In addition to the public lessons and ideas posted below, be sure to check out our extra special lesson set: Jesus and Nicodemus ~ How to "See" the Kingdom. Written by our Writing Team for supporting members, its lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all. 

Nicodemus

A Computer Workshop Lesson

"NIC @ NIGHT: Breaking the Code"

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Software: Fall of Jericho CD (using the quiz set attached below)

The set attached below is for grades 3 and up. See my younger student adapation below.

Lesson Objective:

The story of Nicodemus contains a large number of strange words and concepts for students. This lesson is designed to "decode" those words by using the popular Fall of Jericho quiz software in a unique way. This lesson also demonstrates an unconventional way of using quizzes AS your Bible Study, instead of "after" the study. It's all in how you write your questions.


Leader Preparation:

  • Obtain the program.
  • Explore the software.
  • Read the story ahead of time.


Presentation

Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:


The Gist:
The kids will take your Jericho quiz on the computer BEFORE the Bible Study, and when they get an answer right, they will be given a word/phrase from John 3 to fill-in on their scripture worksheet. First team to complete their Nic @ Night worksheets wins! And they will now have the full text of the passage in front of them for more discussion.

Details:
Unlike many Bible lessons where you start first with the Bible Study and then quiz them, in this lesson, the kids will use Fall of Jericho CD software (from Sunday Software) to take a quiz about the story BEFORE you have explained it to them. The questions and answers will teach the meaning behind the vocab/concepts. When they get an answer right, the game will tell them the WORDS to fill in to their scripture worksheet. First team to complete the scripture worksheet wins. Play in teams of 2 to 3 each. Up to four teams can play at one time in Fall of Jericho, however, I recommend splitting into just 2 teams per computer in order to keep things moving and everyone focused on getting it right.

Before the quiz, read through the story once. During the quiz, if the kids are really stumped, give them hints, or give them "1 minute to read the story again" before closing their Bibles. The amount of help you give them depends on their age and what week of the Rotation you might be in.

Fall of Jericho CD is a multiple choice quiz making game "THEMED" on a race to Jericho. I have created a question set for the story of Nicodemus and attached it to this lesson at the bottom of this post. The set teaches the images/vocab of the story through questions. When they answer them correct, they are given an entry for their worksheet. The question set will only work with Fall of Jericho CD. It is a text file which could be printed, however, and used to quiz students verbally (though using the software would be a lot more fun!). If you own Fall of Jericho, consult the Fall of Jericho CD Teaching Tips about how to copy this simple text file into the Fall of Jericho folder so you can use it.

You'll see both versions of the John 3 scripture below. The first is the "answer key" for the teacher. The second is the version you should copy with your mouse and paste into a word doc to print for your teams to fill in as they use quiz game.

Jericho Option Tips:
You have several "question display" options in Jericho which can speed up or slow down play. You can set the game options so that if a team gets a question wrong, the next team can try to answer it. You can also make a rule that only the team which gets it right can fill-in the correct answer on their scripture worksheet. Set the question options to display your questions in sequential order (which follows the order in scripture). When they answer it right and "CORRECT!" appears, they will see a NUMBER CODE and WORD/PHRASE on the screen that corresponds to a blank on their worksheet. They can then look at that number on their worksheet and fill in the correct word/phrase for that location in the scripture.

Tell the teams that they each get "2 Hints from the Teacher" during the quiz. Craft your hints based on the particular onscreen question they are asking about, and for the age of your kids.

When you're done, they'll have the complete scripture in front of them, and already know what the images/vocab mean! You will then follow up by having them read the story and delving into the Life Application of the passage. Many of the questions in my Jericho set suggest life application questions. I think the story is most effective when we substitute ourselves for Nicodemus, and consider our excuses, why we are embarrassed by our faith, or afraid to take risks, and how I can be born of the spirit instead of the flesh.

Closing:

End with a prayer.



The Answer Key to John 3:
The words/phrases in <brackets> below are the answers the kids are trying to find by taking the Fall of Jericho quiz. Each correct answer is numbered. Those numbers are given to the students during the quiz when they get an answer correct.

Note: You can modify any of this! Just copy/paste the following texts in wordprocessor. The attached Fall of Jericho Quiz Question Set can also be modified WITHIN the software using the Question Editor, and quite frankly, I hope you do. Make it your own! I've just done questions for 101-117 but there's no reason you can't add another 10 questions about this story.

John 3 Answer Key For Teachers:

John 3:1
Now there was a <101 Pharisee> named <102 Nicodemus>, a <103 leader of the Jews>. 2 He came to Jesus by <104 night> and said to him, "<105 Rabbi>, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these <106 signs> that you do apart from the presence of God." 3 Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the <107 kingdom of God> without being <108 born from above>."

