The Widow’s Mite

Overview of all workshops in this Rotation:

  • Story Background
  • ART: Use an embossing technique to create artistic coins.
  • COOKING: Make sugar cookie “coins” to share with others.
  • GAMES 1: Younger students will use a life-size board game to explore ways in which the church uses our gifts to do God’s work
  • GAMES 2: Older students will play “Wheel of Fortune” to explore ways in which the church uses our gifts to do God’s work.
  • PUPPETS: Enact puppet skits that explore the idea of “giving up”.

Note: These workshops were written for 1st through 6th graders though not all grades visit all workshops. We ran this one as a 3-week Rotation using “creative scheduling”. We had 6 workshops every week, running two concurrent art workshops. (Thus the reason only 5 workshops are shown above.)

Scripture Reference:

Mark 12: 38-44

Key Verse:
“Always give yourselves completely to the work of the Lord. Because you belong to the Lord, you know that your work is not worthless.”
1 Corinthians 15:58 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Rotation Objectives--

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

  • Locate the story in their Bible, identifying the four Gospels (older students); Younger students will learn that the story is in the New Testament.
  • Be able to retell the story of a poor widow who gave everything she had.
  • Learn that the value of a gift isn’t determined by it’s amount, but by the attitude in which the gift is given.
  • Learn that the church relies on us to do God’s work.
  • Understand that a gift can be money, time or talents.

Story Background:

Modern Bible translations call our story, “The Widow’s Offering.” A more eloquent, descriptive title is found in older Bible versions: “The Widow’s Mite. A mite conjures up images of something very small and insignificant. Indeed, our story itself is not very long – only a few verses in Mark, also repeated in Luke (20:45-47, 21:1-4). As always, there is much to learn: what does Jesus have to say about our offerings to God? Is the amount important? Must we give all? Or is our attitude of giving more notable? A short story about a seemingly small sum helps us with these questions.

Story setting: in the Temple
The Passover approaches, bringing many people to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday. Jesus has made his triumphal, palm-waving entrance into Jerusalem. It is the countdown to his crucifixion. In this setting we find Jesus teaching in the Temple. Scholars label this portion of Mark’s Gospel as the “Temple teachings of Jesus.”

The Temple was the place where Jewish people came to worship and offer sacrifices. There were three courts in the inner area of the Temple. In one of these courts, called the Court of the Women, were thirteen “chests” placed against the wall for the collection of offerings. These chests were very different in appearance than our current day collection plates. Imagine a container narrow at the top and wide at the bottom, shaped like a trumpet. Each was inscribed with where the funds would be spent: one trumpet collected contributions for wood used in the Temple, and another incense. Sounds like designated-giving!

Story characters in conflict
Jesus is in the Temple, teaching those around him. He also finds himself in escalating opposition with temple authorities. Listen as Jesus criticizes their religious practices:

Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely. (Mark 12: 38-40)

At first these verses don’t seem to fit with the narrative that immediately follows this passage – about a widow giving two small coins. The mention of widows does occur in both sections, somewhat tenuously connecting the two. (“Devouring” their houses possibly refers to unfair treatment of widows in expecting hospitality from those least able to provide it.)

What these extra verses do provide for our understanding of the Widow’s Mite story is context and contrast. We gain a better understanding of Jesus’ reaction to the widow’s small gift when we’ve been introduced to a contrasting attitude of “giving”.

Making a show of giving (and noise!)
In verse 41 we find Jesus quietly watching the crowds. He sees people put their money into the Temple treasury, the trumpet-shaped chests. He sees “the church leaders prance forward and donate large sums of cash” (Bell). Recalling that in those days money was exclusively coinage, think of the noise when one deposited an offering! A large contribution – lots of coins – meant quite a clatter as the coins dropped into the chest. One can imagine the prosperous Temple leaders enjoying yet another chance to make a show of their wealth. What does this say about their attitude of giving? Yet Jesus does not comment about these gifts of the rich. He sits and watches. It seems that he is waiting for a teachable moment.

