Monday, March 18, 2013

Activity C4 - Lesson 5: Storms at Sea

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Green Unit C4
Lesson 5: Paul is Shipwrecked (Acts 27:13 - 28:10)

Storms at Sea Craft - Materials Needed:
- index cards for each student
- scissors
- pencils
- long plastic tub or dishpan of water

Have the children round the edges of the card with scissors. Draw a perpendicular line about 3/4 of an inch long in the middle of the short ends of the card. Cut along the two lines to create two slits. Overlap the sides of each slit slightly to curve the sides of the card up, creating a canoe shape. Tape each into place. Divide the children into pairs. Each pair will race their boats by blowing them across the water. The object is to see which boat can reach the other side of the tub before sinking! Classmates can stand around the tub and make storm sounds, if they desire. Paul stayed calm in the face of the storm knowing the ship would sink. How could Paul have such peace of mind? He trusted God.

Activity: Floating Eggs Science Experiment
Fill a glass with cold water and a second with hot water. Drop one egg into the cold water. If it is fresh it should sink. This is because fresh eggs are denser than water. Now, add a spoonful of salt to the hot water. Stir until the salt has dissolved. Remove the egg from the cold water and place it in the salt water. See if the egg floats. If it doesn't, add more salt until it does. Why does it float in salt water? Because salt increased the density of water, making the water "heavier" than the egg. How did Paul and the others float to safety? They held onto planks from the ship and were washed ashore. Remember God is in control, and he knows what you are going through. God can make a way, even when no way seems clear.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Activity C4 - Lesson 4: "I'm Traveling to Athens" Game

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Green Unit C4
Lesson 4: Paul in Athens (Acts 17:16 - 34)

Play "I'm Traveling to Athens Game" - Materials needed:
- None.

Have the children sit in a large circle; either on the floor or at a table. Lead everyone in this rhythm pattern: clap twice; then slap the floor (or table) twice. Repeat. Once everyone has the rhythm down, speak these words with the beat: "I'm tra-vel-ing to Athens". Have the kids echo. On the next beat, add this sentence: "And so I'll bring some (fill in the blank)". Kids echo this, as well. On the next beat the person to your right will repeat everything, changing only the word in the blank. The game continues until someone cannot think of a new item and then they are out. Go faster on each successive round, until the game gets ridiculous or there is only one person left. Paul traveled all the way to Athens, Greece; far from his home. He did it because he believed it was very important to bring the good news of Jesus to people everywhere!

Activity: Classroom Olympics
Challenge the children to a classroom "Olympic" competition: The Stork Stand. See who can balance on one foot the longest with the sole over the other foot held to the side of the knee. Afterward, explain that the ancient Greeks began the Olympic Games to honor their group of gods. The apostle Paul knew about these gods and traveled to Greece to teach the people about the one true God.

Activity C4 - Lesson 3: Prayer Mobile

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Green Unit C4
Lesson 3: Faith Instead of Magic (Acts 8:9 - 25)

Create a Prayer Mobile - Materials Needed:
- colored construction paper (two pieces per student)
- markers or colored pencils
- scissors
- yarn
- yarn
- hole punch

Give each student two pieces of paper. Have them fold each paper in half the long way. Starting at the fold draw two half hearts - one above the other, on each paper. Cut each of the hearts out,  leaving you with four hearts. Make appropriate holes at the top and bottom of each heart so they can be hung in a vertical line. Have the children write (or write for the smaller children) the following - one on each of the hearts: "Create in me"; "a clean heart, O God,"; "and put a new and right spirit", "within me. Psalm 51:10". Decorate the hearts with markers. Cut four pieces of thread. Tie one end through the bottom of the first heart, and the other through the top of the second. Repeat for each heart. Loop a piece of yarn through the top of the top heart so that it can be hung.

