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 life story of Samuel is full of rich images, themes, and lessons for people of all ages. It’s the story of a woman who was tormented because she had no child, so she struck a bargain with God to have the child she so longed for. It is also the story of an old priest with two unscrupulous sons who unexpectedly inherits a child to train in the things of God. But most of all, it is the story of a child who was quiet and attentive enough to hear the voice of God in a time when “the word of the Lord was rare and visions were not widespread.” (I Samuel 3:1)
We live in a world where quiet is a precious and rare commodity and the voice of God is sometimes hard to hear. This LearningCycle offers various ways to teach children about listening for God’s voice and recognizing the presence of God in their daily lives—one of the most important things we can do to help them in their spiritual development. It is a lifelong process, but this story is a great way to help children learn to take time to be quiet and listen. Sometimes, when we teach our children to pray, we forget to also teach them to find times to just be still and see what happens.
- Art Workshop – Create a priest’s breastplate similar to those that Eli and Samuel would have worn as a way to think about the roles of priests and pastoral ministers.
- Publishing Workshop – Look at Biblical examples when God called someone by name, have a conversation about the importance of names, and explore the meaning of our own names.
- Drama Workshop – Play a relay game while wearing different sized jackets, and then make our own paper jackets, as ways of reflecting on what it means to grow into or out of things.
- Movie Workshop – Watch two clips from The Lion King and see how the character Simba responded to his call and accepted his responsibilities. (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
- Story Workshop – Engage in a dramatic reading of the story of Samuel with an emphasis on listening for God and also play some listening games.
- Kitchen Workshop – Discuss prayer as something that is both talking and listening to God. Play a few games to work on listening skills, including one involving guessing what kinds of food are being eaten.
- Music Workshop – Learn the chorus to “Here I Am, Lord,” and illustrate the words to the hymn while talking about how we can be available to God.
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|Dimensions:||8½" x 11"|
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources