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GIS VBS Day 1 Pre-K: The Good Soil Bible Lesson

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In A Nutshell

Jesus used The Parable of the Sower to teach us that we must open our hearts to God’s word. Farmer Paul uses hands-on teaching with a garden to convey the message that we want to have a good heart, so God’s love will grow in us. This lesson is part of the Growing In The Son VBS, but it can be easily adapted and used as a stand alone Bible Lesson.

GIS VBS Day 1 Pre-K: The Good Soil Bible Lesson

Ages

Preschool, Young Elementary

Scripture

Luke 8:4-8, Luke 8:11-15

Memory Verse

“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:20

What You Will Need

  • Garden plot, children’s wading pool or heart-shaped garden (See Related Activities).
  • Tarp to go under the wading pool if inside
  • Basket full of different vegetables, garden fruits and even flowers. If possible, have some Pansies either real or silk.
  • Bible
  • Bucket for teacher and each child
  • Peanuts in the shell to represent seeds
  • Trowel
  • Packed down dirt to make hard crusty soil (If you have clay soil, wet it and the top will harden)
  • Rocks
  • Weeds with roots (the easiest way is to dig some up with a shovel and transport with the dirt and roots)
  • Soft, fertile soil like potting soil
  • Drawing of a plant (See Downloads below).
  • 3-4 silk flowers standing up in small cups (use a bit of clay in the bottom to hold them in place)
  • Hand wipes or some sort of hand washing station
  • Plant Illustration (See Downloads Below).
  • White paper
  • Pansy Pig (You can use any pig puppet or make your own from a stuffed animal. See Related Activities).
  • Complete Day 1 Seed Packet

Station Preparation

  • For the garden, you can use a plot of ground outside, or create an indoor or outdoor garden, using a children’s wading pool or our heart-shaped pool filled with dirt. To create the heart-shaped pool from pool noodles, see Garden Instructions in Related Activities. If you elect to go outside, be sure you have a tent or some sort of cover in case of bad weather. If you are able to create a plot of ground outside, go the extra mile and make it in the shape of a heart. Plan to use it as a flower garden after VBS. Children will do all the planting and you will have a visible reminder of Bible school all summer long.

  • Garden soil prep: Divide your garden plot into 4 areas.

    • Hard soil: (If you have clay soil, wet it and the top will harden)
    • Stony ground: put a thin layer of soil on top of a layer of rocks
    • Weedy ground: put a lot of weeds in the soil
    • Soft, fertile soil
  • Buckets: Add a handful of peanuts to each bucket

Prayer

Start your lesson with a group or silent prayer.

Bible Lesson

(Have children enter and sit around the garden).

Farmer: Welcome to Son Garden. I am Farmer Paul and this is Pansy Pig.

Pansy: Hi everyone! I am just soooo excited to be here! Yippee! When I get excited I say, Yippee! How about every time I say “Yippee” you stand up and yell it too. Want to try it? (children nod heads). Yippee! (Yippee!)

Farmer: I’m excited about being here too. Can anyone tell me what kind of animal Pansy is? (Pig).

Farmer: That’s right. Let’s play a game with Pansy so that we can learn each other’s names. This game is called “Pass the Pansy”.

Pansy: You’re passing me around?

Farmer: No, since you were named for the flower, pansy, we will pass around a bouquet of pansies. (Pull out the bouquet). When you are holding the pansies, you tell us your name, we will all welcome you, then you will pass the flowers on to the next person. Pansy will start. (Pansy says her name and everyone welcomes her by saying “Hi Pansy”. Farmer Paul has the next turn then passes the flowers to one of the children. Continue around the room until every child has had a turn).

Farmer: Did you know that this week we will be planting a garden?

Pansy: A garden? Really?

Farmer: Yes, Pansy.

Pansy: Yippee! (Yippee!) I just love gardens. I love carrots and tomatoes and green beans and....

Farmer: We get the picture. How many of you have a garden at home? What kinds of things do you grow in a garden? (Have children give responses. If they name something you have in the basket, have Pansy pull it out and show it to the group. After they run out of ideas, you can move on, or go ahead and identify the other items in your basket).

Pansy: And here is my favorite thing to grow in the garden... pansies! Ta-da! (pulls out pansies and shows the class).

Farmer: Today we are going to be planting God’s garden.

Pansy: Yippee! (Yippee!) How do we do that?

Farmer: That’s what we are going to learn this week.

Bible Story - Parable of the Sower

Farmer: Did you know that Jesus told a story about a farmer and his garden in the Bible? (Hold up a Bible). This is our garden. (Point to the heart-shaped garden).

