Music and "Other" Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching About Samuel in Sunday School.

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King Saul, David, Goliath, Samuel, etc. 1 Samuel 16, etc.
 
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Original Post

Samuel

Music Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will participate in a dramatic reading called “Speak, Lord”, make instruments, and participate in praise and worship.

 

Concept:

God speaks to us through prayer and His Word, the Bible.

 

Scripture Reference:

1 Samuel 1:1—3:21 

 

Memory Verse:

Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 

1 Samuel 3:10 (NIV)

 

Learning Objectives: 

Children will: 

  • Understand that God speaks to us through prayer and His Word, The Bible.
  • Understand what it means to dedicate their lives to God.
  • Know that God hears our prayers and that prayer can make a difference.
  • Understand that children can serve and hear God.
  • Understand that we need people in our lives who can help us grow closer to God.

 

Supplies List:

  • Bible
  • paint sticks
  • sand paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • markers
  • construction paper or colored butcher paper
  • newspapers
  • round containers with lids- coffee cans, oatmeal, shortening cans
  • signs with cues on them for dramatic reading
  • TV
  • DVD Player
  • CD Player
  • Kidstuf Classics DVD
  • Shout Praises Kids, Trading My Sorrows CD
  • Totally Kids Worship Everyday CD

Leader Preparation:

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


 

 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction: 
Welcome the kids and introduce yourself. Ask the kids if they know what story we are learning about this week. (Samuel) Open your Bible and tell them that today we are going to learn about Samuel’s Story from 1 Samuel chapters 1-3 through movement and music. Instruct the kids that they will need listen for their cues as you tell the story. 

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Divide them into 5 groups and go over what their cues will be. 
Say: When I say baby I need this group to say rub their eyes and say, “Wha, wha, wha!” 
Say: When I say grow, grows, or grew I need this group to say, “Up and up and up!”
Say: When I say pray, prays, or prayed I need this group to say, “Yes, Lord.”
Say: When I say serve, serves, served, or servant I need this group to say, “I’ll do it.”
Say: When I say sleep or sleeping I need you to make a loud snoring noise.

Read from attached script titled, Speak, Lord!
You may repeat the story and switch parts if the kids enjoyed performing the parts.


Speak, Lord!
DRAMATIC READING

Hannah wanted a baby son. 
So she went to the temple to pray, “If I have a baby son, O God, 
He’ll serve you as he grows up and all his days.” 
God gave Hannah a baby.

The Bible tells us that as Samuel grew from a baby to a boy. 
His mother prayed for him and he helped Eli as he grew.
He also served the Lord with joy! 

One night Samuel said, “I’m so tired. It’s time for bed.”
Samuel prayed and went to sleep.
While he was sleeping he heard, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel thought Eli was calling him so he said, “Yes, Eli. How can I serve you?”
Eli said, “I did not call you. Go back to Sleep.”
Samuel heard his name two more times while he was sleeping and each time he went to Eli saying, “How can I serve you?”
Finally Eli realized that God was calling Samuel and he told Samuel, “The next time you hear your name while you are sleeping say, “Speak Lord, I am listening.”
Samuel went back to sleep and he heard, “Samuel.” 
This time he said, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

You are growing as Samuel grew ...
From a baby to a girl or boy.
Will you pray to God, serve the Lord with joy, and serve others as you grow?


Discussion Questions:

  • Who was always praying for Samuel to know and obey the LORD, even before he was born? (His mother, Hannah)
  • Who could be praying for YOU to know and obey the LORD always? (Possibly grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, your shepherds, your pastor, maybe your teacher at school)
  • Can you tell about a time when you obeyed God? (Individual answers)
  • Can you tell about a time when God answered your prayers? (Individual answers)

Application:

 
Tell the kids that we are going to make instruments and then sing and praise God. Have each kid choose the instrument that he/she would like to make, 
either rhythm sticks or drums. Explain how to make the instruments and give them a few minutes to make them.

Rhythm Sticks 
Make 2 each since they will be rubbed together to use. Glue a strip of sandpaper on each side of a wooden paint stirrer. Then decorate the stick with markers.