Enter the widow
“But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.” (Mark 12:42) In a King James Version of the Bible we would read the same verse as:
“And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.” (KJV) Now this was exciting to Jesus! He calls to his disciples. “Hey, guys, come over here. You won’t believe it! This poor woman put in a few cents, but she put in more than all the rest because they gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford – she gave her all” (Norris, paraphrasing verses 43 & 44).

With a giving attitude
We don’t know why the woman gave everything she had. Some would say this passage teaches us that giving should be a sacrifice. Our interpretation takes a different route. We can relax; Jesus is not telling us to give until it hurts! This story is about more than money. What concerns Jesus is our motivation for contributing. With what attitude do we approach our giving?

The widow didn’t give because she was forced to do so. She hadn’t studied Temple budgets and calculated her share. She certainly didn’t give as a means for recognition. (She didn’t even get a supportive word from Jesus. Jesus talks about what she did, but never actually speaks directly to her.) Yet Jesus points to this woman as an example of having the correct attitude in giving. She gives out of faith. In giving all she had, she trusts her next meal, and her life, to God.

Such faith comes as a response to God’s love. “We have already been given the greatest gift that we will ever receive. There is no need for us to give back this gift. Jesus Christ gave his life for us, so that we may have the life of eternity. Jesus Christ gave his life for us, so that we may experience an abundant love beyond compare (Bell).

What we would hope for in teaching children about giving? Gifts should not be given out of guilt or for recognition or prominence. Giving offerings is a response to the abundant love God has already given us. Encountering Jesus changes us. Are we prepared to respond? I am not sure that I am, but with God's help, all things are possible.

FYI: Coins of Jesus’ day
The two small copper coins or “mites” mentioned in our story were the smallest coins in circulation at that time. The Greek name for this coin would be lepton and the Hebrew name, prutah. On one side of the coin is an image of a wheel with eight spokes. Inscribed between the spokes in Hebrew is, “Yehonatan the King”. On the other side is an anchor and “of King Alexander”.

At Jesus’ time two mites would probably be enough to buy one pomegranate. These two small coins represented one sixty-fourth of a daily wage (Mays). 


Resources:

  • Bell, David S. “A Sermon Starter: The Might of the Mite.” The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. 2003. Used with permission. 
  • Clark, Guy. “Ancient Coins and Antiquities: Judean/Biblical Coinage.” accessed Oct. 2004. 
  • Life Application Study Bible notes. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996.
  • Mays, James L. ed. Harper’s Bible Commentary. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.
  • Norris, Douglas I. “When is Enough Enough?” Tell Them About Jesus: The Sermons of Douglas I. Norris. 1998. http://members.tripod.com/mzla...Sermon98/11-8-98.htm
  • “The Widow’s Mite.” Faith Quest Lesson Set from Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. 2001.

    Except as noted, Scripture quoted is taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

    Some Scripture quoted is taken from the New International Reader's Version. Copyright © 1998 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quoted from the King James Version: The KJV Bible is in the public domain in the United States.



Widow's Mite

Art Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Use thin sheets of copper and an embossing technique (repouss) to create artistic coins to remember the widow’s gift.

Scripture Reference:

Mark 12: 38-44


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
  • Gather the materials.


Supplies List:

  • Art Emboss brand embossing metal: copper, cut into appropriated sized circles; one for each younger student, two for each older student
  • Base for coins: Round wooden disks - one per student (Purchased at a craft store)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Stylus tools (ball point pens, wooden sticks or plastic clay tools) – one per student
  • Scraps of felt (slightly larger than copper circles)
  • Scrap paper; pencils; scraps of copper (for practice)
  • Books with pictures of Bible times coins
  • Bibles (for older students)
  • For younger students: The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories


Before Start of Class:
Cut circles of copper: For younger students lightly trace around wooden circles. Cut out one per student. For older students cut circles slightly larger than the wooden circles. Cut two per student.



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 quietly taking care of attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Pass around the basket used to collect any monetary offering.
Say: This month besides collecting any money you may bring, we are collecting canned and boxed food for the Canned Food Drive . Around Thanksgiving every year we collect food to give to people who are in need. There are people living in this town who go hungry because they don’t have enough money to buy food.

