Rotation.org Writing Team
Parable of the Good Samaritan
How do you teach Jesus' most beloved and arguably the most message-defining parable of his ministry? With five fun interactive lessons, of course! No single lesson can do justice to this parable or to our students’ need to remember and live it. That's why we've written this multi-week, multi-media-inspired Rotation-style lesson set, and encourage traditional Sunday Schools (who generally teach a new story each week) to slow down and spend a couple of lessons teaching this timeless and timely lesson about loving God by loving others—without excuses.
Scripture for this lesson set:
Luke 10:25-37 (NRSVUE)
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27
"Go and do likewise." Luke 10:37
As usual, the lessons in this set are only open to our amazing Supporting Members who make this website and our Writing Team possible. Join today. Visitors and registered members can read the summaries and Bible Background and visit our public Good Samaritan forum.
And, as always, each lesson is broadly-graded and includes adaptations for those with younger/older, smaller/larger, and shorter/longer classes.
Bible Background and Lesson Objectives
Everyone can read and print or copy the Good Samaritan Bible Background. Its insights and teacher-friendly background notes, word studies, and cultural/geographical notes form the backbone of the lessons in this set.
Geo Art Workshop
This geography-inspired clay map art lesson takes an extra look at the geographic, historic, and spiritual separation between Jews and Samaritans that Jesus addresses at the center of this parable's teaching. It includes some great videos for reference and a Google Earth presentation for those who want to go deeper!
After viewing a wonderful (free) Good Samaritan video, students will complete and record a fun "News Broadcast" script of the story. This lesson also includes a "story table" option for younger children.
Bible Skills and Games Workshop
Students play a series of Good Samaritan Challenges that help them remember and retell the story and understand its life application. This Game Workshop has been designed with off-the-shelf supplies and age-adaptable game rulefs. Excuses are lava!
“Good Sam the Samaritan" Software Workshop
Using the free download of Sunday Software's Good Sam the Samaritan program, students at one or more PCs explore the story and the excuses used in it, play the "Who Wants to Be a Sa-mar-i-tan" Quizshow, and reflect through video and music why the Samaritan did what he did, and why we should do likewise.
Music, Movement, and Memory Workshop
Who you gonna call? Good Samaritan! Yes, as a matter of fact WE DID create a video mashup of the ever-popular earworm "Ghostbusters" theme song with easy-to-sing Good Samaritan lyrics set to the fun dance moves from the popular "Just Dance" video game! it will get your students up and moving and singing and remembering in a way you may never have experienced before in Sunday school! “I ain't afraid to give help.”
This lesson also has a discussion about "ghosting" --the un-Samaritan social media practice of ignoring others. It includes a list of "signs you might be ghosting someone in need." Ghost-busting indeed!
This lesson is part of Rotation.org's commitment to innovative lesson development and fun ways to incorporate the wonderful learning mediums of music and movement.
Mission & Outreach Workshop and Program Suggestions
Being Good Samaritans is a familiar theme for church mission programs. In this special collection of in-class and "after the lesson" ideas, we suggest many ways your students (or their families or the entire congregation) can get involved in the local community, school, and congregation.
A Good Samaritan Children's Sermon or Group Activity
Here's a fun children's sermon, or children's worship activity, or large group lesson everyone can get up and involved with to create a very special photo illustrating the message that the Body of Christ is God's Good Samaritan in the world.
An activity and message inspired by our Writing Team's Good Samaritan logo!
Writers for this set:
Samantha Corcoran, Luanne Payne, Barbara Patterson*, Amy Crane, and Neil MacQueen
Learn more about our collaborative peer-reviewed process.
*We lost Barb to cancer during this Writing Team. Prior to her untimely death, she brainstormed many ideas and thoughts with us about the parable. A long-time Christian educator, Workshop Rotation Model enthusiast, and contributor to Rotation.org, she was a Great Samaritan, and so we dedicate this lesson set in her memory.
What's different about Writing Team lessons?
Rotation.org's Writing Team is a group of experienced Christian educators working together to brainstorm and write lessons that go above and beyond in terms of creativity, variety, and level of detail.
- We write for teachers who WANT to teach creative lessons, whether they are using a traditional model or Rotation Model Sunday School.
- We are committed to exploring new techniques and ideas for today's kids (as this set amply demonstrates).
- We are committed to including many adaptations so that our lessons can scale to different grades, class sizes, and lengths of lesson time.
- Writing Team lessons are peer-brainstormed and peer-reviewed! The Writing Team process and content is overseen by our Board of Directors and led by Neil MacQueen.
A Supporting Membership is required to access the Writing Team's innovative lesson plans. Memberships are the major way Rotation.org funds its budget, and your membership enables us to keep producing creative lessons and resources unlike anything else being published or online. Become a Supporting Member today.