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Welcome to our public Pentecost ~ Acts 1 and 2 ideas and lessons forum. Don't forget to check out the supporting members' "Wind, Fire, Faith!" Pentecost lesson from our Writing Team. The lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all. If you're looking for Ascension lessons and ideas, go to our Jesus After the Resurrection forum.

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Computer Lab - Pentecost Slideshow + Other Ideas


Activities:

  • create slideshow using pictures of events in your church family over past year (it’s a celebration, after all). Select pictures and load into a slideshow program. Tape the song from the music workshop. Run this song under your slideshow. If you copy this to a disk, you can play the slideshow at your Pentecost Party. Or if someone has a laptop, you could set up the laptop in your church hall and play the slideshow on it there.

  • make invitations inviting people to your Pentecost Popcorn Party. Make these using a simple card maker program.

  • test out this idea using the Let's Talk program (Sunday Software). In "Talk Now" mode, choose a different character at each machine to read the source text. Run all speakers at the same time. Will create one interpretation of the idea of ‘many tongues’ that goes with this story. (This might also work for 2-3 machines in Kid Pix 4 (or 3D.) In this case, noise is the object of the exercise!  Let's Talk software is FREE to supporting members! Check it out.

  • you could view the ‘Herod’ tour of Pathways thru Jerusalem (out of print, but left here for rotation churches who own it) to give the children a feel for what the city would have been like in the time of the Romans. Speculate on what you think the scene may have been like after getting more info from this CD.
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Here's one of my favorite all-time computer lab lessons...

Pentecost Pirates: Speaking the Gospel in a New Language

Computer Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Using the computer's text-to-speech capabilities, the kids will translate what they think the Disciples SAID at Pentecost using Pirate language (or Space or Baby language).

Software: Either Kid Pix 4 (or 3D) or Let's Talk software.


I've taught versions of this lesson since the early 90's in my computer labs, and it has been a hit every time. I've demonstrated it with adults at seminars and they've enjoyed trying to translate the Good News into different dialects.

The point is to have the kids examine and comprehend what the Disciples were SAYING THAT DAY. It wasn't just the fact that they were speaking in a new way, but WHAT they were saying. They were sharing the GOOD NEWS. So to share the Good News in pirate language, the kids will have to PARSE OUT (with your help of course) what the Good News IS. And of course, they are supposed to translate it to their peers.

Software:
This lesson can be done with Let's Talk or Kid Pix 4 (or 3D). Both Let's Talk and Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D) can "speak aloud" what ever your kids type onto the screen.
Let's Talk software is FREE to supporting members! Check it out.

Let's Talk software makes the process a lot quicker because you don't waste time making illustrations. You create a talking character (see here) and put words in their mouths. Using this Talk Back capability, we're going to have the kids create four or five sentences that summarize the Good News in a new language, just like happened at Pentecost.

TIP: You can use the "Talk Now" module in Let's Talk to have them quickly create spoken responses, OR you can have them use the Lesson Builder module --having the kids create a long "Gospel" using their funny language and also create a quiz/discussion exercise for each other on the screen. If you are familiar with Let's Talk CD, you know what I mean!

A favorite language these days is "Pirate" language... arggh Matey! It's been recently popularized by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Spongebob. And that's the germ of the idea here: How would a Christian pirate tell another pirate the good news about Jesus Christ? Suggestion: Buy some inexpensive pirate costumes, eye patches, hats and swords for the kids. You could even have a "real treasure" chest in the classroom full of your Bibles. Think Pirate!



Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture and background materials.
  • Obtain the software.
  • Preview the software.


Lesson Plan


Opening:

The kids read the Bible story in Acts 2:1-41. Yeah...it's long, but it is VERY dramatic. Encourage the kids to ham it up. When you get to Peter's speech, pull out a FAKE BEARD and read the first few sentences yourself. Then pass the beard to the next person. (Make the beard out of fun-fur or brown cloth. Get a wig too. They'll love it and won't forget the lesson).

(For young children, use a Bible story book, give them all beards and have them repeat after you.)

