We can listen to God as we grow. Bible Verse

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1 Samuel Grows Up at the House of the Lord Lesson 3 Bible Point We can listen to God as we grow. Bible Verse I listen carefully to what God is saying (adapted from Psalm 85:8). Growing Closer to Jesus Children will n discover ways they ve grown, n learn that they can grow on the inside as well as on the outside, n hear how Samuel grew as he listened and learned about God, and n sing a song about growing in God s love. Teacher Enrichment Bible Basis n Samuel grows up at the house of the Lord. 1 Samuel 2:11, 18-21, 26 Because of Hannah s vow, Samuel grew up living at the tabernacle in Shiloh rather than with his parents. His parents lived between 15 and 20 miles from Shiloh. In the ancient world that distance was manageable for travel, but certainly not easy. Despite this separation, Samuel s parents remained a significant part of his life. And each time they saw their son, they no doubt proudly noticed his growth in physical size and spiritual maturity. Even as a child, Samuel s godly character was evident. This stood in stark contrast to the wicked antics of the chief priest Eli s two sons (2:12-17). Eli and his sons were supposed to be Israel s spiritual leaders, but under their watch, the country took a sharp downturn. God nurtured Samuel at this crucial time, and Samuel eventually steered the nation back on course (7:3-4). Prayer Read John 15:5. How have you grown as a result of remaining in a relationship with Jesus? Pray: Lord, help me take these steps to remain close to you 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. 41

2 Lesson 3 This Lesson at a Glance Welcome Time Let s Get Started Direct children to one or more of the optional activities until everyone arrives. What Children Will Do Classroom Supplies Learning Lab Supplies Welcome! Receive name tags, and be greeted by the teacher. Option 1: Church Clothes Make vests out of paper sacks, and hear how Samuel wore a linen vest. Option 2: Watch It Grow! Add frozen yogurt to soda water, and watch it grow. Option 3: See the Difference See how they ve grown since they were babies. Praying Hands Name Tags (p. 23), scissors, marker, safety pins or tape Paper grocery sacks, scissors, crayons Soda water, frozen yogurt, paper cups, spoons, wet wipes Adult and baby visitors, or baby pictures collected from parents or magazines Pick-Up Time Sing a song as they pick up toys and gather for Bible Story Time. CD player Bible Story Time Setting the Stage Discover things they ve learned to do as they ve grown. Bible Song and Prayer Time Sing a song, bring out the Bible, and pray together. Bible, CD player Hear and Tell the Bible Story Hear how Samuel grew up at the house of the Lord. Bible Closing Do the Bible Story Sing a song, and pretend they re Hannah taking a new coat to Samuel. Where Can I Grow? Teach Whiskers that he doesn t have to live at church to learn about God. Small blankets or towels, CD player Small blanket Growing in God s Love Chart their physical growth, and sing a song about growing on the inside. Red construction paper, scissors, white paper, tape, marker, CD player *See the end of this lesson for extra-time ideas and supplies. 42

3 Welcome Time Samuel Grows Up at the House of the Lord SUPPLIES: Praying Hands Name Tags (p. 23), scissors, marker, 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. As children arrive, ask them how they put last week s lesson into practice. Use questions such as What did you tell your friends about how Hannah thanked God? or Tell me about a time you thanked God this week. Say: Today we re going to learn that we can listen to God as we grow. Hand out the praying hands name tags children made during Lesson 1, and help children attach the name tags to their clothing. If some of the name tags were damaged or if children weren t in class that week, have them make new name tags using the photocopiable name tag patterns. Direct children to the Let s Get Started activities you ve set up. It s important to say the Bible Point just as it s written in each activity. Repeating the Bible Point again and again will help children remember it and apply it to their lives. 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 direct children s conversations toward today s lesson. Ask questions such as What kinds of clothes do you wear to church? or How have you changed since you were a baby? n Option 1: Church Clothes SUPPLIES: paper grocery sacks, scissors, crayons Tell children that Samuel wore a special linen vest when he lived at the house of the Lord. Then set out paper grocery sacks, and help children make their own special vests. Help children cut a front opening and neck and arm holes in their paper sacks, as shown in the margin. Then let them decorate their vests with crayons or other art supplies you have available. You may also let them use the listening stamp and ink pad to decorate their vests. n Option 2: Watch It Grow! SUPPLIES: soda water, frozen yogurt, paper cups, spoons, wet wipes Have children clean their hands with wet wipes or at a nearby sink. Set out paper cups half-full of soda water. You ll need one half-cup of soda water for each child. Let children help you add a spoonful of fruit-flavored frozen yogurt to each cup. Point out to children how the soda grows and rises up to cover the yogurt. Hand out spoons, and let children sample their creations. As they enjoy the snack, explain that today they ll be learning that we can listen to God as we grow. To make an even tastier treat, use carbonated fruit juice for this activity instead of soda water. You can find carbonated fruit juice at health food stores and grocery stores. 43