4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being <109 born of water> <110 and Spirit>. 6 What is born of the <111 flesh is flesh>, and what is <112 born of the Spirit is spirit>.

7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above.' 8 The <113 wind blows> where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is <114 born of the Spirit>."

9 Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11 "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you <115 do not receive our testimony>.

12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, <116 the Son of Man>. 14 And just as Moses lifted up <117 the serpent in the wilderness>, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.



Student Answer Worksheet:

Copy this version of John 3 for your students. When they win a question, they will see a number on the screen and the word/phrase that goes with it. They should then record it on their worksheet.

John 3:1 Now there was a <101 ____________> named <102 __________>, a <103 ______________________>. 2 He came to Jesus by <104 _________> and said to him, "<105 _________>, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these <106 ______________> that you do apart from the presence of God." 3 Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the <107 ___________________________> without being <108 ________________________>." 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?"

5 Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being <109 ______________________> <110 ___________________>. 6 What is born of the <111 _________________________>, and what is <112 __________________________>.

7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above.' 8 The <113 ____________> blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is <114 _______________>."

9 Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11 "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you <115 ____________________________>.

12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, <116 _____________________>. 14 And just as Moses lifted up <117 ______________________________________>, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.


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Note: I've used the NRSV. If you want to use another translation, you'll need to copy it from a webpage or your Bible software and recreated the student worksheet with the <numbered slots> for the kids' answers. The 'answers' in the Fall of Jericho quiz are also in the NRSV, and can be modified in the Fall of Jericho Question Editor to suit your translation needs. But save yourself the time! ...after playing the game, read your favorite translation and play a game of 'compare the versions'...it's just another great opportunity for study.
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A final follow-up "Condensing/Clarifying" activity:
Using their filled-in scripture passage, have pairs of kids circle the "five most important words in the passage and share their list. Debate. Then vote it down to the four, then three most important words. Can you get it down to 2?

I hope you enjoy this lesson, how it demonstrates a quiz AS Bible Study, and how it demonstrates how you can easily use Fall of Jericho CD and this 'quizzing' technique with MANY other stories, especially those which have lots of rich or complicated words and phrases.

<>< Neil


Younger Children Adaptation:
Grades K-2 enjoy quizzes on the computer. They just need someone to read to them. You can also cut down the number of possible right answers by editing the set. Type *** in place of an incorrect answer.

You can also read part of the passage, then have them work through the quiz to a point, then read the next part of the passage, and have them work through that set of questions, and so on.

And finally, you can give them hints. Instead of re-writing a question set and saving it for the younger kids under a different name, I'll often just rephrase the questions/answers 'on the fly' at the computer. Depends.


Note: Neil's company sells the Fall of Jericho CD. The Rotation Board has encouraged him to post his lessons here. Neil's work with CE was an outgrowth of his work developing the Rotation Model.

Fall of Jericho CD question file attached here...


A lesson written by Neil MacQueen

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

 

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Computer Idea

Here's another Nicodemus computer lab lesson "idea" I posted a few years ago...

The idea is to condense the long/wordy John 3 passage to essential, understandable sentences.

You can have the kids do this in several programs, including Kid Pix and Let's Talk CD (Sunday Software), OR you can do it through the Verse Editor in Cal and Marty's Scripture Memory Game CD (Sunday Software), which then turns their words into an 'unscrambling' activity and quiz.

Shorten the story into a series of memory verse which you or the older students edit-into Cal and Marty's Scripture Memory Game CD. You do not have to stick with the actual words, but rather, you can create your own "translation" and work that as your memory verse. The idea is to get the basic story and concepts to stick. And the 'translation' the kids come up with is entirely debatable. If they leave out an important concept or choose a word that doesn't help the verse this can become a point of discussion and learning.

In Cal & Marty's Scripture Memory Game CD you'll also have them use the 'add comment' feature and 'Add Quiz Questions' feature to key in on the unique concepts in each verse/phrase. This is a memory technique using Cal & Marty I sometimes call "walking through the story."

Here would be the key verses I'd choose (Shortened "Neil" version based on NRSV).

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews.

He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God."

Jesus answered him, "no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above."

Nicodemus said, "Can a person enter their mother's womb a second time and be born again?"

Jesus answered, "What I mean is no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born a second time by water and Spirit."

"God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life."

For younger grades you can simplify the "memory verses" even more:

  • Nicodemus visited Jesus at night.
  • Jesus, you are a teacher from God.
  • Jesus said, you must be born a second time with water and spirit.
  • God loved the world and gave his only Son.

    BTW... having your Older kids try to figure out how to 'simplify' the verses into an easy memory verse game is a great way to get the older kids to produce these verses for your younger kids and learn at the same time.

    <>< Neil

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