Pansy: I know what shape it is. Does anyone else? Yes, its a heart.

Farmer: That’s right. In the story Jesus told, the farmer was planting seeds. When we take seeds and plant them in the soil and give them water and sunshine they will grow into plants that give us vegetables and flowers. (Give each child a bucket with “seeds”). The farmer took his seed and threw it out over the ground. (Throw seed making sure some lands in all four sections of your garden. Have children throw out their seed too). But the farmer’s soil, like our soil here, was not all the same.

Pansy: You’re right. It does look different. What’s wrong with that soil over there? (Points to hard soil).

Farmer: (Touch the soil). In this part of the garden there was a path. Many people walked the path until the soil was packed down hard. The seeds that landed in this part of the garden stayed on top and did not sink into the soil). If seeds lay on top of the ground for very long, who is going to fly in and eat them? (Birds). I want you to all get up and follow me around the garden flapping your wings like birds. (“Fly” around the garden a few times then have everyone return to their seats). So the seeds that land on the hard soil get gobbled up by the birds. (Reach and gather up all the seeds from the hard soil).

Farmer: So is hard ground a good place to plant our seeds? (No).

Pansy: What about that soil? (Points to rocky soil).

Farmer: This soil looks okay on top, but if we dig down (dig down with trowel) look what we find. (Pull out a rock). What is it? (A rock). (Hold up The Rocky Ground picture. See Downloads below.) . When a plant grows, it grows up on top of the ground, we call this the stem. At the same time, it also grows below ground. Does anyone know what we call this part? (The roots). If we plant our seeds here, the plants will start to grow but there is no place for the roots to grow. When the sun comes out, the plant will wilt and die.

Pansy: Let’s pretend to be the plants.

Farmer: Okay. (Have children crouch down. Pretend to grow by slowly straightening up and stretching your arms toward the sun). So we’re growing nice and straight and tall and then suddenly the sun comes out. (Pretend to wilt and crouch back down to the ground).

Pansy: That was fun!

Farmer: Yes, it was. Let’s see what we learned. Is rocky ground a good place to plant our seeds? (No). (Remove the seeds from that section of the garden).

Pansy: How about that ground with the weeds in it? Will our seeds grow good there?

Farmer: Something grows in this soil. But with all this stuff already growing here, our seeds aren’t going to have room to grow, they will never get to see the sun. The plants will be choked out and die.

Pansy: Let’s pretend to be the plants.

Farmer: Okay. Let’s all stay sitting but stretch our stems and leaves toward the sun. (Stretch arms upward). We can’t grow any bigger because the weeds are over top of us blocking the sun. So we choke and die. (Pretend to choke and fall over on the floor).

Farmer: So is weedy ground a good place to plant our seeds? (No). (Remove the seeds from this section of the garden).

Pansy: That leaves only one kind of soil left. What’s so special about it?

Farmer: The last section of the garden had good soil. (Pick up a handful of soil and put it in a bucket to pass around to the group to let them touch). The farmer’s seeds that landed here settled softly into the soft rich dirt where the birds could not reach them. Gently bury the seeds into the soil. Their roots had plenty of soil and they grew deep to reach the water. There were no weeds to block out the sun so their stems grew straight toward the sun. The plants that landed in the good soil grew tall and strong and multiplied many times over. (Put in fake flowers that stand up and push the dirt up around them to cover the cup).

Farmer: So is good soil where we want to plant our seeds? (Yes)

Pansy: So what makes this God’s garden?

Farmer: I’m glad you asked. Jesus told us that people’s hearts are like a garden and the seeds are God’s love. The good soil is like people with good hearts. They love God. When they hear his words they stop to listen and open their hearts to the message. God’s word takes root in their heart and grows. We want to have a good heart so God’s love will grow.

Summarize

What kind of heart do we want for our garden? (A good heart). Why? (So God’s love will grow). Each day at Growing In the Son Vacation Bible School, you will get a special seed packet. This is today’s packet. (Show decorated seed packet for day 1). Since today’s lesson was about having a good heart, what do you think we have inside? (3 Hearts). Each heart has our daily message.

Pansy: You mean about having a good heart so God’s love will grow?

Farmer: That’s exactly right, Pansy. And I have a special task for each of you.

Pansy: You do?

Farmer: Yes. I would like for you to share these hearts and the message with at least two people in your life before you come back to Bible school tomorrow. You will get your own seed packet and get to decorate it during Cornfield Crafts.

Pansy: Yippee! (Yippee).

Prayer

End your lesson with a group or silent prayer.

Extras

If you want to download the whole weeks lessons for Preschool and Kindergarten, see downloads below.

Downloads

About Jeff and Becky


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