Ruth & Naomi Complete Lesson Set from State Street UMC

Ruth and Naomi: Women of Faith

Summary:  this lesson set includes the following workshops:

  • Music/Movement: Sing and do dramatic movement to several songs related to the story.
  • Art: Wheat art project.
  • Drama: Act out the story.
  • Games: Gathering Times Games each week before sessions begin.
  • Cooking: Make Banana Muffins and Barley Soup – share with local missions groups
  • Computer: Explore Amazing Bible expedition and Life Application Bible software. Write letters from Ruth to her home.
  • Video: Watch the story on video (Ruth - Testament).

Note: Extra Activity: Take Barley soup and garden items to local soup kitchen.


Scripture References:
Ruth, “The Story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109

Memory Verse: “Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (page 106, Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

Theme:
Friendship, loyalty, courage, love for those who are different? God loves everyone!

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Ruth as a book of history in the Old Testament.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will locate the region of Moab and the city of Bethlehem on the map.
  • Children will define: gleaning
  • Children will identify the following characters in the story: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, Obed.
  • Children will recognize that Ruth was a member of the family tree of David and Jesus.
  • Children will explain some of the Old Testament customs of gleaning, treatment of foreigners and kinsman redeemer.
  • Children will recognize God’s love for everyone.
  • Children will understand that God is with us and will use even difficult or bad situations to bring about good. (Romans 8:28 connection)
  • Children will memorize Ruth 1:16.

Background Information

 Where, when and who?

The book of Ruth is found in the Old Testament in the books of history and is actually a historical short story. The author is unknown. The time of the story is believed by most scholars to be during the time of the judges, before kings ruled Israel. The book of Ruth was written to show that God wants everyone to love and care for one another and to live their lives in service and giving to others. It also addresses the issue of how Israel should relate to foreigners. Lastly, the book demonstrates the lineage of David and Jesus. Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David.

 Ruth's best known verse

The book of Ruth is often seen as an inspiring story of friendship between Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi. Ruth’s loyalty is commendable and her famous words “where you go, I will go…” are often repeated at weddings.

A Love Story

The book of Ruth is also often described as a love story. Certainly it is a love story between Ruth and Boaz, but it is also a love story of the many good people who love and care for each other. And perhaps most of all it is a love story about God. Through this story, God demonstrates his great love for all people, even the foreigner, something that was a different concept to the people of Israel at the time.

 All things work together for good to those who love God

Alistair Begg, the Scottish Bible teacher, says that the book of Ruth should be studied with the template of Romans 8:28 over it at all times. “All things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” God is active in the world. He actively cares for people. God is behind all the good things that happen to us. “God is working for good even when the bad seems dominant” in our lives and our world.

The book of Ruth begins with a series of tragedies. Naomi and her husband Elimelech live in Bethlehem in the region of Judah. First we hear that a famine strikes the land. This is especially noteworthy, because Bethlehem means “House of Bread” and was known for its great provision. For a famine to strike Bethlehem is significant. Naomi and Elimelech travel to the region of Moab, on the southeastern side of the Dead Sea, seeking food. Now Moab was a pagan land, and much hated by Israel. In fact the Israelites had strict laws restricting intermarriage with foreigners and forbidding foreigners from participating fully in the Israelite community. Many Israelites believed God to be the God of Israel alone, and so foreigners were felt to be inferior and were rejected. But desperate for food, Naomi and Elimelech move to Moab.

There Elimelech dies leaving Naomi with her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. The sons marry Moabite women and live in Moab for ten years, but then they too die leaving Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah as widows.

Widows in these times were left with no means of support and were dependent upon their families to provide for them. Naomi decides she must return to Bethlehem in hopes that her family will help her. She is feeling totally lost and bereft. The name Naomi means “pleasant” or “agreeable,” but she now tells people to call her Mara which means “bitter.” She urges Ruth and Orpah to return to their families. Reluctantly, Orpah agrees, but Ruth insists that she will not leave Naomi. “Where you go I will go, where you stay, I will stay, your people will be my people, your God my God,” asserts Ruth. Ruth is willing to give up her family, her home, her faith to follow Naomi and to adopt her faith.

 Ruth & Boaz

So Ruth and Naomi journey back to Bethlehem. Upon arriving, they create quite a stir. Naomi’s family is impressed with Ruth’s loyalty, and happy to see Naomi, but no one offers to take them in. Ruth is forced to go into the fields to glean for food. Fortunately, they have arrived at the time of the barley harvest (usually in late April). Ruth goes out to the field of Boaz and asks permission to glean. The concept of gleaning means to pick up any of the crops that were dropped during the harvest. Israelite law required all farmers to leave some grain in the fields for the poor. (see Deuteronomy 24:19-21) They were not permitted to do a second run at harvesting. Gleaning was a right for poor Israelites, but it did not extend to foreigners. Boaz demonstrates his kindness by allowing Ruth to glean in his fields. Boaz also shows extra kindness to Ruth, allowing her to eat and drink with his workers and making sure that she is safe while working. He gives Ruth extra grain to take home to Naomi.

 Kinsman Redeemer

The story seems to indicate that Boaz is attracted to Ruth from the beginning. Certainly he is exceedingly kind to her, despite the fact that she is a foreigner. Then the plot thickens as it turns out Boaz is a relative of Elimelech, Naomi’s late husband. Naomi decides to take action. She sets about a bit of match-making. Ruth must fix herself up and go to Boaz at night and ask for his protection as her kinsman redeemer.

Kinsman redeemers were common practices of the ancient Near East. Israelite law required that a widow without a son be cared for by the brother of her husband. He was required to marry her and provide her a son who would be credited to the line of the dead brother and receive his inheritance. This would continue the line of the dead brother and provide care for the widow. In Naomi’s case, the situation is stretched to include a relative (not a brother) of her husband. And Ruth is the one offered, rather than Naomi. Boaz was a close relative. He could be asked to be the kinsman redeemer for Ruth and Naomi.

So Ruth embarks on her night-time journey. What was she thinking and feeling as she approached the field? The end of the harvest was associated with fertility rites and celebration drinking in the pagan cultures and some of these activities seeped into Israelite culture. Certainly the threshing floor could be a wild and crazy place for a young single woman. Ruth waits until Boaz is asleep and then lies down at his feet, uncovering them. Boaz awoke to find Ruth at his feet. She asked that he “spread his skirt” over her, which was a request for Boaz to be her protector in marriage. “Spread your skirt” is translated as God’s wings, the place where one finds shelter. Boaz accepted this offer but noted that there was one kinsman who was a nearer relative than he. Boaz kept her in safety that night and sent her on her way with some extra grain as a sign of his promise early in the morning. Then Boaz made good on his word, approaching the other kinsman who declined the opportunity (glad that Boaz was willing) and so the other kinsman clinched the deal by removing his sandal and handing it to Boaz. This custom was the traditional way business deals were sealed, just as today we sign a contract.

 Lineage from Ruth to Jesus

So Ruth and Boaz were married and soon had a son, Obed. This brought Naomi much joy and happiness in her old age. Obed became the father of Jesse, who was the father of David, who was in Jesus’ family line. This lineage is included in the last verses of the book.

In this story, we see how God uses the humble and the weak to accomplish his plan. Ruth, the alien widow, is lifted up as a loyal and true person who becomes an ancestress of the Messiah, the kinsman redeemer of the entire human race! Here in the Old Testament we see the promise that God’s plan is for all the people of the world, not just the people of Israel.


Definitions to know:

  • Gleaning – the practice of picking up leftover grain from a field after harvesting, Israelite law required this to care for the poor
  • Redeem – buy back, ransom, reclaim
  • Kinsman Redeemer – a practice whereby a near relative married a widow, provided a son for her to continue to line and inheritance of the dead husband

 


Some possible Discussion Questions:

  1. Where were Naomi and her husband originally from? (Bethlehem)
  2. Why did they leave Bethlehem? (because of a famine)
  3. What does Bethlehem mean? (House of Bread)
  4. Where did the go? (Moab – show on map)
  5. Why did Naomi decide to leave Moab? (to return to her family in Bethlehem, because she had no means of support)
  6. How were widows supported in these times? (depended on the charity of friends and family – they had no way to support themselves – the kinsman redeemer practice)
  7. Ruth was willing to leave behind her family, her faith, her home. Why do you think Ruth decided to follow Naomi?
  8. How do you think Ruth felt about Naomi?
  9. What do you think it was like for Ruth to leave her family behind?
  10. Have you ever been away from your family? What was that like?
  11. How was Ruth a true friend to Naomi? What characteristics do you look for in a true friend?
  12. What kind of friend are you?
  13. How was God present with Ruth and Naomi in this story?
  14. Who was Boaz? (a relative of Naomi’s husband)
  15. Why was it so unusual for Boaz to be kind to Ruth in this story? (she was from Moab, a pagan land that the Israelites hated, she was a foreigner, he wasn’t required to help foreigners)
  16. What does God teach us about caring for others from this story? (God loves everyone, we should love and care for everyone, our differences don’t matter to God)
  17. How can we care for others as Boaz did?
  18. What do you think about the Israelite law of gleaning? Was that a good thing?

 


Redeemer Conversation

 from First Presbyterian Church, Napa CA

This is an interesting comparison between the stories of Ruth and Jesus – especially good for the older kids).

  1. What does the word redeem mean? (buy back, ransom, reclaim)
  2. Who was the redeemer in the story of Ruth? (Boaz) Why? (He married Ruth and took care of her, gave her a home, saved her from a bad life)

Let’s compare the story of Ruth with Jesus. Teacher read the things Boaz did and kids try to think of a comparison of what Jesus did for us (read in a back and forth format).

SAY: Ruth perfumed herself in preparation to meet her Redeemer.

ASK: What is the comparison to Jesus?

 (We should be a sweet fragrant offering to Jesus.)

RUTH: told Boaz she would be his servant

 US: Jesus wants us to be servants for him

BOAZ: went to the city gates and interceded on behalf of Ruth. He bought and paid for her redemption.

 JESUS: Our Savior left heaven. He bought and paid for our redemption. Daily he intercedes on our behalf before God

BOAZ: Told Ruth not to be afraid that he would take care of her.

 JESUS; Tells us not to be afraid because he takes care of us.

 BOAZ: had to overcome obstacles to marry Ruth

 JESUS: overcame all obstacles, even death to be our Redeemer

RUTH: a foreigner, but Boaz accepted her

 US: we were lost but Jesus found us and adopted us into his family

Boaz and Ruth: blessed with a child. The child redeemed Naomi from being a poor, lonely widow

 Later in that same family lineage another Child is born who will redeem all who receive him – Jesus!


 Sources

  • Ferguson, Barbara. Cokesbury Bible Commentary (Joshua, Judges and Ruth). Nashville: Graded Press, 1988.
  • Rust, Eric C. The Layman’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 6 (The Book of Judges, The Book of Ruth, The first and Second Books of Samuel). Richmond: John Knox Press, 1969.
  • Alistair Begg, The Billy Graham Training Center – “The Book of Ruth,” seminar, 2002.

 


Extra Resources:

  • The Children’s Illustrated Bible, by Selina Hastings, DK Publishing
  • The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, Lion Publishing

 
We used the following bibles with the children, special notes used in lessons from each bible is listed below:

NIrV: Adventure Bible for Young Readers

  • Words to Treasure: Memory verse (page 312)
  • Let’s Live it: Choose Friends Wisely (page 313)
  • People In bible Times: Ruth and Naomi (page 313 and 314)
  • Life in Bible Times: Taking off a Sandal (page 315)
  • Let’s Live It: Rich Rewards (page 316)

Little Kids’ Adventure Bible

  • People in Bible Times: Naomi and Ruth( page 105)
  • Let’s Live It: Choose Friends Wisely (page 106)
  • Words to Treaure: Our memory verse (page 106)

[September 18, 2013 Volunteer Moderator changed reference of shoe removal to be that of kinsmen not Boaz.]


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

This lesson created and copyrighted by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, 2004. Permission granted for non-commercial, local church use, provided credit is give to the source.

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

Original Post

Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith
Music and Movement Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Using music to teach the story.

Scripture References:

Ruth “The Story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109

Memory Verse:

“Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (page 106, Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

Theme:
Friendship, loyalty, courage, love for those who are different. God’s love for everyone.

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Ruth as a book of history in the Old Testament.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will define: gleaning
  • Children will identify the following characters in the story: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, Obed.
  • Children will recognize that Ruth was a member of the family tree of David and Jesus.
  • Children will explain some of the Old Testament customs of gleaning, treatment of foreigners and kinsman redeemer.
  • Children will recognize God’s love for everyone.
  • Children will understand that God is with us and will use even difficult or bad situations to bring about good. (Romans 8:28 connection)
  • Children will memorize Ruth 1:16.
  • Children will experience the story through movement and song.

 Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the background information sheets and lesson materials.
  • Gather necessary supplies.
  • Preview the music.

Guidelines for Moved by the Spirit Workshop Leaders:

 Music is one of the best aids to memory. The use of music utilizes additional pathways in the brain that facilitate learning and retention. The musical selections have been chosen to coordinate with the lessons. Urge the children to find the connections in the lyrics and the style of the music. 5-6 graders are at a very self-conscious stage and may feel that some songs are too unsophisticated for them. Encourage them to participate by modeling participation yourself. Encourage the shepherds to participate as well. Try to find ways to take the spotlight off individual children. Give them microphones, rhythm instruments, costumes, etc. to help them “get into the spirit.” Younger children will respond better when physically involved, so include props, rhythm instruments, etc. to involve their entire bodies in the experience.