Drums
Cover a round container that has a lid (coffee cans, oatmeal, shortening cans) with colored paper. Decorate the drum with markers. They can also use newspaper to fill the drum. Filling the drum to different levels will create different sounds.

Lead the kids in singing and motions (you will need to practice and learn the songs with the motions ahead of time). They can use their instruments as well.
Shout Praises Kids, Trading My Sorrows (Integrity Music):
Track #5 Trading My Sorrows

Kidstuf Classics DVD (North Point Community Church):
Track #6 Wanna Be 
Track #10 I’m Gonna Walk

Totally Kids Worship Everyday (Integrity Music):
Track #6 Everyday
Track #1 Open the Eyes of My Heart
Track #3 Every Move I Make

 

Closing:

When you finish singing, pray with the children and turn the class back over to the shepherd.


 

A Lesson written by Faith Herrera from: Grace Point Church
San Antonio, TX 


Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.

 

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

 



Samuel
Music/Computer Workshop  
Summary of Lesson Activities: 
Kids Create a Music Slides to Lead the Congregation in the singing of "Here I Am Lord"   (or create their own song version and slides for their class)
(I have heard you calling in the night) 
The "music video" is actually silent - it will be the Lyric Slides projected on the screen in the sanctuary used by the congregation for singing, the organist will accompany us.  
If not using in worship, see the alternate options for adding "Here I Am" audio to the slides and playing for other students/parents.
 
Scripture Reference: 
I Samuel 2 – 3 (This workshop emphasizes ch 3)
Verse: I Samuel 3:10c Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Lesson Objectives for Samuel Rotation:
  • Learn the story of Samuel and memorize the verse
  • Learn of God’s message to Eli and Israel
  • Begin to understand what it means to hear God’s call – be available and listen
  • Make yourself available to God
  • Talk to God when you are troubled
  • Begin to learn how to hear God
 

This lesson was modified by Neil MacQueen to present another software option in place of the one originally suggested which involved using Alice from Alice.org. A presentation in Alice would takes days to develop. INSTEAD Neil suggests making the "lyric" slides in Kid Pix software. 
 
Here I Am Lyric Slides
Kristi's original lesson plan had you shooting video and importing it into "Alice" which is a programming language interface for kids. Unless you want to download that free program and spend a few hours learning it, you might want to consider my alternative approach to Kristi's original creative idea of creating "Here I Am" song lyric slides. 
 
Here I Am has a lot of words. Thus, I recommend you assign verses to different computers. Have the kids create two illustrations for each verse of the song, and one of the refrain. Type the lyrics in large font on the bottom the illustration.
 
If you are planning on using these in worship, you won't be able to combine presentations from various computers, but after class you can take a SCREENSHOT of each verse as created by the kids and put them into a power point slide show for use in worship.
 
If you are not going to be using these slides in worship, then you can have the kids add AUDIO to each page of THEM singing the verse. You'll need a cheapie microphone plugged into your computer to do this, or if you have a laptop it probably already has a microphone.
 
Incorporating video will kill your class time, but taking digital snapshots of the kids acting out the lyrics is fun, and you can easily import them into your Kid Pix illustrations.
 
To fast-track this process, if needed you can prepare in advance some Kid Pix slides with the lyrics already typed on them. Then simply have the kids 'open' that project to begin making it their own.  <>< Neil
 
 

Teacher preparation in advance:
  • Learn the song “Here I Am, Lord” in the new hymnal pg 559 or
    http://fumcdenison.tripod.com/hialtext.htm to hear it
  • Lyrics printed LARGE on cardstock – one phrase (4 – 6 words) per sheet
  • Photocopy of the words for Shepherd to hold during filming 
  • Feel free to dress the part – a record producer or recording artist, or talent scout perhaps?
  • Look up scripture references for story, and for “Reflect” section
  • Gather the materials.
Supply list:
  • Video camera – someone who will operate it (besides teacher or shepherd)
  • Recording of song and CD player
  • Worksheet/journal page – copy for each student
  • Lyric cards, with photocopies for Shepherd
    Room set up:
  • Turn computers on, start Kid Pix  (suggested software from Neil)
  • Set up “stage” area to film students in front of 
  • Have music ready to play for students


