There is a sense of restlessness that rides with B from one state to the next, a topic I have covered much before. I’ve tried various tactics such as spending a week curriculum in teaching him to communicate his emotions every year, talking with him, pleading with him to be happy, but nothing has really seemed to work.
This past Christmas break was the most challenging B visit I had ever encountered. He was downright ugly. He was hateful to his sisters, disrespectful to me, and flat out disobedient to his father. This was not without reason as his mother had decided to move homes over his summer break with us without mentioning it to him. He came home that fall to a house that was not his home, a room that was not his room, and a school where his friends that he knew and loved were absent. My mother came just at the end of his visit, and as much as I hate to confess I had hit a wall with B. I had decided to throw in the towel, and cried to her about how I didn’t know how I could continue this life of a stepmother.
Upon watching B act up on his last day she had me leave the room so she could talk with him. From outside the door I heard her talk to him about love, and possessing a sharing heart. She talked to him about God, and in essence the difference between selfishness and christlike behavior. I felt warmth come over me, and I could tell form his voice that her words were leaving an impression on his heart.
We, at this point, were not church goers. I had distanced myself from the christian community due to personal reasons considering church politics. But this was the moment I realized that my kids deserved a fair upbringing, after all christianity was my crutch through my ridiculously difficult childhood.
This new year I made a resolve to become more involved in a church community, and I honestly couldn’t be happier. This summer was the first we had B since this resolution, and though a struggle at first B seemed to really take comfort in the idea of a God. Before he left I took a week to teach him some Christian basics for him to take to Colorado, and hopefully mend his tiny weary soul.
- Student will describe the plot (problem and solution) and retell a story’s beginning, middle, and end with attention to the sequence of events
- Student will describe characters in a story and the reasons for their actions and feelings.
- Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about the author’s purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Students are expected to identify the topic and explain the author’s purpose in writing about the text.
1 pc ea of Orange, Yellow, and Black Construction paper
Lion Puppet Print out
Children’s Bible or Story Print Out of Daniel and the Lions Den
Veggie Tales: Where is God When I’m scared (Available on Netflix)
I started this lesson with our story time.
- Throughout the read I asked B and Li’l A what they thought Daniel was feeling at each plot point of the story. On the board I created a map of emotions.
- I then asked B and Li’l A to give me an example of how they would feel if they were placed in the Lion’s Den. After a moment of consideration B’s answer was a mixture of angry and scared, and Li’l A scrunched her face, folded her fingers into tight fists and said “I’d be so mad!”
- Next I asked the kids what they do when they feel that way. There were answers like stomping, running, screaming, yelling, etc.
- Finally I asked what they thought was the lesson in the story.
This placed us on the right track for a conversation on prayer. I told them the story of Paul E. Miller, author of a Praying Life, and when he was a boy. He says that due to his families financial struggles, and the large amount of children he was left as a young boy to sleep on the outside, uncovered porch. He described loving it, like it was an adventure, but feeling cold when the winter set in so he prayed for a set of PJ’s. Two weeks later an aunt had mailed a care package to the family, in it a set of PJ’s for him. God had answered his prayer. God knew Paul needed that for his health and safety.
Then we discussed fear and anger, and talked about instead of yelling at our obnoxious sibling, praying for your ability to forgive them. How instead of being afraid of a shadow on the wall pray to God for protection and bravery.
Explore & Create:
- Using the print out of the lion I had the kids cut and paste their own paper sack lion puppets.
- When they were done I placed, In front of me, a series of cards that had different plot points of Daniels story that I found for free at SundaySchoolCrafts.net.
- As the kids placed together the sequence of the story we referred back to our emotion chart.
- When it was all in order the kids took turns with their puppets describing the scenes and story back at me and Baby K.
While I fixed lunch I had the kids color some Daniel coloring sheets I found online. B’s was a color by number, and Li’l A I gave a simple coloring sheet. While they colored I played Veggie Tales: Where is God When I’m Scared, which also covers the story of Daniel in the Lions Den.
The funnest activity of the day taught them to cut out hearts, and helped them in their ability to follow instruction. Li’l A actually cut the mane on her Lion all on her own. The instructions can be found here at crafty morning.com