Preschool Curriculum

 

June OMF

Look What I Can Do

by Weslea Bell

Concept Area: Self

Missions Area: Middle America and the Caribbean Panama

Unit Outcomes:

 

Writer: Weslea Bell is a freelance writer and teacher living in Lebanon, Tennessee. She and her husband, Martin, have two daughters. Addison is five-years-old, and Chapel is six-years-old. She is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church. 

 

Session I

Interest Areas (about 45 minutes)

Art. Materials: kit item 16 “Panama Panorama”; multi-colored ribbons; fabric strips; fabric glue; sequins; plastic flowers; scissors; glue; refrigerator sized box

 

Create interest in the colorful landscapes and intriguing people of Panama with an eye-catching icon of a typical street scene. Cut one side and one end from the box so that children can sit inside and pretend they’re riding in a Panamanian public bus. Cut at least three 7” x 9” windows in each side of the bus. The windows will be utilized later in the unit.

 

Give preschoolers the opportunity to decorate using a combination of the materials listed above. Choose enough items from the list to give the bus variety and pizzazz, but not so many that preschoolers will be overwhelmed and end up making a mess rather than decorating.

 

It may be a good idea to paint the bus a bright color before class begins so that preschoolers will have a solid background on which to work. The more colors on projects like this, the better! You may also want to write “Welcome to Panama!” and “Jesus loves you!” on two sheets of poster board to add to the preschoolers’ decorations when the bus is finished. Images from “Panama Panorama” can be cut out and glued to the bus in random places to give it a more authentic appearance. This is a great interest grabber and can serve as a discussion starter throughout the unit.

 

Next week when the paint and glue on the bus is dry, place chairs, beanbags or carpet squares inside to make it feel more like a real bus. Find a steering wheel from a used ride-toy or make one from a sheet of cardboard cut in a circle and covered with foil; a flat, round dish; the lid from an oatmeal or coffee container; or any other round household item. With a permanent marker draw spokes on the steering wheel and use hot glue to fasten it to the inside of the bus. You could also use these items to create headlights or wheels. Plastic wrap on the front of the bus could simulate a windshield. The finished bus will be a great introduction and conclusion activity for class. Each time preschoolers gravitate toward it, remind them that God loves the people riding on the buses in Panama.  

 

Open the Bible and read: God made people (see Gen. 1:27).

 

Games and Manipulatives. Materials: kit item 17 “On the Move”

            Cut out pictures from kit item 17 “On the Move” and instruct preschoolers to sit in a straight line. Display pictures one at a time and ask preschoolers to think about ways the animals they see may get from one place to another. For example, the sloth may slump slowly across the floor. Lead the class to travel around the room in the same fashion as the Panamanian animals. Reading the captions on the pictures will give preschoolers a good idea of how the animals move.

            Open the Bible and read: I am wonderfully made (see Psalm 139:14).   

 

Books. Materials: I Can Do It (W038103 $9.99); variety of books about jungle animals from public library

 

            Create a comfortable reading area and make picture books available to preschoolers. Comment on God’s creativity and power as preschoolers explore the vast array of jungle creatures He has made. Dave and Nancy Cline’s home is located near a Panamanian jungle.

 

Group Time (about 15 minutes)

            Invite preschoolers to join you on the rug or at the table to talk about their favorite pets. Bring a picture of your pet or a friend’s pet to class and show it to them. Briefly discuss things we learn about God through taking care of animals. After preschoolers have had ample opportunity to share their own experiences, read the story.

 

God’s Furry Gift

Lauren and Gina pressed their noses against the glass and gazed at the furry, roly-poly puppies in the pet store window.

 

            “They’re so cute!” Lauren squealed.

            “Oh Mom, “Gina pleaded. “Can’t we buy one? Please? I miss Toto so much, and you promised we would look for a new pet as soon as we got to Panama.”

            Lauren and Gina’s mom thought the puppies were adorable, but she also knew they were very expensive. She didn’t say anything at first, but then she had an idea.

            “God knows how much you miss Toto, and He knows how much you want another pet. Let’s pray about it and see what God has in mind for us.”

