Session One Peace with creation

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1 Session One Peace with creation Caring for creation is an important part of becoming God s peacemakers. In Genesis 1 2, we celebrate God s gift of creation and echo This is good! God invites us to respect all of the created world. Learning to live in harmony with the environment is an essential part of living in harmony with each other. This session challenges children to embrace and appreciate their roles as caregivers for God s complex, interdependent creation. BIBLE TEXT Genesis 1 2 FAITH CHALLENGE We celebrate God s gift of creation and care for it. ADVANCE PREPARATION Read through the entire session and decide what you will do. Set up the room/space for the various activities. Make four copies of the readers theater In the Beginning... (p. 31). Find four strong readers and practice the readers theater. Option: Bring props and large photos to illustrate the text as it is being read. Gather supplies for the activities you choose to do. Prepare a snack (p. 16). Kids Cluster 1. Plan an activity for the early arrivals. Check page 6 for ideas. 2. If the children do not know each other, make nametags and play some ice breaker games (p. 6). 3. Welcome the children and gather for a time of singing (p. 8). Be sure to include action songs, familiar songs, favorite songs, and new peace songs. 27

2 Tip Use these questions/ ideas as conversation points during the craft time. It is not necessary to sit quietly and reflect on these points, but do include them during other activities. Kids Talk Peace 1. Begin with the theme song, Shalom, My Friends (p. 8) or a simple prayer. 2. Introduce the theme of the day: Kids can learn about God s creation and discover how we are God s children of peace. 3. Read the Bible story. In the Beginning... (Genesis 1 2). Point out Genesis in your Bible, and then do the readers theater from page 31. Ask children to respond with This is good! when you cue them with a hand signal or other visible cue. Practice a few times. 4. Talk about peace: What part of creation are you really glad God created? What do you wish God did not create? I wonder what else you would like God to create. What can we discover about God through creation? How can children care for God s creatures? In the beginning, God created the world and told the first family to look after it, and to care for it. I wonder how God meant for people to take care of all God s creation: plants, animals, people, earth, sky, water, birds, and air. Ask: Where in the world does God s creation need some care? Invite responses. Talk about the meaning of these 5 R s: reuse, reduce, renew, recycle, and refuse. Brainstorm specific ways children can be part of the solution in each of the five areas. 28

3 Kids Create NATURE SCULPTURE (INDIVIDUAL) Materials: twigs, shells, small pebbles, acorns, pinecones, small piece of cardboard or plastic lid, clay or play dough Gather the nature items ahead of time for the children, or if time permits, have them to go on a nature walk and gather the nature items they want to use for their sculptures. To make sculptures, place a lump of clay or play dough onto a plastic lid or piece of cardboard. Stick nature items into the dough. Set your sculpture aside to harden. EGGSHELL ART (INDIVIDUAL) Materials: eggshells, paper, glue Ahead of time, collect and crush eggshells. If you wish, pre-color them. Children will make a mosaic picture using the eggshells in a creative design. CREATION COLLAGE/WALL HANGING (GROUP) Invite the children to go for a nature walk and collect nature items or provide them with items for their collage. Invite children to arrange their items onto heavy poster board or fabric to create a collage/wall hanging. Glue items in place using white glue or a glue gun (with adult supervision). Attach a piece of dowel or branch at the top of fabric for hanging. Allow collage or wall hanging to dry well before moving it. NATURE PRINTS (INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP) Materials: leaves, wax crayons, white paper, wax paper, iron Collect leaves and invite the children to carefully color the back side of the leaves. Lay white paper on the table and arrange leaves on top, with the colored side toward paper. Iron leaves through a sheet of wax paper (with adult supervision). Remove wax paper and leaves, revealing a print on the white paper. Tip Play a CD of nature sounds as children make their crafts. 29

4 Kids Move NATURE TREASURE HUNT Ahead of time, make a list of nature items that can be found in your setting, such as: blade of grass, stone, twig, leaf, flower petal, piece of bark, pinecone, weed, flower, acorn, soil. Explain the rules of the nature treasure hunt. Remind children to pick items that are already on the ground and not to tear off new leaves or flower petals. Divide into smaller groups. Give each group a list of items to find and a watch. Set a time limit and review boundaries for the treasure hunt. When time is up, gather back together and share treasures. CREATION MIX-UP Prepare sets of fourteen cards, each set with the following words: light, darkness, sky, earth, seas, plants, trees, sun, moon, stars, water creatures, birds, animals, people. Invite children to work in groups of three or four. Each group needs a set of cards and Bibles. Children work together to place the cards in the right creation order. THE EARTH IS A TENT PARACHUTE GAME Imagine the earth as a tent. Sit in a circle on the floor. Spread a large sheet out on the floor inside your circle. Each child holds the edge of the sheet. When you say, Go, everyone extends their arms up straight. The sheet will lift up and billow out like a canopy or parachute. Do it several times, saying, God stretches out the heavens like a tent as you lift the sheet. Then invite the children to say what God put in the tent (on the earth) as you lift the sheet. For example, God put hippos in the tent. Option: Children try to go through the alphabet by naming creatures that begin with letters from A to Z. Closing For closing ideas, see page 7. ACORN TOSS (three variations) 1. Give each child ten acorns (or other nuts with shells). Have children stand on a chair and drop the acorns into a basket about 2 ft./.6 m away. See how many acorns land in the basket. 2. Give each child one acorn and a stick about 3 ft./1 m long. Children stand side by side behind the starting line. On Go they must roll their acorns to the finish line, 5 10 ft./1.5 3 m away. Only the stick can touch the acorn. 3. Give each child an acorn. Follow the rules of Game 2 but players use only their noses to push the acorns across the finish line. 30

5 READERS THEATER IN THE BEGINNING... (GENESIS 1 2) 1: In the beginning 2: the very beginning 3: before there was anything else, 4: there was God. 1: Over the deep emptiness of the earth, 2: God blew a wind. 3: God said, Let there be light and God called the light day. 4: Then God made darkness and called it night. God said, 1: Then God separated the waters above from the waters below. 2: God made the sky and the sea. 3: God said, Now we have day and night, sea and sky. 4: And God said, 1: God gathered the sea into one place and the dry land into another. 2: God created tall majestic trees, beautiful fragrant flowers, and delicious plants to eat. 3: God made seeds so life would continue again and again. 4: And God said, 1: Then God created the sun and the moon, 2: twinkling stars and shining galaxies. 3: God said, For years to come, these lights will make days and seasons. 4: Then God said, 1: But God wasn t finished. 2: God made sparkling fish and strong sea animals, 3: colorful birds and creatures of every size and shape. 4: God looked at all God had created and said, 1: Even though it was good, there was still something missing in God s creation. 2: People. They were missing. 3: So God created a man and a woman. 4: God made them with loving hearts and intelligent minds. God said, 1: This is very good. 2: God put the people in charge of the earth, the plants, the animals. 3: God blessed them and said, Take care of everything so life will continue. 4: Then God smiled a huge, huge smile and said, 1, 2, 3, 4: This is very good. And God rested from all God created. Permission is granted to purchasers of Kids Can Make Peace to photocopy this page for use with this curriculum. 31

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