Psalm 8

Lesson Set -- Updated for 2019

Overview of all workshops in this Rotation

Updated in 2019

  • Art: Discuss stargazing and the wonder of God’s creation; create a crayon resist “Starry Night” painting and put themselves into the picture!  (For this lesson, refer to the Writing Team Art Lesson for Psalm 8.)
  • Cooking: Shape biscuit dough and recall Psalm 8:4, “the work of your hands.” Discuss how God took great care in shaping the world and each of us.
  • Creative Movement; Children will contemplate the awe and wonder of God’s creation by exploring Psalm 8 through expressive movement.
  • Another Art Workshop: (Because kids love Art) Illustrate adjectives that describe God, while creating a prayer triorama.

Scripture Reference:

Psalm 8

Key Verse:
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:1a (NIV)

Rotation Objectives: After completing this Rotation, participants will be able to:

  • Name that Psalm 8 is found in the Old Testament of the Bible.
  • Describe two attributes of psalms: David is credited with writing many including Psalm 8; psalms are songs & prayers used to worship God.
  • Share a sense of wonder for God’s amazing creation. (Discuss ways to pay attention to God’s world so as to nurture this sense of awe.)
  • Compare his/her own feelings to David’s realization of how God feels about us.


Story Background Materials:



The version of Psalm 8 that we are using, a combination of NIV, CEV, and NLT…

1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens. (NIV)
2 With praises from children and from tiny infants, you have built a fortress.
It makes your enemies silent, and all who turn against you are left speechless. (CEV)
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, (NIV)
4 Then I ask, “Why do you care about us humans?
Why are you concerned for us weaklings?”
5 You made us a little lower than you yourself,
And you have crowned us with glory and honor. (CEV)
6 You put us in charge of everything you made, giving us authority over all things--
7 the sheep and the cattle
and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents. (NLT)
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


Bible Story Overview

Psalm 8 is not the sort of Bible “story” that we typically teach. There is no plot to sequence, no historical events to learn... however Psalm 8 gives us much to contemplate:

  • What does it mean to revere God’s name?
  • What part of God’s magnificent creation makes us say, “Wow”?
  • What does this Psalm teach us about our place in God’s creation and in God’s heart?
  • How should we respond to our loving, creating God?


Psalm 8 is a beautiful example of a hymn or song of praise. It begins with acclaim for God’s excellent name (or character). God can even use “tiny infants” (the weakest people) to silence enemies. The Psalmist contemplates God’s works in the heavens in awe: “the moon and the stars, which you have set in place.” This leads to thoughts of the insignificance of humans. “Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?” paraphrases Eugene Peterson in The Message. The Psalmist is amazed with God’s concern (and love) for people. We are valuable to God! God considers us important! God has given us the duty of dominion over the earth. Yet, of the creatures on earth, we alone have a unique and intimate relationship with our creator God. What a humbling and also exalting experience!

What are Psalms?

The Old Testament book of Psalms is a collection of poems, prayers, and hymns used in the worship services of ancient Israel. The Psalms (also called the “Psalter") were written over a long period of time, perhaps as much as a thousand years. Scholars believe David was the author of many of the Psalms, including Psalm 8.

Over the centuries, Psalms have given us a language with which to communicate with God. The New Testament tells us that early Christians gathered and sang Psalms. Psalms are still used today in prayer and worship. What is the appeal of the book of Psalms? Various Psalmists were honestly sharing their feelings with God. Many of us receive comfort in reading the Psalms because we find words that echo our particular circumstances – from despair (Psalm 42), to praise (Psalm 100), from guilt (Psalm 51) to forgiveness (Psalm 32) and comfort (Psalm 23). Psalm 8 has been suggested as one to read, “to understand your self more clearly.” When we may not be able to form words, the Psalms speak for us; their honesty guides us to a deeper relationship with God. Author Max Lucado says Psalms are a collection “strung together by one common thread – a heart hungry for God.”

