The Women at the Well

Lesson Set


Overview of all workshops in this Rotation:

  • Art: Create watercolor pictures of the Woman at the Well.
  • Games: Play an experiential game called “Kisses for a Samaritan” to help children feel compassion. If time, play a game of “Tennis Ball Juggle” while answering questions.
  • Storytelling: Hear the story from the woman who was at the well. Note: this lesson is not included here. We purchased this lesson from Cornerstones Publishing, “Quest for Identity: Samaritan Woman at the Well - Mary & Martha’s Bed and Breakfast.”  [Update 2016: In the past year or so, the founders of Cornerstones retired. Their website and materials are no longer available. ]
  • Video: Watch the real-life story on The Gospel of John and do a science experiment related to the story.

Note: These workshops were written for 1st through 6th graders though not all grades visit all workshops.

Scripture Reference:

John 4:4-42
Key Verse: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” John 4:13-14a (NIV)

Rotation Objectives--

at the end of the Rotation, kids should be able to:

  • Locate the stories in their Bibles (older students); Younger students will learn that the story is in the New Testament.
  • Understand how radical it was for a Jewish person to associate with a Samaritan.
  • Put themselves in the place of the woman at the well and feel the type of compassion Jesus was offering.
  • Discover that Jesus fulfills our spiritual needs rather than just our physical needs.
  • Understand the change that took place in the woman.

A Lesson Set written by folks from: First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

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

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

The Woman at the Well

Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Create watercolor paintings to help the children express the meaning of the story.

For scripture and objectives - see above.


Leader Preparation:

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


Supplies List:

  • Bibles (for 3rd grade and up)
  • For younger students: The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories
  • Watercolor paper, watercolor paint (used Cottman tube watercolors), palettes, a variety of paint brushes, water containers, cotton balls, hairdryer (optional), Old shirts for smocks
  • Stickers with the key verse printed on them
  • Several pictures of paintings showing Christ and the woman at the well


Before Start of Class:

  • Distribute around the table, the pictures of the paintings. For 3rd grade and up also distribute Bibles. Have watercolor supplies easily accessible.


Presentation

Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Art Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
[Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: We will hear the story of Jesus when he was thirsty at a well and about the woman he met there.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for bringing us all here today. Help us today as we hear your word, to place ourselves in the story. Help us to understand the gifts you offer us, especially the gift of living water. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Refer to the pictures of Christ and the woman at the well.
Say: Before you are pictures of art works that have been created over the years depicting our Bible story. Look at these pictures as you hear today’s story.

For 1st and 2nd graders:
Ask: If we want to read something that Jesus said, where would we find it – in the Old Testament or the New Testament of the Bible? (New)
Say: I am going to read the story today out of a children’s storybook, but you can find the story in your Bible, like mine here in the New Testament, in the gospel of John, chapter 4.
Read story #285 on page 325 of The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories.

For 3rd grade and up:

Ask:

  • Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus and his disciples?
  • What are the first four books of the New Testament?
  • What do we call those first four books? (the Gospels)


Say: The word Gospel means “good news”. Jesus teaches us the good news. Let’s get out our Bibles and find out where our story is today and learn about this good news.
Have everyone find John 4:4 in his or her Bible.
Point out that this is a passage about Jesus (the “he” refers to Jesus).
If this is a week early in the Rotation, read together, John 4:4-30.
As verse 6 is read, point out Jacob’s well. Ask the students if they recall learning about Jacob.
In later weeks of the Rotation, ask the students if they can tell you the story. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy.

Art Activity:
Refer the students to the pictures on the tables. Lead the children in a discussion of the similarities and differences in the pictures.

Ask:

  • What elements do we find in every one of them? (Jesus? Woman? Well?)
  • How does the woman look? (Happy, Sad, Tired, Scared)
  • What is the well made of?
  • What is the land around the well like?


Say: Let’s make our own paintings of Jesus and the woman at the well. We have watercolors to work with.
[Note: You will need to review the watercolor techniques and give them as much information as their grade can handle.]

Discussion: (while the kids are working)
Ask: What did Jesus ask this Samaritan woman? (he asked for a drink)

Say: It seems like a simple thing to us, to ask for a drink. But it is significant that Jesus is asking a Samaritan woman.

Ask: Jesus was Jewish. What do you know about how Jewish people treated Samaritans? (Jews hated the Samaritans, Samaritans hated the Jews; they avoided any contact)
[Remind the older kids of the story of the Good Samaritan.]

