Lately our Sunday school lessons have been on what I'll call the typical children's Bible stories. It's been a challenge to come up with an interesting way to teach the lesson since I'm sure they've heard the story and know it.
Sometimes the activities in the lesson book aren't conducive to second graders (the lesson plans cover both first and second grade ages), or they require lots of prior planning and work, collecting unusual materials and such. That means that I need to come up with some type of game or activity to help reinforce the lesson.
Last week our lesson was about Queen Esther. Of course since the lesson was for younger children, she had already been chosen Queen when the lesson picked up. I started out by asking the kids some questions to see what they knew about the story of Esther. I figured I'd get something just because there is a VeggieTales movie based on the story.
I was surprised I didn't get much. They couldn't even tell me the names of most of the main characters. Of course once I said the names they all remembered them, which I expected, but they couldn't come up with them on their own. This encourages me in teaching the lessons now — I want to make sure they get the story, even the ones I think they already know. I also want them to see God's hand in the story.
In the story of Esther, her uncle Mordecai raised her. At one point after she was crowned Queen, Mordecai found out about a plot to kill the King, he told Esther, she went before the King and told him (giving Mordecai credit in the record books), and the two men were put to death. Mordecai was not recognized for this good deed at this time.
Toward the end of the story, after the King and the evil Haman had dinner with the Queen the first night (she invited them the next night too), the King couldn't sleep. He had the scrolls brought in to be read, and part of the chronicles read to the King that night was the record of Mordecai saving his life by exposing the two men who wanted to kill him. He realized Mordecai hadn't been honored, and the story goes on from there.
So our activity was to make scrolls to record our Bible verse for the week, Proverbs 3:5,6. Esther trusted God and didn't lean on her own understanding.
We started out with straws. I only have bendy straws, so we cut off the bendy part.
We cut a regular piece of copy paper in half lengthwise.
We taped each end to one of the straws.
We wrote our verse. Some wrote it vertically and some wrote it horizontally.
Roll up one end halfway.
Roll up the other end halfway.
Hold it and twirl the straws to tighten it a little.
Swipe some of Chatty's tiny little black hair rubber bands and don't tell any of the kids what they are and use them to hold your scroll closed.
Quick and easy!