Psalm 8

Psalm 8 is a beautiful example of a hymn or song of praise. It is the first hymn of praise found in the Psalter. It is unlike any other hymn of praise in the Old Testament in that the entire Psalm is composed as a direct address to God (Mays, pg 65). Imagine David, keeping watch over a flock of sheep. It is nighttime. There is no light pollution to block the glorious twinkling of a vast canopy of moon and stars. Psalm 8 could have well been written in such circumstances. Psalm 8 reads as David’s personal conversation with God. It’s our conversation as well.

God’s majesty

Psalm 8 begins and ends with the same verse, exclaiming praise and adoration to God: “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (NIV) Notice that the first “Lord” is all in capital letters. This is to show that in the original Hebrew, the Psalmist was using two different names to reveal different aspects of God’s character. “LORD” was Yahweh, the name that God used to answer Moses at the burning bush, “I AM WHO I AM”. The second “Lord” was Adonai. It would be like David saying:

O Yahweh, God who is and always will be; unchanging God; holy one …
our Adonai, loving sovereign master; protector; leader; one who cares for us …
your revealed character (your name) is majesty. In all the earth there is no one like you.

The key to the Lord’s character is his glory, which fills the whole earth (Toombs, page 263). As a shepherd, David had many opportunities to see God’s glory evident in nature. What parts of God’s creation make us stop and say, “Wow – God’s name is to be revered.” David’s awe and amazement are expressed in his words: “how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Trusting God with child-like faith

David has praised God’s name. Now he notes that children – the weakest members of society – are God’s biggest supporters! Perhaps this is because as adults we too easily deny God? Jesus quoted verse 2 of Psalm 8 on the day of his triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:12-16). Jesus was in the Temple teaching and healing. Meanwhile children were shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David.” The religious leaders were offended; they felt what the children were saying was going against God. This Jesus couldn’t be God! When they asked Jesus to silence the children, Jesus replied with, haven’t you ever read about it in Scripture? It says, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.” (NIV) God’s glory is surely evident in the way God uses the humble and the weak to carry out his work.

Our place in God’s creation

Given David’s intimate knowledge of nature we are not surprised that it leads him to view himself and all humans in light of God’s glorious creation. While marveling at the moon and the stars, the careful sculpting work of God’s fingers, David ponders, “Why do you care about us humans? Why are you concerned for us weaklings?” (CEV)

We have to remember that the Psalmist could see a few hundred stars, but with today’s technology we know about galaxies and the infinity of space. This makes it even more amazing! In light of such complexity, such beauty, and the awe and wonder at what God has created, why does God bother with us? We are small and insignificant creatures, hardly worth God’s attention. “This is a profound section for those of us (all of us, really) who periodically start thinking of ourselves, and our concerns as the absolute center of the universe. Compared to the vastness of the universe, I am nothing.” (Martin) It’s a philosophical question that could lead one to despair. It’s important to keep in mind however, that the feeling of “smallness” doesn’t come from “small compared to a big cosmos” but from the awe of God’s amazing creation. David doesn’t stop with his question of our place in the larger scheme. It’s as if he comes to a startling realization: God considers us valuable!

You made us a little lower than you yourself,
And you have crowned us with glory and honor. (CEV)
You put us in charge of everything you made,
giving us authority over all things (NLT)

God has placed us in a position of honor! God approves of us! This is both humbling and uplifting. We have a responsibility – to care for all of God’s creation. This position as viceroy of God’s earth does not belong to us, but was bestowed on us as a gift by our Creator. It is good to consider: How can I pay attention to the splendor of God’s creation to gain a perspective of awe? How am I crowned with glory and honor? How will I respond to the world around me, given God’s trust in me? “God made man to be the expression of God's life … the means by which the invisible God would be made visible to his creatures. Man was to be the instrument by which God would do his work in the world and the expression of the character and being of God.” (Stedman)

Concluding reflection - Divine majesty and human dignity

Psalm 8 finishes with a repeat of the opening verse – extolling God’s majesty. The Psalmist, and now we too, have contemplated our place in God’s creation and find our selves humbled yet uplifted. “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"



Sources:
Bratcher, Dennis. “Introducing the Psalms.” 2005. Web.
Constable, Thomas L. “Notes on Psalms.” 2004. Web.
Lucado, Max. Life Lessons from the Inspired Word of God – Book of Psalms. Dallas:
Word Publishing, 1997.
Martin, Lisa, et al. Postings at rotation.org – discussion of Writing Team on Psalm 8. May 17–July 6, 2005.
Mays, James L. Psalms (Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1994.
Muncherian, Stephen. “How Majestic is Your Name. Index of Sermons by Text." 2001. Web. Stedman, Ray C. “God and Man. Folksongs of Faith." 1969 Web.
Toombs, Lawerence E. The Psalms. Nashville: Abingdon, 1971.



