How to Teach the Book of Ruth to Teens

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The Book of Ruth one of the 24 books in the Hebrew Bible. The story is read on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, or the harvest festival to remind Jews that God is alive in even the most ordinary things. The biblical Ruth was able to use Jewish law and her faith in God to help preserve the Jewish line and become an ancestor of David and a vessel for God's word. This story teaches that God has a plan for us even if it appears to be mundane, a lesson teens can take with them.

1 Have your students

Have your students read the Book of Ruth. The story is short enough that it can be read aloud during one lesson.

2 Ask your students

Ask your students to discuss the themes and significance they see in Ruth's story while you jot their answers on the board. Ask them why they think this story is read on Shavout and whether they feel Ruth was, indeed, a holy woman.

3 Ask students

Ask students to note several parts in the account in which Ruth operated on faith instead of furthering her own advances. How were these beneficial to the Jewish people in the long run?

4 Have students

Have students brainstorm about times in their lives when they saw God in something very ordinary. If you're teaching a school class, ask the students to write a paper. If you're teaching a class in a religious school, you can just ask the teens to brainstorm and share anecdotal experience with you or the class as a whole.

5 Tell students

Tell students to reflect on their own lives and where they see it going in the next few years. Although it is subject to change, ask them how their perceived life path can make them a vessel for God's Word in the long run.

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.