4 Lesson 3 If you can t invite a parent and baby, collect baby pictures from magazines. If you choose to invite a parent and baby to join you, they ll probably attract everyone s attention. You may want to have them arrive near the end of the Let s Get Started time so other children can stop what they re doing and join you. n Option 3: See the Difference SUPPLIES: adult and baby visitors, or baby pictures collected from parents or magazines Invite a new parent in your church to bring his or her baby to your class. Have the parent talk with children about things the baby can t do yet. For example, babies can t eat without help, they aren t toilet-trained, and they can t walk or talk. Have children name things they can do now that they couldn t do when they were babies. Point out how much they ve grown since they were babies. Explain that we can listen to God as we grow. When everyone has arrived and you re ready to move on to Bible Story Time, encourage the children to finish what they re doing and get ready to clean up. n Pick-Up Time SUPPLIES: CD player track 2 Lead children in singing Come Along With Me with the CD (track 2) to the tune of Come and Go With Me. Encourage children to sing along as they help clean up the room. Come along with me and pick up all our things, Pick up all our things, Pick up all our things. Come along with me and pick up all our things So our room will be clean. (Repeat 2x.) Bible Story Time n Setting the Stage SUPPLIES: none Tell children that when they hear you clap your hands two times, they re to stop what they re doing and clap their hands two times. Practice this signal a few times. Encourage children to respond quickly so you ll have time for all the fun activities you ve planned. Ask: What did you make or do when you came to class today? (Made yogurt grow; made a vest; saw a baby.) Say: Some of you made vests like Samuel might have worn when he was growing up, some of you watched frozen yogurt grow, and some of you discovered how much you ve grown since you were babies. All of you were learning things about growing. Today we re going to learn that we can listen to God as we grow. Let s play a game now to see how much we ve grown. 44

5 Samuel Grows Up at the House of the Lord I want you to pretend you re a newborn baby. Show me what a newborn baby can do. Encourage children to lie down on their backs. They might pretend to cry or kick their feet in the air. Say: One of the first things a baby learns to do is roll over. Show me how you can roll over. Pause. Next, babies learn to sit up. Show me how you can sit up. Pause. Then, babies get ready to crawl. Some babies scoot around on their tummies, and some babies rock back and forth on their hands and knees. Let s see you do those things. Pause while children scoot around or rock back and forth. Then continue: Pretty soon, babies begin to crawl around. Do we have any crawlers in here? Pause. Then after a while, crawlers turn into walkers. Raise your hand if you know how to walk. Let children raise their hands, and then say: Let s see how well you can walk. Let children walk for a few moments, and then say: Why, you ve grown so much! You don t walk like babies you re not babies at all. You re grown-up children. What else can you do? Encourage children to show you other physical accomplishments, such as jumping up and down, touching their toes, or twirling around in circles. Gently request that they save running activities for outside. Say: You ve learned to do a lot of things in three or four years. You ve really grown since you were babies, and you ll keep on growing as you get older. Walking and running and getting taller are all ways we can grow on the outside. But did you know that we can also grow on the inside? We can grow on the inside by listening and learning new things about God and the world around us. We can listen to God as we grow. Let s all stand on our tiptoes as we walk over to our story area to learn more about God. Bring in baby items such as bottles, rattles, and bibs. Ask children if they need these things now that they re getting older. Talk about the things they might use instead. For example, they might drink from a cup instead of a bottle or play with blocks instead of rattles. n Bible Song and Prayer Time SUPPLIES: Bible, CD player tracks 3 & 4 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, we ll pass around our special Bible. The person who s holding the Bible when the music stops will be our Bible person today. Lead children in singing I m So Glad for the Bible with the CD (track 3) to the tune of Give Me Oil in My Lamp. As you sing, pass around the special Bible. I m so glad for the Bible, Keep me learnin, learnin, learnin. I m so glad for God s book today. I m so glad for the Bible, Keep me learnin, learnin, learnin Keep me learnin all about his way. (Repeat first verse.) Let me hear bout God s love Keep me learnin, learnin, learnin. Let me hear bout God s love for me. Let me hear bout God s love Keep me learnin, learnin, learnin. Let s shine the light for all to see. Play The Bible Is God s Special Book (track 21 on the CD) when you bring out your Bible. You can find the lyrics on page 80 if the children want to sing along. 45