Dig:

After the reading...
Come up with the essence of what the Good News which PETER shared and the Disciples were sharing with the crowd (the Good New in brief). It may be helpful to consider what the "bad news" might have been (like God is going to smash us all).

IMPORTANT: Have each student write down some of these ideas, or write them on the board. They'll need to refer to these when they begin using the typing tool.

Next, have the kids QUICKLY assemble a Pentecost illustration in Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D). I recommend using some of the ready-made backgrounds. Don't spend much time drawing.

If you're using Let's Talk, you'll turn on Talk Now and "build" the animated talker. So you COULD have the students 'translate' their text according to which of the "talkers" they built. They can build a surfer dude, a monk, an alien, and various combinations there.

Then, they begin to type their Pentecost "Good News" statements using the typing tool.

"Rules":
They are not allowed to use any of the words in the Bible verses and cannot use church vocabulary. Example: they cannot type "Jesus died for our sins." Afterall, how would an alien from another planet be able to figure out how "death was for our sins." Think about it! ...Instead, they have to explain the concept of his death without using the word "sins." They must come up with a new way to express that word --a new translation in the language they have chosen (such as "pirate").

Language Examples:
You can translate the Good News into "cool dude" speech, "pirate" language, "baby speak," or "Outer Space Alien Speech." Update: I had some kids use "street/rap" speech.

We've done Good News to Surfer Dudes ...and it was like totally radical man. Jesus is a dude you can hang-ten with anytime and not worry about getting thrashed by the backwash. He's lookin out for his buddies from the big tower on the beach. Ok...one too many Frank and Annette movies for me, but the kids enjoyed some suggestions!

We've also had groups choose PIRATE LANGUAGE. "Avast ye scurvy swabs, know why you is scurvy no more? Because Jesus has walked the plank for ya." "Have I got a treasure chest for you. They made him walk the plank, arg.... but he lept from Davey Jones' Locker and is captain of the ship once more." Etc etc. (Ha! too much fun!)

Baby talk is funny too and some of the older kids really get into it. "Jesus is the best blankie." Etc. Baby-talk is actually quite challenging. I would encourage you to work through it on at least one of your computers.

The "Outer Space" Gospel was popular among some students because there are numerous outer space graphics in the writing software. How would a Disciple have spoken the Good News to an Alien?" Another approach is to use NASA LANGUAGE spaceship/launch language. "Jerusalem we have a problem." "The stone was rolled away in 9, 8, 7, " This news will help you lift-off."

YOU HAVE TO MAKE SUGGESIONS, and then solicit examples and write them on the board.

You can let the kids choose the language they like, or assign it.

Then, have them work on a couple of sentences of "How would you share the Gospel with your Best Friend at School?"

What words would you use?
What's the right time and right way to talk to your friends about Jesus?

(I've often had this discussion with youth groups. I tell them, "Begin by asking your friend to come to church with you. Then on the way home, ask them what they thought about the worship service, or lesson. Then tell them how it feels to a Christian, why you go, etc.")

After they are done creating...
Take the whole class to each computer for a "hearing" and discussion.

Reflection:

Use the Talk Back feature in either Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D) or Let's Talk to have the students construct "A Pentecost Prayer" which the computer can speak aloud on their behalf. Write on the subject of "God help me to share the message of ...."



Additional Teaching Notes for this lesson:

The key here is the teacher MUST work right with the kids. Some kids will want to use big "church words" (like "saved") but don't let them. Even Christian adults don't totally understand the phrase "he died to set us free" !! We have to find some new words...dude.

Younger children who can't type can still dictate to someone who can type. And they will enjoy hearing their words spoken by the computer.

Not every presentation will capture all there is to say about the Good News, but together they'll go far and give you plenty to talk about.

Kids can also make up their own language out of gooble-dee-gook. Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D)'s text-to-speech engine does some funny things with weird spellings. Have the kids TRANSLATE what the computer is saying. It will be quite fun.



A lesson written by Neil MacQueen.
Disclosure: I, Neil, am the owner of Sunday Software, and Let's Talk software, this title and many others I have donated to the supporting members of rotation.org learn more here.
The Rotation Board has encouraged me to post my lessons here and I'm glad to do so!

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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