Music Selections:

  • "Love is a Wonderful Thing" Righteous Pop Music, Vol. 4. 1999. One Way Street, Inc. P.O. Box 5077, Englewood, CO 80155
  • "On Eagles' Wings" Group's Praise and Worship Song Book, Vol. 4. 1994. Group Publishing, Inc.
  • "All Things Work Together" Scripture Rock. 1997. Brentwood Kids Co. Provident Music Distribution, Inc. One Maryland Farms, Brentwood, TN
  • “Women of Faith,” Women of Faith: Bring Back the Joy, Integrity Music, 1998, 1000 Cody Road, Mobile, AL

Materials:

  • CD of recorded songs
  • Overhead projector and Overhead transparencies of song lyrics and memory verse
  • Book: Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting. ISBN: 0395664152
  • Streamers
  • Slips of paper with “Loving Acts” ideas
  • NIrV: Adventure Bible for Young Readers (Grades 4-6)
  • Little Kids’ Adventure Bible (Grades 1-3)

Time Guidelines:

  • Introductions/Opening Prayer: 5-10 minutes
  • Bible Study-Discussion: 10 minutes
  • Music Activities: 35 minutes
  • Reflection/Closing Prayer: 5 minutes

 


Presentation

 Opening-Welcome and Introductions:

 Gather the children together in the chairs with their Bibles. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure you are wearing your name tag and that the children have picked up their nametags. Always begin each class with introductions. Remember that workshop leaders rotate often, and the children may not know you. As the children enter ask them to give you one of their shoes. Tell them that they will read today’s Bible story to find out what a shoe has to do with the story of Ruth. (At the end of the lesson pass out the shoes randomly. Tell children to find their shoes and then to “complete the bargain” for return of shoes by shaking hands. (Adapted from Alternatives, New Invitation: Grades 5-6, 1997)

Opening Prayer: Loving and holy God, thank you for this day and for everyone who is here today. We thank you for the chance to learn more about you through the Bible and through music. Be with us as we study and learn here today. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

 Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Study:

 Ruth 1-4, “The Story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop begins with a Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children do not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the background information to help you introduce the story.

If you are teaching the 10:45 session, and the majority of your children attended the earlier session, modify the Bible study part of the lesson. Have the children locate the various scriptures, but do not read them all again. Paraphrase or have the children tell you 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 bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. 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.


Introduce the Story:

Say: The book of Ruth was written to show that God wants everyone to love and care for one another and to live their lives in service and giving to others. It also showed how Israel should relate to foreigners. This book shows the lineage of David and Jesus. Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David who was Israel’s greatest king. King David was in the family tree of Jesus.

The book of Ruth is found in the Old Testament in the books of history and is actually a historical short story. The author is unknown. The time of the story is believed to be during the time of the judges, before kings ruled Israel. Judges were rulers, kind of like our president, but they were not kings.


Grades 1-3:

Rising first graders have just received their Bibles and will need LOTS of help with this part of the lesson. Have the third graders and shepherds help as needed.

  • Help the children locate “The Story of Ruth” on page 104 in their Bibles.
    -Point out the red title. This tells the story from the Bible.
    - Look at the small black print underneath the title. This is where the story is found in the Bible.
  • Ask:  Where is today’s story found? (book of Ruth)
  • Next look at the smaller blue sub-titles. These tell you important parts of the story.
    - Ask: What does the first blue sub-title say? (Ruth Goes to Bethlehem with Naomi).
    - Review that part of the story with the children.
  • Have the children look at the orange boxes on page 105. A special feature of their Bibles is the interesting notes that are provided.
    - Review the People in Bible Times notes: Naomi and Ruth on page 105.
    - Ask: Why did Naomi and her husband leave Israel? (because there was no food)
  • Read the Words to Treasure note on page 106. This is our memory verse. Who said this? (Ruth)
  • Find the next blue sub-title: Ruth Meets Boaz.
    - Review this part of the story with the children.
    - Ask:  Who was Boaz? (a relative of Naomi’s)
    - Ask:  Where did Ruth meet Boaz? (in his field)
  • Read the next blue sub-title: Ruth Goes to Boaz at the Threshing Floor.
    - Review this part of the story with the children.
    - Ask:  Why did Naomi want Ruth to go see Boaz? (because he was her relative, to see if he would follow the Israelite law and marry her)
    - Ask:  What did Boaz do? (agreed to marry her)
  • Read the Let’s Live it note: Rich Rewards on page 108.
    - Ask:  Why did the people of Bethlehem like Ruth so much? (because she was so kind and loving to Naomi)


Grades 4-6:

Have the children locate Ruth 1 in their Bibles. Explain that this story takes place during the time of the Judges in Israel – a time before Israel had kings. At this time the Judges were the rulers and God was their king. Note that the book of Judges comes right before the book of Ruth. Ruth is a book of History in the Old Testament.

Because the story is so long, you cannot read the entire text. Instead, use the headings to guide you as you paraphrase the story.

Chapter 1: Ruth Goes to Bethlehem with Naomi.

Paraphrase this part of the story.

Read the Words to Treasure Note on page 312. This is our memory verse for this rotation. Encourage the children to memorize it.

“Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (page 106, Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

Read the People in Bible Times notes: Naomi and Ruth on pages 313-314.

Chapter 2: Ruth Meets Boaz.

Paraphrase this part of the story.

 Chapter 3: Ruth Goes to Boaz at the Threshing Floor.

Paraphrase this part of the story. Explain the kinsman redeemer custom to the children. (see Background Information) When Ruth went to Boaz and lay at his feet she was asking him to be her kinsman redeemer.

Chapter 4: Boaz Gets Married to Ruth.

Explain why Boaz went to the other relative.

Read the Life in Bible Times note: Taking off a Sandal on page 315.

Read The Family Line of David: Ruth 4:13-17. Remind the children of our earlier study of the Jesse Tree. Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus.

Read the Let’s Live it note: Rich Rewards on page 316.


Activity #1:  “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up (without your help!)”

 (Source for this activity www.Rotation.org : Christian Education Ministry of Kingdom Worship Center, Towson, MD.)

 Set: What is it like to need help? When was a time you needed encouragement and support from others? (Allow children to share difficult experiences when they leaned on another.)

Say: In the lesson we read today a widow woman, Naomi, who has turned bitter because of a series of tragedies. Another good woman, Ruth, realizes this and chooses to follow, give help, and support Naomi. This activity will demonstrate how each person must support another in order to accomplish a task.

Activity: Ask for a couple of volunteers to lay, in pairs, side by side on the ground. Link adjacent arms. Explain that the goal of this game is to get to a standing position with only one person using one hand. The other partner is helpless. The partner using the hand can only use ONE hand; the other hand/arm is locked into the helpless partner’s arm. Children will find that the helpless partner has to lean on the partner using the hand in order to get up.

Discuss: How did the helpless partner feel when he/she needed help from their partner? Did anyone have to tell the other person what to do to solve the dilemma/problem of getting up?

Say: As friends we sometimes have to rely on one other for help and encouragement to do hard things – just as Naomi and Ruth helped each other, and Boaz helped Ruth. When we feel helpless, we know that our real friends are there to help.

Song: “Love is a Wonderful Thing”

Tell the children the words to this song sum up the idea that “Love” can motivate people to do extraordinary, wonderful acts of goodness toward others.

Have the children listen and sing along with the words on the overhead as the teacher plays the CD. As they listen and sing along have them think up an act of love toward another to pantomime for the group.

After the children have sung and “moved” through the song once, allow the music to play for a while again while children take turns pantomiming their act of love. (If a student is shy about coming forward with his own idea, have some ideas cut out on strips of paper. Have the child draw a paper and pantomime the idea written on the slip. Ex. Visiting the sick, tithing, helping around the house, drawing a picture for a soldier overseas, etc.)


Activity #2:  “Reviewing the Story and Memory Verse”

Subtitled- “Where You Go, I Will Go”

 Say: Today we are going to hear a story about a woman who instead of taking the easy way, chose to take the way that was the most work. She would be going to a land where she would be known as a stranger and treated as a foreigner. But her loyalty was so strong, that she decided to do that anyway. She chose to do this because she was kind and loving.

 When I signal you in the story, I want you to link arms with the person next to you and march in place. As you march in place you will say the memory verse from the overhead.

Put the memory verse on the overhead projector so students may march and say these words with the beat at the appropriate time:

“Where you go, I will go;

Where you stay, I will stay;

Your people will be my people,

Your God will be my God.”

Read the attached BibleZone story, “Where You Go, I will Go” aloud. At each of the bold verses motion to the children to recite the MEMORY VERSE. (The children should have the memory verse memorized by the end of this activity as well as have a clear picture of the story of Ruth.)

(Note: can't attach this story for copyright purposses - this activity is basically a paraphrase of the story of Ruth and Naomi. Insert the Memory Verse periodically throughout the story.)


Activity #3:  “Understanding and Accepting Differences”

Say: As you recall in the story, Naomi and her husband traveled to Moab seeking food due to the famine in Bethlehem. They lived there and raised two sons who married two Moabite women. Moab was a pagan land (pagan-professing no religion; heathen. One who worships false gods) and was much hated by Israel. They had strict laws forbidding Israelites to marry foreigners. Foreigners were not allowed to participate in the Israelite community. Ruth knew and understood this but followed Naomi to Bethlehem anyway. To get food Ruth asks Boaz if she can glean in his field (gleaning- picking up leftover crops that were left after harvesting.) Gleaning was a right for poor Israelites, but it did not extend to foreigners. Boaz allows Ruth to glean in his fields anyway. Boaz shows kindness to Ruth and decides to overlook the fact that she is a foreigner.

Read the book entitled Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting. This story is about a homeless boy who lives in an airport with his father. They move from terminal to terminal, trying not to be noticed. The boy is given hope when he sees a trapped bird find its freedom. This book will help the children empathize with other children who are often ostracized for being different.

Song: On Eagle’s Wings

The next song illustrates that we can feel safe and protected with God’s love in our hearts.

Play the song on the CD, “On Eagle’s Wings”, and put the words on the overhead.

Ask the children to sing along with the words on the overhead.

Discuss how the music and words of the song match the themes in the book Fly Away Home. (It’s filled with hope, love, freedom.)

Have each student take a streamer and flow along with the music as the song plays through the second time. Encourage the children to feel the freedom and love in the music and move with it.


Activity #4:  “God Moves in Mysterious Ways”

Say: God is active in the world. He actively cares for people. God is behind all the good things that happen to us. “God is working for good even when the bad seems dominant” in our lives and our world.

Remember the verse Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” (we learned this verse last summer and sang it for the congregation) This song fits very well with the story of Ruth. Let’s go around the circle listing as many “Causes and Effects” from the story of Ruth and Naomi as we can remember. I’ll start. There was a great famine in Bethlehem. What was an effect of this? (One child answers, “This caused Naomi and Elimelech to move to Moab.” Next child may say, “The famine caused them to stay many years and raise 2 sons there.” Next child might say, “Each son married a Moabite woman.” Etc….)


Closure Statement:

If the children have forgotten to include the event where Boaz “completes the bargain” with the closer kinsman for marriage to Ruth, insert this information in the sequence. Pass out the shoes from the beginning of the lesson randomly to the children. Have the children find their shoes and get them back by shaking hands.

Journal/Song:  "All Things Work Together”

This next song describes how God has great plans that even we do not know about or understand. Even when it seems like things are bad for us, God has a better plan that will be for our good! Play the song on the CD, “All Things Work Together”, and put the words on the overhead.  The children may sing along with the words on the overhead while they answer their journal questions.

Reflection/Journal Time:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:

Grades 1-3: God loves everyone. Draw a picture showing how he wants us to treat one another.

Grades 4-6: God loves everyone and wants us to love and care for one another too. Write about a time you met someone “different.” How did you act?

Play the song “Women of Faith” as the children write and during the closing and cleanup.

Closing Prayer:

Gather the children together in the center of the room. Review with them one word or concept that they learned in the lesson today. (Love, compassion, faith, courage, kindness are all possibilities) Encourage the children to come back next week and bring their Bibles. Remind them to share the love of Jesus with others by bringing a friend to Sunday school, especially a friend who doesn’t have a church. Ask for prayer requests and pray together. You may ask one of the children to say the closing prayer, or you may pray something like this, Dear God, thank you for the great compassion with which you shower each of our lives. Help us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus to help others in pain or distress. Help our hearts keep the faith necessary to know that all things possible with God. Amen.

Clean-up: Help the Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away. Replace all instruments and supplies in the appropriate place. Encourage children to help you clean up.


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

This lesson created and copyrighted by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, 2004. Permission granted for non-commercial, local church use, provided credit is give to the source.
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith

Art Workshop: 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will decorate a grapevine wreath with sheaves of wheat and a heart. The wheat should remind the children of how valuable bread was as a source of food, and that Ruth and Naomi had to glean grain from Boaz in order to survive. Additionally, tell the children that Bethlehem means “House of Bread.” The heart represents the love that was shown to Ruth and Naomi, even though they were “outsiders.”

Scripture References:

Ruth “The Story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109

Memory Verse:

“Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (page 106, Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

Theme:
Friendship, loyalty, courage, love for those who are different. God’s love for everyone.

Lesson Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Ruth as a book of history in the Old Testament.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will locate the region of Moab and the city of Bethlehem on the map.
  • Children will define: gleaning
  • Children will identify the following characters in the story: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, Obed
  • Children will recognize that Ruth was a member of the family tree of David and Jesus.
  • Children will explain some of the Old Testament customs of gleaning, treatment of foreigners and kinsman redeemer.
  • Children will recognize God’s love for everyone.
  • Children will understand that God is with us and will use even difficult or bad situations to bring about good. (Romans 8:28 connection)
  • Children will memorize Ruth 1:16.
  • Children will create a harvest wreath using wheat to remind them of the story.

