In addition to the public lessons and ideas posted below, be sure to check out our extra special lesson set: Jesus and Nicodemus ~ How to "See" the Kingdom. Written by our Writing Team for supporting members, its lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all. 


This thread is for posting Science and Storytelling Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Nicodemus, John 3.

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The experiments used food stuff, so it's not completely a stretch. Also note that we did this as part of "Super Surfin' Summer Sundays" hence some strange references to fish. -- Lisa

Nicodemus

Science/Demonstrations


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Each of these demonstrations are designed to lead into a story truth:

Food coloring added to soda leads to the discussion of whether the soda is the same (taste, smell, touch, sound) or different (look) leading to a discussion of someone who is born again.

Pepper floats on water and can't be separated. With a little dish soap, the pepper is pushed to the side, leading to a discussion about sin and Jesus taking away sin.


Outcome Objectives:

  • Children will discuss the concept "born again."
  • Children will understand the difference between real change and change that is only on the surface.
  • Children will understand that Jesus is needed to remove our sin.

Supply List:


Project 1

  • Clear soda, such as 7 up
  • Food coloring (red, green, blue - yellow is too subtle)
  • Plastic coffee stirrers, or wooden craft sticks
  • Clear serving cups


Project 2

  • Tub of water
  • Pitcher or ladle (for getting water)
  • Mixing bowls (one for every 2-3 children) (try and have a clear bowl for yourself)
  • Ground Pepper (lots and lots)
  • Dish soap (keep this hidden)
  • Strainers, washcloth, paper towels, etc. for children to try to separate pepper.


Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Try the experiments
  • Read the story ahead of time.


Presentation

 

Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Explain who Nicodemus was...a member of the ruling elders, the Council. Why did he have to meet Jesus at night?

"Decode" the concepts/images in this passage prior to reading.
Each of these means something other than what it means on the surface.

Night, Born from Above, Water, Spirit, Wind, Flesh, Born, Son of Man. See if the children come up with their own definitions, then fill in the blanks.

Read John 3:3-5 and discuss the concepts "kingdom of God" and "born again."
How are WE like Nicodemus embarrassed to come to Jesus? What's so dangerous or potentially embarrassing about being known as one of his followers? How do we hide our faith from our friends and family? Why do we do that?

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

IMPORTANT: Always practice science-tvpe experiments Before presenting them to
class. A botched lesson loses its impact!!!

Project 1
Divide children into pairs and give each pair two cups and one stirrer. Pour soda in each child's cup. Allow them to take a small sip of it, but explain that they need it for their science experiment, so leave it full.

Explain that you will be dropping food coloring in each of the two cups. One cup the children are supposed to simply observe. The other cup the children may stir the mixture.

Hand out predictions papers and have children fill them in. (Having an older and younger child work together will help non-readers.)

There are at least two possible object lessons to experiment # 1.

  1. The soda didn't really change. It looks different, but it tastes and smells and
    sounds the same. What kind of change is Jesus looking for Nicodemus to do?
    Superficial change or real change? What's the difference?
  2. The food color got mixed quicker when we stirred it. Jesus is like that stirring
    stick. It's possible to make changes in your life apart from God, but when we ask
    God to come into our lives, the change is much more thorough. The second point will be emphasized in project #2, but if you think you won't have time for the second experiment, bring up that point here as well.


Project #2
Have various objects that children can use to try and separate the water and pepper, but conceal the real solution, which is dish soap.

Work with children to fill in first three sections of the worksheet.
Have them gather around as you sprinkle pepper on the water. Explain that trying to get sin out of your life without Jesus is like trying to strain the pepper out of the water - it is difficult and doesn't work very well. (Sneak a little dish soap onto the tip of your finger) Explain Jesus takes away sin when we believe in him. With Jesus all sin is wiped away. As you say this, touch your finger lightly to the water. All the pepper should move to the sides, leaving clean water.

Reveal the secret of the dish soap and have children fill in section 4 of the worksheet. Let the children experiment "With Jesus all sin is wiped away" using dish soap. (They may need to start with fresh water and fresh pepper to make it work).

