David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Middle School

Home Schooling

Lesson 6 

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Summer 2021

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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July 11, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

God gives us families to teach us about life. Echoes Focus: That your students will better understand what God intended the character and operation of families to be.

Bible Basis:

Matthew 7:7-11; Hebrews 12:5b-10; Proverbs 18:24

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Your students will learn some of the weirdest names for animal communities as they are introduced to the topic that God puts us in families to teach us about life.

Memory Verse:

“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
—John 13:34

Echoes Verse
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
—John 13:34b

Step 1:

Your students will learn some of the weirdest names for animal communities as they are introduced to the topic that God puts us in families to teach us about life.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

After students have gathered in your classroom, share that “family name” is another phrase to use in place of “last name” or “surname.” 

Animals—just like people—aren’t designed to live life all alone. You may have heard of a “school of fish,” or a “pride of lions,” but let’s take a little quiz and see if you know what these other animal families are called. Are you ready?

Have the following link ready for you to read information and ask students to guess the family names (no googling allowed!) for each animal you share. Share as many of the nineteen animal names as time allows. Your students may know a few of these, but most of them will be unfamiliar.
“These are the 19 Weirdest Names for Groups of Animals”

Discuss the following questions with your class:

  • Can you think of any animals that live completely alone? (Let students try to identify any solitary animals.)
  • Why do you think God created animals to live in groups? What advantage does a group have that a single animal might not have? (Students might identify protection, reproduction, survival, companionship, or other benefits.)
  • How are people a lot like animals in this way? What do people gain from living in a family as opposed to living on their own? (People need community, companionship, accountability, instruction, spiritual training, and many other healthy benefits of living in a group.)
  • Are there ever difficulties living with a family? What are some challenges that everyone faces? (It can be hard to share spaces, learn how to manage conflicting schedules, deal with different personalities, and so forth. Let students share some of their conflicts, and be prepared to share appropriately yourself.)

The Bible teaches us about families and how God uses them to make us better and stronger! Let’s take a look at some good instruction that will make your family relationship better than ever.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Paper (1 piece per student)
  • Pens/pencils (1 per student)
  • Optional: A tree branch

Ahead of time, consider cutting a branch of a tree to use as a visual aide for this task. If your class is meeting online, invite students to bring paper and pens/pencils with them to class.

Have you heard of the phrase “a family tree”? A TREE is a common metaphor for a family because it closely resembles the shape and structure of a family. The middle part—or trunk—is the center of every family, but there are many branches, twigs, leaves, and shoots that grow out from the center. All of us are part of our family’s tree.

We’re going to figure out how we can be a strong, healthy addition to our family tree. Let’s start by drawing a tree on our piece of paper. You can make it look any way you want: big, short, full of leaves, tall and majestic, willowy—whatever you like!

Distribute paper and pens/pencils to your students. Give them time to draw a tree on their paper. Afterward, choose several drawings as examples.

Just like our families are different, all our drawings are unique and interesting. Now, turn your papers over to the blank side. I will give you three minutes to write down different ways you can help your family tree stay healthy and strong. Ready . . . set . . . GO!

If your students have trouble writing down specific things, give them a few ideas such as helping a parent with chores, being encouraging to brothers or sisters, praying for other people in the family, obeying family rules, and so forth. After time runs out, discuss:

  • Would anyone like to share their ideas with the class? (Let students share their ideas.)
  • Why is it sometimes harder to follow God’s commands at home than anywhere else? How do families often stress us out and make it difficult to do the right thing? (Families live in close quarters, and they see all of our weaknesses close up. We are more apt to let our tempers flare, and we can mistreat our family members even when we don’t intend to.)
  • Do you think there are any “perfect families” out there? (No! Even the very best families on the surface have struggles that no one else sees.)
  • Is it easy to be jealous of other people’s families? (Yes! Sometimes we think our friends have better families than we have, but God can use every single family to help its members grow, learn, and mature.)

Nobody’s family is perfect. God has placed you in a very unique and beautiful group of people, whether it’s just you and your mom, a dozen crazy siblings, or somewhere in between. Remember what you wrote on the back? This week, practice doing at least three of the things that will make your family better, stronger, and healthier. Jesus will help you along the way. Then don’t stop! Keep it going.

Encourage your students to hang their family tree in their bedroom to remind them not only of the beautiful people God has given them, but also how they can make their own family tree vibrant and healthy.

Close in prayer.

Spread the word

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