Rotation.org Writing Team
Jesus and Nicodemus: How to See the Kingdom
Lesson Plan Summaries
Scripture: John 3:1-10
“Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
See the Bible Background for a full explanation of the text, its important concepts, and how to share them with children.
Some interesting things about this set from the Writing Team
You will notice that most of the lesson plans include a creative approach to the Bible reading as well as creative learning activities. These are meant to be especially helpful given John 3's deep and challenging concepts. We've also designed lessons to be extra sticky, visual, and hands-on. Several of the lesson plans also have "take home" reminders.
Note to Traditional Model Sunday Schools: This is one story that definitely needs more than one lesson to explore. Rotation model Sunday Schools will be rotating their classes through many of the lessons. The lessons were designed to complement each other and be different enough in tone and content for those students who will be in attendance for most of the lessons.
Why did we go with "born from above" rather than "born again"? Read the Bible Background for the exciting answer. Born "from above" is the modern accepted translation of the literal Greek, "gennatha anothen," which translates as "genesis from the top." In the lesson set, we build several activities around this idea of "seeing" (being born) from God's point of view, from the top, as well as recognizing Jesus said this point of view comes from the Spirit.
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Lesson Plan Summaries
A "must read." In addition to helping teachers get their hands around the text and meaning of this story, the Background includes a refresher on the "Kingdom of God" Jesus wants Nic to see. Our Bible Background also has a kid-friendly and powerful explanation of the phrase "born from above" (literally: "genesis from the top" in the Greek).
Students take part in a creative Bible study and then make a God's Eye to remind them of the point of the story. In addition to an instruction video, the Art Workshop lesson plan includes a number of "things to share" with your students as they make this project. We've also written a "History of the God's Eye" which traces this rich symbol and historic craft back through the Bible and across the world.
Students will make a large "floor game" for "the Spirit" to blow through and carry them "above" to understand the Kingdom from God's perspective. Get your shop-vac ready!
Written for one computer or a lab of computers, students view and discuss a short video of the story, then respond and explore using software. The lesson begins with a creative "How to Read John 3:1-10" activity.
"Seeing" is a major word and concept in the passage, and the drama activity in this lesson turns it into a skit about the "eyeglasses" the world looks through versus the Jesus-Kingdom eye-wear God wants us to see the world and others through.
An exciting workshop that's best done outdoors because the rockets really do zoom. The lesson plan includes where to get stomp rockets (or how each student can make his own) and how every part of the stomp rocket activity teaches us something about how we need the Spirit to launch us "above" to see the Kingdom as God sees it.
This lesson begins with a creative (and funny) "Baby Nick" activity to begin digging into the idea of how we "see" things like the Kingdom. To help tell the basic scriptural story, scouring high and low, we found a wonderful animated video of the story of "Jesus and Nicodemus" that's online, brief, and free. The lesson plan includes instructions for downloading it for playback on a computer, DVD player, or SmartTv.
We've also included an option to show a clip from the Chronicles of Narnia movie to discuss how some see and some don't see the Kingdom. That option includes a detailed outline and discussion points of the clip.
We've tagged four terrific Music Videos on YouTube that speak to our desire to see anew. For extended time use, devotional, or children's worship. Great contemporary Christian music from the Newsboys, Third Day, and a well-known Paul Baloche song sung by DeAngelo Gardner.
Jesus and Nicodemus is part of the Writing Team's "Renovation Project"
For over a decade, a team of volunteers and Rotation "staff" have been working together online to produce lesson "sets" in the Rotation Model style for our Supporting Members. From 2015-2017, the Team undertook the re-writing and upgrading of all 34 lesson sets. This work was overseen by our Board of Directors --most of whom participated in the original teams, and each of whom has contributed to the new sets. Thank you to all past and present Writing Team members from whom we drew inspiration and grew ideas. WT Lead Editor: Luanne Payne. WT Lead Writer: Neil MacQueen.
Learn more about the Writing Team