A. Memorizing prayers
As a first activity, the children can spend some time learning further the prayer introduced in the preceding lesson.
You may present today's quotation by putting the following ideas into your own words:
Out of His infinite love, God has given us laws and teachings to live by. These laws and teachings are like lamps that illumine our path. Through their light, we are able to see how it is that God wants us to live. As we obey His commandments, we draw closer to Him; otherwise we would find ourselves in darkness and we lose our way. So it is that out of our love for God and our desire to attain His good pleasure, we obey the laws and teachings He has so graciously given to us. Love for God moves us to act in ways that are pleasing to Him.
Colourful lamps! (made of simple glass jars, with bits of tissue paper glued all around them)
* creppe paper
* the quote printed out
Below are a few sentences that will help you to explain the meaning of some of the words in the above quotation which the children may find difficult. They are already familiar with the word "glory" from the quotation they memorized in Lesson 15 in the first grade.
1. Once a year all the students in the school gather to hear the principal speak. The principal addresses the students each year.
2. Koichi always speaks to his grandmother with love and humility. Koichi addresses his grandmother with respect.
1. the traffic light turned red, Ethel brought to a stop the car she was driving. Ethel was careful to observe the traffic law.
2. Marisol was always quiet when she visited the library, where the people are asked to remain silent or to speak in whispers. She always observed the rules of the library.
1. Samuel says his prayers every day at morning and at night. Praying daily is one of the commandments of God. By praying Samuel is following God's commandment.
2. Teresa never tells lies. She obeys God's commandment to be truthful.
Sing a few songs with the children, including at least one you have chosen to reinforce the theme of this lesson.
Today you can tell the children the following story, which will provide for them an illustration of joyful obedience:
Haji Muhammad lived during the time of Baha'u'llah, Who, as you know, revealed God's teachings for today. Haji Muhammad was honest in all his dealings as a businessman and was known for his trustworthiness. For a period of time, his work brought him to 'Akka. One day, he was sitting in his office when 'Abdu'l-Baha entered, bringing an urgent message from Baha'u'llah. Haji Muhammad was to leave immediately for the city of Jeddah in Arabia. He asked 'Abdu'l-Baha whether he could have the bounty of attaining the presence of Baha'u'llah before departing. 'Abdu'l-Baha explained that there was no time as the ship was due to leave at any moment. Haji Muhammad closed the office at once and headed straight for the port to board the ship. His desire to obey was so exemplary that he had no other thought but to follow the command of Baha'u'llah.
As soon as Haji Muhammad boarded, the ship set sail. Only then did he realize that, because of the great rush, he had not thought to ask 'Abdu'l-Baha the purpose of his trip to Arabia. Now it was too late! Still, he was not concerned. He was certain that, once he arrived in Jeddah, God would guide his steps.
The sea that day was unusually stormy, and the journey fraught with peril. Everyone was worried that the ship was going to sink - everyone, that is, except for Haji Muhammad. He knew that he would be protected and the ship would arrive safely in Jeddah, for he had been entrusted by Baha'u'llah with a mission to carry out in that city. And the ship did indeed arrive at its destination.
After leaving the ship, Haji Muhammad heard two people talking in Persian among the crowds. Being Persian himself, he appraoched them and discovered that they, too, were Baha'is and were on their way to Akka to visit Baha'u'llah. They had been unjustly imprisoned their faith for ten years and had just been released. This was their first journey to the Holy Land, and they were in need of assistance. It became clear to Haji Muhammad that the purpose of his mission in Jeddah was to help these two souls to find their way to 'Akka and attain the presence of Baha'u'llah, a responsibility which he carried out with great care and attention.
**cards to reorder to tell the story.
**modified from Revelation of Baha''u'llah vol.4 - Adib Taherzadeh
The activities that follow will help the children continue developing the skills and abilities of creative drama.
- Ask your students to stand in their imaginary squares. You may have them do the stretching exercise described in Lesson 2.
- Now tell the children to stretch their arms out at shoulder length and rotate them slowly, making small circles. Gradually the circles should become bigger and bigger. As they do this exercise, their arms will feel heavier and heavier. Tell the children than when their arms feel very heavy, they should let them drop and shake them out.
- For this next exercise, the children are to work outside of their imaginary squares. Explain to them that you are going to call out a shape. Without speaking to one another they should position themselves, so that together they form that shape. To do this, they will need to watch one another carefully and pay close attention to one another's movements. It is suggested that you call out the following shapes: circle, triangle, square, straight line, crooked line.
The above exercise will have helped your students learn to pay attention to one another and coordinate their movements. It builds on the exercise in the preceding lesson in which they were moving around together in a large space. The next exercise will further their understanding of the theme of today's lesson, that we obey God out of our love for Him.
Begin by asking the children to imagine they are passengers boarding the ship that Haji Muhammad sailed on to Jeddah. Once they are all aboard, the ship sets sail under the bright son on clear and still waters. As the shore gradually fades from sight, everyone settles in for the long journey across the sea. At first the sea is calm, but after a short time waves begin to lap against the side of the boat. The ship starts to rock in the wavy sea. Ask the children to look toward the horizon; they see dark clouds fast approaching and hear the distant roll of thunder. The passengers begin to feel afraid. As the waves become bigger and the darkness approaches, they huddle closer together. have the children imagine that big drops of rain being to fall from the sky. Suddenly, thunder cracks overhead, and waves crash against the side of the ship. The rain pours down as it is tossed from side to side. Many of the passengers fear that the ship will sink into the sea. Just when they think all is lost, the storm seems to pass. the rain, the wind and the waves slowly being to die down. Off in the distance, the passengers see the shores of a distant land. The sun gradually appears from behind the clouds, and the sea turns calm once again.
Now ask the children to re-enact the drama, only this time pretending to be like Haji Muhammad on his journey. How would they be different fro the other passengers on the ship? Ask them to show that Haji Muhamamd felt assured and protected by God through all the journey because he knew that he was acting in obedience to Baha'u'llah, God's Manifestation on earth.
Alternative: charades, acting out the different laws/commandments God has sent us.
You could ask the children to draw a picture of Haji Muhammad on the ship to Jeddah, along with the passengers, or you may wish to think of another idea that will reinforce in their minds the theme of today's lesson.
Repeat the quotations from today's lesson and help the children to recite the following quotations that they learned in Grade 1 about contentment and trustworthiness:
"The source of all glory is acceptance of whatsoever the Lord hath bestowed, and contentment with that which God hath ordained." (Listen HERE)
"Trustworthiness is the greatest portal leading unto the tranquillity and security of the people." (Listen HERE)
The class closes with a prayer or quotation recited in the usual manner.