A lesson plan by Neil MacQueen from sundaysoftware.com for use with Galilee Flyer CD.
This is the original version of my Kingdom Parables lesson plan which later appeared in a slightly altered format at rotation.org’s website.
→ See another Lesson Set from Neil: At Home in God’s Kingdom
(4 software lessons, 4 video lessons, and 4 skits/drama lessons)
(a) Kids ages 8-18 will use the Galilee Flyer software game about the four Kingdom parables with a worksheet. (b) “Fly” in the game to discussion area. (c) Conclude with a yeast prayer activity.
Parable of the Mustard Seed — Matthew 13:31-32
Parable of the Leaven — Matthew 13:33
Parable of the Treasure Found in the Field — Matthew 13:44
Parable of the Pearl — Matthew 13:45-46
Learning Objectives: Students will….
- paraphrase the four parables and each parable’s meaning to them
- share examples of where the Kingdom of God can be seen around them
- consider what they must both do and “give up” to help the Kingdom grow in their lives
- Read scripture and consult a good commentary on them.
- Install and Play the software you intend to use. Be sure to preview it on each computer you intend to use.If using Galilee Flyer software for the first time, it is highly recommended that students “preview” the game at some other opportunity so that the lesson time is not focused on learning how to play the game.Print the attachments to this lesson: Student Worksheet, and copies of the Verses and Questions pdf which list the verses and questions found in the game. The Questions section also has teachable comments too!
- Print the Galilee Flyer teacher’s guide.
- Recruit extra “guides by the side” to help at the computer. (This is especially important for younger children).
There is no need to read from a paper Bible before using the software. The Flyer game teaches both the verses and “Bible study” comments which you will be reflecting on after you play. The game itself will take up to 25 minutes to play depending on the age and previous experience with the software. You may wish to show the students where the parables are found in scripture, but this can also be the focus of other workshops.
♥ As students arrive, invite them to practice take-off and landings and get familiar with the controls. Have the “flying guide” printed and sitting at each computer. ♥
Opening – (5 minutes)
Start the lesson by asking students to define “what the Kingdom of God is.” Write their responses on the board. Ask them what they already know about the four parables.
Introduce the software by saying that, “Today, we are going on a flying treasure hunt using the Galilee Flyer software.”
Explain that, in the game, players fly to find and match the “verse halves” of the four parables, as well as, look for an answer bonus questions about the meaning of the parables, …before landing and receiving a “pilot ranking.” If you prepared as recommended, the kids should be familiar with the game and controls.
Give them the worksheet for this lesson which will guide and serve as a discussion help after the game. Point out where they are to fill-in the answers.
Dig – (20-25 minutes)
Play the Galilee Flyer software game about the four parables.
- Younger or less experienced flyers will need help, and/or more time.
- The game has the verses in it, and provides comments and explanations.
- Have the students take turns flying to find the verses and answer the questions.
- Have them fill out their worksheet as they play. (Worksheet attached to this post.)
- The teacher’s guide and printable copy of the verses/questions attached to this lesson posting give you a number of insights and comments you can and SHOULD make as you play. Don’t save them all up for after the game!
Discussion (5 minutes)
Invite students to gather away from their computers and go over their worksheets. This is a good time to offer additional insights and comments, many of which can be found in the teacher’s version of the verses and questions. This is a short discussion as you should have made some of these observations during game play!
If your class time is short, some students may not have been able to successfully finish the game. Assure them that they are welcome to come “beat the game” any time, and that they will be playing the other lessons in Galilee Flyer at a later time.
Reflection (10 minutes)
Send students back to the game and have them fly to the “Discussion Ruins” located on the Southeast ridge of mountains surrounding the Sea of Galilee. The game will pause and a graphic panel of questions will pop open when they fly into the floating “D” above the ruins.
(Alternately: You can gather around one computer and fly the entire class to those ruins.)
Below is the text of what appears in those discussion panels when you fly to the ruins. You may choose to ask all questions to all your students, or split up the questions among PAIRS of students and give them a minute to come up with an answer.
(the text found in the game’s discussion area)
1. Many of the people Jesus met hoped the world would be a better place in the future. They looked forward to a time when God would rule over all. Jesus surprised them by teaching that the Kingdom of God was here and possible right now -if we would only open our eyes to see it.
• Where can you see the Kingdom of God happening in your community and world?
• What things are you doing that are part of God’s Kingdom on earth?
2. By using the images of seeds and leaven or yeast, Jesus was teaching that little things can do BIG things.
• Name one small change you can make in your life right now that would make you a better friend, family member, church member, child of God.
3. Using the images of hidden treasure and a found pearl, Jesus taught that the Kingdom could be right under your nose …but you must be looking for it to see it. Jesus also taught that it will cost you something to gain the Kingdom of God –to make it part of you.
• What things might you have to give up in order to make the Kingdom of God (-the rule of God) part of your life?
The “Pop-Up Comments” column found on the teacher’s Verse and Questions attachment to this lesson have many good things the teacher can remind & reinforce the discussion with. During game play, students often too quickly click-by these comments, so it is good to review them after the game.
The teacher’s version of the Game Guide has a list of the correct answers to all the questions and verses. The student worksheet asks them to ‘write in’ the correct answers.
Closing Activity (3 minutes)
Gather in a prayer circle and pull out a small packet of yeast. Provide each student with a sealable sandwich bag and travel the circle tapping out a small amount of yeast into each person’s bag, –talking/praying as you go that each might see and feel God’s Kingdom growing within them this week. With final words, invite them to dab a bit of yeast on their tongue, and add some final words of “look where God is already active in your life, see what good is growing around you, and give your all so that you can be part of God’s presence and power in the world.”
Younger children enjoy trying to fly the plane in Galilee Flyer, but need lots of help and tend to crash a bunch. Play in “easy” mode, and skip looking for questions if you’re short on time. Quite frankly it is NOT that important to “win” the game. The winning is in the fun you’ll have when flying around to look for verses.
Lesson by Neil MacQueen, www.sundaysoftware.com
Permission granted to use for non-commercial teaching purposes.
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