Tuesday, June 26, 2012

VBS Day One: Scattering Grains of Wheat

It wasn't exactly tied to the lesson for the day, but we had several kinds of beans and grains to make noisemakers last night.  And sure enough, they scattered in all sorts of directions. 

I thought of that Marty Haugen song that many congregations sing around Communion time that has this verse:  "As the grains of wheat once scattered on the hill were gathered into one to become our bread."

Our seeds were falling on bad soil, the linoleum of the church hall.  I thought of those parables, the ones that talk about good soil and rocky soil and thorny soil.

I didn't mention these things to the children who trooped through my room for Arts and Crafts.  I was too busy trying to keep everyone on task so that they could make a noisemaker in 20 minutes.

I'm so glad I decided not to do the seed planting experiment (real seeds and soil) that I had planned to do.  We had enough chaos.

I didn't anticipate chaos.  We had a table full of empty containers and coffee filter containers full of grains and seeds to make noise.  We had magazines, stickers, and construction paper to decorate the outside.  I thought we'd have a smooth process.

Some children focused and finished their noisemaker efficiently.  They had plenty of time to decorate the outside of the container they had chosen.

Other children got distracted by the stickers.  They stuck them everywhere.

The process of pouring grains and beans into the container fascinated other children.  They sacrificed decorating time for the joy of plunging their hands into grains and beans and listening/watching them fall into the container.

Throughout the evening, more beans ended up on the floor than in the noisemakers.  Eventually, the rice and cous cous followed.

Everyone went home with one or two noisemakers.  Everyone seemed happy.  I probably should have taped all the lids.  Hopefully there was no catastrophe with the noisemakers.

I didn't think that last night would be the messy night.  But the clean up was fairly intense.  Luckily, I had lots of helpers.

In the abstract, I've thought of being the Arts and Crafts teacher at some school with bright, creative kids.  It's the dream of art students everywhere!  OK, a few arts students who need health insurance.

But last night reminded me of how exhausting that life would be.  And I had very small groups of children with lots of teen and adult helpers.

Tonight it's on to air dry clay!

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