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HiddenTreasures-IconRotation.org is such a BIG archive of helpful and exciting resources that it's easy to forget where you saw them or miss them entirely. That's why Robin Stewart and I are excited to take on this treasure-finding mission. 

Posts in chronological order ~ oldest to newest. 
Jump to the "last" post.

CathyWalz
P.S. Click the "bell" icon next to our Topic Title to receive an email notification of our new "finds."



First Three Treasures: 

  1. Abraham and Sarah Map Lesson

  2. "Come to the Table" Music Video

  3. "Caterpillar Book" Art Project for any story

AbrahamLot
Check out this great "map" lesson which teaches the story of Abraham and Sarah. 

I really liked how it also leads the students through drawing a “map” of their own life. And then to top it off, member "ZBCC" posted their great adaptation of that map lesson for younger children. Our members are a treasure too!

My next treasure is this thought-provoking music video and lesson idea.

The music video is “Come to the Table by Sidewalk Prophets, and the post about it has the nugget of a drama idea about Christ's invitation to those lost and without hope.  Its question of  "who is welcome, who belongs in church" could be acted out in class or in a worship setting. 

I admit it-- the song made me cry  because I miss being with my church family during the pandemic. You could have some great discussion about the lyrics. (Which ones describe you?)

To the thief, to the doubter
To the hero and the coward
To the prisoner and the soldier
To the young, to the older
All who hunger, all who thirst
All the last, all the first
All the paupers and the princes
All who fail you've been forgiven
All who dream, all who suffer
All who loved and lost another
All the chained, all the free
All who follow, all who lead
Anyone who's been let down
All the lost you have been found
All who've been labeled right or wrong
Everyone who hears this song
Just
Come, come to the table

Caterpillar Books: An Adaptable Art Project! 

The Mission Workshop in this “Jesus and the Children" lesson set by Jenks Church has a fun art project that could be done in Sunday School or at home. Children create “caterpillar books” full of drawings about God’s blessings. 

What strikes me about this art technique is HOW MANY different Bible stories it could be used with. The lesson has a link to a blog about how to make "caterpillar" books. 

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It's fun to dig into Rotation.org's deep resources and discover hidden treasures that stir my imagination.

Here are two great approaches to teaching with puppets that I want to highlight because I know many teachers shy away from puppets these days and don't need to.

More treasure to come!

RobinStewart


"Not your Grandma's Puppets"

These two puppet treasures show a more imaginative and modern approach to puppeteering that will also appeal to older kids too.

In this Anointing of David lesson, students choose everyday objects to represent characters as they discover that while people judge based on appearances, God looks at a person's heart (and we should too). I like it because the everyday objects themselves don't reveal what's inside them, just like our own "appearance" isn't how we should be known by others.  1 Samuel 16:1-13

David-Heart

In this Good Samaritan -- Who Is My Neighbor puppet lesson, students choose kitchen utensils to present a skit called "The Good Spatula."    

I like this because INSTEAD of choosing "a bearded man puppet" to be a priest, Robingraterstudents have to use their imagination and knowledge of the character to Robinbowlchoose an appropriate kitchen utensil (a fancy whisk for the priest? ) and move/act with that utensil in a way that conveys that character's attitude and actions.




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Two more treasures...

(that will help you prep your lessons--and your classrooms)



Discovering what's in the "What's in the Bible?" videos!

 What a great series of kid-friendly Bible videos for HOME and church! 

  But how do you know what's in them? 

 You consult the free outlines posted at Rotation.org of course!

whats in bibleIf you're a supporting member, you can view and print the 13 teaching outlines to the 13 DVDs in the "What's in the Bible?" series. These DVDs (created by Phil Vischer of VeggieTales fame) are recommended in a number of lessons in our public forums and in our Writing Team sets and make a great resource for HOME USE TOO.