Say: Let’s start our time together 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. A suggestion: “Dear God, as we think about being creative today in our art project, we thank you for creating us. We thank you for the many skills and talents you have given us. Help us use our talents to help others. Amen”

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:


For 1st and 2nd graders:

Ask: If we want to read a story about Jesus, where would we find it – in the Old Testament or the New Testament of the Bible?
Say: Our story today is from the New Testament section of the Bible, where we find stories about Jesus. We find our story in the Gospel of Mark.
Hold open a Bible. Have the copy of the story from pages 332 and 333 in The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories inside the Bible. [This reinforces that the story is from the Bible.]
Read the story.

For 3rd grade and up:
Distribute Bibles. (Encourage bringing own Bibles.)

Ask:

  • The Bible is divided into two sections, what are they called? (old & new testament)
  • Would a story about Jesus be in the Old or New Testament? (new)
  • What are the first four books of the New Testament?
  • What do we call those first four books? (the Gospels)
  • What does the word Gospel mean? (good news)


Have everyone find the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12, verse 38.
Remind them of the quick way to find the New Testament: dividing the Bible in half gets them near Psalms in the OT. Dividing the back half in half again gets them near the beginning of the New Testament.
At the beginning of a Rotation, have kids take turns reading verses 38-44. In the latter part of the month, start off by asking the kids if they can tell you the story. Have them fill in any details by looking up passages in their Bibles. [Please have everyone find the story even if they don’t need to refer to it – it’s good practice in Bible usage.]
Say: At the beginning of the story Jesus says, “watch out for the teachers of the law”. Ask: Whom is he talking about? (religious leaders, Pharisees)
Do you recall a recent Bible story we learned where Jesus did something that made
the religious leaders mad? (last Rotation, when Jesus forgave the lame man’s sins)
Say: Jesus is talking about the religious leaders and how they make their religion into a big show. They are more concerned about themselves than about poor widows. They give money just because they want to get something in return – the best seats in the synagogue or to be recognized as important. Jesus says this is the wrong reason to give.

For all students:
Ask: People in the temple were giving gifts of coins just like people today give money to the church. Why do we give money to church? (allow all answers)

Say: When we give money to our church we are giving money to do God’s work.

Ask:

  • Does everyone have to give the same amount to the church? (no)
  • What did Jesus say about the widow’s gift? (verse 43, her gift was larger)
  • How can her gift be larger than what the richer people gave? (allow all answers)
  • The widow gave everything. Where did she expect her next meal to come from?


Say: The women gave all she had trusting that God would take care of her. Jesus was saying that the amount of the gift wasn’t really important but the attitude in which the gift is given is important. Jesus wants us to give out of love and faith. Our giving should be a response to God’s love. To remember the woman who gave her last coins, let’s each make our own coin.

Introduce and explain the art project:
Say: We will be using a process called repoussÉ to make a coin. We will use tools to create an embossed design on a thin piece of copper. Spend a few minutes thinking about your coin. Decide what you want your coin to look like. You may use these pieces of scrap paper to plan your coin.

Pass out supplies – starting with scrap paper and pencils. 1st – 3rd graders will each receive one piece of copper. Older students will receive two pieces.

Remind them to keep their design simple.
Show the students how to use the tools by demonstrating on pieces of scrap copper.

Process Suggestions:
Give each student a piece of felt. Place the copper on top of the felt.
If desired, they can trace their design from the scrap paper to the copper. (Might wish to tape the design to the coin.) Use a stylus tool or a ballpoint pen, to trace the design, pressing gently. (Not too hard or they will go right through the copper!)
Turn over the copper piece. Your raised design is visible! Rub this front surface of the coin with a flat part of the tool to stretch the metal, reinforcing the design elements. Turn the coin back to the other side to further impress your design.

Work both sides of the metal. Add texture to some areas, creating patterns of parallel lines, dots, circles, etc. Continue to work both sides to see what is possible

Note that if anyone wants to do letters they will come out backwards so plan ahead!

For 3rd – 6th grade:
When both pieces of metal are decorated, use the double-stick tape to adhere the metal to the round disks. Work the edges, pressing them over the sides of the disk. A stylus tool may be used to create a ribbed edge. Some trimming away of excess metal may be necessary. Watch for sharp edges – can create paper type cuts!

