The Prodigal Son (Revised)

January 1-29, 2006

Creation Station


Scripture:  Luke 15: 11-32


Key Scripture Verse:  “But we should be glad and celebrate!  Your brother was dead, but he is now alive.  He was lost and now has been found.”  Luke15: 32 (Contemporary English Version)


Memory Verse:  “Be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:32 (CEV)


Offering:  Boys and Girls Club



·        God loves us always, even when we do wrong things.

·        God forgives us when we ask.

·        Making bad choices can hurt you and others.

·        God doesn’t want us to be jealous, even when things don’t seem fair.



1. Learn that the love of God is represented by the father’s forgiveness.

2. Understand what “grace” is.

3. Recognize that body language can show emotions and ideas.

4.  Children will create a wire sculpture depicting the father welcoming his son.



Welcome and Introductions:


1.  Welcome the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your name tag. Make sure that everyone is in the right classroom!  Children will either already have named tags on, or will get a nametag from their shepherd. Make sure that you know everyone’s name and greet the students individually. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.


2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Perhaps: Dear Lord, thank you for the blessings of food, home and family that we have, and for sending Jesus to teach us what is right.  Amen.

Bible Lesson:

1.  Today’s lesson is a parable told by Jesus.  A parable is a story that teaches us to understand God’s wishes for how we should live our lives.  This parable is called the “Prodigal Son”, “The Lost Son” or the “Parable of the Loving Father.”  It teaches us that God favors us with unearned love.  We call this “grace.”


2.  Once there was a man who had two sons.  The older son dutifully followed all the rules that he knew of.  The younger son wanted to be his own boss.  One day the younger son asked his father to give him the share of land or money that he would receive when the father died.  When it had been given, the son packed up everything and left for another country.  He soon wasted all he owned on foolish purchases and by trying to win friendship by buying treats for others.  Eventually he was so poor that he needed to work.  The only job he could find was caring for pigs.  He noticed that even the pigs had better food than he did.


3.  Finally, he realized that his selfish life was a sin against God and his family.  He was ashamed to go home because he felt unworthy.  He decided to return to his father and beg for a job as a servant.  When he neared home, his father saw him off in the distance.  Until then, the father did not know if his son was dead or alive.  Now that he saw him, he was filled with joy to see that this son was alive.  He ran to him and hugged him and kissed him.  The son said “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you.”


4. Then the father told his servants to dress his son in good clothes, put the father’s ring on his son’s hand and prepare a feast to celebrate his son’s return.  When the older son returned from working in the field, he learned that his father had ordered a feast to celebrate the return of this brother who had only taken from the family and not done any work.  He complained to his father that he had followed all the rules and worked without ever getting a reward.  The father answered that the older son would get everything that belonged to the father.  But, this time they should be glad that the younger son was alive.



1.  Create!  READ the Bible lesson (2-4 above) with expression. 


2.  Tell the children that they will create a wire sculpture that can be shaped to show the father welcoming back his lost son.  It represents “grace.”


3.  Give each child a 24” piece of wire that has the ends well twisted together to form a loop.  Since wires are sharp, and a 24” wire waving can be dangerous, this is essential.


4.  Have everyone work together following these steps:  Have the children hold the point of attachment (where the wire is twisted) in one hand and, with the other hand, stretch the wires so that is forms a 12” double-strand line.  Next, they should twist the end opposite the point of attachment into a loop about the size of a nickel (this will form the head). Now lift the point of attachment end over the head loop and twist below the head to form a neck.  They now should have one small loop (head) and two larger loops.  Each of the larger loops will form an arm and a leg by taking the outermost part of each loop and pressing it toward the neck.  This divides the loop into the two parts that are to be well twisted into arms and legs.


5.  The children will now have a figure that can be positioned to reflect many emotions.  Joints for elbows, knees, wrists, ankles, etc. can be bent according to the age and skill of each child.  Remind them of the lesson and how the father felt.  Have them bend the arms and legs of their figures to position the figures as a welcoming father with outstretched arms.  Play the music while they shape their figures.


6.  Clean up!  Involve everyone in cleaning up so that you will have time to share together in the closing. You may want to have a pre-arranged signal for clean up and tell them at beginning of art project what that will be - perhaps giving them a 5 minute warning and then the final clean up notice to allow those who need a bit more warning that they need to complete whatever they are working on.


7.  Turn out lights and lock the classroom door when leaving.  At the end of the rotation, return examples and patterns to the Faith Quest file.


Reflection Time:

1.  Ask the shepherds to pass out journal pages and pencils/markers.  The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson.


2.  At 10:40 ask the kids to put away their pencils/markers and prepare for the closing prayer.



1.  Encourage them to use their wire figures to show others and share the story of how someone who had hurt himself and others was given grace and forgiveness.


2.  Remind them that their Pennies will be given to the Boys and Girls Club.


3.  Say the Memory Verse together. You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can take home.


4.  Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Prayer (suggestion):  Gracious God, who loves and forgives us even when we have done the wrong thing, help us to follow your example to love and forgive others.  Thank you for sending Jesus to tell us the parables that teach us about God’s love.  Amen.


Teacher preparation in advance:

1. Read the scripture passage and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Workshop.


2.  Practice reading the Bible story (above) with expression.


3.  Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.


4.  Check the art room and the supply closet to see what supplies exist.


5.  Purchase wire and precut into 24” lengths.  Twist ends together.  Submit your expense receipts along with an Expense Voucher to one of the CE Children Elder’s for reimbursement.


6.  Experiment with what the children will be doing.


7.  Obtain a recording of the song “Amazing Grace” (with words) and a playing device. 


8.  Prepare all the materials you will need for the creation process.  Have the materials ready to go.  There will be limited time for the creation process, so do everything you can to conserve time.


9.  Decide how you want to close the lesson.  Prepare a prayer, ask for suggestion, or use suggestion provided.



24” pieces of wire (20 gauge or telephone Category 3, 24 gauge), twisted into a loop

Tape of “Amazing Grace” in song (provided)

Tape Player

Sample (provided)