Teaching Alongside the Creator

Teaching with the Creator

In the rush to find scissors and glue we should not neglect the natural supplies God has provided as teaching resources.

We do not teach alone.  We join the Master Teacher, the Creator, who is already using his creation to draw people to Himself:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4, NIV)

and…

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20, NIV)
 

A student I supervise, Cristy, recently encouraged a group of teachers to bring God’s teaching resources into our classrooms.  Cristy sent a group of teachers outside the building to find and bring back items that teach about God.  (She only allowed them 3 minutes!).

Here are the types items these teachers found:

We thought this might be more of a challenge when we taught the same workshop in Metro Manila (Philippines).  The church building we were in was surrounded by a parking lot devoid of plants and next to a busy street.  Still, when Cristy sent the teachers out they quickly adapted and came back with a wonderful collection of both natural and other teaching items including items such as:

Pointing out God’s creation when we teach brings a profound richness into what we are sharing.  In the years to come children may forget a picture used for illustration or a worksheet.  But, for the rest of their lives they will continue to see leaves and stones and soil.  Connecting these things with spiritual lessons now will mean that the lessons will be reinforced over and over.

I can just imagine the future when one of my students, as an elderly person, picking up a stone and telling his or her grandchild about how the stone was rolled away from the tomb.

I want to teach with the Creator!

The Story of the Cross

Final

A great way to give meaning to the story Jesus is Crucified and to explain the story of the  Burial and Resurrection is to tell them using a single sheet of paper.

Notebook paper or typing paper is fine.  You will be tearing layers of paper so I would suggest light or thin paper instead of something thick.  It won’t matter if the paper is already written on so you could even use a page out of a magazine or newspaper.

Note: I can’t claim this idea as an original.  I have seen it used in many ways and sourced from many different places so I’m not sure what the original source is.  I’ve written my own story words and took my own photos but I used some of the ideas for folding instructions from http://maryricehopkins.com.

Photo Instructions:

Printable Instructions in PDF

Words you could use to tell The Story of the Cross

Do you know about Jesus and the story of the cross?  A cross has special meaning for Christians because it reminds of something very sad and something amazing all at the same time.  And the story of the cross is about you and me and every single person in the world.

First for the SAD part:  (Say this part as you fold the paper)

Jesus always did good.  He taught people how to love God.  He made sick people well.  He even did miracles like changing water to wine and turning a small amount of fish and bread into enough food to feed over 5,000 people.

Jesus never sinned (did bad things).  It doesn’t make sense that a good person like Jesus would be punished as if he was a bad person.  But that is exactly what happened.  Even though he had never done anything wrong he was punished.  His punishment was to be put on a cross and to stay there until he died.  It was a very sad day when Jesus died.

After he died Jesus was taken down off the cross.  His body was wrapped in cloths and buried in a tomb.

“Death” is the sad part of the story of the cross.  (Unfold the cross as you say this)

Now for the AMAZING part:

On the third day after Jesus died some women went to go visit the tomb where he had been buried.  But Jesus’ body was not inside the tomb.  The cloths were there but Jesus’ body was gone.

There were an angel nearby and he told the women that Jesus was not in the tomb because he was now ALIVE!  The women could hardly believe it.  But then, Jesus appeared to them and even talked to them.  Jesus died and then came back to life again.

“Life” is the amazing part of the story of the cross. (Form the word “life” as you say this)

Now for the part about YOU and ME: (Just say this last part)

After Jesus rose from the dead he spent forty days with many of his friends and others.  Then, he did not die but went straight up to heaven instead.

The good news is that Jesus died on the cross for you and for me and everyone in the world.  He loves us and does not want us to have to be punished for our sins.  Dying on the cross and coming back to life showed that Jesus has power over death.  He has the power to save us from death, too.

Jesus will live forever and he wants everyone to live forever with him.  Anyone who follows Jesus will live forever with him.  Do you want to follow Jesus?

The story of the cross reminds us that “Jesus loves you and me”.

Scriptures for the Teacher to Study:

After Easter: Empty Eggs and the Empty Tomb

Sometimes it seems like the resurrection of Jesus is just mixed in with the Easter bunny and Easter eggs and that makes me uncomfortable.

I remember, as a young mother, what the “after Easter slump” felt like.  The children were grumpy after their sugar high.  Little bits of fractured egg shell were in the carpet.  I would find candy wrappers and Easter basket grass in all sorts of secret hiding places for weeks to come.

I don’t want to put away the story of Jesus along with the Easter decorations!  It has occurred to me that the days following Easter are a great time to review the story of the resurrection and talk about the impact this event has on our lives every day of the year.

You might notice how shops tend to put all of their Easter decorations on sale after Easter.  How about buying a dozen of those plastic Easter eggs (the kind you open and put things inside)?  You can use them to review the story of the resurrection.  Of course you don’t have to use plastic eggs at all if they are not available.  You can just show the items to the children one after the other.  The eggs are just easy to use and store away.

Here’s what you do:
(click here for printable instructions)

  1. Collect 12 plastic eggs and a used egg carton to store them in.
  2. Use a permanent marker to number the eggs from one to twelve.
  3. Collect representative items (listed below) and put them inside the eggs.  Place the eggs inside the egg carton.
  4. Introduce the story by asking the children how they would feel if they went on an Easter egg hunt and every egg they found was empty.  Lead into the lesson by saying sometimes it is GOOD if an egg is empty.  Sometimes an empty egg is the best egg of all.
  5. Open the egg carton and begin the lesson by opening egg number one.
  6. As you open the eggs one at a time you re-tell the story to the children.  You might let them guess what each of the items might represent.
  7. After you tell the story distribute the eggs to the children and let them take turns re-telling the story.
  8. If you are able and have fewer children then you might help the children make one of these sets each to take home.

Here’s a list of items for inside the eggs:

This idea is not new with me.  I’ve listed some sites below that explain some other variations.