For 1st – 3rd grade:
Have them decide which side of the coin is the “right” side. Use the double-stick tape to adhere the wrong side to the wooden disk.

Discussion: (while the students are working)

  • Share some of what you learned in the Overview material about “mites”. Explain why this story is called “the Widow’s Mite”.
  • In the US, a coin cannot bear the image of a living person. Coins in Jesus’ time often had pictures of the current political leaders.
    Show pictures of ancient coins.
  • Do gifts to the church always have to be money? What other forms can gifts take? (Time, talent, etc.) What sort of gifts can kids give?
  • The widow gave all of her coins, trusting that God would take care of her. Can you name a time when you trusted God and God took care of you? [Leader: be prepared to tell a faith story of your own.]


Closing:

Say: As you show your family and friends the coin you made, tell them the story of the woman who gave all she had. Jesus loves you. Jesus wants you to love him back. One way we can do that is to be hands, feet and arms for Jesus. We have learned today that our gifts can do this in many ways.


Resources:

  • Batchelor, Mary. The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. Batavia, IL: Lion Publishing, 1985.
  • “The Widow’s Mite - Creation Station”. Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. 2001. http://www.kirkofkildaire.org/...ns/WidowCreation.htm
  • Art Emboss Embossing metal. Made by Amaco. Used lightweight copper. Purchased at JoAnn Fabrics. And on-line at Dick Blick Art Supply: http://www.dickblick.com/zz605...ram=0&ig_id=6479
    Comes in 9.25 by 12 inch sheets. For younger students coins are one-sided ovals approximately 2.5 by 2.75 inches. One sheet of copper makes 12 coins. For older students coins are double-sided. Circles need to be 2.5 inches. One sheet makes 6 coins.
  • Hints on tools from an elementary art teacher: use tongue depressors cut in half on the diagonal and sand the cut edge to smooth it. These provide a point, short, and long flat edges, and a curved edge for tooling lines and shapes.

    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 Set written by Carol Hulbert from: First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2004 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.

Original Post

The Widow's Mite

Cooking Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Remember the widow’s gift of two coins by making sugar cookie “coins” to share with others.
Note: Because of creative scheduling with this Rotation, only 1st - 3rd graders visited this workshop.

For scripture, objectives, and background - 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

  • Pre-made cookie dough (recipe attached)
  • Bibles (for older students)
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pins
  • Flour
  • Round cookie cutters (Plastic cups work ok)
  • Zipper sandwich bags
  • Aprons
  • Items in kitchen: cookie sheets, serving utensils, hot pads, cups, napkins, and clean-up supplies


Before Start of Class:

  • Get out cookie sheets; cover with parchment paper.
  • Wash tops of metal tables.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Fill a pitcher with ice and water (for serving later with cookies).


Presentation


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Gather everyone around the tables in the Social Hall. Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cooking Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Remind everyone what the M&M project is for the month: bringing boxed and canned food for the Canned Food Drive. The food collected will be shared with local groups that help feed the hungry.
[Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: We are going to be baking cookies today. We will save our prayer time for while the cookies are baking. Before we do any baking, let’s talk about what we are learning.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Say: Our story is called The “Widow’s Mite”. A mite is a name for a small coin. The story takes place in the temple – the place where Jewish people like Jesus would go to worship God. Instead of saying they were going to church, they went to temple. Just like us when we go to church, the people would give gifts – their offerings. In the temple they had special places where people could give their offerings. They didn’t use a basket to collect them like we use to collect for Missions & Me. They had boxes attached to the walls that were shaped like upside down trumpets – narrow at the top where they put the money in, and wider at the bottom.

For 3rd grade:
Distribute Bibles. (Encourage everyone to bring his/her Bible each week.)

Ask:

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


Have everyone find the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12, verse 41.
Remind them of the quick way to find the New Testament: dividing the Bible in half gets them near Psalms in the OT. Dividing the back half in half again gets them near the beginning of the New Testament.
Have students take turns reading verses 41-44.

