Jesus is our Lord. And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11).

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1 The Parable of the Sower Lesson 1 Bible Point Jesus is our Lord. Bible Verse And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11). Growing Closer to Jesus Children will n learn that we help others when we tell them about Jesus, n realize that God s love grows and spreads, n help Pockets remember something important, and n discover ways to tell others about Jesus. Teacher Enrichment Bible Basis n The parable of the sower Luke 8:4-15 At this point in his ministry, Jesus began using parables more often to get his message across. A parable is a story that presents a message in a somewhat obscure way. By using parables, Jesus could get through to people who were following him and were willing to dig into what he said to discover the truth. At the same time, people who weren t willing to carefully ponder what Jesus said wouldn t understand. Jesus wanted his followers to be serious about believing in him. Jesus even explained his use of parables to his disciples in Luke 8:10, after they had asked him the meaning of the parable of the sower. The emphasis of Jesus explanation of this parable is that we must be prepared to take in God s Word when we hear it. If we don t take it deeply into our hearts and water it through careful thought and faithful action, the seeds of God s Word will not produce fruit in us. This parable also speaks to the way we share God s message with others. Sometimes the hearts of others are ready; sometimes they are hard as rocks. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in presenting Jesus to people in ways that will work to soften and prepare the hearts of those who are not yet ready to take it in and let it grow within them. But we also must not be afraid to proclaim the whole Gospel message to those whose hearts are fertile soil just waiting for that seed! Prayer Read Luke 8: How does this passage, which follows today s passage, relate to the parable of the sower? How brightly do you let your lamp shine? Pray: Lord, please show me ways I can plant seeds in the lives of Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6 15

2 Lesson 1 Before the Lesson n Collect the necessary items for the activities you plan to use, referring to the Classroom Supplies and Learning Lab Supplies listed on the chart. n Make photocopies of the Today I Learned handout (at the end of this lesson) to send home with your children. n Pray for the children in your class and for God s direction as you teach the lesson. This Lesson at a Glance Welcome Time What Children Will Do Classroom Supplies Learning Lab Supplies Welcome! Receive name tags, and be greeted by the teacher. Cross Name Tags (p. 14), markers, safety pins Let s Get Started Direct children to one or more of the optional activities until everyone arrives. Bible Story Time Closing Option 1: Thumbprint Flowers Make colorful flowers using their thumbs. Option 2: Planting Seeds Plant seeds to grow a miniature garden. Option 3: Good Seeds Create artwork with different kinds of grains and seeds. Pick Up Our Toys Sing a song as they pick up toys, and gather for Bible Story Time. Setting the Stage Practice spreading an important message. Bible Song and Prayer Time Sing a song, bring out the Bible, and pray together. Hear and Tell the Bible Story Pretend to plant seeds while they listen to Jesus parable from Luke 8:4-15. Do the Bible Story Experiment with magnets, and learn about drawing others to Jesus. Pass It On Help Pockets remember the most important message of all. Tape, construction paper, paper cup, scissors, damp paper towel, straws Cup of grass seed, sponges, plastic foam cups, newspaper, scissors, water Paper, glue sticks, rolled oats, rice, dried beans, various flower seeds CD player Bible, construction paper, scissors, CD player, basket Bible, bag of sunflower seeds, newsprint, tape, markers Thin knit glove, magnet, paper clip Ribbon Friendly Reminder Sing a song, and tell ways to share Jesus with others. Bible, thumbprint flowers from Option 1, CD player *See the end of this lesson for extra-time ideas and supplies. 16 Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6

