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Mary and Martha

Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:
Students will experience through drama the story of Mary and Martha and be able to respond to questions regarding the events as they unfold. Students will be able to experience how Mary and Martha felt using charades.

Scripture Reference:
Luke 10:38-42.

Key Verse:
Luke 10:40 “Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, doesn’t it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!’” (CEV)

Bible Background Note:
Jesus’ encounter with Martha and Mary, as recorded in these verses, is part of a larger series of reflections on how to be a good disciple. In these verses in Luke, Mary is the one who models hospitality for her honored guest.

Concepts:

  • God wants us to have a good attitude.
  • God has given us different talents to help others.
  • Do the best you can and don’t worry about what others are doing.
  • Don’t worry about little things.

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will explore ‘fairness’ and ‘unfairness’.
  • Students will experience through drama the story of Mary and Martha and be able to respond to questions regarding the events as they unfold.
  • Students will be able to experience how Mary and Martha felt using charades.

Supplies List:

  • table
  • bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • chair and/or mat
  • beret
  • megaphone
  • roll of red fabric
  • costumes and headdresses

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


Presentation


Opening - Welcome and Introductions:

Welcome the kids and introduce yourself.
Start the lesson time with prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:


Bible Story:
Spend some time on the scripture passages referenced above. Highlight parts of the scripture that reinforce the lesson concepts (listed at beginning of this lesson plan) that are demonstrated in these passages.

Application:

Part 1 - Drama

  1. Decide who is going to play the 5 characters (Mary, Martha, Jesus, Narrator, and Director).
  2. Have other children set up the set (see script for set details).
  3. Have the scripts for the 5 characters highlighted with their part, the rest of the kids can be the audience and follow along with their unhighlighted scripts.

If the group consists of some nonreaders, you can act as Narrator and read the entire script while kids act out the scene.

Make sure that the director yells out “FREEZE” and the actors hold their position. This is where the audience will get involved.

The director (or you as workshop leader) can ask for responses to the questions posed in the script. Don’t spend too much time on these questions, or you will not have time to do the charades.

After the Drama:

Discussion:
Ask the kids, “Since both Martha and Mary have this close friendship with Jesus, what problem develops in the story?” or “Someone was not happy about the way things were going after Jesus arrived. Who was that? Why was she not pleased?”

[The idea of “it’s not fair” will probably come up! Children recognize feelings of unfairness all too well. This activity is to help them focus on some of their experiences, and therefore relate to Martha and Mary’s situations more personally.]

Part 2 - Charades

  • Divide the group into teams of 3 or 4.
  • Give them five to ten minutes to name some “I don’t think it’s fair….” experiences from their own lives and to prepare a charade type presentation for the whole group.

[Their experience can deal with siblings, parents, friends, school, teachers, or neighbors. Have them take turns presenting the charades for the group to guess what is happening.]

With the younger kids, have some cards with possible charade suggestions or pictures that suggest possible “unfair” situations.


Alternative to Charades
You may decide that instead of doing the charades you may want to simply repeat the drama scene and have 5 different kids play the roles.

Reflection Time:
Shepherds will pass out the journals and pencils/markers. The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning’s lesson –some might write about the “unfair” situation they thought of for the charade, write about what they do for ‘quiet time’, write down the Key Scripture Verse for this workshop.

Closing:

  1. Have the kids name something that worries or bothers them, like Martha worried about all the things that had to be done to be a good hostess for Jesus. Have them take this worry and “throw it” into the center of your prayer circle.
  2. Say the Key Verse together. (see above). You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can read and take with them.
  3. Pray! Ask the kids if they have any prayer requests. Thank God for being with us at all times. Ask God to hear and help with all the ‘worries’ that were shared and ‘thrown’ into the prayer circle. Pray for all those who are busy and bothered – help us to stop and take time to listen for and to God.


References:
Along the Road With Jesus, The Storyteller Series, Christian Board of Publication, 1994.