Say: To relay an example of how Jews felt about Samaritans, think of someone who you can not stand to sit down to eat with.

Ask: What time of day is it when this story takes place? (verse 6 says it was noon)

Say: It was noon and it was hot. It was a time of day when most people were at home resting in the shade. Most people would draw their water from the well at the cooler parts of the day. No one would have been around the well at noon.

Ask: So why do you suppose this woman was at the well at this hot time of the day? Why would someone go to the well when no one else was there? (try to get the kids to think of the fact that she probably wanted to avoid other people)

Ask:

  • So what kind of woman was this Samaritan woman? (she was an outcast)
  • How did Jesus treat her? (kindly, he talked to her!)
  • What did Jesus offer her?


Say: Jesus offered the woman “living water.” He said, “Whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst.”

Ask:

  • How can there be water that will make you never thirsty? (accept all answers)
  • Jesus wasn’t talking about regular water was he?
  • Are there other ways you can be “thirsty”? (examples: thirst for a friend if you
    are lonely, thirsty for a hug if you are hurting, thirst for closeness with God)


Say: Jesus saw that the Samaritan woman was thirsty for forgiveness, for acceptance of who she was, thirsty for understanding. These are all things that Jesus can offer. This was the living water that Jesus offered. Maybe she didn’t know it but she was thirsting for God! We all thirst for God. We can have it quenched no other way but by our belief and faith in Jesus.

For 5th and 6th graders:
Ask: How do we know for sure that the Samaritan woman was an outcast?
[Have someone look up John 4:16-18.]

Ask: Why do you suppose that this woman has had so many husbands? (we aren’t told: maybe she was widowed, maybe divorced, or maybe she was rejected because she couldn’t have any children? A woman who couldn’t have children was worthless in those days)

Say: The Samaritan woman was definitely an outcast.

Ask:

  • What kind of person would you see as a modern-day outcast? (a beggar, a homeless person, someone who doesn’t look like us)
  • Whom do we avoid?


Say: Think about a time when you felt left out.

Ask:

  • How did you feel?
  • How could Jesus’ living water help you?


Closing:

(After cleaning up their work)

Give everyone a sticker with the key verse to put on his or her painting. Have the kids repeat the key verse with you:
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” John 4:13-14a

Say: Jesus was offering this living water to the woman at the well. He offers this living water to us today.


Resources:

  • Batchelor, Mary. The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. Batavia, IL: Lion Publishing, 1985.
  • Himes, Chris. Posting at rotation.org: “Samaritan Woman at the Well Ideas.” January 19, 2002. https://www.rotation.org/topic...op-lessons-and-ideas (for art idea)
  • Art pieces were printed from http://www.textweek.com/art/samaritan_woman.htm
  • Scripture quoted is taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

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

Last edited by Luanne Payne

The Woman at the Well

Games Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Play an experiential game called “Kisses for a Samaritan” to help children feel compassion. If time, play a game of “Tennis Ball Juggle” while answering questions.

For scripture and objectives, see above.


Leader Preparation:

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


Supplies List:

  • Bibles (for 3rd grade and up)
  • One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
  • Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen (for 3rd grade and up)
  • Story paraphrase (see attached)
  • 2 bandanas or blindfolds
  • Masking tape
  • 4 rulers
  • 1 bag of chocolate kisses and a small bowl to hold 6-8 kisses
  • 8 index cards to use to make Disability Cards (see below)
  • Kitchen timer or stop watch
  • Questions sheet from “Throw a Rock in the Well” game (download from the Internet, see resources at end of lesson)
  • 6 tennis balls


Before Start of Class:
Write out the Disability Cards, making 2 of each that say: “you can’t see”, “you can’t bend your arms at the elbows”, “you can’t speak”, and “you can’t move your legs.”



Presentation


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

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

Say: Let’s begin with prayer. Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for bringing us all here today. Be with those who couldn’t be here. We praise you for the chance to learn about your son Jesus. Help us to understand what this story hold for us. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

Say: We are learning (continuing to learn) about the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. This woman was considered an outcast. We will be playing a game that will help you to understand compassion for others that are different from yourselves.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:


For 1st and 2nd graders:
Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus, in the New Testament or the Old Testament? (new)
Say: The Bible is divided into two testaments – the Old Testament tells us stories about before Jesus was born and the New Testament tells us about Jesus.
Ask: Who can tell me what the first four books of the New Testament are called? (the Gospels)
Say: The word Gospel means “good news”. Jesus teaches us the good news about God’s love for us. Part of that good news is that God wants to have a close relationship with us.
Ask: How do you get a close relationship with someone – like if you have a really good friend – how did you become close friends? (spent time together, talking, listening)
Say: When we read the Gospels we learn about what sort of a relationship we can have with God and Jesus. Our story can be found in the gospel of John. Listen while I tell the story.
Hold a copy of the story (see attached) in an open Bible while you read the story.

