218 & 219 - Building begins & The new Temple


15 minute Story planner

Ezra 2 - 6
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor pages 250 and 251
‘Rebuilding The Temple’ see Printables

The craft today relates to the ‘lost scroll’ described in Ezra 5:17-6:4. As this is not mentioned in the Children's Bible, explain that when the people complained about the Temple, God's people had to stop building. However they knew that many years before the King had written a law that allowed them to carry on building... they just needed to find the old scroll with the law written on it! Eventually they found the lost scroll and the work continued. Four years later the Temple was complete.

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to ten

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Can you think of a safe place where you might put something precious? Some people put their special belongings in a ‘safe’; they might put important letters and certificates in there too. Some safes are very small with little padlocks and a tiny key. Others are as big as a room with big metal doors that lock at the top and the bottom.

This starter question and the story illustrations are appropriate for teachers using the printable story - Rebuilding the Temple.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
These props are for the Printables story

  • Lots of pieces of A4 paper rolled up to look like scrolls
  • A dressing-up crown
  • Three different coloured pieces of fabric to use as capes for the kings (if you don’t have any fabric use table cloths or pillow cases)
  • Building bricks or a tape measure
  • ‘Stop the work’ letter (see Printables)
  • An envelope

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Acting the story using different spaces in the room
You will need: the props listed above, role slips (see Printables), a small chair, a rug or mat and a small table. 

1. Cut out the ‘role slips’, fold them a couple of times then place the folded pieces of paper into a bowl. 
2. Before the session set up the room. Place the small chair on one side of the room; this will represent the king’s throne in Babylon. Set the table next to it; this will represent the king’s treasury. Place the pieces of paper rolled up to look like the scrolls under the table. Place the rug on the floor on the opposite side of the room to represent the Temple foundations in Jerusalem. 
3. As you tell the story sit on the chair to talk about King Cyrus.
4. As you talk about the King writing down the Law write on a piece of paper, roll it up like a scroll and put it under the table
5. As you talk about the different kings drape the different coloured pieces of fabric around your shoulders.
6. As you talk about the building work place the bricks on the rug
7. Finally as you talk about the king’s servant looking for the original scroll, hunt through the ‘scrolls’ under the table until you find the right one. 

After you have told the story using the props,  encourage the children to act out the events themselves. Either select children to play the different roles or allow the children to pick a ‘role slip’ from the bowl to determine which part they play. Allow the children to use their imagination as they act out the story. While the children act you could read the story word-for-word or retell it in your own words.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father we think about the rebuilding of the Temple. We remember that the leaders insisted the altar be built first so that the people could start worshipping you once more. Father help us to be like the Israelite leaders and see worship as an important part of our lives. 

Father we remember the efforts to stop the Temple being built, but your people tirelessly finding ways to keep going. Father help us to be like your people, pressing on and trusting you in the middle of difficult times. Amen.

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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