COOKING Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Paul's Conversion

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Two Recipes from member Kim-from-MN

Here are two recipes we used in the cooking workshop with the rotation on the Road to Damascus:

"Open-eyed Treats" (This one worked well with younger children)
vanilla wafers, bananas, marshmallow cream and gum drops
Have the children spread marshmallow cream on their vanilla wafers. Place a slice of banana on the wafer and with more cream add a dark colored gum drop to represent the eye balls. We then read the lesson to the children and they changed the eye balls to a bright color to represent the eyes were opened and the disciples saw Jesus!

Upside Down Fruit Tarts
A sweet treat to teach how God can turn our lives Upside Down

2 dozen tart shells 1 cup fruit (fresh berries or fruit jam)
1/2 soft butter 1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs
Place tart shells in baking pan. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat until smoothly blended. Stir in vanilla. Spoon in a teaspoon or so of fruit into each tart shell. Cover with blended mixture, divided evenly, fill about 2/3 full. Bake on bottom rack at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly, then remove from pans. 


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Original Post

Rocky Road Ice Cream

I thought I would throw in an idea for what we did for the food workshop just recently for the Road to Damascus. We had the children make Rocky Road Ice Cream (or at least a reasonable facsimile). We used chocolate Ice Cream and let it soften a bit. It represented the darkness that covered Saul's soul before the he travelled the road. Mini-marshamallows represented the blinding flash. Then we added one of the syrups that dry to a hard shell to represent the darkness Saul was in after the flash of light. Later, as we mixed everything up and the shell broke into pieces, it reminded us of the "scales" that fell from Saul's eyes when he could see again. We used nuts to remind us that God said Saul would have a rocky road to travel. Mix it all up and enjoy.

Ice Cream

I am using ice cream as an example of transformation and Paul this summer.

For each child you need:

2 Tbs of sugar
1 cup of half and half
1/2 teas. vanilla
6 Tbs. Rock salt
1 pint-sized zip lock bag
1 gallon-sized zip lock bag
ice

To make:
Fill the larger bag half full with ice and rock salt and seal
Pour sugar, half and half, and vanilla into smaller bag and seal.
Place the smaller into the larger and seal.
Shake the bag for about 5-7 minutes.
Open the bags rinse and enjoy!!!

The kids can feel the transformation of liquid to a solid in their hands.
Hope this helps!!
Em

Paul's Conversion - A Blinding Light

Solid Rock Cafe - Cooking Workshop


Scripture References:

Acts 9:1-27, page 371-373, Little Kids' Adventure Bible

Special Bible Notes:
People in Bible Times: Saul/Paul, Let's Live It: Power to Change

Memory Verse:
"Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (page 392 Little Kids' Adventure Bible)

Theme:
God can change anyone!

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will describe Saul's persecution of Christians.
  • Children will describe Saul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus.
  • Children will define Pharisee, Gentile, Temple, synagogue.
  • Children will recognize Ananias' role in Saul's experience.
  • Children will explore God's use of unusual people to accomplish His purpose.
  • Children will memorize 2 Corinthians 5:17

Supplies for Cooking Activity:

  • Cookie sheet Paper towels
  • Sharp knife Juice
  • Cutting board Cups
  • Mixing Bowl Tempera paint or stamp pad
  • Spoon Paper
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Oven Mitts
  • Spatula
  • Cooking spray
  • Potatoes
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar


Preparation and room set up:

  • Gather supplies.
  • Review background information and lesson materials.


Food Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 400 deg.

Start on time! Sunday School begins at 9:30 a.m.



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure everyone is wearing their name tag. Give the children a simple one or two sentence synopsis of what you will be doing during the workshop.
Tell the children that today they will be learning about Saul/Paul and how he changed from someone who hated Jesus and persecuted (was mean) to his followers to become a follower himself!

Opening Prayer:
Dear Father In Heaven, Thank you for sending us your Son Jesus Christ to show us how we can change the way we live our lives so that we can be like you. Help us to let others see your love, joy and kindness through us. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Bible Study:
Each workshop begins with the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! Always tell the children where in the Bible the story is found. For older children: Have them locate and read the selected verses. For younger children: Help them locate the selected verses (see the Teacher handout, “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles”). Have them follow along as you read the story. Shepherds can assist the children in locating the stories.

