The book of Job:
"Job-opoly" Games Workshop Lesson
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Students will play a life-size board game to experience a situation like Job's. They will learn that no matter how hard we try, bad things still happen to good people and others are rewarded even when they behave badly. [Note: Ages 3 to grades 3/4 visited this workshop.]
The story of Job, with a focus on selected portions: Job 1:1, 2:1-10, 23:1-9, 16-17, 38:1-7, (34-42)
Author notes: I've removed my two opening "that's not fair" type games due to they were from a 2006 curriculum (copyrighted). if you wish to include a game along these lines do an online search for some ideas.
Luanne Suggests: open with the reading of the story of Job from either a children's storybook or story bible. I've listed some suggestions under Resources (at end of the lesson).
Then explain you are now going to play a game where the focus is to show us no matter how hard we try, bad things still happen to good people and others are rewarded even when they behave badly.
- people-sized game board (path with coloured squares - requires 26 squares)
- 6-sided die
- 3 sets of cards (“Job Says”, “Acquire” and “Suffer” - provided in the attached game cards.)
- pictures for game board squares (provided in the attached pictures).
- objects to represent the various items (see below)
- small containers to hold the players’ possessions
- Print the game cards (see attached file) onto card stock.
Note: so you can print 2-sided cards, we've included fronts and backs for each of the three card categories, so when printing, print the text side first, for example, the "Job Says" page, then manual put that page back in the your printer so that you can print the "category" side on it's back. (You may wish to print each category on a different colour of paper.)
- Cut apart questions cards and stack into appropriate category (Job says, Suffer or Acquire).
- Print the pictures for the game board (see attached file) onto cardstock and colour them, if possible).
- Tape or pin pictures to squares on the game board (see set-up below for placement on game board). There are four pictures for each category: 4 animals, 4 children, 4 servants, 4 money, 4 "Job Says," and 4 "Draw & Double." Included also, are two additional pictures: "Journey Begins" and "The End."
- Make or collect objects to represent the various items on the picture cards: servants, animals, land, money and children (e.g. smiley faces). These can be either be pictures on cardboard/card stock or 3-dimensional items (toothpicks, beans, etc.).
- clear space to spread out the people-sized game board
- affix (pin or tape) “The Journey” to the first square on the game board.
- affix a set of items in the following order, each on a separate square:
- "Draw and Double" (both on the same square)
- "Job Says"
- Animal (any type)
- affix three more sets of items to squares of the board.
- place the objects representing the different items in separate containers and place them to the sides of the game board.
- Each person is their own playing piece.
- Each player will go “around” the board 3 times. (When all players have finished two rounds, place the “The End” marker on the free space at the end of the board.)
- Take turns rolling the die and move that many spaces. Consider the playing squares to be in a circle; when you finish at one end you continue at the beginning again for another round.
- The first time “around” the players are “acquiring.” Each time a player lands on a square the player takes an object to represent the picture on the section. (Example: The player lands on a gold coin square and takes a gold coin.)
- If the player lands on “Job says” -- a card is drawn. If what Job says is positive that player may take one additional object of their choice. If what Job says is negative the player must return one object of their choice.
- If the player lands on a “Draw and Double” square, a card is drawn. The first and third times around the board, the player draws an “Acquire” card, reads it and doubles what the card says. The second time around the player must draw a “Suffer” card, read it and double what the card says.
- The second time around the players are “suffering” -- each time a player lands on a sqare the player must return an object to represent the picture on the sqare. If the player does not have any of that object left, he/she may return an object of choice.
- The third time around the players are again “acquiring” and taking the represented objects.
- As soon as the player has gone through the path three times they are done. The remaining players should continue taking turns until all have gone through the path for the third time.
- Each player adds up the total number of objects they have left. The player with the most total objects is the winner. Or, in a cooperative option: at the end, everyone pools their objects to form a collective farm.
Why did we go through the board three times, collecting twice and suffering once? (mirrors the story of Job, where he has many things, loses them and then his fortunes are restored after suffering)
In the game, did you collect objects because you were wise or planned ahead? (No, it was pure chance)
In the game, did you lose objects because you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to keep them? (No, it was pure chance)
How is this like life? (No matter how hard we try, bad things still happen to good people and others are rewarded even when they behave badly)
What can the story of Job teach us about how to deal with tragedies that happen to us?
If you were writing a “the moral of the story is...” for the book of Job, what would it say?
Additional Resources - This Story is found in the following books:
- The Family Story Bible, by Ralph Milton, Westminster John Knox Press, 1997. Page 129
- Children's Bible in 365 Stories, by Mary Batchelor, David C Cook Publisher, 1998.
- Tried and True Job (Arch Book Series), by Tim Shoemaker, Cedric Hohnstadt, Concordia Publishing House, 2000.
Adapted from an idea created by Linda Norem found above, link.
Cards and questions by Margaret Roxborough for Forest Hill United Church.
Picture cards created from Creative Commons images, for example: drawing of child, coins, servant, & donkey
Cards reformatted and added as a PDF by Luanne Payne for rotation.org.
A lesson written by Margie Roxborough, Forest Hill United Church, NB, Canada. September 2015.