Summer Ruche

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer: Ruth

I told the story of Ruth this past Sunday, and I am absolutely pleased with how it was received.

Almost everyone ended up doing artwork related to the text or made something to give to someone else, as we wondered about showing kindness to family and strangers. I love observing this spontaneous response.

I had no source for this story originally, and I didn't want to purchase a script blindly. I did find a very nicely told story of Ruth in this video by Alvan Kaunfer, a Jewish storyteller using the same method, and I made a transcript of his presentation verbatim (minus the Hebrew, of course). I thought it was that good. 

You can easily see the pieces necessary to tell the story. Instead of skittle people, we combined figure patterns from all of the books I own. They turned out beautifully. 

We had a bit of trouble finding something to use for "barley"  that would hold up to repeated handling by curious hands, but eventually we got some rubber-plastic wheat filler at Michael's. The bits I cut off are very small in comparison to what I bought but I plan to use other parts of it for a couple of the parables. Real grain would have been fun, but this is also less messy; always a plus.

The wondering questions were something I had to give some thought to. Our time of wondering wasn't as free flowing as it was last week with Moses, but everyone had interesting insights. It did take some time for a few of the children to think about how they had been kind or how God had been kind to them, but it was worth the wait.

The script with all the wondering questions is below. Our scripture reading was Ruth 2:8-12.

This is such a beautiful story. I hope you enjoy telling it and watching the response unfold.

Summer: Moses & the Burning Bush

This enrichment lesson on Moses comes from I Wonder... More Stories for Young Children and Worship. This is an excellent book, in my opinion, and I am so glad I found it.

I find that children who have parents who read from the Bible to them welcome these stories not covered in the Godly Play or YCW books for the school year. Godly Play goes through the life of Moses more completely, but it is all in one lesson and a bit more challenging for the younger children to really play with, as it is more of a time line.

These objects from Godly Play in the UK were an inspiration to me. I particularly used the baby, the ark and the burning bush, but all for different stories. My burning bush looks almost identical to this one, actually. Last summer I tried it plain but the effect was really lacking, and the idea in the I Wonder book was for something I think would be less durable. So a couple of weeks ago I got out the paints. Much better.

The children in our church like this story, and in particular they enjoy pulling out Moses' staff and laying it in the sand and putting it back; so much so that we broke two staffs in a very short time. I hit the Dollar Tree and found this 100-pack of small, thin craft dowels the same size, so hopefully the story will now get good use, since it was last played with when the last staff broke.

It doesn't require this in the story text, but I used our Mount Sinai in the desert box when I told this story this time, since it is part of the biblical text. It had a great effect.

One thing I appreciate about telling some of these biographies in shorter increments rather than one long narrative is that the children remember them better. 

Have fun with Moses and the burning bush!