Be sure to read the special notes for this lesson: People in Bible Times: Saul/Paul and Let's Live It: Power to Change.

NOTE: As the rotation progresses, you should modify the way you present the Bible
passage by allowing the children to tell what they remember about the story. You can then fill in additional details and follow with in-depth discussion depending on the age group.

Dig:


Discussion:
Refer to the background information sheet and suggested discussion questions. Make sure the children know what the following words mean.

Pharisee -Jewish leaders who were very careful to follow all of God's laws and rules that they made up that they thought made them
Gentile - someone who is not Jewish
Temple - the center of worship and religious life in Jerusalem
Synagogue - Jewish places of worship and study in cities and towns
Jerusalem - center of Jewish religious life
Damascus - one of the oldest cities in Paul's time, where he was going when he was blinded and heard Jesus speak
Tarsus - capital city of Cilicia, in modern day Turkey, where Saul was born
Persecution - causing other people to suffer because of what they believe

Discuss some of the following ideas with the children:

  • What did Saul and many of the Pharisees think about Jesus' followers? (they disagreed with them, they wanted to stop them)
  • What did Saul do to Jesus' followers and the early Christians? (arrested them, jailed them, killed them)
  • Where do we first hear about Saul in the Bible? (stoning of Stephen)
  • Where did Saul live after he grew up? (Jerusalem)


Memory Verse: Each rotation we ask the children to memorize one memory verse. Review the verse with the children. If you have additional time, you may use the attached activity sheet to practice the memory verse.

"Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17 (page 392 Little Kids' Adventure Bible)

Activity: Paul’s Potato Chips
This activity may be found in the resource Gobble Up the Bible, Legacy Press 1998)

Children make potato chips by slicing potatoes very thinly. A variety of spices are sprinkled on the chips to provide different flavors and to reflect the change that Paul experienced.

As you are preparing the potatoes, discuss the following with the children:

  • Why was Saul traveling to Damascus? (to arrest the Christians there and bring them back to Jerusalem)
  • What happened on his journey? (blinded by light, heard Jesus' voice, changed - became a Christian)
  • How was Saul changed? (he became a follower of Jesus instead of a persecutor of Him)
  • How are the potato chips we made today changed? (we started out with potatoes, but we added spices to make them sweet)


Have some of the children set out paper towels and juice at the table for eating time!

When the chips have cooled, it is time to eat!
As you are eating the sweet chips discuss the following:

  • Who did God use to help Paul change? (Ananias, Jesus, other Christians)
  • Have you ever thought that God might want to use you to help someone else change?
    In what ways have you changed?
  • How do you think God might want you to change?


Ananias needed faith when God told him to visit Saul. God’s power changed both of these men in different ways. Both saw God more clearly, and their faith in God grew. We can change and have stronger faith, too, when we let God help us.

Reflection:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy and/or illustrate the memory verse.

Journal Questions:
Grades 1-2: Draw a picture of Saul changed.
Grades 3-4: Saul changed after he experienced Jesus on the road to Damascus. What has helped you to change?
Grades 5-6: Saul changed after he experienced Jesus on the road to Damascus. How has your relationship with Jesus caused you to change?

Closing prayer: Circle up and hold hands. Tell the children that you will start the prayer and pass it on to the next child, if anyone does not want to say a prayer, let them squeeze the hand of the next child to pass it on. When it comes back to you finish the prayer.

Encourage the children to come back next week and bring a friend! Release children only to parents, older siblings, or by prior permission of parents.


A lesson by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC

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Saul on the Road to Damascus

Cooking/ Science Workshop


Scripture Reference:

Acts 9: 1-19

Memory Verse:
II Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will see a science experiment and perform a cooking activity that will either change cream into butter or change ingredients into ice cream to illustrate conversion: how our lives are changed in the presence of Christ.

