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SSTN # 32 - April 25, 2006

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1) Summer Sessions?
2) Bible-time props
3) Teacher appreciation
4) Pre-teen class
5) Mission Project
6) Hymn book angel
7) Teacher appreciation
8) Growing in God's word ... no time to look through archives.
9) Fiesta ideas?

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1) Summer Sessions?

I am looking for ideas for the summer sessions for children in ages
3-4,Kindergarten-, 1st - 2nd grades, and 3-5th grades.  Now we have
Sunday School, Children's Church, on  Sunday Mornings, on Sunday nights we
have Awanas.  Wednesday nights, we show Biblical videos with a craft to go
with it for 3 years - Kindergarten and have Mission for 1st thru 5th
For the summer, I need something to fill the Awana time and I would like
to be able to have a different curriculum for the other time slots. 
Something that I could give our hard working teachers a break. God bless
you for any ideas.  Mary

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2) Bible-time props

to Theresa- props for Bible times are very few. They would have had low
benches or just carpets or cushions. A wooden stand or table with a candle
on it, some sewing or embroidery for them to occupy their hands. Maybe
some baskets with fruit or vegetables. Depending on how far you want to
take it, you could have heavy pottery bowls and wooden spoons for one of
them to be mixing something. The main thing is to keep it simple-less is
more in these settings we have always found when doing a Bible times
drama. Hope these help.
Shawna in Canada

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3) Teacher appreciation

In regard to the request of Deb from Iowa for Sunday School teacher
appreciation gift ideas, here are some things we have done:

a)    One year we had personalized coffee mugs imprinted at a local
graphics shop.  On one side was the face of Jesus.  On the other side was
the name of the individual teacher and a short message of appreciation
with the year it was given.  The message was the same on each cup.  Only
the name was different.  The cups for the women used a different font and
print color than those for the men.

b)     We have given gift certificates to a local Christian bookstore.

c)    We have given fancy bookmarkers (medallion and ribbon or stainless
steel with cut out images, etc.)

d)    We have given pens.  They were not especially fancy and not

e)    We have sometimes learned about interests of various teachers and
tried to get them something fitting.  (I teach the adult Bible class.  The
people heading our Sunday School know I like almost anything liquorice. 
Of late I receive tins of liquorice Altoids.)

f)     A couple of years we found some good teaching resource books on
closeout prices from the catalogs of CBD in Peabody, MA.  One year it was
Paul Maier's "In the Fullness of Time."  (This is a combination of three
books on what we know from archeology and history about key facts in the
stories of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.)  Another year we got a book
on daily life in Bible times.  The sale prices allowed us to give more
than our budget would normally have allowed.

g)    One year in a previous church we gave a sound recording favorite
Christmas hymns in very special arrangements.  This was on an LP record at
the time, but would now be on a CD, naturally.  Sometimes it is possible
to find a good version of the full "Messiah" by Haendel for five to ten
dollars.  It makes good listening at Christmas and at Easter.

        I would agree it is difficult to develop a good idea year after
year, especially when there is a relatively low dollar amount budgeted for
teacher appreciation and the teaching staff is relatively the same from
year to year.

Rev. Phil Bohlken
Grace Lutheran Church
Caldwell, Idaho

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4) Pre-teen class

I am 16 and I teach a group of K-2 graders. But as for your question. I
remember that time very well and when I was those ages, it was very
important for me to be treated like I was mature. I think it is also
important to relate the bible stories to thier daily life. But, you have
to be carefull to consider realistic problems. When your a 10-12 year old
christian child your problems don't just consist of drugs,sex and alcohol.
In fact, they may not be facing those at all. Try to keep it to "realistic
problems" and "realistic answers". I.E. Choice for topics: Drugs: Ok or
not? or Gossip, choose Gossip. They most likely already know that drugs
are bad, but they may not know the best ways to deal with Gossip, and it's
probably a big problem in their lives. But for ways to deal with Gossip if
your choices to talk about are "Don't let it bother you" or "Get involved
in something your good at to help build self esteem". Choose the second
cause it is something they can really do. I also remembered that it seemed
we learned more and had more fun when we did different things each week.
Lots of our teachers thought crafts were too much work or that by 10 years
old kids didn't want to do crafts. NOT TRUE! We loved doing crafts... in
fact I still love crafts! Games are also a big hit with kids that age, as
they are pretty competitive. Also try t keep the "kids in desk/teacher
lecturing from front of room" time to a minimum. The kids will zone out
and learn nothing. Another fun thing is skits... Hope this all helps!
God's Blessings!


