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Pentecost-Spirit, Wind & Flame - complete lesson set from State Street UMC, Bristol, VA

Pentecost: Spirit, Wind & Flame

Lesson Set


Overview of the Workshops:
 

Art:  Children will create origami flames that will be used in worship services on Pentecost Sunday.

Drama: Children will act out six different scenes from the story.

Computers:  Using Let’s Talk software, children will write about the disciples’ experience at Pentecost.

Games/Bible Skills:  Children will review the power the Holy Spirit gives to believers by playing a Spirit Relay. Older children will use concordances to find verses to help them in daily challenges.

Scripture References: 

NIV Adventure Bible – John 14:15-21, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-47

The Picture Bible – page 673-675, 677 to top of page 681

Memory Verse: 
“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:4

Theme: 
Jesus’ promise to his disciples of a helper, the Holy Spirit, comes on the day of Pentecost and fills the disciples with courage and power. The Holy Spirit gives strength and courage to all believers today as well!

Lesson Objectives:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will understand the meaning of the word Pentecost.
  • Children will understand that Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the Church.
  • Children will recognize some of the symbols of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit.
  • Children will recognize that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity.
  • Children will understand that the Holy Spirit gives strength and power to believers.
  • Children will discuss situations where the Holy Spirit can help them.
  • Children will memorize Acts 2:4.

 

Music:

  1. “Books of the Old Testament,” Books of the Bible, Custom CD, Troy and Genie Nilsson.
  2. “Books of the New Testament,” Books of the Bible, Custom CD, Troy and Genie Nilsson.
  3.  “Light the Fire,” Light the Fire, Chris Hughes and Ed Kilbourne, Fly By Night Records, 1997.
  4. “Spirit, Fall on Me,” Silence the Rocks, Don Washburn, Digisound Productions Studio.
  5. “Spirit of the Living God,” T. J. Goff, 2006
  6. “Power of God,” RPM, Volume 3:  Replaying the Hits, One Way Street, 1999.
  7. “Come on Christian, Get on Fire,” RPM, Volume 1, One Way Street.
  8. “Pentecost Junction,” RPM, Volume 2, One Way Street, 1996.
  9. “More Love, More Power,” Acoustic Worship, Brentwood Music, 1998.

 

Pentecost Sunday is celebrated on May 19 this year (2013)!  On Pentecost Sunday, our children will participate in a worship processional using the origami flames made in the art workshop. 

Background Information 

Jewish people celebrate a series of feasts or festivals throughout the year. The festival of Passover begins the year. It is a celebration recalling God’s mighty work in rescuing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.   Jesus was celebrating the Passover with his disciples when they ate the Last Supper together. 

The night after Passover there is a second Jewish feast -- the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During the week following Passover, Jewish people are instructed to eat only unleavened bread. (Lev. 23:6)  Leaven symbolizes sin in the Bible, so eating of unleavened bread symbolizes a holy walk with God. Jesus is the Christian symbol of unleavened bread -- without sin (leaven), born in Bethlehem (which means 'House of Bread') and often calling himself “the Bread of Life.”  During the Passover meal a ceremonial “burial and resurrection” occurs with a piece of unleavened bread. This “hidden” piece of bread represents Jesus who was buried on the exact day of this feast. It’s interesting to note that Jesus died on the cross in six hours -- a much shorter amount of time than usual. (Many agonizing deaths by crucifixion took up to three days!) Jesus died in time to be buried at sundown that day -- to meet the feast of Unleavened Bread.  

The third feast is First Fruits and is held on the Sunday following Unleavened Bread. (Lev. 23:10-11) (Remember:  the Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday) It is at this feast that the Israelites acknowledged the fertility of the land by bringing the early crops of their spring planting as an offering to God.This feast has come to be called Easter in the Christian world. Recalling the Jewish name for the feast brings richer meaning to the symbolism of this feast, for this is the day when Jesus rose from the dead, as the “first fruits,” the first man permanently resurrected. Matthew 27:53 describes many graves which opened and dead people who rose and were seen after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus was offering his Father the early crops of what will be an even greater harvest later on! 

The next feast is called the Feast of Harvest, Feast of Weeks, Shavuot (Hebrew) or Pentecost (Greek). It marks the summer harvest, the second of the year, when more crops are available. Jewish people were instructed to bring two loaves made from the wheat harvest and the harvest was dedicated to God as its giver.  (Lev. 23:15-16)  It is held exactly fifty days after First Fruits (Easter). Pentecost means 50 days. This is the day when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples who were waiting as instructed by Jesus. The fulfillment of this promise is in keeping with the spirit of the feast -- a greater harvest of souls (three thousand people became believers on this day). The disciples must have been amazed that Jesus, even in his death and resurrection, kept the Jewish feasts! He was crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, raised on First Fruits, and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost! 

After Jesus rose, he reappeared to his disciples for an additional forty days. Before he ascended into heaven, he gave them the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  Jesus also told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and to wait for the gift the Father would send. Jesus had told his disciples about this gift in the past. He knew that the disciples could not carry out their task without help. They needed the power of God living in them to give them strength to share Jesus’ message with the world. They needed the Holy Spirit! 

Jesus’ disciples remained in Jerusalem as Jesus instructed (many Jews stayed in Jerusalem during the time between Passover and Pentecost because travel was so difficult and time consuming). They were waiting for the gift Jesus had promised. They must have felt a great deal of confusion, fear, anxiety, impatience, and perhaps even skepticism (remember doubting Thomas?).   

On the third hour (9:00 a.m.) of the day of Pentecost as the disciples were gathering for the Hour of Prayer, the Promised Gift appeared. Suddenly a great and violent “wind” seemed to blow through the Temple Courts.  Tongues of fire appeared on the heads of believers. The disciples began speaking in many different languages but amazingly, those present heard the words in their own native languages. Some scoffers believed the disciples were drunk even though it was only 9:00 a.m. Peter stood up and preached a powerful message to those present, “repent and be baptized!”  Baptism was traditionally reserved for pagans who were converting to Judaism, so Peter’s message was an offensive one to Jews. Despite this fact, 3000 people accepted his message and were baptized that day. (the greater harvest of souls) Large pools in the Temple area could accommodate mass baptisms.  

These early believers were radically changed. The early Christian church banded together, often pooling their possessions and sharing everything they owned. They were adamant about valuing people over possessions. They acknowledged that Jesus owned both them and their property. Pagans ridiculed this lifestyle choice and eventually these values overwhelmed the church.    

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The doctrine of the Trinity is one that uniquely differentiates Christianity from the other monotheistic religions Judaism and Islam. Some Christian denominations also deny the doctrine of the Trinity (Unitarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses). The doctrine of the Trinity is an ancient and solid part of the Christian faith. Throughout Church history, many doctrines have been examined, but the teaching on the Trinity has never wavered. John Wesley began with the Trinity as the first of his 25 Articles of Religion that constitute the Methodist faith. 

Understanding the Trinity is difficult. How can God be both one and three? The development of Trinitarian doctrine came as the early disciples grappled with their faith understandings and their experience. For Jews the primary faith statement is the Shema:  “Hear, O Israel:  The LORD is our God, the LORD is one.”  (Deuteronomy 6:4) But then they experienced Jesus Christ. He showed himself to be God through his actions, his teachings, his life. He proved it to be so after his resurrection and their indwelling with the Holy Spirit. And then there was the Holy Spirit. Undeniably God was now with the disciples in a new way, just as Jesus had told them.  

Ultimately the doctrine of Trinity may be simply our word for what we know to be true but cannot completely explain. 

Hints of a Trinitarian understanding of God are found in the Old Testament as well. Genesis 1 states “God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image.’” Other examples are Old Testament theophanies (appearances of God in visible form) such as the burning bush, the three men who visit Sarah and Abraham and the fourth man in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  

The Holy Spirit’s activity within individuals did not just suddenly begin on Pentecost. The Old Testament refers to the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of the Lord.”  In Old Testament writings the “Spirit’s” activity is more selective, coming specifically upon certain individuals to accomplish God’s work (and then leaving).  But the prophet Joel foresaw a day when God would say,

          “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;

          your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

          your old men shall dream dreams,

          and your young men shall see visions.

