Psalm 23

Drama ~ "WFUMC News Broadcast" Workshop

Editor's Note:
This lesson plan is a good example of a somewhat complex DRAMA Workshop production that Rotation churches can undertake because they will do it for several different classes. The first week is a bit of a dry run. Extra teens and parents will be super helpful.

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Create, videotape and watch a news broadcast on a portion of the 23rd Psalm, verses 4-6.

Scripture Reference:

Psalm 23:1-6

Key Verse:

Psalm 23:1-6

Important Note: We used this workshop for 3rd grade and up. Thus there are no non-reader adaptations for this lesson. This workshop, at first reading will seem complicated. Make sure your leader has plenty of time to read it and ask questions. This does work and proved to be a powerful learning experience. 

Workshop Objectives:

  • God takes care of us like a shepherd takes care of sheep.
  • God’s love and kindness are always with us.
  • God is with us even when we are scared.
  • Know how to find Psalm 23 in the Bible; work on learning by heart, Psalm 23 (in their own words).

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Classroom poster of Psalm 23
  • Handouts of 23rd Psalm (1 per student)
  • Bibles
  • Copies of attached interview sheets (see end of lesson)
  • Scrap paper, pencils, lap desks
  • Videotaping equipment: digital camera, tripod, cord to connect camera to TV or laptop
  • Special nametags (that identify roles in the news production)
  • A news desk with a sign: “WFUMC” 
  • Other props: whatever else helps set the mood. The more you set the mood, the more fun it is for the kids. Example: a clock for behind the newsdesk, a clapper (we purchased an inexpensive one from a costume shop.)


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the WFUMC Newsroom. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Pass around a basket to collect any offering. 
[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: We are learning (continuing to learn) about the 23rd Psalm. This is the newsroom of WFUMC, so we’ll be reporting news from the Bible. Before we get started, let’s begin with prayer.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for guiding and protecting us. Help us to learn how you take care of us just like a shepherd takes care of his sheep. Your love and kindness make us feel safe and secure even when we are worried or scared. Amen”

Say: Today we’ll be videotaping a news broadcast on a portion of Psalm 23. We want to get to the bottom of the story – just what is it about these sheep who aren’t afraid even though they are in the valley of the shadow of death! And then there is something about goodness and mercy following them around – we just want to find out what’s going on, because it’s our job to report the news.

Like all newscasts, ours will need reporters and people being interviewed. If you really don’t want to be on camera, we have other jobs – everyone is important in our news broadcast. We’ll get it all ready, practice, and videotape it, and hopefully we’ll have time to watch our news show.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Have everyone find Psalm 23. Remember to encourage kids to bring their own Bibles.
Ask: Where in the Bible would we find Psalm 23 – in the Old or New Testament? (Old)
What is the quick and easy way to find Psalms? (opening their Bible in the middle gets them close to Psalms)
Have kids take turns reading verses 1-6 out loud.

Ask: What do you suppose the main job of a shepherd is? (care for sheep: protect, etc.)
Say: Psalm 23 says the Lord is my shepherd. 
Ask: How is God like a shepherd? (takes care of us, provides what we need, guides us, and keeps us safe)
Say: We are going to explore the part of Psalm 23 that talks about the shepherd’s role of helping us not be afraid. The way we are going to do this is to break into groups. Each group will have a handout to help them prepare a part of the news show.

Separate into groups:
Ask the Shepherd to help you break the students into groups – preferably 3 groups with 3 or more in each. Even if students don’t want to have an on-camera part, assign them to a group to help do research. The exception would be if someone wants to be camera operator – let them practice using the camera and then have them join any group. [Note after the fact: unless you have an experienced camera operator, I would recomment that an adult do this job – other wise you’ll need to have another adult in the room to either teach how to run the camera or help guide the groups.]

[Note: This workshop has been written for about 8 or more participants. If you have less than 8, eliminate scene three, breaking everyone into two groups. There is plenty of room for more than 8 students. See the list of roles below.]