Worksheet answers:
First section: Water is a symbol for LIFE Second section: Pepper is a symbol for SIN Fourth section: Soap is a symbol for JESUS

Science explanation: Water has a very fine skin that covers the surface. When you put something like pepper on top, it floats on the surface of that skin. Dish soap breaks that skin and pushes the pepper away.

Faith explanation: Christ's forgiveness washes away our sin.

Closing:

Discuss conclusion questions. Read again the sections of scripture pertaining to being born again, and memory verse.
Say a prayer thanking God for taking away our sin. Enjoy your colorful soda.

To Take Home:
Kaleidoscopes or fish sunglasses.
Significance: Jesus challenged Nicodemus, and us, to look at life a different way.

Adjustments for age levels and abilities:
Pair readers and non-readers together. If all the children are younger, ask an extra adult to sit in on class and write notes for the experiments.

If time runs short...
Perform the second project as a "magic trick" saying "With Jesus all sin is wiped away" without going through the worksheets. Going through the lesson as written will have greater impact, but the main point will get across this way, as well.

If you have extra time...
Give the children a blank paper and invite them to create their own experiment that

Be creative...
Any other good science projects that you think would do a better job getting the message across? Think through the theological meaning of the experiment to make sure it is really saying what you want it to say, and decide how to present it to the children.


A lesson written by Lisa Martin from: Trinity UCC,
Pottstown, PA

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

Original Post

Nicodemus: Brand New Life

Science Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Nic at Night Detective Agency.

Bible Memory Verse: John 3:16 (also verse 17 for older ages)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”

Scripture Reference:

 John 3:1-17

Goals for this workshop:

Children will …

  • Learn the who, what, where, when, how of the story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night with questions
  • Do 2 science experiments with club soda to learn the idea of how something changes completely, not just on the surface
  • That Jesus called the change within us by the Holy Spirit being “born into God’s kingdom by water and the Spirit” or “reborn”.

Supplies List:

  • star stickers
  • club soda
  • detective props such as:  dark sunglasses, detective hats, trenchcoats
  • 11 clues - see list of clue props below
  • Storysheet with blanked out clues
  • detective star/badge that says “Nic at Night Detective Agency – Trainee”.
  • small notebooks / pencils


Leader Preparation:

  • Make detective star/badge that say “Nic at Night Detective Agency – Trainee”.
  • Hide the 11 clues (see below) around the room before the kids come in each week. The kids will know it’s a clue and not just a decoration or prop in the room because each of the clues will have a star sticker on it. For the younger groups, hide them in easier places.
  • Also this lesson includes a “science experiment”. You may want to practice before presenting it to the class.


Presentation


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

As kids enter your workshop welcome them to the “Nic at Night Detective Agency”. Tell them that you were expecting some new recruits and that you’re glad that they’re here to help with this case. Tell them that your name is Detective _________.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:


The Story

Pass out a pair of dark sunglasses OR a detective hat OR a trenchcoat to each of the kids, so they each have at least one item. Give them each a detective star/badge that says “Nic at Night Detective Agency – Trainee” to wear and a detective notebook and pencil. (They can take these home at the end of class.)

Tell them that the new case you’re working on has clues spread out throughout the workshop. Have them choose a partner, since detectives usually work with a partner. If there is an odd number of kids, have the “shepherd” be a partner with one of the kids.

Tell them that they will know it’s a clue when they find it because it will have a star sticker on it.

Explain that all together they are to find 11 hidden clues. Tell them that sometimes the clues will be an object, sometimes a paper with a picture or word on it. Each pair of detectives is to find only 1 clue, take it with them and go sit on the rug, putting the object in the briefcase (or near if too big) on the floor in the middle.

You will need to keep track of the clues and make sure all 11 are found before starting the next part. You may need to ask some of the detectives to find more than one clue.

As they’re waiting for others to find clues, have them write down or draw in their notebook the items found so far. Once they’re all sitting in the circle have them write down or draw in their notebooks all 11 clues.

For Lower Elementary Group:

Have all detectives sit with you on the rug and tell the story like a rebus. You will read the story from the attached page. Everywhere there is a word in CAPS on the attached story, it’s a clue that they should have found. So when you get to that word in the story pause and see if the detectives can choose one of the objects to fill in the blank. See below for the next activity titled “questions for all ages”

For Upper Elementary Group:

Sit on the rug and place the briefcase in the center. Have the pairs write down all the clues gathered in their notebook.

