Archives by: Janell Simpson


I used small Skittles candy over a two week period to demonstrate the protective covering of God’s word in the life of a believer.

Week 1 – distribute a few skittles to each student. Ask for volunteers to place skittles around the edge of a paper plate so that you have five different colors around each plate. Then slowly add water to the center of the plate. The skittles should be placed so that the water begins to remove some of the color coating. Give the water a few minutes to work while encouraging the kids to share what they observe. Remind them that you will be asking for spiritual applications. They will be very observant and also come up with some profound spiritual applications. I draw the activity to a close by suggesting that the water represents the worldly temptations we all face. The dissolved coloring represents our own attempts to avoid temptation. And the mix of colors in the middle represents the result when we try to figure out how to live on our own.

Week 2: Prepare ahead of time by spraying some of the skittles with clear plastic spray. Start class by telling them what you did (spray some skittles with plastic), but then explain that the bags broke and the skittles were mixed up. Ask for ideas about how we can tell the two types of skittles apart. Then repeat the activity with the plate, skittles and water. The coated skittles will resist the action of the water, so that the color remains on them. Again, encourage observations and spiritual applications. I close by suggesting that the plastic coating is like daily prayer and can serve to protect us from the temptations of the world that we cannot resist on our own. Can others tell the difference between a believer who relies on prayer for a covering and one who tries to work it out alone?

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Christmas Investigation

Supplies needed: Photocopies of Luke 1:1-4 double spaced, coffee filters cut into 1×2″ strips, small cups with 1/4 inch of water, tape and straws, three kinds of black markers.

Introduction: I adapted a science lesson to introduce the idea of investigating the source of our information. I showed the students a “Merry Christmas” message written on the uncut coffee filter paper. Then I showed them three markers and ask for ideas about how to determine who wrote the message using clues from the markers. Someone may come up with the idea of chromatograpy, if not, tell the students that crime investigation often uses chromatography to analyze ink samples. Help the students set up the chromatography by drawing a stripe across the bottom of a filter strip with each marker. Tape the strip to a straw, lower it into the cup of water so that the stripe does not enter the water and wait for the colors to separate. Now take a sample of the “Merry Christmas” note and use the water to separate the inks in the note to match the correct marker to the note.

While the inks are separating, begin the Bible study with the Luke passage. Have students highlight key words in each verse, discussing Luke’s desire to get the evidence so that he could write the real story for those who did not know what happened when Jesus was born. Emphasize Luke’s careful plan to investigate and document using primary sources. Close by encouraging kids to take a fresh look at the Christmas story and to believe based on the evidence. Even kids raised in church may not know that Luke was not a disciple and had to locate witnesses to write his gospel.

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