Roles for News show (assuming 8 or more participants)

Required Roles:
News Anchor #1
Field Reporter #1 
Dark Valley Predator (one or more)
Psalm 23 Sheep Group A (one or more)
Goodness & Mercy (one or two people)
Field Reporter #2 
Psalm 23 Sheep Group B (one or more)
Enemy Sheep (one or more)

Optional Roles:
News Anchor #2
Good Shepherd
Camera Operator
Assistant Director

Roles for News show (if less than 8 participants)

Required Roles:
News Anchor #1
Field Reporter #1
Dark Valley Predator (one or more)
Psalm 23 Sheep Group A (one or more)
Goodness & Mercy (one or two people)

Once the kids are in groups, give each group a different “Interview Assignment Sheet” (if groups are large, give a group multiple copies of the same sheet). For just two groups, don’t use the assignment sheet for Scene 3. Pass out pencils, scrap paper, and lap desks.

NOTE: With older children it can be quite fun to assign them MULTIPLE ROLES during which they have to change costumes, sometimes in mid-speech.

The Research Process:
Say: Each group will prepare a different scene of our news show. Follow the instructions on your sheet. You have about 10 minutes to prepare your scene; then we’ll videotape it.

You and the Shepherd should mingle with the groups helping them stay on task.
The workshop leader (Director) can pass out nametags for each job within a group. This will help kids make sure that roles are assigned (and clear). Insist that kids wear the nametags to make your job as Director easier.

As you help the students develop their interviews, enhance their learning by telling them what you learned from the Overview material.

Watch the clock; give a five-minute and a two-minute warning.


Video the News

View the News:
When the time is up, gather everyone together for a quick pre-production meeting. Explain how each group will be signaled when a scene is being started or stopped. 
Explain how you’ll tape each of the scenes, stopping in between to get into position. (There are “Director’s Notes” at the end of the lesson.)

Videotaping the news. Each scene needs to move quickly. [Scenes 2, 3 and 4 should only be about 2 minutes long. Scene 1 will be even shorter.]

When done, eject the tape from the camera. Pop it into the VCR, rewind and enjoy!

Closing:
If you have time, ask the children to recite Psalm 23 together with you. Have them use the classroom poster for reference or try closing their eyes to see if they can say Psalm 23 by heart. Tell the children that this is their prayer to God for his presence and comfort. End with “Amen”.

Dismissal:
Make sure everyone has received at least one copy of the Psalm 23 handout. Tell students to continue working on learning the 23rd Psalm by heart. (They may learn it in their own words.)

Be sure everyone has removed the special nametags (you’ll reuse them each week).
Encourage everyone to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite friends to come too!


Credit:

  • Idea and basic outline from: MacQueen, Neil. “VBS 2001: A Sheep Odyssey”. 

 

Director’s notes:


Production Crew:

  • Camera Operator (could be done by workshop leader or Shepherd)
  • Director (this job should be left to the workshop leader)
  • Assistant Director (in case someone just doesn’t want to have an on-camera role; they can cue groups)


Scene 1: At the studio of WFUMC.
Characters: 
News Anchor #1 (required)
News Anchor #2 (optional)
Purpose: 
Briefly open the news show. “This is WFUMC reporting… Then cut to Field Reporter #1.

Scene 2: On the scene report – At the dark valley.
Characters:
Field Reporter #1 
Dark Valley Predators (one or more)
Psalm 23 Sheep Group A (one or more)
Purpose: 
Do the report at the dark valley. Then cut back to News Anchor. Anchor will then introduce next on-the-scene report. 
Note: allow students to decide what this valley and the predators represent – for example:
the valley could be temptation and the predators could be drugs.

Scene 3: Another on the scene report – A strange table.
Characters:
Field Reporter #2 
Psalm 23 Sheep Group B (one or more)
Enemy Sheep (one or more)
Purpose:
Report about meeting at the table. Then switch back to News Anchor. 

Scene 4: Back at the studio of WFUMC for a live interview.
Characters:
New Anchor #1 (same person as from scene 1)
News Anchor #2 (optional)
Good Shepherd (optional)
Goodness & Mercy (one or two people)
Purpose: 
Do an in-the-studio interview; then end the news show.
Note: help the students to know that “mercy” means love and kindness.