6 Lesson 3 You can also choose children to be 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. When the music stops, invite the child who s holding the Bible to bring it to you. Stamp the child s hand with the listening stamp and thank the child for bringing you the Bible. Then stamp the other children s hands. Return the listening stamp and ink pad to the Learning Lab. Say: I m thankful for [name of child who brought the Bible], and I m thankful for everyone in our class today. Let s thank God together for all our friends in this class. Lead children in singing I m So Glad We re Together with the CD (track 4) to the tune of Give Me Oil in My Lamp. I m so glad we re together. Keep us prayin, prayin, prayin. I m so glad we re all here today. I m so glad we re together. Keep us prayin, prayin, prayin Prayin for each other every day. Lead children in folding their hands and bowing their heads as you continue to sing. Thank you, Lord, for each one. Keep me thankful, thankful, thankful. Thank you for everyone who s here. Thank you, Lord, for each one. Keep me thankful, thankful, thankful Thankful for our friends both far and near. n Hear and Tell the Bible Story SUPPLIES: Bible Open the Bible to 1 Samuel 2, and show it to the children. Say: Our Bible story comes from the Bible, God s special book. Our Bible Big Book shows us pictures of our Bible story. Bring out the Bible Big Book: Samuel. Show children the pictures on pages 1 to 4 and invite them to tell you what s happening in each picture. Then open the book so children can see pages 4 and 5 and read the text for those pages from the back of the Bible Big Book. When you finish, put the Bible Big Book away. Ask: Why do you think Hannah brought Samuel a new coat every year? (Because she loved him; because he was growing; so he would look nice.) What are some things your parents do for you to help you grow? (Make sure I have food to eat; make sure I get enough sleep; buy me clothes when mine get too small.) Samuel began learning about God when he was about your age. What are some things you re learning about God in our class? (God wants us to get along; Jesus loves me; Jesus is our friend.) 46

7 Samuel Grows Up at the House of the Lord Say: We can listen to God as we grow, just as Samuel did. The Bible says that Samuel pleased God as he was growing up. We please God by listening and learning from God s Word, the Bible, as we grow. The more we listen to God and learn from his Word, the more we get to know Jesus as our best friend. Jesus loves us and wants to be our forever friend. Let s talk to God now and thank him for listening to us and for giving us Jesus as a friend. Pray: Dear Lord, thank you that you love us and listen to us. Help us to listen to you. Thank you that you gave us Jesus as a friend, and help us to grow in friendship with him each day. In Jesus name, amen. n Do the Bible Story SUPPLIES: small blankets or towels, CD player track 6 Form two groups. Call one group the Hannahs and the other group the Samuels. Say: Let s pretend we re Hannah and Samuel, and it s time for Samuel to get his new coat. Point to the Hannahs and say: This group will be Hannah first; then we ll switch and you ll get to be Samuel. As we play our game, we can listen to a song that reminds us of our Bible verse. Our verse is from Psalm 85:8. It says, I listen carefully to what God is saying. Let s play and sing along! Give each Hannah a small blanket or towel coat. Have all the Samuels go to a designated area and kneel down as if in prayer. Have each Hannah walk over to a Samuel and place a coat around his or her shoulders and say, Here s a new coat for you, Samuel. You may want to demonstrate this for children. Then play Listen (Psalm 85:8), track 6 on the CD, and let kids sing along as they pretend to be Samuel or Hannah. I listen carefully to what the Lord is saying. I want to hear him talk to me, And I want to obey him. I will listen with my ears. I will listen with my heart. I will listen as I grow Because I know God loves me. (Repeat.) When all the Samuels have received their coats, have children switch roles and repeat the activity as children continue to sing. Say: Each year as Samuel grew bigger, he needed a new coat. Each year he was also growing on the inside and learning new things about God. We can listen to God as we grow. Let s see if our friend Whiskers would like to learn about listening to God and growing on the inside. At this stage in their mental development, 3- and 4-year-olds have an attention span of no longer than 10 minutes. 47

8 Lesson 3 Closing n Where Can I Grow? SUPPLIES: small blanket Bring out Whiskers the Mouse and a small blanket, and go through the following puppet script. When you finish the script, put Whiskers away and out of sight. Teacher: Hi, Whiskers. Would you like to hear what we ve been learning? Whiskers: (Looking around the room as he speaks) I was listening to your story about Samuel; that s why I brought my blanket with me. (Pausing briefly) I think that looks like a good spot over there. (Starts to walk away.) Teacher: A good spot for what, Whiskers? I don t understand why you ve brought your blanket. Children, do you understand? (Let children respond.) Whiskers: Well, I ve been thinking about Samuel, and I ve decided that the best way for me to grow and learn about God is by living at church. It worked for Samuel, so I m sure it will work for me! I just have to find the right spot for my bedroom. (Looks around again.) Teacher: Whiskers: I don t? Teacher: Whiskers, it s great that you want to learn and grow, but you don t have to move in here to listen to God. Children, let s tell Whiskers how our bodies grow and how we can also grow to know God better. (Let children tell Whiskers what they ve learned about growing and listening to God.) You see, Whiskers, we can listen to God no matter where we are. God is everywhere, not just here at church. We can listen to God as we grow. We don t have to be living at the church to hear what God has to say to us. Whiskers: I think I understand. And actually I m glad I don t have to move again I was just getting used to my new house. I better go home and unpack my stuff. I ll see you next week. Goodbye! Permission to photocopy this script from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum Preschool granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Avenue, Loveland, CO group.com 48

