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LearningCycles series Before Judge Judy Creative Activities for Teaching about Deborah, Samson, and Gideon

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Creative Activities for Teaching about Deborah, Samson, and Gideon
LearningCycles series
Before Judge Judy

The LearningCycles series offers a creative approach to faith formation based on different learning styles, appropriate for K-5th graders.  Each LearningCycles unit generally includes seven workshops: Art, Story & Games, Drama & Activity, Music, Kitchen, Movie, and Publishing.  This series works well for whole family/intergenerational catechesis and is a great basis for grandparent camps or other vacation bible schools.

The book of Judges contains intriguing stories of well-known characters like Samson and Delilah, but it also introduces children to lesser-known Biblical figures, such as Gideon and Deborah. The time of the judges begins after the death of Joshua and extends until the anointing of the first king (Saul) by Samuel, and the Book of Judges describes life after the Children of Israel have arrived and settled in the promised land.

They seem to have forgotten the incredible journey that brought them out of the land of Egypt, and then have forgotten their promises to God and God’s ways. The stories of the Judges are tough lessons to hear and to teach, but this is part of teaching our children what authentic faith looks like. This LearningCycle helps us remember the times in our lives when we let our commitment to God fall behind other priorities. It is important for them to hear from faithful adults that living the Christian life isn’t always easy and nobody gets it right 100% of the time.

  • Art Workshop – Create a mobile using pictures or symbols from the stories of different judges and practice retelling the stories of these judges using their mobiles.
  • Publishing Workshop – Review the stories of the judges and talk about good and bad consequences in the stories of the judges and in our own lives. Fill out the cause-and-effect consequences chart as a discussion aid.
  • Drama Workshop – Talk about the characters found in the Book of Judges and use pantomime to act out a character while other students guess “Who Am I?”
  • Movie Workshop – Watch a video that tells the story of Samson and compare/contrast what they see in the video with what they hear in the Cycle Story. (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
  • Story Workshop – Hear stories and play games that reinforce the idea that the choices we make influence the consequences that unfold.
  • Kitchen Workshop – Make flatbread crackers, a staple food for ancient armies, and learn about the dream involving bread that influenced Gideon’s army.
  • Music Workshop – Sing songs about listening for God, following God’s commandments, and thanking God and talk about how these concepts relate to the stories from Judges.

Click to find additional resources for use with this unit.

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Format: eResource
Product code: LR207
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 42 pages
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources
Written by Tracey E. Herzer