For 1st and 2nd grade:
Hold open an Adventure Bible to Mark 12.
Say: Our story today is from the New Testament section of the Bible, where we find stories about Jesus.
While holding open a Bible, read verses 41-44.

For all students:
Ask: In this story Jesus is sitting in the temple and what does he see? (people giving gifts, widow giving 2 coins) What’s a widow? (a woman whose husband has died)

Say: In Bible times, over 2000 years ago, a woman relied on her husband to provide her with money for food. Women didn’t usually have paying jobs in those days. If a widow did not have a family to take care of her, she could end up poor.
Ask: Do you recall another Bible story we read last year about a widow who was poor? (Ruth)

Say: The widow in our story today sounds like she was very poor. She put two coins in the collection box. Some Bible versions would say she put in two mites, two small coins – and that was all the money she had!

Ask:

  • What did Jesus say about the widow’s gift? (verse 43, her gift was larger)
  • How can her gift be larger than what the richer people gave? (allow all answers)
  • The widow gave everything. Where did she expect her next meal to come from?


Say: The women gave all she had trusting that God would take care of her. Jesus was saying that the amount of the gift wasn’t really important but the attitude in which the gift is given is important. Jesus wants us to give out of love and faith. Our giving should be a response to God’s love.

Say: We can talk some more about giving while we make cookies. Today we have sugar cookie dough that we can roll out, and cut into cookie coins to remember the woman’s gift of two coins.

Have everyone put on aprons, wash their hands, and gather around the metal table in the kitchen.

Dust the metal tables lightly with flour. Supply lumps of pre-made dough and rolling pins. Have them take turns rolling out the dough on the metal tables. Cut with round cookie cutter (or clean cans).

Discussion (while working):

  • There will be extra cookies. What should be done with the extra cookies?
  • The widow gave all of her coins, trusting that God would take care of her. Can you name a time when you trusted God and God took care of you? [Leader: be prepared to tell a faith story of your own.]
  • Ask the children to identify ways that people give out of faith to the church today. [Be sure to point out that money is just one way that people give.]
  • In Sunday’s Cool Disciples we hear about Mission and Me (M&M) projects. What do you suppose happens to the offerings that are collected from adults? (paying for heat, electric bills, supplies, supporting mission in Ann Arbor and the world, etc.) Wow, the church really relies on us to do God’s work!


When cookie sheets are full, bake for 8-10 minutes. Place the Shepherd in charge of making sure they don’t burn!

While Cookies are Baking:
Have students help clean up.
Gather students in the Social Hall.

Say: For our prayer time we are going to give each person on either side of you a gift – the gift of an Oreo prayer. An Oreo prayer is where the person standing between two people, says a prayer for the outside layers – the person standing on their right and on their left. Before we say prayers for our outside layers we’ll go around the circle and do “Glads and Sads” (share something good or something not so good, from the past week). Pay attention to what your neighbors say – it can help you know how to pray for them.

Go around the circle and do the “Glads and Sads”. Then ask each person to offer a brief prayer for the person standing to either side. If they really feel uncomfortable they are allowed to “pass” but ask them to silently say their Oreo prayers – allow a moment of silence for them to do so. Then move on to the next person.

When cookies are ready:
Serve cups of water and allow students to each have one or two cookies. Have students help you put the remaining cookies into zipper storage bags so that everyone has a bag to share with someone else.

Closing:

Say: When you share these cookies with your friends or family, tell them the story of the widow who gave two coins. Talk about the ways your family gives gifts to the church, and to God’s work. Talk about how faith is important in our offering.


Resources:

  • “The Widow’s Mite.” Faith Quest Lesson Set from Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. 2001.
  • Scripture quoted is taken from the New International Reader's Version. Copyright © 1998 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.

Attachment: Sugar Cookie Recipe

Note: This recipe was chosen and slightly edited because it is easy to manipulate -- not too sticky or too crumbly. It is heavy dough – good to mix with your hands! (Use of a heavy mixer, however, is suggested.) The dough for our lesson will be made ahead of time as it rolls better if chilled.

2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening (NOT butter or margarine)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out and cut into shapes. Parchment Paper needs to be used on the cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes.
Oh dear, how many does it make? I will try to get back to you on this one.