A Lesson Set written by Carol Hulbert from: First United Methodist Church,
Ann Arbor, MI USA

Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. 
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references
remain with this material

Original Post

Starry Night with Silouette

Psalm 8

Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Using stargazing as an example, discuss God’s amazing creation and the feelings of wonder and awe they invoke.

Using a Crayon Resist and Watercolor technique, students will create their own "Psalm 8 Starry Night" based on Van Gogh's famous painting,

Refer to the Writing Team Art Lesson for Psalm 8.


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Attachments

Photos (1)

Psalm 8

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

A hands-on cooking project shaping biscuit dough recalls Psalm 8:3, “the work of your fingers.”

For scripture and objectives, see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Bibles, kitchen timer, salt, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, honey, zipper sandwich bags, small containers of jams & jellies, and if needed: “non-egg” egg replacement product
  • Cups, napkins, small plates
  • Items in refrigerator: buttermilk, eggs, and soymilk (if needed)
  • Items in kitchen: bowl, measuring cups & spoons, mixing spoon, table knives
  • A binoculars (can be a toy one, but needs to adequately produce effect of bringing close, something that is far away)
  • One piece of red construction paper, scissors, Sharpie marker; masking tape
  • Handouts of Psalm 8
  • Copies of the recipe (see attached document at the end of this lesson)


Before Start of Class:

  • Wash the work tables.
  • Set out all ingredients. Decide if you want to pre-measure any of the ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 375º. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Cut the construction paper into a large heart shape. On the heart write, “God’s Heart.” Tape the heart to the binoculars in such a way that the binoculars can still be used.



Lesson Plan


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cooking Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. [Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: Today in the cooking workshop we will be creating treats to eat (or perhaps to share) and we will learn about Psalm 8. Let’s begin our time together with prayer.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.]
Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Majestic and awesome God, when we think about your amazing creation we are so amazed and filled with awe and wonder! It is reassuring to learn that you love us. Help us to think about your wonderful creation, the works of your fingers, and your gifts to us. Amen”

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Ask: What are your favorite foods to cook? [Not favorite to eat!]
Why do you like creating those particular foods?
How do you feel about cooking projects that allow you to be messy?

Say: We are going to do a project in the kitchen today where we will use our hands (and maybe get a little messy). In the cooking workshop we sometimes first read from our Bibles before we make “kitchen creations” that tie to what we learn in the Bible. Today we’ll be using our hands to shape and form dough. See if you can imagine how our cooking project will relate to today’s Bible passage.

Distribute Bibles.
Ask: Where do we find the book of Psalms in the Bible? (Old Testament)
Have everyone find Psalm 8 in the Bible.

Remind them that opening the Bible in the middle gets them close to the Psalms. Have the older kids help the younger kids to find Psalms. Show them that the word Psalms starts with a “P” but sounds like it starts with an “S.” Point out how chapter numbers are large and indicated with a range at the top of each page.
Ask: Who wrote this Psalm? (David)
How do we know? (point out the heading on the Psalm: “A psalm of David"

Say: David is credited with writing many of the psalms. The book of Psalms contains 150 chapters, so there are 150 psalms. It is thought that David may have written about half of the psalms.

Ask: What else does the heading material tell us? “For the director of music. According to gittith. Pronounced Git-ith (where the i’s are both short).
Say: No one knows exactly what a “gittith” is, but we suspect it was a type of musical instrument; it makes sense because the Psalms are songs of praise to God.

Have students take turns reading the scripture out loud. If you are worried about time, read verses 1-5, and verse 9.

Ask: Did that sound like a song of praise to God? (accept all answers)
It also sounds like a conversation doesn’t it?

