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SSTN # 24 - March 24, 2004

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Resurrection Egg Holders...NEW!

1) Heritage Sunday Skit?
2) Intergenerational VBS?
3) Program for Small Sunday School?

Amazing Miracles of the Bible

4) Aggressive Helper?
5) Resurrection Egg Hunt
6) Ten Commandments

Super Heroes of the Bible

7) Armor of God
8) Paul in the Basket
9) Ten Commandments

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Resurrection Egg Holders ..... NEW!

Use a child-friendly Bible and the twelve Resurrection Egg Holders to tell
the Easter story. Each egg picture is numbered to correspond with its
explanation. Let your class color and cut their own set. 

Get the f-r-e-e "Palm Branches" pattern with explanations. Click here.

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1) Heritage Sunday Skit?

I am a Director of Christian Education at a church with a very small youth
and children population. The youth participate in the church service every
month, and we are looking for new ideas.  My youth are not interested in
mime, and I am having a hard time planning any skits, etc., because the
same kids aren't there all the time.  I would like some ideas because I am
rather new to the job, and I am running out of places to look.
Sarah Hungerford

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2) Intergenerational VBS?

I was wondering if anyone has tried an intergenerational VBS.  The idea is
that children attend the program with a parent and they participate in
activities together.  Ideally, I suppose this would happen in the evening
in consideration of parents who work during the day.  Has anyone had any
success with this?  If so, what type of city/church did it take place in -
inner city/country, large church/small church?  How did you organize it?
I was thinking of trying this with Cook Communications "Journeys with
Jesus" program which is really meant as a summer Sunday School program.
Sarah in Ottawa

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3) Program for Small Sunday School?

I am looking for a program to implement for a small Sunday School (approx.
20 kids).  They range in age from Junior Kindergarten (age 4) to Grade 5. 
We are thinking of perhaps going with a Children's Church approach in
which all the kids are together for singing and the Bible Story and lesson
and then they get into small groups for discussion/application.  There are
some programs out there for this setup but they really cater to large
churches with large budgets and large resources. Any ideas or programs in
use for a smaller scale setup?  We do not have any huge rooms to do
elaborate setups nor do we have space to have them rotating to a number of
different rooms for different activities.  Any small churches out there
with some ideas other than the traditional classroom approach but
something that will mix a strong biblical content with energy and fun?
Thanks for any help,
Sarah in Ottawa

--from SSTN: Hi Sarah, check out my Hands-On Bible series at:
Sounds like these would work well for you. You can also try out the free
ideas before purchasing any of them. ysic, Sarah Keith <><

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Amazing Miracles of the Bible

God’s glory and love are revealed through the miracles he performed and
were fully realized when he came to earth in the form of a man to save
mankind. By studying the miracles of the Bible children will gain a better
understanding of God’s love and faithfulness and how he continues to be
loving and faithful in miraculous ways to his people today. Great for
rotation-type programs!

In the Curriculum Creatives section:

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4) Aggressive Helper?

This is not a reply to what I have read, but a situation I have that I am
not sure what to do about. I teach middle elem.-age Sunday School and I am
in my 3rd year.
I love it and feel that I am right where I need to be. I am a Mom who has
raised quite a few children and I am in my mid-forties. I have a helper
that had offered to our pastor to be a helper regarding discipline in any
classroom that needed help in that area.  He put her in my classroom
simply because that year I had a child that was a bit difficult at times
and could be a disruption.
However,  what is happening now (a different year and a different group)
is that she is doing much more than that. She is very aggressive with her
ideas and comments and at times tells me that she feels "strongly" that
things should be done differently in the classroom. She has told me at
times that I have done games wrong and she has pretty much insisted at
other times how things should go.
I simply backed down and let her idea rule a few times.  I was not at all
at peace with it, but I did not know what to do. I have a teaching degree
(ELEM ED) and feel that I am doing a good job.  I have been told that I am
doing a good job. Parents have written me notes and thanked me for
teaching their children.  the pastor seems happy with my teaching and so I
feel as far as I can tell that I have a lot to offer these children. I
love what I do and feel so creative!  BUT I am filling stifled and
frustrated right now. I am ready to quit.

I don't know what to do about this helper.  I have told her twice that it
is very hard to have two 'leaders' in the classroom who have two very
differing ideas of how things should be done.  She was not brought in to
teach but to assist with any children who are discipline challenges. 
This gal has had a very hard life and has been hurt so much by so many
people.  I cannot bear to join the list of those who hurt her, but I am
going crazy trying to be kind and keep quiet as she pretty much tells me
how to teach and do things that she was never brought in to do.  We have
VERY different personalities and styles.
She loves Jesus and her heart is not malicious at all, but she has learned
(I think) over the years to be aggressive because of what she has endured
so painfully.  She jumps in and feels she HAS to make her presence be
known and heard.  I understand that to a degree but it is driving my
completely batty.
I do feel she is out of line and crossing the line here at times.....what
do I do?  Sometimes I really think about what she says and try to take
constuctive criticism.  It is starting to really get to me though.How do I
remedy this without offending or hurting her again?  
I have already talked to her, but the same things slowly keep cropping up
again.  I am ready to quit teaching, and just let her take over, but I do
not feel that this is what the Lord would have.  I am losing my joy and
not looking forward to being in the classroom with her.  I am just at a
loss as to how to handle this without hurting her.  HELP!  My pastor is
such a kind and gentle man.  I feel he does not really understand what is
happening and he has told me to talk to her. I did that, but I feel I am
back to square one again.  I am frustrated.
Any ideas? 
Losing joy in PA

--from SSTN: Dear "Losing Joy", Sounds like a really difficult situation.
Have you tried letting her "take over" entirely for a few lessons? Maybe
if she had the responsibility of totally planning and preparing everything
she would learn to respect what you have been doing. Also, have you said
to her what you've said to us? It seems to me that it would be helpful for
your pastor to meet with both of you and discuss this issue and help to
resolve it. My prayers are with you. Sarah Keith <><

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5) Resurrection Egg Hunt

>Has anyone done a Resurrection Easter Egg Hunt? I am planning to do this
with our >children and the children of the community and wondered if
anyone has done this and >what problems did you encounter.