9 n Growing in God s Love SUPPLIES: red construction paper, scissors, white paper, tape, marker, CD player Before class, cut a large heart out of red construction paper. On track 8 the heart, write the words, Growing in God s Love. Tape four sheets of white paper together, end to end, and then tape the heart to the top. Post the finished paper strip on the wall, heart-end up. The bottom of the strip should be touching the floor. Say: We can listen to God as we grow. Let s make a growth chart to record how much we re growing. Have children stand up against the paper strip one at a time. Make a small mark to indicate each child s height. Write the child s name next to his or her mark. After you ve marked each person s height, say: We ll keep our growth chart posted in our room so we can measure ourselves again in a few months. I m sure you ll all be a lot bigger by then! But don t forget that we re also growing on the inside. Let s learn a song about that. Lead the children in singing Growing in God s Love with the CD (track 8), to the tune of Jesus Loves Me. Samuel Grows Up at the House of the Lord God can help me as I grow And teach me things that I should know. As I listen, as I pray, I m growing inside every day. Growing in God s love, Growing in God s love, Growing in God s love God helps me grow each day. Growing taller every day. Growing outside many ways. God sees everything I do. He knows I m growing inside, too. Growing in God s love, Growing in God s love, Growing in God s love God helps me grow each day. After the song, close with a prayer similar to this one: Dear God, thank you that we can all listen to you as we grow. Help us to keep growing on the inside as we learn more about you. In Jesus name, amen. You can also use butcher paper or white gift wrap to make a long strip of paper that reaches the floor. 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 the children. Encourage parents to use the handout to plan meaningful family activities to reinforce this week s topic. 49

10 Lesson 3 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: God s Love Seeds Talk with children about how flowers grow from tiny seeds. Explain that each plant or flower has its own kind of seed. Tell children that they re growing in God s love each day, just as the flowers grow each day. Then have children crouch down on the floor and pretend to be God s love seeds. Lead them in growing up, little by little. When they ve all grown up, invite them to show God s love by hugging a friend. Repeat the activity several times. Each time, remind children that we can listen to God as we grow. Bring in a potted flower and a package of the flower s seeds. Let children point out the differences between the tiny seed and the full-grown flower. n Make to Take: Growing Up n Treat to Eat: Fruit Flowers Before class, cut sheets of plain copier paper into 2-inch strips. You ll need two strips for each child. Photocopy the Growing Up handout (p. 51). You ll need a copy for each child. Give each child a copy of the handout. Have children add hair and faces to their figures. Then give each child two strips of paper to use as legs for the figure. Show children how to fold the legs, accordion-style, as shown at left. Help children attach their accordion-fold legs to their figures, and then show them how to use the legs to make their figures grow. Remind them that we can listen to God as we grow. Peel bananas and slice them into small circles. Have children clean their hands with wet wipes or at a nearby sink. Pass out plates, and then give each child a banana circle. Then give children mandarin orange slices to arrange as flower petals around the banana. As children are arranging their flowers, talk about how God helps flowers grow from seeds. God helps us grow, too. Remind children that we can listen to God as we grow. n Story Picture: Samuel s New Coat Give each child a copy of the Today I Learned handout. Set out glue sticks and fabric scraps, and help each child glue the fabric scraps to the picture of Samuel s coat. Then set out crayons and invite them to color the rest of the picture. As children work, talk about how Samuel grew up at the house of the Lord. Remind children that we can listen to God as we grow. 50

11 Growing Up Permission to photocopy this page from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum Preschool granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Avenue, Loveland, CO group.com 51

12 We can listen to God as we grow. Lesson 3 Today your child learned that WE CAN LISTEN TO GOD AS WE GROW. Children heard how Hannah brought Samuel a new coat each year because he was growing. They talked about ways they re growing. Help me learn this: I listen carefully to what God is saying (adapted from Psalm 85:8). Ask me: n How was Samuel growing? n What are some ways you ve grown? n How can our family grow and learn about God together? Family Fun n Sing this song with your child to the tune of Jesus Loves Me. God can help me as I grow And teach me things that I should know. As I listen, as I pray, I m growing inside every day. Growing in God s love, Growing in God s love, Growing in God s love God helps me grow each day. Samuel Grows (1 Samuel 2:11, 18-21, 26) 52 Permission to photocopy this handout from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum Preschool granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Avenue, Loveland, CO group.com

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