The Widow's Mite

Puppet Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Enact puppet skits that explore the idea of “giving up”.

For scripture, objectives, and background - see above.


No sense taking up space to repeat fine lessons that are here at this site. We put together our games lesson by cutting and pasting from the following resources:

The Widow’s Mite: Praising Puppets.” Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. 2001. http://www.kirkofkildaire.org/...ons/WidowPuppets.htm

I did add a couple of additional puppet skits and shortened one of Kirk's long skits. The changes/additions are:

BRUCE: Tomorrow I’m going to the Leslie Science Center. I’m going to volunteer in the Critter Room.
MARK: You are going to spend your Saturday cleaning cages?
BRUCE: No, I’ll be helping out by explaining the animals to groups of little kids. What are you doing Saturday?
MARK: I told my Grandpa I’d help him rake his leaves.

-----
MIKE: John, can you go to the game with me on Saturday?
WILLY: It sounds fun but I can’t.
MIKE: Why not?
WILLY: My neighbor just had a new baby. She’s got a 3-year old, too. I told her I’d play with the little boy on Saturday.
MIKE: Just give the baby a new rattle and give the little boy an old truck of yours or something. That’ll be the same and you can still come with me.

-----
RUTH: Look at all this food I brought for the Food Drive Challenge. I’ve got Mac and Cheese here, and tuna and corn – my favorites. We are so going to beat that Ohio church! Go Blue!
ANN: Yes, it’s a fun idea to see which church can gather the most food.
RUTH: What did you bring?
ANN: My family doesn’t have much extra money right now. I brought some stuffed animals that I don’t play with anymore. We cleaned them up and are giving them to Kids Needs Moms. They will be given as gifts to kids whose moms are in jail.

-----
BOB: I really like being in Epworth choir. You should join us. Practice is on Sunday night. We’re singing in the Christmas musical in December. It’s going to be great.
CHRIS: It sounds fun. Hey, I know something else we can do together. I’m an acolyte on Sunday mornings. It’s cool to be the one who brings the light into the Sanctuary, preparing everyone for worship. Would you like to acolyte?
-----

Note: If you really want my lesson, email me.


 

Part of a Lesson Set written by Carol Hulbert from:
First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2004 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.

The Widow's Mite

Games Workshop #1

for 1st - 3rd graders

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Play a game using a life-size game board to explore ways in which the church uses our gifts to do God’s work.

For scripture, objectives, and background - 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
  • Bible for younger students: The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories
  • Bible: a King James Version
  • Life-sized game board – canvas tarp with painted spaces (4 colors)
  • Game wheel (with corresponding 4 colors)
  • Game questions – see end of lesson
  • Playdoh
  • White board & marker
  • Globe


Before Start of Class:

  • Place the game wheel in location where it won’t distract the students during the telling of the story.
  • Print out the game questions on the appropriate color paper - blue or green.


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.]

Pass around the basket used to collect any monetary offering.
Ask: Every week when you come to Sunday’s Cool, at the beginning of each workshop, we pass around a basket. Why do we do this? (allow all answers)
Say: The basket is to collect your offering.
Ask: What is an offering? (a name we use for gifts given to the church)

Say: This month besides collecting any money you may bring, we are collecting canned and boxed food for the Canned Food Drive . Around Thanksgiving every year we collect food to give to people who are in need. There are people living in this town who go hungry because they don’t have enough money to buy food.

Say: We’ll be playing a game today but first let’s start 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. A suggestion: “Loving Jesus, Thank you for everyone who is here today. We welcome the chance to learn about you through the Bible. In the faces of our friends around us we see your love. Thank you for loving us. To respond to your love, help us to give lovingly to others. Amen.”

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

For 1st and 2nd graders:
Say: Our story today is from the New Testament section of the Bible, where we find stories about Jesus. We find our story in the Gospel of Mark.
Read them the story on pages 332 and 333 in The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories.

