"Sam I Am"
For our rotations during the summer of 2008, our theme was "The Parables of Dr. Seuss". We based our lessons on the book by that name which is a Christian interpretation of Seuss' work by Reverend Short, ...the same pastor who wrote "The Gospel According to Peanuts."
One of the rotations was "Green Eggs and Ham". The Sam I am statements were correlated with the I Am scriptures.
There were three sets of four week rotations. Each workshop was based upon a different Dr. Seuss book. I stripped the following I AM workshop from the completed lesson plan.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, set his first career goal for a professorship in English literature. He soon realized the Oxford faculty was too serious for his brand of humor. He then tried German drama and later a dissertation on Jonathon Swift. No go. These early attempts of Geisel are solid proof of his astounding education, high intelligence, and not often shown depth. Dr. Seuss did not consider himself an author of children’s books like the rest of the world does. We are aware of the laughter and surface lessons from his books, but there is much more to him and his works than many of us are possibly aware of.
Ted Geisel was a known Christian, but there is no record of him publicly stating that he incorporated his beliefs into his works. Whether or not Geisel intended to hide Christian messages in his work, they are there. We will spend the summer digging deeper into Dr. Seuss and finding the definitive touch of God’s hand.
Each workshop will focus on a different Dr. Seuss book during each four week rotation (for a total of 12 books). And each book will have a different Christian focus. Our main objective is to teach the children (and possibly ourselves) how too look for God’s influence even if the author/artist had no knowledge of His guiding hand.
“Green Eggs and Ham”
John 6:51 “I am that living bread which has come down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread he shall live forever.
- Teach the children how to look for God’s hidden messages
- To see a correlation between green eggs and ham with Christianity
- Read your lesson overview
- Read and be familiar with your Dr. Seuss book
- Review this script
- “Green Eggs and Ham” book
- Green food coloring
- Memory verse poster
- Book of names and their meanings or copy of attachment A
- Green eggs and ham play set (available from several different websites)
Advance Preparation Requirements:
- Copies of attachment A
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Have the green eggs and ham cooking as the children assemble for class. Introduce yourself and any new child. When the food is done, arrange it on a platter and place in front of the class. Encourage them to eat some while you read the story “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss. Older children may want to take turns reading the book out loud.
Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
Read John 6:51 “I am that living bread which has come down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread he shall live forever. Moreover, the bread I will give is my own flesh; I give it for the life of the world.”
- Ask, “Does this mean we are supposed to eat the flesh of Jesus?!” Sounds gross.
Read John 6:53-55. “I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood possess eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. My flesh is real food; my blood is real drink.”
- Ask, “How do you think His disciples reacted to this statement?” Sounds even more gross!
Read John 6:60. “Many of [Jesus’] disciples on hearing it exclaimed, ‘This is more than we can stomach!’”
- Ask, “What do you think Jesus’ statements REALLY mean?”
Read John 6:35. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall never be hungry; and whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty.”
Explain to the class how it is important that we believe whole heartedly (swallow it whole) in Jesus. Show examples of how most of us believe somewhat (not always putting God first in our lives) and how much easier it is to believe completely when we need Him (hard challenges: tests, sports, sickness, etc)
Ask the following:
- Looking at Dr. Seuss’ illustrations, to what extent does the main character go to avoid Sam-I-am?
- How is this similar to our lives?
- Looking at Dr. Seuss’ illustrations, is there anywhere Sam-I-Am does not follow the main character?
- How is this similar to Jesus?
- All through the book, Sam-I-Am is asking him to give it a try. Once the main character finally does and discovers that he likes them, who follows whom?
- How is this similar to what Jesus wants from us?
- Who is Sam-I-Am ?
Accept all answers
If necessary, guide children towards the answer of Christianity
- Why do you think Dr. Seuss chose this name?
o Accept all answers
o Sam is short for Samuel
o Present attachment A
o Samuel = “his name is God”
o I Am = Jesus’ numerous references to self
- John 6:35 “…I am the bread of life.”
- John 8:12 “…I am the light of the world.”
- John 8:23 “…I am from above.”
- John 8:28 “…I am the one I claim to be.
- John 8:58 “…before Abraham was born, I am!”
- There are numerous others, encourage the children to find them and discuss.
- Ask the class if they found any other parallels in the story
Ask, “Would you eat green eggs and ham?” Close with prayer.
Adaptations - Younger Children
- You might make a poster or handout with a few of the bible verses containing “I am” statements.
- Encourage the children to retell the story from a Christian perspective with the Green Eggs and Ham play set
- “The Parables of Dr. Seuss” by Dr. Robert L. Short, Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, London, 2008.
- “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss, Random House, New York, 1962.
SAMUEL is from the Hebrew, meaning HIS NAME IS GOD
SAMUEL may also be from the root Shin Mem Ayin , meaning to HEAR (
SAMUEL - GOD HAS HEARD. Variant spellings - SAMUELE – SHEMUEL - SCHMUEL
Hebrew Bible name - Samuel was the son of Hannah, a prophet and a judge who anointed Saul as the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 1:20).
This lesson was originally posted by Member Cissy Green from: First United Methodist Church
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.