Objectives for the rotation

  • understand how lives are transformed in the presence of Christ

Teacher preparation in advance:

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study, ...
  • Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Consider the age level adjustments needed each week (those included in the lesson plan and your own). Confer with the Shepherd on “Stretchers” to use, especially with the youngest children.
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model (tm) at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
  • The bin with supplies is located in the Sunday School room. Purchase or request additional supplies from -- by November 1.
  • The whipping cream and milk will be in the refrigerator in the church kitchen, unless the leader would prefer to prepare the jars and bags at home. If so, give the receipt to Jamie Senyard for reimbursement. The ice will be in the freezer.
  • Practice the experiment and telling the story at home. Make sure you know the story well enough so you can make eye contact as you tell it and only have to refer to your notes occasionally.
  • Prepare the three jars with water, starch and bleach. Have iodine on hand. Practice the demonstration at home to make sure it works.
    Alternatives: Instead of spray starch, you can try using liquid starch and dry it in the jar. Also, instead of liquid bleach, you can use powdered bleach or Oxy Clean, which would be less messy, but you have to use warm water with it (keep the water warm in a Thermos). You can also try red food coloring instead of iodine. I HAVE NOT TESTED ANY OF THESE ALTERNATIVES, SO TRY THEM AT HOME FIRST.)
  • As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Try making the butter and ice cream at home. Experiment with the amount of whipping cream that works best so that you can get a feel for the amount of time it will take for the cream to turn into butter. Try the ice cream recipe so you will know how much time is needed for it.
  • Before class starts, put the cream into the jars and the milk, vanilla, and sugar into the Ziplock bags (See recipe included in lesson under “Application”. Also prepare the bags that the ice will go into by putting the rock salt into them ahead of time. Do not add the ice to the rock salt yet and do not put the milk bag into the rock salt bag until time for the children to begin the transformation. Doing this ahead of time will save time during the lesson.
  • If you would prefer to prepare the bags at home, purchase the needed supplies and give the receipt to Jamie Senyard for reimbursement. Please let Jamie know you will be doing this so she does not purchase the supplies for you.
  • Coordinate in advance with the Shepherd so that he/she knows how to help with the last minute ice and salt bags and other preparations.


Room set-up:
Set up the experiment at a table so all the children will have a good view of what happens. Make sure there are enough chairs and tables set up for the number of children expected.

Supply List:

  • Three clear glass jars (like mayonnaise jars)
  • Iodine, starch, and bleach or Oxyclean
  • Water
  • A few samples of nature transformations: flowers with blooms and buds, small tree branch with leaves, a caterpillar in a jar, fall leaves. (These can really be anything that you can find outside that has transformed or will be transforming.) Use pictures of nature transformations if it is not a good time of year to find these items.
  • baby food jars or other small clear jars for ½ the class
  • heavy whipping cream
  • sugar
  • whole milk or half and half
  • vanilla
  • rock salt
  • pint-sized Ziploc bags
  • gallon-sized Ziploc bags
  • ice cubes
  • crackers
  • small plates, small cups, napkins, plastic butter knives and spoons
  • paper towels
  • anti-bacterial wipes
  • whiteboard or flipchart and appropriate markers
  • paper, crayons, markers
  • Map of Paul s journeys or of the Mediterranean region (or a good Bible map if the group is small)
  • Memento: butterfly or small leaves stickers

 



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing name-tags.

We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but you may open with prayer if you feel led to do so.

Explain the purpose of this workshop: In the workshop today we are going to see an experiment and do a cooking activity that shows us what happened to Saul when he met Jesus.

Ask the children if they know what the words transformation or conversion mean. (The dictionary says to change in character or condition.) Tell them that they are going to see an experiment and do a cooking activity that helps them understand the transformation or conversion of Saul when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Dig:

Scripture/Bible Story:
Tell the children that you will tell them the Bible story as you perform a science experiment to show them what happened to Saul when Jesus came into his life. Before beginning the story, open your Bible to Acts 9:1-19 and show the children where the story is found in the Bible.

