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Jesus Calls His First Disciples
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Talk about how two people can tell the same story in different words and with different details (Scripture Versions). Two groups will create two different dramas telling both versions of the story of the calling of the fishermen to be fishers of men.
Version 1: Matthew 4: 18-22; Mark 1: 16-20
Version 2: Luke 5: 1-11 (note differences between the accounts)
At the end of the session, the students will be able to
- Locate Matthew, Mark and Luke and identify them as three of the four Gospels from the New Testament.
- Locate the scripture and read selected texts.
- Identify Peter (Simon), Andrew, James, and John as the first disciples called by Jesus.
- Identify the disciples' occupation as fishermen.
- Understand what Jesus' followers did.
- Begin to understand that we are also disciples of Jesus and we are called to "fish for people."
Props, scenery, costumes, and supplies:
- Bible time costumes,
- boat made from cardboard box,
- Goldfish crackers.
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- Make cardboard boat.
Early arrivals: put names on construction paper fish and hang them up on boat.
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Open with prayer.
Read the scriptures (Matthew and Luke versions). Talk about how two people can tell the same story in different words and with different details.
Act It Out:
- Group 1: Jesus, Simon (Peter), Andrew, James, John, Zebedee;
- Group 2: Jesus, Simon (Peter), James, John
Where did story take place:
- Group 1: by Sea of Galilee
- Group 2: Lake Gennesaret
Cast nets and pull in empty and full; talk about fishing — movements, techniques, emotions.
- Divide class into two groups and assign each group one version of the story.
(For this to work, there should be a minimum of 3 students in each group and one teacher for each group; otherwise the entire class should work on one version of the story. )
- Each group should discuss its version of story, assign parts and rehearse the story.
How would you feel if you were: various people when called to follow?Simon Peter when you caught the fish?
- Because these are very brief stories, encourage improvising of details and conversations.
- Then have the groups come back together and perform story for the other half of the class.
Pulling it all together (closing discussion):
- What do you think Jesus meant when he said the disciples would be catching people?
- We too are disciples of Jesus. What are some of the things we can do to "catch people?"
End with a prayer.
Dismissal: give everyone Goldfish crackers, and ask them to remember to fish this week.
Books for sharing before and after class:
Look for collections that include this story, such as
- McCaughrean, Geraldine. God's Kingdom: Stories from the New Testament. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1999
This lesson was written by Amy Crane (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 Instructions under Puppetry in the Workshop Design Category of the idea and lesson exchange.
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