Last month in our church's Sunday School the topic was love... how could it not be for February? (Yes, I know it's not February anymore... I'm still catching up here, but this was too sweet not to share.)
I planned a lesson using the story of the stone soup. If you're not familiar with the story it's about two hungry travellers who come to a village and have nothing to eat- and no one in the village will give them anything to eat. One traveller finds a stone and declares it a magical soup stone and throws it into a big pot of hot water... he says it will turn to soup, but also tells the villagers it would taste better with a carrot, then a potato and on and on... finally convincing the villagers to share the little they had to make soup for everyone. It's a great story of sharing, caring, and the transformative power of working together to create community. I ordered this version of it from Amazon. The illustrations are amazing and the story reads very well. When I read the story I stressed that love is a verb also and not just a feeling, and that we can show love by sharing- even when it's only a little we have to share, it can lead others to also share and care more too, and that's one way that love is tangibly multiplied.
I made a big pot of stock for the stone soup the night before with broth, tomatoes, and cabbage and potatoes. Then I steamed all sorts of other veggies and put them in snack size plastic baggies for the kids to add to the soup when we read the story at church. I washed a big clean stone too, and took it to add first to the soup. (You should have seen the look on some of their faces when I started reading the story and threw the stone in the crock pot broth- ha!)
And I don't have any photos of reading the story and the kids dumping their baggies of veggies into the stone soup... because it was all I could do to keep everyone's attention and make soup and teach the lesson... even with my two adult helpers, it was a little crazy. But the kids liked the story and making the soup- I think it captured their imaginations. My favorite moment was when it was one little boy's turn to dump in his baggie of yellow squash, he said very enthusiastically, "Oh great! I LOVE squash!"
We finished making our soup, and left it to simmer in the crock pot to serve and eat with the rest of the potluck dinner after church and then headed to our art room to make magical stones of their own to take home.
Kids are the best. I love being around this group of kids and getting to see the world through their eyes... they are fresh from God and they teach me so much... like being in the moment, not following any "art rules" and being truly, truly pure in heart. Some of them just melt me with their insights when I "teach" them... and they will never know how much they really teach me...
The colors made me think of spring and Easter eggs...
It's fun to watch how different everyone's art turns out when they are all working with the same materials... sometimes it makes me want to be an elementary school art teacher...ummm ya, sometimes.
Blow dryers are great to speed things up when you are on a tight schedule!
After their paint was dry they added puffy stickers from Michael's.
And then they finished their magical stones with a quote from the gospel of John:
"LOVE ONE ANOTHER"
(and that after all is the really real magic :)
Okay, I am off to the craft room for an all day and all night long creating day...
I hope I can be kid like and live in the no-rules creative moment today.
Have a happy Wednesday everyone!