          Even on the male and female slaves,

          in those days, I will pour out my spirit.”

          (Joel 2:28-29) 

In the New Testament, with the coming of Jesus and the day of Pentecost, we see the Holy Spirit being available to “all flesh” in a broader, more inclusive way. God’s ultimate plan of salvation unfolds before us.  The Holy Spirit is the third person of our “three-in-one” God. He is God. Like God, the Holy Spirit is eternal, present everywhere, and equal with God the Father and God the Son. 

The doctrine of the Trinity has historically been the distinctive Christian doctrine. Some contemporary thinkers have begun to question this doctrine outright (as in the Unitarian movement), by denying the deity of Christ or by an unwillingness to accept any supernatural aspect to the Christian faith. On the other hand, un-churched individuals often can relate more to the Holy Spirit, than to the other two persons of the Trinity. The movement of the Holy Spirit is felt, but may not be recognized as such. 

In Hebrew, the word ruach means spirit, wind and breath. The “Spirit” helps to bring God closer, nearer to us, truly “God with us,” in a very intimate way. The Spirit helps us to know God. The Holy Spirit is active in our lives even before we are Christians.... this is called prevenient grace. The Holy Spirit woos us, nudges us, and draws us closer and closer to Christ. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and become a Christian (what many people call 'saved'), we are made right with God or justified. This is justifying grace.  The Holy Spirit now dwells within us!  Now the Holy Spirit has an even closer relationship with us and continues to communicate with us, gives us God’s power and helps us grow ever closer to God and more and more like Christ (the goal of the Christian life is to become like Christ!). The action of the Holy Spirit after we become Christians is a lifelong process of growing more like Jesus. This action of the Holy Spirit is called sanctifying grace. John Wesley called it “going on to perfection.”  

Symbols of the Holy Spirit are wind, dove, flame. These symbols help to explain what is a difficult concept.  Just as we cannot see wind, but can see its results (trees moving, leaves blowing, etc.) we cannot see the Holy Spirit, but we can feel His effects. Younger children may have difficulty understanding the concept of Holy Spirit. Explaining what the Spirit does can help with this abstract concept. For example:  help the children understand that the Holy Spirit is God, giving us strength, helping us do what is right (even when it is hard), or telling us when we are doing something wrong (similar to but not synonymous with conscience).  The Holy Spirit is God, guiding us and teaching us how to share God’s love with others. Just as in the time of the disciples, the Holy Spirit is in the world today, helping us. The Holy Spirit lives in the hearts of all believers in Christ. (John 14:15-21) 

The dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit recalls the baptism of Jesus when the “Spirit of God” descended on Jesus like a dove. When a dove represents the Holy Spirit it is shown with a circle of light around its head, indicating a Person of the Trinity. The flames or tongues of fire represent the flames seen above the heads of the disciples when the Holy Spirit arrived at Pentecost. The liturgical color for this day is red. 

The coming of the Holy Spirit to the believers at Pentecost is often referred to as the “birthday of the Christian church.” The days marked a new beginning in the disciples’ proclamation of the risen Christ. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the disciples felt the comfort, insight and power of God, enabling them to follow Jesus’ directive in the Great Commission -- to go and make disciples of the world!  

(Sources:  The Seven Feasts of Israel by Zola Levitt, The IVP Bible Background Commentary - New Testament by Craig S. Keener, Smith’s Bible Dictionary by William Smith, Christian Believer - Knowing God with Heart and Mind Study Manual by J. Ellsworth Kalas; I Want to Know About the Holy Spirit, Rick Osborne and K. Christie Bowler, Zonderkidz, 1998; New Invitation Bible Studies for Elementary A, B, C - Spring 1992, 93, 94, 95, 96)


 

A lesson written by Jaymie Derden from State Street UMC,
Bristol, VA 

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

Original Post

Pentecost: Spirit, Wind and Flame

Art Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will create origami paper flames to use in worship on Pentecost.

Scripture References: 

NIV Adventure Bible – John 14:15-21, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-47

The Picture Bible – page 673-675, 677 to top of page 681

Memory Verse:  
Acts 2:4

Theme: 
Jesus’ promise to his disciples of a helper, the Holy Spirit, comes on the day of Pentecost and fills the disciples with courage and power. The Holy Spirit gives strength and courage to all believers today as well! 

Objectives: See Background Information

Important note for Art workshop leaders:

In the Art workshop the Bible story is explored through creative and hands-on experiences. The children may make something that they can take home to help remind them of the monthly theme or they may work together to make something for classroom or church to display.


 Advanced Preparations/Room Set Up:   

  1. Read the background information and lesson materials.
  2. Gather the necessary supplies.
  3. Prepare the art supplies – see advanced preparation instructions.
  4. Gather/create the storytelling props (use old teaching pictures or internet search for images and print onto card stock: flame, number 3000, “Wait Here”, “Pentecost”, “Jerusalem,” 50 days; picture of Peter preaching, picture of crowd of people, picture of wind, picture of Jesus, picture of disciples).
  5. Place the cards/props in a basket.
  6. Cut the paper into squares – 4 X 4, 6 X 6 and 8 X 8 inches (or purchase different sizes of origami paper. We ordered online: plain red, different shades of red and red shiny paper.)
  7. Practice folding the flames until you are comfortable and don’t need to look at the instructions.
  8. Make copies of the instructions available here:

    http://books.google.com/books?...r%20fire&f=false 

Supplies:

  • Red copy paper or red foil wrapping paper
  • Fishing line
  • Tape
  • Small 12-inch dowels – one per person 

Please start on time! Please use the time guidelines below as your move through your lesson! 

Time Guidelines:

Welcome and Introductions       5 minutes
Bible Study                             15 minutes
Origami flames                        25 minutes 
Reflection/Closing                     5 minutes 



Lesson Plan

Early Arrival Activity

Write the memory verse with scripture reference on the white board. As children arrive review the verse with them. Erase one word at a time, checking to see if the children can recite the verse. Continue until the board is blank and the children can recite the verse from memory. Be sure to include the scripture reference.

Opening:

Welcome the children as they arrive. Please wear a nametag and help the shepherds distribute nametags to the children. Begin each class with introductions. Tell the children that today they will be learning about the special day called Pentecost, when God sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples. 

Opening Prayer:
Please begin each session with prayer.  “Dear God, Thank you for this day and for the amazing stories in the Bible that teach us about you. AMEN.” 

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the Background Information to help you introduce the story. 

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the Week 2, 3, 4 directions for Bible Study after the first week of the rotation. 

You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Dig:


Bible Study - Introduce the Story
After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples for an additional forty days. Before he ascended into heaven, he told them to go everywhere and tell people about the gospel – the good news! But first Jesus also told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and to wait for the gift or helper the Father would send. Jesus knew the disciples would need help to spread the gospel. They needed the power of God living in them to give them strength to share Jesus’ message with the world. They needed the Holy Spirit! 

Now it wasn’t unusual for Jewish people to be in Jerusalem at this time. Jewish people celebrate several feasts or special holidays throughout the year. Passover is their most important feast and celebration where they remember God’s miraculous deliverance of them from slavery in Egypt. This is what the disciples and Jesus were celebrating at the Last Supper (we just studied this last month). Another feast is called First Fruits. During this feast the people celebrate the very first of the harvest, offering thanks to God. Jesus rose from the dead on this feast day!  (what we call Easter). Fifty days after First Fruits is a celebration called Pentecost (which means 50 days) or Feast of Harvest. This is a celebration of the second harvest when more crops are available. Pentecost is a BIG celebration for the church today because God used this special day to bring about a BIG harvest – but not of crops, of new believers! Often Jewish worshipers would come to Jerusalem for Passover and STAY until Pentecost. 

Today I have some props to help tell the story. I will give each of you a prop to hold. When we get to the part of the story that mentions your prop, hold it up in the air so everyone can see. Pass out one prop to each child. (Note: if the props are too much of a distraction for the younger children, simply keep them in your basket and display them when you get to that part of the story.) 