Each guide includes an outline of the topics and stories in each DVD (along with helpful timestamps), what not to miss, what to skip if time is short, and possible follow-up questions and complementary activities. There's so much information in each guide that you could easily use it to prepare your own lesson plan!

 

Figuring Out How to Show Content

from My Cellphone on the TV

I'm not the most tech-savvy person in the world. 

So that is why I am grateful for  some great articles to make it easier for anyone (even me!) to incorporate tech into the classroom--and it doesn't have to be just your A-V Workshop. You could even use this at home.

 

This article walks you through connecting your cellphone to the TV. That way, you can show online content, such as a YouTube Bible video or maps, during class. Or video a drama skit and then show it on "the big screen".  You just need an inexpensive CABLE to make you look like a tech genius!

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I’m having fun looking for hidden treasures here at our site—you never know what you might discover! 

Unfortunately, I didn’t discover a way into Narnia. But I did rediscover some great creative techniques to share with you. 

More to come!






Drama—More than Reading a Script!

One of my pet peeves with drama is when we hand a script to our students—then they are looking down at a script instead of acting and thinking about the Bible story. This drama lesson about Paul and the Bright Light gets around this by using off-screen narrators (perfect for those who don't like the limelight!) so the actors can act!  It then describes how you can up the creative fun factor by recording the drama on your cellphone and using a free Slo-Mo/Fast-Mo app on your phone or tablet to add special effects. Extra bonus: the lesson describes how the slo-mo becomes a teaching opportunity.

An added benefit: You could adapt these techniques to so many stories!

This particular lesson is available to our Supporting Members ($45 gives you access to 35+ sets of lessons that offer innovative ideas for teaching stories).

Fishing Around for a Memorable Art Project?

One of my absolute favorite lessons on our site is this art lesson from CreativeCarol using actual (dead) fish to make a fish print T-shirt. A friend of mine from our church taught this lesson a few years back and we STILL laugh and fondly remember it! This lesson was part of a lesson set for The Feeding of the 5000, but you could adapt it for Call of the Disciples or the Post-Resurrection encounter with Jesus on the beach. These shirts will be a memorable reminder of the story!

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Who can resist a Bible truth explained with sparkly enthusiasm by a child?

wisdom sign
I found this timeless treasure in our PROVERBS FORUM featuring videos of elementary kids talking to other kids about making WISE CHOICES. Students and parents will find these short YouTube clips irresistible with lasting meaning.

Heads-up!
When I pointed out this treasure to our Writing Team, they took these five videos, enhanced them with questions and activities, and turned them into five shareable PDF lessons for use in-class and AT-HOME. (One of them is open to everyone, the other four are open to Supporting Members only.)

Head for some wise choices! Check these out to find discussion questions, prayers, and activities relevant to these times.

wise choices
More treasures to come,
Robin

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 Treasures in Genesis...

bible magnifying glass--croppedFall is approaching and, in many Sunday School programs, that means focusing on stories in the Old Testament.  So, I went searching through the Genesis forums for a few hidden treasures!

These lessons would be great to use at your church, but they would also be easy for your families to use at home!

Don't forget to click the "bell" icon next to our Topic Title to receive an email notification of our new "finds."


More to come!

 

WHY the Cookie Crumbles!

03_c5-biscotti-crumbs

I like how every step of this Cooking Workshop on “Adam and Eve and the Fall into Sin” reinforces key concepts in the story. The children are a part of the beauty and goodness of Creation as they paint a picture on cookie dough with colored egg yolk “paint”. But after baking the cookies, they learn in a very hands-on way about the destructive nature of sin as they must destroy their beautiful creation by crumbling up their cookie. But all is not lost! They add pudding to their cookie pieces as a sweet reminder of God’s first promise of a Savior in Genesis 3. And then they can literally taste and see that the Lord and His promises are good!

sciencebeakerThings are Heating Up in this Science Workshop  

This "Science" Workshop lesson about Joseph and His Brothers by member Ann Wright is a great example of combining student-conducted experiments and memorable teacher-led demonstrations.

