Invite a volunteer up to the front. Explain to the class that you are going to pretend that this child is somebody else (give him/her a false name not associated with anyone in school) and say that this child is very, very naughty!
Ask the children to make up different naughty things that the child might do. After each suggestion, have the child mime that behaviour. E.g.
Introduce that Jesus taught through stories called parables. Children will hear the story of a Father and two sons. The Father in the story shows us what God is like. The younger son in the story show us what happens when we are naughty…
Thank the volunteer and invite them to sit down.
Read the story of the Prodigal Son in Appendix One.
Click through the images as indicated on the script.
Ask children to tell the story back to you: what did they hear? What did they notice? As they do, ask them reflective questions, for example:
• I wonder how the Father felt when his son left home?
• How do you think the son felt when he had lots of friends and lots of money? What about when all of his money was gone and he had to get a job feeding the pigs?
• How do you think the son expected his Father to treat him when he went home? Was he surprised? Why?
• If the Father is like God, and we are like the son, what can we learn from this parable?
Deliver the following teaching in these or your own words:
• No matter what we do, God will never turn his back on us. He loves us and forgives us if we’re truly sorry.
• That doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want, but it should encourage us to do what’s right. God is sad when we do wrong and make poor choices, but we are still part of God’s family.
• Just like parents/carers do not leave their children when they do something wrong, God never abandons us.
• When we realise our mistakes and say sorry, he is always ready to forgive us and welcome us home.
Can you help Susie? What should she do? – Clean Clothes
• It’s important to wear
Using the image on screen as inspiration, invite two children to reenact the scene from the story where the Father welcomes his son home. Options include:
• Feeding in lines from the script in Appendix 1
• Asking children to improvise
• Having the whole class role-play the scene and showcasing a few pairs
• Or hot-seating the Father and son about their experiences in the story.
Remind children that we are like the son in this story, and God loves us just like the Father loves his son. Even though we will make mistakes and do things that make God sad, nothing will ever stop Him loving us.
Give out the colouring sheets in Appendix 2, which shows the son being welcomed back home by his Father, and ask children to colour these in.
Extension activities whilst colouring in include:
• Reflecting on God’s love for them and how they can show that to others.
• Listening again to the story, imagining that they are the younger son. You might like to pause to ask application questions, e.g. “Have you ever done something that you regretted afterwards? What did you do about it?”
• Telling the story again to a partner.
Extension. Write a Bible verse or caption about the scene underneath the image.
Ask children to tell you what they’ve learned today, then click to reveal the bullet points below to see how they did:
• We are part of God’s family.
• Saying sorry to God and each other is important and can mend friendships.
• Jesus cared for others and had expectations of how they’d act
• We should love other people in the same way that God loves us.
Music plays automatically.
Ask children to reflect on the statements on the screen. You might like children to discuss this in pairs, or to reflect on their own. For younger children, you might read out a question at a time. Ask:
• How does it feel to know that you are part of God’s family?
• Can you think of a time when had to say sorry to someone? How did it feel before and after? What happened after you had said sorry?
• Is there anything you need to say sorry to God for? Why don’t you do it now in the silence of your heart. Pause for pupils to have the opportunity to do this if they wish.
• How do you think Jesus would like us to act in the future?
• Jesus taught that we should love others in the same way that God loves us. What do you think that means? Can you think of any ways that you can show that love to people around you?