Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Rich Man — Poor Man" and "Trading PLaces"

Scripture Reading: Luke 16:19-31

HEAVEN MOBILE: Use blue poster board with blue yarn hanging from a blue hanger (if possible). Make 3 round blue poster board circles and let children glue cotton balls on it and make a mobile to remind them of heaven where Lazarus went! Additional blue circles could be added to the "mobile" for words about HEAVEN, ANGELS, etc.

POPSICLE STICK PEOPLE: Use purple cloth or felt for a stick puppet to represent the rich man and "burlap-type" or brown felt material for Lazarus. Use a little white Styrofoam ball for the head and decorate it. Let the children review the story using their stick puppets.

DRESS UP BAG RELAY: Fill one paper bag with dressy clothes and one bag with ragged clothes. Let the children form teams and have a relay race to dress up like the rich man and Lazarus. If time permits, teams can switch bags and play again! Have a discussion about today's lesson! (Make sure each bag has similar items and the same number of items.)

TRADING PLACES: This game is similar to musical chairs. Half the children can be named the RICH MAN and the other half can be named LAZARUS. When the music stops, the teacher will shout out either RICH MAN or LAZARUS and only those will quickly get up and trade places. To make it fun toward the end, the teacher could shout out both names and all the children will get up and trade places.

TWO HEARTS: Let each child decorate two large hearts and write, trace or glue a sign on each of them: UNFAILING LOVE and MY HEART REJOICES IN SALVATION. Hearts can be hung from each other, by string or yarn to hang in the classroom or at home.

HEAVEN CLOUDS: For younger children - Children will glue some cotton to a paper plate that they have lightly colored with blue crayon. Words can be written: I WANT TO BE IN HEAVEN WITH JESUS and write their name on the plate.

TRADING PLACES: Have the children scattered around a large designated area. The teacher should have 3-4 different areas well-marked for the different areas (using poster board pictures or words or large stand up items) such as the "forest area" (trees picture or a standing artificial tree if available); heaven (words or a pic on a poster board), Zoo picture on poster board (animals), etc. The teacher will tell the children to run to the ZOO, or run to the forest, or run to heaven! Tell them to trade places each time the whistle is blown or as teacher would like to call out ideas for trading places. Then the children will sit down in a circle, near the heaven poster board, and listen to today's story.

TRADING PLACES FOR ARTWORK: The teacher will provide construction paper, markers, and stickers for children to create a picture of today's story. When the teacher has given the children 3-4 minutes of drawing time, tell them to trade places and go to someone else's drawing and continue to draw or decorate for 2 minutes and then trade places once again to continue to decorate another drawing. Make sure the children have written their names on their papers at the beginning so they can return to their original drawing and see what the "trading places" has done to their drawing.

BIBLE VERSE LINE UP: Have the children line up and start with the first person in line to SAY or to WRITE the first word of today's Bible verse or a verse that the teacher can choose for the children to learn today. The next child in line will trade places with the first child to write a word and that child will write the next word, and continue to TRADE PLACES until the entire verse has been recited or written on a decorated poster board! Children may also TRADE PLACES for a chalk drawing or to answer questions about today's lesson. Make sure to emphasize TRADING PLACES each time so children will remember their story today.

SNACK TIME: The children may be given several small treats or finger foods to place in a brown paper bag that they have decorated with pictures or ideas from today's lesson. Children will THINK that they are filling their treat bag for themselves. But when they are done with the filling of their decorated bags, have children TRADE PLACES to another bag to enjoy as THEIR treat bag.

Song:  "Rock-a My Soul" - Traditional Spiritual

Sheet Music (PDF)

Piano Accompaniment (MP3) Right click and save to your computer.

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and Indiana.  Carol loves to work with children so you will find her teaching in Junior Church and children's Sunday School.  She also has clowning ministry in which she is known as Bubbles tc (the clown).
 
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