Do you ever talk to God about your problems? He says He will always listen when we pray. He loves us and wants us to talk to Him.

Gina and Lauren’s parents are missionaries. They think about ways to share God’s love with people every day. When their family moved from Tennessee to Panama, they left behind their family pets. Why did they move to Panama? Because many people there don’t read the Bible or sing praise songs or know about Jesus. Gina and Lauren’s family wanted to teach people about Jesus, but they began to miss the pets they had left behind. Would God provide a cuddly new pet for them? 

When we have a problem, the best thing to do is to talk to God about it. So the whole family asked God if He would please guide them to a new family dog. For weeks nothing happened, but Gina and Lauren continued to pray. They didn’t lose hope.

One day Lauren and Gina’s daddy traveled to a village in Panama where very few people knew about Jesus. He walked from house to house telling stories from the Bible. God helped the villagers listen to the good news about Jesus. One of the villagers owned a small, black dog, and guess what? She had six fluffy little black puppies!

When Lauren and Gina’s daddy came home from the village, he had the most wonderful surprise!

“God has blessed you today!” he shouted as he burst through the front door. “Look!” In his hands was a ball of fur with perky ears and a tiny, wet nose.

“Bark!” exclaimed their new pet.

Lauren and Gina praised God for hearing and answering their prayer.

 

Comprehension Questions: Why were Gina and Lauren sad at the beginning of the story? What happened at the end of the story? Who should we talk to when we have a problem?

 

Distribute Share.

 

Session 2

Interest Areas (about 45 minutes)

Homeliving. Materials: 2 cups flour; 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 tablespoon salt; 1/3 cup shortening; 1/3 cup ice water; toaster or conventional oven; large bowl

            In advance post the allergy alert chart (p. 96, First Steps in Missions) to notify parents of this tasting activity.

Ask preschoolers to share their favorite breakfast foods. Missionaries Dave and Nancy live in Panama. Typical breakfast foods in Panama include corn tortillas with cheese, eggs, empanadas and strong coffee.  Allow preschoolers to take turns helping with each step of this recipe for empanadas.

1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

2. Cut the shortening into the flour as though you were making a pie crust by working it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Sprinkle dough with just enough ice water so that it will just hold together. Knead together briefly and allow to rest, covered about 10 minutes.

4. Roll dough out on a lightly floured board to circles about 3-4 inches in diameter. Give each preschooler his or her own circle along with a teaspoon of grated cheese. Show them how to moisten the edges of the circle with a small amount of water and fold the dough over the cheese to make a half circle. Press the edges together to seal.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Blocks. Materials: a real camping tent; large sheets of dark paper or heavy blankets; flashlights; pots and pans; soundtrack of jungle sounds or music

Set up the tent and cover the windows with dark paper or heavy blankets ahead of time. Tell preschoolers that Dave and Nancy sometimes travel to jungle villages in Panama. They tell the villagers that Jesus loves them and thinks they’re very special.  Guide preschoolers to use the blocks to build a campfire in front of the tent. Distribute flashlights and darken the room. Pretend to cook over the fire while listening to jungle sounds or music. Preschoolers may use the bus they created last week to ride to the campsite.

Nature. Materials: small paper bags

Take a hike outside to collect nature items. When you return to the classroom, compare the items preschoolers collected with Kit Item 7 Welcome to Panama! Praise God for His ability to create so many different kinds of environments.

Games and Manipulatives. Materials: Kit Item 18 “Watch Your Step!”; beanbag; tape; strips of black paper

 

Cut out the pictures of Panamanian creatures commonly found underfoot in the jungle from Kit Item 18 “Watch Your Step!” Arrange the pictures on the floor in a straight line leaving a foot between each one. Connect the two sides of the pictures to one other using strips of black paper. Use tape to secure the design, which will resemble a hopscotch board, except that the alternating pictures and empty spaces are arranged in a straight line. 

            Preschoolers take turns tossing the beanbag and jumping, either on one foot or two depending on the ability of the group, until the reach the beanbag. Emphasize the way God has blessed the preschoolers with healthy bodies capable of playing the game. Comment on how wise and exciting God is to be able to create such an interesting place as Panama.