For 3rd grade and up:
Distribute Bibles if needed.
Ask: The Bible is divided into two sections, what are they? (Old & New Testament)
If we want to read a story about Jesus, where would we find it?
Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the 66 books in the Bible are further divided into collections.
Ask: The book of John is part of a collection of Bible books called what? (the Gospels)
What are the books in the Gospels? (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
Say: If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the gospel section of your Bible. [Show the classroom Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do a tab for the Gospels, for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]
Ask: What does the word gospels mean? (good news)
Say: Jesus teaches us the good news about God’s love for us. Part of that good news is that God wants to have a close relationship with us.
Ask: How do you get a close relationship with someone – like if you have a really good friend – how did you become close friends? (spent time together, talking, listening)
Say: When we read the Gospels we learn about what sort of a relationship we can have with God and Jesus.
Have everyone find John 4:4 in his or her Bible.
Read them the story from the attached paraphrase. [Note: The exercise of finding the story is important – don’t skip it.]
[Note: After the second week of the Rotation the students will become more familiar with the story. Have them locate the scripture in their Bibles. Then ask them to tell you the story. Fill in any missing details by using their Bibles. Don’t read the paraphrase unless it is necessary.]

Play the Game: “Kisses for a Samaritan”
Say: All of us have felt left out, or been excluded at one time or another, like the woman at the well.
Ask: Why do you suppose this woman was excluded from her own community? (accept all answers - she has had five husbands, and lives with a 6th man, she has not been able to bear children, and not having children was considered a bad thing, the other women point fingers at her, etc.)
It is easy to sometimes misjudge people isn’t it?

Say: Today we will be playing a game where we will have “active” participants, and “observing” participants. The active participants will each have a card that tells them what their “handicap” is. They will be asked to do something and will have to figure out how to do this with their handicap.

Instructions: (for leader)
Choose 6 people to be the “active participants”. (With larger groups choose 8.)
You should have at least 2 or 3 “observers”.
Distribute Disability Cards to the active participants.
Each active participant should read (or be read to) his or her card. The active participants should not read their cards aloud. They should not tell others what their card says.
All “active” participants should stand.

Two people are blindfolded.
Two people cannot bend their arms at the elbow, so rulers need to be taped around their arms.
Two people cannot speak. If they agree, tape their mouth with masking tape. (If they don’t want this, just make sure they don’t speak.)
For the larger group, two additional people can’t move their legs.
You and the Shepherd should help put on the tape, sticks, and blindfolds.

The “observers” which is the rest of the group, will watch carefully without talking, and be prepared to comment on what they see.
A bowl with number of kisses equal to active participants should be placed out of reach of the group.
Make sure they know what their card means, and understand what their limits are.

Instructions to be given to the class:
Tell the observers to sit without talking, and watch what is going on. This is a very important job, as the active participants are only aware of what they are trying to do, not the whole group!
They will have three minutes to complete this task.
Tell the active participants (not the whole group) that their task is for each active participant to eat one chocolate kiss.

You and the Shepherd should not assist anyone during this time.
Time them, and stop the game at the three-minute limit.

Process:
When three minutes are up, have them remove their props, and sit down.
Give everyone a kiss that didn’t get one, including the observers.

Ask (of the active participants):

  • How did each role feel? (give them a chance to answer before you prompt them with … Was it uncomfortable, frustrating, exciting, did they feel helpful, a bother, useless...)
  • Did you understand each other’s handicaps?
  • What worked? What didn’t?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • Did you feel compassion for any other participant?


Ask (of the observers):

  • What did they observe (see) going on?
  • How was it to watch and not be able to help?
  • Did they want to get up and help?
  • What do you think worked and what didn’t?
  • What could the active participants do differently?
  • Did you feel compassion for anyone? Who?


