2) Songs: Start the Story Hour with the learning our names song. Go around the circle or table and introduce each child.
3) Prayer... pray a prayer of joy and thanksgiving
4) Theme: Remind the children of the theme of the unit: Our joy in the Lord. “Sing of psalm of joy!” Tell them that they are going to learn about a psalm today that teaches us about our joy in the Lord.
5) Reading the Psalm: In order to simplify things for the children, first summarize the main point(s) of the psalm. In Psalm1, the psalmist is singing about the righteous and the wicked. The righteous are those who love and serve the Lord. The psalm says that the righteous are like a tree- they stand strong and grow tall. The wicked are those who do not love God – they will blow away like dry leaves in the wind. Then read the psalm from the Bible. Then, repeat the main point(s) again, emphasizing the difference between the righteous and the wicked.
6) Sing the Psalm: Sing stanza 2 of today’s psalm with the children . If possible, include some hand motions to highlight key words. In this psalm, try:
- tree… stand with feet together and arms stretched high
- fruit… pretend to pick fruit from a tree
- flourish = grow.. stand like a tree and reach tall on your tip toes
- winds… blow like wind on your outstretched hand
7) Text… you may use a verse from the psalm in the Bible or choose a key line or two from the stanza that you chose to sing with the children. We suggest: “Behold the righteous man is like a tree” Psalm 1 stanza 2
- Tree Craft (Glue) - draw the truck and branches of a tree on a sheet of paper for each child. Cut out many different green leaves and red apples and let the children glue leaves and fruit onto the tree. The older children may like the color grass at the bottom of the picture.
- Tree Craft (Tissue Paper) – another variation is the used balls of crumbled tissue paper. Green for leaves and red for apples.
- Tree Craft (Paint Dabbers)... if you have purchased paint dabbers, set out the green and let the children "dab" on the leaves. Paint trays with green paint and leaf shapes cut from sponges and secured with a clothes pin will also work excellently!
9) Closing Prayer... say the Lord's prayer together with the children
10) Going Home: Round up all the children around the table or sit in a circle again. Sing today’s Psalm (psalm 1:2) together and then sing the closing song. Then, check to see if all the children have collected their crafts and coloring sheets before they go home. Say goodbye and tell them that you enjoyed learning about God together and were happy to have them today! You were, weren’t you?