Let’s see what happened! 

Bible Study: Grades K-2 (Week #1 only)

The Picture Bible

 Where would we find a story that talks about Jesus’ followers in the Bible?  (New Testament)

Help the children locate the story on page 673. Review/paraphrase the story on the following pages – 674 to top of page 675, then 677 to top of page 681. 

Bible Study: Grades 3-5 (Week #1 only)

NIV Adventure Bible

Scripture:  John 14:15-21, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-47 

Where would we find a story about Jesus’ followers in the Bible? (New Testament) 

This month’s story is found in the book of Acts in the New Testament. Acts is a book of history, telling all about the actions (ACTS) of the disciples and the growth of the early Christian church. 

Help the children locate John 14:15-17. Read as they follow along.

Next read Acts 1:1-11 and Acts 2:1-13

Paraphrase Peter’s great sermon to the crowd and end with Acts 2:40-41. 

Bible Study: Weeks 2, 3, 4

Use this activity when children are familiar with the story or after the first week of the rotation. 

Directions:

  1. Have children locate the story in their Bibles and keep their Bibles open to find answers if they can’t remember.
  2. Call on children at random (don’t just go around the table) and ask them to find a prop that tells the next part of the story.
  3. Ask children to retell the story using the story props. Use their Bibles and the background information to fill in missing information and add details to what they know. Watch the time!

 

Discussion

Discuss briefly with the children at this time. Additional discussion can be held as the children work on their origami flames. Often children will engage in discussion better when they are "doing" something rather than simply sitting! Take advantage of this!

Why were the disciples all together in Jerusalem? (they were waiting as Jesus had told them, to celebrate the feast of Pentecost)

What happened on the morning of Pentecost?  (the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, flames of fire above their heads, rushing wind sound)

How did the Holy Spirit affect the disciples? (they could speak in different languages, they felt powerful and courageous, they shared the good news with crowds of people) 

Questions for later sessions in the rotation (deeper reflection):

  • What evidence did the disciples show that Jesus Christ is real? That the Holy Spirit is real? (Compare the disciples’ behavior and actions (especially Peter) before Pentecost and after.)
  • The Bible teaches us not to “judge” others. But the Bible also teaches that if someone is a Christian it ought to show in his/her life. What evidence was present in the disciples’ lives to show others they were believers?
  • What evidence is in YOUR life to show others you are a believer?
  • Jesus called the Holy Spirit by several names: (Comforter, Spirit of Truth, helper)
  • What other names are you known by or do your parents call you? (nicknames, terms of endearment, etc.)
  • What do those names tell you about YOU?
  • Why might Jesus have used more than one name for Holy Spirit?
  • What do the different names for Holy Spirit tell us?
  • Where in our story did we see the power of the Holy Spirit? (Peter’s preaching, the number of people who believed)
  • When is a time that you have felt the Holy Spirit’s power?
  • Jesus knew that on our own, we can’t truly follow God’s ways. The Holy Spirit helps us know what God wants and gives us the strength and the courage to do it. The Holy Spirit helps us grow more and more like Jesus. This is the GOAL OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE – to become like Jesus!
  • Pentecost is often called the “birthday of the Church.” Why is that a good name for Pentecost?

         

Memory Verse

Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time.  

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:4 

When we believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and ask for forgiveness for our sins, we become a Christian (saved). We are made right with God and become God’s friend forever. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us – and is with us forever too. The Holy Spirit is our helper and gives us power and strength to live like Jesus! We can’t do this on our own; we need the Holy Spirit’s help! 

Teacher Note:  It is especially appropriate here to share moments when you have elt the presence of the Holy Spirit in your own lives. These personal testimonies can be very powerful and help the children as they learn to be more sensitive to the Spirit’s work in their own lives. 

Important Note for 3-5 graders (later weeks in the rotation): 

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity – the three-in-one God we worship. The Holy Spirit is active in our lives even before we are Christians; this is called prevenient grace. The Holy Spirit woos us, nudges us, and draws us closer and closer to Christ. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and become a Christian (what some people call 'saved'), we are made right with God. That is justifying grace. The Holy Spirit now dwells within us! Now the Holy Spirit has an even closer relationship with us and continues to communicate with us, giving us God’s power and helping us grow ever closer to God and more and more like Christ (the goal of the Christian life is to become like Christ!). The action of the Holy Spirit after we become Christians is a lifelong process of growing more like Jesus and is called sanctifying grace. John Wesley called it “going on to perfection.”

Origami Flames

Introduce the Activity:

Say: Today we are going to make flames using a technique of paper folding called origami. Origami is the ancient art of paper folding. Origami comes from the Japanese word 'oru' which means 'to fold' and 'kami' meaning 'paper'. 

Our flames will be used on Pentecost Sunday in worship. Each person will make a flame and attach it to a dowel with fishing line. We’ll make other flames that will be used to hang from the ceiling in the Fellowship Hall for the 9:01 service. 

As children are working discuss:

Why do you think we are making origami flames?

The flame is a symbol of the Holy Spirit – because of the story of Pentecost. There are other places in the Bible where God is seen as fire or flame. Can you think of any? (Moses - burning bush, Elijah – fiery chariot, Emmaus Walk – hearts burning within them)

What are some other symbols of the Holy Spirit? (descending dove, wind, light)

Each of these symbols remind us of a story/time in the Bible when the Holy Spirit was revealed in that form. How are symbols help us? 

Refer to additional discussion questions above as children work. 

Directions:

  1. Show the children a completed flame.
  2. Pass out paper squares to children. Children should each make at least three flames (one on dowel, and two for hanging).
  3. Try to make a variety of sizes.
  4. Demonstrate step by step how to fold the flame and have children do each step after you demonstrate it.
  5. Have shepherds help if any children struggle. Older kids can help younger kids.
  6. For K-2 graders, it will be helpful to have shepherds with each 2-3 children.

 

Folding tips:

  • Try to be as accurate as possible with your folds.
  • Line edges up carefully.
  • Make sharp folds – use your fingernail to sharpen the crease.
  • Origami terms:
  • Valley folds – peak down like a “V”
  • Mountain folds – peak up like a mountain
  1. Once flame is completed, tape one end of a 24-inch length of fishing line to the valley fold in the back of the flame. Tape the other end to a dowel.
  2. Encourage children to make additional flames. They may each take ONE flame home. Keep the others for Pentecost Sunday decorating.

 

Reflection:

The last ten minutes should be reserved for journal time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned.  

Journal Questions:

Grades K-2: Draw a picture of one symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Grades 3-5:  Write names/symbols of the Holy Spirit. Which one is most meaningful to you. Why? 

Closing Prayer
Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends. Remind the children of one word or concept from today’s session. Holy Spirit, Christian, power, courage are some possibilities. Ask for prayer requests and pray together, ending with the Lord’s Prayer. 

Clean-up
Help Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away. Gather all the props and costumes and put them away in the prop and costume closet.


 

A lesson from State Street UMC,
Bristol, VA

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

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Pentecost: Spirit, Wind and Flame

Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will reenact six different scenes from the story.

Scripture References: 

NIV Adventure Bible – John 14:15-21, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-47

  • The Picture Bible – page 673-675, 677 to top of page 681
     

Memory Verse:  
Acts 2:4 

Theme: 
Jesus’ promise to his disciples of a helper, the Holy Spirit, comes on the day of Pentecost and fills the disciples with courage and power. The Holy Spirit gives strength and courage to all believers today as well!

Lesson Objectives:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will understand the meaning of the word Pentecost.
  • Children will understand that Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the Church.
  • Children will recognize some of the symbols of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit.
  • Children will recognize that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity.
  • Children will understand that the Holy Spirit gives strength and power to believers.
  • Children will discuss situations where the Holy Spirit can help them.
  • Children will memorize Acts 2:4
     

Advanced Preparations/Room Set Up:   

  • Read the background information and lesson materials.
  • Gather necessary props: fans for wind, red and orange crepe paper (or tissue paper) for flames, Bible costumes.
  • Cut apart the streamers into 18 inch lengths.
  • Twist 3-4 streamers together at one end and wrap with masking tape or staple. OR cut red/orange/yelow tisse paper into flame shapes. Twist the bottom together to make flames and secure with a small strip of masking tape or staple together.
  • Make “Scene Title Cards” for each of the scenes.
  • Set out costumes before children arrive to speed up costuming!