As you turn to the passage, review the organization of the Bible: The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. Have them figure out whether Acts is in the Old or New Testament (happened after Jesus so it’s in NEW Testament). Show them that if you open your Bible in the middle, you will usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out that the book name is at the top of each page.
After finding Psalms, take the pages on the right side and divide them in half, they’ll open somewhere near the beginning of the New Testament. Tell them that Acts is the fifth book of the NT, right after the four Gospels. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at the top of every page. Verse numbers are the small numbers.
Explain that Acts is short for Acts of the Apostles. The stories here tell about what happened to Jesus’ followers after his death and resurrection. It tells the story of the early church. Acts is a book of history -- the only history book in the New Testament.

Review the story, using the “science experiment” described below to illustrate. With older kids, you might let them help with the demonstration. Unless this is the first Sunday of the rotation, let the children help you tell the story.

Story Summary

For props, use a bottle of iodine and three clear glass jars:
#1 is filled with water.
#2 looks empty but has spray starch coating the inside.
#3 has a couple of tablespoons of bleach at the bottom.
(See notes on this presentation in Teacher Preparation section.)

Show jar #1 to the class and say: This jar of water represents a man named Saul. Saul was from the city of Tarsus, (point out on a map) in what is now the country of Turkey. He lived in the early days of the church, when followers of Jesus were spreading the good news and the church was growing. Saul was a very devout Jew who loved God and tried very hard to follow the Jewish law. But somewhere along the way, he became what we might call a fanatic. A fanatic is someone who is very enthusiastic about what they believe---too enthusiastic (define enthusiastic if you determine that the class does not understand that word). Drop some iodine into the first jar to turn the water yellow.

Saul decided his religion was the only way. He decided that Christians must go to prison or die. Saul went to Jerusalem (show on map), where he went around the city arresting Christians and putting them in jail. Then he went to the high priest and got permission to go to Damascus (show on map, 135 miles from Jerusalem), to arrest Christians there and bring them to Jerusalem.

But as Saul was going along the road to Damascus, an amazing thing happened. A bright light flashed around him, and he fell to the ground. He heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? Slowly pour yellow water into jar #2. It will turn black as you pour and talk.

“Who are you?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus,” the voice answered. “I am the one you are so cruel to. Now get up and go into the city, where you will be told what to do.”

There were some men traveling with Saul, and they just stood there speechless. They had heard the voice but could not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, and when he opened his eyes, he could not see a thing. Hold up the jar of black water. He was blind.

Somebody took Saul by the hand and led him to Damascus. For three days he could not see anything and he did not eat or drink.

A follower of Jesus named Ananias lived in Damascus. Ananias had a vision where Jesus spoke to him and said, “Get up and go to the house of Judas on Straight Street. When you get there, you will find a man named Saul from the the city of Tarsus. Saul is praying, and he has seen a vision. He saw a man named Ananias coming to him and putting his hands on him, so that he could see again.”

Well, Ananias had heard of Saul, so he said, “Lord, I’ve heard about terrible things this man has done to your followers in Jerusalem. Now he’s come here to Damascus to arrest anybody who worships you.”

But Jesus said, “Go! I have chosen him to tell foreigners, kings, and the people of Israel about me.”

So Ananias left and went into the house where Saul was staying. He put his hands on Saul and said, “Saul, the Lord Jesus has sent me. He is the same one who appeared to you along the road. He wants you to be able to see and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Suddenly something like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see. Quickly pour water into jar #3, where it will turn clear again. Saul got up and was baptized. Then he ate and felt better.

And Saul went on to spend his life spreading the good news of Jesus to others. He came to be known as Paul because he traveled throughout the Roman empire, and the Roman form of his name is Paul.

After telling the story, ask the children:
What change did you see in the water each time I poured it into another jar? (It changed color)
What change did people see in Saul after he met Jesus on the road to Damascus? (He stopped persecuting Christians)

Application:

Tell the children they are going to “transform” or change some common kitchen ingredients, but don’t tell them what they will be making.

Divide the class into two groups. Give each child in one group a baby food jar half full with heavy cream and lid screwed on tightly. Give each child in the other group the Ziplock bags prepared ahead of time in the following way :

Fill a gallon Ziplock freezer bag half full of ice, and add 6 tablespoons rock salt. Seal the bag.
Put ½ cup milk, ¼ teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon sugar into a small Ziplock freezer bag; seal it.
Right before giving the bags to the children, open the large bag, place the small bag inside the large one, and seal again carefully.