Then give each pair of detectives a clipboard, pencil, and story sheet and have them work together on the Bible story sheet to fill in the blanks adding the clues they’ve all found.

After they all finish, read the story together to check if they got each one correct.

Then at the bottom of the story sheet there will be the words Who, What, Where, When, Why, How. Each pair is to come up with a question for one or more of these categories that they can ask in the next Q&A time. You may need to watch the clock and call “time” before they finish.


Questions for all ages:

  • Who were the two characters in the story? Jesus and Nicodemus
    Ask if anyone else has a “who” question for the group
  • When did Nicodemus visit Jesus? [at night]
    Ask if anyone else has a “when” question for the group
  • How does Nicodemus know that Jesus has been sent by God? [He’s heard about Jesus doing miracles]
  • How many kinds of birth does Jesus say there are and what are they? [2 – birth by your parents as a baby and birth through the Holy Spirit into God’s kingdom]
    Ask if anyone else has a “how” question for the group
  • What is the only way that Jesus says someone can enter the kingdom of God? [everyone must be born again of water and the Spirit]
  • What do we call being born of water and the Spirit? [baptism]
    Ask if anyone else has a “what” question for the group
  • Why did God send Jesus to us? [God sent Jesus to us because he loves us so much that he wants us to live forever with him in heaven.]
    Ask if anyone else has a “what” question for the group
  • Where in the Bible can we find this story of Nicodemus visiting Jesus? [John chapter 3]
    Ask if anyone else has a “what” question for the group

 Tell the kids that detectives ask questions to find out the truth. Nicodemus was looking for the truth and he found Jesus, who is Truth!

ASK: Do you ever have questions that you’d like to ask Jesus? (look for a yes or no answer rather than the questions themselves --- maybe just by a “raise your hand” poll)

SAY: Be daring enough to investigate who Jesus is and what he says. You can open the Bible and "visit" Jesus. Later we’ll take some time alone to quietly ask Jesus to show you who He is and how you can get to know Him better. He will be there waiting for you, just like He was there for Nicodemus and me and for all those who come to Him.

Science: 

SAY: Right now it’s time to go to the Top Secret Lab and work on some experiments!

MOVE to the table to do the following discussion and experiments.
SAY: One of the things Jesus said to Nicodemus was about being “born again”. Jesus explained it to Nicodemus but Nicodemus was still confused. Let’s talk about this.

ASK: What are the differences between a newborn baby and someone your age?
SAY: It's easy to see the differences between newborn babies and those who are older. But there are other things you can't tell about people just by looking at them.
ASK: When you just take a quick look at someone, how can you tell whether he or she is a good person or a bad person?
SAY: In the same way, you can't really tell if a person is a Christian and follower of Jesus just by looking at his or her appearance. Was Nicodemus thinking about the outside or inside of a person when Jesus was telling him about being born again? (outside) Did Jesus mean outside change or inside change? (inside)

Give each detective a clear cups and a stir stick.

For the older kids also give them one “prediction” sheet per pair and one pencil. The younger kids you’ll just ask the questions, 2 older groups you’ll ask but they’ll record their answers on the paper.

The label will be removed from the club soda so they don’t know what it is. Pour some in each child's cup, filling it only half way.

Ask for their prediction on the following:

  • What do you think this drink will taste like?

Tell them to take a very small sip of it, but explain that they need it for their science experiment, so only a small sip.

  • Were your predictions correct about the taste of the drink?

Tell them that you are going to put 2 drops of food coloring in each of their cups. Ask:

  • Do you think the look will change?
  • Do you think the taste will change?

 
Put 2 drops of food coloring in each child’s cup. You can ask what color they’d like. Have the Beacon help to speed the process.

Hand them each a stir stick to mix up their drink and completely color it. Ask:

  • Was your prediction correct about the color?
  • When you take a sip again, do you think the taste will change or not?

Have them take a very small sip. Ask:

  • Were your predictions correct about the taste?

SAY: The soda didn't really change. It looks different, but it tastes the same.

ASK: What kind of change was Jesus looking for Nicodemus to do?
Superficial change/outside change or real/inside change? What's the difference?

