Friday, November 6, 2015

Green Heart

Traditionally, the green heart in Color Me Christian has symbolized growing in Jesus, and teaches children to read their Bible, pray, attend church, keep their heart clean, and tell others about Jesus in order to grow spiritually. To be completely honest, until this year I've really struggled teaching this lesson to preschoolers. I felt like they were never quite grasping the concept of spiritual growth. I was asking God to show me a better way to teach this lesson, and I believe He gave me something!  I felt much better about the way I taught this lesson and I'm excited to share it with you all!

Bible Truth: Green - Christ will help me learn and grow.
Bible Story: Go follow Jesus.
Bible Study: 2 Timothy 2:22; 1 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Peter 3:17-18



Seeing the colored hearts visual posted in my classroom this way was key to the moment of inspiration. Green can be associated with "growing", but it can also be associated with "going." Preschoolers are familiar with the meaning of red and green lights as stop and go. Now stay with me, Jesus forgives us of our sin when we repent. To repent is to stop sinning, turn around and follow Jesus. See how the visual setup is great for illustrating this?!  The approach to my lesson became "go follow Jesus!"

I think preschoolers have an easier time associating green with "go follow Jesus" rather than "growing in Jesus."  Also, by defining  repentance this way, the green heart is more connected to the other hearts. Next year I will probably change the words to the song, but since we've already been singing it this way for several weeks I won't change that now.


teach & sing

I often like to weave songs through my lesson.  Here is a great example of how I do that.

SAY: The Bible says we have all sinned and disobeyed God. Point to the dark heart.  What is the only thing that can wash away our sin?  Yes, only the blood of Jesus can wash away our sin. Point to the red heart. When we pray, and say, "Jesus I am sorry for my sin, please forgive me," Jesus washes away our sin with His blood and makes us white as snow!  Point to the white heart.  What is the next colored heart that we are going to learn about?  Yes, today we are going to learn about the green heart!  Let's sing the song.

Sing See My Dark Heart (see this post for an explanation of the visual)

When your mommy or daddy is driving in the car and they see a red light what do they have to do?  Yes, they have to stop.  When they see a green light what do they do?  Yes, they go!  Hold the white heart. Jesus washed away all our sin and gave us a clean heart.  Do we want to go back to sin and foolishness? Move the white heart towards the dark heart.  No, we don't.  Jesus says to stop sinning.  Point to the red heart.  We turn away from sin.  Now we GO this way and follow Jesus!  Move the white heart towards the green heart.

The Bible calls that repent.  Can you say repent?  Good! Repent means to stop sinning, turn around and GO follow Jesus.  Stand up and sing this song with me.


Sing The Repent Song

Before class, color the coloring sheet below, and use it as a visual for this portion of the lesson.  See these children?  They are reading their Bible, praying and going to church.  When we do these things, we learn how to follow Jesus.  They help us grow strong Jesus muscles to keep sin out of our heart!

Sing Read Your Bible and Pray Everyday


read

Here are a couple books that compliment this lesson, and would be a great addition to your teaching library.  I love all the titles in both of these series.


I Love My Bible! by Debby Anderson is no longer in print, but used copies can be purchased from book sellers on Amazon.  When I read this book to my class for this lesson, I skip some of the pages about Bible translation to focus on the parts about how the Bible is different from any other book, and it gives us instructions about the best way to live, or in other words, how to "go follow Jesus!"


Jesus in Me by Dandi Daley Mackall is a book about the Fruits of the Spirit.  This book is great because it shows a little girl living out the Fruits of the Spirit in her everyday life with her family, at the park, at school, etc. I explain that these are the things that we do when we "go follow Jesus!"


play


Jesus says

This is just like Simon Says.  Call out actions for the kids to do (blink their eyes, hop on one foot, spin around, etc.)  However, they should only do the action if you first say, "Jesus says."  Otherwise they should not do the action that you call out.

stop heart, go heart

A fun game to play to accompany this lesson is a modified version of  "Red Light, Green Light".  For this game you will need the dark heart and the green heart.  Have the children line up along a wall, or behind a line, a determined distance opposite from you.  Instruct the children to begin running towards you when you hold up the green heart.  When you hold up the dark heart, they should stop, and kneel down to "pray."  With younger children, I eliminate the competitive aspect of this game, and just celebrate when they make it to me by singing the "The Repent Song."  They will want to play this game over and over again!


craft


bible bookmarks

Print this bookmark template onto colored card stock.  Cut out each bookmark.  Provide markers and stickers for the children to color and decorate their bookmarks.  Add a ribbon to the top if you like.  Explain to the children how to use their bookmarks to mark their place in their Bible so that they remember to ask their parents to read them a Bible story everyday!



trace & color

Print this activity sheet.  Provide crayons for children to color, and help them trace the path.  Talk about how we learn to follow Jesus when we read our Bible, pray and go to church.

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