Drama and Puppet Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for the Parable of Talents, Pounds

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Matthew 25:14–30, master who entrusts his property to his servants, Buried talent, stewardship, Kingdom, giving, etc. 

Bible lessons and ideas about the Parable of the Talents, Pounds -with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc.

Original Post

Originally posted by member Jan from Napa

Improved by reviewers during our 2013 renovation.

 

The Parable of the Talents - Dubbed

Drama Script

 

Actors will "lip sync" to off-camera narration while they are videotaped.

This is a fun technique seen in improv shows. It is like being "dubbed" in a foreign film.

Allow about 2-3 minutes for kids to get costumes, assign parts, and pass out scripts to adults.

Tell the families that you will be doing a “foreign film”. Kids will act out the parts and move their mouths while adults off camera read the lines. The result will be like a foreign film "dub" !!

 

Wormy adds....

 

IMPORTANT VIDEO TAPING SUGGESTION: 

 

For the lip syncing to really look great, you have to have the actors CLOSE TO THE CAMERA.  Pause the recording at certain key lines, reposition the camera or zoom in to record the actor up close.  You can also pause the recording, and reposition the camera to cut to other actor's facial reactions. This also gives you the opportunity to discuss how the actors should react to key lines/ideas. 

 

Have the narrators standing directly behind the camera so they are picked up by the microphone. 

 

Put the camera on a tripod so that the camera stays still for close-ups and the cameraperson can see the direct waving "CUT!" to stop the action. 

 

Add "scenes" and "close up" remarks to the script before practicing so everyone knows where to stop.  

 

Extra students can hold lights, make sound effects (which you can add to the script).

 

Apply some STAGE MAKEUP and moustaches, beards, wigs. Kids LOVE that.

 


Kids: 6 Characters dressed in costume (see below) and 6 adults to read the parts, one adult to run the video camera. 

Notes: Narrator will say their lines on camera, then move off to the side. Jesus will stand off to the side of the action, on camera, the whole time.

The rest of the kids and adults who want to can be other servants in the background acting like they’re doing work throughout the story.

Tell the kids to listen carefully to the words so they will know what their part is and how they should act out motions and move their mouths. This is important.

Narrator 
Jesus 
Master 
Servant 1 
Servant 2 
Servant 3 

 

The Drama


Script adapted from The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor and The Family Story Bible by Ralph Milton

NARRATOR: 
Jesus would not always be living on the earth. His followers must learn to be loyal to him and use every opportunity to serve him, even when he was no longer with them. So Jesus told this story, a parable, to help them know what he wanted them to do. Jesus said:

JESUS:
I have a story to tell you about a man, the master, who said: 

MASTER:
I am going to go on a long journey. Before I leave I have to put some of my servants in charge of all my property. Servants, come here!

NARRATOR: 
All 3 servants replied: 

ALL 3 SERVANTS:
Yes, master, what is it you wish?

NARRATOR:
The master said: 

MASTER:
You three will be in charge of all my property and all I own while I’m gone.

NARRATOR:
All 3 servants answered: 

ALL 3 SERVANTS:
“Yes, master, whatever you say we will do.”

NARRATOR:
The master said: 

MASTER:
“I will give to you each some of my money, according to how well each of you will be able to manage it.”

NARRATOR:
To the first servant he gave 5 talents. Talents were a kind of money. One talent was said to be worth more than one thousand dollars! The first servant said, 

FIRST SERVANT
“I will take care of these talents, master.” 

NARRATOR:
And he went away. To the second servant he gave 2 talents. The second servant said, 

SECOND SERVANT:
“I will take care of these talents, master.” 

NARRATOR: And he went away. To the third servant he gave 1 talent. The third servant took the talent and didn’t say anything, and he went away.
The master then went away on his journey. After a long while the master returned. He called the three servants to him to ask them what they had done with his money.
The first servant said, 

FIRST SERVANT:
“I used the talents wisely and have doubled what you gave me. Here are ten thousand coins for you, master!”

NARRATOR:
The master said, 

MASTER:
“Well done! You have been a good and loyal servant. You have shown that you can be trusted and obey in small ways. I shall give you the opportunity to serve me now in bigger ways. Come and join my celebration!”


NARRATOR:
Then the second servant stepped forward. The second servant said,

SECOND SERVANT:
“I have also doubled what you gave me, master.” 

NARRATOR
And he handed the master four thousand coins. The master said, 

MASTER:
“Well done! You too have been loyal and good and you shall be promoted, too. Join my celebration!”

NARRATOR:
Last of all, the servant who had been given one thousand coins came forward. The third servant said, 

THIRD SERVANT
“Here are your coins back, master. You always act like you are out for what you can get. I was afraid to risk losing any of the money that you gave me so I just buried the talents in the ground for safekeeping.”

NARRATOR:
The master said,

MASTER:
“You bad, lazy servant! If I’m really as mean as you make me out to be, then you should have invested my money so I could at least have back the interest. Your coins will be given to the servant who gained five thousand. Those who make full use of what they are given, end up being even better off. Those who refuse to make good use of the little they have, lose even that.”