SCRIPT: MARY, MARTHA AND JESUS

A short drama for 5 characters

Set: place a table with a bowl and wooden spoon to one side and a chair and a mat or two chairs to the other side. The set requires just enough room for Martha to stand and Mary and Jesus to sit. Martha will also need a roll of red fabric. Provide Mary, Martha, and Jesus with robes and headdresses. The director will need a beret and a megaphone or rolled paper cone.

Narrator: Jesus and the disciples had been traveling. Jesus entered a certain village named Bethany where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.

Martha (rolls out the red carpet for Jesus to enter the house): Welcome, Jesus. Please have a seat. My sister Mary and I are very glad that you are here. Make yourself at home, while I tend to dinner.

(Jesus sits on one of the chairs while Mary sits on the floor at Jesus’ feet. Martha picks up the pot and spoon and stirs.)

Narrator: Martha’s sister Mary lived with her. Usually she helped Martha, but today Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his teachings and stories. Meanwhile Martha was busy getting the meal ready.

Martha (goes over to Jesus): Teacher, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself. Tell her then to help me.

Director: FREEZE! (Call “freeze” through your megaphone. The players will stop and the you ask the audience):
1.What do you think happened next?
2.What do you think Jesus should say to Mary? To Martha?

After a brief discussion with Workshop Leader, audience and actors, the play resumes with Martha repeating her last line.

Martha (goes over to Jesus): Teacher, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself. Tell her then to help me.

Jesus: Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered by many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away.

Director: FREEZE!
1. What did Mary choose?
2. What to you think Jesus meant?

Narrator: Jesus was saying that it is all right to be busy, but that there are times when we need to sit quietly and listen to him. Jesus may also mean that there are times when we also need to give, like Martha, but we also need times to receive, like Mary.




This lesson plan is copyrighted and belongs to the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian, Cary North Carolina. It may be used for non-profit uses only.

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

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Drama Workshop

A Special Guest Comes to Mary & Martha's House

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Enact the story; relate to Mary and Martha and recognize the importance of listening for God.

Scripture Reference:
Luke 10:38-42

Lesson Objective:
By acting out this short story of Jesus with friends the students will be able to relate to Mary and Martha and recognize the importance of listening for God.


Teacher Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Print out the script.
  • Go over the script.


Presentation

Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

The Shepherds will introduce you to the class and turn their attention over to you. The Shepherds will help you know their group and control behavior. By the second or third rotation week most students will know the story and become bored with too much recap. Rely on the Shepherds for clues.

Pray:
Here is an example. “Dear creator of us and the world. Help us sing the song of Martha for she got to prepare food for Jesus! Lord help us sing the song of Mary for she got to hear the words of Jesus from his own lips! Help us learn to better use the eyes and ears You gave us.”

Teacher Hints for Drama:
Use the Shepherds! They know the class and can help in casting. They also know who hasn’t had a chance to perform. Try to “confab” with the Shepherd in advance of class by phone or as they enter the room. They can also help you determine your best readers. Try to cast WITHOUT asking for volunteers.

I do not recommend costumes or props for this rotation. Use costuming at your own risk! The kids often spend too much time fretting over the props and not enough time exploring the action and the feelings.

Tell the kids they are using an advanced acting technique called pantomime. They need to let their bodies tell the story.

Most ages will need to be “double cast” pick a reader and an actor. Probably only the 5th graders could handle reading and acting.

It is handy to have a script highlighted for each reading part and nametags to identify the actors.

Everyone gets a part in this play, Jesus can have as many disciples and followers as you have students.

Much of Mary and Martha’s dialogue is from the story “My Sister’s Keeper” by Renita Weems in Just a Sister Away. I recommend you read the whole story as preparation.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Perform the Skit: (See script below)

Wrapup: As time permits revisit & discuss theses concepts.