Preparation and room set-up:

  • Review background information and lesson materials
  • Gather necessary supplies
  • Cut a piece of twine for each child approx. 8” long and secure it to a wreath as its hanger.
  • Write the memory verse on the board in the room


Time guidelines:

  • Gathering Time Games 15 minutes
  • Welcome and introductions 5 minutes
  • Bible Study 10 minutes
  • Decorating wreaths 25 minutes
  • Journals/closing 5 minutes

Supply List:

  • 6” grapevine wreath, one for each child (craft store)
  • dried wheat, 8 or 9 stemss per child (floral section at a craft store)
  • Raffia
  • Natural twine
  • 1 1/2” wooden heart, one per child
  • Dark crimson acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue gun/glue sticks
  • Black fine tipped pen 
  • Scissors


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and introduction:
Welcome all children and introduce yourself. Make sure each child is wearing a nametag. Give the children a simple one or two sentence synopsis of what you will be doing during the workshop.

Opening Prayer:
Dear Lord, Thank you for our being able to share this day with our friends in Christ. May we learn more today about how you would like us to treat others, even if they are different from us. Amen.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Bible Study:
Each workshop begins with the Bible story. One of the primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children did not bring their Bibles form home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. ** Remember, that as the rotation progresses, the children will become 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 bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You can then fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background information. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that the children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

In this particular workshop, we will be reading about Ruth’s unselfishness and faithfulness to Naomi. While Ruth was born in Moab (a pagan city) she married into a family of Israelites. Her devotion to Naomi and to the people showed that through actions and faith, rather than birth we participate in the kingdom of God. We also learn of the love Boaz showed to Ruth and Naomi, who were “foreigners.” The compassion he showed them sets an example of how we should treat others who might be different than we are.

Introduce the Story:
Say: The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the most famous love stories in the Bible. It is a story of loyalty and friendship between two women. It is also a story of kindness and hospitality to strangers and a story of God’s love for everyone – no matter who they are or where they live. The story is found in the Old Testament. Ruth is a book of History in the Bible. The story took place during the time of the judges. Judges were rulers (sort of like presidents) with God as their King. Later Israel wanted to have kings, but this is a time before there were kings in Israel. The story took place long before Jesus was born, but it is especially interesting because Ruth was one of the ancestors of Jesus. Ruth was the great-grandmother of David who was in the family line of Jesus. Ask: “Where would you find the Book of Ruth if she was the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestress of Jesus?” (Old Testament)

For 4-6 graders say: If you look in your Table of Contents of your Bible you will see that the book right before Ruth is the Book of Judges. So Ruth comes right after that in our Bibles.

Let’s find the book of Ruth in our Bibles now.

Grades 1-3

  • Remember, the Old Testament tells about stories that happened before Jesus was born. Today’s story is about a woman who actually was one of the ancestors in Jesus’ family tree. Have the children locate “The Story of Ruth” in their Bibles (pages 104-109). (Rising first graders have just received their Bibles and will probably need LOTS of help!) The third graders can help the younger children, also.
  • Say: Look at the red title – “The Story of Ruth.” This tells us the story. Next look at the blue sub-titles. These tell about what happens during the story. Look at the orange boxes on page 105. Your Bibles have lots of really interesting notes and pictures that help us understand more about the stories.
    Read the People in Bible Times Notes: Naomi and Ruth.
  • Ask:
    Why did Naomi and her husband go to Moab in the first place? (there was a famine – no food)
    What happened to Elimelech and Naomi’s two sons? (they died)
    Who were Ruth and Orpah? (the wives of Naomi’s two sons)
    What did Naomi decide to do? (return to her home in Bethlehem)
    Who went with her? (Ruth)
  • Turn to page 106 and read the Words to Treasure Note there. This is our memory verse. Read it together with the children. Encourage them to memorize this verse.
  • Look at the blue sub-title: Ruth Meets Boaz.
    Who was Boaz? (a relative of Naomi, man who owned a barley field)
    What did Ruth do there? (gleaned grain – explain the concept of gleaning to the children)
    How did Boaz treat Ruth? (kindly, gave her extra grain, made sure she was protected)
  • Look at the blue sub-title: Ruth Goes to Boaz at the Threshing Floor
    Say: In Bible times there was a law to protect widows. It said that if a woman’s husband died the closest male relative should marry the woman and take care of her. This person was called a kinsman redeemer. (Kinsman means relative) Naomi thought Boaz was this relative. So Naomi sent Ruth to sleep at Boaz’s feet. This meant that she was asking Boaz to marry her and take care of her.
    What did Boaz say? (he agreed to marry her)
    Boaz and Ruth married and had a son named Obed. Obed was the grandfather of King David who was in Jesus’ family line. So Ruth was one of Jesus’ ancestors!
  • Read the Let’s Live it Note: Rich Rewards on page 108.
    How did God reward Ruth and Naomi for their faith and their good friendship? (gave them a new family, a new home)
    Say: Ruth and Naomi went through some very hard times, but God was with them through all of it. No matter what hard times we face, God is always with us because God loves us!
    What does God teach us about caring for others from this story? (God loves everyone, we should love and care for everyone, our differences don’t matter to God)
    How can we care for others as Boaz did?

    Grades 4-6:
  • Locate the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Note that it comes right after the book of Judges. Ruth is a book of History. Read the chapter titles to review the story with the children.
  • Chapter 1: Ruth Goes to Bethlehem with Naomi.
    Where was Naomi originally from? (Bethlehem)
    Why did she and Elimelech go to Moab? (because there was a famine)
    What happened to her husband and sons? (they died)
    Why was it unusual for Israelites to go to Moab? (because Moabites worshiped pagan gods and idols – not the one true God of Israel)
    Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. What did Ruth do? (went with her)
    Read the Words to Treasure note on page 312: This is our memory verse for this rotation. Encourage the children to memorize this verse.
  • Read the People in Bible Times Notes: Naomi and Ruth (pages 313 and 314).
  • Chapter 2: Ruth Meets Boaz.
    What did Ruth do when they arrived in Bethlehem? (went to pick grain or glean in a field)
    What was gleaning? (the custom to care for the poor, not harvesting the corners of fields or any grain that was dropped)
    How did Boaz treat Ruth? (kindly, generously, protected her)
  • Chapter 3: Ruth Goes to Boaz at the Threshing Floor.
    Boaz was Naomi’s husband’s relative. If a woman’s husband died, the closest relative of the husband was expected to marry and provide for the widow. This was called a kinsman redeemer. Naomi thought that Boaz was the closest relative. She asked Ruth to go to Boaz and lie at his feet. This meant that she was asking him to be her kinsman redeemer and to marry her.
    What did Boaz do? (agreed to marry her, but first needed to check with a closer relative)
  • Read Life in Bible Times note: Taking off a Sandal
    What did the other relative do? (took off his sandal in agreement for Boaz to marry Ruth and inherit Naomi’s land.)
  • Chapter 4: Boaz Gets Married to Ruth.
    Boaz and Ruth married and had a son named Obed.
    Obed became the grandfather of whom? (King David)
    King David is in the family line of Jesus. (Remind the children of our earlier rotation The Jesse Tree. These names should be familiar to them from that rotation).
  • Read Let’s Live it: Rich Rewards on page 316.
    Say: Ruth was willing to leave behind her family, her faith, her home. Why do you think Ruth decided to follow Naomi?
    How do you think Ruth felt about Naomi?
    Ruth was from a foreign land where they worshiped many pagan gods. But Ruth believed in the one, true God that Naomi worshiped. How do you think Ruth learned about God? (by watching and listening to Naomi, from her husband, God revealed to her)
    What are ways you show about God to others?
    When Ruth and Naomi moved to Bethlehem, the people accepted Ruth, even though she was a foreigner. Why? (because she was so kind to Naomi, they saw what she was really like)
    In what ways was Boaz very kind to Ruth? (by allowing her to glean in his field even though she was a foreigner, by keeping her safe and giving her extra grain, by becoming her kinsman redeemer, even though he wasn’t the closest relative).

Definitions to know:
Gleaning – the practice of picking up leftover grain from a field after harvesting, Israelite law required this to care for the poor.
Redeem – buy back, ransom, reclaim
Kinsman Redeemer – a practice whereby a near relative married a widow, provided a son for her to continue to line and inheritance of the dead husband

Art Activity: Decorating a Harvest Wreath

Supplies needed:

  • 6” grapevine wreath, one for each child (craft store)
  • dried wheat, 8 or 9 stemss per child (floral section at a craft store)
  • Raffia
  • Natural twine
  • 1 1/2” wooden heart, one per child
  • Dark crimson acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glue gun/glue sticks
  • Black fine tipped pen
  • Scissors

    Preparation:
  • Set out supplies
  • Plug in Glue Gun
  • Cover tables with old tablecloths to protect the surfaces of the tables

Create!
1. Have the children paint the heart crimson red, or they may choose to leave it the natural color.
2. The children should fan their wheat stalks (8 or 9) slightly, and tie them together with the raffia several inches down the stalk. Have the children secure the stalks so the height of the stalks is varied.
3. Thread a piece of raffia through the bottom of the wreath.
4. Place the cluster of wheat on top of the wreath with the tops pointing upward.
5. Hot glue the cluster of wheat to the wreath by gluing the part of the cluster that is tied with raffia on the bottom of the wreath where you have threaded another piece of raffia.
6. The children should then tie the extra piece of raffia around the cluster securing it at the same place that the cluster is tied together.
7. The children should write “Ruth 1:16” on the heart using the fine-tipped marker.
8. Glue the heart on the side of the wreath.

As the children are decorating their wreaths, discuss some of the following questions:

  • Where were Naomi and her husband originally from? (Bethlehem)
  • Why did they leave Bethlehem? (because of a famine)
  • What does Bethlehem mean? (House of Bread)
  • Where did the go? (Moab – show on map)
  • Why did Naomi decide to leave Moab? (to return to her family in Bethlehem, because she had no means of support)
  • How were widows supported in these times? (depended on the charity of friends and family – they had no way to support themselves – the kinsman redeemer practice)
  • Ruth was willing to leave behind her family, her faith, her home. Why do you think Ruth decided to follow Naomi?
  • How do you think Ruth felt about Naomi?
  • What do you think it was like for Ruth to leave her family behind?
  • Have you ever been away from your family? What was that like?
  • How was Ruth a true friend to Naomi? What characteristics do you look for in a true friend?
  • What kind of friend are you?
  • How was God present with Ruth and Naomi in this story?
  • Why was it so unusual for Boaz to be kind to Ruth in this story? (she was from Moab, a pagan land that the Israelites hated, she was a foreigner, he wasn’t required to help foreigners)
  • What does God teach us about caring for others from this story? (God loves everyone, we should love and care for everyone, our differences don’t matter to God)
  • How can we care for others as Boaz did?
  • What do you think about the Israelite law of gleaning? Was that a good thing?


Optional:
(Discuss with older children if time allows toward the last few weeks of the rotation)
Redeemer Conversation from First Presbyterian Church, Napa CA, www.rotation.org: (this is an interesting comparison between the stories of Ruth and Jesus – especially good for the older kids)

  • What does the word redeem mean? (buy back, ransom, reclaim)
  • Who was the redeemer in the story of Ruth? (Boaz) Why? (He married Ruth and took care of her, gave her a home, saved her from a bad life)

Let’s compare the story of Ruth with Jesus. Teacher read the things Boaz did and kids try to think of a comparison of what Jesus did for us (read in a back and forth format)
Say: Ruth perfumed herself in preparation to meet her Redeemer.
Ask: What is the comparison to Jesus?
(We should be a sweet fragrant offering to Jesus.)
Ruth: told Boaz she would be his servant
Us: Jesus wants us to be servants for him
Boaz: went to the city gates and interceded on behalf of Ruth. He bought and paid for her redemption.
Jesus: Our Savior left heaven. He bought and paid for our redemption. Daily he intercedes on our behalf before God
Boaz: Told Ruth not to be afraid that he would take care of her.
Jesus: Tells us not to be afraid because he takes care of us.
Boaz: had to overcome obstacles to marry Ruth
Jesus: overcame all obstacles, even death to be our Redeemer
Say: Ruth perfumed herself in preparation to meet her Redeemer.
Ask: What is the comparison to Jesus?
(We should be a sweet fragrant offering to Jesus.)
Ruth: told Boaz she would be his servant
Us: Jesus wants us to be servants for him
Boaz: went to the city gates and interceded on behalf of Ruth. He bought and paid for her redemption.
Jesus: Our Savior left heaven. He bought and paid for our redemption. Daily he intercedes on our behalf before God
Boaz: Told Ruth not to be afraid that he would take care of her.
Jesus; Tells us not to be afraid because he takes care of us.
Boaz: had to overcome obstacles to marry Ruth
Jesus: overcame all obstacles, even death to be our Redeemer
Ruth: a foreigner, but Boaz accepted her
Us: we were lost but Jesus found us and adopted us into his family
Boaz and Ruth: blessed with a child. The child redeemed Naomi from being a poor, lonely widow
Later in that same family lineage another Child is born who will redeem all who receive him – Jesus!

Reflection and Journal Time:
The last ten minutes should be reserved for journal time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pens/pencils. Place the journal question sticker for the day in each journal. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with the children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may copy the memory verse and illustrate it as an alternative to journal questions.

