Involvement Learning Some of the activities below are also found in the helpful student book, Adult Bible Class.
Into the Lesson Download the reproducible page and put in
chairs copies of the Five Books, One Teme activ- ity for learners to begin working on as they arrive. Alternative: Distribute copies of the What Is Man? activity from the reproducible page instead. Ask several class members in advance to come
prepared to quote or read their favorite short poem. Tis will introduce the concept of poetry as power and passion encapsulated in few words. As class begins, ask your assigned learners to stand and present their verses. Alternative. Display a variety of books of poetry,
both those for children and for adults. (A library will have several poetry anthologies on its shelves.) As your class assembles and notices your collec- tion, paraphrase the first paragraph of the lesson introduction’s “Ultimate Questions.”
Into the Word Say to your class, “It has been said that poetry
is a way to wrap big ideas in very small but beau- tiful packages.” Distribute paper and pencils. Ask learners to make two columns, one headed Big Tings and the other headed Little Tings. Say, “I am going to read to you a list of words from Psalm 8. Write each into one of the two columns.” Ten read the following list; pause between words to give learners time to decide and write. Lord; name; earth; glory; heavens; mouth; babes; strength; enemies; avenger; fingers; moon; stars; man; angels; honor; dominion; hands; feet; beasts; fowl; fish; sea; paths. At the end say, “Now let’s read today’s famil-
iar text and see if you change your mind on any words.” Do a double antiphonal reading of the text wherein you read one segment of a verse, then one side of the class repeats it, followed by the other side of the class doing the same. For exam- ple, in verse one you would read, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth.”
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Ten one side would read the same thing, then the other. Continue through the nine verses in this manner, in repeatable segments of your choosing. Tis threefold repetition will well fix the words for your continuing discussion.
Next, give class members an opportunity to identify words they put in each column. Discuss differences among answers.
At the end, ask how one could consider this psalm to follow a “big-little rhythm.” Let students examine the text and suggest answers. If no one gets the class started, point out that God (a BIG concept) is the emphasis and subject of verse 1. You may see that children (little, in a relative sense of size) are in the second verse; verse 3 returns to the universe (big); verse four turns to man (little, in a relative sense); verse 5 goes to angels (big); verses 6-8 note animals and other creatures (little) and verse nine restates God’s glory (BIG). All this is to get learners to think about humanity’s posi- tion in God’s creation and plan of redemption.
Give each learner a card with the following: Big I, Little i—Lord, how big am I?
Am I just another animal, Lord, a bundle of random instincts?
Am I You, God? Am I all-powerful, the Lord of all I see and do?
Why, O Lord, do I count to You? Yet, while I was living life in sin, You said, “O __________, you can be a child of God.”
You, O Lord, said “_________, I love you!” You, Lord, paid the price of my redemption: one crucified Son.
O Lord, my Lord, how excellent and majestic is Your name!
Have learners put their names in the blanks.
Suggest that each one place his or her card where it can be read to start each day with a biblical sense of self-worth.
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