ASK: What did Nicodemus think Jesus meant when he talked about a man being "born again"?
SAY: Jesus was talking about the inside of a person. Jesus meant that our souls, or the part of us that makes us who we are, are "born again" when we receive the Holy Spirit.
Let's let your drink represent a person who doesn't know about God.

ASK:

  • · What does the drink taste like right now?
  • · How are people who don't have God in their hearts like this drink?

SAY: Now let's let this white grape juice represent the Holy Spirit.
Pour about as much juice in the kid's cups as they have water, an even amount of each.

ASK:

  • Do you think the look will change?
  • Do you think the taste will change?

Have the kids mix then take a small sip. Ask: Were your predictions correct?
SAY: The sweet juice helps the drink taste much better and sweeter. Even though it looks the same as it did before, the drink is now different on the inside.
That's why Nicodemus didn't understand about what it meant for a man to be "born again." He was thinking about the outside of a person (the look) and not the inside.

As the kids finish their drinks, ask:

  • How is being "born again" like what we did to the plain water?
  • Why can't we tell by looking at another person if he or she has received the Holy Spirit and been "born again"?
  • What things does a person who has been "born again" do?
  • How would you define "born again" in your own words?
  • How can a person receive the Holy Spirit and be "born again"?


Closing:

Allow for 5-10 minutes of wrap up/prayer with the shepherd and kids.



Story/Clue Sheet: The words in CAPS are the clues we hid. Clues were blanked out on the clue sheets. There is a key at the bottom of the story as to what the object was.

Nic At Night:
Nicodemus was a Pharisee. He tried with all his HEART to keep God’s laws and to obey all the many RULES that had been added to them over the centuries. He was also a member of the ruling Jewish Council.

Nicodemus had HEARD all about Jesus, but he was not angry or jealous about what Jesus was doing, like many of the other Pharisees were.

“Jesus must be a good man,” Nicodemus thought, “or he could not do such MIRACLES.”

Nicodemus wanted to talk to Jesus, so he decided to visit him at NIGHT, when no prying onlookers would tell his friends on the Council. They wouldn’t approve.

Jesus knew all about Nicodemus, long before he came out of the dark shadows of the night to talk to him.

“There is something important that I must tell you,” Jesus said. You will never enter God’s kingdom by trying to keep the laws. You need to be born again.”

“How can I be born at my age?” Nicodemus asked. “I can’t become a BABY all over again!”

“There is more than one kind of birth”, Jesus explained. “You are born into this world through natural parents. But you are born into God’s kingdom through his Holy Spirit.”

Even though Nicodemus was a trained teacher in the laws, he had no IDEA what Jesus meant.

“God’s Holy Spirit is like the wind,” Jesus said. “You cannot see the Holy Spirit any more than you can see the wind. But just as you know when the wind is blowing by what it does and how it effects things, so you will know the Holy Spirit is at work in your life. The Holy Spirit is the ONE who can give you God’s life.

“For God so LOVED the WORLD that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to SAVE it.”

Nicodemus walked slowly away into the dark night. How different was Jesus’ way from the teachings he knew of. One day he would make up his mind which to follow.

(Adapted from “Children’s Bible in 365 Stories” by Batchelor.)

Clues:
Heart - heart shaped cookie pan
Rules - rules from a board game
Heard - a plastic ear from a costume
Miracles - the word "miracles" on a piece of paper
Night - a blow up moon
Baby - doll
Idea - lightbulb
One - "we're number one" finger
Loved - another heart
World - small globe
Save - life preserver


Creative Carol added the following note and questions to the lesson:

Just wondering if I understand what the Bible story sheet looks like. (We did Nic a couple months ago but I’m thinking this would be fun to do next time.) Was it just the story that you posted but with blanks instead of the caps? As in...

Nicodemus was a Pharisee. He tried with all his _____ to keep God’s laws and to obey all the many _____ that had been added to them over the centuries...

And then at the bottom:
Who: _________
What: ________
etc...

Also wondering:
How did this work out for kids visiting this workshop at the beginning of the Rotation? Did you have the situation where this would be their first hearing of the story?