Tell the children to start shaking the jars and bags, CAREFULLY. Tell them to watch for a transformation or change in the ingredients. (If they have already done either of these activities at school or at home, ask them not to say anything.) Make sure you have the paper towels handy for any spills or breakage.

While they are shaking: (it will take about 5-10 minutes to transform into butter or ice cream)
ask if they have seen any changes or transformations happening outside in nature. Show any other nature examples you have brought and ask the children what changes they see. All around us everyday things are changing. Do you know of anything else or have you seen anything else transform? Can people transform or change? How can you tell when someone has changed?
For younger children: The Bible story we heard told about the transformation in Saul when he met Jesus. Do you remember how Saul changed? What did he do differently after meeting Jesus?
For older children: Ask the children the following questions and put their responses on the board in the form of a Venn diagram. A Venn diagram is two circles drawn so that they overlap each other. Label one circle “Before Meeting Jesus” and the other circle “After Meeting Jesus”. Ask the children to describe Saul before and after meeting Jesus. If necessary, read the Bible passage to them again to refresh their memory about the details. If a description of Saul fits him before AND after his transformation, write it in the part where the circles overlap. This will help the children “visualize” the change in Saul.

The ingredients and the whipping cream will have transformed as you are discussing or reading the story. (There may still be a little liquid in the jar but you can see a lump of butter.) As each child discovers the transformation, acknowledge it by telling them that they have transformed a bunch of ingredients into ice cream and cream into butter.

REFLECT:
Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

When everyone has made their “food,” hand each child some crackers, a small plate, a small cup, a plastic butter knife, and a spoon. Let the children share their foods and taste their butter and ice cream. Allow them to discuss these changes while they eat.

Ask:

  • What caused the cream to change into butter?
  • What caused the milk, vanilla, and sugar to change into ice cream?
  • What caused Saul to change into a Christian?
  • I wonder if Jesus can change anybody you know into a Christian?


Review the memory verse.
Mad-libs verse transformation.
Using the attached “Mad-Lib” form, fill in the blanks as required. (Explain as needed that nouns are a person, place or thing; plural means more than one; and adjective is a descriptive word that tells what something is like, such as ‘big’ or ‘red.’)
Read the transformed verse to the class.
Laugh.

Ask if anyone can say the verse correctly. (Allow the class to help as necessary.)

If there is time and interest, ask for new words to fill in the blanks and read the new transformed verse.
Review the correct verse again.

By 11:45 a.m. ask the Shepherd to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.

Reflection:

Younger group: Give them a journal page with the word “transformations” writen across the top and some markers or crayons. Ask them to draw a picture of things that they have seen changing.

Older groups: Ask them to write an answer to the following questions:
Have you ever felt like you were in the presence of Christ? Have you ever had an experience where you felt different or changed afterward? Tell about it and write a few words to describe how you felt.

This is meant to be a time of reflection and introspection. Writing about faith helps clarify lessons. In addition to the suggested activity, children may draw pictures relating to today’s scripture or memory verse, list highlights of the day’s activities, or rephrase the memory verse. The journal pages will be saved and given to the children at the end of the school year.

You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, games. See the Workshop Leader’s Background Notes and rotation.org for ideas.

Before noon, ask the students to stop journaling for a moment and sit quietly for prayer so they can leave when their parents arrive. Allow them to finish journaling afterwards.

Closing prayer:
Thank you, God, for your power to transform people and things in our world. Amen.

Tidy and Dismissal:
Ask children to help tidy the room. Throw away the used Ziplock bags and wash the jars so they can be reused next week.
Collect the journal pages before they leave. Make sure their names and the date are on them.
Give everyone the parent take-home flyer the first week of the rotation; give it only to children who were absent and have not yet received it the other weeks of the rotation.

Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas and suggestions are included in the lesson plan.


Resources:

  • Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, Saul on the Road to Damascus Lesson Set,
    http://www.kirkofkildaire.org/...usAntiochArcade.html
  • Brookhaven Church, Saul on the Road to Damascus Lesson Set,
  • Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Memory Verse Mad-Libs

Ask the children for
1. plural noun ________
2. plural noun ________
3. adjective ___________
4. plural noun ________
5. adjective ____________
6. adjective ____________
7. noun _____________
8. adjective ____________
9. noun ______________
Read the verse with those words inserted.

