Drama and Puppet Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for the Lost Coin, Lost Sheep

Post your Sunday School drama and puppet lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for the Lost Coin, Lost Sheep here.

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Including: the 99 sheep, lost sheep, shepherd, woman, lost coin, rejoice, Matthew 18:12–14, Luke 15:3–7, Luke 15:8–10

Bible lessons and ideas about the Lost Coin, Lost Sheep -with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc.




Three Parables of Lost and Found

Drama Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
A creative dramatic re-enactment of the parables of the lost coin, lost sheep, and lost son captured on video, and narrated by Jesus.

Editor's Note:  Many Rotation church do not include "Lost Son" in this lesson. They cover it separately as a lesson about The Prodigal Son.  You can easily just do the Coin and Sheep part of this lesson. 

Scripture Reference:
Luke 15 (Matthew 18: 12-14).


Lesson Objectives:
At the end of the session, the students will be able to:

  • Locate Luke in the New Testament and identify it as one of the four Gospels that tell of Jesus' life, death and resurrection.
  • Relate the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son.
  • Know what a parable is and understand that Jesus used storytelling as a teaching tool.
  • Know that each and every one is precious to God.
  • Understand the forgiveness shown by the father, and how it demonstrates God's forgiveness.
  • Know in what way the student may be lost, or feel lost, and how they can be found again with and by Jesus.
  • Know that God rejoices when we repent.

Background comments on the story: 

  • The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible: "In view of the very nature of sheep— affectionate, non-aggressive, relatively defenseless, and in constant need of care and supervision — and the corresponding relationship between the sheep and the shepherd, it is not at all surprising that in figurative-theological language the sheep and the shepherd are repeatedly, and often movingly, employed."
  • According to the law, pigs were considered unclean in Jewish society. 
  • Asking for inheritance before the death of the father implies that the son is wishing that Dad were dead, which would shock the family and friends as well as the listeners.  How do children show disrespect to their parents when asking for money or things they think they are "entitled" to?
  • Note that all three parables end with rejoicing. (Maybe the subtitle should be "Party, Party, Party!")

Preparation

  • Make sure you are familiar with how to operate the video equipment, both to tape and to replay. You may want to practice videoing some children or volunteers moving around your classroom space. Decide if you want to keep the camera stationary on a tripod or move it around to catch the action.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.

Props, scenery, costumes, and supplies:

  • Bible time costumes, robe and ring, ten coins, lamp, broom, party balloons, hats or noisemakers;
  • materials for making sheep ears (posterboard, cotton balls, glue, stapler);
  • pig noses (children can be pigs with the addition of a simple pig nose:
  • a circle from pink construction paper taped on the child's nose);
  • copies of the script;
  • video camera, tripod, blank video tape, television set-up.


Lesson Plan 

Early arrival activities:
Make sheep ear headbands. Cut a headband from construction paper and staple on sheep ears cut from posterboard. Cover with cotton balls. (Students may take these home after class.)
You may want to use this informal working time to go over some of the closing discussion questions, especially the ones about losing things and being lost.

Book for sharing before and after class: there are picture book collections of New Testament stories and parables available in the public library, including Tomie De Paola's book The Parables of Jesus and Geraldine McCaughrean's God's Kingdom. Also look for single story books such as:
Larcombe, Jennifer Rees. The Boy Who Ran Away.
Montgomery, Tama. The Story of the Lost Son. 

Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:


Open with prayer.

Assign roles ahead of time so kids can listen for their part.
Read the scripture: Luke 15 

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
Discuss before acting out the story:
Explain that parables are stories Jesus told to illustrate a truth. 

Ask:

  • Who is "the lost"?  Who could the sheep and coin be?   Israel?  Jews?  Outcasts?  You?  
  • Why are they lost?  How does a person lose their way in this life?  
  • What are things that "lost" people do?  
  • How could a church or country lose its way?
  • Who is the person doing the finding?  God?  Jesus?  How did he do that?   
  • What is the attitude of "the finder"?  Do they give up or do they work hard at finding?
  • Where does God "find" people or you? In church? (in the place where we have become lost)
  • What about YOU? How do you "lose your way" and need Jesus?  
  • Who is "lost" in your life and needs YOUR help?  How do you go out and "find" the lost?
  • SUMMARIZE the truth which this parable is teaching.

This discussion will inform that attitude and actions of the drama. Whoever plays the shepherd, for example, cannot casually look, they must diligently look.


Characters:
Jesus, audience (tax collectors, other outcasts, Pharisees, teachers of the Law), shepherd, 100 sheep, woman, friends and neighbors, Father, two sons, servants, person son worked for "in a country far away".   

Depending on the size of your class, you may choose to split up students between the two stories. 

You may also choose to have different groups work on the same story and each take a turn presenting their version of it.  The comparisons and contrasts will make for interesting discussion fodder with your older students.

