Summary of Lesson Activity:
Combine music created with Boomwhackers® and expressive movement with Body Sox, into a learning experience about the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:1-8, 12-18, 36-47
“And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38b (NIV)
Workshop Objectives —
After completing this Rotation, participants will be able to:
- Name that the story is found in the New Testament, that it is a story of the early church after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- Locate the story in Acts. Identify Acts as a book of History.
- Re-tell the story in his/her own words of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
- Describe the roles of the Holy Spirit and explore other names for the Holy Spirit including: Counselor, Special Helper, and Comforter.
- Discuss what it means to have the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
- Read Bible Background and scripture.
- Gather the following materials.
- Arrange the colored cards on the easel in the order indicated at the end of the lesson.
- Practice running through the tune of Happy Birthday in your head while pointing at the colored cards. Separate the shorter red Boomwhackers from the set. [You’ll be asking the Shepherd to play this note.]
- Place the Body Sox in a place that is easily accessible. Notice that (in our case) there are different sizes (lengths). You may wish to organize them by size.
- Cue the CD to play the song Breathe on Me, Breath of God.
- When 3rd graders and up visit, arrange Bibles in a circle where the students will sit.
- Masking tape
Bommwhackers are lightweight, hollow, color-coded, plastic tubes, which produce musical tones when struck. We own two, one-octave sets (8 in one set) Boomwhackers in action are shown on the right.
- Color coded music cards for tune: Happy Birthday
- Body Sox (tubes made of a very stretchy Lycra material)
- CD player and CD of music: Breathe on Me, Breath of God
- Story Bible for 1st and 2nd grade – The Praise Bible
- For 3rd grade: Bibles, One Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.), Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Music/Movement Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
Ask: How many of you have ever seen wind?
What does wind look like?
Have you actually seen the wind, or have you seen the wind at work? (allow all answers)
Say: Our Bible story has an amazing thing happen with wind, and with flames. In our story it describes these flames as “tongues of fire.”
Ask: Do you suppose that flames could be described as tongues of fire? (allow all answers)
Say: Describing flames as tongues of fire gives us a picture in our minds.
Ask: Can you picture tongues of fire "resting" on everyone in the room, but not hurting anyone?
Say: That’s very mysterious isn't it! Wind causes things to move about. Today we will be moving our bodies; we are going to be using our bodies to make music and to respond to our story. First, let’s start 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. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.] A suggestion: “Holy One, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who teaches us the truth about God and Jesus and gives us peace and joy. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”
Do: Show a Boomwhacker. Demonstrate how they are played: by knocking one on the floor or on your foot. Boomwhackers can even be played by tapping your arm or your head! Make a rule: “Stay in your own body space with your Boomwhacker. Your neighbor is off limits! Please use common sense if you choose to whack your own body.” [Words of wisdom from the Boomwhackers web site.]
Do: Point out how each color of Boomwhacker is a different musical note – do this by playing two different colors at the same time so that students can hear that they produce different tones. Explain how you can play tunes by following the music indicated by the colored cards. [Point out the colored cards on the easel.] Explain how you will point to a note and the people with that color of Boomwhacker will play, whacking their Boomwhacker once for each card.
Do: Distribute Boomwhackers. Give the Shepherd the high C Boomwhackers, the shorter red ones. [They are marked with a prime sign to differentiate them from middle C.] If there are enough, everyone may have two Boomwhackers.
Say: In our Bible story something happened that amazed a crowd of people. These people were from different countries; they spoke different languages. All of a sudden they heard their language being spoken! Let’s see if we can recreate the way they felt by seeing if we can figure out the name of this tune we will play.
Do: Point out the note that only the Shepherd will play – the red card with the prime sign.
Run thorough pointing out the colored cards and having the students with the corresponding tube play their note. [Note: This works best if you sing the tune of Happy Birthday in your head, switching to a different card with each note.]
Ask: Does anyone know the name of the song we just played? [You may need to replay it.]
How did it feel when you recognized the tune? (accept a few answers)
Do: If desired, replay the tune one more time.
Say: As we tell our Bible story, think about the feeling of suddenly hearing something that you recognize.
Do: Collect the Boomwhackers.
Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about something that happened 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection? (in the New Testament)
What are the first four books of the New Testament? (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
What do we call those first four books? (the Gospels)
Say: The word Gospel means “good news.” Today we will hear another story about the good news of God’s love and how that good news was spread to lots of people. Our story is found in the book of Acts.
Reading/reviewing the story:
For 1st and 2nd graders:
Read them the story on pages 436 – 442 of The Praise Bible. Show the pictures as you read the story. [Note: if these students visit later in the Rotation, show the pictures and ask the students to tell you the story. Cover the points listed below in the older students reading.]
For 3rd grade and up:
Do: Make sure that every student has access to a Bible. Have everyone find the book of Acts, chapter two.
Say: Acts is the first book after the Gospels. Acts is the only book of History in the New Testament. If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the History section in the New Testament of your Bible. The Old Testament has a section of History books, that’s where we found stories such as David and Goliath.