NARRATOR
Then the master turned to the other servants and said, 

MASTER
“Turn this servant out. He has lost his chance. There is nothing for him to look forward to.”

NARRATOR:
The point of the parable is a reminder that we are not measured by what we have to begin with, but by what we do with what we have. The story tells us that God has given each of us at least one talent, one gift that is to be used in the work of the Kingdom. Not everyone has more than one gift, but we all have at least one gift to be used for the glory of God. Now some people feel that since they don’t have a major, dramatic gift that someone else might have, it’s okay for them to sit back and do nothing but guard their gift.

Jesus looks at the one-talent person, saying that person has just as much responsibility to serve God "according to his/her ability" as the one with five talents does.

You see, Jesus wants to point out the responsibility of ordinary people. That’s what most of us are, you know? This is Jesus’ way of reminding us ordinary folks that God doesn’t just call superstars to do his work. God needs each of us and expects us to use our gifts, no matter how small or insignificant we might think those gifts are.

In fact, some of God’s best work over the ages has been done through ordinary, one-talent people - people like Moses, Peter, Mary, a small boy with a small lunch. The one thing these folks had in common was that they were willing to allow God to use the gifts they had been given.

THE END

Here's another good drama script posted by member Jan of Napa, with some revisions.  
It has some WONDERFUL LIFE APPLICATION in it.

This one updates the drama with contemporary imagery and has some audience interaction. More could be added, and some of our 2013 reviewers of this lesson suggested the terms "investment counselor" and the like be changed for young children (banker?)

This could be done with a script, or written on a large SCROLLing "teleprompter (cardboard box, with dowel rods), or done as a "foreign film DUB" as described in the lesson above this one.)


 

The Parable of the Modern Talents – 

Adapted by First Pres. Napa, CA from:
©2001 Bob Snook. Conditions for use: Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it. Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances. You may reproduce and distribute this script freely, but all copies must contain this copyright statement. This script has been slightly altered by rotation volunteers.

Characters:
2 strong readers (#1 and #2)
4 people who come in to read a few lines each then go off stage (3, 4, 5 & 6)
1 person to read the story paragraph 
5 or more parent/kid combos to do the burying and being buried (A,B,C,D,E)

Props: brown paper bag, coat or shirt, crumpled up newspapers, packing peanuts, and a blanket.

ACT ONE

[CHARACTER #1 appears]

#1 -- And now, sit back, relax and listen to another edition of... Parables on Parade. Today’s parable comes from Matthew chapter 25 beginning at verse 5. 

[ENTER STORYTELLER CHARACTER]

"It will be like a master going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money." 

[STORYTELLER EXITS]

[ENTER CHARACTER #2 NEXT TO #1]

#2: Okay, I'll take if from here. 

#1 Huh? Who are you? 

#2 I’m a certified investment counselor. 

#1 Really? 

#2 No. But I read a pamphlet once about finances.

#1 And you think that qualifies you to tell all these people about this parable?

#2 It is all about money, right?

#1 Well, not exactly. The parable Jesus told did talk about money, talents they called it back then, but let’s look at some ways that we can take the gifts God has given each of us to use them for God’s kingdom! (WHISTLE to call others onto stage!)

[CHARACTERS 1 AND 2 MOVE OFF STAGE]

END ACT ONE


ACT TWO

PERSON 3: I bought some FLOWERS on sale at the Home Depot and then sold them in my neighborhood. I let people know I was raising money for our VBS ...and this also gave me a chance to invite their kids to our church!   I made $25 for my church's Vacation Bible School!

ALL: PRAISE GOD!

PERSON 4: I like to bake cookies and brownies so I made some and sold them at the downtown fair. The money I made I donated to the hospital.

ALL: PRAISE GOD!

PERSON 5: I love a clean car and wash mine every weekend. There's this old guy who lives next door who broke his hip. I knew how much he loved his old car, and we often saw each other washing our cars on Saturday. So I walked over after church with my bucket in hand and asked him if I could wash his car. He brought me a Coke and we ended up talking about his childhood. 

ALL: PRAISE GOD!

PERSON 6: I love gardening so I planted a huge garden at my house. But it grew too many tomatoes and zucchinis! So I brought the extras to church and people bought them. I donated the money to a family who is working as missionaries far away.    I gave a couple of my prized tomatos to our youth workers too.

ALL: PRAISE GOD!

END ACT TWO


ACT THREE

#2 Well, if your point is that we should share our talents for God, I get what you’re
saying. 

#1 Great! So how about you, what’s your talent?

#2 I don’t have any talent.

#1 That’s not true! God has given each person at least one talent, if not more! 
Think of things you’re interested in, ask a friend, ask your family, … ask God! I’m sure you’ll come up with at least one if not more talents you have.

#2 Well, if I do have a talent, I’m sure I’m too busy to do what God needs me to do.

#1 Too busy? Now wait a minute …. Let me turn around this story a little bit. See if this makes sense … (TO AUDIENCE): In the parable Jesus told, what did the third servant do with the one talent he was given?

ALL: Buried it!

#1 Well, you’re burying your talent with “busyness”! 

#2 Huh?