Say (to all): We all need to be leaders. We can’t just be passive and do nothing. Doing nothing is a decision, or a choice. You don’t have to choose to do nothing. In order for the task (eating kisses) to be accomplished, and for everyone to feel successful, everyone needed to act, or to do something. We are all leaders, even if we don’t always feel like one, we can all make a difference in how other people feel, by including them, and treating them respectfully. We never know whom we might be influencing with our actions.

Ask: Do you suppose the women felt different after she had spoken to Jesus? (accept all answers – she did act different in that she went into town and talked to other people to tell them about Jesus)
Say: The woman at the well was changed by her experience with Jesus because Jesus offered her “living water.”
Ask: What did Jesus mean by living water? (accept all answers)
Say: By offering the woman living water Jesus was giving her a chance to see how she could have a close relationship with God.
Ask: If we are to learn from Jesus’ example how can we help other people to obtain “living water”? (allow all answers – can go in many different ways: by befriending them, by accepting them, by talking to others about Jesus’ love, etc.)

If you have time: Play Tennis ball Juggle
(Leave enough time for the closing.) Everyone stand in a circle. Leader asks a question from the “Throw a Rock in the Well” game list. (see resources). The children raise their hand if they can answer the question. The leader calls on someone. If they get the right correct, she tosses the ball underhand to that person. (Tell the kids to only throw underhand). If the person does not answer correctly, the leader asks someone else. The ball does not get tossed until the question is answered correctly.

The leader goes through the list of questions, with a different child answering each one, until each child has answered a question and has had the ball tossed to them. Thus a pattern of ball toss is established. [You may wish to go through the pattern every time someone answers a question correctly - tossing it to the first person who answered correctly then to the next person who answered correctly, etc.]

Once the pattern is established, the kids continue to toss the ball in the same pattern a couple times until they can do it without it hitting the floor. For the older kids, the leader can add another tennis ball when the first one is halfway through the pattern. Don’t stop at the end of the cycle, have them keep going. If they can handle two balls, and are following the pattern without dropping the ball, add another ball! For the older kids, add as many as they can handle which might be all six. The younger kids may only be able to do two or three.

Tell the kids to toss the ball underhand, carefully, because the object is to get it all the way around the pattern without it hitting the floor. They need to work together to do this. Once the pattern is established they should keep their eyes on only two people: The one throwing them the ball, and the one they are throwing the ball too.

A twist: they could repeat the answer to their question each time they receive the ball

Closing:

Say: The woman was changed by her encounter with Jesus. Jesus offered living water; he offered compassion. This week look for ways that you can help others to see Jesus’ living water.

Attachment: Story paraphrase
Jesus and His disciples were traveling through the land of Samaria. They came to a city called Sychar (Pronounced SI –kahr). There was a well there, where the people of Sychar drew their drinking water. Jacob, the father of the Israelites, had dug the well long ago. [Ask if they recall learning about Jacob.]

The afternoon was sunny and hot. Wearily, Jesus sat down by the well while the disciples went into Sychar to buy food. Soon a woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. “Give me a drink,” Jesus said to her. The woman was surprised. “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan?” she said. In those days, Jews had no dealings with Samaritans!

She was probably even more surprised when Jesus said, “If you knew who I am, you would ask me for a drink and I would give living water.” The woman said to Jesus, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where will you get this living water? Are you greater than our ancestor, Jacob, who gave us this well?”

Jesus told the woman, “Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. But anyone who drinks the water that I give will never thirst. The water that I give will be a fountain of water within, springing up into everlasting life.”
“Sir, give me this water,” the woman said. Jesus asked the woman to go and call her husband. “I have no husband,” the woman answered.
“You have spoken the truth. You have had five husbands,” said Jesus. “And the man with whom you are living now is not your husband.”
The woman recognized that Jesus was a prophet. She tried changing the topic, to get Jesus to argue about where to worship God: at Jerusalem as the Jews did, or at the Samaritans’ holy mountain. Jesus said, “Those who worship God must do so out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

“I know that the Messiah is coming,” the woman said to Jesus. “When he comes, we’ll get the whole story.” “I am he,” said Jesus. “You don't have to wait any longer or look any further.”

Just then, the disciples came back. The woman left her expensive water pot there by the well and returned to the city. “Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did,” the woman told the men of Sychar. “Could this be the Christ?”

The men left the city to go and see Jesus for themselves. Meanwhile, the disciples told Jesus to eat. But Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work.” His work was to bring people to God. Many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman. They asked Jesus to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.


