Missions Explorers

Project Learning

Preschoolers can do project learning. In Mission Friends project learning is what Missions Explorers is all about. It’s fun, and it’s easy. And it’s optional. Here are some things to remember when doing projects with young children:

Set up a special area in your classroom for project learning. Include necessary supplies and additional materials such as brochures, books, teaching pictures (many are on the Internet), and a box, pocket folder, or large envelope where preschoolers can keep their work.

Label supplies and keep them in separate boxes such as one for crayons, one for scissors, one for paper, etc.

As preschoolers investigate and learn more about their project, make a list of what they have learned on chart paper. Or have them draw what they have investigated and done on butcher paper. Preschoolers can draw or write about their findings.

Be sure to have a time for sharing what preschoolers have learned while working on their project(s). Invite parents and guests to attend the Project Presentation.

To learn more about Missions Explorers and project learning, read pages 19–20 in Mission Friends Guide for Leaders.


April 2017

Threes and Fours

Create a Bible Storying Video

Explain to preschoolers that people are in the world who are not able to read and write. They learn when other people teach them by telling them stories. Mr. and Mrs. White tell Bible stories to people in villages so that they can learn more about God’s love. When the people learn the stories and start to love God, they go out and tell others.

Ask preschoolers what they know about telling Bible stories. Ask them what they would like to know about telling Bible stories.

Provide resources that will help preschoolers learn Bible stories that they can tell. Give them information about ways to tell stories. If you have a storyteller in your congregation, invite that person to come and tell the preschoolers about some different ways to tell stories.

Guide preschoolers to choose several stories to learn.

Videotape them telling the stories after they have had time to practice.

Ask your pastor or media minister to show the videos during a worship service to show what your Mission Friends are learning. With your parent’s permission, ask your webmaster to place the videos on your church website to highlight Mission Friends.

Kindergarten

Learning to Garden

Explain to kindergartners that Mr. and Mrs. White are missionaries in an area of Guatemala that does not get enough rain. Many people are unable to grow good food to eat, and many people are hungry. Mr. and Mrs. White help the people by teaching them new ways to grow their food.

Ask preschoolers what they know about growing food. Ask them what they would like to learn about gardening.

Bring books about seeds and gardening. Guide preschoolers to draw what they learn. If you have gardeners or farmers in your church, invite them to come and share how they plant gardens.

If your church has adequate outdoor space, ask for permission to plant a small garden. Enlist the help of gardeners to come and show preschoolers how to prepare the soil, create rows, and plant seeds. Alternatively, ask for permission to create a few raised beds. This will be an ongoing project that is not completed in four weeks, but it will give your preschoolers an opportunity to learn about gardening and may encourage families to participate in missional community gardens.

If your church does not have space for gardening, try growing a few plants in your preschool room. Or, visit a farmers market with your preschoolers to see and taste and smell fresh vegetables. As you explain your visit to farmers in the market, kindergartners will have the opportunity to watch you engaging in one-on-one missions!


May 2017

Threes and Fours

All about Cowboy Church

Ask preschoolers what they know about different kinds of churches. Ask them if they have ever heard about cowboy church. Lead them to discuss cowboy church, including what they think it would be like to go to a cowboy church. Guide them to choose what they would like to learn about cowboys and cowboy church.

Each week, provide print and online resources to help your preschoolers learn more. If you have a church member who has horses, invite that person to bring some tack to your class and to talk to your preschoolers about raising horses and the life of a cowboy.

Lead preschoolers to choose how they will present the information they have learned.

To end the unit, have a cowboy church prayertime. Invite preschoolers to wear cowboy clothes and serve cowboy snacks like trail mix.

Plan a time for preschoolers to share what they have learned. End your time together with a prayer for Mr. Cardenas’s cowboy church and other cowboy churches around the country.

 

Kindergarten

All about Language Churches

Talk to preschoolers about different languages. Ask first what they know about different languages. Invite those who know words in different languages to share those words with your class.

Guide preschoolers to understand that people speak many different languages, and that every person enjoys worshiping God in her own language. Tell preschoolers about some of the language churches that meet in your own community. Share that Mr. Cardenas is the pastor of a Spanish-speaking church that meets at First Baptist Church, Chandler, Arizona.

Ask preschoolers what they would like to learn about churches that worship God in different languages.

Provide print and online resources to help preschoolers glean information that will help them discover answers to their questions. Suggested resources would include your local association’s website, the websites of local language churches, and bilingual books with the different languages. If possible, invite a Sunday School teacher or child from a local language church to come and talk to your preschoolers about her church. Ask this person to talk about why it helps to praise God in your own language.

Ask preschoolers to record the information that they learn each week. Information can be gathered on a trifold poster, a mural, or pages that can be bound in a book.

Invite parents to join you for a celebration of language churches. Prepare multicultural snacks to match the cultures of the language churches you have studied. Ask preschoolers to share what they have learned.

End your time together with prayer for the language churches in your area.

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