3 The Parable of the Sower Welcome Time SUPPLIES: Cross Name Tags (p. 14), markers, safety pins or tape Bend down and make eye contact with children as they arrive. Greet each child individually with an enthusiastic smile. Thank each child for coming to class today. Say: Today we re going to learn that Jesus is our Lord. Give each child a Cross Name Tag. Help children write their names on their name tags, and pin or tape them to their clothing. You may want to laminate the name tags or cover them with clear adhesive paper so they ll last for the entire quarter. Direct children to the Let s Get Started activities you ve set up. Let s Get Started Set up one or more of the following activities for children to do as they arrive. After you greet each child, invite him or her to choose an activity. Circulate among the children to offer help as needed and to direct their conversation toward today s lesson. Ask questions such as How do you feel when a friend shares a message with you? or When have you passed on an important message? n Option 1: Thumbprint Flowers SUPPLIES: tape, construction paper, scissors, paper cup, damp paper towel, straws Place construction paper, tape, straws, and the ink pad on a table. Tell children that they ll be making a beautiful garden with their thumbs. Show the children how to stamp thumbprints on their papers to create flower petals. Let children cut around the thumbprints and tape their flower petals on the ends of straw stems. As children are creating their special flowers, mention that every flower comes from a seed and grows up differently. Tell children that people, like flowers, are all different and that Jesus loves all people. Tell them that today they ll learn that Jesus is our Lord. Help children gather their flowers and place them in a paper-cup vase. Then have children wipe their thumbs on a damp paper towel. Return the ink pad to the Learning Lab box. n Option 2: Planting Seeds SUPPLIES: cup of grass seed, sponges, plastic foam cups, newspaper, scissors, water Before this activity, cut sponges into 3x3-inch squares or circles. Cover a table with newspaper. Place the sponges, a cup of grass seed, and plastic foam cups on the table. Direct children to each choose a cup and a sponge and place the sponge in the cup. Have children sprinkle grass seed into the sponges holes; then help them pour a small amount of water over the sponges. If the ink pad is dry, moisten it with three to five drops of water. If not all children do Option 1, be sure there are enough flowers for each child to have one for the Closing activity. You could make some in advance, or allow children to make extras. Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6 17

4 Lesson 1 As children sow their seeds on the sponges, ask questions such as How do seeds grow? and Why does a plant have roots? Tell children that they ll hear a story about seeds. Tell children to keep water in the cup and to place the sponge in a sunny window. The plants should sprout in a week to 10 days. n Option 3: Good Seeds SUPPLIES: paper, glue sticks, rolled oats, rice, dried beans, various flower seeds Show children how to use a glue stick to draw a shape on paper. Then sprinkle grains or seeds over the glue to create a work of art. Let children experiment with the different shapes and textures available to make a picture. As children work, tell them that today s Bible story is about a man who planted seeds. Ask them what kinds of seeds and plants they ve seen growing and how to tell if plants are growing or dying. After everyone has arrived and you re ready to move on to the Bible Story Time, encourage the children to finish what they re doing and get ready to clean up. n Pick Up Our Toys SUPPLIES: CD player Lead children in singing Pick Up Our Toys (track 2) with the track 2 CD to the tune of Skip to My Lou. Encourage children to sing along as they help clean up the room. If you want to include the names of all the children in the class, sing the song without the CD, and repeat the naming section. If you choose to use the CD, vary the names you use each week. We will pick up our toys. We will pick up our toys. We will pick up our toys, And put them all away. Bible Story Time n Setting the Stage (Repeat.) There s [name] picking up toys. There s [name] picking up toys. There s [name] picking up toys, Putting them all away. SUPPLIES: none Tell children you ll clap your hands to get their attention. Explain that when you clap, children are to stop what they re doing, raise their hands, and focus on you. Encourage children to respond quickly so you ll have time for all the fun activities you ve planned. Ask children to each find a place to sit on the floor apart from other children. Say: I have a message that I want to spread from person to person. I ll whisper 18 Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6

5 The Parable of the Sower the message to one of you. You ll stand up, walk to someone else, whisper the message to that person, and then sit down in his or her place. Then that person will spread the message to someone else. Whisper one of the following messages into a child s ear: God wants us to spread his love. I like to tell others about Jesus! Continue until everyone s had a chance to deliver the message. Ask: What was the message you heard? Have a child repeat the message aloud. How did the message get around the room? (We spread the message; we told each other.) Why do we want to tell others good or important news? (So people will share it; so people know what s going on; to help other people.) Say: Important messages can help people, and it s good to share those messages. Today we re going to learn that Jesus is our Lord. We want everyone to get the message about how much Jesus loves them. n Bible Song and Prayer Time SUPPLIES: Bible, construction paper, scissors, CD player, basket or box track 3 Before class, make surprise cards for this activity by cutting construction paper into 2x6-inch strips. Prepare a surprise card for each child, plus a few extras for visitors. Fold the cards in half, and stamp the flame stamp inside one of the surprise cards. Mark Luke 8:4-15 in the Bible you ll be using. Have the children sit in a circle. Say: Now it s time to choose a Bible person to bring me the Bible marked with today s Bible story. As we sing our Bible song, I ll hand out the surprise cards. Don t look inside your surprise card until the song is over. Lead children in singing Read God s Book (track 3) with the CD to the tune of The Muffin Man. As you sing, hand out the folded surprise cards. Now it s time to read God s book, Read God s book, read God s book. Now it s time to read God s book. Let s hear a Bible story. (Repeat 3x.) After the song, say: You may look inside your surprise cards. The person who has the flame stamped inside his or her card will be our Bible person for today. Identify the Bible person. Ask the Bible person to bring you the Bible. Lead the class in clapping for the Bible person, cheering, and making fun applause sound effects by slapping your thighs with your palms. Help the Bible person open the Bible to the marked place, and show children where your story comes from. Then have the Bible person sit down. Say: [Name] was our special Bible person today. Each week we ll have only one special Bible person, but each one of you is a special part of our class! Choose children to be the surprise-card collector, the Bible replacer (to put the Bible away), and the cheerleader. Just be sure to keep track of who fills your roles each week so each child gets a chance to feel special. Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6 19

