Post your Science Workshop (demonstrating ideas/principles) here for Psalm 8.
"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers"
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Magnifying glass and microscope activities.
Key/Memory Verse: Psalm 8 (NLT)
O LORD, our Lord, the majesty of your name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and nursing infants to give you praise.
They silence your enemies who were seeking revenge.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers –
the moon and the stars you have set in place –
what are mortals that you should think of us,
mere humans that you should care for us?
For you have made us only a little lower than God,
and you crowned us with glory and honor.
You put us in charge of everything you made,
giving us authority over all things –
the sheep and the cattle and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
O LORD, our Lord, the majesty of your name fills the earth!
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- magnifying glasses
- variety of natural things such as feathers, flowers, seeds, pinecones, and rocks
- ball (soft one for indoor catching game if you use that part of the lesson)
- whiteboard and markers
- signs (mentioned below)
- binoculars, several if you can find them.
Advance Preparation Requirements:
- Read Bible Background.
- Tape a red construction paper “God’s heart” on the binoculars for closing activity.
- Read “More About Feathers" https://quatr.us/biology/bird-...-project-biology.htm
- Follow-up (each week, for students’ first time in this rotation – that is, once per student): Print out the psalm on a postcard, and mail it to each student later in the week with a personal note.
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Science and Games Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Open with the following prayer. It should sound familiar to the kids later in the four week rotation because they have heard the psalm by now.
Psalm 8-ish Prayer:
“O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world! Your praise reaches up to the heavens; it is sung by children and babies. You are safe and secure from all your enemies; you stop anyone who opposes you.
When I look at the sky, which you have made, at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places— what are human beings, that you think of them; mere mortals, that you care for them? Yet you made them inferior only to yourself; you crowned them with glory and honor. You appointed them rulers over everything you made; you placed them over all creation: sheep and cattle, and the wild animals too; the birds and the fish and the creatures in the seas. O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world!” (GNT) Amen
Say: Did anyone recognize the prayer?
That’s right. It is our scripture passage that we are studying this month, in a different translation: Psalm 8 in the Good News Translation.
Talk about how the Psalms were written to help us worship. David wrote this Psalm – a love letter to God!
Say: Let’s read the scripture now in our usual translation: the New Living Translation. [Show the children how to open their Bibles in the middle to find the Psalms and then show them the big chapter numbers.
Reading Activity: Distribute paper and pencils. Read the Scripture: Psalm 8. As you read the verses of the Psalm, have each student quickly draw an image of what the verse is describing. Give them no more than thirty seconds to draw their pictures. It will be fun to see if their pictures are recognizable. And you are beginning the memorization process - unbeknownst to them. What does “majesty” look like? The results should be interesting to see. Intersperse the following five questions in your discussion.
- What BIG story in the beginning of the Bible does Psalm 8 remind you of?
- What is the question in this Psalm? Can you find it?
- How do you think the psalmist is feeling as he wrote these words? What is their emotion?
- Have you ever had a similar emotion or feeling? Where? When?
- What do you think the psalmist is trying to say about human beings? About God?
Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
In the Psalm, David talked about big things which God created that made David realize how awesome God’s power is. David did not have the technology that we have to look closely to see how things are put together - how awesome God’s creation is when you look closely at the cells and building blocks that make things work.
Alternate opening suggested by Neil
Play a game of "WHAT IS THIS UP CLOSE THING??
The web has many collections of amazing photos of ordinary objects which have amazing detail when viewed extremely close. The kids will enjoy guessing.
You can use a computer with internet access, OR find and SAVE them to your laptop, or PRINT them to show the students.
Example of one such site: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...mages_n_4151127.html
For example: what is this beauty?
It's a common salt crystal up close.
Today we are going to take a closer look using magnifying glasses and a microscope.
“Looking through the eyepiece of a microscope at the most common object can be an exploration as dramatic as walking on the moon. In many ways the tiny worlds revealed through the eye piece of a microscope are just as foreign and inaccessible to our every day lives as the surface of a distant object in space. So as you get ready to examine an object under your microscope, think of yourself as an explorer in space, even if it is a very tiny space. For the worlds revealed through the lens of you microscope are no less exotic, mysterious, and wondrous as the surface of the moon.” (Blister microscope web site, “Begin your exploration.
"Try finding something that's really unique to share with the class."
Give children magnifying glasses and a variety of natural things such as feathers, flowers, seeds, pinecones, and rocks. Allow the children to view things without magnifying glasses – what detail do they notice? Now use magnifying glasses – we often do not see how majestic God’s creation is unless we stop and look closely.
Several times during these exercises, REPEAT the Psalm phrase, "when I look at the works of your fingers...."
IF YOU CAN BRING IN A MICROSCOPE, have them look at common things under high magnification.
Say: What God created is truly amazing! And yet God cares for each and every one of us and made each and every one of us different and special! Let’s play some games to help us think about that.
GAME: KIDS IN THE HALL, HOW CAN GOD BE MINDFUL OF US?
what are human beings
that you think about them;
what are human beings
that you pay attention to them?
For older children:
Kids and adults find it mind-bending to think that God can pay attention to each one of us. This simple game-like demonstration will broach the subject.
Take the class outside or into the church's longest hallway for this game of "HOW MUCH CAN YOU SEE?"
Split the group into two and send each group to an opposite end of the hallway. The first group is going to try and see what the second group is doing. On cue (such as waving a flag) the second group is going to write words on a several signs --each getting progressively smaller and hold them up for the kids down the hall. Switch and let the other team draw/guess.
Back together, compare notes. Now show a globe or picture of earth and then send a student with it to the end of the hall. Kids usually think of God as watching "from above" which creates a problem if God has to 'see' everyone in the whole world. This demonstration is a PRETEXT for you to dispel this concept! God lives WITHIN. God doesn't have a body that exists in space-time. God doesn't have eyeballs. We are the works of his hands, is a poetic idea, but God doesn't have human hands and eyes, and thus, we can't really understand how God "sees" everyone and is "MINDFUL" of each of us. (Feel free to rephrase all this!)
For young children:
Sit in a circle. Pass around an object (magnifying glass or ball). Each child says his/her name, and names something that makes him or her special. The next child says his name and something special about himself, then repeats what the child (or adult) before him said.
Focus on verses 7-8: Children sit on floor in a circle. First child names a favorite beast, bird, or fish. Toss ball to another child who names a different favorite beast, bird, or fish. Toss the ball to a third child, and so on. Keep going as long as the children can think of different animals
A Binocular Activity Reflection:
Go back out into the hallway and say: "God's love is like a pair of binoculars. We think God is far off doing more important things than paying attention to us, but God's love and amazing powers enables him to keep his eye on us." Prior to this reflection, you have pre-placed a sign with the word "ME" on it down at the end of the hall. You have also now pulled out a sign marked "God's Love" to label the binoculars (to make your point!) Have the kids look through the binoculars but not say what they see. After each has looked, ask them all at the same time what the sign said.
Now, have them look down another hallway where you have placed a sign with the word "God" on it. On the binoculars you have now changed the sign to read: "Faith, Prayer, Worship, Bible, Service". Those things help us see God, who seems far away, up close!
Now place a "GOD SIGN" about 5 feet away and have the kids look at the sign with the binoculars TURNED BACKWARDS. "God" will appear far away. What things make God seem far off? Lack of compassion, sense that you don't need forgiven, failure to have a conversations God, not knowing where to look.... etc.
End with prayer.
A lesson written by Amy Crane from: River Community Church
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.