Do: If this is a week early in the Rotation, read the scripture (Acts 2:1-8, 12-18, 36-47). In later weeks review the story; have the students check their Bible for facts. Cover the following points in your review:
- Where were the disciples and followers of Jesus? (in Jerusalem, in a house)
- What happened? (the Holy Spirit came – there was a noise that sounded like a strong wind & there were “tongues” of fire that rested upon everyone in the room. They all began to speak foreign languages.
- A crowd gathered (they were a multi-national bunch), they wondered how come they heard the followers of Jesus – common men from Galilee – speaking their language.
- Peter made a speech explaining what had happened.
Ask: How do you suppose it felt to the crowd, in a whir of different languages, yet each being able to hear something in his/her own language? (allow a few responses)
How was the crowd hearing the disciples tell about Jesus in their language, like discovering what song we were playing?
Say: What made it even more interesting was the disciples had never spoken those languages before. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus’ followers and gave them the power to talk about Jesus, in foreign languages that they had never learned or spoken before. The Holy Spirit had come! It sounded like a great wind and there were tongues of flames that came and rested on the disciples.
Ask: What is the Holy Spirit? (they might not be able to answer)
Say: I have asked you a tough question – adults even have a hard time understanding about the Holy Spirit. It is part of the mystery of our faith in God, that the Holy Spirit came and that there was a loud wind and tongues of flames.
Ask: Do you suppose that for us today the Holy Spirit comes to us with wind and flames? (accept a few answers)
Say: There doesn’t have to be wind and flames, in fact there probably won’t be wind and flames. There was wind and flames on that first coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, because God wanted people to notice that something was different. Jesus had told his disciples that God would send the Holy Spirit; that the Holy Spirit would be our friend and our helper. Today the Holy Spirit helps us to understand that God loves us. The Holy Spirit is a gift from God.
Ask: How does it feel to know that God is always with us as the Holy Spirit? (accept all answers)
Say: We need to remember that the gift of the Holy Spirit comes by asking God. We need to remember to pray for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Now let’s do some creative movement with our bodies to reflect how we are feeling about this story.
Play a bit of the CD, Breathe on Me, Breath of God.
Say: This song is a hymn that we sing in church; it’s called Breathe on Me, Breath of God. In the language that the New Testament was written in, the word for breath is the same as the word for spirit and also means wind.
Talk about different ways they could move. How might they move to
- Mimic breath? (or wind) or the coming of the Holy Spirit?
- Express hearing and understanding?
- Being filled with new life?
- Express their love of God?
- Express their desire to do what God asks us to do?
Do: Explain how there are various levels for motion: low (kneeling or crouching), middle (standing or walking), and high (arms up or jumping). “Try moving fast and slow, smoothly and jerkily, straight and roundabout to achieve different effects” (Crane).
Say: Creative movement is a way of moving our bodies to show feelings. The goal is not a polished performance, but a visual expression of our understanding of God’s word. There are no right or wrong movements.
Do: Pick up a couple of the Boomwhackers and make a sound with them. Tell the students that when they hear that sound they must stop talking and be still.
Go over the rules for wearing body sox:
- Move safely so you and others don't get hurt and
- No talking (use your body to show your feelings).
Do: Ask everyone to take off their shoes.
Pass out body sox and have everyone put them on.
[Expect chaos for several minutes because of the excitement. After everyone is in Body Sox, sound the noisemaker. Stress that they move without making noise.]
Play the song Breathe on Me, Breath of God. Let the kids enjoy moving in the Body Sox.
Do: Have everyone remove the Body Sox. Sit quietly in a circle and listen to the song Breathe on Me, Breath of God.
Say: Don’t worry if you haven’t ever felt the Holy Spirit in your life or if you hardly ever feel it. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life. The Holy Spirit will grow in our hearts. We will learn, with time and practice, to listen for and feel the Holy Spirit.
If you have extra time:
Allow students to re-do the tune to Happy Birthday with the Boomwhackers.
- Crane, Amy. “Beatitudes: Creative Movement Lesson.” Rotation.org. 2001. Web. https://www.rotation.org/topic...tive-movement-lesson
- “Vine and Branches: Creative Movement Lesson.” Rotation.org. 2001. Web. https://www.rotation.org/topic...5#295011598215941455
- Foncannon, Ellen. “Ellen’s Tube Tips.” 1999. [This material appears to no longer be available on the Internet.]
- Thomas, Mack. The Praise Bible. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1998. Print.
- Music for Happy Birthday downloaded from www.8notes.com
- Color cards were downloaded from boomwhackers.com (single colored cards no longer available, but they do have chord cards for bells.
Red | Red | Orange | Red | Light Green | Yellow
Hap- -py Birth- -day to you.
Red | Red | Orange | Red | Green | Light Green
Hap- -py Birth- -day to you.
Red | Red | Red Prime | Purple | Light Green | Yellow | Orange
Hap- -py Birth- -day to yo- -ou,
Pink | Pink | Purple | Light Green | Green | Light Green
Hap- -py Birth- -day to you.
A lesson written by Carol Hulbert, from First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Boomwhackers in action image - offered by Hillary, under a Creative Commons License, via Flickr.
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