6 Lesson 1 Today we re all learning that Jesus is our Lord. Let s say a special prayer now and ask God to help us tell other people about Jesus. I ll pass around this basket. When the basket comes to you, put your surprise card in it and say, God, please help me tell others about Jesus. Have a child pass around the basket or box. When you ve collected everyone s surprise card, set the basket aside, and pick up the Bible. Lead children in this prayer: God, thank you for the Bible and for all the stories in it. Teach us today that Jesus is our Lord. In Jesus name, amen. Watch children carefully, and remind them not to put the seeds in their mouths, since the seeds can be choking hazards for young children. n Hear and Tell the Bible Story SUPPLIES: Bible, bag of sunflower seeds, newsprint, tape, markers Before class, create a farmer s field by taping together four sheets of newsprint to make a large square, as shown in the margin. In one square, draw weeds; in another square, draw a road; in the third square, draw rocks; and in the last square, draw good soil and seedlings. Gather children around the newsprint. Open your Bible to Luke 8:4-15, and show children the words. Say: Our Bible story today comes from the book of Luke. Jesus told stories to help us learn important things. Jesus stories are called parables. Before I tell you one of Jesus parables, I have a riddle. See if you can guess who I am and what I m doing. Say the following words as you pretend to sow seeds in a field: I work hard in the rain and the sun to grow good food for everyone. Who am I? (A farmer.) Ask: What was I doing when I pretended to be a farmer? (Planting seeds; throwing seeds in a field.) Say: Stand up, and let s toss a handful of seeds into the air! Pause for children to act out the motion of sowing seeds. Ask: Where did your seeds land? (They scattered; everywhere!) Say: Our Bible story is about seeds that were sown, or planted, and about where the seeds landed and how they grew. You can help me tell the story with these seeds. Hand each child four sunflower seeds that are still in their shells. When I describe where a seed fell, lay a sunflower seed in that area on our farmer s field here on the floor. A farmer went to his field to sow seeds. He tossed the seeds in the air, and when they fell, they scattered around. Some of the seeds fell on the hard road. Pause for each child to place one seed on the road. These seeds didn t grow at all. People walked on the seeds, and birds ate them. The road wasn t a good place for seeds to grow. Some of the seeds fell among rocks. Have each child place a seed on the rocks in the picture. The seeds grew a tiny bit, but they couldn t push their roots down deep to find water. They soon wilted and died. The rocks weren t a good place for seeds to grow either. Some of the seeds landed in thorns and weeds. Let each child place a seed on the illustration showing the thorns. The seeds sent down little roots and began to grow. But the thorns and the weeds choked them out. The thorny weeds weren t a good place for seeds to grow. 20 Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6

7 The Parable of the Sower Some of the seeds landed in good soil. Pause while the children place their last seeds on the picture of the good soil with the growing plants. The seeds sent down strong roots and grew into plants that produced grain for the happy farmer. With the grain from the seeds, the farmer fed his family and other people, too. Those seeds grew and spread to make many more seeds! Ask: Which seeds grew the best? Why? (The seeds in the good soil, because they could send down roots and get water.) Why was the farmer happy when he saw the seeds that grew? (The seeds made lots of grain; the seeds made more seeds; the farmer could feed lots of people.) Say: Seeds planted in good soil grow, feed us, and spread to make more seeds. Jesus story tells us that God s love grows in people s hearts just as seeds grow in the ground. We plant seeds of love by telling others about Jesus. Then God s love grows in their hearts, and they tell even more people. Pretty soon God s love is growing everywhere! Ask: How is God s love like seeds that grow? (His love spreads; it helps us; we can give it to others.) How can we spread God s Word to others? (By praying; reading the Bible; being kind to others; following Jesus; telling others about Jesus and God.) Why is it important to tell others about Jesus? (So they ll know about Jesus; because we can help others follow him; because Jesus wants us to tell people about him.) Say: We want to be like farmers planting special seeds. We plant seeds of God s love by telling others about Jesus and about how Jesus cares for them. When we tell others about Jesus, we spread his love, and it grows. Jesus is our Lord, and we can tell others about him. Let s think of people we can tell about Jesus and his love. Have children take turns removing seeds from the picture. Each time a child removes a seed, let the child name someone he or she can tell about Jesus or share a way to spread Jesus love with others. Continue until all the seeds have been gathered. Collect the seeds from the children. Say: Let s pray that we ll be able to share the love of Jesus this week. Pray: Dear Jesus, thank you that you love us. Thank you that you re our friend. Help us to tell others about you and to show your love with our actions. In your name, amen. Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6 21