Concepts & Points to Ponder:

  • There are two kinds of hospitality…you have to “get ready”, but you also have to pay attention to the guest.
  • Jesus wants us to have a good attitude.
  • Do the best you can with your talents.
  • Jesus wants us aware of the needs of others, to be considerate.
  • Don’t worry about the little things.
  • Explore the story from the perspective of Martha, Mary, and Jesus.
  • What could Martha have done differently? Simpler meal, less need to have everything perfect, asked for help earlier, etc.

Closing:
Close with prayer and turn the class back over to the Shepherds.


Script: A Special Guest Comes to Mary & Martha's House
By Lisa Bohbrink

Cast
Martha, Mary, Lazarus, Jesus, Disciples

Director Hints:
Direction and Interruption, particularly of the younger classes is encouraged to facilitate their acting and give them ideas. You will often read the stage directions in ( ) aloud and then the kids will react.

Setting:
A small, cozy home of one room in Bethany. Determine where the imaginary front door is. Jesus will be shown to the right side of the “room” and the “kitchen” is on the left. Mary is pacing back and forth. Martha is chopping something in the kitchen (Mary is never still, she stays busy sweeping, chopping, stirring, opening the door, the whole play)

~ ~ ~ ~

MARY: I HOPE THEY GET HERE SOON! DO YOU THINK HE’LL BE TOO TIRED TO TALK? HE’S BEEN PREACHING SO MUCH, DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THE TINY MUSTARD SEED AND THE ONE ABOUT THE SAMARITAN! OH MAN HE IS SOOO SMART, HE REALLY MAKES YOU THINK!

MARTHA: WHAT? I COULDN’T HEAR YOU, I’M BUSY. HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE COMING WITH HIM?, I WISH LAZARUS WOULD GIVE ME A LITTLE WARNING. I REALLY HOPE THEY LIKE THIS NEW BREAD RECIPIE I GOT FROM THE OTHER MARTHA……STEWART.

MARY: THEY’RE HERE, THEY’RE HERE!

(Lazarus & Jesus enter)

LAZARUS: HELLO GIRLS I’VE BROUGHT COMPANY! COME AND SEE!

MARY: HELLO JESUS, IT IS SO NICE OF YOU TO COME HAVE DINNER WITH US, WELCOME, COME…. LET ME HELP YOU TAKE OFF YOUR SANDLES, YOU WILL BE COMFY OVER HERE.

MARTHA: (looks over to see them enter, but does not leave the kitchen) WELCOME JESUS, I AM SO HAPPY TO COOK FOR YOU! PLEASE MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME I WILL BE FINISHED SHORTLY.

(a knock on the door. Martha stops what she is doing, looks at Lazarus and Mary who are talking quietly with Jesus. They don’t move to the door….Martha puts down her work and answers the door)

MARTHA: (opens the door for DISCIPLE #1) WELCOME, HE’S HERE, PLEASE COME IN DINNER WILL BE READY SOON, EXCUSE ME PLEASE (Disciple joins the group at Jesus’ feet)

(Martha returns to her business…….but there is another knock at the door…… Martha stops what she is doing, looks at Lazarus and Mary. They don’t move to the door….she puts down her work and answers the door)

MARTHA: (opens the door for DISCIPLE #2) WELCOME, HE’S HERE, PLEASE COME IN DINNER WILL BE READY SOON, EXCUSE ME PLEASE (Disciple joins the group at Jesus’ feet)

(Martha returns to her business…….but there is another knock at the door..Martha is getting a little frustrated with the interruptions…..CONTINUE AS BEFORE UNTILL ALL HAVE ARRIVED,in groups if class is large)

