called "Do Something." It's about doing things to help people, to improve equality and fairness for everyone.
Ask:  I wonder if we could make a "Do Something" video specifically about making the earth a better place?

Say:  Let's watch and be thinking about MORE things God wants us to do to take better care of God's Creation and creatures, which includes all people too!

Watch "Do Something" by Matthew West (4 minutes).
https://youtu.be/b_RjndG0IX8

Show the students your "Do Something!" sign.
Say:
In the video, the singer asks God a question: "God, why don't You do something?"
Ask:  According to the singer, how did God respond?

If children don't know, consider re-watching the video starting at 0:37 until 0:50. (God's response? "I did, I created you.")


Lyrics from music video - Questioning God - Why don't you do something?


Say: God created us to care for Creation,
all the land, air, water, plants, creatures, and people; to solve problems and make the world a better place in God's name. This is what it means when Genesis 1:27 says that we are made in the "image of God." It means that we are to do God's work. We were not created to sit on the sidelines and expect other people to do the right things. Each of us has been created in the image of God to be caretakers of Creation and everything in it.

Make our own "Do Something" Signs and Video

Students will now begin to make their own "Do Something" signs to hold up during the video they are about to record.

Ask students to recall some of the problems and "do something" solutions they saw on the signs in the video that apply to caring about Creation. Add these to the "do something" list on the board. (To spur ideas, suggest some of the signs you noticed—Clean water, Plant seeds, Care, Act, Volunteer, Stand up, Advocate, Right now!)

Then, distribute sheets of paper or cardboard and markers. Have students divide up the "do something" list and write them on individual signs in large letters. (Show them the sign you created as an example.)

Encourage students to create additional signs showing their favorite part of Creation and the words "CARE FOR" or "LOVE" or "SHARE" or "MAKE BETTER" printed in BIG BOLD LETTERS on their drawing so that they will be readable from several feet away when it comes time to record the video.

Potential Do Something signs

Record Your Own "Do Something for Creation" Video

Place your video camera about 6 feet in front of a blank wall with a pre-marked "stand here" spot on the floor for students to walk toward and stand on, then show their signs to the camera before walking off.

Off-camera, line up students with their signs in hand.

The teacher should pick up a sign and demonstrate the following Instructions for the students:

  • One by one or in pairs, silently walk to the mark on the floor, turn to the camera, and hold your sign up.
  • Hold your sign for 4 to 5 seconds (watch me count down with my fingers) then walk off stage when directed to do so.
  • You may make gestures like some of the sign holders did in the video we watched.
  • As soon as one walks off, another immediately walks on.
  • When walking off, walk behind the camera to get another sign and be ready to walk on again. Continue until all the signs have been used, then have everyone walk on TOGETHER holding all the signs for a grand finale.


During recording, the teacher should stand behind the camera so that students will be looking at the camera and be able to see your 5-second count down.

After the recording: Watch the recording with the class and SHARE YOUR ENTHUSIASM for their efforts!

Closing Prayer

Place all the signs in front of the gathered class and then have each student pick one up to take home. After each student has a sign, tell them that when it's their turn to pray, they are to say the phrase, "God, I will make the world a better place by..." and complete the prayer by describing or saying what's on the sign or in their heart. Conclude with your own prayer that each of us will become a more loving and caring part of God's Creation story.



Adaptations

For Younger Students:

Read the signs in the music video as they appear.
Invite non-readers to draw their favorite scenes of Creation to hold in front of the camera.
Prepare several signs in advance for the children to hold next to their drawings during the recording, These signs can have simple statements like, "I Love," and "Thank you God for...," and "I will take care of," and "I Care for God's World."

For Older Students:

Consider replacing the book with reading the scripture. You may choose to use a shortened version.
Spend more time discussing the provided "Do Something" lyrics/questions before creating your own video presentation. If they don't want to record the video, have them turn their signs into a display that can be shared with the congregation around the subject of "Caring for Creation."

