Poor Zacchaeus. I don’t think I’d be too thrilled if the first thing people remembered about me was that I was “small in stature.” Zacchaeus was the star of our Bible lesson from the ABC Jesus Loves Me 3-Year Old Curriculum (Week 26). As we read Luke 19:1-10 I realized that Zacchaeus was much more than a “wee little man,” as the old song calls him. He is a great example of repentance, transforming from a greedy tax collector who thought only of himself into a generous benefactor who recognized how his actions affected had others and tried to make amends. Because of this, I chose to focus on the Golden Rule for our memory verse: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Matthew 7:12 It’s a lesson I think Zacchaeus took to heart, and as Jesus said, “This sums up the Law and the Prophets.” In other words, this is the key to walking in God’s ways. I want to start planting these seeds of truth in my children’s hearts now while they’re so young.
As usual, we told the story in numerous ways. On Monday I introduced the story by explaining what a tax collector was and why people didn’t like Zacchaeus. Then I told the story while using our flannel board set, which the boys still really look forward to every week. After that we read it Ian’s ESV Seek and Find Bible. Throughout the rest of the week we reinforced the story by reading it in The Beginner’s Bible (by Karyn Henley), The Rhyme Bible Storybook, and Classic Bible Stories: A Family Treasury. (We try to read/listen to the ESV passage every day as well.)
We spent time with Zacchaeus in a few other ways this week as well. I printed and laminated a series of picture cards and had Ian put them in the right order to retell the story. He really enjoyed this activity and pulled them out on his own several times. He also remembered the story was on the Charlie Church Mouse Kindergarten CD-ROM and entertained Elijah with it on the computer. (Elijah still can’t figure out how to use the mouse, but he loves watching Ian play games.) Both boys enjoyed watching the “Treasures in Heaven” video from Nest Entertainment.
For Ian’s Bible notebook, we made a picture of Zacchaeus in the tree. I painted Ian’s hand and forearm brown to make the trunk and branches, and then he sponge painted the green leaves. “Zacchaeus” was a print-out from mssscrafts.com (one of my favorite resources when planning Bible lessons).
As alsways, our iPod playlist was one of my most valuable teaching tolds. Our playlist this week contained a few items that related to our Before Five in a Row book, If Jesus Came to My House by Joan G. Thomas, which seemed like a good complement to Zacchaeus, so here’s our complete list. Items related to this Bible lesson are in bold:
- “Do to Others” from Hide ’em in Your Heart Vol. 1 by Steve Green
- “Zacchaeus” from the ESV Audio Drama Children’s Bible from Faith Comes By Hearing
- “Zacchaeus” from My First Hymnal: 75 Favorite Bible Songs
- “Do to Others” from Sing the Word from A to Z by the Harrow Family
- “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson in A Child’s Garden of Verses (also available as an iTunes podcast, I believe)
- “I Whistle a Happy Tune” from The King and I
- “When I am Afraid” from Hide ’em in Your Heart Vol. 1 by Steve Green
- “Do!” from Scripture Rock (Vol. 1)