For 3rd grade:

Ask:

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


Distribute Bibles. (Encourage everyone to bring his/her Bible each week.)
Have everyone find the Gospel of Mark, chapter 12, verse 41.
Remind them of the quick way to find the New Testament: dividing the Bible in half gets them near Psalms in the OT. Dividing the back half in half again gets them near the beginning of the New Testament.
At the beginning of the Rotation, have kids take turns reading verses 41-44. In the latter part of the Rotation, ask students if they can tell you the story. Have them fill in any details by looking up passages in their Bibles. [Please have everyone find the story even if they don’t need to refer to it – it’s good practice in Bible usage.]

For all students:
Ask: What gift did the widow give? (two small coins) The widow was giving her money to the temple, just as we give to the church today. Why do we need to give to the church?” (allow all answers)

Say: When we give money to our church we are giving money to do God’s work. Let’s play a game to learn about some of the ways our church does God’s work.

Play the Game:
Explain that students will work in teams to move across the game board by answering questions. Each correct answer (as determined by workshop leader) moves the team ahead one space. The object of the game is not to be first to reach the end, but for all teams to reach the end, or to get as far as time permits, and to have fun doing it.

Lay out the game board(s). Have everyone take off his/her shoes. Ask the Shepherd to help you divide the class into teams of 2 or 3 players each. [Preferably in 2’s but 3 is ok if needed]. Have the team with the person whose birthday is closest to today’s date go first. One member of the team spins the wheel. The color they spin determines what happens:

YELLOW – Slow down, stay where you are; your turn is over.
BLUE – Choose a blue question card.
GREEN – Choose a green question card
RED – Stop, go back one space.

When a BLUE or GREEN is spun, read the corresponding color question card out loud and follow the directions. (Remind the children that only the team in play should be talking.) All the people on a team should confer/work on an answer. Where applicable, 3rd grade and up may use their Bibles to check for answers!

The teammates move along the game board – squeezing onto spaces as needed.

IMPORTANT: Use questions as an opening to discussion! Especially after each blue question, talk about the correct answer – what the activity is and why it is an example of doing God’s work. The idea is to become more aware of our church’s activities. Be sure you don’t give the impression that any of the “wrong” answers are “wrong” things to do; they’re just not the correct answer to the question at hand.

Closing:

Say: In the game we learned about a lot of ways in which the church does God’s work. All of those things happen because people give their money, and their time, and use their talents. Everyone’s gift is important – from the smallest gift to the largest and from the oldest person to the youngest.


Attachment: Lesson Questions

To learn our story, and to learn about ways we as individuals and as the church do God’s work.

Green Lesson Questions: These questions involve creative thinking or activity.

Go to the whiteboard and draw a quick picture of someone doing God’s work during a church service. (Hints: singing in choir, acolyte, preaching, reading Bible)

We do God’s work when we treat each other nicely. Tell your team members you forgive them for squeezing against you on the tiny game board spot and maybe even stepping on your toes occasionally.

Use the Playdoh to create what you think the Temple collection box looked like.

Use the Playdoh to model someone doing God’s work during a church service.

Find our story in a King James Version of the Bible. Read Mark 12:42. What is the widow’s gift called?

Go to the whiteboard and draw a quick picture of someone doing God’s work outside of church. (Hint: at the hospital, the homeless center, etc.)

Act out someone doing God’s work during a church service.

Tell us about one way that God has provided for you (or your family).

Use the globe to point out a country where our church has done missionary work. (Africa is one possibility, UP of Michigan, Puerto Rico)

Name another story in the Bible about someone who gave up everything. (Jesus gave up his life, dying for us so that our sins our forgiven.)

Name another Bible story about a poor widow.
(Might need to remind them what a widow is; answer is Ruth.)

Act out a rich person putting their money into the Temple collection box. (Hint: Some people gave lots of money because they wanted people to notice them.)

Sing a few bars of your favorite church song.

Go to the whiteboard and draw a mite.

Use the map in the back of the Bible to point out the location of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Act out someone doing God’s work outside of church. (Hint: at the hospital, the homeless center, etc.)

Act out the collection of offering at our church.

Use the Playdoh to model you in your favorite Sunday’s Cool Disciples workshop.

Blue Lesson Questions: These questions are “factual” in nature.
Note: You can make some of these questions more challenging by not offering the multiple choices. Don’t read out loud the words in the parentheses. Use that to discuss the question with the students.

