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Mary & Martha

Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Students will learn about the value of priorities and moderation by watching and discussing “Adventures from the Book of Virtues III: Moderation The Cat and the Parrot"” by PBS.

Learning Objectives.

  1. The children will be able to locate the story of Martha & Mary in Luke 10.
  2. The children will be able to retell the story in their own words.
  3. Students will understand that God wants us to have Him as our main priority.
  4. Students will understand that when God is not our main priority that we will miss out on important lessons He wants us to learn.
  5. Students will learn about moderation and what happens when they have “too much of a good thing.”

Supplies List:

  • Adventures from the Book of Virtues, Season III, Moderation The Cat and the Parrot" (PBS).
    Notice: this series is out of print and no longer appears available on the PBS website, but check Yippee TV online was available there in 2022. They have a free trial.
  • Popcorn

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the story ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Preview the video.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Welcome the children and take attendance.

Start the lesson with prayer, asking for a volunteer but praying yourself if there are no volunteers.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Ask the children to tell you what they already know about the story of Mary & Martha.

Have the children find, or show them, the Bible reference in Luke 10:38-42.

Discuss the story of Mary & Martha using the term “moderation” in describing Martha’s role in the story.

  1. What is Martha’s priority in the story? (working in the kitchen) You might want to explain to the class that Martha was performing a very important task, but she was missing out on what even Jesus himself said was the most important thing (spending time with Him).
  2. What is Mary’s priority? (spending time with Jesus)
  3. What does Martha miss out on because of her priority? (being able to be close to Jesus)
  4. What is moderation? (too much of a good thing),
  5. Where do you see it in the story of Mary & Martha? (Martha is spending too much time fussing with details and missing spending time at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him and learning from Him)

Watch the movie “Moderation The Cat and the Parrot".” You might want to give a background of the characters in case the kids are not familiar with this series. Zach is an 11 year old boy, and Annie is his friend. Plato is a wise buffalo who teaches many lessons. Ari is a prairie dog, who in this story collects too much stuff and has problems because of it.

Ask the kids to watch to movie and think about each character and what they do “too much of”. Look at Zach & Annie, the prairie dog, the tiger, and the cat in the movie and try to remember what each of them has trouble with in terms of moderation.

You might wish to pause the movie at several points to make comments. There are several times (timings approx.) during the movie when Zach is learning lessons (or he should be learning!)

  • 3:06 mins.
    In particular, you might wish to pause at the point where Annie makes a phone call to Zach and he is unable to spend time with her. (or spend time helping his other friends) because he is too busy watching tv. Ask the kids what he is missing by watching tv instead of spending time with his friends.
  • 3:58 mins
    Pause the film right after Plato (the buffalo) speaks the 1st time. He asks several thought-provoking questions, such as “when is more too much”
    11:28 mins
    “can we have too much of anything?”. Ask the kids what they think about this, and what they think will happen in the movie.
  • 9:55 mins
    Pause after Zach’s parents make him & Annie stop watching tv. How would the kids respond to Zach’s questions of why is it bad to watch movies and eat junk food all weekend?

After the movie, have the kids answer the following questions: (some of these are from the "parent guide" that is on the pbs site.)

  1. What does “too much of a good thing? mean?
  2. What was so attractive to Zach about the new movie channel?
  3. What became a problem for Zach & why?
  4. What was the cat’s problem in the “cat & the parrot?”
  5. What happens when a person does too much of one thing?
  6. Is it possible to get too much of a good thing? What are some examples from the movie? What are some of the problems caused from lack of moderation in this movie? (Zach: tv keeps him from his studies, chores, and friends; Annie & Zach: junk food makes them have stomach aches; Ari: too much junk almost costs him his life; Tiger: too much sleep almost keeps him from hearing Plato’s story; people in the story that the cat meets all have too much of something that causes them to be in the cat’s way and makes them end up in cat’s stomach)
  7. How was Martha’s lack of moderation different from the examples in the movie? (Martha was doing something that needed to be done: someone had to fix food for Jesus & his guests. In the movie, none of the activities that caused problems were things that needed to be done (watching tv; eating; sleeping; etc.)
  8. How was Martha’s lack of moderation the same as some in the movie? (Because she spent so much time doing the preparations for Jesus’ visit, she missed out on the most important thing: spending uninterrupted time with her Savior!)
  9. What sorts of things can we do to make sure that we have time to spend with Jesus?


End with a prayer.