Presentation
 
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Opening Prayer (Shepherd should be ready with prayer)
 
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible verse and story:
Open to the scripture: teach or ask (depending on age) if this is Old or New Testament. [This workshop focuses on I Sam 3, briefly mention events of ch 2, after wk 1 students should be familiar with ch 2 (how Samuel came to be working for Eli at the temple)]
& Retell the story using text as a reference. For older kids use more scripture, younger kids use more paraphrasing – either way open your Bible and have readers do the same (especially 3rd – 6th graders)

Activity:
Welcome the kids to the BDZ Recording studio! They are taking part in a BLAST first – a Music Video!! 
  • (monologue suggestions)
    Discuss music with kids – who has a favorite song, who has a song that brings up a certain memory or that reminds them of something/one special? Is there a song that cheers them up? Songs do all of these things. In church, music is used to set a mood of worship. Psalm 28:7 says “The Lord is my strength and my shield;… And with my song I will praise Him.” The words help us to focus on God and tune out the world. Sometimes the words teach us something or are related to the sermon. There is a song that talks about Samuel’s willingness to listen to God – as well as some of God’s other prophets and workers that we will learn about later today.

    Who has been in at least part of a church service here at WPC? What happens when it is time to sing? The words show up on a screen for everyone to read and sing along. There are usually pictures behind the words, right? We are going to make this type of “music video” for a song about listening to God. Once all the classes have done their part, we will make it into a video. Some time soon we will start service with this song so you and your parents can see what we have created, and sing the song.

    Each class has a special part to create. Today we are doing: 

“Here I am, Lord” Music Video Production Schedule
  • K/T, 1st/2nd and K/1st/2nd Do chorus
  • 3rd/4th/5th/6th Second service: Do first verse
  • 5th/6th Do second verse
  • 3rd/4th Do third verse
Activity #1: Line kids up in front of blank wall or sheet. Simple hand motions can be used for the chorus, but words to be sung must be held still at the appropriate time. Otherwise, kids just hold the word cards still during filming. The Shepherd stands next to the camera with the cue cards (photocopies). Teacher is “Director”. As director you can talk throughout the filming to get the kids to smile, lip synch or sing – sound doesn’t matter as it won’t be played. There will be live accompaniment at the service. The plan is to have it used as the first song of a service so the kids could see it/sing along and then go to Sunday School).

Activity #2: Who answered God’s Call like Samuel?
Computer program will provide the kids answers to fill in the worksheet. They can work in 2’s and 3’s as they finish activity. 

**A program was generated using alice.org specific to this rotation. Basically the information presented was scripture in which Abraham, Moses, Samuel and Isaiah all answer “Here I am” when God calls, God answers “Here am I” when we call, Jesus tells us “Here I am, I stand at the door and knock”. 
The computer game could easily be replicated on a worksheet, looking up scripture in the Bible. Abraham - Genesis 22:11-12; Moses - Exodus 3:3-4; Samuel - I Sam 3:4; Isaiah 6:8; God to us Isaiah 58:9-10; Jesus to us - Revelation 3:20.

Reflect:
Closing discussion/questions
  • Who did we learn about today that answered God’s call?
  • What does God sound like? God doesn’t talk to us the way we are talking now – face to face. He doesn’t communicate with everyone the same way – we are all different and He treats us that way! He won’t always talk to you in the same way either, just like your parents talk with you differently at different times. So what DOES He do? Examples:
    • During your prayers you begin to feel more calm and focused – especially if you came to Him with a problem. He may even put the answer to your problem in your head as you pray. See Philippians 4:6-7, Psalm 23:1-4 and 17:6

