Monday, September 17, 2012

God's people

Our first class together and my co-teacher,  Milly.

Yesterday was the beginning of our new year in Sunday School at our Reformed Presbyterian church and I am teaching a class of four and five year old children, almost all of whom I taught last school year. I thought a review of how the nation of Israel came to be would be appropriate since I'm not sure the children would remember who Israel was and to help acquaint my new students with our lessons.

Way back in January, I had begun making these tents, but never finished and used. I explained earlier in this post, that the inspiration came from the fact that Hebrews records that Abraham lived in tents.

As I finished sewing the last few tents on Saturday night, I wondered how I could show the kids that the Israelites we were learning about back in May were from Abraham.  The idea of more tents came to me.  Lots of tents.  I could never sew that many so I switched to cardstock and made lots of tents that grew smaller and nested inside each other.

Every child had their own set of tents in their own color, including "Abraham's'" big brown tent and the last, little tent had their name on it*.  I wanted them to understand that the Bible tells us that because we believe and obey God, we too are in Abraham's family.
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. ~Galatians 3:29.

I think they liked all the "nesting" tents and they enjoyed setting them up in various arrangements around Abraham's tent.  This paper set above belongs to a girl, Karis, who was not there on Sunday, so I'm showing you her set.  They were kept together with a large paperclip which the kids seemed to able to clip and unclip themselves by the time we were cleaning up and then stuck inside the big brown tent to take home. I wish I had thought of taking a photo of all their sets of colorful tents set up on the table;  it surely represented the nations of the world that are blessed through Abraham!

I have mentioned before that I am trying to incorporate more of Charlotte Mason's ideas of children and teaching into this Sunday school time which is why I try to bring in natural things from God's creation to add beauty and goodness to our time together and do some group narration where they retell the story and ideas back to me.  We did a little narration together at the end, but I hope to do better in this area.

We ended by coloring the paper covering the table and having all sorts of fun, discussing the leaves, flowers and jars of acorns, bees and squirrels and other interesting topics.  It's going to be another fun year, mostly because you never know what kids are going to say next.

*It did occur to me to make an even smaller tent for them to write on showing their future family, but I wasn't sure I should go there and run the risk of having to talk about them getting married and having babies!  But the idea of training children to think of their children and their children's children as being part of God's people is important, but perhaps we can do that at a later time. :)

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