Warm-up exercises:

  • Practice the "Party" part of each parable. Have students quickly create a party atmosphere and suddenly be able to FREEZE ON CUE so that the narrator can say their last line.
  • Action is Improvised.  Practice having EVERYONE look like a lost sheep or lost coin.  Practice having everyone act as the Finder. You might have them line up and step on the 'stage' one at a time trying to improve on the person who went ahead of them.

 

After warming up.... 

Have everyone take their spots. Put the narrator/Jesus in place. Roll camera!  Feel free to try it a couple of times. 

= SEE SCRIPT BELOW = 

Options:

Change the word "coin" or "sheep" to other "lost things", and change the name of the "finder" to something else, and then have some of the kids act those out in front of the camera. 

For example: 

The Lost Teenager who thought God was stupid

The Lost Kid who was mean to others

The Lost Country who thought they could intimidate others by weapons

The Lost Church which just wanted to entertain people and grow their numbers. 

The Finders:   Jesus, Sunday School Teacher, Youth Group, Good Friend. 

Watch the video, then discuss other things that can be added to the performance, and if time permits, reassign parts and do it again, and again,....

Pulling it all together (closing discussion): 

Ask:  

  • "What About You?"
  • Have you ever been lost? What did it feel like? Did you find your way back, or did someone find you?
  • What kind of problems in your life could make you feel FAR AWAY from God?
  • Is there any place you can go where God cannot find you?
  • Is there anything you can do that would cause God to stop loving you?

Closing:

End with a prayer. 


Sample Script for your improvised drama... 

Three Parables of Lost and Found 

Luke, Chapter 15, adapted from Today's English Version

Script for Narrator (Jesus) 

1. LOST SHEEP:

(Narrator/Jesus should pause at indicated points to allow students to improvise dialog and act out the story.)

One day many tax collectors and other outcasts came to hear what I had to say. The Pharisees and teachers of the law started grumbling: "Jesus eats with those awful people!" 
So I told them some stories.

There was a shepherd who had one hundred sheep.
(Sheep and shepherd enter)

One of the sheep wandered off.
(Sheep goes.)

As was his habit, the shepherd counted the sheep.
(He counts, says one is missing and starts looking.)

What does he do?

He leaves the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and goes looking for the one who got lost.
When he finds it, he is so happy, he takes it home. Then he calls together his friends
(he call friends) and they celebrate.

(Party!)  (Freeze the Party!)

I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.


2. Lost Coin


There was a woman who had ten silver coins.
(Woman walks on with bag of coins.)
She lost one. What does she do? 

Party goer 1:  Why should she care? It's just one coin.

Party goer 2:  Maybe she's poor. Or maybe the coin is very valuable. Or maybe she has plans to give the coin to the poor.


She lights a lamp, sweeps her house and looks carefully everywhere until she finds it.

She looked under the furniture. She looked under the rug. She looked high. She looked low. She looked in her own pockets. She even called out to the coin! 


(She looks and finds it finally.)

And when she finds it, she is so happy! She calls together her friends
(she calls friends; they come)
and they celebrate.

(Party!)  (Freeze the Party!)

I tell you, in the same way the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents. 

Over one kid who decides to come back to Sunday School 

Over one bad person who stops being bad. 

God never gives up. 

You are God's coin. Even if you have gotten yourself lost and tarnished, God will keep looking for you until you are found.


3. OPTIONAL 3rd Story (if you are covering Prodigal Son in this rotation)

There was once a man who had two sons.
(They walk on.)
The younger one asked for his share of his father's property before his father was dead!
(Conversation.)

He sold his property, and went to a country far away where he wasted his money on wine, women, and song.
(Party.)

He spent everything he had. So he found a job working on a pig farm.
(Gross pig farm action.)

At last, he came to his senses:
(decides to return home to work for father: verses 17-19.)

So he got up and started back to his father.
(Walking.)

He was still a long way off when his father saw him. The father's heart was filled with pity and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him.
(Son apologizes [verse 21]. Father calls for party [verse 22-24.])

(Party!)

The older son had been working in the fields. When he returned, he heard music and dancing, so he asked a servant what was going on.
(Conversation, verses 26 - 27.)

The older brother was so angry, he would not go into the house. His father came out to him and begged him to come in.
(Conversation, verses 29-32. Including: "But we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.)

Friends, if you have ears, listen.


 

Resources:

  • Napier, B.D. "Sheep," The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible. Abingdon Press, 1990.
  • Richards, Larry. Talkable Bible Stories. "The Lost Sheep," pages 188-190.
  • "Revisiting the Tale of the Prodigal Son," The Biblical Storyteller, May-June 1999.
  • Scripture taken from the Good News Bible in Today's English Version - Second Edition, Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

 This lesson was written by Amy Crane (amycrane@hotmail.com) for Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church in Tampa, Florida. Copyright 2001 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included. For additional information on using puppets and drama to bring Bible stories to life, see Amy Crane's Puppet and Drama Workshop Manual and Ideas in the Workshop "DESIGN" forum here in the Rotation Ideas and Lesson Exchange.

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