    • After church or Sunday School you feel a bit of peace, that you want to try to be good or help others. This is encouragement from God. Matthew 18:20, John 14:27
    • When you are tempted to do something wrong, or even as you are doing it, you get a strong feeling that you shouldn’t do it. Not only does God give us an understanding of right and wrong (Romans 12:2), but through Jesus we are offered forgiveness every time we mess up – if we admit our sin and ask to be forgiven (Acts 3:19). With 5th/6th grades you may want to discuss the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31; John 14:16-17, 25-26).
    • Sometimes God “speaks” through other people. Has your Mom or Dad ever surprised you with a complement – just when you were feeling bad and really needed a boost? In the same way, he can use you! You may get the feeling you should say something to someone at school (like “How ya doing?) or maybe be nice to your little sister or brother one afternoon instead of your usual (loving) little teases. Who knows, maybe God is using you to cheer up their bad day. (Ephesians 5:19, 4:29, 1 John 3:18)
    • Other ways: through music – one song in particular or just music in general; a sermon or Sunday School lesson that seems aimed right at what is bothering you that day; a devotional / Bible reading from a book printed for thousands that seems written just for you; Bible verses that are special to you. (Proverbs 25:20, James 5:13, Psalm 119:105)
  • What might God’s call sound like to us today? As we learned last year, Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 29:19 was the memory verse). A few people are called to lead huge churches, maybe be on TV and radio. Many people are called to be missionaries far away. A large group from WPC went to Ecuador to help people there (Romans 12:3-6a). Daily we are called to try to lead by example. There are people we meet everyday who don’t know Jesus, or know about God. If we act stuck-up or mean, they may think that is what all Christians are like. If so, why would they want to come to church? (1 Timothy 4:12) (1 Peter 3:1-4 tells how wives can teach their husbands about God’s love and forgiveness – the Word – just by their behavior)
  • We know God wants us to be good, but is that really God’s call to us – or just being a good person??
  • See Jesus’ word in 6:31 (younger kids) or 6:31-36 (older kids); John 13:34-35
Closing:

Closing prayer by Shepherd

Additional suggestions:
Older children: Discuss the meaning of some of the phrases they are filming for the video. Maybe make a favorite song list (try to get Christian songs they like) and type it up/print to copy and pass out for the class. For Christian songs, see if the students can bring in the song next week to share with the class before or at the end of class.

Younger children: 
When playing the song for them to hear, you may just want to play the chorus. That is the part they will portray – all the verses may overwhelm them. Just mention that there are verses, too, that the older kids will perform.

Resources:
http://fumcdenison.tripod.com/hialtext.htm Here I am Lord (song)

A lesson written by Kristi St. Laurent for Windham Presbyterian Church
Windham, New Hampshire. 
 

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

 

Member Jaymie Derden posted a note to me saying that her kids created hand and body movements to the hymn, "Here I am Lord" to study Samuel's call in the night.  This popular hymn is based on Isaiah 6:8 (Here I am Lord) and 1 Samuel 3 (I've heard you calling in the night).

The hand motions were not written down so you'll have to work with your kids to recreate them yourself. I would probably also discuss potential minor changes in the lyrics just to get the kids thinking more about Samuel's story 

Here's a nice contemporary sounding version on YouTube from Chris Bray, a well-known Catholic worship leader-artist. The video could definitely be projected on the wall or shown on your smart tv or computer screen as your teleprompter and music source. Videotape your kids performing it and then have fun watching it back again.

How to download this video.

"Here I Am, Lord" was written in 1981 by Dan Schutte and is found in many modern hymnals, including The United Methodist Hymnal, and Presbyterian Hymnal, and many Catholic hymnals. 

Excerpt:

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry,
All who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Refrain: Here I am, Lord. Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.*

See the full lyrics set to music on YouTube's "Catholic Karaoke" channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7IC8SpLk6k

Comment: In many churches this hymn is sung with a quick, uplifting pace.

Samuel: Listening to God
Music/Movement Workshop: Blacklight Theater


Summary of Activity:

the start of the show by the younger kidsChildren will perform motions to the song Here I Am Lord in blacklight theater as they explore how the lyrics connect to Samuel's story.

