The Sunday after Easter, I told our kids the story from John 21 - Jesus' post resurrection appearance on the beach in Galilee and the miraculous catch of fish. I had them get up during the story and act out casting their nets as if they were the disciples. This was a particularly fun story for the kids, maybe because I had a little campfire scene set up that I let them play with after the story. There is a link to a YouTube video showing the telling. Interestingly, a few months later I had a group of middle and high school youth help me tell the same story to a larger group of children during VBS. instead of Biblical Storytelling, we acted out the story using a script. The set was very involved with a boat and a campfire and a beach. We all dressed in costumes for that. The children loved it so much that during their break they came into the Bible Storytelling room and several of them re-enacted the story; one being Jesus and one being Peter and some being the other disciples. It was heartwarming and amazing that they remembered the smallest details and were telling the story very well on their own with no interference or prompting from me. Some parents started gathering around and taking video and pictures. It makes me realize that children learn best by copying and by playing with the story. Sometimes I just have to get out of the way.
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!
I admire you so much for all you normally do and now in the pandemic with schools being closed you are all teachers as well. If you are looking for something spiritual to teach your children, here is a video of a story I prepared from Acts 12:1-17. In a nutshell, Peter is preaching and teaching and healing in the name of Jesus and it has come to the attention of King Herod who is persecuting believers. He has Peter arrested but the church is praying! But do they expect to get an answer to their prayer? I don't know about you but when I am praying for really big things that seem impossible, I have to admit that part of me doesn't really expect a miracle. I pray for God's will in the situation or for God to touch people's hearts in the situation (nothing too far-fetched). I wonder what the believers at Mary's house were praying for when Peter got arrested, whatever it was, they didn't expect the answer that they received, that's apparent in this story. My little granddaughter Rosie helped me with this story - she is a little angel in real life as well. Be safe and well everyone.
It has been a while since I've posted. We are in the midst of the Corona Virus lockdown and my feelings have been all over the place; lazy, sad, anxious, grieving, peaceful, grateful, lonely, angry, scared, sick (cough cough). I have really been missing sitting on the floor with my third graders in our Sunday School class, talking about our week, I will never take that time for granted ever again. I know we will get back to normal some day but in the meantime, I thought I would try to learn the stories that are in our Deep Blue Spring curriculum and send them out to the families of our church. I may not get to do it every week but here is the one for this week. I always wondered how in the world these two followers of Jesus didn't recognize him, was his appearance different? Did he purposely make them not notice who he was or were they just not expecting the risen Lord to be walking to Emmaus? How I would have loved to have been on the road with them as Jesus opened up the Scriptures to them, interpreting everything from Moses and the prophets as it concerned him! What do you wonder when you hear this story from Luke 24:13-43? Have a very healthy, safe week, stay home and wash your hands ;)
I'm sorry that I haven't posted in a while. I meant to but I was traveling. One of my trips was to Israel and I will post about that fabulous experience one of these days.
But today I want to share that with our confinement and isolation due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, I posted a different kind of YouTube video; different from what I thought I would be posting (which was to be biblical storytelling and kids telling stories). And I will come back to that for sure, but today I posted a video I made for my Sunday school kids and my neighbors and grandchildren. I am challenging them to create something meaningful in the way of art. I chose a theme and I may have a new theme every few weeks, we'll see how this goes. But today's theme is GRATITUDE. Even though things look grim right now, we still have so much to be grateful for. It is good for children to think on these things, for being thankful leaves no room for fear. Please take a look at the video and send in pictures of your artwork or your children's to spread the gratitude around. You can email them to me from the contact page of this website (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will post them here and on YouTube. I hope I am flooded with pictures😊.Here are some I've gotten already! Be safe, stay home...love one another! Show the video to your children.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing"...~Psalm 23:1
"When the time came, Jesus took his place at the table and the apostles joined him.” Luke 22:14
Currently I am nearing the completion of a master level certification program with the Academy for Biblical Storytelling. I fell in love with hearing the stories of Scripture told by heart one summer when I attended the Festival Gathering of the Network of Biblical Storytellers. Since then, learning the stories in order to ‘tell’ them out loud has been one of my passions because I believe that “Having the stories by heart was the core activity of spiritual development for ancient Israel and the early church”.
I got the chance to teach a story to the children and their parents that were gathered a while back for my church's annual communion workshop. I had the joy of teaching them to tell the story of the Last Supper from the Gospel of Luke 22:14-20. First I read the passage leading up to the Last Supper then stepped away from my Bible and ‘told’ verses 14-20. I asked them what differences they noticed between hearing it read and hearing it told by heart. They said when it was read it seemed like it happened a long time ago, they felt detached from it, but when hearing it told by heart they felt like they were right there as it was happening, in the room with Jesus.
I handed out the printed text and had them read it out loud with me, then had them walk around reading it out loud and doing some hand motions that might go with the story. In teams they assembled cut up strips of verses in the correct order and then drew a storyboard of the main characters and plot of the story. Using their storyboards they told the story to a member of their team. When the parents left the room we continued to tell the story to each other as we ate a snack and pretended we were the disciples sitting around the table at the last supper.
I was amazed at the eagerness of the children to try and learn it. Sometimes if they forgot a line I provided a gesture – like holding up the cup to give thanks or tearing a loaf of bread in half, and it worked, they remembered the words then. Their parents came back into the room and I asked if any children would like to impress their parents and tell the story. I had four or five volunteers who did it beautifully, and four or five parents who were speechless.
In the book, Story Journey by Tom Boomershine he says, “There is a particular joy and delight when the storyteller is someone no one expects to be able to tell a story.” My goal in storytelling is to draw people into the world of the Bible and give them a desire to try to learn and tell biblical stories themselves; I am starting with children - who nobody expects will be able to do it.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” Matthew 19:14
Yesterday was the second Sunday in Advent and my third grade class and I were learning Mary's story from Luke Chapter 1 verses 26-38.
First we read the story in their Bibles, and I asked them what stood out to them, what shimmered, what questions did this passage bring up? One child said, "The angel Gabriel, I wondered what he looked like and how Mary felt seeing an angel.." Another child said, "the power of the Most High will overshadow you. That sounded scary." Another asked, Who is David and why is he in the story twice?" I thought these were excellent questions for third graders...way to go kids!
Then I told them the story by heart. The whole morning was geared around getting them to learn the story (or at least bits of it - those bits that touched them) by heart. So next I had them repeat after me a few times doing the first two verses. Having them repeat after me, lets them get the feel of the words on their tongues, and hearing the words and how they sound coming out of their mouths. Then I asked if any of them wanted to try and re-tell it back to me, in their own words. I had a few brave souls who tried. My hearts swells when I hear a child try to re-tell a story back to me. I did record this class, so you can see the steps I did with them, giving them a taste of the story. Next week I hope to do this again and have the kids try a little more of the story and maybe we will even act it out with costumes. So often I have a whole new set of children each week and only a few who have been there the week before (my regular attenders). So this is a pretty slow process, like watching paint dry.
"Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11
Hi, thanks for joining me on this blog journey. I am Kathy Smedley, not a professional at anything, but I am passionate about 2 things: God's Word and God's children. I hope to connect you to the world of biblical storytelling and how using it in ministry with kids is formative and is the best way that I know how to teach the Bible.