Grades 1-3: Draw a picture of Ruth gleaning in the field.
Grades 4-6: Gleaning was a way Israel provided help for the poor and widowed. What are ways we help people in our country today?

Clean up: Gather all supplies and encourage each child to clean his/her own work area.

Closing:


Gather all the children together in a circle. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. Encourage them to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests.

Dear Lord, May we leave here today with a better understanding of how you want us to treat others. When we look at our wreaths, help us to remember how strong your love is for us, and that it is our faith in you that leads us to Your Kingdom. Amen.


A lesson posted by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC

Bristol, VA

Lesson set created and copyrighted by
State Street UMC - G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team, 2003
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. Lesson set posted at rotation.org: Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith. Summer 2003. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets.

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

 

Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith

Drama & Puppetry Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Includes a script to tell the story.


Scripture References:

Ruth “The Story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109

Memory Verse:

“Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (page 106, Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

Theme:
Friendship, loyalty, courage, love for those who are different. God’s love for everyone.

Lesson Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Ruth as a book of history in the Old Testament.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will define: gleaning
  • Children will identify the following characters in the story: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, Obed.
  • Children will recognize that Ruth was a member of the family tree of David and Jesus.
  • Children will explain some of the Old Testament customs of gleaning, treatment of foreigners and kinsman redeemer.
  • Children will recognize God’s love for everyone.
  • Children will understand that God is with us and will use even difficult or bad situations to bring about good. (Romans 8:28 connection)
  • Children will memorize Ruth 1:16.
  • Children will experience the story through movement and song.

Definitions to know:

Gleaning – the practice of picking up leftover grain from a field after harvesting, Israelite law required this to care for the poor
Redeem – buy back, ransom, reclaim
Kinsman Redeemer – a practice whereby a near relative married a widow, provided a son for her to continue to line and inheritance of the dead husband

General Tips for Drama Workshop Facilitators

  • 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!)
  • 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 to be sure you are clear.
  • 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!

Time Guidelines:

  • Introductions/Opening Prayer: 10 minutes
  • Bible Study: 15 minutes
  • Drama Activity 30 minutes
  • Reflection/Closing Prayer: 05 minutes

Supplies List:

  • Copies of the script.
  • Any props you might decide to use.


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Gather the children together in the center of the room with their Bibles. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure you are wearing your name tag and that the children have picked up their nametags from Fast Pass. Always begin each class with introductions. Remember that workshop leaders rotate often and the children may not know you. Tell the children that today you will be hearing a story about Jesus healing two people and playing a game to review the story.

Opening Prayer: Pray something like this: “Dear God, Thank you for this day and for all the people who are here today. Help us to open our hearts and minds to your Word as we study here today.” Amen

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Bible Study:
Ruth Chapters 1-4, Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109.
Each workshop begins with 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 handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop begins with a Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children do not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and 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 bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. 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.

Note: This story is too long to be read in its entirety. Use the following guide to tell the story.

Introduce the Story (Grades 1-3):

  • The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the most well-known and loved stories in the Bible. It is found in the book of Ruth, a book of history in the Old Testament. Stories from the Old Testament are found in the front of their Bibles. New Testament stories are found in the back of their Bibles. This story took place many, many years before Jesus was born during a time in history when Judges (kind of like our presidents, but not kings) ruled Israel. Let’s find the story in our Bibles now.
  • Have the children locate “The Story of Ruth” in their Bibles (page 104). (Remember that rising first graders have just received their Bibles and will need LOTS of help using their Bibles. Encourage the rising third graders to help them!).
  • Say: Today’s story is about a woman named Ruth and her friend and mother-in-law Naomi. It’s about their wonderful friendship, courage and loyalty to one another. Find the following Bible notes in the Bible to help introduce the characters: People in Bible Times: Naomi and Ruth, page 105)
  • Tell the children that you will tell the story to them and they will act it out as it is being told. Have the children quickly get into the costumes you have laid out in the chairs. Have the shepherds help the children dress.

Drama Activity – (1-3 Grade)
The Story of Ruth
Adapted from: http://www.grouppublishing.com...d_Testament/ruth.htm

Read the script below, pausing to allow the children to answer your questions and to perform the actions and motions described in the script.

Naomi was a kind old woman who had a husband named Elimelech.

Do you have anyone in your family that is very old? How do they walk and act?

Naomi and Elimelech had two sons. They all lived in Bethlehem.

Have you ever heard of that town before? (Jesus was born there)

One day there was a great famine. That’s where the weather is bad and the crops of food don’t grow so there is almost no food at all for any of the people. Naomi and all her family were so hungry.

I wonder how that felt to have no food … how would Naomi and her family have acted with no food?

So Naomi and her family decided to pack up all their belongings and move to a land called Moab.

Let’s pretend to pack up all our stuff like Naomi did and start traveling to get to Moab.

There was plenty of food there in Moab!

How do you think they all acted when they lots of food after being so hungry?

But one day a sad thing happened. Naomi's husband Elimelech became very sick and then he died. Naomi was very sad, but she still had her two sons. They took good care of their mother. Time went by and one son married Ruth. The other son married Orpah. Both Ruth and Orpah lived in Moab with their families. Naomi loved her new daughters.

Have the children hug or put arms around one another to show affection Naomi felt for Ruth and Orpah.

Then one day something terrible happened. Both of Naomi’s sons died. That left Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah alone, with no sons or husbands. They were SOOOOOOOO sad…

I wonder how Naomi, Ruth and Orpah looked when their husbands died and they were alone with no one to take care of them?

One day Naomi said, “I want to move back home to Bethlehem where I came from. I have family there who will take care of me. And Ruth and Orpah, you must return to your families, maybe you can some day find new husbands to take care of you.”

Again, Naomi packed up all her things.

Come on, let’s pack up our things again like Naomi!

Naomi started walking but then realized her two daughters-in-law were following her.
Ruth and Orpah were sad because they loved her very much and didn’t want her to go away and leave them.

Have you ever had a friend move away? How did you feel?

Naomi told them, “No, you need to go back to your families. You have been very kind to me but now it’s time for you to return to your own mothers. May God treat you as kindly as you treated me.”

Orpah decided to go back to her family, but Ruth said, "Naomi, don’t make me leave you. Where you go, I will go. Where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Our memory verse!) So Ruth decided to stay with Naomi.

Ruth packed her things too and they started on their journey.

Let's pretend we’re Ruth and Naomi walking up hills and down hills to a new place. It was a long walk!

Where do you like to walk? What would it be like to walk all the way to a different country?

When Ruth and Naomi arrived at Bethlehem, all Naomi's friends were excited to see her. They gave her lots of hugs.

Who has a hug for me?

Then Naomi explained how sad she felt because her husband and sons had died.

One day, Ruth said, "I'll go into the fields and gather the grain the farm workers leave behind. Maybe they will be kind and share their leftover grain with us." So Ruth went to a nearby farm. After the workers picked the grain, they let Ruth pick up the leftovers.

Let's pretend to pick up grain and put it in a basket.

Soon the owner of the field came and saw Ruth. His name was Boaz. He was very kind to her and let her take all the grain she needed. And he let her eat with his workers at mealtime. He said, "You are taking good care of Naomi, your mother-in-law. May God bless you for all you have done."

That night, as Naomi ate the grain Ruth brought, Naomi asked, "Who let you take all this grain?" "The farmer's name is Boaz," Ruth answered. "He said I could work in his fields all through harvest."

"God bless Boaz!" Naomi exclaimed. "He belongs to my husband’s family. Maybe he will take care of us."

One day, Naomi told Ruth to dress up and go see Boaz.

Let's pretend we're getting dressed up. Let's put on our best clothes. Now we'll spray on some perfume. There! Now we're ready to see Boaz.

When Boaz saw Ruth, he promised to take care of her. "Everyone knows what a good person you are," he said. Then Boaz talked to the other people in his family. They agreed that Boaz should marry Ruth.

The wedding was a happy day for everyone.

Have you ever been to a wedding? What was the best part?

About a year after the wedding, Ruth had a baby boy. All Naomi's friends clapped their hands and said, "God has given you a grandson and a wonderful daughter who loves you!"

Let's clap our hands and shout “Praise God!” with Naomi and her friends.

The little boy was named Obed. When little Obed grew up, he had a son named Jesse. When Jesse grew up, he had a son named David. David was the boy who killed the giant Goliath and later became the king of Israel. So Naomi became the great-great-grandmother of a king!

After all their sadness, God gave Ruth and Naomi a happy family. Sometimes sad things happen to us, too. But God can make everything turn out for the best.

THE END

After the story: Sit in a circle with the children and discuss some of the Background Information to the story.

Say: Through all the good times and bad times, Ruth and Naomi were “faithful” to God. Does anyone know what that means? (they knew that He was with them, they never stopped loving God, they still prayed to God, they told other people about God, and they praised God)

Let’s talk about some of the ways God took care of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth and Naomi were very poor. In those days there was a law about harvesting the fields. Harvesters could not cut down the grain from the corners of the field and if they dropped any grain, they were not allowed to pick it up. They left these parts of the field for the widows and the poor to come and pick it up. This was called gleaning. This was a way that people could help the poor. So when Ruth and Naomi moved back to Bethlehem, Ruth went into the field to glean grain. God showed Ruth a place where she could go to get food so that they wouldn’t be hungry anymore.

Widows are women whose husbands have died. In those days, women needed husbands to take care of them. Ruth and Naomi were both widows. There was another law at that time. The law said that the closest male relative was supposed to marry a widow and take care of her. Now whose field did Ruth go to when she was gleaning the grain? (Boaz’s) And did you know that Boaz just happened to be a relative of Naomi’s? Isn’t God amazing! He brought Ruth to a field where she could glean grain and it just so happened that this field belonged to one of her closest relatives! Boaz was very kind to Ruth. He agreed to marry her and to take care of Ruth and Naomi.

And then after they were married…. God gave Ruth and Boaz a son named Obed and Naomi a grandson! God loves us and is with us always. Even when we think we are all alone and going through really sad times, God is always there, loving us and knowing that things will work out for our best in the end!


Introduce the Story - Grades 4-6 

  • The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the most well-known and loved stories in the Bible. It is found in the book of Ruth, a book of history in the Old Testament. Stories from the Old Testament are found in the front of their Bibles. New Testament stories are found in the back of their Bibles. This story took place many, many years before Jesus was born during a time in history when Judges (kind of like our presidents, but not kings) ruled Israel. Let’s find the story in our Bibles now.
  • Have the children locate the book of Ruth. Use the bold headings from each chapter to help you as you briefly paraphrase the story for the children. They will go over the story in more depth in the drama activity. Be sure to pause and discuss the following Bible notes as you come to them:
    Words to Treasure: Memory verse (page 312)
    People In Bible Times: Ruth and Naomi (page 313 and 314)
    Life in Bible Times: Taking off a Sandal (page 315)
    Let’s Live It: Rich Rewards (page 316)

Drama Activity - Grades 4-6
The Story of Ruth
Borrowed and adapted from: 1st Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA www.rotation.org
(adapted from "365 Bible Stories for Children" by Mary Batchelor)

Concept: Naomi, then Ruth, remained faithful to God even through struggles and were blessed by God because of it, especially through the love and respect between Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi.

Objectives:
1) Children will learn the story of Ruth and Naomi.
2) Children will learn that being faithful to God results in blessings – not prosperity, but being blessed by the people God brings into our lives

After paraphrasing the story tell them that today you will focus on the fact that God is always with us, through good times and bad times, happy times and sad times – and because of that, we want to always find ways to praise God.

Ask if they remember any other Bible stories when people were in situations that seemed hopeless. But because they knew that God was with them always, they could be strong and brave and continue to praise God, even if sometimes their lives were hard, scary or sad. And because of their faithfulness to God, God was faithful to them and brought them blessings. Instead of whining “How could God let this happen to me?”, they trusted and obeyed God even in hard times.

Say: Listen to what Jesus says to us in Matthew 28:20: “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Ask: How does that make you feel to know that Jesus is always with you?

Say: As we go through the drama of Ruth, and you are portraying a character in the story, think about how God was working in that person’s life. After the play, we’ll talk about it.

The workshop leader will narrate the story and pause to allow the children to act out the story. Children may want to repeat the lines of the characters.

Act One – Unhappy Times…

Characters:
Elimelech
Naomi
Son 1
Son 2
Daughter-in-law 1 (Orpah)
Daughter-in-law 2 (Ruth)

Workshop leader reads all narration.

In the time when Israel was ruled by the Judges, a man called Elimelech lived in Bethlehem with his wife, Naomi, and their two sons.

One year the harvest was so poor that Elimelech could not get enough food for his family. So they decided to leave Israel until the famine was over and go to live in the nearby country of Moab.

While they were there, Elimelech died. By this time the two boys were old enough to look after Naomi. Both of them married Moabite women and they brought them home to live.

Not too many years later both the sons died. Poor Naomi was left in a foreign land with her husband and without her sons. But her daughters—in-law, Orpah and Ruth, were good and kind to Naomi and they comforted her as much as they could.

But soon Naomi felt homesick for Bethlehem. She had heard that food was plentiful there again so she packed up all her belongings into bundles and the three of them set off.

When they came near to the border, Naomi stopped.

Naomi said, “You have been very good to me, but it’s time for you to go back to your own mothers.”

Both the women hugged and kissed Naomi.

They both said, “No! We’ll come with you!”

Naomi said, “No, I can do nothing to help you or to make you happy, so it’s time you go back.”

Orpah kissed Naomi again, then reluctantly started back the way they had come. She went slowly, turning often to wave, for she loved her mother-in-law.

Naomi said, “Now, Ruth, you must do the same as Orpah and go back to your home.”

But Ruth said, “Please let me come with you! You are not just my mother-in-law, you are my good friend. Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.” (our memory verse!)

When Naomi saw that Ruth had set her heart on going with her, she said no more. Naomi was happy and comforted to have Ruth’s love and friendship just when she needed it most. Naomi was also pleased that Ruth decided to take the one true God as her God.

And they headed off for Bethlehem together.


Act Two – Ruth Finds Work
Characters:
Naomi
Ruth
Townswomen
Workers in the field
Boaz
One worker

The townswomen of Bethlehem welcome Naomi back but they were sorry to see her so poor and unhappy.

In those days women could not earn a living by taking a job and Naomi had no husband or sons to provide for her.

But God had given the Israelites special laws, so that they would help all those in need. Farmers must allow poor and hungry people to come into their harvest fields and pick up any stray stalks of grain that the workers dropped or overlooked when they were harvesting. Picking up the leftover grain was called gleaning.

When Naomi and Ruth arrived in Bethlehem the workers were harvesting barley.

Ruth said, “Naomi, let me go and glean the leftover barley. If I work hard I can get enough for both of us to eat.”

Ruth set out early and chose one field where the workers were harvesting busily. She kept close to them all morning, picking up every stray gain stalk she could see.

At midday, Boaz, who owned the land, came to see how the harvest was going. He greeted the harvesters like he always greeted people, “The Lord be with you!”

His workers called back, “The Lord bless you!”

Boaz went up to the foreman and said, “Who is that girl gleaning over there?”

The workers said, “She is the foreign girl from Moab. She’s Naomi’s daughter-in-law.”

Boaz had heard about Ruth, for news travels fast in a small town. He went over to her.

Boaz said to Ruth, “Keep near my workers for the rest of the harvest. I will see that they leave you in peace and let you gather grain. When you are thirsty, drink from the water that my men have drawn. Now, come and have dinner with me.”

Ruth said surprised, “Why are you so kind to me?”

Boaz answered, “I have heard about your kindness and friendship to Naomi. May the God whom you have learned to trust keep you safe in his care.”

Without Ruth hearing, Boaz told his workers, “Drop some barley stalks on purpose so Ruth will have extra to pick up and take home.”

Later in the day Ruth went back home to Naomi.

When Naomi saw all the barley Ruth brought home, Naomi said, “However did you get so much?”

Ruth said, “I went to a field belonging to a man called Boaz. He was very kind to me.”

Naomi said, “How good God is! I am sure that God guided you there! You see, Boaz is a relative of my family. You will be safe with Boaz and he will take care of you.”


Act Three – Happy Endings!
Characters:
Ruth
Naomi
Boaz
Man
Baby
Women
Obed as an adult
Jesse
King David
Baby Jesus


While Ruth went gleaning each day, Naomi stayed at home. She thought hard. The harvest would soon be over. How would they manage then?

Naomi prayed to God and soon God helped Naomi think of a plan. One day she said to Ruth: “The harvest is all gathered in and tonight Boaz will be having his harvest supper. Once it is over and he is all alone, you are to go to him. Ask him to protect and care for us because we are members of his family.”

Ruth felt a bit shy about this, but she did exactly as Naomi told her. She knew that in Israel God’s law said that the men in the family were to care for widows.

Boaz was happy that Ruth had chosen to come to him for help. He listened carefully to what she had to say, then sent her home with a generous present of grain for Naomi.

Naomi was so happy. She said, “He is a good man. He will make plans to help us.”

Boaz wanted very much to marry Ruth, but there was another man who was an even closer relative. That man must be given first chance to help the two widows.

Boaz waited by the town gate until this man came by, then asked if he wanted to look after Naomi and Ruth. It would mean buying back land that had once belonged to Elimelech and marrying Ruth. But the man said, “No.” So Boaz said that he would do it. The other relative sealed the bargain by giving Boaz his sandal. This was the way contracts were done in that time.

Boaz gladly married Ruth himself and they went to live at his home. They were both very happy because they loved each other and knew it was part of God’s plan for them to be married.

Time went by and one day Naomi was as excited as Ruth and Boaz when their first baby was born.

All the women in Bethlehem, the ones who comforted Naomi when she first came back to Bethlehem, came to see Naomi’s new little grandson.

The women told Naomi, “We are so happy that God has brought you joy and prosperity through Ruth, your loyal and loving daughter-in-law and friend. And now you have a son to carry on the family name.”

The women asked, “What is your grandson’s name, Naomi?”

Naomi answered, “Obed.”

Now Obed grew up and became the father of Jesse.

Jesse became the father of David.

David was the same David who killed Goliath, the giant, and later became king.

So Naomi became the great-great-grandmother of a king!

After all their sadness and hard times, God gave Ruth and Naomi a happy family. It was because they were faithful to God through all their troubles that God blessed them in a big way.

You see, you might remember that King David married and had children, and they had children and on and on for many more generations …. until one night in Bethlehem a tiny baby was born named … Jesus ….but that’s another story!


The END!

Discussion:

Gather children together in a circle. Use the Background Information and the following questions to discuss the story.

Say: Through all the good times and bad times, Ruth and Naomi were “faithful” to God. Even Ruth, who came from the foreign land of Moab, believed in the God of Naomi. And no matter what happened to Ruth and Naomi, they were not alone. God was with them and took care of them.

What were some ways that God took care of Ruth and Naomi?
(God led Ruth to a field where she could glean grain)

Not only did God lead Ruth to a field where they were harvesting barley, but the owner of that field was one of Naomi’s relatives! Why did that make a difference? (because the Jewish law said that men were to take care of the widows in their family)

Not only did God lead Ruth to a field of a relative, but the relative was VERY kind to her. And she was a foreigner – so Boaz didn’t have to do what the law required.

What did Boaz do to show extra kindness to Ruth? (gave her extra grain, gave her water and food to drink while harvesting, agreed to try to marry her)

Now there was another relative who was even closer than Boaz, but he chose not to marry Ruth and to let Boaz marry her. How did they seal their bargain? (the man gave Boaz his sandal). What are ways we “make a deal” today?

God planned for Ruth and Boaz to be married. And then after they were married…. God gave Ruth and Boaz a son named Obed and Naomi a grandson! God made a way for these two poor widows, and one a foreigner, to be part of Jesus’ family tree! God loves each and everyone of us and is with us always. Even when we think we are all alone and going through really sad times, God is always there, loving us and knowing that things will work out for our best in the end!

Reflection/Journal Time:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:
Grades 1-3: Draw a picture of a way God took care of Ruth and Naomi.
Grades 4-6: Write about a hard time you have experienced. How did God take care of you?

Extra Activities:
If you still have extra time, review the memory verse by writing it out on the blackboard. Review the verse with the children, then one by one, erase the words until the children can recite the verse entirely from memory. Don’t forget the scripture reference!

Closing:

 

Gather the children together. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (faith, love, loyalty, caring are some suggestions) Encourage children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends, especially their friends who do not belong to a church. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and pray together. You may ask one of the children to say the closing prayer, or you may pray something like this, Dear Lord, We are so glad that you promise to be with us always. Help us to make choices that show we are faithful to you always. In Jesus name, Amen.

Clean-up: Have the children help hang up all costumes in the closet. Put all props away in the appropriately labeled prop boxes. Help the Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away.


A workshop written by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC

Bristol, VA. 


Lesson set created and copyrighted by State Street UMC - G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team, 2003


If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. Lesson set posted at rotation.org: Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith. Summer 2003. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets.

 

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

Ruth & Naomi - Women of Faith

Gathering Time Games

Summary of Lesson Activities:
During this rotation, we did not have a separate Games Workshop. Instead the children gathered for the first 15 minutes for music and Gathering Games. Here is a list of the games we played. They could easily be adapted into a complete workshop (or more!).

  • Week #1- Picture Card Search and Match
  • Week #2 – Memory Verse Relay
  • Week #3 – Play-Doh sculpt
  • Week #4 – Ruth & Naomi Spin
  • Week #5 – Go Glean, Ruth – Naomi Concentration

Week #1 – Picture Card Search and Match


Preparation:
Find images that represent the story of Ruth and Naomi. Use clip-art, coloring pages, old curriculum or do a search on the internet
(Use Google Images and do a search for Ruth and Naomi Bible)
Suggestions:
Ruth
Ruth gleaning
Famine – empty bowls
Map of Moab-Bethlehem
Suitcase
Baby
Wedding
Barley or wheat
Heart
Sandal
Best Friends
Tombstone
Bible
Bread
Boaz
Naomi

Copy the images and cut out. Glue to index cards or cardstock cut to size (3X5 is good) Make a duplicate set.
Hide the cards around the classroom.

To Play:
As children arrive show them a sample of the card you used. Have them look for all the cards. Once they have found the cards, have them put the matching pairs together.
Spread the matched pairs out on the floor or table so everyone can see.
Discuss how the cards fit in the story. (If this is the beginning of the rotation, give the children a mini-preview of what will be coming – then use the cards later on to review and see what they have learned)


Week #2 – Memory Verse Relay


Preparation:
Write out the words to the memory verse on index cards, one word per card. Make a duplicate set. Shuffle each set of cards together and place each set in a basket at one side of the room.

To Play:
Divide children into two teams and line them up opposite the two baskets.
First person in line must hop down to basket, pick up a card and hop back to line. Next person hops and picks up a card and hops back.
Continue like this until all the cards have been picked up. (After all children have hopped, try skipping, walking backwards, etc.)
Once all the cards are at the team line, have the children put the memory verse in order.
First team to finish is the winner!


Week #3 – Play-Doh Sculpt


Preparation:
Prepare a list of symbols that are relevant to the story.
Buy play-doh

To Play:
Gather children together in a circle.
Oidest child goes first.
Choose a symbol from the list and whisper in the child’s ear.
Have the child take a ball of play-doh and sculpt the symbol. Children in the circle must try to guess what the symbol is and tell how it relates to the story. Child who guesses correctly is the next “sculptor.”
Option: Pantomime the symbol rather than using play-doh.


Week #4 – Ruth and Naomi Spin


Preparations:
Set out Game Wheel spinner
Copy question list

To Play:
1. Divide children into two teams.
2. Give each team a Bible.
3. Let one person from first team spin the wheel.
4. Give the team a question. TEAMS MUST CONFER TOGETHER BEFORE ANSWERING. IF THEY DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER, THEY MAY USE THEIR BIBLES FOR HELP.
5. If team answers correctly, they get the number of points indicated on the spinner.
6. Team with most points wins!

Questions:
1. Where is the story of Ruth and Naomi found in the Bible – New or Old Testament? (Old)
2. In what book of the Old Testament is this story found? (Ruth)
3. Where was Naomi and her husband Elimelech originally from? (Bethlehem) ** 10 points extra if team can find it on the map!
4. Where did Naomi and Elimelech travel to after leaving Bethlehem? (Moah)
5. Why did they leave Bethlehem? (because there was a famine)
6. Naomi and Elimelech had how many sons? (two)
7. Who did the sons marry? (Moabite women – Orpah and Ruth)
8. What happened to Elimelech and the two sons? (they died)
9. What did Naomi tell Ruth and Orpah to do? (stay in Moab while she traveled back to Bethlehem)
10. What did Ruth say to Naomi? (our memory verse, “Where you go, I’ll go, Where you stay, I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.
11. What is gleaning? (picking up the grain that drops during the harvest)
12. Why did Israelites allow gleaning? (to provide for the poor and widowed)
13. Gleaning helped provide for the poor and widowed Israelites. Were Israelites required to allow foreigners to glean also? (No!)
14. Whose field did Ruth glean from? (Boaz)
15. How did Boaz treat Ruth? (kindly, gave her extra grain, protected her)
16. Why did Naomi want Boaz to marry Ruth? (he was her kinsman)
17. What did Ruth ask Boaz to do when she went to see him at night? (to be her kinsman redeemer, to marry her)
18. What did Boaz say? (Yes, but first he had to check with a closer relative)
19. Why did the other relative take off his sandal when he was with Boaz? (to show that they had made an agreement for Boaz to marry Ruth)
20. Ruth and Boaz got married and had a baby boy. What was his name? (Obed)
21. Ruth was the great-grandmother of whom? (King David)
22. Ruth was a member of whose family tree? (Jesus) ** 10 points extra if you can name the special name of Jesus’ family tree – Jesse Tree)
23. The Messiah was prophesied to come from the line of whom? (King David)
24. Name one way God provided for Ruth and Naomi.
25. Boaz treated Ruth kindly even though she was a foreigner. How does God want us to treat others who are different than us?
26. Why do you think Ruth was willing to leave her family, friends and home?


Week #5 – Go Glean and Ruth and Naomi Concentration


Go Glean Preparation:
Copy images from story onto cardstock or cut out and glue to index cards. Write the name of the character or what the image is underneath the picture. Make four sets of cards.

To Play:
This game is played like the game “Go Fish.”
Four to six players may play at one time. If you have more children, make additional sets of cards.
Shuffle the cards.
Deal out six cards per player.
Place the remaining cards, face down in the center of the group.
Youngest child goes first.
If any players have a matching pair in their hand, have them lay them down in front of them.
First player asks player to the left for a card that will make a pair in his/her hand.
If the player has a match, he/she gives it to the first player who gets to ask for an additional card.
If not, the second player says “Go Glean” and the first player draws a card from the center pile.
Play then passes to the next player.
Play until all the center cards are gone.
If at any time someone’s had is empty, that player draws a card from the center pile.
Player with the most pairs at the end of the game is the winner.
Discuss with the children how the symbols help to tell the story.

Ruth and Naomi Concentration


Preparation:
Copy images from the story with titles onto cardstock or cut out and glue to index cards.
Make a duplicate set so you have two of each image.

To Play:
Shuffle the cards.
Lay out the cards, face down on a table or floor – in rows and columns resembling a Concentration board.
Divide the children into two teams.
First team turns over two cards – if they match, the team takes up the pair and plays again.
If they do not match, turn the cards back over and play passes to next team.
Continue play until all the cards are matched.
Team with the most matches is the winner.
Discuss with the children how the symbols help to tell the story.

Material written by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, Summer 2003. Permission granted to use for non-commercial, local church use. Please note State Street UMC as your source. (See note at end of posting.)
Jaymie Derden
Lesson set created and copyrighted by
State Street UMC - G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team, 2003
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. Lesson set posted at rotation.org: Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith. Summer 2003. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets.


 

A lesson posted by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC

Bristol, VA


Material written by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, Summer 2003. Permission granted to use for non-commercial, local church use. Please note State Street UMC as your source. (See note at end of posting.)

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

 

Ruth and Naomi - Women of Faith

Cooking Workshop #1

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Making Boaz's Banana Muffins

Scripture References:

Ruth, “The Story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109

Memory Verse:

“Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (page 106, Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

Themes:
Friendship, loyalty, courage, love for those who are different. God loves everyone!

Lesson Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Ruth as a book of history in the Old Testament.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will locate the region of Moab and the city of Bethlehem on the map.
  • Children will define: gleaning
  • Children will identify the following characters in the story: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, and Obed.
  • Children will recognize that Ruth was a member of the family tree of David and Jesus.
  • Children will explain some of the Old Testament customs of gleaning, treatment of foreigners and kinsman redeemer.
  • Children will recognize God’s love for everyone.
  • Children will understand that God is with us and will use even difficult or bad situations to bring about good. (Romans 8:28 connection)
  • Children will memorize Ruth 1:16.
  • Children will bake Banana Muffins to sell to the congregation and donate the money to the local Food Pantry.

Supplies for Cooking:

  • 1 1/3 cups white flour
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbl. Margarine
  • 1/2 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • cooking spray
  • 2 mixing bowls 
  • fork to mash bananas or potato masher
  • mixing spoons
  • measuring cups, spoons
  • paper towels
  • pot holders
  • muffin tins & paper liners
  • small ziploc bags
  • paper plate

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Read the Background Information and Lesson plan. Review the Behavioral Covenant and Teaching Tips.
  • Gather all necessary supplies for activities.

Important Note for Solid Rock Café Workshop Leaders:
Children LOVE to cook and create various concoctions in this workshop. But occasionally the cooking activity does not have as obvious or concrete a connection with the lesson as do some of the other activities. Help the children make that connection by intentionally discussing the way the activity relates to the lesson of the day. Discuss during preparation, eating and clean-up times.

ALLERGY NOTE: Several of our children are severely allergic to peanuts and other nuts. Check ingredient labels to make sure nuts and nut oils are not included in any cooking activities!!

Time Guidelines:

  • Welcome and Introductions 10 minutes
  • Bible Study 15 minutes
  • Boaz’s Banana Muffins 30 minutes
  • Reflection/Closing 5 minutes


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome/Introduction:
Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure everyone is wearing a nametag. Always begin each class with introductions. Remember that workshop leaders rotate often and the children may not know you. Tell the children that you will be learning about the friendship and faith of two women. You will make banana muffins to sell to raise money for the Food Pantry.

Opening Prayer:
Precious Father, Thank you for this day and this time we spend together. Please, be with us now and help us to see how we can show your love with everyone around us. Guide us to share
what we have with others. In Jesus Christ’s powerful name we pray, Amen

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Bible Study:
Each workshop begins with a Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children do not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and 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 bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. 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.

Note: This story is too long to be read in its entirety.

Introduce the Story:
Today, we will be learning about Ruth and Naomi, their friendship, love and stewardship. We will learn how even in difficult times, God can bring about good. This is one of the most well-known love stories in the Bible. It is found in the Old Testament and takes place a long time before Jesus was born. In fact, Ruth was one of the ancestors in Jesus’ family tree.

Grades 1-3: 

  • Have the children locate “The Story of Ruth” in the Little Kid’s Adventure Bible on page 104. Because the story is so long, you will not be able to read it in its entirety. Use the following guide to help you tell the story. Remember, rising first graders have just received their Bibles. They will need lots of help. Have the third graders help them with this part of the lesson.
  • Have the children note the big red letters of the title: The Story of Ruth. The little black letters underneath tell you where the story is found in the Bible. (Ruth 1-4)
    The smaller blue sub-titles tell parts of the story.
  • Have the children locate the blue sub-title: Ruth Goes to Bethlehem with Naomi – page 104.
    Paraphrase this part of the story for them.
  • Next have the children look at the orange boxes on page 105. The colorful boxes in their Bibles tell interesting facts about people and life in Bible times.
  • Read the People in Bible Times notes: Naomi and Ruth on page 105.
  • Read the Words to Treasure on page 106. This is our memory verse for this rotation. Encourage the children to memorize it.
  • Locate the blue sub-title: Ruth Meets Boaz on page 106. Paraphrase this part of the story.
  • Locate the blue sub-title: Ruth Goes to Boaz at the Threshing Floor on page 107.
    Paraphrase this part of the story. Explain to the children that Jewish law said that when a woman’s husband died, the nearest male relative was expected to marry and care for her. When Ruth went and lay at Boaz’s feet she was asking him to do this for her.
  • Read the Let’s Live it note: Rich Rewards on page 108

Grades 4-6: 

  • Have the children locate Ruth 1 in their Bibles. Explain that this story takes place during the time of the Judges in Israel – a time before Israel had kings. At this time the Judges were the rulers and God was their king. Note that the book of Judges comes right before the book of Ruth. Ruth is a book of History in the Old Testament. Because the story is so long, you cannot read the entire text. Instead, use the headings to paraphrase the story.
  • Chapter 1: Ruth Goes to Bethlehem with Naomi.
  • Read the Words to Treasure Note on page 312. This is our memory verse for this rotation. Encourage the children to memorize it.
  • Read the People in Bible Times notes: Naomi and Ruth on pages 313-314.
  • Chapter 2: Ruth Meets Boaz.
    Paraphrase this part of the story.
  • Chapter 3: Ruth Goes to Boaz at the Threshing Floor. Paraphrase this part of the story. Explain the kinsman redeemer custom to the children. (see Background Information) When Ruth went to Boaz and lay at his feet she was asking him to be her kinsman redeemer.
  • Chapter 4: Boaz Gets Married to Ruth.
    Explain why Boaz went to the other relative.
  • Read the Life in Bible Times note: Taking off a Sandal on page 315.
  • Read The Family Line of David: Ruth 4:13-17. Remind the children of our earlier study of the Jesse Tree. Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus.
  • Read the Let’s Live it note: Rich Rewards on page 316.

Cooking Activity – Boaz’s Banana Muffins
(Makes 24 muffins)
(Adapted from Creative Bible Learning Science & Cooking by Karyn Henley, Standard Publishing, 1997)

Preparation:
Gather necessary supplies.
Have the children wash their hands.
Have children put on aprons.

Let’s Cook!
1. Let all the children participate!
2. Gather the children together and let them measure the ingredients.
3. Mix all the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
4. Mix the buttermilk, egg, margarine and lemon juice in another bowl.
5. Add the two mixtures together.
6. Mash the bananas on the paper plate and then add to the mixture.
7. Put paper liners in muffin tin.
8. Fill each cup about 3/4 full.
9. Bake @ 375 deg. for 20 minutes.

Discuss while preparing the muffin batter:

  • Where were Naomi and her husband originally from? (Bethlehem)
  • Why did they leave Bethlehem? (because of a famine)
  • Where did they go? (Moab – show on map)
  • Why did Naomi decide to leave Moab? (to return to her family in Bethlehem, because she had no means of support)
  • How were widows supported in these times? (depended on the charity of friends and family – they had no way to support themselves – the kinsman redeemer practice)

Discuss while everyone is helping clean up:

  • Ruth was willing to leave behind her family, her faith, her home. Why do you think Ruth decided to follow Naomi?
  • How do you think Ruth felt about Naomi?
  • What do you think it was like for Ruth to leave her family behind?
  • Have you ever been away from your family? What was that like?
  • How was Ruth a true friend to Naomi?
  • What characteristics do you look for in a true friend?
  • What kind of friend are you?

When the muffins are done, let them cool.
Then have the children bag two muffins per Ziploc baggie.
After 10:45 service, let the children sell the muffins for $1.00 per bag to benefit the local food pantry.

Discuss as you are bagging the muffins:

  • How was God present with Ruth and Naomi in this story?
  • Why was it so unusual for Boaz to be kind to Ruth in this story? (she was from Moab, a pagan land that the Israelites hated, she was a foreigner, he wasn’t required to help foreigners)
  • What does God teach us about caring for others from this story? (God loves everyone, we should love and care for everyone, our differences don’t matter to God, it’s important to care for the poor)
  • How can we care for others as Boaz did?
  • The law in Israel helped to provide food for the poor. What can we do to help people who are hungry in our community? (bring food to the Food Pantry, sell our muffins to raise money for food, etc.)

Reflection/Journal Time:
The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:

  • Grades 1-3: Draw a picture of Boaz being kind to Ruth.
  • Grades 4-6: The Bible teaches us that we should always be concerned about people who have less than we do. What are ways you can share with others and help those less fortunate than you?

Extra Activity: If you have extra time before parents arrive, review the memory verse with the
children in the following way: Stand in a circle – arms length apart. Repeat the verse several times together (don’t forget the scripture reference. Then go around the circle one at a time and have each child say one word of the verse. Did everyone remember all of it? Repeat having children squat down and jump up when they recite their part. Repeat several times adding different actions as you say the verse. (turning around, jumping up and down, whispering, shouting, etc.)

Closing:


Gather the children together in a circle holding hands. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (Friendship, love, stewardship, redeemer are some suggestions) Encourage them to come back next week and to bring a friend, especially a friend who does not have a church home. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Close with a circle prayer. Tell the children that you will start the prayer and pass it on to the next child, if anyone does not want to say a prayer, let them squeeze the hand of the next child to pass it on. When it comes back to you finish the prayer.


Lesson set created and copyrighted by
State Street UMC - G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team, 2003
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. Lesson set posted at rotation.org: Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith. Summer 2003. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets.

 

 




Ruth and Naomi - Women of Faith

Cooking Workshop #2

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Boaz Barley Soup

For Scripture References, Memory Verse and Workshop Theme see Cooking Workshop #1 posted above.

Lesson Objectives and Life Application
See list in Cooking Workshop # 1 but change last listed objective to:

  • Children will make Barley Soup. This will be frozen and then taken to give to the "Haven of Rest" during our field trip.

Supplies:

  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 2/3 cup quick cook barley
  • 2 cans water
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano
  • 1 large package of frozen vegetables (or small packages of individual frozen vegetables such as corn, peas, carrots, green beans, etc.)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • several stalks celery sliced
  • Crock pot
  • Spoon
  • Can opener
  • Measuring cup
  • Cutting board
  • Knives for chopping/slicing
  • Several different types of grains (barley, millet, buckwheat, flax, oatmeal, etc.)
  • 2-3 large paving stones
  • smooth stones (about 3-4 inches in diameter) – one per child
  • Ziploc baggies

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Read the Background Information and Lesson plan. Review the Behavioral Covenant and Teaching Tips.
  • Gather all necessary supplies for activities.
  • Read the "Important Note for Solid Rock Café Workshop Leaders" in Cooking Workshop #1 and the "Allergy Note".

Time Guidelines:

  • Welcome and Introductions 5 minutes
  • Bible Study & Discussion 15 minutes
  • Boaz’s Barley Soup 20 minutes
  • Grinding Barley Flour 10 minutes
  • Reflection/Closing 10 minutes


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome/Introduction:
Use same as Cooking Workshop #1, with the exception of saying that we will be making Barley Soup to take to the Haven of Rest on July 27 when we go on our field trip.

Opening Prayer:
Use same as in Cooking Workshop #1

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Bible Study:
Use same as in Cooking Workshop #1

Cooking Activity – Boaz’s Barley Soup


Preparation:
Gather necessary supplies
Have the children wash their hands.
Have children put on aprons.

Let’s Cook!
1. Let all the children participate!
2. Older children may slice or chop the vegetables with supervision by the shepherd.
3. Have younger children measure out the frozen vegetables and other ingredients, open the cans and bags and pour into the pot.
4. Put all ingredients into the crock pot.
5. Turn the crockpot on “high” and cook for 30 minutes to one hour until vegetables are tender. (The soup will be taken home and frozen until our July 27 field trip – so don’t worry if it doesn’t get completely cooked)

Discuss while preparing soup:

  • Where were Naomi and her husband originally from? (Bethlehem)
  • Why did they leave Bethlehem? (because of a famine)
  • Where did they go? (Moab – show on map)
  • Why did Naomi decide to leave Moab? (to return to her family in Bethlehem, because she had no means of support)
  • How were widows supported in these times? (depended on the charity of friends and family – they had no way to support themselves – the kinsman redeemer practice)
  • Where did Ruth go when she and Naomi returned to Bethlehem? (to glean grain in a field)
  • Describe what “gleaning” is… (picking up leftover grain in the fields, an Israelite law to help the poor)

While the soup is simmering… Grinding Barley:
Supplies:

  • Large flat stones (paving stone or block works well) 2-3
  • Small smooth stones (about 3-4 inches across) – one per child.
  • Ziploc baggies
  • Selection of different types of grains (wheat, millet, flax, buckwheat, oatmeal, etc.)

