The lesson plan below has been revised, updated, and posted in the “Jesus as a Boy in the Temple” forum at Rotation.org. You’ll find other great lesson ideas there as well.
Here’s the currently available software that teaches the story of the boy Jesus in the Temple:
- Older: Life of Christ CD, lesson #9.
- Younger: Play and Learn Children’s Bible CD, “Jesus teaches some teachers”.
The following lesson demonstrates how to use Let’s Talk CD with grades 3 and up to create discussion after introducing the story of Jesus the Boy in the Temple with Life of Christ CD. See my “younger children” notes at the end of this page.
LESSON SKETCH for GRADE 3 up to Teen:
Concept: The story of Jesus in the Temple is one of those stories in which you can imagine LOTS of extra dialog.
Imagine for example, Mary & Joseph’s fright at discovering that Jesus wasn’t with them. Or imagine their undocumented response to Jesus’ chiding “didn’t you know that I MUST be in my Father’s house?” How did that really sound to them? This makes it an excellent candidate for ‘rephrasing’, re-telling, or imagining the extra dialog. Year’s ago I wished I had a piece of software that my older kids could use to “give voice” to the extra dialog. I especially wanted one I could use to ask questions and hear their responses after a piece of software like Life of Christ CD, which didn’t have reflection content in it or much discussion content. That’s why I invented “Let’s Talk CD“… to be use to help the kids express their thoughts in a non-threatening manner at the computer.
Here’s what to do:
AFTER your kids have done Lesson 8 in Life of Christ CD, turn on Let’s Talk CD installed on your computers. This program will ‘speak aloud’ whatever the kids type using an onscreen character they will create and a computer voice they will select. Your students are going to type answers in response to your questions and play them for the class to hear. [This is a bit of ‘mis-direction’ –having the computer do their talking for them. This allows some kids to open up who would have otherwise not open their mouth to answer your questions.]
Depending on how many computer and kids you have, you can do the following several ways:
If you have 6 students and two computers, both of which have Let’s Talk CD installed, then you can simply ‘assign’ characters from the story or your questions/situation to each computer. They will use the “Talk Now” module in Let’s Talk to create their responses for the entire class to hear.
You can have all your computer workstations answer each question, and play them back when prompted, –or you can assign different questions to different workstations and have them play them back on your cue. If you assign them to all, write them on the board. If you assign to some, hand them out on a card.
Give each computer 2 minutes to talk about their response and then type it on the computer screen before you ask them to play it back for the class. Work with them during this time. After hearing responses, and making your own comments, feel free to rephrase the question and have them try again.
Possible Questions to Ask: …and the kids use the software to respond.
1. What do the words “strong in spirit” mean in Luke 2:40?
2. What do the words “filled with wisdom” mean in Luke 2:40?
3. What does Luke 2:40 mean when it says about Jesus that, “grace was upon him.”
4. When his parents heard he was still in the Temple with the teachers, what question about their own son probably ran through their minds?
5. When Jesus chided his parents for questioning his priorities, “Why are you looking for me, didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” What response probably ran through Joseph’s mind?
6. If you were a Temple teacher and Jesus was your student, what would you say to his parents about the importance of Jesus continuing his training? How would you convince them he needed training?
7. Luke says that Mary “pondered in her heart”. What questions do you think she had about what had just happened?
8. If we are to “be like Jesus”, what is this story telling YOU is important to do?
An Activity For Further Reflection:
After we work in the software, I OFTEN have my students do “re-enactments” of the story or key scenes to nail the life application. Sometimes the activity in Let’s Talk has loosened their tongues and makes them ready for some quick skits. Assign characters in a situation and give them a situation. (I will often assign one of the roles to a teacher or teen helper and tell them to “be difficult”).
I’ve also done skits like these below while STAYING IN Let’s Talk’s “Talk Now” or “Conversation Now” (chat-like) screen… and letting the kids type and playback their dialog as directed. As the teacher, you have to direct who’s turn it is to talk, but it’s always good for a laugh, and the kids will give you plenty of fodder for the discussion cannon!
Jesus: You don’t want to go home and must try to convince your parents why staying in the Temple another day or two is good for everyone.
Joseph: You need to get back home to work, and think everyone should listen to you.
Mary: You think Jesus needs to learn from the teachers, but are torn between his needs, and your husband’s need.
James/Betty: As Jesus’ older brother you think he’s setting a bad example, plus, you don’t like to go to Temple.
Teacher 1: You want this kid Jesus out of here because he’s making you look bad.
Teacher 2: You want this kid to stay because you are actively looking for the Messiah, and have been quizzing various boys who seems to match Jesus’ description and age.
Temple Guard: You want to keep things quite and under control so as not to start a riot.
Jesus: You want to stay and refuse to leave.
Jesus: You want kids to come to Sunday School to learn about you.
Kids: You think Sunday School is boring.
Mom: You think kids should go whether they like it or not.
Dad: You think the kids would be fine staying home every once in a while.
Coach: You need the kids to stop going on Sunday so they can play on the team.
God: (God has to come up with his own opinion)
I hope this lesson ‘sketch’ has given you some ideas about how you can approach this story using several pieces of software and techniques. I tend to mix & match depending on the story, my class size, their ages, and how things are going that day.
See more great ways to use Let’s Talk CD.
Adapation for Younger Children:
After using Play and Learn Children’s Bible CD’s “Jesus teaches some teachers”…
Take the questions listed below and write them on slips of paper for the younger children. It’s not important that they can read them. It’s just a fun way for them to PICK them out of a hat. These questions are similar to the older children’s questions.
Have the kids pick a slip of paper, then give each of them 3 minutes to think about how they can ACT OUT the action on the paper. Go to each
child with suggestions if necessary. The teacher should also take a slip.
After each child has gone once, put the slips back in the hat,mix them, and select again.
Here are the questions in younger kid “act out” language:
1. The Bible says Jesus was “strong in spirit”. What does that mean? How would you act it out?
2. The Bible says Jesus was “strong in spirit”. What does that mean? How would you act it out?
3. The Bible says Jesus had God’s “grace was upon him.” What does that mean? How would that look?
4. When his parents heard he was still in the Temple with the teachers, what did they probably say to scold him? And how do you think Jesus talked to his parents? What excuse did he use?
5. Luke says that Mary “pondered” what Jesus said to her “in her heart”. What does “pondering” look like? And what thought were going through her head?
6. If your friends tried to tell you that going to church was “stupid” –what would you tell them?