Other thoughts:
Clue for "save" could also be a pack of lifesavers. Might be fun to have the clue for miracles be a cell phone with a star on it and then have someone outside the room call that cell phone to give the clue.

Thanks for sharing your lesson,
--Carol



Jan in Napa responded with this clarification....

Clarification:
We had our oldest group of kids go first and that was their first time hearing the story. After gathering all the clues, by writing down the name of the object, they were able to work it like a puzzle (example: ear = hear, "Nicodemus had ____ all about Jesus", "heard". They did this part as a group so between all of them, and getting extra help/clues, they got it. We even did this with our preschoolers (their last rotation) and they remembered the story and had a blast with finding the clues!


Luanne added on March 11/14 Word Docs:

Nic at Night Teacher Sheet

Nic at Night Student Sheet


A lesson written by Jan Napa from: First Presbyterian Church
Napa, CA

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

 

Attachments

Nicodemus and Jesus: Born from Above

Science Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

This science lessons consists of reading the scripture story of Jesus and Nicodemus and then uses 5 air experiments/demonstrations (with one extra/alternative) to (hopefully!) illustrate the shared properties of aerodynamics and the Holy Spirit.

For the full lesson, download the attached Word .doc at the bottom of this post. The first three pages of the document are "background" and the actual lesson starts on page 4 (which is also where you will find the supply list). 

Scripture Reference:

John 3:1-8;16-17

Note: The best set-up for this lesson, I've found, is to set the experiments up around the classroom and then move to each "station" and invite a new volunteer or two to help with the demonstration. Also, be sure to really play up the guessing of what will happen - hypothesizing is the basis of the scientific method and seems like a fine thing to encourage in a classroom entitled, "Science."

From the attached lesson, here are the first three science experiments with some of the teaching comments (in first person) included:



Presentation


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:



Read the scripture story then...

Ask (answers in parentheses)

  • What did Jesus say the Holy Spirit acts like? (the wind)
  • Do you by any chance know what the Hebrew word for wind is? (Ruach. Pronounced “RUU-awk” Have the class say it with you)
  • Do you by any chance know what the Hebrew word for breath is? (same thing: Ruach)
  • Do you by any chance know what the Hebrew word for Spirit is? (again, same thing: Ruach)
  • Does the idea of letting the wind blow you around sound at all scary to you? Like if it was a windy day, and you're trying to walk home, but then the wind keeps blowing you the wrong way?


Tell

  • For those of us who do think the wind blowing us around is a scary thing, that’s why Jesus ends with the last two verses: To let Nicodemus (and the rest of us) know that God’s Holy Spirit will not be destructive to him, me, you or the world. Jesus is telling Nicodemus that God’s Holy Spirit is a gift of love meant to save the world, not destroy it.
  • One thing that helps us be less afraid of something is to learn about it.
  • Since both Jesus and the Hebrew language think the wind and God’s Holy Spirit share traits (meaning: are similar), let’s do some wind demonstrations and experiments to compare how the wind is like God’s Holy Spirit.


Explain First Experiment

  • I am holding two empty soda cans (or two tennis balls).
  • I am putting them on this table top, which is a smooth and level surface.
  • What do you think will happen if I take this straw and blow gently between the two cans. What will the cans do?
  • Can I have a volunteer? (choose volunteer)
  • Don’t blow so hard that the cans tip over and remember to blow between the cans
  • [when doing this experiment, the wind needs to pass/catch on the curvature of the cans/tennis balls. The lowered air pressure (the more air moves the less pressure it has) “pulls” the curved items in, not out].
  • [When this experiment is done, the cans should come together.]

 

Tell

  • This surprising result is because faster moving air exerts less pressure than slower moving air . Thus, the air pressure is greater on the far side of the cans (where the air is moving slower) so they are pushed together when air moves by them.
  • God’s Holy Spirit is like the wind because when two or more people are paying attention to God, then God’s Holy Spirit brings those people closer together.

Explain Second Experiment

  • For our next experiment, I am taking a large can and placing it near the edge of the table top.
  • I am now taking a tea light candle and lighting it.
  • I am now putting the lighted candle behind the can of soup, so that the can of soup is between the edge of the table and the lighted candle.
  • I am going to try and blow the candle out from the edge of the table that has the can of soup between me and the candle. I can’t even see the candle right now.
  • What do you think, do you think I can blow it out? Or will the wind go right past the candle?
  • [Take guesses]
  • I need a volunteer to do this for me.
  • Stand right here with the can between you and the candle. Make sure you can’t see the candle. Blow straight at the can.
  • [Do it! The candle flame should go out]
  • What happened?