What this means is that _(1 - plural noun)_
who become _(2 - plural noun)_
become _(3 - adjective)_ _(4 - plural noun)_ .

They are not _(5 - adjective)_ anymore,
for the _(6- adjective)_ _(7 - noun)_ is gone.

A _(8 - adjective)_ _(9 - noun)_ has begun!

II Corinthians 5:17

 


This lesson was written by Jamie Senyard for River Community Church in Prairieville, Louisiana.
Copyright 2003 Jamie Senyard. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.

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

Paul's Conversion

Cooking (Daily Bread) Workshop 


Summary of Lesson Activity:

Paul was transformed. We'll demonstrate transforming ingredients into butter and/or ice cream.

Scripture Reference:

Acts 9: 1-19 

Workshop Objectives

  • The children will look at nature to find examples of transformations.
  • They will perform an activity that will either change cream into butter or change ingredients into ice cream to illustrate conversion: how our lives are changed in the presence of Christ.


Note: Paul's change wasn't his own doing, it was God's. He didn't change himself. God took Paul and transformed him. For older children, the metaphor should be elaborated upon...."how ingredients/experiences in a person's life, including learning God's Word (as Paul did) can prepare us for a life changing encounter with God."


Leader Preparation:

  • Read Bible Background and scripture.
  • As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. You may want to experiment with the amount of whipping cream that works best so that you can get a feel for the amount of time it will take for the cream to turn into butter. You may also want to try the ice cream recipe so you will know how much time is needed for it.
     

Materials List:

  • A few samples of nature: flowers with blooms and buds, small tree branch with leaves, a caterpillar in a jar (these can really be anything that you can find outside that has transformed or will be transforming)
  • baby food jars
  • heavy whipping cream
  • sugar
  • milk or half and half
  • vanilla
  • rock salt
  • pint-sized Ziploc bags
  • gallon-sized Ziploc bags
  • ice cubes
  • a loaf of bread cut into pieces
  • small plates
  • napkins
  • plastic butter knives and spoons
  • paper, crayons, markers


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs. 

As the children come in, hand them a baby food jar or the two sizes of Ziploc bags. (When they ask what they are going to be doing with these things, tell them they will have to wait and see.) Tell the children that today we are going to learn all about transformations. Explain that when something transforms it changes. 

Dig: 

For the children with bags, help them mix the ingredients for each as follows:

  • Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add 6 tablespoons rock salt. Seal the bag.
  • Put ½ cup milk, ¼ teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon sugar into the small bag; seal it.
  • Open the large bag, place the small bag inside the large one, and seal again carefully.
  • Shake to see what the mixture becomes.
     

For the children with jars:

  • Pour each half full of heavy whipping cream. Tell the children to start shaking the jars and see how it transforms and what it becomes. (Tell them if they have already done either of these activities at school or at home, not to say anything.)
     

While they are shaking (it will take about 5-10 minutes to transform into butter or ice cream), ask if they have seen any changes or transformations happening outside. 

After they have had time to answer, pull out a few of your samples from outside. If they are still not coming up with some of their own examples, then prompt the discussion with these questions:

  • What changes do you see on the trees? (The trees have budded and are now full of leaves and flowers.)
  • What is happening to the flowers? (The flowers have bloomed.)
  • What changes do you see on the ground? (The grass is green and wildflowers are growing.)


Say: All around us everyday things are changing.

Ask:

  • Do you know of anything else or have you seen anything else transform?
  • Can people transform or change?
     

Sometimes it is hard to tell when a person transforms. The Bible tells a story about a man named Saul who transformed. I want you to listen and see if you can tell when the transformation happens.

Read the story of Saul/Paul from the Children's Bible. (Or have some of the children read the story in Acts 9: 1-19.) 

After the story, ask if they could tell when Saul transformed.

