Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs

This week I combined Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs into one lesson for our Hightide kids. Since all these books were primarily written by Solomon, I talked about the importance of wisdom.

I asked the kids what wisdom is and why it’s important: I got a lot of answers about “being smart” but my favorite was “knowing to do the right thing.”

We read Proverbs 1:1-6 and talked about why Solomon wrote Proverbs. We made a list of Bible characters we might call wise, and discussed what made them wise (Noah, David, Solomon, Moses, Esther, Job, Ruth, Nehemiah, Elijah, Daniel, and Jesus were a few they came up with).

We also read Proverbs 2:1-15 and talked about the benefits of wisdom. We focused in on verses 3-6 where it calls wisdom a “hidden treasure.” There are a lot of action words in this section, like “seek,” “call,” “search,” and “find,” which means that wisdom doesn’t just come to us, we need to look for it. And where do we look for it? In the Bible.

I got an idea from this website to make “treasure chests” for wisdom, but altered the idea a little bit. Instead of making it so much of a craft, I bought little storage boxes from Walmart. They were about 88¢ each, and measure about 3″ by 2″ by 2″. I gave each kid a box and let them decorate it with Sharpies, and encouraged them to fill the boxes with “wisdom”–with Bible verses they learn from church or at home. I gave them a few to start out with.

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As they were decorating, we wrapped up our discussion on Proverbs and moved on to briefly talk about Ecclesiastes. Because it can be kind of a deep and complex book, I summed it up by saying that Solomon had everything he could want in life (Ecc 2:4-11) but nothing truly made him happy apart from God (Ecc 12:1, 13). I asked the kids to look at their own families and think about what life might be like if their families didn’t believe in God, didn’t bring them to church. We had some good discussions about how they would probably fight more, or be mean to each other, and not have the friends they currently have. Without God, life is meaningless.

Then, because these kids are 10 and 11, I did a very brief overview of Song of Songs. Basically I just talked about how this book is a love song written between Solomon and his wife, and that God invented a very special kind of love that makes marriage work–and that they don’t have to worry about it for a few years. 😉 We did however read Song of Songs 8:4, and I encouraged all the girls in particular to write it down and put it in their wisdom box. 🙂

 

 

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Samuel, Kings, & Chronicles

In our Hightide (preteens) class, we took 3 weeks going through these six books, doing them in pairs: 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1& 2 Chronicles. Because there are so many great stories throughout these books, we did mini skits–I or one of the kids would read a short section of verses, or sometimes I would summarize, and the kids would act out the parts as we spoke. Again, it simply gave them something to do besides just listening.

As we got into 1 & 2 Chronicles, I realized first of all that the timing of stories in the Old Testament was going to start getting a little confusing. Most of the books up to this point are in chronological order, but Chronicles goes back over some of the same time periods of Samuel and Kings, and the prophets later are all over the place. So we made a timeline on a couple pieces of poster board to leave posted in our classroom so that we could follow along better.

Secondly, much of 2 Chronicles is about Solomon building the temple, and it’s very descriptive. To help all of us visualize it, I thought it would be fun to draw the temple, so we did just that! I would read a verse or two at a time and just let the kids draw it how they interpreted it. Here’s their representations. 🙂

We have two services with kids programs, so I teach the same lesson (or close to it) twice each week

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