8 Lesson 1 Use an inexpensive, one-size-fits-all knit glove, generally available in discount stores for about a dollar per pair. Warning! This activity uses magnets. Swallowed magnets can attract each other through opposing intestine walls, causing serious infection or even death. Seek immediate medical attention if magnets are swallowed or inhaled. n Do the Bible Story SUPPLIES: thin knit glove, magnet, paper clip Before class, place a magnet in the index finger tip of the glove. Say: We re learning that Jesus is our Lord. Point to yourself and say, Jesus loves me. Pause. Now point to someone in our class and say, Jesus loves you. Pause. Point up to heaven and say, Jesus is alive! Pause. Because Jesus is our Lord, we can tell others about him. When we tell others about Jesus, we re pointing them to Jesus. Let s do an experiment to see what it means to point others to Jesus. Gather children around you, and put on the glove with the magnet in the fingertip. Show children the paper clip and your gloved finger, and say: Let's pretend this paper clip is my friend and my finger is me. When I tell my friend about Jesus, my friend will want to follow Jesus. Let the children watch you touch the paper clip with each finger, saving the magnetic finger for last. Let them comment on what happens when each finger touches the paper clip. When the finger with the magnet comes close to the paper clip, ask: What happened to the paper clip when my finger came close to it? (It moved; the paper clip followed your finger.) Why do you think the paper clip followed the glove? (There s something inside the glove; there s a magnet somewhere.) Say: Inside a fingertip of this glove, I put a magnet. The paper clip just followed the glove. It s kind of like that with people when we tell them about Jesus. When we tell others about Jesus, they re attracted to him, and they follow him. We can help others follow Jesus because Jesus is our Lord. Let children take turns putting on the glove and moving the paper clip. Closing n Pass It On SUPPLIES: ribbon Before class, tie a ribbon or piece of yarn around Pockets tail. Have children sit in a circle. Bring out Pockets the Kangaroo, and go through the following script. After you finish the script, put Pockets away and out of sight. 22 Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6

9 The Parable of the Sower Teacher: Teacher: Teacher: Teacher: Teacher: Teacher: (Hopping up and down) G day, mates. How are you on this fine spring day? We re having a good time today, Pockets. Say, that s an unusual-looking thing on your tail. Is it a bracelet? Sort of. It s to help me remember to give a message to my friend Sam. I m supposed to tell him to to to (Looks worried.) Oops. I think you forgot the message, didn t you, Pockets? Oh, well, no big deal. No message is that important. I ll just tell Sam I forgot. No sweat! We ve been learning about messages today, Pockets. And it is important to spread some messages. Do you know why? Go on! It can t be that important to tell a message. Kids, can you tell Pockets about one message that s important to tell others? (Pause for children to share their ideas. Help them repeat the Bible Point.) How can I help others follow Jesus? I don t understand. One way is to tell them the important messages about Jesus, right friends? (Encourage children to express to Pockets how being kind to others and telling others about Jesus teaches them about God s love.) You see, Pockets, we can help others follow Jesus, because Jesus is our Lord. Some messages are very important. I understand now. When I tell others the message about Jesus and how he loves us, they can follow Jesus, too! Good for you, Pockets. And even if I can t remember what I was going to tell Sam, I have the best message of all to share with him now! Thanks for telling me the message about Jesus. And see? It did help someone me! Goodbye. Permission to photocopy this script from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum, Pre-K & K, granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Ave., Loveland, CO group.com n Friendly Reminder SUPPLIES: Bible, thumbprint flowers from Option 1, CD player Open your Bible to Philippians 2:11, and show children the track 12 words. Say: Our Bible verse is Philippians 2:11, which says, And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This means that we follow Jesus because Jesus is our Lord. We can help others follow Jesus by planting seeds of love like the farmer in today s Bible story. Let s sing a song that will remind us of this Bible verse. Lead children in singing Follow in His Steps (1 Peter 2:21b) (track 12) with the CD to the tune of London Bridge. Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6 23