A little preface to our blacklight theater Music and Movement lesson for Samuel....
I've also included links to our videos of the performances. Please realize that these were NOT rehearsed -- we basically went over the lyrics, discussed how they fit the story of Samuel and then did it in blacklight!  The younger kids did just the chorus; the older kids did the verses (and ended up doing the chorus as well, because I didn't want them to just sit there in the dark on the stage! lol)
For the 3-5 grade group, our adult helper (who had practiced with the poster board signs beforehand) overslept, so we had a totally newbie adult helper who bravely stepped in and did her best, but missed a lot of the neon signs.

A good reminder that it's the process that is the most important... this was our first attempt at blacklight and the kids LOVED it. We will definitely do it again.

I've also attached the video of the K-2 graders signing the memory verse in blacklight. We sign our verses almost every month as it's a great memory tool. Blacklight was extra fun!

Many thanks to Luanne Payne for her expert advice on setting everything up!!!



Samuel: Listening to God
Music & Movement Workshop


Scripture References:
NIV Adventure Bible - I Samuel 1-3, “The Story of Samuel”
For K-2nd grade:  Deep Blue Bible Storybook – “Hannah Prays, pages 110-113 and “God Calls Samuel” pages 114-117

Memory Verse: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” I Samuel 3:9

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story of Samuel in the Old Testament.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will identify the characters in the story: Hannah, Elkanah, Samuel, Eli.
  • Children will discuss ways they can listen to God.
  • Children will discuss ways God answers prayer.
  • Children will describe ways God can use them in the world.
  • Children will memorize I Samuel 3:9.


Blacklight resources:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoPJ--6U000
Blacklight music drama idea which kicked off this whole thing


Preparation:

  1. Review the Background Information and Lesson plan.
  2. Gather necessary supplies and set up the room – see below. This lesson requires significant preparation time.

 
Supplies:

  • Here I am Lord recording and lyrics (the version we chose is slower which made it easier to follow -- John Michael Talbot's version (Table of Plenty, Troubadour for the Lord,1997)
  • Black foam core boards – 5
  • Neon colored poster board – orange, yellow, pink, green
  • Black plastic tarp (large enough to cover from floor to ceiling – 3 sided stage area
  • Black plastic (on a roll) or large black trash bags to cover windows and glass in doors
  • Painter’s tape
  • Black lights (at least 2 for an 8 foot stage area)
  • White gloves
  • Black gloves
  • Overhead projector
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Transparency sheet
  • Here I Am Lord lyrics
  • Black or dark colored t-shirts
  • Tide laundry detergent
  • Bibles: Deep Blue Bible Storybook (for grades K-2) and NIV Adventure Bibles (for 3rd - 5th)


Advanced Preparations:
Copy the lyrics onto a transparency and set up the overhead projector.
Contact parents asking kids to wear dark clothing or bring a large dark t-shirt to wear.

Prepare the black light stage:
Blacklight theater requires a completely dark room. Hang a black tarp from the ceiling to floor creating a 3-sided (back and 2 sides) stage area. The floor and ceiling do not have to be covered.
Cover all windows and openings in the doors with black plastic, taping to trim with painter’s tape to eliminate any ambient light.

Prepare the black lights:
Secure the black lights vertically to a chair using thick yarn or heavy string. Tape the cords to the floor to prevent tripping hazards. Remember the lights will be off frequently during this session! (See photo one in the slide show below.)

Prepare the Props:
Wash the white gloves in Tide laundry detergent before class to enhance the glow under the blacklight.

Cut out the following props from neon poster board or paint with neon poster paint onto black foam board:

  • Tearful face (sad face with tear drops)
  • Cross
  • Question mark
  • Heart
  • Broken heart


Setting up the camera/video camera:
Set up a tripod with the camera facing the stage.
Videotape a test run to determine best placement of the camera.

Note after completing this workshop:
The kids had a GREAT time with this. It was very challenging to use the poster boards – although the neon signs were amazing on the video. If you have a very large class you could have one child per board assigned – which would make it much easier – no handing back and forth of boards. Or reduce the number of neon signs and use hand motions primarily.


Lesson Plan

Time Guidelines:

Welcome and Introductions          5 minutes
Bible Study                                     15 minutes
Blacklight Drama                           25 minutes
Reflection/Closing                           5 minutes


Welcome/Introduction

Welcome the children warmly. Help the shepherds distribute name tags. Introduce yourself and invite children to introduce themselves. Please include the shepherd.