The ingredients and the whipping cream will have transformed as you are discussing or reading the story. (There may still be a little liquid in the jar but you can see a lump of butter.) As each child discovers the transformation, acknowledge it by telling them that they have transformed a bunch of ingredients into ice cream and cream into butter. 

Discuss the story. Explain that just as everything changes outside and just as their cream changed into butter, Saul was changed into a new person after experiencing Christ. Explain that Saul was transformed into such a different person that he even changed his name to Paul.

When everyone has made their “food”, hand each child some bread, a small plate, a plastic butter knife, and a spoon. Let the children share their foods and taste their butter and ice cream. Allow them to discuss these changes while they eat.

Ask them to come up with “I wonder” questions. Give them some examples to get them started:

  • I wonder if God can change someone who is sick?
  • I wonder if God can transform someone who doesn’t believe in God?

As a teacher, it is not your responsibility to answer the “I wonder” questions, but to help them come up with them. If they want to answer them, that’s great. Make sure everyone gets a chance to say at least one “I wonder” question, even if it is about the food they’ve changed or the changes in nature. See more examples in the section Adjustments for younger/older children below.

Reflection:

Younger group: Hand out paper, crayons, and markers. On the top of their papers, help them to write the word "transformations". Ask them to draw a picture of things that they have seen changing.

Older groups: Ask them to write an answer to the following questions:
Have you ever felt like you were in the presence of Christ? Have you ever had an experience where you felt different or changed afterward?

Say a prayer of your own to close the workshop, or use the following:
Thank you, God, for your power to transform things in our world. Amen.

Adjustments for younger/older children:
Note: have some children make butter and some make ice cream. If you have only one child, you probably will have time to do both with them.

The older the children are, the more they may want to reflect on the answers to the “I wonder” questions. For example, the primaries may only answer “yes” to an “I wonder” question, while the juniors may offer another “I wonder” question in response.

For example: I wonder if God can transform someone who doesn’t believe in God? I wonder if God would want to transform someone who doesn’t believe in God? I wonder how we could help that person believe in God? I wonder if God would blind someone today to get them to believe in God?


 A lesson written by Jan Marshal from Brenthaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church,
Bentwood, TN, USA
 

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

During our rotation on Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus we did a "cooking" lesson.  This lesson introduced the idea that you can become a new creation in Christ but you are still "you."  This can be a difficult but important concept both for younger children and teens.

Paul’s Conversion on the Road to Damascus

Cooking Workshop


Scripture:
 

Acts 9:9-22

Summary of Lesson Activities:

In this lesson the class will be introduced to the book of “Acts” in the Bible as the 5th book in the New Testament.  They will learn the story of Paul’s Conversion experience on the road to Damascus.  By taking individual pieces of fruit and blending them together to make a “smoothie” they will see how Paul was made into a completely new person because of his interaction with Jesus.  Yet Paul was still Paul. 


Supplies:

  • a couple of different kinds of fresh fruit
  • water or fruit juice (not milk if you have lactaid intolerant kids in your groups)
  • ice
  • cutting boards
  • knives
  • glasses/paper cups
  • a blender
  • a tablecloth for the table
  • long handled spoon
  • Optional:  bunch of flowers that include buds, as well as, fully open flowers (you can use that in the opening section as an example).
     

Leader Preparation:

  • Familiarize yourself with the Lesson Plan.
  • Familiarize yourself with the scriptural passage and bookmark it in your Bible.
  • Gather the materials necessary for the lesson.
  • Before class have your materials set up on a big kitchen tray out of sight of the students so they don’t get distracted by it.


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Introduce yourself to the class.  Invite the students to introduce themselves to you.  Have them join you in prayer: (Pray the following or anything you wish) 

Dear Jesus, when you come into our lives we become completely different from who we were before.  We are still ourselves but we are a new creation at the same time.  Bless our time together as we learn more about your presence in our lives.  Amen. 

Dig:


Scripture Lesson:
 

Say: This month we are learning about what happened to Paul on his way to Damascus.  We find this story in the book of Acts.

Ask:  Do you know where the book of Acts is in the Bible? (The first book after the four gospels).

Say: Let’s find the book of Acts in our Bibles.  It comes right after the book of John.

