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be like me {current favs}

for the month of february, at willow chicago, we're teaching lessons titled: Be Like Me {Jesus' teaching from the mountain}. this is the first time we've created original lessons based on the beatitudes + sermon on the mount. it seemed right to add these lessons following january's follow me, and heading into march's easter lessons on jesus loving the world.

i LOVE these lessons for so many reasons -- TOP of the list: it gives us the opportunity to really show off Jesus’ magic! he was unlike anyone, as crowds grew and gathered to hear him speak. loving all and giving every person the opportunity to be near Him and be like Him. as we show that kids, created in jesus' image, can love each other, care for those in need, pray continually, and not worry -- i imagine jesus will do great things in their hearts and lives. original art by molly z

a few of my current favs from this unit: 

Original Art: it's super important to me that we don't use images of jesus as a white man in our curriculum. jesus didn't have white skin, so to show visuals of him with light skin, i think, is teaching the bible inaccurately to our children. BUT, you know. i'm a broken record.

aaron created this fantastic image that we're using in all age classrooms to highlight what it might have looked like when jesus taught the people on the mountain. 

Staging: crystal created this fantastic stage enviroment for our grades 1-3 class based on the concept that kids would feel like they were sitting on the mountainside with jesus while listening to the day's story. i'm in love with this concept -- because, literally, when you sit on the floor and look up at the stage, it feels like you're on a mountain. tapestry by urban outfitters

Toys: we bought a whole heap of new toys so that kids could experience the story during playful station time. for our lesson on caring for those in need, multicultural food books. it's a chance for kids to consider how jesus gives people the food they need.

for next week's lesson, on not worrying (matthew 6), we bought these bird wings for kids to have fun while learning that god clothes and feeds the birds.

and, because MOST of jesus' teachings on becoming like him are based on loving each other, we bought several sets of these toy people so that kids in all classrooms could pretend play situations in which they showed love to someone who looked similar + different to them.

Music: yancy generously sent us her new kidmin worship DVDs, and boy, are we in love. we've introduced a few songs for these lessons -- specifically, all creatures of our god + king (gorgeous floral design that matches well with the moutainside creative design), and wanna be like jesus, which of course, is the perfect lesson pair!

now it's your turn---what are your current favorite things? i'd love to be inspired by your ideas. 

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