For Christians, the Bible stands as a record of the life and words of Jesus Christ as well as the prophets who came before him. Adults can study and understand the complexities of the Scriptures, but children might have a more difficult time understanding the stories of the Bible. Creative activities can help children understand the meaning of the prophet's vision in the Old Testament lesson of Ezekiel and the dry bones.
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For Sunday schoolchildren who are in elementary school, symbol boards can show symbolism is used. Start by discussing general symbolism, and provide examples such as how a stop sign signals drivers to apply brakes and come to a complete stop. Discuss how Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones becoming alive after hearing the Word of God represents what will happen for Christians at the end of the world. Instruct the children to draw or cut out their own symbols and share what they represent.
'Last Days' Paintings
Throughout the book of Ezekiel, the prophet warns Christians to prepare for the "last days" by having faith and belief in God. Talk to children and discuss the Bible's explanation of what the end times means. After allowing the kids to learn and share their own feelings about the last days, have them express their idea of heaven artistically. Whether on paper or a small canvas, have the children paint their own interpretation of what heaven will look like. This activity allows them to extend on Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones.
Dry Bones Cutouts
In Ezekiel's vision, the valley of the dry bones represents how human beings exist without hope or faith. Have students cut out skeleton bones as part of an art project. Infuse scriptural teachings into the art project by also having a discussion on the sins Christians commit daily, such as jealousy, lying or having envy. On the bones, each student can write examples of sins he has committed. This activity allows children to acknowledge bad behaviour.
This activity coincides with the dry bones cutouts. After having students discuss what sins humans commit on a daily basis and writing them on the dry bones, shift the focus to the hope and faith that Christians find through their beliefs. Have the students create self-portraits through either drawing or painting. When the portraits are complete, discuss Christian virtues such as compassion, humanity and faith. Instruct the children to identify virtues they feel important to being a good Christian, and have them write the virtues on their self-portrait.
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