Computer, Music and a “Sensory/Science” Demonstration
a lesson sketch from Neil MacQueen, www.sundaysoftware.com
A friend recently ask me how I would teach Isaiah 6 in her computer lab, and I responded with this suggestion:
The “Here I am Send Me” passage is autobiographical for most clergy, don’t you think? I’ve often used it to describe how I decided to leave pastoral work and become a pester-er about software. It’s also something most Christians, even kids, experience every now and then. A NEED presents itself, there’s a call to action, and you suddenly realize, I can do this!
“Sometimes you hear the clear call and you step boldly forward.”
Unfortunately, this verse is not addressed in any kind of multimedia software that I know of. But here’s the thing: the story is full of VIVID images, and that usually points me to having the kids RECREATE those Vivid Images in Kid Pix or any paint program on your computer.
I would also definitely teach it into memory using Cal and Marty’s Scripture Memory Game CD. Short and easy. See how FAST they can assemble it.
KID PIX IDEA:
You could assign an image to a computer workgroup. Work with them to do it well and add ‘talking text’ (in Kid Pix the computer can speak what the kids type). Then have them PRINT COPIES of their creation so that each person has a takehome book of the passage.
I see four panels of images:
1. See the Lord high and exalted on the throne.
2. Seraphim with six wings singing: Holy holy holy
3. The burning coal plucked from the altar and touched to Isaiah’s lips.
4. The words from God: “whom shall I send?” and Isaiah’s response “here I am send me!”
I’d recommend the kids depict THEMSELVES as Isaiah. God is calling to them. The teacher or students could create a FIFTH PANEL which shows the way followers RESPOND TO THE CALL, ..in worship, service to others, and speaking a prophetic word like Isaiah to the culture and leaders.
You could also do a different kind of computer lab project with it, given that the story is so IMAGE RICH.
1. Create a video of the kids acting out the scene and upload to youtube.
2. Or, use a digital camera to snapshot the scene as a series of tableau (poses) and print as a booklet for the kids.
Don’t forget the Fifth Element: what you do to respond!
What does God’s voice sound like?
Where do we see God?
How do people today (we) have visions? How? (Church helps prepare us to hear God’s voice in our lives. Reading Scripture, Prayer._
What is the COAL?
Why was it burning?
The coal could mean many things… first of all, it is something that would certainly get our attention, wake us up. The image is that the Word of God burns like a fire on our lips. Fire was understood as a cleansing agent. What would WE use today to prepare our mouths to speak God’s word?
SENSORY EXPERIMENT/DEMONSTRATION IDEA:
Taste and smell memories are some of the strongest and most “associative” because those senses are wired deeply in the brain’s most primitive parts. Tastes and smells can help embed ideas and experiences, and help recall them.
Have student dip a toothpick into ‘hot sauce’ such as tobasco. (Have some saltine crackers handy in case it’s too much) Ask: Do you remember the story when the disciples said the word “burned” within them? (Road to Emmaus). How is Jesus’ story of the cross and resurrection a “spicy” story? (not bland, gets your attention, lasts long on your taste buds, makes you take notice) Spicy is good, indigestion can be problematic! Do you think some Bible verses and calls from God might upset some people’s stomachs? Examples?
Talk about the cleansing aspect of the coal image, then touch soapy water to their lips –which perhaps in this day and age is a better image, especially when you consider baptism’s cleansing imagery.
Finally, touch honey to their lips, because the psalmist says the Word is sweet like honey.
Finally, finally, pull out scroll cookies (Pepperidge Farm) and give to students. The prophet Ezekiel ATE the Word of God. The Word is something that nurtures and becomes part of you. Ask your students how that is true (just like food become part of us, the building blocks of our body, the Word builds our Spirit. Indeed, Jesus=Word=Spirit).
Holy, Holy, Holy
Here I am Lord (is it I Lord?)