Supplies:

  • Orange and red crepe paper streamers or tissue paper cut into flame shapes
  • Masking tape or stapler
  • Fan
  • Biblical costumes/head drapes


Important Note for Drama Workshop Leaders:

  • You may wish to organize costumes or puppets ahead of time to cut down on a flurry of activity and possible hurt feelings. Have props ready ahead of time. This is especially important for the younger children. The older children often are very creative with props and costumes.
  • You will want to limit the amount of time the children are allowed to dress-up.  (They can easily spend the entire class time selecting costumes!) We have found that often simple head drapes are sufficient for most dramas and take much less dressing time!
  • Be sure that all children are involved in some way. Some children are intimidated by the prospect of being on a stage.  Offer them alternative roles as well as the children who do not have main parts.  They can always be “sound effects” or “crowds” or stagehands to help change scenery, or video camera operators (for the older children). Remember as well that children can draw the backdrop for the drama on the blackboard or videotape the plays (older children).
  • To eliminate competition, you may wish to place the names of characters in a hat and have children choose their parts. 
  • Be sure to explain the activity to the children and ask for questions.
  • Even though videotaping the activities may seem unnecessary, videotaping seems to encourage better behavior from the children.
  • Have fun and make this fun for the children!
  • The purpose of the drama workshop is not to create a polished performance.  Through the activity, children will explore the story in depth.  Feel free to pause and discuss details as they arise, add more information (using the Background information and resources) and answer questions along the way. 
     

Please start on time! 

Time Guidelines:

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



Lesson Plan


Early Arrival Activity
Have children draw a crowd of people with surprised looks on their faces on the blackboard. Review the memory verse with the children. Children can also make the tissue paper flames for the drama. (see instructions below)

Opening:

Welcome the children as they arrive. Please wear a nametag and help the shepherds distribute nametags to the children. Begin each class with introductions. Tell the children that today they will be learning about the special day called Pentecost, when God sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples. 

Opening Prayer
Please begin each session with prayer.  “Loving and Powerful God, Thank you for this day and for the amazing stories in the Bible that teach us about you. AMEN.” 

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the Background Information to help you introduce the story. 

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the Week 2, 3, 4 directions for Bible Study after the first week of the rotation. 

You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Dig:

Introduce the Story

After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples for an additional forty days. Before he ascended into heaven, he told them to go everywhere and tell people about the gospel – the good news! But first Jesus also told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and to wait for the gift or helper the Father would send. Jesus knew the disciples would need help to spread the gospel. They needed the power of God living in them to give them strength to share Jesus’ message with the world.They needed the Holy Spirit! 

Jewish people celebrate several feasts or special holidays throughout the year. Passover is their most important feast and celebration where they remember God’s miraculous deliverance of them from slavery in Egypt. This is what the disciples and Jesus were celebrating at the Last Supper (we just studied this last month). Another feast is called First Fruits. During this feast the people celebrate the very first of the harvest, offering thanks to God. Jesus rose from the dead on this feast day!  (what we call Easter). Fifty days after First Fruits is a celebration called Pentecost (which means 50 days) or Feast of Harvest. This is a celebration of the second harvest when more crops are available. Pentecost is a BIG celebration for the church today because God used this special day to bring about a BIG harvest – but not of crops, of new believers! 

Let’s see what happened! 

Bible Study: Grades K-2 (Week #1 only)

The Picture Bible

 Where would we find a story that talks about Jesus’ followers in the Bible?  (New Testament)

Help the children locate the story on page 673. BRIEFLY review/paraphrase the story on the following pages – 674 to top of page 675, then 677 to top of page 681. Please be brief – the story will be reviewed through the drama activity. 

Bible Study:  Grades 3-5 (Week #1 only)

NIV Adventure Bible

Scripture:  John 14:15-21, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-47 

Where would we find a story about Jesus’ followers in the Bible? (New Testament) 

This month’s story is found in the book of Acts in the New Testament. Acts is a book of history, telling all about the actions (ACTS) of the disciples and the growth of the early Christian church. 

Help the children locate John 14:15-17. Read as they follow along.

Next read Acts 1:1-11 and Acts 2:1-13

Paraphrase Peter’s great sermon to the crowd and end with Acts 2:40-41. 

Bible Study: Weeks 2, 3, 4

Use this activity when children are familiar with the story or after the first week of the rotation. 

Directions:

  1. Have children locate the story in their Bibles and keep their Bibles open to find answers if they can’t remember.
  2. Use the “Title Scene Cards” and their Bibles to have them sequence the story.
  3. Have them fill in additional details from each scene. 


Discussion

  • What instructions did Jesus give the disciples before he ascended into heaven? (go tell the good news to the whole world, wait in Jerusalem until the “helper” comes)
  • What is the name of the feast the Jewish people celebrate 50 days after First Fruits (Easter)?  (Pentecost)
  • Describe what happened on the morning of Pentecost?  (the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, flames of fire above their heads, rushing wind sound)
  • How did the Holy Spirit affect the disciples? (they could speak in different languages, they felt powerful and courageous, they shared the good news with crowds of people)
  • How did those around them on that Pentecost morning react?  What would you do if suddenly people at your school acted like that?  What would you think?

 

Questions for later sessions in the rotation (deeper reflection):

  • What evidence did the disciples show that Jesus Christ is real? That the Holy Spirit is real? (Compare the disciples’ behavior and actions (especially Peter) before Pentecost and after.)
  • The Bible teaches us not to “judge” others. But the Bible also teaches that if someone is a Christian it ought to show in his/her life. What evidence was present in the disciples’ lives to show others they were believers?
  • What evidence is in YOUR life to show others you are a believer?
  • Jesus called the Holy Spirit by several names: (Comforter, Spirit of Truth, helper) How did the Holy Spirit help the disciples?
  • How can the Holy Spirit help you?
  • Where in our story did we see the power of the Holy Spirit? (Peter’s preaching, the number of people who believed)
  • When is a time that you have felt the Holy Spirit’s power?
  • Jesus knew that on our own, we can’t truly follow God’s ways. The Holy Spirit helps us know what God wants and gives us the strength and the courage to do it. The Holy Spirit helps us grow more and more like Jesus. This is the GOAL OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE – to become like Jesus!
  • Pentecost is often called the “birthday of the Church.” Why is that a good name for Pentecost?

                  

Memory Verse

Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time.  

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:4 

When we believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and ask for forgiveness for our sins, we become a Christian ('saved').  We are made right with God and become God’s friend forever. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us – and is with us forever too. The Holy Spirit is our helper and gives us power and strength to live like Jesus! We can’t do this on our own; we need the Holy Spirit’s help! 

Teacher Note:  It is especially appropriate here to share moments when you have elt the presence of the Holy Spirit in your own lives. These personal testimonies can be very powerful and help the children as they learn to be more sensitive to the Spirit’s work in their own lives. 

Important Note for 3-5 graders (later weeks in the rotation): 

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity – the three-in-one God we worship. The Holy Spirit is active in our lives even before we are Christians; this is called prevenient grace. The Holy Spirit woos us, nudges us, and draws us closer and closer to Christ. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and become a Christian (what some people call 'saved'), we are made right with God. That is justifying grace. The Holy Spirit now dwells within us! Now the Holy Spirit has an even closer relationship with us and continues to communicate with us, giving us God’s power and helping us grow ever closer to God and more and more like Christ (the goal of the Christian life is to become like Christ!). The action of the Holy Spirit after we become Christians is a lifelong process of growing more like Jesus and is called sanctifying grace. John Wesley called this “going on to perfection.” 

