15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, pages 252 and 253
After the Babylonians captured the Judeans, the Persians invaded Babylonia. For years the Jews lived in Babylonia under Persian rule. More than anything the Jewish people wanted to return to their homeland but the city of Jerusalem was in ruins. Eventually some of the Jews returned to their land and rebuilt the Temple, but the city walls were still in a bad way.
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 nine
2. Starter question - 1 min
Do you like to work with other people or do you like to work alone? Often people work together to get a job done - everyone doing their part. Can you think of a job where a team of people work together? Teams of people work together in hospitals, schools and offices – perhaps you know somebody who works in a team. When it was time to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem Nehemiah could see that there was a great deal of work to be done. Everybody needed to do their part. Nehemiah organised people into groups. The groups were like teams working together; each group built their section of the wall.
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
- A plastic wine glass
- ‘Things are bad’ speech bubble (see Printables)
- A picture of a donkey from the internet (beware of copyright regulations)
- A house brick
- ‘Even a fox…’ speech bubble (see Printables)
- A trowel – make sure the trowel does not have sharp edges
- A toy sword
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 - Building a wall of cups
You will need 100 plastic cups (available from supermarkets or pound shops).
1. Explain to the children that you are all going to work together to build a wall of cups.
2. Discuss what might be a good way to do this.
3. Encourage the children to have a go.
Try and make sure that everybody participates in some way.
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God we think about the story. We imagine Nehemiah feeling desperately sad about the state of Jerusalem. We imagine him telling the King about the troubles his people faced. Father help us to be honest like Nehemiah, to be willing to share our thoughts and feelings with people we trust. Thank you that the King allowed Nehemiah to return to his broken city. Help us to be like the King, quick to notice when others are unhappy and willing to offer our help.
Father we imagine Nehemiah arriving in the city of Jerusalem. We imagine him watching and waiting. We picture him praying as he looked at the damaged walls. Father help us to be people who are willing to watch and wait instead of rushing ahead with our plans. Help us to listen to you and wait to be guided by your Holy Spirit as we learn and grow to live your way.
Father we imagine the rebuilding of the walls. People working together, some doing one job, others doing another. Father please help us to be willing to work with other people - help us to work graciously with others, allowing each person to do their task while we work alongside. Thank you that when we work together we can do so much more than when we work alone. Amen
With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.
Alongside this story, make the craft...