The Garden of Gethsemane workshops

During the school year, each Rotation for our Cool Disciples (our 1st – 6th graders at FUMC in Ann Arbor, MI) includes six workshops. Here’s the line up for our Rotation on the Garden of Gethsemane.

  • In the Art Workshop kids are creating charcoal drawings visualizing events on the night Jesus was betrayed in the garden of Gethsemane. They are reading the story in Luke.
  • In the Cooking Workshop pretzels are being folded following the practice of a monk 1,400 years ago, who first shaped his dough to represent someone praying. People often prayed at that time, with their arms folded across their chests, each hand on the opposite shoulder. (Try saying your prayers in this manner!) As the pretzels bake, the story is being read from Matthew.
  • In the Drama Workshop the kids read the story in Mark and then enact it (complete with costumes and props). Here’s the 6th grade in action from last week:

  • In the Movement Workshop students hear the story from Luke. After discussion they climb into Body Sox – tubes made of a very stretchy Lycra material. While listening to music they are urged to use their bodies to create expressive movement to depict the retelling of the story. This is captured on video for watching pleasure at the end of the lesson.
  • In the Science Workshop kids are creating little gardens- terrariums. These gardens are not intended to be replicas of the Garden of Gethsemane as they include other symbols of the Easter story – an empty tomb, a rock rolled away, a cross and some flowers. As you care for the garden that your child brings home, talk about the elements of the story. Why is the tomb empty? How about that stone – was it moved away to let Jesus out, or so people could see Jesus had risen from the dead? What does the cross represent?
  • In the Video Workshop students are first reading the story in Matthew and then watching portions of the video The Visual Bible: Matthew. They are watching this live-action video portray Jesus and his disciples first at the Last Supper and then in the garden. This video uses the exact wording from the New International version of the book of Matthew.

What are your children’s reactions to these workshops? What have they learned?

Photo credits:
Photos thanks to Greg Stout.

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