Christ used parables when teaching because they were tools that could reach all age groups. If you teach kids, you already know the power that a good story has to convey a lesson. Incorporate parables such as the Story of the Sower into your lessons and help children to explore its meaning with creative activities that help them understand that they are like the soil in the parable and must choose whether they are going to be rocky ground, and forget what they are taught, or fertile soil that can bear much fruit.
Read the story from Matthew 13:1-23. Choose the version you want to read based on your personal faith and beliefs about translations. You also can use a children's Bible version, which will tell the story in language that is easier for children to understand.
Write the word "parable" on a chalkboard or on a piece of paper. Ask children if they know what that word means. Ask them to give examples of other parables. Explain that Jesus used parables to teach because they were open to many meanings, so people had to think about the point of the lessons.
Discuss with the children what they think the story means. Ask questions such as: "Why did Jesus explain the parable to the disciples but not to the entire crowd?" "What does this parable mean to you today?" "What would be an example today of a seed falling on hard ground and getting eaten by a bird?"
Conduct an experiment with seeds to help children understand the parable better and remember it longer. Give each child two corn seeds, two paper cups and potting soil. Have them fill one cup with gravel and a small amount of soil and plant a seed in the gravel. Have them fill another cup with soil, then plant a corn seed in the soil. Have them set both cups in a sunny window and water them daily. Track the growth of each plant and then discuss which plant grew best and why.
Make a craft related to the parable. You can make flowers with construction paper and scissors. You also can do a seed project. Give the children small pebbles, seeds and sand, which they can glue onto a piece of paper in various shapes. Talk about what each of the materials represents and ask them to explain how their picture will help them remember the Parable of the Sower.
Select a verse from the story to memorise together. You can do this by repeating it several times together, making up a song for it or writing it on a board and then erasing one word at a time until everyone has the whole verse memorised. A possible memory verse: "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." Matthew 13:23
Things you need
- Paper cups
- Construction paper