Re-read verse one in a conversational tone.

Say: It sounds like a conversation between David and God. That also makes this psalm a prayer because pray is conversation with God. Picture this scene: David, in the fields at night watching over his sheep.
Ask: How do you suppose the night sky looks?
What did David think about when he looked at the heavens? (verses 1 & 3)
Say: David was amazed, even overwhelmed by the marvel of God’s creation! He said to God, “you have set your glory above the heavens!”
Ask: In one of these verses we read, does anyone catch a connection to what our cooking project might be? (verse 3 – “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars)

Say: Today we will create yummy biscuits by shaping dough with our fingers. We will discover that just as God made each of us unique, our biscuits will all look different.

Say: Before we start cooking I have another question. So here’s David, speaking in Psalm 8 to his Creator; first praising God: “how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Then David asks a question that flows from his feelings of awe.
Ask: What was David’s question; see if you can find it in the Bible? (verse 4 - why God, do you care about us)
Say: I want you to think about that question – why does God care about us? We can talk more about that as we cook.

ASK kids about food allergies.

Cooking Activity:
You and the Shepherd should wash your hands first. Then have everyone wash his/her hands. Offer aprons if kids want to wear one.

Based on the number of students present and any allergies, double or triple the ingredients or make 2 or 3 separate batches. Note: If an allergy is present for say milk: then all the biscuits should be made using soy milk. Ditto for the egg substitute. (It requires measuring and mixing with water.)

Have the students follow the recipe to create “Work of thy Fingers Biscuits.”
DO NOT over-mix the dough. The dough will be sticky. (That’s part of the fun!) Having kids flour their hands, helps. The shaping is best done right on the parchment paper.

Discussion points while working (or later while eating):

  • The phrase in Psalm 8, “the work of your fingers” reminds us that God was personally involved in creation. He wasn’t just creating from afar. God had a plan for everything to be in its place – the stars, moon, earth, oceans, etc.
  • As students take care in shaping their creations, remind them to think of God taking great care in shaping our world and each of us!
  • Ask: Why do you suppose God cares so much about humans? (accept all answers; we are important to God because we are part of his creation, God wants to have a personal loving relationship with each one of us)
  • Ask: Knowing that God cares so much about us, what should our response be? (praise, worship, prayers of thanksgiving)
  • Ask: Do you suppose this knowledge of God’s loving care changes how we act? (need to take good care of each other; care for God’s creation) [with older kids could discuss “dominion”]


While biscuits bake:
Set the timer and gather the students for a reflection activity.

Bring out the binoculars. Ask the Shepherd to go to the other end of the Social Hall.

Say:  On a starry night David, the psalmist, compared himself to the splendor of the sky. He felt small, like a tiny speck.  But he realized God saw him as large and important.  God had crowned all humans with glory and honor.  <Name of Shepherd> is a distance away but he/she doesn’t look much smaller than when he/she was right here.  Let’s pretend we are looking as God sees.

Ask one child to use the binoculars to see if the Shepherd appears closer/larger.

Say:  God’s love is like these binoculars, making us big and important in God’s eyes. Because God loves us, even though we are “tiny specks,” we are close to God; we are big in God’s eyes. In fact Jesus said, God knows us so well, that he even has the hairs on our head counted!  What a wonderful feeling to know that God loves us and feels we are each important!

Allow all to take a turn looking through the binoculars.

Closing:
Share biscuits with jam or jelly. If there are extra biscuits, students may take them home and share with their family both the biscuits and what they have learned.

Make sure everyone has received at least one copy of the Psalm 8 handout.

If you have extra time:
Involve students in helping to cleanup.


Resources:

  • Grady, Joan. Psalm 8: Cooking Workshop (no longer at this site). 2005.
  • MacQueen, Neil. A reflection activity that was in a Computer Workshop for Psalm 8. 2005.


A lesson written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI

Attachments

Body sox

5 children wearing box sox, interpret Psalm 8

Psalm 8

Creative Movement Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will contemplate the awe and wonder of God’s creation by exploring Psalm 8 through expressive movement using scarves or body sox.