(Jesus and group FREEZE as if listening)
MARTHA: (talking to herself as she cooks) I HAVE BEEN TOLD I’M BOSSY, PUSHY AND I ARGUE TOO MUCH. BUT I HAVE TO! I’M A WOMAN TRYING TO MAKE IT IN A MAN’S WORLD. THEY DON’T THINK WHAT I DO IS IMPORTANT. BUT I LIKE COOKING, CLEANING, SEWING, WASHING AND EVERYTHING ELSE I DO TO MAKE OUR HOME COMFORTABLE AND WELCOMING! YES THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I GET A LITTLE TENSE. CAN YOU IMAGINE JESUS COMING AS A GUEST TO YOUR HOUSE! CAN’T THEY UNDERSTAND THAT I WANT EVERYTHING TO BE PERFECT! AND NOW HERE WE ARE……NOBODY TOLD ME ALL OF HIS FOLLOWERS WERE COMING FOR DINNER TOO! YIKES! I NEED MORE BEANS, CUCUMBERS, ONIONS, GARLIC AND BREAD….MAYBE THEY’LL FILL UP ON GRAPES! OH NO THE FIRE IS TRYING TO GO OUT..I NEED MORE WOOD, I’LL HAVE TO GO TO THE WELL AGAIN FOR WATER. MAYBE MARY WILL COME HELP ME……NO WAY, LOOK AT HER SITTING AT JESUS’S FEET. WHO DOES SHE THINK SHE IS, A MAN? I HAVE A MIND TOO! I PRAY, NOT A MUCH AS I LIKE, BUT I DO TALK TO GOD. MARY HAS THIS GIFT OF BEING ABLE TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL IMPORTANT…LIKE THEY HAVE HER FULL ATTENTION. THE ONLY WAY I KNOW TO SHOW MY LOVE AND CARING IS BY CLEANING AND FUSSING. IT’S JUST NOT FAIR! I’VE BEEN COOKING ALL DAY! (Martha stomps over to where Jesus is talking to the others)

LORD! DON’T YOU CARE THAT SISTER IS MAKING ME DO ALL THE WORK! TELL HER TO COME HELP ME!

(this is a good place to stop and think how everyone would react to Martha’s tantrum)

JESUS: MARTHA! CALM DOWN, YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT TOO MUCH LITTLE STUFF. MARY HAS CHOSEN WHAT IS BEST FOR HER AND YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT FROM HER.

MARTHA: (turns away, as if to hide and talks to herself…everyone else in FREEZE) OH MY, I’VE BLOWN IT. ALL OF MY SWEAT AND WORK ARE WASTED. MY BAD ATTITUDE HAS CANCELLED ALL OF THE LOVE I MEANT TO SHOW WITH MY WORK. I HAD NO RIGHT TO ATTACK MY SISTER IN FRONT OF ALL OF THESE IMPORTANT PEOPLE. OH HOW EASY IT IS FOR SISTERS TO BE MEAN TO EACH OTHER. (she drops to the floor, covers her face with her hands and FREEZES)

MARY: (unfreeze, stand and speak to herself) FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, MARTHA AND I HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT. WE SEE THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY. BUT TO BE HONEST I’M NOT LIKE ANY OTHER JEWISH WOMAN I KNOW! I WANT TO READ, STUDY AND WRITE….BUT JEWISH GIRLS DON’T GET TO DO THAT. MAMA ALWAYS SAID “PUT DOWN THAT BOOK AND GO PEEL AN ONION!” LAZARUS IS A LUCKY DUCK, HE GET TO GO TO SCHOOL. MAYBE IF I WERE MORE LIKE MARTHA IS WOULDN’ T HURT SO MUCH TO HAVE BEEN BORN A GIRL. BECAUSE MARTHA LIKES TO SERVE AND DO FOR OTHERS, FATHER ALWAYS LOVED HER THE MOST. IT’S NOT THAT I WON’T SERVE OTHERS, BUT JUST THAT I’D RATHER LISTEN AND LEARN. LAZARUS TOLD ME ABOUT HIS NEW FRIEND JESUS, HE HAS BEEN CALLED MANY THINGS, BUT TO ME HE IS AN AMAZING TEACHER AND PREACHER……WHEN I FIRST HEARD HIM SPEAK, SOMETHING INSIDE ME FELL ON ITS FACE. HE TOLD WONDERFUL STORIES, EVEN STORIES ABOUT WOMEN…..GOD BELONGS TO YOU TOO MARY! I HAVE TO ADMIT WHEN MARTHA LOST IT AND JESUS TOLD HER TO LEAVE ME ALONE….I HAD A LITTLE SMILE ON MY FACE….BUT…..THEN I SAW HER TURN AWAY ASHAMED AND HURT. I REALIZE SHE WASN’T CHALLENGING MY RIGHT TO LEARN, SHE WAS JUST MAD THAT I WAS LEARNING WHILE SHE DID ALL THE WORK. I DIDN’T EVEN THINK TO OFFER TO HELP SO THAT SHE COULD SIT WITH JESUS TOO.

