Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of the Shepherds, Angelic Host, and the Stable
Computer Workshop: Shepherds and Angels
(Please note that the lesson writer is also the creator of the program.)
Summary of Lesson Activities
Students will use the Fluffy and God's Amazing Christmas Adventure software program (from Sunday Software) to hear, see, interact with, and reflect on the story.
- KNOW the story and imagine what it might have been like to be there.
- Consider how they can spread the real message of Christ's coming into our world, just like the shepherds and angels did.
- Fluffy and God's Amazing Christmas Adventure CD (from Sunday Software)
- A computer(s) to show the program to your kids.
- Print the Fluffy Handout (teacher and student content)
- A quickie ornament you have made out of fabric sheep's wool and garland to give to each student at closing.
The following lesson plan will take about 45 minutes depending on how quickly you get started and how long you discuss certain subjects.
You can install Fluffy on one or more computers for 2 or 3 students per computer (a "lab" concept), or gather your students around one large screen and guide them through the program, ...letting each student help you.
The handout will help the teacher and may be useful in guiding your students and holding them accountable for content.
The program is your lesson's scripture reading. Fluffy and God's Amazing Christmas CD is full of scripture, and study notes, and study questions. Follow along and prompt kids to deal with content. A worksheet, such as the one attached below, will help a lot.
On newer computers, increase the size of the Fluffy program on your screen by adjusting (zooming) the Windows "SCALING" option to about 150%. This control is found when you Right-click an empty area of the Desktop and select Display.
Dive into the Software
- After introductions, ask the students what they know about the Christmas story. Have them list it on the board. Then circle words like "angels" and "shepherds" and ask them "what was the angels' role in the story? ...what was their job? Their answers will help you know what content to take extra time within the software.
- Announce and Describe that they are going to be studying LUKE's Gospel version of the Birth Story, the part about the Shepherds and singing Angels. Write out for all to see the names of the two sections of Fluffy CD you are going to use. Give them the worksheet (attached below), point out what parts they are responsible for (you can check them off on my worksheet), and then tell them to go to the JUMP FOR JOY and begin the story.
- In Jump for Joy --The Birth of Jesus section, your students can visit "Bethlehem House" if you have time. Make sure you then go to the Luke 2 Theater to see the fun video of Jesus' birth where Fluffy is sort of in the way. The narration is straight from scripture.
3a. Option: If you have time, and especially for the older children, do the "SUPPER JESUS" FLUFFIMATION ACTIVITY after Luke2 Theater. It's a 'mad-lib'-like activity where the kids read a sentence and are prompted to fill in the blank. After filling in all the blanks Fluffy's computer generated voice reads back a script using the kids' words. They don't know exactly what's coming, which is part of the fun. The teaching focus is "Jesus as the TRUE Superhero." Lots of discussion potential here, and the kids will want to do it TWICE.
- Now travel to Shepherd's Night on the Main Menu. Have your students complete the Shepherds Quiz and remind them that if they don't get most of the answers right, they won't be let into the Stable to see the Baby Jesus. The student handout has a copy of all the quiz questions, and the teacher's portion of that PDF (attached below) has the answer key!
- In the Stable... If you have a small group, gather around one or two computers and go through the Stable Rollovers TOGETHER. They are Discussion Starters. Finish by focusing on the question of HOW THEY CAN BE SHEPHERDS AND ANGELS during this Christmas season.
ASK: What can you do to spread the meaning of Jesus' birth like an angel or shepherd? Bring a friend to Christmas Eve services. Go caroling. Take food to the needy. etc. (btw...what is the meaning? it was in the story we just saw.)
- Finish by Playing DJ FLUFFY JAM. Have the kids play with it for a few minutes, then tell them they have 5 minutes to complete the Angels We Have Heard on High and play it back for the class during the Closing.
Gather in a circle. Hand students a piece of sheep's wool (from the fabric store) and a small ring of garland (angel's halo) which you have glued into an ornament. As you approach each, charge them with the responsibility to share the Good News of God's love come to the world in Jesus Christ. (Let them take it home.) Conclude by singing together "Angels We Have Heard on High" accompanied by the fun Fluffy Jam version from the computer! :-)
I hope you like my lesson and software.
About the Shepherds and Angels portion of the Fluffy CD
This section in the Fluffy CD software is titled "Shepherd's Night". The storytelling in the CD here goes through the basics of the story. We meet the shepherds, and then the angels come. Some interactive study notes are available to click and discuss. They include things like, "what's the role of an angel".
Before you can go with the Shepherds to see the Baby Jesus you must take a QUIZ about this part of the story. (Having the kids learn basic story is the key activity in a lot of my software, and while this story is familiar to us, it is only vaguely familiar to many children).
Once in the Stable, you can roll over the characters and a pop-up question appears. This is a discussion area for you and your kids! It gets into the life application of "what's the message here I need to share."
Age Range Note: Don't let the name "Fluffy" fool you. The CD has older kid appear, especially some of the humor. Some un-narrated content is a tip-off to the teacher that it may be for older kids who can read. OR...you need to read it to them. As usual, I've put in more than you will probably want to cover. Pick and choose while you preview with the Student Worksheet and Fluffy Guide in hand.
I have attached to this post a printable teachers' handout and student worksheet. It has all the questions in the quiz and a copy of the questions found in the stable.
Overview of the Entire Fluffy CD
After many years of using 'bits and pieces' from other software programs, and never having enough to show the story onscreen and fill out my lesson, I finally developed the kind of STORY CENTERED interactive CD that I always wanted to teach with.
Fluffy is a reluctant sheep who is dragged through the entire Advent story by a rather humorous God who narrates most of the CD in a country voice. Fluffy only makes noises (she's a sheep). The CD's presentation has a lot of QUESTION and IDEA POP UPs. Some are narrated, some are interactive, some are for "further study" if you have the time. The complete Fluffy CD Guide is printable from Sunday Software's website will give you every detail.
Teaching Secret: GOD in the software is really the teacher. Listen to him with your kids, and repeat his key points. I wrote his script to say some of the things a teacher would say (only with a sense of humor ans a lightning bolt).
The CD has six major learning areas, and any two of which fits the typical lesson time. Thus you have a CD that can last you a few years before repeating content in it.
The six areas:
- Old Testament: Promises Promises
- Yo Mary and Jo (the annunciations)
- The Road to Bethlehem
- "Jump for Joy" the Birth of Jesus
- Shepherd's Night (including the appearance of the angelic host)
- The Magi (all about the wisemen)
- A seventh learning area called "Fluffy Jam" has a musical activity that includes the Christmas Hymn: [i\"Angels We Have Heard On High". [/i] It's will make a fun end of this lesson.
In the following lesson plan I suggest you use the following 3 sections:
4. "Jump for Joy" the Birth of Jesus
5. Shepherd's Night
7. Fluffy Jam "Angels We Have Heard on High"
I'm not only the author of this lesson, I designed and own the Fluffy CD. My work with Sunday Software grew out of my Rotation model work. The rotation.org board has encouraged me to post my free lesson resources, and I'm glad to do it. For a detailed outline of this CD you'll need to visit SundaySoftware.com/fluffy <>< Neil