A lesson written by Karen Neidich from: Shawnee United Methodist Church
Lima, Ohio

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

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Mary and Martha
Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will view the video “Martin the Cobbler” and explore ways that they can show hospitality to others and to God.

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.

Scripture Reference:
Luke 10:38-42.

Key Verse:
Luke 10:38b “... When they got [to the village] Martha welcomed him into her home.” (Contemporary English Version)


  • God has given us different talents to help others
  • God wants us to have a good attitude
  • God wants us to act like we are getting ready for Jesus

Lesson Objectives:

  • Children will view the video “Martin the Cobbler”.
  • The children will learn the value of hospitality.
  • The children will explore ways that they can show hospitality to others and to God.

Leader Preparation:

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

Supplies List:

  • “Martin the Cobbler” DVD
  • Popcorn


Opening - Welcome and Introductions:

Greet the children and introduce yourself

Ask the children what they would do if someone famous like Britney Spears/Michael Jordan/Tiger Woods/etc was to come and visit them in their home tomorrow and stay for lunch? How would they prepare for the visit? Get ideas from the kids: clean up the house, tidy the toys, shop for food, prepare special food, etc. When the guest arrives. What would the hosts do? Do you go back into the kitchen and keep working away while the guest talks and visits with others? NO! You would want to be right there listening to every word of our honored guest. Would that make the guest feel special?

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Read the story of Mary and Martha. (The Contemporary English Version is very simple and easy to understand. Tell the children to listen for the ways that Mary and Martha behaved when their honored guest arrived. What did Mary do? (sit and listen to Jesus) What did Martha do? (Went back to the kitchen) Who showed more respect and honor to Jesus? Which was more pleasing to Jesus? Why?

The word hospitality means to show care, to welcome someone. A similar word is hospital. What do these words have in common?

Reread the special verse for this lesson in Luke 10:38b, “When they got [to the village] Martha welcomed him into her home.” (Contemporary English Version). This lesson is about hospitality and showing kindness to others.


Set up the story for the children.

Younger Children: (You may want to tell a little of what is going to happen in the story so that the children will understand the plot.)

One day, a holy man (a pastor) comes to Martin with an old Bible in need of repair. Martin reads the Bible about a Pharisee who invites Jesus to his home, but treats Jesus poorly as his guest (reference Luke 7:36-50). It upsets Martin that anyone would treat Jesus badly. He falls asleep and dreams that Jesus is going to visit him. The next day, Martin goes about his work watching for a sign of Jesus coming to his shop. As he waits, he helps others.

Play the video.

Discussion: recap the main events of the story with the children.

  • When Martin thought the Lord was coming to visit how did he behave? (He was kind to the street sweeper, the woman and baby and the old woman and boy).
  • How did Martin change? (he seemed happier, he was kind (to the mouse), he started to care about others instead of just himself).
  • How was welcoming others into his home like welcoming God into his home?
  • Was Martin more like Mary or like Martha? Explain.

Emphasize the point that Martin showed hospitality to God by showing hospitality to others. Say:  Martin found God in helping other people. Note that Martin was also blessed with happiness and a new attitude.

Reflection Time:
(or Journaling)

  • Martin acted different when he thought Jesus was coming for a visit. How would you behave or change if you thought Jesus was going to visit you?
  • List two things that you could do to prepare for his coming.

    Prompt: Where might you find Jesus? (helping the homeless, making a new friend, helping someone in need, talking to a lonely child at school, being kind to a brother/sister.)

Tell the children you are going to pray in the closing prayer about what they can do to meet Jesus in their lives.

You could ask the children to volunteer their suggestions on how to show hospitality to others and therefore to God. Then lift up their ideas to God in prayer and ask for help to carry them out throughout the week.


  • Billy Budd Films, Inc. – Martin the Cobler (see this link for where to find)
  • St. Elmo’s Year One Rotation Curriculum - Mary and Martha Rotation, Movie Theater.

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 reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Mary and Martha, Luke 10:38-42

Not a lot of good videos out there for this story. For one thing, the story is SHORT, and thus so are the clips. After showing a short clip, I'd have the kids CREATE a drama or audio-visual presentation.

Mary and Martha is the second clip found in the New Superbook Video (Lazarus DVD from that series) can be viewed online for free at Superbook's website (registration may be required).   1 minute, but might make a good visual follow up to the scripture reading before you create your own A-V for the story.

Variations:  Of course, you could play it straight, but it would be very interesting to turn Mary and Martha into "2 brothers" or "2 sisters" who didn't agree on how to spend their Sunday morning.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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