Thursday, March 06, 2008

Laugh Attack

I had a laughing fit while planning for our Cubbies preschool group last night. It happened when I was giving a preliminary read through our Bible story (which, like all of them, had those helpful, parenthetical, italicized thoughts which apparently enrich teaching). The story was about the cross and at one point it actually described how the people "made fun of Jesus" and put a crown of thorns on His head. (Was it a crown of gold? A crown of silver? No, they gave Him a crown of thorns!) At this point, the lesson plan tells you to ask the children, "Do you know what thorns are?" and then says, "(If you brought thorns, show them at this point.)" Somehow, the ridiculousness just struck me. And I laughed. And laughed.

Now, there are often one or two tricky props that are recommended each week, and I normally just breeze right past them; things like, you know, sand, a flower pot with seeds and potting soil, or a telescope... just readily available materials! The curriculum writers evidently think that planning Cubbies is the highlight of my week and that I live next door to Home Depot. It's the same story with Children's Sunday School materials. My sister and I have had many a laugh while preparing for jointly taught classes when we run into such *helpful hints*. ...Okay, I'm bashing this pretty hard, and of course I realize the merit of visual aids, especially with young kids. I'm just reporting the giggles that hit me harder than they have in a while.

The truly funny part is, while I was laughing... and laughing some more, I went walking around our apartment looking for thorns I was certain we did not have. But we did! That is, we had a dried rose that fit the bill well enough. So I did, in the end, take thorns for a visual aid. And honestly, story time last night was excellent.

The kids totally listened to our story, which was good because it was about the cross, which is serious stuff. The Cubbies lesson plans are really nothing to sneer at – I repent for the first portion of my post! – although I do freely tweak the plans to my personal liking, of course. The point being, though, that the story communicated the subject matter very well for a Cubbie's emotional and intellectual levels. They were rapt, or as rapt as is possible with preschoolers. They listened, they responded, they thought. We went way over on time, but in a way, I had to think about how I probably had the privilege of sharing points of the story with them that they had never before heard or understood. That is amazing. What a blessing!! It makes me cry.

During the evening, as I walked around our church with a dried rose, I imagine a conversation between myself and a random church member:
Them – What is that dried rose, Kate?
Me – Oh, this? I've been carrying it around ever since it was presented to me on Valentine's Day. ...Actually, no. My roommate was given it for Valentineas Day and I just had to borrow it as a prop for my kiddoes tonight. *sniff*