Resources:

  • Story adapted from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group and from “The Woman at the Well.” Produced by the Bible for Children. ©2004. http://www.bibleforchildren.or...the_Well_English.pdf
  • Questions from the “Throw a Rock in the Well” game are available at the Resource Room of Daniellesplace.com (Small membership fee is required to join portions of this site.) Used questions # 1, 3-7, 9, 12, and 14. https://www.daniellesplace.com...man-at-the-well.html

Written by Melanie Snook and Melissa Martin and Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
120 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.

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

Last edited by Luanne Payne

The Woman at the Well

Video Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Watch the real-life story on The Gospel of John and do a science experiment related to the story.

Video Reference: The Gospel of John, Visual Bible International, 2003. [Starring Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus, and narrated by Christopher Plummer] Use the 3-hour version.

For scripture and objectives - see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Preview the video and have it cued to the correct starting place.
  • Gather the materials.


Supplies List:

  • The video listed above.
  • The TV/DVD will have been reserved for your workshop.
  • Snack items: goldfish crackers, paper cups, napkins, water pitcher
  • Bibles (for 3rd grade); a purple Adventure Bible for 1st and 2nd grades
  • Easel with paper
  • Sets of “water drops” for key verse practice (see resources)
  • Coffee filter paper, scissors, cups of water, black (must be water-based) markers. Used Mr. Sketch brand of markers.


Before Start of Class:

  • In the kitchen, fill a pitcher with ice and water.
  • Prepare snack by pouring Goldfish crackers into cups. (Probably 1/2 full is good.) Fill water glasses half way.
  • Write the key verse on the easel paper.
  • Cut the coffee filter paper into sections. Cut each filter into 4 or 5 pieces.
  • Make sure you know how to use the TV/DVD, especially how to move by chapters and how to move backwards within a chapter.
  • Using the DVD, from MAIN MENU, choose <Chapter & Verse>.
  • Choose <more> to see the option for <4:3-44>. Leave the DVD in this setting.
  • Turn the sound off.
  • Make sure you have extra water in the jug for the science experiment.


Presentation


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

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

Say: Let’s begin with prayer. Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:


Ask:

  • Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus, in the New Testament or the Old Testament? (new)
  • Who can tell me the first four books of the New Testament?
  • What are the first four books of the New Testament called? (the Gospels)
  • What does the word gospels mean? (good news)


Say: When we read the gospels we learn that Jesus teaches us the good news about God’s love for us. Let’s hear some of this good news.

For 1st and 2nd graders:
Have a purple Adventure Bible open to John 4.
Ask the group how much of the story they know.
Points to make sure get covered:

  • Jesus was sitting by himself at the village well; his disciples had gone for food.
  • A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her for a drink.
  • The woman questioned why Jesus was talking to her. (Did Samaritans get along with Jews?)
  • Read John 4:10 to the students.
  • The woman questioned where Jesus could get this living water.
  • Read John 4:13-14. Point out that this is part of the key verse. Refer to the key verse on the easel paper.


For 3rd grade and up:
Distribute Bibles.
Have everyone find the gospel of John, chapter 4 in his/her Bible. [Make sure everyone remembers the quick way to find the New Testament – dividing the Bible in half gets them near Psalms. Dividing the back half in half again gets them near the New Testament.]
Ask: What does the heading say at the top of this section of the Bible? (Jesus and the woman of Samaria)
Say: The heading gives us a clue as to what our story is about.
Ask: What do you know about Samaria? (answer looking for: that Jews didn’t get along with Samaritans)
Say: Jews hated Samaritans, Samaritans hated the Jews and they avoided any contact with each other. It was pretty radical for a Jewish person to associate with a Samaritan. Their attitude had to do with what had happened in past history.
Say: Jesus and the woman of Samarian met at a well, a place where water was drawn. Jesus offered this woman something special. Let’s read about it.
Ask students to take turns reading John 4:7-15.
Say: Jesus talked to a Samaritan woman. Remember, that alone was a radical thing to do. Jesus had told her, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you living water.” And then he said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.”
Point out that this is the key verse John 4:13-14a. Refer to the key verse on the easel paper. Have everyone read the key verse together.

For all students:
Ask: Living water…water that makes you never thirst… what do you suppose Jesus was talking about? (pause, wait for answers…accept all answers)
Say: The woman was thinking that Jesus was talking about water like we think of a glass of water. [Pick up one of the glasses of water that you poured.] We physically need water. [Drink the water.]