Drama - The Holy Spirit Comes:

Directions:

  1. Review the different characters needed for the play (disciples – especially Peter, Jesus, crowd) 
  2. Assign parts and include one or two children to create the wind (using fans).
  3. Help children dress in simple Bible costumes. You may wish to just use head-drapes to simplify!
  4. Walk the children through the basic story as outlined below. Discuss what is happening and what the disciples and others present might have been feeling/seeing/hearing. Then encourage them to act out the scenes. As each scene is acted out, tape the correct “Scene Title Card”  to the blackboard – this will help identify the scenes in photographs.
    1. “Wait in Jerusalem.”
    2. Pentecost morning – wind and flames and different languages.
    3. Crowds are amazed!
    4. You are all drunk!
    5. Peter preaches! 
    6. 3000 people become believers!
    7. Take pictures of the various scenes.
    8. Consider videotaping the different scenes.  

Follow-up Discussion:

  • What do you think it must have been like to be present on the day of Pentecost?
  • What would have been the most surprising part to you?
  • How do you think you would have reacted?
  • What do you think about the change in the disciples after Pentecost?
  • How has the Holy Spirit acted in your life?   

 

Reflection:

The last ten minutes should be reserved for journal time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned.  

Journal Questions:

Grades K-2: Draw a picture showing the disciples when the Holy Spirit came.

Grades 3-5:  What does this story teach you about God? 

Closing Prayer
Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends.  Remind the children of one word or concept from today’s session. Holy Spirit, Christian, power, courage are some possibilities. Ask for prayer requests and pray together, ending with the Lord’s Prayer. 

Clean-up
Help Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away. Gather all the props and costumes and put them away in the prop and costume closet.


 

A lesson from State Street UMC, Bristol, VA

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

 

 

Pentecost: Spirit, Wind and Flame

Computer Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will explore the story of Pentecost and describe the good news in their own words using Let’s Talk software. (Discussion and activities adapted from suggestions from Neil MacQueen, www.sundaysotware.com)

Scripture References: 

NIV Adventure Bible – John 14:15-21, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-47

The Picture Bible – page 673-675, 677 to top of page 681 

Memory Verse: 
Acts 2:4 

Theme: 
Jesus’ promise to his disciples of a helper, the Holy Spirit, comes on the day of Pentecost and fills the disciples with courage and power. The Holy Spirit gives strength and courage to all believers today as well!

Objectives: See Background Information


 

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the background information sheets and lesson materials. 
  • Preview the software prior to class. (Feel free to take a CD home or come to the computer lab before class to preview it). 
  • Turn computers on prior to class arrival and insert CDs. Double click on the desktop “Let’s Talk” icon to open the program to the opening screen – see picture.
  • Make sure speakers are plugged in.
  • Make copies of the Conversation Now Discussion Question Guide and the Lesson Builder Guide – one per station + copies for shepherds and helpers.


Please start on time!  

Time Guidelines:

Welcome and Introductions    5 minutes 
Bible Study                         15 minutes 
Computer Exploration          25 minutes (10:45-10:50) 

Software:

Let’s Talk (available from Sunday Software, www.sundaysoftware.com)

Notes for Computer Workshop Leaders: 

This workshop can always use extra hands, especially when working with the younger children.  Ask the shepherds to sit with the children at a computer station and help with navigation, reading text and discussion.  You might also want to pair older students with younger ones. As much as possible, try to sit with your students as you go through the software together. The lesson is not what’s on the computer.  It’s what you and the students do with what’s on the computer. Guide your students through the content, share openly and facilitate their sharing with each other. Model your enthusiasm for the Word of God. 

Teacher Note: This lesson requires close contact between teacher and student, especially during the Talk Now part of the lesson. Watch time closely. There are three parts to the lesson. Follow the time guidelines suggested so you don’t run out of time!  



 

Lesson Plan


Opening:

Gather the children together at the large center table with their Bibles. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure you are wearing your name tag and help the shepherds distribute the children’s nametags. Always begin each class with introductions. Remember that workshop leaders rotate often and the children may not know you. Tell the children they are learning about a special day in the early church when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples. 

Opening Prayer:
“Amazing and Mighty God, Thank you for this day and for all the people who are here today. Thank you for your amazing Bible that has so much to teach us about your awesome power and love. Help us learn more about that today! AMEN”  

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the Background Information to help you introduce the story. 

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the Week 2, 3, 4 directions for Bible Study after the first week of the rotation. 

You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Dig:

After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples for an additional forty days. Before he ascended into heaven, he gave them some final instructions… he told them to go into the whole world and teach others what he had taught them. BUT FIRST… they needed to wait. Jesus knew they could not do such a BIG job on their own. They would need help. And Jesus had a plan to send them just the help they would need! They needed the power of God living in them to give them strength to share Jesus’ message with the world. They needed the Holy Spirit! 

Jesus’ disciples remained in Jerusalem as Jesus instructed. On the special feast day of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead, their waiting was over… Let’s see what happened!

Bible Study: Grades K-2 (week #1 only)

The Picture Bible

Where would we find a story that talks about Jesus’ followers in the Bible?  (New Testament)

Help the children locate the story on page 673. BRIEFLY review/paraphrase the story on the following pages – 674 to top of page 675, then 677 to top of page 681. Please be brief – the story will be reviewed through the drama activity. 

When you get to the top of page 679 put on the fake beard and stand and read Peter’s words dramatically to them.

Bible Study:  Grades 3-5 (Week #1 only)

NIV Adventure Bible

Scripture:  John 14:15-21, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-47

Where would we find a story about Jesus’ followers in the Bible?  (New Testament)  This month’s story is found in the book of Acts in the New Testament. Acts is the only New Testament book of history, telling all about the actions (ACTS) of the disciples and the growth of the early Christian church. 

Help the children locate Acts 2:1-41.  Read as the children follow along. When you get to Peter’s speech (Acts 2:14), put on the fake beard and begin to read the scripture. After a few sentences, pass the beard to the next person and have them read several verses. Continue until all the scripture has been read. 

Bible Study: Weeks 2, 3, 4

Use the following activities when children are familiar with the story or after the first week of the rotation. Have children locate the story in their Bibles. 

K-2: Have children look at the pictures in their Bibles. Have them tell you what is happening in each frame as a review of the story. 

3-5: List key words on the white board in the classroom. Instruct children to listen closely for those particular words and to raise their hand when one of the words is mentioned. Paraphrase the story. (possible words: wait, Jerusalem, Pentecost, fire, wind, Holy Spirit, different languages, drunk, 3000) 

Memory Verse

Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time. Help the children locate the memory verse in their Bibles. 

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:4 

Discussion:

What is the good news that Peter shared with the crowd?  (It may be helpful to think about what the “bad news” would have been -- for example: God is going to destroy us all!)

Write down the ideas generated on the white board.  

On that special Pentecost day, the disciples received a special helper, just as Jesus promised. The Holy Spirit gave them the power to proclaim the good news boldly and in a way that made sense to the people who were there. Everyone there heard the good news in his or her own language and understood it!  This is so important! First we need to understand what the good news is! Then we need to think about howand to whom we share the gospel. The “how” of sharing the gospel is both what we say to others and how we live our lives as examples. Being able to verbalize our faith is an important step as we grow more mature in our faith.  (Neil MacQueen, www.sundaysoftware.com). 

Today at the computers, we’re going to tell the good news to some different people. You must use words that explain what you mean – no churchy words allowed for this activity. 

For example:  how might we tell the good news to a surfer dude? A baby? A pirate? An alien? Are there others you can think of? 

Language Examples (from www.sundaysoftware.com)

Surfer Dude:  “It was totally radical man. Jesus is a dude you can hang-ten with anytime and not worry about getting thrashed by the backwash. He’s lookin’ out for his buddies from the big tower on the beach.”

Pirate:  “Avast ye scurvy swabs, know why you is scurvy no more? Because Jesus has walked the plank for ya.”  “Have I got a treasure chest for you. They made him walk the plank, argh…. But he leapt from Davey Jones’ Locker and is captain of the ship once more.” 

Baby Talk:  “Jesus is the best blankie.”