 

Group Time. (about 15 minutes) Materials: Kit Item 19 “The Great Physician”

Encourage preschoolers to sit in a circle for story time by showing them a real stethoscope. Let them take turns listening to their own heartbeat. If the class is small enough, gather inside the bus for group time.

 

Victoriano’s Extraordinary Day

Victoriano stood in line patiently outside his school. It seemed that everyone in the village had come to welcome the group of special visitors from the city.

Victoriano strained his neck to see over the other children in line. “What do you think they’re doing up there?” he asked his best friend Enrique.

“I have no idea,” Enrique replied, “but I hear laughing and something smells really good.”

Slowly the line began to move forward. Victoriano’s legs were tired from standing so long, and beads of sweat were trickling down his face, but he didn’t dare get out of line. Whatever the visitors from the city were doing in the front, he wanted to know what it was. He was willing to wait all day if he had to.

Victoriano’s village was high in the mountains. To get to it visitors had to ride a bus for many hours and hike up a steep mountain.

            “Hey, look!” Enrique exclaimed. “It’s almost our turn!”

            “Good morning,” a lady said to the boys. “My name is Dr. Nancy.”

            Victoriano found himself looking into the kind, loving eyes of a lady holding a stethoscope.

            “I’m going to give you a check-up, and then you can go right over to the tent and get some breakfast. We’re serving warm corn tortillas, eggs and empanadas. Does that sound good to you?”

            Victoriano hardly knew what to say. Of course it sounded good – it sounded great! Victoriano’s family didn’t have much money for buying food, so getting to eat breakfast was a wonderful treat. No doctor lived in Victoriano’s village, so this would be the first time anyone ever checked his ears, throat, heart and tummy to make sure he was healthy.

            As Dr. Nancy examined Victoriano, she asked him if he had ever heard the good news that Jesus loved him. He hadn’t. No one had ever read him a Bible story or told him about God’s son Jesus. Dr. Nancy explained that God loved him so very much. She told him he was special, that there was no one else in the world just like him.

            God sent Dr. Nancy to Victoriano’s village that day to take care of his body and his heart. She gave him medicine and vitamins he needed for a healthy body and the good news of the love of Jesus for a healthy heart. Thank You, God, for Dr. Nancy!

 

Comprehension Questions:

Who did Victoriano and his friend Enrique meet at the front of the line? Why had Dr. Nancy come to their village?

 

Session 3

Interest Areas. (about 45 minutes)

 

Homeliving. Materials: doctor’s kit

            Remind preschoolers of last week’s story about Victoriano and Dr. Nancy. Allow time for preschoolers to play with the doctor’s kit, emphasizing Dave and Nancy’s desire to care for people’s bodies and hearts. 

Art. Materials: 2 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11’’wax paper for each preschooler in the class; black construction paper; plain white paper; pencil; lamp or flashlight; scissors; double stick tape; the Panamanian public bus from Session 1

Create a busload of passengers traveling through the streets of Panama by taping preschoolers’ silhouettes into the windows. As you trace the shadows of each preschooler’s face, comment on his or her beautiful eyes, adorable nose, smooth skin and other special features.

Open the Bible and read: God made us and we are his (see Psalm 100:3). Also read: God gave us ears to hear and eyes to see (see Prov. 20:12).   

Tape the piece of white paper to the wall, and ask a preschooler to stand sideways in front of the paper. Have someone hold the lamp or flashlight in front of the child so that there is a clear shadow. Trace around the shadow of the preschooler’s profile. Cut out the silhouette. Trace the silhouette onto the black paper and cut it out. Mount the black silhouette on the full sheet of wax paper with double stick tape. Tape the silhouettes into the windows of the bus to create the illusion that the bus is full of passengers. 

 

Music and Movement. Materials: the Panamanian public bus from Session 1; small, plastic containers with lids; rice or beans; plastic spoons

            Give preschoolers a small bowl of rice and a spoon so that they can fill a container with rice. When the container is half full, replace the top.