Interview Assignment Sheets

[Note: I have removed the “fill in the blank lines” from this posted material. If anyone would like to have copies of these Assignment Sheets in Microsoft Word, email me.]



Psalm 23 – WFUMC Newsroom –

Interview Assignment Sheet, Scenes 1 and 4


To: News Anchors, Good Shepherd, Goodness & Mercy

Your Assignment: Prepare scenes 1 & 4. Open the news show (scene 1), and come up with a short enactment of Psalm 23:6 (scene 4).

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Directions:

In scene 1, the News Anchor(s) will open the news show, introducing the story and cutting to Field Reporter #1. In scene 4, the News Anchor(s) will interview in the studio: The Good Shepherd, and Goodness & Mercy. 

Part 1: As a group, discuss the following questions.

  • What is mercy?
  • What are examples of goodness and mercy in your life?
  • Another way to think of the “follow me…” part of this Psalm is to think of goodness and mercy as chasing after you. How does it feel that, no matter what, goodness and mercy won’t quit trying to be a part of your life?
  • “Dwell in the house of the Lord” means, “be a part of God’s family”. How does it feel to be a part of God’s family?


Part 2: Use your answers to write a script for the newscast. Include the following:

  • Scene 1: News Anchor(s) introduce themselves, welcome to WFUMC News.
  • Say: reporting breaking news from the field. Switch to Field Reporters.
  • For scene 4, say whom you are interviewing.
  • Have Goodness & Mercy talk about their role in taking care of “sheep”, no matter what happens (good or bad).
  • Have the Good Shepherd talk about always welcoming “sheep” to his house/family.
  • End with a sign off (“and that’s the news from WFUMC)


If you have time, practice the interview to see how it goes. Get ready for the live broadcast!


Psalm 23 – WFUMC Newsroom – Interview Assignment Sheet, Scene 2
To: Field Reporter #1, Dark Valley Predators, Psalm 23 Sheep Group A

Your Assignment: Prepare scene 2. Come up with a short enactment of Psalm 23:4 

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me.”

Directions:

Reporter #1 will be on the scene, interviewing the sheep and predators from the valley of the shadow of death.

Part 1: As a group, discuss the following questions.

  • When the Psalmist wrote this, what do you think he meant by “the valley of the shadow of death”?
  • The “sheep” to be interviewed are about to go into a “dark valley”. For your news report what do you think that dark valley should be?
  • What will your Dark Valley Predators represent?
  • What are the sheep afraid of?


Part 2: Use your answers to write a script for the newscast. Include the following:

  • Reporter #1 introduces him or herself. Says where you are at (“on location at: )
  • Say who you are going to interview – sheep, who are about to go into the “dark valley”.
  • Ask the sheep what’s up with this dark valley idea. What are they afraid of?
  • Interview the predators. What sort of problem did they intend to cause? Were they successful in their attack? (NO!)
  • Interview the sheep again, asking why they were so calm and comforted through the dark valley?


If you have time, practice the interview to see how it goes. Get ready for the live broadcast!



Psalm 23 – WFUMC Newsroom – Interview Assignment Sheet, Scene 3
To: Field Reporter #2, Psalm 23 Sheep Group B, Enemy Sheep

Your Assignment: Prepare scene 3. Come up with a short enactment of Psalm 23:5

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

Directions:

Reporter #2 will be on the scene of a strange dinner, interviewing the Psalm 23 sheep and the enemy sheep – who are sitting down to a feast, together!

Part 1: As a group, discuss the following questions.

  • When the Psalmist wrote this, did he really mean that sheep sit down at tables? What do you think the table represents?
  • What would a Good Shepherd have to do in order to make it possible for enemies to sit down together peacefully?
  • What does oil on my head have to do with this? How about an overflowing cup?
  • Who (or what) are your enemies? (Maybe not people; what about things that keep you from having the best possible relationship with your Good Shepherd/God?)


Part 2: Use your answers to write a script for the newscast. Include the following:

  • Reporter #2 introduces him or herself. Says where you are at (“on location at: )
  • Say you are going to interview two groups of sheep that are enemies. Why are they enemies?
  • Ask the sheep what they think the table is all about. How is it that enemies can sit together for a feast? How did the Good Shepherd make it possible?
  • How do they feel gathering in the Good Shepherd’s presence?


