FAITH QUEST

This lesson plan is copyrighted and belongs to the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian,

Cary North Carolina. It may be used for non-profit uses only.

SHEPHERDS AND ANGELS

 

 

This story will be familiar to most of the children. The part of the wonderful story of Jesus’ birth that will be the focus for this unit of workshops involves the shepherds and angels.  The interaction between shepherds and angels tells us a lot about how we are to respond to God’s call, why Jesus was sent to us, and the role of angels. (In future years, we will study a different aspect of the Christmas story.)

 

Good News

 

Scripture:          Luke 2: 8-20

 

 Key verse for this lesson: Luke 2:16    “So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the child lying in the manger.”   (NRSV)

 

Concepts:              

1. God sent Jesus because God loves us.

2. God cares for people even if they don’t have an important job.

3. God communicates with people through messengers (angels).

4. The shepherds heard the message about Jesus, believed it, looked for and found Jesus, praised God and told people (a model of behavior for us.)

 

Objectives:  

Christmas is a time for cookie baking and decorating ­ an activity that children and adults love to share in.  Through the simple act of decorating cookies, children can hear the good news just as the shepherds heard the good news of Jesus’ birth from the angels.  The simple shapes of sheep, angels, stars, and people can be used to give the children a very concrete and edible bible storytelling experience.  

 

Procedure:

Welcome and Introductions:

1.        Welcome the kids.  Make sure that everyone is in the right classroom!  Kids will either already have nametags on, or will be given a nametag by their shepherd as they arrive.  Make sure that you know everyone’s name and greet her/him individually.  If you think you will have time, it is a nice idea to do a get to know you activity.

 

2.      Start the lesson time with prayer.  Ask for volunteers, but make sure you have a prayer prepared or be prepared to pray in case you don’t get any volunteers!   Keep the prayer brief, but be sure to look at the lesson concepts for this workshop and use one or more of them as the “foundation” for your prayer.

 

Scripture/Bible Story:

1.      Start the storytelling lesson off by showing the kids the various shaped cookie cutters you have.  What do these shapes mean to them?   Do they know any stories that involve these shapes? 

 

2.      Using their answers/sharing, lead into the Bible Story.  Have the kids use their bibles to locate the story in Luke 2.  Be sure to point out where your workshop Key verse is located (Luke 2:16).  Older kids (3-5th) might want to take turns reading a verse out loud.  Younger kids will enjoy following along as you read or you might want to paraphrase the story for them.  If this is the first week of this rotation, you will need to spend longer going over the bible passages.

 

Application:

1.      Use slice and bake cookie dough for the cookie baking portion of the lesson.  The cookie dough with stars, trees and angels will be bought.  Have the kids choose which designs they want (2 ­ 3 cookies per child).  The kids will need to take turns slicing and placing their cookies on the baking sheets.  Some decorations could also be put on the cookies prior to baking them.

 

2.      While the cookies are baking, have the kids divide into groups and retell the shepherd and angel story using the cookie cutters provided.  You could use a children’s Bible story book to tell the story. The time during baking would be a good time to talk about the symbols on the cookies ­ star (of Bethlehem), cane (shepherd’s staff). Also, ask to whom the kids are going to give their cookies.  What message about Christmas can they share with the person who receives their cookies?  Challenge them to be messengers telling about God’s love and Jesus just like the angels were that first Christmas.

 

3.      Clean up while the baked cookies are cooling.  The kids will need to place their cookies in a baggie and carry them on a plate or napkin if they are still warm.  You might want to have pre-printed pieces of paper with the key bible verse for the children to include with their cookies. Make sure dishes and cookie sheets are washed, dried and put away for next time. You will need to be cleaned up and ready for journaling by 10:35 am.  Involve all kids in the clean up so that you will have plenty of time for the closing/sharing.

 

Reflection Time:

Prepare for reflection time.  The shepherds for the class will have the journals for each child.  Each child should spend a few minutes reflecting on the lesson of the morning.  This might include drawing a picture, writing a few words, tracing around a cookie cutter or describing the shape they chose to decorate. 

 

Talk about the Heifer Project. Our Faith Quest offering will be used to buy animals to help the poor people all over the world. What “message” are we telling these people when we give money to help them? Are we acting like messengers when we bring our Faith Quest offering?

 

At the very least, have the kids copy down the memory/key verse and what they did in the workshop today.  Don’t make them feel they are not successful if they are unable to ‘produce’; this is not something anyone will be looking at unless the child gives permission. 

 

Journaling should not take more than 3-5 minutes.

 

Closing:

 Be sure to conclude the morning session with a prayer, review of the key scripture passage, song or item you think will help the children remember/understand some of the concepts that this story reveals to us. You may ask for prayer requests.

 

No matter what you choose to do as a closing, be sure to end with prayer and thank God for the wonderful message the angels brought the shepherds that first Christmas.

 

Teacher Preparation In Advance:

1.      Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study__________.

2.        Prepare an opening prayer.

3.      Gather cookie cutters that will be appropriate for this workshop.  You may need to borrow/buy some in order to have enough to help “traffic flow” in the kitchen. 

4.      Practice the lesson, storytelling with the cutters and reading the bible story.  The slice and bake cookie dough will be purchased for you and kept in the refrigerator of the old kitchen.

5.      Prepare the Key Verse on slips of paper for the children to give with their cookies.

6.      Decide how you will have the kids remember which cookies are theirs.  Are you going to place tape on cookies sheets with kids’ names, draw diagrams of sheet as to where each child has cookies or how.  Think this out ahead of time ­ very important to kids that they get THEIR cookies.

7.        Prepare a closing ­ your closing should help tie the lesson together.  What about the shepherds and angels do you want the kids to remember?  

 

Materials:

Shepherds, angels, sheep, stars, etc. cookie cutters (I recommend having at least 12-14 cutters, duplicate shapes are fine)

 

Sandwich bags to take cookies home, masking tape and marker pen to label with the children’s names.

 

Bible Story Book

Baking sheets, spatula, knives or dental floss for slicing

Pam or other oil

Cookie decorating supplies: icing, sprinkles, candies, etc.

Heifer Project leaflet or information about the project (Contact Lori Houck)

 

References:

Toni Dattilo, Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian, Cary, NC