We had our first Resurrection Egg hunt last year on Palm Sunday and we
plan to have it again this year. We hold it at 11:30 a.m. or following our
late church service in the fellowship hall. We have a pizza and pop lunch
for the families involved. We have one dozen resurrection eggs for each
child participating. The eggs are hidden outside or inside if raining. The
parents help the children find one of each of the 12 eggs by picking one
up and looking inside. If the contents of the egg is something they
already have, they have to put the egg back together and put it back on
the ground where it was. They start the hunt with a list of things to
find, fabric w/ perfume, thorn, etc. After they find each of the 12 items
the family discusses the meaning behind each item found. When they
complete the hunt they return the items inside for a treat, a small bag of
Easter candy. This year we’re also adding kite making as part of our
afternoon. Each child will receive a paper kite to decorate with Easter
symbols and if the weather is nice, they can go outside to fly them. Hope
your hunt is a great one; the families in our church had a wonderful time
last year!

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6) Ten Commandments

About three years ago, Lifeway had Truth Trackers VBS that was on the 10
Commandments.  It was really good.  My daughter was almost 5 at the time,
and had no problem learning the 10 Commandments with the way it was
taught.  The theme song even listed them in a way it was easy to
remember.  Unfortunately, our church does not still have any of our
literature but you might contact Lifeway. And of course, there were crafts
that went along with it. 
Debbie Waters
Elmwood Baptist Church

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Super Heroes of the Bible

"Super Heroes of the Bible" is a special midweek program which examines
the lives of some famous and not-so-famous people who had willing hearts
to obey God. And by obeying him, they were used in miraculous and powerful
ways to help change the course of human history. It is the goal of this
series to build FAITH, COURAGE, and OBEDIENCE in the lives of children,
and to change the world for Jesus Christ.

To learn more, go to this page:
(you may need to copy and paste this address to your browser)

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7) Armor of God

We did this several years ago and used brown large grocery sacks, cut out
the neck (circle), cut up the front to put on and cut circles on the sides
for the arms. Kids decorated their "armor".   We made shields out of
posterboard, attached something
to hold onto it and let the kids decorate. We even found a shape for a
helmet and cut 2 pieces out of posterboard, stapled around the edges
so kids could wear as a helmet. Cannot remember what we did for
the shin guards. We made sandals out of cardboard with leather thong
laces to tie around  their feet/ankles.  Hope this helps!   I also cut
open a refrigerator box - used and overhead projector pictures of policeman/
policewoman, knight and fireman, Roman soldier. Cut a circle out of face
so kids could get their pictures taken as one of the characters. Wonderful
take home at end of week, if you use instant pictures.  I painted the drawings
with tempera paints - it was free standing.  Hope this helps you get some
ideas to get started.  Have posters, etc. of knights, etc. around
the area - use knight (on PrintShop) on all your flyers, sign ups, any
take home items - keep the theme going.
Nancy from Illinois

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8) Paul in the Basket

This message is in response to the person looking for crafts for the
lesson of Paul in the Basket. I did this craft with four year olds, and it
worked really well, so I am sure it would work with slightly younger
children also. First we made baskets out of paper plates by cutting each
paper plate in half, and then stapling them together around the rounded
side edges leaving the flat side open. I used construction paper strips
stapled to the inside of the paper plates (stapling the paper strip to
each of the stapled corners, so two staples in each) to make the basket
handle. The kids colored the paper plates before we stapled them into
baskets. Then I found a coloring page online that had a simple Paul figure
on it, I found it by typing Paul coloring pages in the Google search
engine. I shrunk the figure of Paul only in Paint on the computer and
printed it out with four on a page and then  photocopied it to get the
number I needed for my class. The kids colored the Paul figure in and put
it in the basket. It was a really cute, easy, simple project that the kids
had a lot of fun making.
Hope this helps!
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

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9) Ten Commandments

This message is in response to ideas for the 10 Commandments. One of the
ideas that I know has gone over really well for me is actually on the
Christian Crafters site, it is the Ten Commandments Dice Game. I used the
large fuzzy dice like you hang in the rear view mirror of the car so that
the whole class could see what was rolled. For a really cool snack, I
purchased Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies and frosted them with a light
gray frosting that I obtained at a local craft store down the cake
decorating isle. I then labeled them with the numbers of each of the
commandments, and layed out seperate paper plates with each commandment
written on it. I sorted the cookies onto the right plates and the kids
would recite the commandments and then get to eat the cookie with the
corresponding number. Older children could sort the cookies themselves,
and you could use more than two or three on one day. I stuck with a small
number because I teach very young children.  It worked wonders for their
memorization skills. I only concentrated on two commandments each week, so
there was not a total sugar high. For crafts we made Ten Commandment
keychains that were simply made from gray fun foam, cut to the shape of a
stone, and then had the number and a simplified version of the commandment
on them. Once week we made keychains, one week we made them into
necklaces, one week we put pin backs on them, etc. As for making the 10
Commandments simpler, or easier to understand, that depends on the age
level you are teaching. I have realized that even a four year old
understand Obey your mother and father, so you really have to just look at
the level of the kids you are trying to teach.
Hope this helps!
Love in Christ,
Sarah in California

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