The parable of the sower is a story told by Jesus to his disciples as recounted in the Gospels of Matthew (13:1-9), Mark (4:3-20) and Luke (8:4-15). The parable describes what happens to a seed when it falls on a hard dirt path, rocks, among weeds and in rich soil. Sunday school teachers can use several simple crafts to reinforce the underlying concepts in the parable and help children understand the meaning of the story.
Before reading the story of Sower, distribute colouring sheets of the parable to students (see Resources). Discuss the different types of soil and how children might depict them on the colouring sheet. For example, a child might use a black crayon to represent rich soil, or a tan crayon to represent a compacted dirt road. Encourage students to colour several pages, so each page depicts a different soil type. If desired, children can compile all of the pages into a take-home booklet. Read the parable of the Sower to students, and then ask the children to use their booklets to retell the story in their own words.
Natural Material Mosaics
After reading the parable to the students, give each student a piece of white construction paper. Instruct each student to draw a large cross in the centre of his paper; this cross should make four equal boxes. Instruct students to write "hard dirt path" in the first box; "rocky soil" in the second box; "weedy soil" in the third box and "rich soil" in the fourth box. Give students a handful of natural materials like sand, small pebbles, dried weeds and black soil, and instruct them to glue the items in the appropriate boxes. Each student can finish his dimensional artwork by cutting out a picture of a healthy plant from an old gardening magazine and gluing it into the appropriate square.
Show students several famous paintings depicting the Parable of the Sower. Ask them to select a scenario and create a shoebox diorama showing their interpretation of this story. Encourage students to use a variety of materials in their dioramas, including one dimensional printed images and three dimensional objects such as real sand or dirt, small artificial trees and plants and seeds. Make the sower figure from small wooden pegs or pipe cleaners. In a follow-up class, compare and discuss the students' various interpretations of the parable.