Jesus used parables or stories to teach people moral lessons, which are today found in the Bible. The Bible gospels of Luke (Chapter 15, verses 1 though 7) and Matthew (Chapter 18, verses 10 through 14) contain the Parable of the Lost Sheep. This story is about a shepherd who abandons his flock looking after one lost sheep and teaches about God's love for all people, even those distant from his message. Teachers and parents can explore this parable with kids through several group activities.
After telling the Parable of the Lost Sheep, divide the children in groups of six. Each group will have to decide the role every one plays: the lost sheep, the shepherd and the flock. This strategy also helps the children to develop social, interpersonal, and organizational skills. Alternatively, you can determine the role each children will play when retelling the parable through the performance. You can also organize a box with some old clothes and props for using during the performance. This activity is ideal for children older than 5 to 6 yeas of age.
Decorating the Sheep
Create an outline of a sheep and give a copy to each child. Alternatively, ask them to draw their own sheep on a sheet of paper. The kids can glue pieces of cotton or leftover yarn on their sheep to decorate it. You can also ask the children to collect leaves for gluing on the sheep's ground and surroundings. Finally, ask the children to write a sentence about what they have learned from the story.
Creating a Panel
Divide the kids in groups of three or four. Give them a large piece of paper, about 10 square feet. While some groups draw the lost sheep, others can draw the flock and Jesus. Kids can use gouache, crayons, little pieces of colorful paper or other material you chose to decorate the drawings. Hang the drawings on the wall, forming a panel about the parable.
Hide and Seek
Kids can play hide and seek in a meaningful away after you tell them the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Choose a child to play the shepherd, while the others hide. The shepherd have to find each one of the hidden children, who play the sheep, and take them to gated area, which you can simply make with chairs or tape on the floor. Alternatively, close the eyes of the shepherd for a moment, while only one child from the group hides. The shepherd has to point out who is missing in the group and try to find this "lost sheep."
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