For scripture reference and objectives, see above.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Practice suggested movements to the psalm or create others if desired. (See the end of the lesson.)
  • Gather the following materials.
    • Bibles
    • Handouts of Psalm 8 (1 per student; for students who haven’t received one yet)
    • Variety of colored scarves/fabrics or Body Sox™ (tubes made of a very stretchy Lycra)
    • Soft music and a means to play it
    • Some sort of noisemaker to gather everyone’s attention (if using body sox)

  • Before class:
    • Write the key Bible verse with the scripture reference on the easel.
    • Trim your copy of the Psalm 8 handout so that it fits inside a Bible. Set aside this Bible to use to read to the class.



Lesson Plan: Opening

Do:   Gather everyone sitting in a circle. Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Creative Movement Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Say:  Today we will be hearing God’s word and responding by expressively moving our bodies. First, let’s begin our time together 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: “Majestic and awesome God, when we think about what you have made, we are amazed. We are filled with awe and wonder. Thank you for being such a creative God. Open our hearts and minds this day to help us to learn more about you. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”

Dig

Do: Go around the circle and ask children to say their name and one wonderful thing God has created (repeats are ok).

Say: God is an amazing God. There are so many fantastic things God has created. When we think about all of them, it is mind-boggling! Many years ago, long before Jesus was born, the Hebrew people looked up at the night sky, or at a sunrise, or at the fish in the sea, and they thanked God for creating such a fantastic world. When they saw what God had done and they thought about it, they were filled with awe and wonder! They just had to praise God!

Ask: What are some ways we praise God? (accept all answers)

Say:  The Hebrew people wrote their praises down and used them in worship as songs or poems. These special praise songs or poems are called psalms. Many of them are collected together in one book in the Bible – the Book of Psalms. We still use psalms today when we worship God.
Ask: These psalms were written many years before Jesus was born. Where do you suppose we would find this book in the Bible?
Say:  The Bible is divided into two major sections or testaments – the Old Testament and the New Testament. We find Psalms in the Old Testament.

Do: Distribute Bibles. Have students find Psalm 8.

Say: It’s easy to find the book of Psalms. If you open your Bible about in the middle you will probably open it right at the book of Psalms, or very close.
Do:  Show them that the word Psalms starts with a “P” but sounds like it starts with an “S.” Point out how chapter numbers are large and indicated with a range at the top of each page.

Ask:  Who wrote many of the psalms in the Bible? (David)
Who remembers learning about David? (King David, David & Goliath)

Say:  David took care of sheep when he was young. There were probably many nights when he lay on the cool grass, looking up at the night sky. Perhaps it was on one of those nights that David wrote Psalm 8.

Ask:  Have any of you ever been far away from the city at night?
What did the night sky look like?

Say:  Sometimes when we see something such as a huge night sky full of stars, we are overwhelmed by all God has done, by how powerful God is. Listen for the things that amazed David as I read the psalm.

Do:  Have the children close their eyes. Read Psalm 8 from a copy of the Psalm 8 handout. [ It’s important to reinforce that this passage comes from the Bible by holding open a Bible to Psalm 8 even though you are reading the verses from the paper that was cut out earlier.]
Read slowly and dramatically. Have the children open their eyes.

Ask:  What did David think about when he looked at the heavens? (how amazing God is, how small we are…)
Say:  Sometimes when we see the vastness of the sky and the universe and all that God has created, it can make us feel very, very small… David is amazed that a God so huge can still care so very much for us.

Ask:  I wonder if you have ever felt anything like that? (allow all answers)

Do some creative movement

Say:  David wrote his feelings in Psalm 8. We can express our feelings by writing or by singing but we can also express our feelings by the way we move.

Do:  Have students stand up, and practice expressing feelings through body movements. Try anger (stomping around), happiness, or seeing beauty. Explain that there are no right or wrong ways to do these things; each person’s response will be different.
Explain that the only rules are:
* Moving safely so you and others don’t get hurt
* No talking (use your face and body to show the object/feeling/experience).

Say:  We will now create motions to reflect the words in Psalm 8.

