How to portray grace by bending wire

Child with wire sculpture creationprodigal son art sculpture

In the Art Workshop for our current Rotation, kids are creating grace poses.

What??

After hearing the Parable of the Prodigal Son, they are sculpting with wire or pipe cleaners, a picture of forgiveness and grace in action.

Because that is what the father offered his wayward son: grace.

Surprising isn’t it?

Exhibited behavior by the son has deeply wounded his father.

The father could have replied with rub-it-in-your-face contempt: I knew you’d amount to nothing. I told you so!
He could have displayed disgust: You’re back? Don’t expect a handout from me.
He could have shown a stiff shoulder: Who are you and what do you want?

But instead, he shows love and forgiveness; he grants grace.

This Art Workshop lesson gives kids a chance to visualize and express what it is that grace looks like. I saw hugging, arms out-stretched and bended knees.

What is grace?

Grace is God’s unconditional love that forgives us even when we mess up.
We deserve the worst, but we are offered an escape route. A do-over.
And it’s a free gift!

Explore this concept further in your family unit. When your child brings home their wire sculpture, ask them if you can play with it. (You may need to remove the staples holding the figures in their current pose.) Reread the story in Luke 15:11-32 with your child and pause to shape the figures…

  • Read Luke 15:11-13. Show the scene of the son leaving home. How do you suppose the father looks? What about the older brother?
  • Read Luke 15:14-19. What would the ah-ha moment look like when the son came to his senses? How do you suppose the presumably waiting and watching father is looking?
  • Read Luke 15:20-24. Shape a scene of grace.
  • Read Luke 15:25-32. How does the angry older brother look?
  • Jesus didn’t provide an ending to this story! Do you suppose the older brother goes to the party? Shape an ending scene to the story the way you think it happened.


Photo credits: from my archives.

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Jesus’ birth had lots of drama

Traditional Sunday school class almost never included acting out skits. (I know. I taught for 10 years using that “old” way.) There just wasn’t enough time to squeeze in a play amongst everything else going on — the story, an art project, a game, and a snack! (Besides, a teacher just couldn’t accumulate enough bathrobes.)

Rotation.org logoThat’s what makes the Workshop Rotation Model of teaching Sunday school, unique: We devote an entire class to using various dramatic methods. The goal is not a polished production, but a fun way to learn a Bible story.

We’ve got a closet full of costumes. (We even have a cow costume!) We’ve got a stage with velvet curtains. We recruit gregarious workshop leaders (and Shepherds!) who like teaching through drama. (And who don’t mind dressing up in silly costumes and playing a few parts now and then.)

Does it work? You be the judge. Gather the family around and view the skits created in our Drama Workshop, taped during our recent Rotation on the story of the birth of Jesus.

The 2nd grade:

Can’t see the 2nd grade video? View it here on YouTube.

The 3rd grade:

Can’t see the 3rd grade video? View it here on YouTube.

The 4th grade:

Can’t see the 4th grade video? View it here on YouTube.

The 1st and the 5th graders:

Can’t see the 1st and 5th grade video? View it here on YouTube.

And our 6th graders performed for our younger kids (3 year olds through K’s)…

Can’t see this video? View it here on YouTube.

I’ll bet this prompts the kids to get out their bathrobes and a flashlight and some sunglasses!

Photo credits:
Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Dramatic videos produced as a part of our current Rotation at FUMC in Ann Arbor, MI.

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