Say: Jesus was offering her living water – to fulfill her spiritual needs, her need to know God. Jesus was trying to help the woman to know that it didn’t matter what she was like on the outside, what she looked like or what had happened to her life. What was important was that she could connect with God. Maybe she didn’t know it but she was thirsting for God! We all thirst for God. We can have this thirst quenched no other way but by our belief and faith in Jesus.

Show the video:
Say: Let’s watch a short video that tells our story.

Have the Shepherd help you distribute the snack.

Turn the sound up on the TV.
Using the DVD, choose <4:3-44> (Jesus and the Samaritan Woman)
VIEW the scene. (Scene is 5 minutes 30 seconds).

PAUSE when all the people are milling around and after the narrator says “ and we know that he really is the savior of the world.”

Discussion:
Say: We don’t know very much about this woman but there are some things about her that we can figure out.
Ask: This was the village well. Why do you suppose there weren’t other people drawing water at the well? (may take some discussion and some hinting on your part: it is noon and it is hot, others would be resting at that time of day)
So why do you suppose this woman is at the well at the hot part of the day?
Why would someone go to the well when no one else was there? (try to get the kids to think of the fact that she probably wanted to avoid other people)
Why do you suppose that she wanted to avoid other people? (because of how they felt about her, the way they treated her)
Why would you want to avoid other people? (allow all answers)

Say: Jesus did ask the woman to go and get her husband. She said that she didn’t have a husband. In Jesus’ time a woman her age without a husband was looked down upon. [You can decide whether to mention about the number of husbands she had and that she was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. Perhaps just with the 3rd graders?]

Say: So we can assume that this woman was looked down upon and she avoided other people because they probably were unkind to her.
Ask: How did meeting Jesus change the woman? (accept any answers)

Re-watch a portion of the video:
Say: Let’s watch her reaction to Jesus’ words again.

Use CONTROLS option to SCAN BACKWARD to the close-up of Jesus by the wall (where Jesus is talking about worship of God).

VIEW this scene.
PAUSE when the close-up is on the woman’s face after Jesus says, “God is Spirit.”
Ask: Is the woman really listening and enthralled by Jesus’ words?

VIEW more of this scene.
STOP after the woman goes into town and talks to townspeople. (The narrator says, “So they left the town and went to Jesus.

Ask: Did you see how meeting Jesus changed the woman?
What did the woman do? (she went into town and talked to people about Jesus)
Say: This was the same woman who avoided people! She was excited to share what she had learned about Jesus. Let’s do a little bit of a science experiment that reflects the change that happened in this woman.

Science experiment:
Pass out one coffee filter section per student and one cup for every two students. Demonstrate how you want them to each draw a stick-figure person about 1” tall, using the provided markers. (Draw the figure near the wide part of the coffee filter).
While the kids are drawing, fill the cups with 1/2 inch of water. When all are ready, have them place the coffee filter, marked side down, with just the edge touching the water.

Ask: What is happening to the person you drew? (colors in the black ink separate out as the water rises up the filter) How many colors do you see?
Say: The scientific word to describe what you see is called chromatography. It looked to us like we drew a little person in one color but now we can see that what we thought was a black marker was actually many colors combined together.
Ask: How can we compare this experiment to what happened to the Samaritan woman?
Say: Before meeting Jesus, she appeared on the outside as one way to the townspeople, who shunned her. But experiencing Jesus exposed her true colors.

Ask:

  • How has knowing Jesus changed you?
  • Do you relate to other people differently?
  • Do you realize that you have a “thirst” for closeness to God in your life?
  • How have you experienced this thirst?


If you have time:
Use water drop key verse practice: Pass out sets of the water drops. Cover up the key verse listed on the easel. Allow students to work in groups to see if they can put the water drops in the correct order.

Closing:

Say: This one woman’s experience with Christ resulted in the whole village believing in Jesus. Jesus stayed with the Samaritans for two days. Lots of people got to experience God, all because one woman shared her experience with Jesus. Go this week and share your experience of Jesus with your friends and your family.


Resources:

  • Warvel, Carolyn. “The Women at the Well by The Resource Room.” 2000.
    https://www.daniellesplace.com...e-well.html  For water drop key verse practice - available at the Resource Room of Daniellesplace.com. Small membership fee is required to join portions of this site. I printed out the water drops from this site and changed the wording on them to match our key verse. You could also just draw water drops but these had cute faces on them. ☺
  • Scripture quoted is taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.

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

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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