10 Lesson 1 Jesus helps us follow in his steps, Follow in his steps, Follow in his steps. Jesus helps us follow in his steps, Because he loves us! (Repeat.) Distribute the thumbprint flowers children made during Option 1. Have children form pairs, and then say: These flowers remind us of the seed story and the work that we can do for Jesus. In the story, we learned that we can help others by telling them about Jesus. Trade flowers with your partner, and tell one thing you can tell someone about Jesus. Pause while children share. Find a new partner. Pause while children switch partners. Now, trade flowers with your new partner, and tell him or her the name of one person you can tell about Jesus this week. Pause while children share. Then say: Let s join hands in a circle and pray. Pray: Dear God, please help us learn that the message about Jesus is the most important message there is. And help us realize that Jesus is our Lord. In Jesus name, amen. Let children each take home a thumbprint flower as a reminder to help someone follow Jesus. Growing closer to Jesus extends beyond the classroom. Photocopy the Today I Learned handout (at the end of this lesson) for this week, and send it home with your children. Encourage parents to use the handout to plan meaningful family activities to reinforce this week s topic. 24 Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6

11 The Parable of the Sower For Extra Time If you have a long class time or want to add additional elements to your lesson, try one of the following activities. n Lively Learning: Sow the Seeds Place the large newsprint square from the Hear and Tell the Bible Story activity on the floor. Stick a piece of masking tape on the floor three feet away from the paper. Hand each child three sunflower seeds, and then have children line up behind the tape. When you say, Sow the seeds, have children take turns trying to toss one of their seeds onto the good soil. A child may retrieve his or her seed from the good soil to toss again next turn. Remove any seeds that land on the road, rocks, or thorns. Continue playing until everyone has had two turns. n Make to Take: Sower s Sack Set out crayons, markers, paper lunch sacks, scissors, a hole punch, construction paper, tape, and yarn. Tell children that they ll be making seed pouches to go around their waists. Have them decorate sacks using crayons and markers. Let each child cut a length of yarn to go around his or her waist. Use a hole punch to punch two holes through the top edge of the sack. Run the yarn through the holes, and tie the ends around children s waists. As needed, reinforce the holes with tape. As children work, explain that farmers once wore seed pouches in the field to keep seeds handy for sowing. Help children cut heart-shaped seeds from construction paper. Write Jesus on each seed, and put the seeds in the seed pouches. Encourage children to sow the seeds of love by handing the hearts to family and friends. n Treat to Eat: Seed Feed Let the children in your class enjoy a seed feed. Set out bowls of popped popcorn and crisp rice cereal. Hand each child a paper plate to place food on, and explain that these foods are made from different seeds or grains. For extra fun, let children peck the seeds and eat them as the birds in the Bible story ate the seeds on the road. Remind the children that good seeds grow and spread to feed others just as we can help others follow Jesus, because Jesus is our Lord. n Story Picture: Pass on the Message Hand each child a photocopy of the Today I Learned handout. Have children color their pictures with crayons or markers and then glue rice or unpopped popcorn kernels on the seeds the farmer is sowing. As children work, ask them to tell you about each place the seeds in the picture fell. Remind children that planting seeds is like spreading the good news about Jesus because Jesus is our Lord. Hands-On Bible Curriculum Pre-K & K, Ages 5 & 6 25

12 Lesson 1 Today your child learned that we can help others follow Jesus, because Jesus is our Lord. Children learned the parable of the sower and the seed, and they practiced telling others about Jesus. Verse to Learn And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11). Ask Me... l What happened to the seeds the farmer sowed? l How do you feel when you tell someone about Jesus? l How can you help your family follow Jesus this week? Family Fun l Make doorknob hangers to help tell someone about Jesus. Help your child write the Verse to Learn (or a verse of his or her choice) on the hanger. Add colorful decorations with markers, ribbon, or glitter. Staple a small bag of sunflower seeds on the hanger. Surprise a friend or neighbor by secretly putting the hanger on his or her doorknob. l Talk about who in your family or circle of friends doesn t know about Jesus. Include them in your family s prayers all week. The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15) Jesus is our Lord. Permission to photocopy this handout from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum, Pre-K & K, granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Ave., Loveland, CO group.com

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