            Invite preschoolers to sit inside the bus with their rice shakers as you sing the following words to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus.”

 

            The Clines’ on the bus say, “God loves you!

            God loves you! God loves you!”

            The Clines’ on the bus say, “God loves you!”

            All over Panama.

 

            Missionaries tell the whole wide world

            Whole wide world, whole wide world

            Missionaries tell the whole wide world

            That Jesus is God’s Son.

 

I’m a missionary, how ‘bout you?

            How ‘bout you? How ‘bout you?

I’m a missionary, how ‘bout you?

Let’s tell our friends about Jesus!

           

Group Time. (about 15 minutes) Materials: Kit Item 20 “Exercise Your Body”

To encourage preschoolers to gather for story time, hold up Kit Item 20 “Exercise Your Body” Ask them to follow your moves as you stretch and lunge your way to the story area. Generate interest in the story by asking preschoolers if you can see their muscles. Tell them gymnasts have to practice and exercise a lot in order to learn to do flips, walk on their hands, do back handsprings, swing on the uneven bars and flip on the trampoline. Sometimes they do warm-up exercises like sitting in a circle and stretching their legs and toes. Invite preschoolers to sit with their legs stretched out toward the middle of the circle and point and flex their toes. Explain that today’s story is about Gina and Lauren’s trip to their gymnastics class.

 

Practicing Jesus

            Gina and Lauren’s parents are missionaries in Panama, and they love to tell people about Jesus everywhere they go. You can be a missionary, too, if you tell your friends that Jesus loves them. You don’t have to talk about Jesus just when you’re at church. You can talk about Him wherever you go!

            During this story, every time you hear the word missionary touch your fingers to your lips. Remember, missionaries are people who use their voices to share God’s love with others. Let’s practice – Missionary! Good job!

Talking about Jesus may make you nervous at first, but the more you practice, the better you will feel about it. Every time you hear me say, Jesus point your toes. Remember that gymnasts have to practice so they can get good at their moves, and we have to practice so we can get good at sharing the love of Jesus.  

“Today’s Monday!” Gina said excitedly. “It’s gymnastics day!”

“I’ve been practicing my handsprings all week,” said Lauren. “Today’s the day I’m going to do it perfectly.”

Lauren held her hands high over her head, lifted her right knee and sprinted across the room. She took a little jump, sprung upside down and then right side up again, and stood perfectly straight and tall.

“Ta-da!” she beamed.

“That was great, Lauren,” said her sister. “Our teacher is going to be so proud of you. Hey, there’s another reason today’s an important gymnastics day.”

“Why?”

“Because,” Gina said, “I’ve been praying all week for Margarite. Today I’m going to talk to her about Jesus. I’m a little nervous, but I know God will be with me and let me know just what to say.”

“I know you can do it,” said Lauren, putting her arm around her sister. “You know, Mom and Dad moved here to Panama as missionaries, but we’re missionaries, too. Everywhere we go we should tell people about the wonderful love of Jesus. Now, let’s try that handspring one more time, ok?”

Lauren held her hands over her head, lifted her right knee, and sprinted across the room again. All the practicing was paying off for the handspring, and all the praying was paying off for sharing Jesus with their friends. You can be a missionary, too. Pray for your friends and talk to them about Jesus. At school, at the park, at the swimming pool, at a friend’s house, and everywhere you go, let the world know that Jesus is the best!

 

Comprehension Questions: Why was Lauren excited about going to her gymnastics class? Who can you tell about Jesus this week?

 

Distribute Share.

 

Session 4

Music and Movement. Materials: two different sized empty tin cans for each preschooler; strong tape; strips of a rubber inner tube or thick strips of craft foam; metal spoons 

Ask preschoolers if they enjoy playing musical instruments. The children who live in the Panama also love music. When missionaries like Dave and Nancy Cline tell the children about Jesus, they can worship Him with their voices and with their instruments. Today we’re going to make an instrument the children in Panama like to play.