If you have time, practice the interview to see how it goes. Get ready for the live broadcast!


A lesson prepared by Carol Hulbert from First United Methodist Church (FUMC), 
Ann Arbor, MI

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

 

Psalm 23

Walk-Through Drama Workshop:  "The Places In Psalm 23"

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Originally suggested as a small table-top "diorama" "shoe box" story kit creation in an Art Workshop, here we are creating a BIG diorama....the spaces of Psalm 23 in various locations in our classroom

 

Scripture Reference:

Psalm 23

Learning Objective:

  • The children will understand the PLACES of Psalm 23 and what they mean to sheep like us!

 


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time
  • Gather the materials

Supplies List:

  • White zippered Pillow Cases
  • White string
  • Canvas Tarps
  • Blue Tarps
  • Green Carpeting
  • Polyester fill
  • Cotton
  • Safety Pins
  • Markers


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

 

Open with a prayer.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection: 

 

It is "A WALK THROUGH PSALM 23."

 

Places in Psalm 23 that your students will create:

 

  1. Green Pastures
  2. Still Waters
  3. Paths of Righteousness
  4. Valley of Darkness
  5. Table in the Presence of My Enemies
  6. Dwell in the House of the Lord


You will need a lot of misc supplies, canvas tarps, blue tarps, green carpeting.

 

For "sheep" at each location, you will be giving each location a white zippered pillow case and some white string to create a goofy looking sheep.

  • Loosely fill the pillow case with polyester fill, and then have the students create a back sent of legs and front by wrapping the string around the pillow case tightly.  
  • Do the same for the head and tail.  
  • Now give them a swatch of cotton to create ears and safety pin those on. Draw EYEBALLS and EYEBROWS with a black marker that express what the sheep is thinking in that particular place.

 

Of course, these are normal supplies in the Rotation Model Drama Workshop! ..and can be used for future dramas as well. Stock up!

 

1. Put up a sign to mark the locations in the room(s) where each of the six areas will be constructed.  Note: You should consider using your Fellowship Hall so that adults can "walk through the Psalm" too.

 

2. Take a stroll to each location with your students. Briefly talk about the imagery and meaning of each location. And talk about what might be going through the Sheep's Mind (our mind) in that "life situation".   Yes, definitely create a LIFE APPLICATION TO EACH PLACE.  

  • Where do we go for still waters?  
  • Where are the scary places in your life?  
  • Etc.

3. Now ASSIGN the kids to the six spaces. Tell them they have 15 minutes to create their Psalm 23 Location and 10 minutes to make their sheep.

 

This is an excellent spot for extra helpers, shepherds, teens.

 

Wander around during this time making Psalm 23 connections!

 

4. Once everyone is done, as a group TRAVEL THE PLACES OF PSALM 23.  When the group arrives at a place, have the creators of that place do the reading of the Psalm line. 

 

5. Suggest some final improvements, and have some ADULTS mysteriously appear asking for a TOUR.  Have the kids stay at their station, and invite the adults to ask questions.

 

Closing:

 

End with a prayer.


 

An idea originally posted by Rev Will Heyward with Neil MacQueen.

 

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

 

 

A Chorale Reading of Psalm 23 for children

Originally posted by Amy Crane

 

Could be dramatized or done with puppets, or done in song, or done with a sound effects team for each verse.

 



Psalm 23


Divide the class into two parts - indicated here as left and right.

Left: The Lord is my shepherd, 

Right: I shall not want. 

Left: He makes me lie down in green pastures; 

Right: he leads me beside still waters; 

All: he restores my soul. 

Right: He leads me in right paths for his name's sake. 

Left: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 

All: I fear no evil; 

Right: I fear no evil; 

Left: I fear no evil; 

Right: for you are with me; 

Left: your rod and your staff --

Right: they comfort me. 

Left: You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 

Right: you anoint my head with oil; 

Left: my cup overflows. 

Right: my cup overflows. 

All: my cup overflows! 

Left: Surely 

Right: Surely 

Left: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 

Right: all the days of my life, 

Left: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long. 

Right: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long. 

All: and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long! 

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