Preparation:
Set out the paving stones on the tables.

Explain that Ruth was gleaning during the barley harvest – let the children examine the barley.
Explain that women in Bible times ground the grain between two stones. As they crushed the grains it turned into powder -- to make it into flour. Then they used the flour to make bread. If they had a larger millstone, they used that for grinding grain. (Show the children the millstone grinder that we used during Marketplace VBS) was done in Bible times. Place a few tablespoons of the barley onto the paving stone and let the children grind it into flour. The barley that is ground would be made into barley bread.

What types of bread do you know about? (wheat, whole wheat, white, banana, oat, 5 grain, etc.)

Explain that all bread is made using flour. Flour comes from grinding grain.

Place a few tablespoons of the different grains on the paving stones. Let the children grind the grains into flour.If desired, put some of the ground flour into Ziploc baggies for the children to take home.

Discuss as children are grinding the grain:
Remind the children that gleaning in Bible tunes helped to take care of the poor and hungry. We have hungry people in our communities too.
What are ways we help the hungry? (food pantry, meals on wheels, Sharing Christ ministry, etc.)
Discuss with the children ways that they have helped in the past. (many of them have brought food to give to the food pantry, collected money, etc.)
Tell the children that we are going to save our soup and freeze it when it’s cooked. Then on July 27 when we take our field trip we will take our soup to the Haven of Rest (a mission that helps homeless people).

Reflection/Journal Time:
The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions: 

  • Grades 1-3: Draw a picture that shows your favorite part of the story of Ruth and Naomi. Write a sentence telling about your picture.
  • Grades 4-6: What is one thing you learned from the story of Ruth and Naomi?

    Extra Activity: If you have extra time before parents arrive, review the memory verse - see Cooking Workshop #1.

Closing:


See Cooking Workshop #1.


A lesson written by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC

Bristol, Va


Lesson set created and copyrighted by
State Street UMC - G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team, 2003
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. Lesson set posted at rotation.org: Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith. Summer 2003. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets.

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

 

Ruth and Naomi - Women of Faith

Computer Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses the software: Amazing Expedition Bible – Grades 1-4 (Editor's Note: This CD is now out of print.)
Life Application Bible – Grades 5-6 (Editor's Note: This CD is now out of print.)

Scripture References:

Ruth, “The Story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109

Memory Verse:

“Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (page 106, Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

Themes:
Friendship, loyalty, courage, love for those who are different. God loves everyone!

Lesson Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Ruth as a book of history in the Old Testament.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will locate the region of Moab and the city of Bethlehem on the map.
  • Children will define: gleaning
  • Children will identify the following characters in the story: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, and Obed.
  • Children will recognize that Ruth was the great-grandmother of David and in the family line of Jesus.
  • Children will explain some of the Old Testament customs of gleaning, treatment of foreigners and kinsman redeemer, and removing a sandal to seal a bargain.
  • Children will recognize God’s love for everyone.
  • Children will understand that God is with us and will use even difficult or bad situations to bring about good. (Romans 8:28 connection)
  • Children will memorize Ruth 1:16.
  • Children will explore the story through computer software.
  • Children will pretend to be Ruth and write a letter about her experiences.

Software Needed:

  • Amazing Expedition Bible – Grades 1-4 (Editor's Note: This CD is now out of print.)
  • Life Application Bible – Grades 5-6 (Editor's Note: This CD is now out of print.)


Editor's Suggestion: View the Ruth and Naomi lesson idea at http://sundaysoftware.com/crossref.htm

General Tips for Computer Workshop Facilitators
This workshop can always use extra hands, especially for the younger children. Ask the shepherds to sit with the children at a computer station and help with navigation, reading text and discussion. At the 10:45 session, use your shepherds and the 5-6 grade helpers. 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 yourself and facilitate their sharing with each other. Model your enthusiasm for the Word of God.

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the Background Information, Behavioral Covenant, Teaching Tips and Lesson plan.
  • Preview the software prior to teaching. Feel free to borrow a CD and take home or make arrangements to come to the computer lab before teaching.
  • Turn computers on, insert CDs and open programs at each computer station before class.
  • Make copies of the Navigation tips and Computer worksheet for each computer station.

Time Guidelines:

  • Introductions/Opening Prayer: 5 minutes
  • Computer Exploration 20 minutes
  • Bible Study – Notes & Discussion 15 minutes
  • Writing a letter home 15 minutes
  • Reflection/Closing Prayer: 5 minutes


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Introductions
Gather the children together at the large center table with their Bibles. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Always begin each class with introductions. Remember that workshop leaders rotate often and the children may not know you. Make sure you are wearing your name tag and that the children have picked up their nametags from FastPass.

Opening Prayer:
Pray something like this: “Dear Loving and Wonderful God, Thank you for this day and for all the people who are here today. We thank you especially for people like Ruth and Naomi who were faithful followers of you. Help us to learn from their examples how to be loving and faithful. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Introduce the Story:
Ruth 1-4, “The Story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109.
Say: The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the most famous love stories in the Bible. It is a story of loyalty and friendship between two women. It is also a story of kindness and hospitality to strangers and a story of God’s love for everyone – no matter who they are or where they live. The story is found in the Old Testament. Ruth is a book of History in the Bible. The story took place during the time of the judges. Judges were rulers (sort of like presidents) with God as their King. Later Israel wanted to have kings, but this is a time before there were kings in Israel. The story took place long before the New Testament and before Jesus was born, but it is especially interesting because Ruth was one of the ancestors of Jesus. Ruth was the great-grandmother of David who was in the family line of Jesus. (recall our Jesse Tree rotation – you may want to let children look at the Jesse Tree scrapbook pages they made in our former rotation) Let’s go to the computers now and see what we can learn about these two famous women in the Bible.

Computer Exploration – Grades 1-4
Amazing Bible Expedition
Usually our lessons begin with the Bible Study. For this session, the children will explore the story on the computer first, filling out a worksheet to guide their study. After the computer exploration, bring them back to the center table to discuss their answers, and to explore the Bible notes in their Bibles. As the children are working at the computer stations, walk around the room and encourage them to stay on task, and help out as needed. Keep close track of time. If children do not have time to complete all of the worksheet, discuss the questions together when you bring them back to the large group. The discussion component of the lesson will tie everything together!

  • Divide the children into groups of 2-3 at the computer workstations.
  • Give each station a navigation tip/worksheet to fill out.
  • Make sure each group also has a Bible.
  • Try to pair readers with non-readers to help the youngest children. Or assign a shepherd to sit with those children and help with reading text.
  • Plug in the headphones to the computers (there are only 2 sets per computer)

Software and Navigation Tips – Amazing Expedition Bible
When the CD is opened, the screen will show an office area with different items on a desk.
1. Click on the book at the bottom left of the desk – Stories.
2. Click on the red arrow timeline on the right hand side at the top of the screen.
3. Click until you come to Ruth and Naomi, 1100 B.C.
4. Click Read at the bottom toolbar to listen to the narrator read the story.
5. Click on the arrow at the bottom toolbar to advance the story.
6. Answer the questions on the worksheet as you go through the software together.

Why did Ruth and her husband go to Moab? (because there was a famine)
What happened to Elimelech and the two sons? (they died)
What did Naomi do then? (returned to Israel – Bethlehem)
Who went with her? (Ruth)
Ruth and Boaz got married and had a son named _____________ (Obed)
Ruth was the great-grandmother of David. David was in the family tree of God’s Son _______________ (Jesus)
After listening to the story, click the buttons on the left hand tool bar to learn some interesting facts. Move the mouse over the buttons to read what each button does. Click on the following buttons:

  • Mind Meld – Who said this? (Ruth)
  • Click on Bible Story to go back.
  • Pictures – What is Ruth doing in this picture? (picking up leftover grain from Boaz’s field.) What is this called? (gleaning)
  • Click on Bible Story to go back.
  • It’s a Fact – Why did a man take off his sandal and give it away in these times? (to seal a bargain) Who took off his sandal in this story? (the other relative)
  • Click on Bible Story to go back.
  • Mysteries – What did it mean when Naomi took Ruth’s baby onto her lap? (it meant that Naomi wanted to adopt the baby as her own child so that her husband’s family name would not be lost – Ruth 4:14-17)
  • Click on Bible Story to go back.
    Click on Main Menu.
    Click on the red EXIT sign to exit the program.

Computer Exploration – Grades 5-6
Life Application Bible
When the CD is opened, the screen will be divided into two sections: the Bible (left) and Insights (right).
Highlight the scripture reference on the left hand side in the green bar (it will say Genesis 1:1).
Type in Ruth 1.
Click Return or enter.
The scripture will appear on the left hand side of the screen.
Scroll up to the top of the screen.

Click Personality Profile – Ruth and Naomi.
Read Strengths and Accomplishments on the right hand side of the screen.
What was Ruth and Naomi’s greatest bond? (faith in God)
What did Ruth and Naomi always try to do for each other? (what was best for each other)
Read Vital Statistics.
Where did Ruth and Naomi live? (Moab and Bethlehem)
Type in Ruth 2 in top green bar and click enter.
Scroll to top.
Click on icon of Personality Profile – Boaz.
Read the first paragraph (right hand side of screen).
What did Boaz do that other heroes do? (put others first, before himself)
Read the next paragraphs.
Read Strengths and Accomplishments.
What are three words to describe Boaz? (kind, helpful, did what was right, hero)
Making right choices is not necessarily easy. Sometimes we want to make the easy choice, even though we know what the right choice is. What helps you choose the right thing over the easy thing?
Click the Insight icon (small diamond) next to the text at Ruth 2:2.
Israelite law said not to harvest the corners of fields and to leave any grain that dropped on the ground so poor people could come and pick it up. What is this called? (gleaning)
Scroll to top again and click on the Art icon – Ruth Gleans in the Field.
Type Ruth 4 in the green bar and click enter.
Read Ruth 4:7-8.
Why did the other family redeemer take off his sandal and give it to Boaz? (to seal the bargain)
Scroll to top.
Click on Art icon – Boaz Buys Naomi’s property.
Click on Insight icon at Ruth 4:15.
Read insights on right had side of screen:
Ruth 4:15 – What should we do when we face hard times?

To exit, click on the small X in the upper right hand box.

After 15-20 minutes of computer exploration, bring the group back together to the tables with their completed worksheets and their Bibles.

Bible Study and Discussion
Important Teacher Notes:
One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children do not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the background information to help you introduce the story.

If you are teaching the 10:45 session, and the majority of your children attended the earlier session, modify the Bible study part of the lesson. Have the children locate the various scriptures, but do not read them all again. Paraphrase or have the children tell you 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 bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. 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.

Bring the children back to the large table in the center of the room with their Bibles and their completed worksheets.
Ask: Where is the story of Ruth found in the Bible? (Old Testament, book of History)
Help the children locate Ruth in their Bibles now. This book has only four chapters.
Review the story by reading and discussing the Bible notes below and the Computer worksheets. Use some of the discussion questions that follow to review the story as needed.

Special Bible Notes:
NIrV: Adventure Bible for Young Readers

  • Words to Treasure: Memory verse (page 312)
  • Let’s Live it: Choose Friends Wisely (page 313)
  • People In Bible Times: Ruth and Naomi (page 313 and 314)
  • Life in Bible Times: Taking off a Sandal (page 315)
  • Let’s Live It: Rich Rewards (page 316)

    Little Kids’ Adventure Bible
  • People in Bible Times: Naomi and Ruth( page 105)
  • Let’s Live It: Choose Friends Wisely (page 106)
  • Words to Treaure: Our memory verse (page 106

Memory Verse: Each rotation the children are asked to memorize one scripture verse. Locate and review the memory verse with them at this time.

Discussion and Review Questions:

  • Why did Naomi and Elimelech and their two sons move to Moab? (because of a famine)
  • What happened there? (husband died, two sons got married then they died also)
  • Who were the two Moabite women Naomi’s sons married? (Ruth and Orpah)
  • What did Naomi decide to do after the death of her husband and sons? (return to Bethlehem)
  • What did Orpah do? Ruth? (Orpah stayed, Ruth came with Naomi)
  • What was it like for widows in this time? (very hard, families expected to care for them, brothers of husbands should marry to carry on the family line)
  • Where was Naomi’s home town? (Bethlehem)
  • What did Ruth do when they arrived in Bethlehem? (went to glean barley in a field)
  • Describe gleaning. (law requiring harvesters to not harvest the corners of a field and to leave any grain that dropped on the ground for the poor)
  • Who did the field belong to? (Boaz – a relative of Ruth and Naomi)
  • How did Boaz treat Ruth? (with great kindness, gave her more grain, made sure she was protected)
  • What did Naomi tell Ruth to do? (to go and lie at Boaz’s feet to ask him to be her kinsman redeemer)
  • What is a kinsman? (a relative)
  • Who did Boaz need to talk with first? (the other relative)
  • What did they do to seal the bargain? (gave a sandal)
  • How did the story end? (Boaz and Ruth married, had a son, Obed, Naomi was not bitter anymore)
  • How was God watching out for Ruth and Naomi in this story?
  • How did God turn the bitter, sad things that happened into something wonderful and good?
  • Ruth was the great-grandmother of David. David was in the family line of Jesus. Even though Ruth was a foreigner and not a Jew, God used her because of her great faith. Ruth became an ancestress of Jesus, our great redeemer! Faith is the most important thing to God! 