[Once the students have located the book of Acts ask them:]

Ask: Have you ever heard this story before (maybe in a previous week if this is not the 1st Sunday of the rotation or maybe at another time.)

(IF THEY HAVE HEARD THIS STORY BEFORE HAVE THEM TELL IT TO YOU.  OTHERWISE PROCEED WITH READING IT FROM THE BIBLE. They might need help finding the chapter and verse.  When reading it out loud they can take turns or you can read it to them.  Please read it out loud to the Sprouts so as not to make pre-readers feel uncomfortable.)

Say: The story of Paul shows us what can happen when Jesus comes into our lives

Ask: Did Paul change himself? (No) Jesus changed Paul, didn’t he?  (Yes)

Say:  Jesus transformed Paul. 

For Buds and Blooms (Our Jr. and Sr. High class): 

Continue the conversation about transformation in the following way: 

Say:  God can change our lives in dramatic and powerful ways but we can also change ourselves when we need or want to.  We can make a decisions to change ourselves. We can decide to be more polite or we can decide we need to learn how to better take care of ourselves.  We might feel the need for healing about something that’s happened to us or healing in a friendship.  We can do things to make those changes in ourselves.  But our relationship with God is really important and integral in bringing some of these changes about.

Ask: Do you have any questions about the difference between God transforming us and the changes we can make in ourselves? (Invite them to discuss this if they want.) 

Spring and Nature’s Transformations: 

Ask:  Is it spring yet?  (Accept all answers)

Say:  Technically its spring but we still have a lot of snow. 

Ask:  What do you think people look for that tells them that spring is here? (Birds coming back, grass turning green, flowers coming up, it gets warmer, trees begin to bud, we get lots of mud, put away winter coats and snow boots, no more snow days, etc.)

Say:  There are a lot of different ways that tell us that spring is here. 

Ask:  Do we make the birds come back? (No)  Do we make the flowers come up out of the ground? (No) Do we turn the snow to rain? (No) (Be prepared to have someone bring up the issue of Global Warming and how we do have an impact on when and how spring happens. That does get addressed in the next section.)

Say:  We don’t have any control over when these signs of spring begin to happen.  God made nature in such a way that the ways the planets turn and the ways seasons happen have nothing to do with us.  Of course, the way we live and use our natural resources effects weather and seasons (Global Warming) but we don’t decide that today will be the day the snow will melt or today will be the day it’ll be hot enough to go swimming.  The effects of Global Warming have happened over a long, long period of time. But when spring arrives it feels, and looks, like a brand new world.  Trees, lawns, gardens—they all look transformed. Eventually as spring turns into summer it seems hard to believe that we ever had winter!

(If you have a bunch of flowers you can point to them and illustrate that each of these flowers starts out as a tightly closed bud.  Slowly, if the light and temperature are right the buds slowly open up. But they do not do it all at once.  Each blossom has its own journey.) 

Say/Ask: So my next question is this: are we still the same person after we’ve been transformed by God?  It’s a tricky question, isn’t it? (You can engage the students in a conversation about this.) 

Making Smoothies: 

Say: We’re going to make smoothies this morning to help us talk about the kind of transformation God does.  We’ve got a variety of fruit here and some other things we need to make a smoothie.

For this exercise it is important to have the class eat a piece of fruit in its natural state and then mixed up in a smoothie.  For instance, have them each eat a strawberry.  Then make a strawberry smoothie for them to each taste.   As they are eating it say:

Say/Ask:  Notice how the fruit tastes and feels in your mouth.  Can you feel the seeds or taste the skin?  Is it crispy or chewy or juicy? 

Put the fruit, water and ice in the blender.  You can add some frozen fruit in place of ice if you want. Once the smoothie is made pour some of it in paper cups and hand it out to the students. 

Ask: What is the fruit like now?  Does it taste the same? Can you feel the seeds or the skin? 

(You can do this with one type of fruit or with several.  Just repeat it). 

Ask:  The fruit is both the same and completely different at the same time, isn’t it?  Do you think that is what happens to us when we are transformed by God? How are we the same and how might we be different? (Let the kids discuss this.)


A lesson from member Cat Blue.

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

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