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Mary & Martha
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.
- The children will be able to locate the story of Martha & Mary in Luke 10.
- The children will be able to retell the story in their own words.
- Students will understand that God wants us to have Him as our main priority.
- Students will understand that when God is not our main priority that we will miss out on important lessons He wants us to learn.
- Students will learn about moderation and what happens when they have “too much of a good thing.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- What is Mary’s priority? (spending time with Jesus)
- What does Martha miss out on because of her priority? (being able to be close to Jesus)
- What is moderation? (too much of a good thing),
- 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”
“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.)
- What does “too much of a good thing? mean?
- What was so attractive to Zach about the new movie channel?
- What became a problem for Zach & why?
- What was the cat’s problem in the “cat & the parrot?”
- What happens when a person does too much of one thing?
- 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)
- 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.)
- 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!)
- What sorts of things can we do to make sure that we have time to spend with Jesus?
End with a prayer.