Sunday, August 12, 2012

'I'm Trying to be Like Jesus' Connections

Today we reviewed "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus" and what it really means that "we're trying to be like Jesus." Since Junior and Senior Primary are at such different levels of comprehension, we did things a little differently in each.

Preparation. I wrote simple scenarios on the back of about 20-25 die cut fish and hid them around the primary room. (I didn't get into how Christ was a Fisher of Men for time's sake, but the idea was there.)  

Sample Scenarios

  • Your sister sits at your seat at dinner. You get mad and yell at her.
  • Your mom is working hard making dinner and the table isn't set. You say "I'll set the table!" 
  • It's early in the morning and your mom says it's time to get ready for church. You are so tired but you get up and get dressed without complaining.
  • Your brother spills his crayons all over the floor. You say "You're going to be in big trouble and don't help him pick them up."

How it rolled. We sang the song. I asked a teacher to choose two or three kids to each find a fish and bring it up. I read each scenario and the group gave me a 'thumbs up' if it was Trying to be Like Jesus or a 'thumbs down' if it wasn't. We came up with a solution for the scenarios that weren't Christlike. Then we sang the song again and two or three more children found fish. We continued until the fish were all found, sometimes singing just part of the song they needed work on.

Why this worked. Lots of kids got to find fish. Everyone was involved in the singing and voting with their thumb. It moved quickly with the short scenarios. We got lots of repetitions of the song in. They really connected with the scenarios.

Preparation. I displayed a dozen paintings of Christ in action. For example, Christ healing the blind man, the boy Jesus working with Joseph, Christ calming the storm, Christ being baptized, etc. I gathered these pictures from the Gospel Art Kit and old calendars of paintings done by Simon Dewey and Liz Lemon Swindle.

Explanation. I told the children that since we were singing about 'trying to be like Jesus' that we were going to share things we do that are like things that Christ did. I asked the children to look at all the pictures and find one that they connected with and then be willing to share what they do that is 'trying to be like Jesus.'

How it rolled. First we sang one verse. Then I choose a teacher to send up two children from their class. The children each chose a picture and showed it to the group. They told (in one sentence) what was happening and what they do that is similar. Then we sang another verse and two more children came up until the pictures were gone. Sometimes they needed a little prompting from me, other times they did they whole thing by themselves.

For example.
Child "Christ is raising the girl from the dead."
Me "Have you raised anyone from the dead?" 
Child  "No." 
Me  "Have you helped anyone that was sick?" 
Child  "Yes, I helped my mom when she had surgery." 
Me  "What did you do?" 
Child  "I filled up her water bottle and helped her get up. I cleaned up the kitchen." 
Me  "I bet she really appreciated that. You know when you help her you are doing exactly what Jesus would do. You are being like Jesus."

Lessons learned. I especially loved the connections they made with two of the pictures. One was with the picture of Christ calming the raging sea. I asked what raging seas we might see during the day. 'Arguing or anger' was the answer and we talked briefly about being the peacemaker.

Another was with the picture of Christ carrying a child on his back by Liz Lemon Swindle. An 11 year old girl chose that one and talked about taking care of her little brothers and sister. I told her that Jesus loves her little brothers and sister so much and is so happy when she treats them with love.

If my primary group was smaller I would ask the parents to tell me about an instance when their child did something that was showing that they are trying to be like Jesus, and share them between singing verses of the song. Even better, have them send a picture of them doing something Christlike and make a video of it set to the song.

1 comment:

  1. I did this today. Thanks for the idea. I really liked it.