Do:  Slowly read the first line of the psalm. Allow students to use their own motions or to follow your movements (just like a mirror). [Suggested motions are attached].
Go through each line of the psalm together, expressing the words with movements. Read the verse out loud and have the children echo it. [For younger students, consider shortening the psalm to verses 1, 3-5 and 9.] Repeat this process as time allows.

Do:  Give each child a colored piece of fabric. Repeat the movements and recitation, line by line using the scarves to enhance the movements. You may also choose to play soft music. Or use body sox.

If you use Body Sox...
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 of the body sox. After everyone is in Body Sox, sound a noisemaker. Stress that they move without making noise.]



Closing:

Do:  Gather up scarves and body sox and put away. Bring children together sitting in a circle.

Ask:  I wonder what David was feeling when he wrote this psalm?
I wonder which part of the psalm is the most meaningful to you?
I wonder when you might think about these words again?

Do:  Close with a circle prayer. Have anyone who would like to, complete this sentence…”I praise you God because you are….”

If you have extra class time:

Distribute copies of the Psalm 8 handout. Form two groups that line up facing each other. Have the first group read the first verse in unison. Have the second group read the second verse in unison. Continue in the same fashion, alternating groups until the entire Psalm is read. Repeat, breaking at different points, perhaps at each line.



Suggested Motions for Psalm 8

These are just suggested motions. Feel free to create different motions or have the children create their own. For other ideas, consult a book on “signing” or visit an American Sign Language website. (But be sure to not limit your movements to just using your hands.)

Lord – arms outstretched at sides with face looking up
Majestic – bring arms in to center of body and sweep upward and outward
All the earth – sweep arms from center to sides
You – point away from self
Glory above the heavens– lightly clap hands together above head, then wiggle fingers and spread out over head
Tiny infants – pretend to rock a baby
Enemies silent – bring index finger to mouth in “Shh” motion
Consider heavens – put hands to forehead and look upward
Work of your fingers – move hands forward while wigging fingers
The moon – cup one hand and raise above head
The stars – raise hands above head and alternately flick fingers of both hands
Why do you care… – lift hands to sides with palms facing up, shrug shoulders
Made us a little lower – arms at side with palms down, press lower, crouch down
Crowned us – pretend to place crown on head
With glory and honor – lightly clap hands together above head, wiggle fingers and spread out overhead
Put us in charge– place one hand in front, palm up, then repeat with other
Everything you made – sweep arms from center to sides
Sheep and cattle – place hands at forehead with fingers pointing out like horns
Birds in the sky – flap arms as a bird
Fish in the sea – move hand up and down to simulate waves
Ocean currents– add wave motions with both hands


Resources:
Flodin, Mickey. Signing Illustrated: The Complete Learning Guide. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1994.



A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI
Photo Copyright Carol Hulbert.

Attachments

Photos (1)

Psalm 8
Art (or Creative Writing) Workshop

Sample triorama
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Illustrate adjectives that describe God, while creating a prayer triorama.

For scripture reference and objectives, see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Bibles
  • A stiff type of paper (such as card stock); one already folded into a rectangular triorama (see attachment at end of lesson)
  • Handouts of Psalm 8 (1 per student - Create this using whatever Bible version you will use)
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons
  • Some plates or bowls or other containers to distribute the markers/crayons
  • An easel and an appropriate marker
  • Paper or plastic cups (6 per student) - optional


Before Start of Class:

  • Place Bibles around the table.
  • Place various colors of markers and crayons into smaller containers. (Makes it easier for students to reach when these containers get distributed around the tables.)
  • Fold about 15 pieces of card stock: hold the paper horizontally (landscape style) and fold into equal thirds. [Refer to the example.]
  • Watch this video on 3-2-1 cup stacking (optional - to be used if there is time at the end of class).


Lesson Plan

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to today’s Cool Disciples workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Say: Today we’ll be talking about words. And we’ll be illustrating some words and creating something that will help us in our prayer time. [Show them a blank folded triorama.] First, let’s start with a prayer.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.] A suggestion: “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Thank you for loving us and for wanting us to be your friends. Help us to see the majesty, the beauty and the wonder of all of your creation. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
Ask: Who can tell me what words you could use to describe a puppy?
Write their replies on the easel (soft, small, brown, etc.)

