As students enter the classroom, hand out paper, pencils, a writing surface, and blindfolds to each. Ask them to write their name at the top of their page, but to leave the rest blank for now. After all your students have arrived, ask them to sit in a circle and don the blindfolds. Explain that they are going to draw a face on their page with the help of their classmates. Each person will draw one facial feature as the page is passed to them while blindfolded. Mention that there will be a small prize for the best drawing.
Have each student (while blindfolded) draw an oval on their page for the shape of a face. Have them pass their paper to the right. Now (while still blindfolded) have them draw a right ear on the face and then pass it to the right. Now draw a left ear; pass it on. Now the hair; pass it on. Continue until the pictures have eyes, a nose, and a mouth. If the pictures have not made it around the circle to their original owner, continue adding features (hat, a scarf, freckles, etc.) until each student ends up with the page that contains their name at the top.
Have everyone take off their blindfolds and share their drawings. Because no one could see the appropriate places where the facial features belonged, the results should be pretty comical. Decide on which drawing is the best but hand out a small candy or other prize to every student since they all had a hand in drawing it. Ask the ones who did not win the following:
- Did you do your very best on each drawing as it came to you? (Answers will probably be yes, but you might get a prankster who tried to sabotage the others.)
- Since you didn’t win, are you frustrated with the others who worked on your drawing? Why or why not? (Students may respond yes, they thought the others didn’t try hard enough or no, their classmates couldn’t help it because of the blindfolds.)
Just like in this drawing exercise, all of us mess up now and then. In real life, every human being has done something he or she wishes they could erase. It is embarrassing to admit some of the things we have said and done including, perhaps, ways we have hurt other people.
- What kinds of things do kids your age do or say that hurt other people? (Answers will vary.)
- What is your first response when someone hurts you? (Answers will vary.)
Sometimes people hurt others without meaning to, and other times the hurtful actions or words are intentional.
- What is the difference in how you respond to someone who did not hurt you on purpose versus how you respond to someone who meant to hurt you? (Answers will vary; forgiveness is more likely when the hurt is determined unintentional.)
Naturally we want others to forgive us when we hurt them, but it can be a challenge to be the one who has to do the forgiving, especially if the person who did something wrong to us did it on purpose. Joseph’s brothers meant to harm him. Let’s see how Joseph responded.
Looking for Steps 2 & 3?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide; your Step 4 appears below. To purchase a teacher's guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes
- Internet access
- Erasers (plain pink rectangle pencil erasers; 1 per student)
- Self-adhesive wiggle eyes (2 per student)
The way that Joseph forgave and loved his brothers is an example of how God loves and forgives us. It is also an example of how we need to love and forgive others—even those who hurt us on purpose.
Show this video [1:50]:
An animation story about GOD forgiveness
Those erasers came alongside the pencils and cleared away any memory of their messes. The smears were completely wiped away for good. Every one of the pencils messed up, and every one of them needed forgiveness.
Distribute paper and pencils. Ask the students to choose an area in the room where they can each work undisturbed in their own personal space.
Write down something that someone did or said that hurt you. Think about how the words or actions made you feel.
Distribute the erasers.
Erase what the person did or said until there is no trace of it on the paper.
Can you forgive the person that same way, so that what he or she did is gone from the record? Can you give that person a fresh start?
- What is the hardest part about forgiving someone? (Answers will vary; the person has not shown forgiveness in the past; the person does not appear to be sorry; the person offends me often; the person does not deserve to be forgiven, etc.)
It is easier to say that we need to forgive than it is to actually forgive. Sometimes we like to hold on to the hurt and blame another person for how miserable we feel. Sometimes it is hard to trust someone again.
- How do you think Joseph was able to forgive his brothers after what they did to him? (Answers will vary; God’s love helped him forgive; he knew that God would take care of the matter and that he needed to let it go; it was more important for him to do what pleased God than to hold a grudge to please himself.)
When we look at others with eyes of love, it will be easier to forgive them.
Distribute the self-adhesive wiggle eyes.
Stick these eyes to your eraser. Continue working on your paper, writing down words or deeds that have hurt. Also write how you feel toward those who hurt you. This time ask God to help you see others through His eyes of love, no matter how bad others may seem to you. Think about God’s love and forgiveness for you even though you have done hurtful things. Use your new Eyes of Love eraser to erase both what the people did and your bad feelings toward those people.
You may want to play the following quietly while the students work [2:42]:
Integrity Kids – Forgive One Another
Before you go to bed each night this week, write the things that people did during the day that got on your nerves, offended, or hurt you. Ask God to help you forgive, and use your Eyes of Love eraser to wipe the page clean.
Close in prayer asking for eyes of love and hearts that forgive.
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