#1 We’ll show you ….


END ACT THREE


ACT FOUR

Note: We had about 5 kids and 2 adults who weren’t interested in speaking parts for our videotaped drama so they sat in a bunch and one person (or more) came in for each of these speaking parts and buried them with the stuff. Effect was great! (Thanks Neil for that fun idea!)


#A Sometimes people get “buried” with FEAR . . . 

(put a brown paper bag over one person’s head.) 

They’re afraid to share their talent because they think they won’t be “good enough” or they think their gift or talent isn’t as important as someone else’s.

#B People get “buried” with SELFISHNESS . . . 

(put a coat or shirt over one or more people.)

Like when we know we have a special gift and we still don’t want to share it with others and we just keep it to ourselves.

#C People get “buried” with LAZYNESS . . . 

(pile crumpled up newspapers on people.)

Like when know we have a special gift and we’re just plain lazy about sharing it.

#D People get “buried” with TIME . . . 

(dump packing peanuts on the people.)

Like when we let too many other things take up our time and we say we don’t have enough time to share our gifts.

#E People get “buried” with a LACK OF FAITH . . . 

(lay a blanket over the people)

Like when we think that God’s not big enough to help us share our gifts once He gives them to us.

END ACT FOUR

ACT FIVE

#2 Oh, like me. Wow! I never thought of it that way! By not sharing our talents, we bury the gifts God gave us AND by finding reasons or excuses not to share our gifts we’re burying them, too! I’ll see ya … I gotta go!

#1 Where are you off to so fast?

#2 I’ve got a lot to do! I’m not only going to go talk to my family about gifts I have to share, I’m also going to make a list of my gifts, work out a plan to share my gifts, and especially PRAY! See ya! (exit quickly)

#1 (to audience) So are YOU burying YOUR gifts … or sharing them the way God wants us to?


END ACT FIVE

Parable of the Talents

Storytelling Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

This workshop uses the book: The Quiltmaker’s Gift. by Jeff Brumbeau. Orchard Books, 2000.

In this workshop the learners will hear the story The Quiltmaker’s Gift and will compare it to the Parable of the Talents.


Supplies List:

  • The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories
  • The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau, ISBN: 9780439309103.
  • pencils

Teacher preparation:

  • Read the Bible passage. Read over the background material included in your teacher packet as you review the lesson plan. Become familiar with the Bible story and the book The Quiltmaker’s Gift.


 

Presentation

Opening - Welcome and introductions:
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 if there are new students or visitors.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Lesson Plan:
1. Have the students sit where you would like them to during the reading of the story from the Bible. Hand out Bibles.

2. Read the story from The Children’s Bible, page 353, story number 311.

3. Discuss the story by explaining to the children that the Bible uses the word “talent” and back in ancient times that was an enormous sum of money. Today, we have come to think of the word “talent” as meaning God-given abilities.

4. Ask the following questions:

  • What does the story tell us happened when the master returned?
  • What do you think this means for us? Accept any answer but lead the children to God expects us to use our “talents” (money and abilities) to the fullest in furthering God’s kingdom. Furthering God’s kingdom might be interpreted to the children as being loving and caring toward all people, treating everyone like we would want to be treated, helping those in need, being faithful to our church (whatever denomination that might be), etc.


5. Tell them we are going to read a story today about one person who had a God-given talent and another who had great wealth. As we read the story have them think about how each used their “talents” and what made them happy.

6. Read the story The Quiltmaker’s Gift. Be sure to let the children enjoy the pictures as you read. The story will take at least 15 minutes to read and enjoy the pictures, or longer if you take time to look closely at each picture.

7. Ask the children the following questions:

  • How was this story like our bible story? Accept any answer. Some might be that it is about using talents. Using talents to help others made them happy.
  • What might we learn from the story about what we should do with our “talents”? Accept any answer. Some might be: use them to help the needy wherever they might be; to be happy we must give to others, not just things we don’t want anymore but some that we do, and that we must give of ourselves, too.


Closure:
Point out to the children that we must give of ourselves as well as our talents. The king found out he was happiest when he not only gave away what he had but, as we could see in the pictures, when he participated with the community. The gifts he gave were not just his old stuff like what we would take to Goodwill but stuff he liked. This story should teach us that we have “talents” we must share with others and be faithful managers of what we are given.

If time permits talk a little about the ways to be a faithful manager of talents--giving a tenth of money to the church, giving to charity, spending time with older people or making them a gift of a song or drawing or something they have written, helping the needy like at Safe Haven when the adults go to serve a meal, being friends to kids that are not very likable, being nice to brothers and sisters, etc.

Closing:
Close the class with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Loving God, thank you for our talents. Help us to discover them and to use them to benefit others and to show your love to all. Amen.

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals Have the children respond to the following:
One thing I can do to be a faithful manager of my “talents” is to . . . 

During 2013 renovation of this forum, a reviewer suggested that a follow-up "quilt making" "personal coat of arms" art project.... each student making a square that suggested one of their talents. To this could be added a quilt square/coat of arms section represented faith and the church.

 A lesson posted by member JanMarshall from: Brenthaven Church 

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

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