IT DIDN’T TAKE ME LONG TO FIGURE OUT THAT JESUS WASN’T TAKING SIDES…HE WAS WAITING FOR US TO TALK TO EACH OTHER AND WORK OUT OUR TROUBLES. HOW EASY IT IS TO THINK OF WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY, ONCE WE’VE ALREADY HURT THE ONES WE LOVE THE MOST.


Reference:

  • Weems, Renita J., Just a Sister Away: A Womanist Vision of Women’s Relationships in the Bible, 1988. ISBN: 0-931055-52-0
    [Exchange Volunteer's note: I had a chance to look at the book referenced. The author of this skit has not violated copyright.]

A lesson written by Lisa Bohbrink from Saint Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church
Wilmington, NC

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability and added a fun game workshop title to tie-in with the others.

Puppet lesson (especially for younger students) for Mary and Martha's visit with Jesus

I find that make and take puppet lessons like this one work especially well to help younger children practice retelling Bible stories and sharing their faith with others.

This lesson activity from "Meaningful Mama" focuses on the importance of spending time with Jesus: MARY & MARTHA CRAFT TEACHES AVAILABILITY.

MaryMarthaPuppets

LESSON PLAN:

As children arrive, look at picture Bibles and talk about favorite Bible stories. Can they remember stories as they look at the pictures?

Tell the children they will be hearing a true story about Jesus visiting two good friends named Mary and Martha, from the Gospel of Luke. Show the children how to find the Gospels as you open your Bible to Luke 10.

Ask, “Jesus was visiting the home of special friends in today’s Bible story. Do you have friends who you like to visit? How do you get ready for visitors? What do you do when you visit?”

Read the passage.

Martha needed to take time to stop and listen. What about us? Do we give God our full attention? God knows that how we spend our time is important. We can work and play all day, but the most important thing we need to do is spend time with Jesus. We do that by praying, reading the Bible, and worshipping God at church. We have to stay connected to Jesus so we will know what He wants us to do.

Discuss the importance of reading the Bible and hearing God's word, as Mary was doing. How can we spend more time with Jesus this week?

Continue the discussion as the children make puppets.

Puppet Activity Summary:

Materials:  Wide craft sticks (3 per child); googly eyes; yarn for hair; paper, felt, or ribbon for dresses and Jesus’ robe; glue sticks; scissors; colored pencils or markers, shoebox, construction paper.

Make puppets to retell the story. Have children glue on eyes and draw the rest of the three characters’ faces. Glue on yarn for hair (and beard on Jesus if desired).

Optional puppet stage/diorama house: use paper to create an interior scene in the box. Cut a slit in the bottom to slide the puppets in.

As the children work, recall what happened in the story.

When they are finished, have them use their three puppets to retell the story of Jesus’ visit to Martha and Mary. (Demonstrate retelling while reading the Bible passage.) Encourage them to share the story with their families later today.

When parents arrive to pick up children, encourage them to have their children share today’s story using the puppets.  (This is an important part of equipping parents in discussing the Bible with their children.)

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