Yo! Mary and Joe!
a Computer Workshop Lesson by Neil MacQueen, Sunday Software, www.sundaysoftware.com
for use with Fluffy & God’s Amazing Christmas Adventure
Permission granted for you to copy this text and graphics and use in your own lesson plan doc.
Most people remember that Gabriel appeared to Mary (Luke 2), but not everyone remembers that Matthew said the angel also appeared to Joseph in a dream. Why both? Because God isn’t just about “the message” -God cares about who he is talking to, and how his presence and message will be received. This is one of the reasons I like to teach about BOTH appearances, because in addition to being amazing, it shows God cares about individuals. God delivers a personal word a young soon-to-be mother and a shocked soon-to-be father. “Mary, don’t worry, you will be called blessed. Joseph, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”
This is why in Fluffy your kids will learn about both announcements side-by-side. Students learn what an angel’s job is all about, and how they can become messengers of God who bring the good news that “hopes and fears of all the years” are met in Jesus. As messengers, we too should care about how we deliver the message. And that is why we’ve created this software.
Fluffy Christmas Software Resources now at Rotation.org:
Outline and Guide to Fluffy (also included in the download)
Lessons at Rotation.org that use this software:
The Announcement (10-15 minutes)
1) Narration/Animation of the Story: Angel appears to Mary, Angel appears to Joseph
2) Meaning and Pronunciation of Jesus’ Name (printable)
3) FLUFFIMATION — a fun activity reworking the angels’ announcement in new language.
Mary Visits Elizabeth (10-15 minutes)
1) Check out some of God’s promises
3) Tell me more about John the Baptist (skip this if you don’t have time)
4) FLUFFIMATION —Mary’s Song of Joy
Closing out your lesson (10 minutes), your kids will play with the hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” found in the Fluffy Jam music activity. It’s key line is a brilliant lesson summary: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight,” reflects the hopes and fears addressed by the angel to Mary and Joseph, as well as, those of Bethlehem and Israel.
AGE RANGE: Don’t let the name fool you! The content in this CD is appropriate for both younger and older children and youth. K’s and 1’s will need some reading help.
DETAILED LESSON PLAN
1) After gathering, divide the students into two teams and give them 1 minute to see who can make the most complete list of all the parts of the Christmas story.
Review their lists and offer comments. Tell them that today we’re going to focus on the appearance of the angel to Mary and to Joseph using Fluffy and God’s Amazing Christmas. Tell them what sections of the program they’ll be using. (If you’re short on teachers, prepare a worksheet listing the sections you want them to explore, and a question in each they are responsible for answering.)
Write out these three sentences for all to see: (They are the focus of today’s lesson and don’t have to be answered now.)
a. What’s an angel?
b. How can you be one?
c. What are the “Hopes and Fears of all the years”? …and how are they answered by the birth of Jesus?
2) Dive into the Fluffy software
a. At the Main Menu, click on “Yo! Mary and Joe!” and work through the story.
This is your Bible Study! God narrates and explains the Annunciation scriptures from both Matthew and Luke. Teachers should pause at all interactive question content to comment and reinforce. You can also write some of these questions on a worksheet for kids to complete.
Before clicking on the Angels Fluffimation activity, older students should click on “The Meaning of Jesus’ Name.” Before leaving this area, have each student take a piece of paper and WRITE OUT all the different versions of Jesus’ name (this is basic “Jesus 101” you’re teaching them.)
b. Go into The Angel Fluffimation Activity.
This is a “mad-lib”-like activity. Your kids answer some questions, and Fluffy puts their answers into a new version of the Angel’s Annunciation to Joseph in Matthew 1, and the birth narrative in Luke 2 ….in the words of Fluffy and your kids! Do it once for fun, discuss, then have them do it a second time “for real.” Discuss their interesting results.
Below is a copy of the questions your students answer –prior to Fluffy putting them in the scripture and reading them aloud.
c. Mary Visits Elizabeth, and Mary’s Song of Joy
Some churches save the “Elizabeth and John the Baptist” area for another lesson. Some also save the “Mary’s Song Fluffimation” for another time. Depends on how much time you have and other potential lesson activities. IMHO, the Mary’s Song Fluffimation is more important to teach than the Angel’s Fluffimation. Choose the one that fits your needs and time constraints.
If you go into Elizabeth’s area, be ready to discuss the “Kinds of Promises” section which has these questions: “There are two kinds of promises in the Bible: 1) Things God gives to you no matter what. 2) Things God can do for you if you follow God’s way. Think of some examples that fit each kind of promise.”
Mary’s Song of Joy (the Magnificat) is a Fluffimation “mad-lib”-like onscreen activity like the one earlier in the lesson. This time they’ll be creating new words for the Song and playing them back for the class. Let them do it twice. Discuss some of the interesting words and images in the Song and how the kids have reinterpreted them.
(This activity like most on the CD can be accessed separately and turned into its own study. Older children/youth, in particular, should read Mary’s Song of Joy from Luke 4.)
Here’s a student-completed version of the Fluffimation as an example…
d. Go to DJ Fluffy Jam and choose the hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.
Its signature line is the point of this lesson: “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” This is what the angel was getting at in the annunication. This is how Mary and Joseph felt in their heart when Mary was pregnant, and at Jesus’ birth. We want our students to know what hopes and fears Jesus was coming to address, including our own personal hopes and fears.
First, explain how the game works….they drag add lyrics, sound effects, and instruments from a pallet onto the music and play it back. After they have played with that a while. Tell them to “do it for real now” and make something that can be played back to the class for discussion. Give them 5 to 7 minutes to recreate the song. Take the class to each computer for playback.
CLOSING: Conclude by gathering around a computer singing along with the (fun version) of the “O Little Town” hymn. Then, ask them what the answers are to the three questions you wrote on the board to begin the lesson. Finish by having the children placing BOTH of their hands on those 3 questions in the shape of wings, and trace their ‘wing=hands’ with chalk and have them put their name on their wings. Then pray with them that they become true angels, –spreading the Good News —that Jesus brings the end of fear for our lives and worrying about our salvation. That in him, the Love of God is pleased to dwell in our world and forgive us our sins.
I hope you like my lesson and software.
Copyright Neil MacQueen, Permission granted for local church use. Printed from www.sundaysoftware.com/fluffy