Activity: Toothpick Illusion
Practice before performing the trick in class. Using a small piece of tape, attach a toothpick to your thumbnail. The toothpick should not extend above the nail. Bend your thumb down and put your fingers over the tape, so it looks like you are holding the toothpick. Wave your other hand in front of the toothpick hand and straighten your toothpick thumb to show the kids your palm and make the toothpick "disappear". Reverse the steps to make the toothpick reappear. Then explain to the children how the illusion worked. Explain that this trick is for fun and entertainment. We must not put our faith in magic, sorcery, or things of that nature. God is the only true source of power and goodness.

Activity C4 - Lesson 2: Ascension Skyscape

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Green Unit C4
Lesson 4: Jesus Ascends Into Heaven (Acts 1:1 - 14)

Create an Ascension Skyscape - Materials Needed:
- heavy, white paper (watercolor paper works best)
- paintbrushes (include larger brushes too)
- black permanent marker
- cups of water
- paper towels
- glue, scissors

Give each student a piece of heavy white paper. Instruct them as follows: dip a large paintbrush into a cup of water and brush back and forth until the entire paper is damp; dip the paintbrush into watercolor paint, choosing colors reminiscent of a sunset; use long strokes to paint back and forth, switching colors intermittently. Set the pain aside and cut a cloud from a second piece of white paper. After the paint has dried, glue the cloud onto the picture. Then, use black marker to draw Jesus standing on top of the cloud.

Activity: Guess When?
Bring a timer to class. Invite kids to sit in a circle. Without showing them what you are doing, set the timer to ring at a certain time during class. Give students a scrap of paper and a pencil and ask them to write down their guess as to when the timer will ring. Explain that in today's story, Jesus told his followers that no one knows the times that God has set for anything. And that's good, because God simply wants us to trust him - and his timing - in all things!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Activity C4 - Lesson 1: Class Commission

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Green Unit C4
Lesson 1: Jesus Sends Out His Disciples (Matthew 28:16 - 20)

Perform a "Class Commission" - Materials Needed:
- materials vary depending on your chosen commission and local needs

Gather the class into a circle and explain that you are giving them a class commission. A "commission" is a special job. As a group, they are going to share God's love with their church by doing a simple service project. Examples might include: replenishing children's worship bags with paper and crayons, picking up and recycling old bulletins, sharpening pencils in the pews, picking up and recycling old bulletins, stacking hymnals, helping out in the nursery, pulling weeds, or making cards for home bound people. Go and complete the project together.

Activity: Flag Flashcards
Before class, print out or copy the flags of 10 different nations. Cut out each flag, creating small flashcards. In pencil, write the corresponding country's name on the back of each card. List the countries on the board, as well. Shuffle the cards, and invite kids to guess which flag matches which nation. Explain that whether we know the name of every country in the world or not, God does. And he wants every nation to know about his love for them.

Activity C3 - Lesson 7: Seeing is Believing Experiment

Sunday Schoolhouse Series Activity - Green Unit C3
Lesson 7: The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13 - 35)

Perform a "Seeing is Believing" Experiment - Materials Needed:
- Covered cardboard box (shoebox works well)
- Scissors to cut a hand sized hole in the box before class
- Tape or large rubber band to secure box
- 8 - 12 small items with different textures (e.g. thimble, pickle, paper clip, tennis ball, action figure, etc.)
- paper and pencils for students and a timer

Before class, cut a hole in one side of the box. The hole should be large enough for a child's hand to fit through. Place the chosen items in the box and secure the lid with tape or large rubber bands (fewer and larger objects may be best for smaller children). Have the children reach into the box and give them a minute to silently feel the objects inside. When finished, students can write what they felt on a piece of paper. After everyone is finished remove the cover and see how many guesses were correct.

"Walking with Jesus" Activity:
Take the kids for a "walkabout" through the church. Tell them to look for signs of Jesus as they travel. If possible, walk through the sanctuary during this journey. When you return to the classroom, ask kids to describe what they saw. Ask the children if they saw artwork or Christian symbols that they hadn't noticed before? Today's story is about two travelers who felt very sad and alone, and who were surprised to find Jesus when they were least expecting to see him.