The Bible story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, which can be found in the Book of John, chapter four, teaches children about doing what is right and treating others in a way that we would want to be treated. In the story, a woman from the region of Samaria approaches Jesus at a well, where he asks her for water. The woman is surprised because she is a Samaritan and Jesus is Jewish; the two groups did not normally get along. During their conversation, the woman realises who Jesus is and learns about how God wants people to worship. The story can be taught to children of all ages and the meaning will stay with the children long after the end of the session. In order to make the lesson more meaningful, plan activities that work with the story and will draw the children into the theme.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Room to gather
- Craft supplies
Create a lesson plan. You will want to figure out how much time you will have and then plan accordingly. Plan to allow at least 10 minutes for the story and response time and 15 minutes for a craft or activity. Other portions of the lesson could include an opening song, prayers and an extra activity at the end in case you need to kill time.
Choose a version of the story. You can either read the story directly from the Bible or you can choose a children's Bible that will have an easier to understand version. You can also elect to write your own version of the story combining several different sources. Decide if you want to tell the story from memory or will plan to read it.
Gather the children. If possible, have the children sit in a circle on the floor. Stories are best told when the children are close to the storyteller and sitting on the circle with the children will give the kids a sense of intimacy.
Plan response questions. You will want to have some questions prepared to get the children thinking about the story's theme. They can be very basic by asking the children to retell certain portions of the story or you can ask how they would feel if in the position of the woman from Samaria. Be prepared with several different options and move on to another question if you do not get any responses to a specific inquiry.
Plan an activity. You will want to do something that will help ingrain the story in the children's minds and also help them see how it fits into their everyday lives. Some options would include having the kids act out the story with or without props, creating cards for elderly neighbours or drawing pictures of the story and writing a modern day version.
Decide how to end the session. Most likely, you will want to bring the children back together and talk briefly about the story and the main themes. You could sing a song, say prayers and send each child on their way with a personal blessing.
Tips and warnings
- Do not be surprised if things do not go according to plan. Working with children can always be a little unpredictable, but your lesson plan will allow you to make sure the main points get across no matter what happens.
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