- Toy animals: set out a bucket of animals today! Ask the children as they play: how does an (animal) show God's glory? Marvel at all the amazing creatures that God has created.
- Puppets: set out only animal puppets. See above.
- Felt Board: set out only animal pictures. See above.
- Playdough: set out rolling pins, cutters and cookie cutters in animal shapes. See above.
2) Songs: Start the Story Hour with the learning our names song. Go around the circle or table and introduce each child.
3) Prayer... glorify God in your prayer
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 8, the psalmist is singing about the glory of God. The whole creation sings of God’s glory. Even little children sing God’s glory. Isn’t amazing that God created us to sing his glory too? 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, try:
glorious/glorify… make a motion like sparks with your fingers to show the shining of God’s glory
creation… fan your arms in a circle about waist level, as if to motion
to everything on earth
skies… fan your arms in circle pointing straight up, as it to motion
every thing above the earth
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: “How glorious is thy name in all creation!” Psalm 8 (stanza 1, line 2)
- All creation sings God’s glory (Mobile)…any of the creation crafts work well here. You could make a mobile with a picture of the earth for the center and all birds, animals, sun, moon, starts, etc hanging from that. Tip: I copied and pasted free coloring pages that I found on-line into a document and shrunk each picture down to 25% of the original size in order to put four pictures on a page. This would allow you to print out lots of animal, etc pictures so that the children could choose some to color. Simple cut out the colored pictures after the lesson, mount them on cardstock to make them more durable and hang them with string. If you laminate the pictures, this craft can become part of your more permanent displays.
- All creation sings God’s glory (Poster)… use this as the title for a poster. Hand out pictures of animals, birds, reptiles, fish, little children, mountains, sun, moon, stars, etc and let the children choose one or more to color. Cut out all the pictures and make a poster together. See tip above.
- All Creation Sings God's Glory (Window Display)... do you have a large display window(s) in your classroom? Use window markers/paints to write the title/text across the top and allow the children (we suggest one or two at a time depending on how large and easily accessible your window is) to draw/paint something that God made on the window. We love the "window writer" bingo dabber style window paints made by the same company that makes the paint dabbers we love - non-messy, non-drippy paint that goes on bright, stays bright for weeks and washes off easily with Windex and paper towels. Looks like these, but says "window writer"....
- All creation sings God's glory (Pictures)... provide lots of pictures of different animals. Let the children choose several to color, cut out and glue to their page. Ask the children how God that animal special and write down their answers.
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 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?