2) Songs: Start the Story Hour with the learning our names song (go around the circle or table and introduce each child.
3) Prayer... thank God that we can go to church to worship.
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 Psalm 100, the psalmist is singing about giving praise and thanks to God for his goodness. When we worship God – at home with our family, at school or Story Hour, or at church, we can say thank you to God because he made us and we belong to him. Thank you God. Then, read the psalm from the Bible. Then, repeat the main point(s) again.
6) Sing the Psalm: Sing today’s psalm with the children. You may sing all or only one stanza depending on what is appropriate for your psalm. If possible, include some hand motions to highlight key words. In this psalm (stanza 3), try:
Come… make a backwards wave with one hand like “come here”
Raise… two hands lifted upwards
House… use both hands to make a roof like a house or church
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. “Come, enter then his gates with praise”
Psalm 100 (stanza 3, line 1)
- Come to church craft… print of the church picture. Cut out the church and cut the doors (and exacto knife might make the job easier) so that they can open and close. Have the children color the church picture and then glue the church onto a sheet of construction paper- a light color is best. Show the children how to "open" the doors, and have each child color a picture of themselves inside the church. For the youngest children, draw a simple person for them to color. Church template: http://www.sundayschoolresources.com/coloringpaget10.htm
- "His Faithfulness Endures through ALL generations"... provide the children a collection of magazines and have them look for peoples faces - especially of different ages. Try to find a baby, a child, an adult and a senior. Cut out the faces and glue them on a sheet of construction paper. (Alternatively, print out pictures of those faces and let the children color them, cut them and glue them. Give each child a recipe card with the text ("... his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:5) written on it and two holes punched at the top. Glue the text card to the construction paper. Tie a string through the the holes so that the children can hang the picture up at home.
- Finger Rhyme:
Here is the church;
Here is the steeple.
Open the doors;
See all the people!
9) Closing Prayer... say the Lord's prayer together with the children10) Going Home: Round up all the children around the table or sit in a circle again. Sing today’s Psalm together and then sing the closing. 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?