Space Talk:  “Jerusalem, we have a problem… the stone was rolled away in 9, 8, 7…” 

At your computers you will choose one of these characters (or create a different one) and work together to tell the good news in that person’s language. Remember, no big church words allowed!   

Let’s Talk – Grades 3-5

There are three components to this lesson. Begin with Talk Now. Next proceed to Lesson Builder and end with Conversation Now, if time allows. 

Advanced Preparation:

Let’s Talk is loaded directly onto the hard drive of the computer and does not require a CD to run.

  1. Double click on the desktop icon to open the program.
  2. Speakers should be plugged in to the front of the computer in the speaker jack. 

Part 1 – Talk Now – 10 minutes

Talk Now allows the children to build a character and choose its voice. They will then share the good news in ways their character will understand. 

Directions:

  1. Using the teaching screen, demonstrate how to build a character and choose a voice.
  2. Direct children to computer stations in pairs.
  3. Have children click on “Talk Now.”
  4. Have them build a character by clicking on the arrows, then choose a background using the arrows below. Last, have them choose a voice from the right side of the screen. Their character should reflect the person to whom they will be sharing the good news. It may be necessary to limit the amount of time they spend creating the character. For example, set the timer for 1 minute and when it goes off they have to keep the character as is – no further modifications.
  5. Have them create a name for their person – they may want to combine their initials to create a team “name” or simply name the person “Surfer Dude,” “Alien,” or another descriptive word.
  6. Have children click on the conversation balloon and type an explanation of the good news.
  7. It will be especially important to have adults close by for this part of the lesson. The tendency for children (adults as well) is to use standard church phrases to describe the gospel. What does “Jesus died for our sins” really mean? Challenge the children to go deeper and search for a new way to explain what Jesus’ death and resurrection mean. 
  8. One at a time, go around the room and click on “Say” to listen to the different computer stations. Some of the answers may generate more discussion! 

Note:  K-2 graders will enjoy having the computer “read” their answers, but they may have difficulty typing.  Assign a shepherd to help type or pair youngest students with older ones. This would also be a great time to invite additional helpers, such as youth to assist.           

Part 2 – Lesson Builder – 10 minutes

Create a Lesson allows children/teachers to create a review of the story and a 3-question quiz, followed by discussion questions. 3-5 graders will create a lesson for the K-2 children to use in their session. 

Directions:

  1. Pass out the handout to the groups. They will need to follow the handout guide as they create their lesson.
  2. Explain that their lessons will be used when the K-2 graders visit the computer lab. They will need to use appropriate vocabulary and explain the story in ways the younger kids can understand. 

Navigation:

  1. Click on the green arrow at the right hand top of the screen to go back to the main menu.
  2. Click on Create a Lesson.
  3. Click on Basic Information. Create a title and type in the designated space.
  4. Write a sentence in the Introduction space – include Scripture reference.
  5. Write a description of the story in the Content space. Children should remember they are creating a lesson for K-2 graders! Their content should describe WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW. Here are some key questions they should answer with their paragraph:
    1. Where were they? (Jerusalem)
    2. When was this?  (50 days after Passover – on Pentecost)
    3. Who was there? (the disciples, lots of people for the Pentecost feast)
    4. Why were they there? (to celebrate Pentecost, disciples waiting for the “helper Jesus told them would come)
    5. What happened? (wind, flames, power of the Holy Spirit)
    6. How were they changed? (they had courage, boldness, no longer afraid)
  6. Click on the Build a Teacher tab and choose a teacher and a voice. The teacher will “read the lesson you create.”
  7. Click on Quiz Questions and type a question, then the correct answer and two incorrect answers in the designated space.
  8. Next create Discussion Questions.
  9. Click SAVE to save answers so they can be shared with others.

If time allows:

Part 3 – Conversation Now – 5 minutes

Conversation Now allows two students to type back and forth similar to an instant messaging type of program.  

Directions:

  1. Plug in the headphones computer jack.
  2. Have each child build a character and select a voice. Again, limit the amount of time spent on this task!
  3. Pass out the discussion topics to each computer station. Have children “talk” back and forth about the questions.

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What might the disciples have been thinking as they waited in Jerusalem?
  2. What do you think they said when they felt that wind and saw those flames?
  3. How do you think it felt when the Holy Spirit came upon them?
  4. The disciples acted pretty strange…. What did some in the crowd think?  What do you think they said?
  5. Pretend you were there and talking with your best friend. What do you say?
  6. Pretend you were there.  One of you becomes a believer and the other doesn’t… what do you say?
  7. Pretend you are a new believer. What are you going to do now?

 

Click Red X at upper right hand of screen to exit the program. 

Let’s Talk - Grades K-2

Younger children should complete Part 1 – Talk Now and Select a Lesson using the lessons that the 3-5 graders created during their session. 

If you have additional time, have the children illustrate the story using Kid Pix software. You can assign each computer station a different part of the story to illustrate:

  1. Jesus tells the disciples to “Wait in Jerusalem.”
  2. Pentecost morning – wind and flames and different languages.
  3. The crowds are amazed!
  4. Some people think the disciples are drunk!
  5. Peter preaches a powerful sermon! 
  6. 3000 people become Christians!

Tips on Using Let’s Talk with OLDER students and NON-READERS 

from Neil MacQueen at http://sundaysoftware.com/site/lets-talk-lessons/ 

Sometimes older students like to goof around with Let’s Talk’s speech capabilities. That’s okay! …just don’t let it get out of hand. I will often invite them to “create one funny response, and one serious response” and that seems to take care of their need to make the computer say funny things. After a few lessons with Let’s Talk, they’ll have that out of their system. 

For the one or two who can’t get that out of their system, I will often ask them to come help me with the younger grades. Once they feel like “one of the teachers” they tend to settle down even with their peers.

Another approach that works well with pre-teens is to tell them they are “making the presentation for the little kids.”  Sometimes when they think they are just making it for themselves, they are reticent  or will try to impress each other (not in a good way!). By signaling that “this is for the little kids” it takes the pressure off some of your older kids to think they have to be cool. It’s also educational gold. “Translating” a Bible story and concepts into pre-school or early-reader appropriate language helps older students think through the concepts in a new way. 

As the teacher, you’ll have to help them think about what’s “age appropriate.” Vocabulary is important, but so is creating simple sentence structure and grammar. 

Younger children who can’t type still love to make their animated character talk. I’ve used Let’s Talk with four year olds! They think it’s magic. This is where having an older “typist” help them is essential. The older “typist” can help them formulate their thoughts, and correct their spelling. Sometimes, I’ll write “keywords” on the board based on the passage or our discussion, and let the kids pick the keywords they want to put in their Talk Now or Lesson Builder presentation. 

You can also PRE-MAKE a Lesson Presentation, then have the younger children (with their helper) select EDIT a LESSON, to go in and add their own thought on top of yours. That makes for a richer presentation, and they will still be thrilled to hear “their” words. 

Reflection:

Instead of Journals, bring the children back to the center table to reflect on the day’s activities.  

Discuss:

  1. How were the disciples changed as a result of Pentecost?  (the change in the disciples behavior is considered the best proof of the resurrection! A group of cowardly men went into hiding when Jesus died. After Pentecost, the disciples boldly proclaimed the good news of Christ to anyone who would listen! Think about Peter who betrayed Jesus three times and then preached this amazing sermon at Pentecost. His words convinced 3000 people to follow Jesus!
  2. How can the Holy Spirit help you share the good news?  (Feel free to speak about the Holy Spirit’s movement in your own life. Your personal testimony can be powerful to these young people!)
  3. What was it like to try to explain the good news to someone in the first activity?

 

Closing Prayer:

Gather children together in a circle. Review with them one word or concept from today’s lesson (suggestions include:  Pentecost, Holy Spirit, power, strength, good news). Ask for prayer requests and pray together, closing with the Lord’s Prayer. 

Clean-up

Help Shepherd collect nametags and put away. Gather all paper and pencils and place on the front table.  Remove CDs from the computers, placing in their storage cases and shut the computers down. Turn off air conditioners and turn lights out. Please help us keep our room neat and tidy.