Tell

  • When wind comes into contact with a round surface, it speeds up to go around the curved surface and “hugs” the curve.
  • God’s Holy Spirit is like the wind because when we are presented with an obstacle, like the soup can, and we ask God for help, God will lead us around the obstacle.


Explain Third Experiment

  • For our third experiment, I am taking a hair dryer and plugging it in and turning it on high (and cool if available).
  • I’m holding the hair dryer so that it is blowing the air straight up.
  • I am now taking a ping pong ball and I am placing it in the flow of air from the hair dryer.
  • I am planning on letting go of the ball. When I do let go of the ping pong ball, what do you think is going to happen? (turn dryer off to hear answers)
  • Ok, we’ve shared our ideas about what’s going to happen, so now I’m going to actually let go of the ping pong ball in the hair dryer air stream.
  • [Note: Practice this ahead of time with the dryer you’ll be using since it takes a little patience finding the right distance of where to let go of the ball from the mouth of the dryer. But when you find the right distance, the ping pong ball will stay floating in the air.]
  • What happened?!?
  • What do you think will happen if I tip the hair dryer a few degrees to the side? Do you think the ball will fall out?
  • Let’s find out!
  • Ok, I’ve turned the hair dryer off. Would someone like to try next? (let a number of the kids try it – after a few give it a shot, tell the rest of the class they can try it after class, but that the class has to keep going).


Tell

  • Since the air stream from the hair dryer moves faster around the side of the ball (and thus exerts less pressure) than the still air on top of the ball, the heavier air pressure on top of the ball holds it firmly in place.
  • When we seek God, God’s Holy Spirit will lift us up and hold us when we’re feeling low and sad and discouraged, just like the wind lifted up and held the ping pong ball.

A lesson from rfour.org.

If you like these lessons, and are interested in more, visit www.rfour.org/curriculum.html.

--Nathanael

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

Attachments

Nicodemus and Jesus: Born from Above

Storytelling Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

This Storytelling lesson seeks to highlight (mostly by telling the story in three different ways) Jesus' encouragement of Nicodemus to pay attention to God and what such a choice entails. The lesson activities consist of watching a "movie" of the story (movie, here, refers to a "homemade" narration of slides - like a powerpoint presentation). The second activity consists of putting on a play that mirrors the events of the scripture story using popsicle puppets. An additional option is to video tape the puppet play and then let the class watch it after they've completed the puppet play.

Scripture Reference:

John 3:1-8;16-17

To view the movie of the story and to download the supply document, click HERE (NOTE: The link will take you to the www.rfour.org page specifically created for viewers of this post).

For the full lesson, download the attached Word .doc at the bottom of this post. Note that the first three pages of the document are "background" and that the actual lesson starts on page 4 (which is also where you will find the supply list).

From the attached lesson, here is the story script with some of the teaching comments (in first person) included:



Presentation


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:


Tell

  • Now we’re going to make our own movie.
  • We have two characters that talk a lot, Jesus and Nicodemus, and one haracter that says the same thing all the time.
  • Then there are other parts that are not speaking parts.
  • So what we’re going to do is go behind the screen, here.
  • And then we’ll assign parts.
  • (If need be, you can assign an “audience” part to the less than enthusiastic students. Our shepherd here will record our play (or maybe have a student help out here, too).
  • We’ll do a practice run through, where I’ll be the director, helping yall know what to do and when to do it.
  • Once we got through the practice run, then we film it.


Do & Record Popsicle Puppet Play

Popsicle “people” and props needed:

  • Paper that says “Night time”
  • Jesus
  • Nicodemus
  • People of Israel
  • The End sign


Speaking Characters:

  • Jesus
  • Nicodemus
  • People of Israel


Non-speaking

  • Night time
  • "The End" sign


The Script:

Nicodemus: I love to have people pay attention to me!

