As I was preparing the lesson on Job for my fifth graders this week, I found myself at a loss of ways to make it more interesting. I searched the internet, but couldn't really find many activities for this topic and this age group. I wanted something more active, not a puzzle sheet or craft for this particular lesson. Well, as usual, God came to my rescue after I prayed about it. I came up with a simple game that engages the whole class at once. The only thing I'll have to watch is that it doesn't get too rowdy. But I'll make rules for that.
Small beanbags or foam balls in an uneven number
A Christian music CD and CD player
How to Set Up the Game
1. Put a piece of painter's tape in a straight line across the floor. Make it long enough so that when you divide your class in half, there is plenty of room for both sides without the children running in to each other and getting hurt.
2. Divide your class into two teams. I usually like to have them count off so no one has hurt feelings over being picked last. ( I know how that feels. I was never athletic.)
3. Lay the beanbags or balls out, spaced far apart, on the tape. The kids must stand a certain distance away on each side until you say go.
How to Play
Make the rules very clear before the game starts. Anyone who disobeys the rules will handicap their team.
1. Tell the class that these beanbags or balls are "Job's Troubles." The object of the game is to get rid of them.
2. I will start the music and say "Go!" When I do, the class will run and try to get the beanbags or balls and toss or slide them low across the floor to the other side. They are not allowed to hit another player with them. If so, they must keep that beanbag or ball for the rest of the game.
3. When the music stops, (I'll have my back to them or have my husband play the music) the team with the least "troubles" is the winner of that round. Each member of that team will receive a small piece of candy to eat later. (Not while they are playing the game! I don't want them choking!) The game can't be a tie because there are an uneven number of "troubles."
4. Play several rounds, until they get bored with the game or are starting to get too rowdy. Then give them the amount of candy that they have won.
This game would be excellent for outdoors too, on nice days. You would have to come up with a different divided instead of the tape to separate the teams.
Applying the Concept
I plan to play this game after the lesson, but you could also use it to introduce the lesson. You could bring out the point that we can't always get rid of our troubles, but that God is in control of them. Nothing can happen to us that He doesn't allow. Our faith and trust in God should stay firm through our problems. If we stay close to Him, we will get through them victoriously and be stronger because of them. Add other points that you want to teach with the story of Job.