Handout Grades 3-5 


Part 2 – Lesson Builder

Remember you are creating this lesson for K-2 graders. Use words and descriptions that they will understand! 

Directions:

  1. Click on the green arrow at the right hand top of the screen to go back to the main menu.
  2. Click on Create a Lesson.
  3. Click on Basic Information. Create a title and type in the designated space.
  4. Write a short description the Introduction space – include Scripture reference.
  5. Write a description of the story in the Content space. Remember you are creating a lesson for K-2 graders! Be sure to include: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW. You should answer these questions in your paragraph:
    1. Where were they?
    2. When was this? 
    3. Who was there?
    4. Why were they there?
    5. What happened?
    6. How were they changed?
  6. Click on the Build a Teacher tab and choose a teacher and a voice. The teacher will “read the lesson you create.”
  7. Click on Quiz Questions and type a question, then the correct answer and two incorrect answers in the designated space.
  8. Next create Discussion Questions.
  9. Click SAVE to save answers so they can be shared with others.

 

Part 3 - Conversation Now Discussion Questions

Directions:  Discuss the following questions with your partner. There are no right or wrong answers. Try to think of as many good answers as you can. “Talk” back and forth with your partner using the Conversation Now screen.  

What might the disciples have been thinking as they waited in Jerusalem?

What do you think they said when they felt that wind and saw those flames?

How do you think it felt when the Holy Spirit came upon them?

The disciples acted pretty strange…. What did some in the crowd think?  What do you think they said?

Pretend you were there and talking with your best friend.  What do you say?

Pretend you were there.  One of you becomes a believer and the other doesn’t… what do you say to try to convince the unbeliever to become a follower of Jesus?

Pretend you are a new believer.  What are you going to do now?


 

A lesson from State Street UMC,
Bristol, VA

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

 

 

Pentecost: Spirit, Wind and Flame

Games/Bible Skills

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will review the power the Holy Spirit gives to believers by playing a Spirit Relay. Older children will use concordances to find verses to help them in daily challenges.

Scripture References: 

NIV Adventure Bible – John 14:15-21, Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:1-47

The Picture Bible – page 673-675, 677 to top of page 681 

Memory Verse:  
Acts 2:4 

Theme: 
Jesus’ promise to his disciples of a helper, the Holy Spirit, comes on the day of Pentecost and fills the disciples with courage and power. The Holy Spirit gives strength and courage to all believers today as well! 

Objectives: See Background Information 

Important Note for Games Workshop Leaders:

The purpose of the Bible Quest workshop is two-fold:  to develop Bible skills and to reinforce that knowledge by having fun with games.  The games are not frills and fluff!   Playing games helps to cement the knowledge and reinforce the skills you introduce during the Bible lesson. Children learn best when actively involve, so please do not skimp on the games portion of the lesson!   Follow the time guidelines to help you stay on track.  Remember – in the Rotation model, children study ONE lesson or story for 4 weeks, so it is not necessary to cover every detail in each session.


Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the Background Information, Behavioral Covenant, Teaching Tips and Lesson plan.
  • Preview the Rotation Music CD. Play the music as children arrive and during journaling.
  • Gather materials for the games.
  • Write the words: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How -  one per index card 

Supplies List:

  • Index Cards 
  • Markers
  • 3X5 index cards (6 per child)
  • Concordances (several are on the storage cabinet in the classroom)
  • Bibles
  • small manila envelopes with clasps
  • markers/pencils
  • Christian stickers for decorating the envelopes
  • Assortment of tools such as Hammer, wrench, screwdriver, level, etc.
  • Cotton balls – 1 per group/team
  • Red copy paper cut into small flames that will fit on the cotton balls
  • Tape
  • Drinking straws – 1 per child
  • Masking tape


Please start on time! 

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



Lesson Plan

Early Arrival Activity

As children arrive, direct them to a table where you have set out the following materials:  Bible, hammer, variety of batteries, electrical cord, small electric fan, cell phone, ipod, camera. Ask:  What do all these items have in common?  Encourage them to talk together and share ideas.

Opening:

Welcome the children and take time for introductions. Go around the circle and ask for their ideas about the objects on the table. What do these objects have in common? Tell the children that today they will be learning about a very important day in the Christian Church – the day of Pentecost. This is the day God sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples! 

Opening Prayer
Loving, Mighty and Powerful God, Thank you for this day and for the amazing stories in the Bible that teach us about you. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to be with us so that we can understand you better and have your power living inside us!   AMEN 

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the Background Information to help you introduce the story. 

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the Week 2, 3, 4 directions for Bible Study after the first week of the rotation. 

You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Dig:

Bible Study - Introduce the Story
After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples for an additional forty days.  Before he ascended into heaven, he gave them the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  Jesus also told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and to wait for the gift or helper the Father would send.  Jesus knew the disciples could not carry out their task without help.  They needed the power of God living in them to give them strength to share Jesus’ message with the world. They needed the Holy Spirit! 

Jesus’ disciples remained in Jerusalem as Jesus instructed. I wonder what they were thinking as they waited?  I wonder how they felt? They must have felt a great deal of confusion, fear, anxiety, impatience, and perhaps even skepticism.  Then fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, their waiting was over….

Let’s see what happened! 

Bible Study:  Grades K-2 (Week #1 only) 

The Picture Bible

Where would we find a story that talks about Jesus’ followers in the Bible?  (New Testament)

Help the children locate the story on page 673. Review/paraphrase the story on the following pages – 674 to top of page 675, then 677 to top of page 681. 

Bible Study:  Grades 3-5 (Week #1only) 

Where would we find a story about Jesus’ followers in the Bible?  (New Testament)  This month’s story is found in the book of Acts in the New Testament. Acts is a book of history, telling all about the actions (ACTS) of the disciples and the growth of the early Christian church. 

Help the children locate John 14:15-17.  Read as they follow along.

Next read Acts 1:1-11 and Acts 2:1-13.  Paraphrase Peter’s great sermon to the crowd and end with Acts 2:40-41. 

Review the following Bible notes:

NIV Adventure Bible

Let’s Live it:  Super Help When we Need it Most, page 1187

Let’s Live it:  Power to Witness, page 1198

Did you Know?  What was Pentecost?  Page 1199

Let’s Live it:  Power to Love, page 1201 

Bible Study: Weeks 2, 3, 4

Use this activity when children are familiar with the story or after the first week of the rotation.  

Directions:

  1. Have children locate the story in their Bibles and keep their Bibles open to find answers if they can’t remember.
  2. Show the index cards and explain that you will call on children to answer the “5 W and 1 H” questions and how they relate to the story.
  3. Hold up one of the cards and randomly ask a child to tell how it relates to the story. (Call on children randomly, rather than “going around the table” as this keeps children’s attention more focused.)

 

Some suggested questions:

  • WHERE do we find this story? (Acts)
  • WHAT type of book is Acts? (history – for 3-5 only)
  • WHO was in the story? (Jesus, disciples, religious leaders, crowd)
  • WHERE were they? (Jerusalem)
  • WHY were they there? (Jesus told them to wait there, to celebrate Pentecost)
  • WHEN did this take place? (9:00 in the morning, during the Feast of Pentecost)
  • WHAT does Pentecost mean? (50 days)
  • WHAT is Pentecost? (Jewish feast of harvest)
  • WHAT happened? (Holy Spirit came, people talked in different languages)
  • HOW did the people who saw this respond? (religious leaders thought they were drunk, crowds were amazed)
  • HOW did it change the disciples? (they weren’t scared anymore, Peter preached boldly)
  • WHO preached an amazing sermon? (Peter)
  • WHAT happened as a result of Peter’s preaching? (3000 people became believers)
  • HOW does the Holy Spirit help us?


Taking it deeper:

WHO is the Holy Spirit? (third person of the Trinity)

WHAT is the trinity? (3 in one God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

WHY is this story important?

WHAT does this story teach us about God?

WHY is Pentecost known as the “birthday of the church?”