People of Israel: [pop up] We can SEEEEE you! [pop back down]

Nicodemus: Hello there, people! Thank you! Thank you! See you tomorrow morning. [walk/bounce over and “stand” in front of sheet that says “Night time.”]

Jesus: [pops up in front of sheet that says “night time”]

Nicodemus: [whispers] Hello, Jesus.

Jesus: What? I can't hear you...Why are you whispering?

Nicodemus: [clears throat – talks in normal voice] Oh, right. Sorry. Just didn't want people to see me actually talk to you. But I forgot: It's night time. The people can't see me!

People of Israel: [pop up] We can SEEEEEE you! [pop back down]

Nicodemus: Oops! [looks at where the people were. Looks back at Jesus] Jesus, I just want to say that I know you're paying attention to God because no one can do what you're doing and say what you're saying without God's help. I'm very impressed. I was wondering if you could help me do what you're doing.

Jesus: To do what I'm doing, you need to be born again.

Nicodemus: What? Don't be silly – no one can do that!

Jesus: You can't see what God is doing until you start your life over and live God's way.

Nicodemus: What? How do I do that?

Jesus: To start your life over again, let God's spirit guide you like the wind moves a leaf. Don't try to control yourself or the wind. Instead, surrender to where God's spirit is sending you.

Nicodemus: But I'm not a leaf! I'm Nicodemus! The people love me!

People of Israel: [pop up] We can SEEEEEE you! [pop back down]

Nicodemus: [looks at the people; looks back to Jesus]

Jesus: You let the people's attention drive what you do and why you do it. You, of all people, should know better. You should know that it is not the people's attention that saves you, but God's attention that saves you.

Nicodemus: But I've built my whole life around getting the people's attention. And look how good I am at it? The people even find me during the night time! To do what you're saying would destroy my life!

Jesus: God loves the world. God loves you. And the way God wants you to live will not destroy you or the world, instead, the way that God wants you to live, if you do it, will SAVE the world.

Jesus: [drops back down]

Nicodemus: What would I do without the people? Could I really start my life over and make God the most important thing in my life – even more important than the attention of the people? Could I really do that?

People of Israel: [pop up] We can SEEEEEE you! [pop back down]

Nicodemus: [shakes “head” back and forth and drops down too]

[Hold up sign that says, “The End”]

Closing:

End with a prayer.

Suggested Variations youngest class: If in need of readers, have the teacher and shepherd read, while the students control the puppets.



A lesson by rfour.org

If you like these lessons, and are interested in more, visit www.rfour.org/curriculum.html.

--Nathanael

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

Attachments

Science Demonstration

Here's a demonstration I ran across and saved for later myself!
It's posted at Children's Ministry Magazine.

http://childrensministry.com/a...water-and-the-spirit

"Born of Water and the Spirit".


Jan's Post was edited by Neil MacQueen, 2012.

From Neil:
I found the idea Jan referenced in a different section of CM where you don't have to log in to see it, and I've corrected Jan's link above. CM's idea is not really a lesson, but a object demonstration. When I first read it, I thought it was weak, but bookmarked it as "interesting" like Jan did.

"Kids first taste plain soda water and later add a white grape juice and create a sweet bubbly drink".

It was an interesting demonstration in search of a better connection to the story. Injecting C02 into water to make sodapop is an interesting idea about mixing water and "spirit" (spirit = breath = air). You could do this with a seltzer maker (if you have one), or make your own soda.

To make "natural" homemade sodapop, look at the simple experiment at Science Kids: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/e...iments/lemonade.html You use lemon juice (an acid) to unlock the carbon dioxide in baking soda to make homemade fizzy lemonade. It's a chemical reaction.

You should probably add to this an experiment that shows the gas (spirit) which though invisible -is able to expand a balloon. To do this simply place some warm water, baking soda and lemon juice in a soda bottle, cap off with a balloon, and shake. The carbon dioxide with expand the balloon proving it is there.

The challenge here is describing the ingredients properly to get the theology right. "God's invisible spirit is often seen in the people it moves." "Our baptism (water) prepares us to receive God's Spirit (CO2) which unlocks our potential to be faithful followers. "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Phil 4:13)

btw...baking soda in a bread recipe releases C02 the same way to make dough rise when a catalyst is added (typically milk).

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