By the end of the school year, students in first grade will be able to: Recognize ten Bible stories, know at least two prayers from each faith, begin to understand how Bible stories are relevant to their own lives, and understand the difference between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.
Godly Play is a Montessori-based curriculum that invites children to enter Bible stories with wonder and find their own meaning in them. The teacher first presents the story using special props such as a "desert box." Students then respond to open-ended questions from the teacher by discussing their own ideas about the story with the rest of the group. Finally, students create their own art projects or use the story materials to respond to the story. Stories presented from the Hebrew Scriptures are those that tell how God made God's presence known to the Hebrew people. The following stories are usually included: Creation, Noah's Ark, Abraham and Sarah, the Exodus, the Giving of the Law, the Ark and the Tabernacle. Stories from the Christian Scriptures are those that emphasize how God has been revealed in Jesus. These include the Advent Cycle, the Parable of the Good Shepherd and at least one other parable, and the life of Jesus, emphasizing his faith as a devout Jew and his work as a teacher and healer. His death and resurrection are presented as a mystery, an end that is also a beginning.