Opening Prayer

Light the Christ Candle and place in the middle of the table where all can see.

Say:  We light this candle to remind us that Jesus is the Light of the world. God is with us wherever we go. God is with us here in this place today.

Pray: Heavenly Father, We thank you for today and this time together. This month we are learning about Samuel, and how he listened carefully to you. Help us to have open eyes, ears, minds and most of all hearts. Help us truly listen this month so we can draw closer to you. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for sending Jesus to save us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(the candle should remain lit until the end of the session) 

Introduce the Story

Say:  Many years before Jesus was born, Moses led the Israelite people out of Egypt and through the desert. Then Moses died. The people came into the Promised Land. They needed leaders to help them and guide them like Moses had done. Judges became the new leaders for Israel. Judges were religious leaders in the community who helped the people follow God. (This is different than judges today…. If necessary, explain this difference to the children.) Samuel was the last and greatest judge in Israel. This is his story...

Bible Study: Grades K-2  Deep Blue Bible Storybook
Where would we find a story in the Bible that takes place many years before Jesus was born? (Old Testament) Let’s find the story of Samuel in our Bibles now.

Pass out Bibles to children who did not bring one from home. Help the children turn to page 110 and read the following two stories: Hannah’s Prayer and God Calls Samuel. Have the children follow along in their Bibles.



Bible Study: Grades 3-5: NIV Adventure Bible
Help the children locate I Samuel 1 in their Bibles. 1 and 2 Samuel are books of history. Due to the length of the story, paraphrase the first part of the story: Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 1:1-17), Hannah dedicates Samuel (1 Samuel 1:26-28).
Read heading: "The Lord Calls Samuel."
Read 1 Samuel 3:1-10.


Memory Verse Work - Sign the verse

“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” I Samuel 3:9

Say : God called Samuel in an audible voice. God most often speaks to us in quieter ways. How might God be calling you?

Do:  Use these signs to learn the verse:
Speak –
hold right index finger next to lips and wiggle up and down slightly
Lord – with index finger and thumb make “L” sign, place on opposite shoulder and bring across chest diagonally to right hip
I (your servant) – make fist with right hand with little finger extended up, placing thumb side to chest
Listening – place right hand behind right ear


Black Light Drama - Here I am Lord

Say: We are going to listen to a song or hymn that tells about listening to God's voice and responding to it. There are many stories in the Bible where people heard God's call and responded. Sometimes they followed God -- like Abraham. Sometimes they hesitated -- like Moses. Sometimes they tried to hide or run away -- like Jonah. It's one thing to know what God wants you to do. It's another thing to be willing to do it! God wants us to listen for his voice…. to spend time in prayer and quiet time. But when we know what God wants us to do, it's important to obey. In our story this month, God called Samuel -- a young boy. Even a child can be used by God to do important things if he or she is willing to listen and obey. Samuel wasn’t too young and neither are you!

Introduce the Song and the Motions:

Display the “Here I Am” lyric transparency on the overhead projector.
Gather the children near the overhead so they can see the words.

First we’re going to listen to the song and create motions to act it out. Then we’ll perform the motions under the blacklight!  Blacklight is a special type of drama that is done in the dark with special lights called blacklight. Neon colors and white show up, but everything else is dark.

Note: If time is short – review the song quickly and just begin the blacklight drama. Teacher can stand behind the camera and make the motions (wearing gloves) and have the children follow your lead. We found that the kids easily followed the signs -- but we do this every month so our kids are used to this! Our kids also had suggestions for signs to use -- for example they came up with the "make your darkness bright" sign -- coming together to form a "sun")

Verse 1:
Sea – make waves by moving right hand up and down from right to left.
Sky – birds with hands, cross thumbs together and move fingers like wings flapping
Cry – sad face poster board - 1
Dark – hide hands behind
Hand – raise one hand, palm out
Save – hold up cross poster board - 2