The students learn about the friction between the brothers as they themselves conduct a rising temperature sand experiment.  They discover the explosive nature of the brothers’ reaction with a Mentos geyser demonstration.  If you are teaching this, be ready to run fast! 

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A Treasure Found in the Kitchen Cabinet!

foil sculpture

Aluminum foil is a sculpting medium "treasure" found in homes and churches everywhere. And it's a fun technique that can be used with so many Bible stories. Students can create Bible scenes, characters, and pose key "moments" to capture the attitudes and emotions of both the characters and the student. The possibilities are endless. 

There are several places at Rotation.org where you can find these "foil" treasures:

  • Sculpture can capture key moments in any Bible story.
  • Sculpture allows for the expression of emotions and concepts through your hands and heart, touch and feel.
  • Re-posable sculptures allow a student to change their creation with the story.
  • Sculpture as a medium "self-adjusts" to the age of the hands and imaginations manipulating it.
  • Sculpture on display invites others to contemplate the artist's intentions and creates discussion.


And remember that teaching treasures may be found where you least expect it!  Even in your kitchen cabinet.

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A TREASURE AS BIG AS THE VAST NIGHT SKY

I love art made by young hands that expresses their understanding of the scripture lesson.  I also love it when an art project feels like the perfect "fit" for the meaning of the scripture we're trying to capture and express. And that's what this THIS Psalm 8 Art Lesson "treasure" does.

The Bible study in the lesson teaches Psalm 8's wonderful and embracing imagery: (excerpts)

how majestic is your name in all the earth!...
You have set your glory above the heavens...
what are human beings that you are mindful of them?
...and crowned them with glory and honor

Then the lesson helps them capture God's message with a painting technique that mimics the "surrounding embrace" (what 'crowned' visually means in the Psalm) and places them in that starry embrace (an embrace they can see every starry night). To do so, kids are introduced to the crowning swirls of  “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh so that this famous painting may always remind them of God's loving and honoring embrace. (What a great example of the Writing Team's efforts to "go the extra mile" in developing art projects that uniquely express the scripture!)

This Psalm 8 Art lesson from our Writing Team includes lots of how-to details, extra resources, and excellent suggestions for adapting for age and class time.  This is a lesson that could easily be an at-home lesson as well. Video links for art techniques and some special Psalm 8 music-video imagery make this lesson impressionable and FUN

 Because the Psalm 8 Art lesson is a Writing Team lesson it is only open to our supporting members. For more about the Rotation Model's POV on Art, read the Art Workshop's "Guiding Principles."

Have fun teaching with this treasure and please share some of your artistic ideas and results! 

Robin

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Advent...

is a time of waiting and preparation for the coming of Christ. So it seems like the perfect time to share some treasures that will help you in YOUR preparations for the children and families of your church in the upcoming Advent season.

More to come!

 

What Exactly IS Advent?

advent video

If you’re not quite sure how to answer this question, then we’ve found a short and catchy video for you! I like how it focuses on the joyful hope and anticipation of Christ’s coming—both past and present and future.  It is one of my favorites of the great resources on this forum about Advent Devotions and Worship (and calendars and Advent wreaths and…).

 

 

And WHAT is a Christingle? 

 

It is a candle-lit celebration using symbolic objects (an orange, a red ribbon, dried fruits and sweets, and a lit candle) to point to Christ as the Light of the World. This would be a wonderful activity for families to do at home. Luanne, our Resource guru, has put together a description of the activity along with Scriptures to read as you make the Christingle. I’m excited to try this at home!

 

 

Reaching Out with Rocks?

Member Heidi Weber shares this great idea about spreading the Good News about Jesus to the community with Baby Jesus Rocks. Church members can paint a simple picture of baby Jesus on smooth rocks. Add a Bible verse on the back. And then scatter them about—on park benches and ATM machines and counters and other places—for people to find. What a fun and creative project! And who doesn’t like finding treasures? 

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