For Those With More Class Time:

You may include both the reading of scripture and/or discussion on the "Do Something" lyrics/questions.
Spend more time coming up with and creating "Care for Creation" signs to hold in front of the camera.

For a Shorter/Simpler lesson plan:

Instead of reading the storybook, watch a video that introduces the book (about 2 minutes) and covers the most important pages. Replace the "reading of the last page" by re-watching the video from 1:38 to the end. Replace reading the "bookmarked page" by watching from 1:18 to 1:25.
Simplify the closing prayer activity.

For At-Home Use:

Together, make a list of things you and your family can do to take better care of Creation around your home and in your neighborhood. Then split into two groups with two cellphones and challenge each other to come back together with "the best selfies" showing (1) something in nearby Creation that needs to be taken care of, (2) something nearby that you can do to make the world a better place, (3) something really beautiful made by God. Repeat this exercise over several days.

Endnotes

Pages of the Book You Can Skip to Save Time

We've identified the following four pages of illustrations and text in the book which can be skipped to save time and keep student interest without compromising the story and its meaning. You can mark these four pages in the book using post-it notes. The reading without these four pages will take approximately eight minutes.

Pages in the book that you can safely skip

The starting text on the skipped pages is...

"God made some places high...And in quite a few spots..."
"God made flowering plants... But don't let that stop you..."
"God made sea rays..."
"And whenever a river..."

There are sixteen remaining pages to be read from. Some pages have text on both sides of the page. The last few pages are the most important because they talk about "God's purpose for making you."

Alternative "Reading" Plan

The author of When God Made the World has posted to YouTube a wonderful video-reading of the book that shows clips of children playing in Creation instead of showing the illustrations from the book. The clips are synced to the subject of each page in the book and the text of the book is also seen on-screen. We suggest using this video if you prefer to read the Genesis 1 story in your lesson from the Bible itself.

screenshot from an alternative shorter video using some words from the book

Technical & Privacy Notes

How to project the book to a large group:
DiY Overhead Camera set-upIf you don't have an "overhead document camera projector" at your church, you can easily and inexpensively make your own using your cellphone, a cable to connect it to your TV, and a cellphone holder or tripod. Learn more here at rotation.org.

a HDMI-to-cellphone cableHow to use your cellphone to show a YouTube video on a TV:
If your church doesn't have Internet access or good Wi-Fi in your classroom, you can use your cellphone's Internet connection to show the video on a TV. You just need an "HDMI-to-cellphone" cable ($15). Learn more here at rotation.org.

If you need to download a video from YouTube:
Read this article at rotation.org about how to download a video from YouTube and play it in your classroom on a video device (like a computer or smart TV), if you cannot otherwise connect to the video online.

Instructions for the recordist:

  • If using a cellphone to record, use a tripod for stability and orient your camera in a landscape (horizontal)) position.
  • If using a cellphone camera, put your device in AIRPLANE MODE to avoid interruptions.
  • Be sure to have your cellphone or camera plugged into a power source.
  • Have the "Do Something" song playing on someone's cellphone or playback device and located close to the camera's microphone so that your recording will have the song in it. (If the music is not going to be playing in the background, have the students read what's on their sign, such as, "I will make the world a better place by....")


Creating a Video, Privacy Notes:

  1. Let parents know ahead of time that their children are going to participate in a video recording that may be shared within the congregation.
  2. Upload the video only to a private page or group and not to the public. If uploading to YouTube, mark the video as “Unlisted” or “Private” so only folks with the link may watch.
  3. During the recording, avoid anything that might identify the child such as name tags.
  4. Be mindful of copyrights and use the book and music video only for teaching. If you are including the music in the background of your recording, cite the source and do not share the recording with the general public.


Helpful Links

Written by Catherine Curtis and the Rotation.org Writing Team
Copyright Rotation.org Inc.

Attachments

Last edited by Amy Crane
Original Post

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