Say: These are describing words, words that tell us about our puppy. It is a ____ puppy. It is a ____ puppy. (Use a couple of the words the kids have given.) We call these describing words, adjectives. Adjectives tell us what size, or what color or what shape. Adjectives help us to describe something in more detail. Now we are going jump from thinking about soft, cuddly puppies to thinking about some words that we could use to describe God.

Ask:  Is it easy to describe God? (accept all answers)
Say: I would like to read to you Psalm 8. Listening to Psalm 8 might help you to think of some adjectives to describe God.

Do:  Make sure that everyone has access to a Bible.

Say: The Psalms were written many years before Jesus was born.
Ask: Where would we find the book of Psalms in the Bible? (in the Old Testament)
Why is it easy to find Psalms in the Bible? (because when you open a Bible in half you’ll likely be close to the Psalms)

Do:  Have the children find Psalm 8. [Have the older kids help the younger kids.]

Say:  As I read to you Psalm 8, be thinking about what sorts of adjectives would describe God.

Do:  Read Psalm 8 slowly and dramatically. Ask them to tell you describing words they thought of as they heard Psalm 8. List their answers on the easel.
[Perhaps you’ll need to prime the pump…Ask them how they felt as they heard Psalm 8.]

Start the project:
Say: We are going to be making a triorama – a three-sided standing card. You may choose any three different describing words, either from this list we’ve made or any words that you may come up with. Write these three different words, one on each of the three sides of your triorama. Though if you'd want to you could write on all the sides. Write them in such a way that the word looks like the adjective. [You may need to give an example:  The word ‘majestic’ could be written to fill the space. Give an example only if the kids seem clueless.]

Do:  Pass out the art supplies. You may need to help younger students to write. Students will want to unfold the triorama in order to work at the project.

Discussion (as students are working):
Say: One of the nice things about psalms is that they give us words with which we can use to talk to God.
Ask: What do we call talking to God? (prayer)
Do you ever have a hard time praying to God, maybe you didn’t know what to say?

Say: If you are ever having a hard time praying, or a hard time knowing what to say to God, you can open a Bible to Psalms and read a psalm as a prayer! For example if you wanted to express to God your feelings about God’s creation you could read Psalm 8 as a prayer…
“Dear God, When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, then I ask, Why do you care about us humans? Why are you concerned for us weaklings?”

Ask: Who can tell me about any other Psalms? (accept all answers)
Say: Psalms can be used as prayers. They are also used as songs.

Ask: Who wrote Psalm 8? (David)
Who remembers who David is? (King David, David & Goliath)
What was one of the jobs that David did? (shepherd)
Say: David spent part of his life as a shepherd, watching over sheep. In Bible times sheep slept outside at night, with their shepherd, under the stars. David is credited with writing many of the psalms. The book of Psalms contains 150 chapters, so there are 150 psalms. It is thought that David may have written about half of the psalms.
Ask: What was it that David was wondering about in Psalm 8? (Psalm 8:4)
Say: David asked God, “Why do you care about us humans?”

Ask: Have you ever wondered that same question?
Why do you suppose people are so important to God?
How has God shown you that you are important to him?

Closing:
Say: Keep your triorama where you will see it everyday. Perhaps on the dinner table at home. Use it in your prayer time with God.

Do:  Have each of the children choose their favorite adjective to share with the class. Have each student say a one -line prayer such as “God you are ______ (fill in adjective).” Close the prayer with your own adjective and Amen.

If you have extra time:
Distribute six cups to any student who has finished with their project. Have them do a 3-2-1 cup stacking formation while reciting Psalm 8. (Use the Psalm 8 handout.) The cups start off in a single stack and are separated to form a pyramid with 3 cups on the base. Each time a cup is touched another portion of the verse is repeated. A suggestion:

         O LORD,  our Lord,   how majestic   is your   name in    all the earth!

               1              2                  3                      4             5                  6  

 


 

Resources: Smith, Stephanie. a Creative Writing Workshop for Psalm 8 (which is no longer at this site).  2005.


 

A lesson written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

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