Reflection and Journal Time:
The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal question sticker for the day. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may copy the memory verse and illustrate it as an alternative to journal questions.

Journal Questions: 

  • Grades 1-3: Pretend you are Ruth in the story. Write a letter or draw a picture to show your best friend back home in Moab what has happened to you!
  • Grades 4-6: Pretend you are Ruth in today’s story. Write a letter to your friends at home in Moab telling them what has happened to you!

    Closing Prayer: Gather the children together in a circle. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (Faith, Compassion, Kindness, Loyalty, Love are some suggestions) Encourage children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends, especially their friends who do not belong to a church. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and pray together. You may ask one of the children to say the closing prayer, or you may pray something like this, Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of your Bible which tells us of such amazing people of faith like Ruth and Naomi. Help us to be more faithful. Help us to be kind like Boaz. Help us to be the kind of people you can use to help others and to spread the good news of your love for everyone! AMEN.

Clean-up: Help the Shepherd collect nametags and journals and put away. Put the software away and shut down all computers.


 

A workshop written by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, Summer 2003. Permission granted to use for non-commercial, local church use. Please note State Street UMC as your source. (See note at end of posting.)

Jaymie Derden

Lesson set created and copyrighted by
State Street UMC - G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team, 2003
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. Lesson set posted at rotation.org: Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith. Summer 2003. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets.

 

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

 

Ruth and Naomi - Women of Faith
Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Video: Ruth (Testament: The Bible in Animation, Diamond Entertainment Corporation) 
Running Time: 25 minutes 

Scripture References:

Ruth, “The story of Ruth” Little Kids’ Adventure Bible, pages 104-109

Memory Verse:

“Where you go I’ll go. Where you stay I’ll stay. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (page 106, Little Kid’s Adventure Bible)

Theme:
Friendship, loyalty, courage, stewardship, leftovers, love for those who are different. God loves everyone!

Lesson Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Ruth as a book of history in the Old Testament.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will define: gleaning.
  • Children will identify the following characters in the story: Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, Obed.
  • Children will recognize that Ruth was a member of the family tree of David and Jesus.
  • Children will explain some of the Old Testament customs of gleaning, treatment of foreigners and kinsman redeemer.
  • Children will recognize God’s love for everyone.
  • Children will understand that God is with us and will use even difficult or bad situations to bring about good. (Romans 8:28 connection)
  • Children will memorize Ruth 1:16
  • Children will watch a video about the story.

Supplies, Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Video - Ruth (Testament)
  • NIrV: Adventure Bible for Young Readers (Grades 4-6)
  • Little Kids’ Adventure Bible (Grades 1-3)
  • Read the Background Information and lesson plan. Review the teaching guide and Behavioral Covenant.
  • Preview the video.
  • Prepare the popcorn before the children arrive and have it bagged and ready to distribute so your attention can be given to the children.


Important Note for Video Workshop Leaders:
Children love this workshop! Often the video is a direct correlation with the Bible story and creates a concrete, visual image in the children’s minds. They refer to this image over and over throughout the rotation as they visit other workshops. Some videos may take some liberties with the story-you may need to point out these discrepancies. As much as possible sit down with the children and watch the video together. Feel free to pause the video to discuss something that you especially want them to note. Please ensure that the children treat the room with respect-no standing, jumping, or otherwise abusing the seats.

Time Guidelines:

  • Gathering Games in Bible Quest 15 minutes
  • Welcome/Introduction 5 minutes
  • Video 25 minutes
  • Bible Study & Discussion 10 minutes
  • Journal/Closing 5 minutes


Presentation

Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Gather the children together at the tables with their Bibles. Make sure children are wearing nametags. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Always begin each class with introductions. Remember that workshop leaders rotate often and the children may not know you.

Tell the children that today we will learn about the loyalty and friendship between two women. We will talk about how our faith in God strengthens us, and how God can bring about good even in difficult times.

Opening Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the scripture you’ve given us, to learn about you. Help us to understand your word so that we may show others our love for you. Thank you, Lord, for all who are gathered here today. Please lead us and guide us throughout the week and help us show our love for you to all of those around us. Amen

Bring the children to the theater seats. Seat the smaller up front so everyone can see. Begin the video and distribute the popcorn once children are seated.

After the video is finished, bring the children back to the center tables with their Bibles for the Bible study and discussion.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Study:
Important Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If the children do not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to use their Bibles” and the background information to help you introduce the story.

Note: The story of Ruth is too long to be read in its entirety. Instead have the children locate the story and discuss and paraphrase it for them.

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 bold headings in their Bibles to guide their discussion. 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.

Review the Story:
The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the most famous love stories in the Bible. Did you know about this story before this rotation in Sunday school? This story is found in the Old Testament of our Bibles – a long time before Jesus was born. The book of Ruth is a book of history. It has only four chapters. The story took place when Israel was ruled by Judges. Judges were leaders similar to our presidents, with God as their king.

  • For 4-6 graders say: If you look in your Table of Contents of your Bible you will see that the book right before Ruth is the Book of Judges. So Ruth comes right after that in our Bibles.
    Let’s find the book of Ruth in our Bibles now.

  • 1-3 Grades: Remember, the Old Testament tells about stories that happened before Jesus was born. Today’s story is about a woman who actually was one of the ancestors in Jesus’ family tree. Have the children locate “The Story of Ruth” in their Bibles (pages 104-109). (Rising first graders have just received their Bibles and will probably need LOTS of help!) The third graders can help the younger children, also.
    Say: Look at the red title – “The Story of Ruth.” This tells us the story. Next look at the blue sub-titles. These tell about what happens during the story. Look at the orange boxes on page 105. Your Bibles have lots of really interesting notes and pictures that help us understand more about the stories.
    Read the People in Bible Times Notes: Naomi and Ruth.


Ask: Why did Naomi and her husband go to Moab in the first place? (there was a famine – no food)
What happened to Elimelech and Naomi’s two sons? (they died)
Who were Ruth and Orpah? (the wives of Naomi’s two sons)
What did Naomi decide to do? (return to her home in Bethlehem)
Who went with her? (Ruth)

Turn to page 106 and read the Words to Treasure Note there. This is our memory verse. Read it together with the children. Encourage them to memorize this verse.

Look at the blue sub-title: Ruth Meets Boaz.
Who was Boaz? (a relative of Naomi, man who owned a barley field)
What did Ruth do there? (gleaned grain – explain the concept of gleaning to the children)
How did Boaz treat Ruth? (kindly, gave her extra grain, made sure she was protected)

Look at the blue sub-title: Ruth Goes to Boaz at the Threshing Floor
Say: In Bible times there was a law to protect widows. It said that if a woman’s husband died the closest male relative should marry the woman and take care of her. This person was called a kinsman redeemer. (Kinsman means relative) Naomi thought Boaz was this relative. So Naomi sent Ruth to sleep at Boaz’s feet. This meant that she was asking Boaz to marry her and take care of her.

What did Boaz say? (he agreed to marry her)
Boaz and Ruth married and had a son named Obed. Obed was the grandfather of King David who was in Jesus’ family line. So Ruth was one of Jesus’ ancestors!

Read the Let’s Live it Note: Rich Rewards on page 108.
How did God reward Ruth and Naomi for their faith and their good friendship? (gave them a new family, a new home)
Say: Ruth and Naomi went through some very hard times, but God was with them through all of it. No matter what hard times we face, God is always with us because God loves us!
What does God teach us about caring for others from this story? (God loves everyone, we should love and care for everyone, our differences don’t matter to God)
How can we care for others as Boaz did?

Grades 3-6:
Locate the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Note that it comes right after the book of Judges. Ruth is a book of History. Read the chapter titles to review the story with the children.

Chapter 1: Ruth Goes to Bethlehem with Naomi.
Where was Naomi originally from? (Bethlehem)
Why did she and Elimelech go to Moab? (because there was a famine)
What happened to her husband and sons? (they died)
Why was it unusual for Israelites to go to Moab? (because Moabites worshiped pagan gods and idols – not the one true God of Israel)
Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem. What did Ruth do? (went with her)
Read the Words to Treasure note on page 312: This is our memory verse for this rotation. Encourage the children to memorize this verse.
Read the People in Bible Times Notes: Naomi and Ruth (pages 313 and 314).

Chapter 2: Ruth Meets Boaz.
What did Ruth do when they arrived in Bethlehem? (went to pick grain or glean in a field)
What was gleaning? (the custom to care for the poor, not harvesting the corners of fields or any grain that was dropped)
How did Boaz treat Ruth? (kindly, generously, protected her)

Chapter 3: Ruth Goes to Boaz at the Threshing Floor.
Boaz was Naomi’s husband’s relative. If a woman’s husband died, the closest relative of the husband was expected to marry and provide for the widow. This was called a kinsman redeemer. Naomi thought that Boaz was the closest relative. She asked Ruth to go to Boaz and lie at his feet. This meant that she was asking him to be her kinsman redeemer and to marry her.
What did Boaz do? (agreed to marry her, but first needed to check with a closer relative)
Read Life in Bible Times note: Taking off a Sandal
What did the other relative do? (took off his sandal in agreement for Boaz to marry Ruth and inherit Naomi’s land.)

Chapter 4: Boaz Gets Married to Ruth.
Boaz and Ruth married and had a son named Obed.
Obed became the grandfather of whom? (King David)
King David is in the family line of Jesus. (Remind the children of our earlier rotation The Jesse Tree. These names should be familiar to them from that rotation).
Read Let’s Live it: Rich Rewards on page 316.

Ruth was willing to leave behind her family, her faith, her home. Why do you think Ruth decided to follow Naomi?
How do you think Ruth felt about Naomi?
What do you think it was like for Ruth to leave her family behind?
Have you ever been away from your family? What was that like?
How was Ruth a true friend to Naomi? What characteristics do you look for in a true friend?
What kind of friend are you?

Definitions to know:
Gleaning – the practice of picking up leftover grain from a field after harvesting, Israelite law required this to care for the poor.
Redeem – buy back, ransom, reclaim
Kinsman Redeemer – a practice whereby a near relative married a widow, provided a son for her to continue to line and inheritance of the dead husband

Reflection and Journal Time:
The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals, pencils, and the journal question sticker for the day. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each session. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:

  • Grades 1-3: Draw a picture of Ruth leaving behind her family and friends in Moab.
  • Grades 3-6: Ruth left all her family and friends behind to be with Naomi. Have you ever been away from your family? What was it like?


Extra Activities:

If you have extra time, play a game to review the memory verse. Write the memory verse out on a large sheet of construction paper (Have this done prior to class). Seat the children in the theatre seats. Assign one child one word of the verse. (children may need to take more than one word) Point to each word of the verse and have the children stand up and say their word, then sit back down. After the entire verse has been said, have all the children stand and recite the verse together. Play several times going faster and faster.

Grades 1-2: Have the children use the Bible books filmstrip to begin to learn the books of the Bible. Call out the Bible books and have them tell you if they are New or Old Testament Books. Have them locate on the filmstrip the Bible book of our current story and the location of the memory verse.

Grades 3-6: This is an interesting comparison between the stories of Ruth and Jesus. (Redeemer Conversation from First Presbyterian Church, Napa CA, that has been copied into the above bible background link.)
What does the word redeem mean? (buy back, ransom, reclaim)
Who was the redeemer in the story of Ruth? (Boaz) Why? (He married Ruth and took care of her, gave her a home, saved her from a bad life)

Let’s compare the story of Ruth with Jesus. Teacher, will read the things Boaz did and have the children try to think about what Jesus did for us (read in a back and forth format)

Say: Ruth perfumed herself in preparation to meet her Redeemer.

Ask: What is the comparison to Jesus?
(We should be a sweet fragrant offering to Jesus)

Ruth: told Boaz she would be his servant
Us: Jesus wants us to be servants for him

Boaz: went to the city gates and interceded on behalf of Ruth. He bought and paid for her redemption.
Jesus: Our Savior left heaven. He bought and paid for our redemption. Daily he intercedes on our behalf before God.

Boaz: told Ruth not to be afraid that he would take care of her.
Jesus: Tells us not to be afraid because he takes care of us.

Boaz: had to overcome obstacles to marry Ruth.
Jesus: overcame all obstacles, even death to be our Redeemer.

Ruth: a foreigner, but Boaz accepted her.
Us: we were lost but Jesus found us and adopted us into his family.

Boaz and Ruth: blessed with a child. The child redeemed Naomi from being a poor, lonely widow. Later in that same family lineage another Child is born who will redeem all who receive him – Jesus!

Closing:

Gather the children together. Review with them one word or concept that they learned in today’s session. (Love, loyalty, courage, and faith are some suggestions) Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite a friend, especially friends who do not belong to a church. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and pray together.

Clean-up: Have the children throw away their popcorn bags and cups. Clean out popcorn machine and sweep up any stray kernels. Put away Bibles, paper, pencils, videos, etc. Bag up trash and place outside the classroom door. 

A workshop written by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, Summer 2003. Permission granted to use for non-commercial, local church use. Please note State Street UMC as your source. (See note at end of posting.)
Jaymie Derden


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

 Lesson set created and copyrighted by
State Street UMC - G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team, 2003
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. Lesson set posted at rotation.org: Ruth and Naomi – Women of Faith. Summer 2003. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets.

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

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