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5) Mission Project

I would like to suggest the "African Girl Project."  This is a program
where young African girls (the most forgotten person in Africa, often
molested) are brought into a city to an intense training program where she
is taught she is a person of worth to God.  Then, she is sent home with a
years worth of devotional materials, etc. At the end of the year, she
returns to the city for a "crowning ceremony.  Joseph made a difference to
his people because he was sent (in a round about way) to Pharaoh. I am
sure there were many times in his life when he felt worthless, but God had
a plan for him. These girls can make a difference to their people by
attending a training session conference. It only takes $25 to sponsor a
girl. These will be launched all over Africa. I have the privilege of
helping to write the curriculum!

Foreign Missions Division  project #023.02/Children's Evangelism - TMS.
Mail To UPCI Foreign Missions, 8855 Dunn Rd Hazelwood, MO 63042.


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6) Hymn book angel

Directions for making a hymn book angel are available at
http://www.craftbits.com/viewProject.do?projectID=1078 ... this appears to
be similar to what Wixee was looking for. It looks like a lovely way to
recycle old hymn books and/or Bibles.  Happy crafting!
N-Port Huron 

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7) Teacher appreciation

To: Deb in Iowa
From: Naomi in Nebraska
One year I used a garden theme, which worked well for cradle role, nursery
on up through adult classes, likening it to how we grow through Sunday
I likened the cradle roll to getting starts by planting seeds or
transplants – taking root and watching them grow. Each class from then on
was likened to different phases of gardening, plants and flowers. I ended
with perennials (adults) – some think they continue to come back year
after year, but they, too must be fed and nourished or they will die.

One song was "In the Garden".

I gave teachers "Son Follower" (sunflower seeds) placed in small paper
bags, decorated with raffia and a label designed on the computer. Flower
seeds would also work well for a May event.  I called each teacher up to
introduce their class and gave them their gifts at that time.  I had
little "gardening" segments for each class.

I hope I can explain this, but one illustration for the lower grades was
based on the parable of the seeds. After telling the parable you explain
that going to Sunday School has the same results. If you are like the
seeds planted in the hard ground, you are not listening and will not
"grow". If you are like the seeds planted in the weeds, bad things in life
will choke you, etc., etc.

Now, this is the fun part. To begin telling the parable – you have items
in a large grocery sack and when you have the children in front, you
explain that you have a story to tell, but first you have to put your
gardening hat on (mine was a straw hat with a large sunflower glued to the
front) taken from the sack. Then you need to put on LARGE gardening gloves
(important for what is coming) from the sack. Next you say you need a
"pointer". This is a long stemmed artificial flower with one large and
fluffy bloom on the end. You pick up the pointer, hiding the flower end in
your glove. Then tell the parable – using the pointer to demonstrate
scattering seeds – birds coming down to peck them up – pushing up through
"weeds" (your other gloved hand) then pulling it down as it is choked out.
Then, with a little practice and distraction, you switch the stem
end around while you explain that the seeds that fell on the good ground,
will not only grow – but will BLOOM. That is when you push the stem up –
this time with flower on top – and it is such a delightful surprise when
the kids see the flower pop out the end as you push it up through your
gloved hand. It was very successful – just takes practice. You can then
compare the different aspects of the parable to SS life - and they to will
not only bloom but will produce more seeds!  A good lead in to singing "I
Love to Tell the Story".

Many other garden ideas will come to you – best wishes!

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8) Growing in God's word ... no time to look through archives.

I may hit a few nerves here, but why do people want someone else to do the
work for them?  All of us are busy, but if you are going to work with
children, you must make that a priority. If God calls you to work with
children, then there is a certain amount of sacrifice involved (your
time). He will, however, help you if you make this a priority. You are
impacting lives for the sake of the Gospel - take time to do it well.

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9) Fiesta ideas?

Hello fellow teachers...HELP!!!  We will sponsorsing VBS again this year
and our theme is "Fiesta"....we are a very small church with a very small
budget. We have no decorations and would appreciate any recycling you
and/or your church can do to help. Please contact me at
bobkatjosh@netzero.net  In Christ, kat

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