Our church helps to support an organization that builds affordable houses for people in need. This organization is called:
a. The Wolverines
b. Habitat For Humanity (Our church donates money, supplies & workers to help build a Habitat house every year.)
c. The Red Cross

Where can kids go to learn about the Bible?
a. Sunday’s Cool Disciples (Teaches kids about the Bible & what it means for our lives. Kids serve God by attending and learning; workshop leaders and shepherds serve God by giving lots of their time.)
b. Chuck E. Cheese
c. Disney World

What is the name for the kids who light the candles in the sanctuary?
a. Shepherds
b. Acolytes (Lighting candles helps everyone prepare for worship)
c. Ushers

When people visit our church for the first time, afterwards somebody from the church goes to their house and takes them a gift. What is it?
a. A flu shot
b. A plant (We share God’s love with visitors by making them feel welcome in the church)
c. A puppy

Where in the Bible would we find our story? (NT is good enough answer for younger students, try for Gospel of Mark (or Luke) from 3rd graders.)

What are the names of the four Gospels?

Name a kids choir at our church:
a. Carol Choir (Singing in church helps everyone worship.)
b. The Sopranos
c. The Usual Suspects

One reason why our church needs money is:
a. To buy U of M foot ball tickets.
b. To pay the bills for lights, heat, salaries and supplies. (These are important too!)
c. To buy advertising time during the Super Bowl.

Name a special group in our church that is just for college-aged kids?
a. Stephen Ministry
b. Meals on Wheels
c. Wesley Foundation (Chance for students away from home to get together for fun, service, & learning how to live as Christians.)

The youth of this church – kids in 7th through 12th grade – have just started an after-school tutoring program called Camp Amigo. This is a way for church members to help children who live nearby and need help with their
a. swimming
a. basketball
a. reading and math (They go to Ypsi Methodist Church one afternoon a week.)

True or false: The coins the widow gave were worth only a small amount.

True or false: In our story Jesus was standing in a boat while watching people at the Temple.

After the 9:30 church service there is something the adults do in the Social Hall:
a. Share snacks and talk to other people (Making people feel welcome and cared for.)
b. Dance
c. Play Hide and Seek

A special mission project the entire church got involved with this last summer used a large giraffe outside the Sanctuary.
a. The church’s mission trip to Kenya, Africa.
b. The Toledo Zoo
c. Habitat for Humanity

There’s a place in Ann Arbor where homeless families can stay. This place is called:
a. Briarwood Mall
b. The Farmers Market
c. Alpha House (Church members donate money, supplies and food. They help serve meals, play with children, and spend the night at the Shelter.)

Every summer the children at an Indian Reservation in the UP look forward to a Vacation Bible School put on by a group from our church. That group is:
a. Hooked on Phonics
b. Mario’s Adventure
c. 7th and 8th graders from the Youth group (Play games, make crafts, sing, & tell Bible stories for kids on Zeba Mission trip.)

True or False: An example of serving God is when someone goes to visit a person who can not come to church because they are sick.

True or False: Jesus said the Widow’s gift wasn’t big enough.


Resources

  • Game questions modeled after a life-size board game written by Amy Crane for Rotation.org at
  • Batchelor, Mary. The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. Batavia, IL: Lion Publishing, 1985.
  • “The Widow’s Mite - Antioch Arcade.” Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. 2001. http://www.kirkofkildaire.org/...sons/WidowArcade.htm
  • Scripture quoted is taken from the New International Reader's Version. Copyright © 1998 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.



The Widow's Mite

Games Workshop #2

for 4th - 6th graders

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Play a modified form of “Wheel of Fortune” to explore ways in which the church uses our gifts to do God’s work.

No sense taking up space to repeat fine lessons that are here at this site. We put together our games lesson by cutting and pasting from the following resources:


Note: You will want to modify the game phrases used so they are meaningful to your congregation.

If you really want my lesson, email me.


If you have found any of these workshops useful it would make my day if you let me know about it. Thanks.

Part of a Lesson Set written by Carol Hulbert from: First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2004 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.

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