WHAT is the liturgical (church) color for Pentecost? (red)

HOW does this story help us?

WHAT is your favorite part of the story?

WHEN does the Holy Spirit relate to you? (see the discussion below about prevenient, justifying and sanctifying grace) 

Options:

Instead of calling on children individually, divide the group into two teams. Alternate asking questions to each team – making sure that children take turns within the group to answer the questions.

OR let the children choose a card and then ask a question that relates to that card. (just be sure to use all the cards and cover the details of the story)         

Memory Verse
Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time.  

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:4 

Jesus promised to send his disciples a helper, the Holy Spirit, who would fill them with power and courage so they could spread Jesus’ message to the world.  When we believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and ask for forgiveness for our sins, we become a Christian ('saved'). We are made right with God and become God’s friend forever. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside our heart – and is with us forever too. The Holy Spirit is our helper and gives us power and strength to live like Jesus!  We can’t do this on our own; we need the Holy Spirit’s help! 

Teacher Note:  Feel free to share moments when you have especially felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in your own lives. These personal testimonies can be very powerful and help the children as they learn to be more sensitive to the Spirit’s work in their own lives. 

Important Note For 3-5 graders: The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity – the three-in-one God we worship. The Holy Spirit is active in our lives even before we are Christians.... this is called prevenient grace. The Holy Spirit woos us, nudges us, and draws us closer and closer to Christ. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and become a Christian (what some people call “saved"), we are made right with God. That is justifying grace. The Holy Spirit now dwells within us!  Now the Holy Spirit has an even closer relationship with us and continues to communicate with us, giving us God’s power and helping us grow ever closer to God and more and more like Christ (the goal of the Christian life is to become like Christ!). The action of the Holy Spirit after we become Christians is a lifelong process of growing more like Jesus and is called sanctifying grace.  John Wesley called this “going on to perfection.”  

Ultimate Tool/Weapon Kit – Grades 3-5

(Adapted from an activity from Character Builders, Group Publishing, 1998.)  

Directions: 

  1. Hold up the tools, one by one. Ask:  What is this? (hammer, wrench, etc.) What are these items called?  (tools)  What is the purpose of tools?  (to help do a job, to make a job better,  etc.)
  2. If you were going to write a paper for school what tools would you need?  (pencils, paper, computer, encyclopedias, etc.)
  3. These are outer tools – what are some inner tools, things inside you that help you do a job?  (patience, perseverance, trying your best, working hard, etc.)
  4. What did Jesus want the disciples to do? (go and share the gospel, teach others about God’s love)
  5. What sorts of tools did the disciples need for the job Jesus wanted them to do?  (strength, perseverence, patience, courage)
  6. Who gave the disciples power and courage to overcome the challenges they faced?
  7. What are some times when you feel afraid and need courage? 
  8. What are some times when you are faced with making a hard decision? 
     

Say: God has given us tools to use when we face hard times. The Bible is full of people who tapped into the “ultimate tools,” scripture, prayer and the Holy Spirit. We’re going to create “Ultimate Tool Kits” to use whenever we need a little extra boost of courage or encouragement. The Bible also describes God’s Word in another way. (Remember, God’s Word is another word for scripture, or the Bible) Let’s see if you can find out what it says. 

Have children look up the “Armor of God” scripture in Ephesians 6:10-17 (verse 17 primarily, but verses 10-16 put it into context) 

What is the “word of God” called? (sword of the spirit). The Sword of the Spirit is your “Ultimate Weapon.”  (Some churches hold “Sword Drills” where children race to see how quickly they can find a scripture in the Bible). What do weapons do? How can weapons be helpful? How can God’s Word (the Bible, scripture) be a weapon that is helpful?

Children may prefer to write “Ultimate Weapon” on their envelope. 

We have Bible study tools that help us, as well. One great tool is called a concordance. A concordance is like a topical index. If you want to find a Bible verse about a specific topic, you can use a concordance.  

Show children the concordance and demonstrate how to use it to find scriptures on a specific topic. The Kids' Concordances are especially easy to use. Also be sure to show children how to locate the concordance in the back of their NIV Adventure Bibles.

  1. Give each child a small manila envelope, and several index cards. 
  2. Have children choose a Bible passage to write on several of the cards. They may have their own favorites (they can use this rotation’s memory verse) or use the concordance to look up passages (courage, fear, power, temptation, etc. are words that they can look up). They can also use the concordance/dictionary in the backs of their Bibles. 
  3. Write “Ultimate Tool Kit” on the envelopes using markers and decorate with stickers if desired. 
  4. When finished, put the cards inside the envelopes.
  5. Encourage children to keep their “Ultimate Tool Kits” close by and to use it whenever they feel scared, lonely, discouraged or are faced with a difficult decision.
  6. Encourage them to add other verses of Scripture to the envelopes too!

Holy Spirit Relay – All Grades

Children will play a relay game to help them reflect on the Holy Spirit’s power in their own lives.  

Advanced Preparation – before class:

  1. Cut out a small flame shape from red paper and tape it securely to the cotton ball.
  2. Test it with the straw – you should be able to use your breath to move the cotton ball across the floor to the other team.
  3. Place a strip of masking tape on each end of the floor with several yards in between for a playing area. 

Directions:

Say: The Holy Spirit moves among us, helping us understand about God and God’s ways and giving us wisdom, courage and power to live for God. The Holy Spirit is often described in the Bible as the ‘breath of God.’ When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, what did the people hear? (wind) We’re going to play a game that will help us think about the Holy Spirit in our lives. 

  1. Divide chidlren into two teams and have them kneel at opposite sides of the open area of the classroom (the area WITHOUT the rug).
  2. Team wearing the most red goes first.
  3. Teams will work together to move the “Holy Spirit” (the cotton ball flame) across the floor and to the other team. Once there, the first team will answer a question!

Questions:

  1. How did the disciples see the Holy Spirit? (flames of fire)
  2. How did the disciples hear and feel the Holy Spirit? (wind)
  3. How can we feel the Holy Spirit today? (in our hearts)
  4. How did the people present at Pentecost see what the Holy Spirit did?  (the effect on the disciples) 
  5. How can we see what the Holy Spirit does? (seeing how people are changed, how we treat others, etc.)
  6. Who can you tell about Jesus? (this question can be repeated multiple times)
  7. What does the word gospel mean? (good news)
  8. What is the good news? (Jesus came, taught us about God, and died for our sins, then rose again!)
  9. What part of the good news could you share? (this question can be repeated several times)
  10. Where can you find people to tell about Jesus? (this question can be repeated multiple times)
  11. How would you describe the Holy Spirit to someone who doesn’t know Jesus?
  12. What is the best thing about knowing Jesus? (this question can be repeated multiple times)
  13. What is one NEW thing you learned from today’s story?
  14. Why do you think this story is important?
  15. What is the most important thing to tell others about God?

Wrap up:

Explain that the Holy Spirit is a lot like the air around us -- we can’t see air, but we know it’s there -- we can see what air does (wind moving the tree branches, powerful wind like tornadoes -- we CAN see that), feel it on our face or in our hair, etc. Just like air that we used to lift the balloons a few moments ago, the Holy Spirit is always with us, and will give us comfort, help us be strong, help us to do what is right even when others around us aren’t. The Holy Spirit helped the disciples to go and spread the word about Jesus to everyone they met. The Holy Spirit will help us to live our lives the way God wants and to spread the word about Jesus too. Once you become a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives inside you, becomes a part of you and helps you always! 

Reflection:

The last ten minutes should be reserved for journal time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned.  

Journal Questions:

Grades K-2:   Draw a picture showing a way the Holy Spirit makes you strong and powerful!

Grades 3-5: What is the greatest need you have right now. Write a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help you with that situation. 

Closing Prayer
Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends.   Remind the children of one word or concept from today’s session. Spirit, power, strength, friend, helper, guide are some possibilities. Ask for prayer requests and pray together, closing with the Lord’s Prayer. 

Clean-up
Help Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away. Gather all the supplies and put them away. Turn out lights before leaving classroom.              


 State Street UMC, Bristol, VA

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