Verse 2:
Stars - flick hands open and shut, twinkle hands
Darkness bright – all hands come together to form a bright “sun” like ball
Bear light – grasp right wrist with left hand, right hand with flickering fingers
Whom – question mark poster board - 3

Chorus:
Here I am – hands on chest, then move forward as if presenting self
Is it I ? Index fingers point to chest
I have heard you calling - hands to ears, phone sign
I will go  – stepping motions with hands
lead me – hands in fists move outward and to right
hold – hands cupped together
heart – poster board heart - 4

Verse 3:
wind and flame – swirl hands around, flicker for flames
tend the poor and lame – rocking arms
set a feast  – move hands up and down outward from sides
hand – raise one hand, palm facing out
save - cross poster board - 2

Verse 4:
Finest bread I will provide p – move hands forward as if holding a platter
Till their hearts be satisfied – hands crossed over heart, heart poster board – 4
I will give my life to them – brush hands up on chest, then palms up in front, sign life
Whom shall I send? – question mark -3

Note: This version eliminates two verses that are found in other recordings.

Do:  Play the song through one time with the lyrics displayed.

Say:  Next we will use hand motions and props to act out the song.
Assign 1 child (2 if you have a large class) to handle the foam board props. The remaining children will perform hand motions. Show the props. Line up the children in two lines, with the prop holder center stage in back, behind the children doing hand motions.

Assign an adult helper to stand at the side of the stage and hand the poster boards in the correct order to the prop holder as needed. Be sure to keep the poster boards turned around with black side facing outward, until it’s time for them to be revealed.

Read through the lyrics and demonstrate the suggested motions having the children follow along.

Some tips/directions:

  • All the neon and white glove movements will show. When not performing the specific movements, children should place their hands behind their backs.
  • When turning or moving, have all children turn/move to the right – for us this was toward the door.
  • Have children performing hand motions put on white gloves. Prop holders should wear black gloves or bare hands.
  • If children are wearing white or neon colored shirts, have them put on a black t-shirt to cover their clothing.
  • Turn out the overhead lights and turn on the blacklights.
  • Start the video camera! (Note: I was really nervous about how this would work, but it was mostly great. There is one place in the video, where the hands were blurry, but otherwise it worked really well. It would be helpful to have a separate adult monitoring the video camera. I was busy leading the signs and didn't realize that the kids weren't centered in the video frame. Oops. Process not product, right?)
  • Recite the lyrics to the song (slowly), allowing the children to demonstrate the motions. Prop-holder should hold theposter up high above the heads of the front line. Or simply play the song and demonstrate the motions as the children follow along.
  • It’s helpful to have the adult helper be familiar with the order of the poster board props. 


For younger grades, you may not want to do the entire song. Do just the chorus and allow the older groups to do the verses.

Discussion

What parts of the song remind you of the story of Samuel? (a voice calling in the night, Samuel being willing to trust God and later becoming a great leader of God's people)

Do other words remind you of other stories? (creation, slavery in Egypt, sending Jesus, prophets)

Closing prayer

Invite children to stand in a circle. 
Say: Today we explored a well-known hymn about God calling us and about how we will respond to God’s call. Will we be like Samuel and “go where God leads us” and “hold God’s people in our hearts?”

Where might God lead us? What might God want us to do to hold his people in our hearts (love and care for them)? (be kind, be loving, share with others, be helpful, think about what others need, encourage others, etc.)

When it’s your turn, please say one way you think God might be calling YOU to follow him more closely and to love others better. This is important prayer time, not play time – so please remember to be respectful of God and others.

Go around the circle asking for each child’s prayer. Add your own. Then close with the Lord’s Prayer. Extinguish the Christ Candle.

Clean-up
Encourage the children to help you clean up. Place all props and other materials in the prop closet or the storage cabinet. Remove the black light tarps after the last session.

Videos:


K-2 chorus on YouTube

3-5 Song on YouTube

To view some of our photos of our props, click on one of the pictures below. Use your left and right arrows to move through the "show."


 

A lesson written by Jaymie Derden for State Street United Methodist Church
Bristol, VA, USA

Images & videos copyright Jaymie Derden, 2017.

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