Put tape around the edges of the opened tin cans ahead of time to prevent accidents. Give each preschooler two cans of differing sizes. Place rubber or foam in between the cans and help preschoolers tape the cans together. The rubber or foam will absorb the vibration.  Make sure the bottoms of the tins are aligned. You can tape as many different sized tins together as you like. Hit the bottom of the tins with a spoon for an Agogo.  Rub the side of your biggest tin for a guiro!

 

Art. Materials: small jars; water; red, blue and yellow food coloring; eye droppers; paper; red, blue and yellow paint; paintbrushes

            Fill the jars with water. Allow preschoolers to take turns squeezing food coloring into the water with the eye droppers. Remind preschoolers that the bright public buses, the lively, exciting jungles, and the amazing people God has created make Panama a beautiful, colorful place.

            Now put the food coloring aside and replace it with blue, yellow and red paint. Give preschoolers paper and brushes and tell them to paint a flower using only the colors you have provided. As they paint remind them that Dave and Nancy Cline live near a colorful jungle. Someone will eventually ask for green paint, since it’s hard to paint plants with no green. At this point, retrieve the jars of colored water. Ask them what they can do to change the colors they have been given to green. If no one knows that mixing yellow and blue make green, demonstrate by pouring the blue water into the yellow water. Draw preschoolers’ attention to the way the colors swirl together and create something totally new. That’s how it is when we tell people about Jesus. He comes into their lives, swirls around in their hearts, and they become something totally new.

            Ask preschoolers if they’re glad you (or someone else) told them how to make green. Explain that we need to tell others about Jesus. If no one tells people about Jesus, they won’t know about how beautiful their lives can be if He’s in charge. Dave and Nancy Cline live in Panama and tell the people there about Jesus.

Give the preschoolers time to complete their paintings, mixing the paint as they go. Write “Work with your hands (See 1 Thess. 4:11)” on the paintings for preschoolers to take home.

Remember, yellow + blue = green; yellow + red = orange; blue + red = purple; and blue + red + purple = brown.

 

Group Time. (about 15 minutes) Materials: Sing It and Say It CD track 54

Join hands with preschoolers and sing Children around the World as you walk in a circle. Sit down at the end with hands grasped. Now you’re ready for story time!

 

 Showers of Blessings for Christmas

            When you think of Christmas morning, do you picture snowmen and lots of presents under the tree? In Panama, Christmas day feels a lot like summertime does here in the United States. The temperature is usually around 80 degrees, which is pretty hot, and it’s often rainy instead of snowy. Instead of having the four seasons of fall, winter, spring and summer, Panama has just two seasons of rainy or dry. Christmas happens during the rainy season.

At Christmas time in Panama raindrops glisten off wide, green leaves of trees. The ground is soft and wet, and you can feel your shoe sinking into the dirt a bit when you walk. Shiny, black ants scurry around under the leaves and birds huddle together to stay dry in their nests. The jungle smells nice after a rain. The green plants love to take long sips of water and stretch their leaves as high and tall as they can. (Can you stretch your arms high and tall like a growing plant?)

The sloth and the snake and the macaw love to drink the rain. Of all the cool animals and plants, God’s loves the people of the jungle most. He wants everyone who lives there to understand His great love for them, so guess what He does? He sends missionaries to their villages. He tells the missionaries to let His beautiful people know that He cares for them and loves them very much.

            Dave Cline knows that God loves all people everywhere, and that He wants them to know what it feels like to be loved. He goes to the poor families and gives the children Christmas presents. Dave wants children to know that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because we have a wonderful Savior named Jesus.

The people of Panama wonder why this man travels such a long way away to give them presents. They listen to him as he explains that Christmas is about Jesus, and Jesus loves them. Jesus wants them to pray to Him. Jesus wants to talk to them and tell them what they should do about different problems they’re having in their lives. Jesus wants them to come to Heaven to live with Him forever. Who is going to tell the people in Panama about this wonderful message from Jesus? Missionaries are going to do it! Jesus gives missionaries the job of telling people about Him, and we can be missionaries, too!

 

Comprehension questions: What is the weather like at Christmas time in Panama? Why does Dave Cline travel to the villages of Panama?