Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Parables of Jesus (The Parable of the Good Shepherd): A Lesson for a Sensorimotor Preschool Experience Inspired by Godly Play

I have been so busy with home, work, appointments and children lately that blogging has had to take a back seat.  However, the other day after returning from a Spring Co-op planning meeting, I realized I have yet to share many of the plans I created for the fall Co-op class I led.  One of the lessons is quite seasonal in the sense that with all the great picture books that have lambs in them at this time of year, there are many tie-ins that can be made to it.  So, I have dug through my files and am following up our Parable of the Sower post by sharing my lesson plans for the Parable of the Good Shepherd: A Lesson for a Sensorimotor Preschool Experience Inspired by Godly Play today.  It is a lesson that offers songs, games, sensory experiences, art and Montessori-friendly Godly Play-inspired work in it.  (You will find the link for the lesson plans at the end of this post.)

Protecting the Sheep from Harm

Although I have no photos of it, I had particular fun planning this lesson, since my husband was home when I did so and we played many of the games included in it as a family outdoors.

Drinking the Clean Water (with the Shepherd Literally at Hand)

Looking back, I can also say that of all the Sensorimotor Parable of Jesus lessons I led this past fall, this one ended up being my favorite.  The children really seemed to "get it".  They not only shared about their understanding of the parable, but they also loved the games! Keying into their need to move that day, I adapted the plan, pulling some of the games to the first half of the class and reprising them in the latter.  It worked splendidly!  The children appreciated having creative, on-your-feet games bracketing the more cerebral and stationary Godly play portion.  This style may not be in keeping with the true Godly Play format, but it worked for us:  Giggles, movement, prayer and learning.  I loved it!

Unafraid to Lay Self Down for Sheep

At home, my own children particularly enjoyed the Parable Box I whipped together for this lesson from supplies we had on hand.  It was a joy to watch them use it.  They completely immersed themselves in retelling the parable, discussing it with each other and dramatizing how the Lord watches over us all.  It was also this parable that inspired a story my son wrote, which I described in A Learning Story:  A Boy, The Good Shepherd and A Story.

Cleaning Up, but Will Play Again

I hope you enjoy the photos of my children working with the Godly Play-inspired portion of this lesson in this post.  You can find a PDF of the full Parable of the Good Shepherd lesson, including all the sensory-based games, art activities and songs here.  Please feel free to borrow any and all ideas from it for your own home or classroom use.  I know we will  again!

Undoubtedly, I will be revisiting all or part of our Good Shepherd lesson here at home throughout the year, especially during this season and the Easter season.  It is also likely I will take elements of it when planning future co-op lessons as well.

What is unlikely is that I will be posting much more here regularly from now through the beginning of the New Year.  For while there are many things I would like to share, this season of holidays and an increased work-outside-the-home schedule for me requires that I back of blogging some in order to honor time spent attending to my main calling:  my family.  When I can can back online more often again, I hope post more lesson plans like this as well as my usual reflections, sensory activities, homeschool updates, etc. 

May the Good Shepherd lead you where He wants you to be this season, too!

Should you have a favorite parable or Bible story you'd like sensory ideas for, please leave a comment saying so.  I will try to put something together.  Also, should you have other ideas or links for the Good Shepherd, do share.  I appreciate the inspiration of others' work.


Eileen Marie Miller said...

Are you familiar with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd? It is Montessori based. My five year old goes to Atrium classes once a week with this program. The work of the Good Shepherd helped inspire my idea to create my game you asked me about earlier on my website. It would be perfect for your kids - only it takes so long to get it on the market. You have great ideas for your little ones.

Martianne said...

Thank you. Yes, I know about CGS and tried doing the Home Catechesis a couple year's back, but got waylaid by lack of prep time.

I want to embrace it again as best as I can by myself since there are no local opps for atrium nearby.

I am praying for your game to get to market. :)


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