A Preschool Lesson to Help Children Understand Greed
Introduction: For an object lesson on greed, build a small "table." Use building blocks at either end for legs, and a rectangle of thin cardboard, (one side of a cereal box would work well,) for the top. The constructed "table" should be about 12 x 9 x 8 inches. Place a small pile of small stones beside the "table." Pick up one of the stones and say, "I wish I had a _______." Fill in any item that's popular with the children in your group. Place that stone on the cardboard tabletop. Pick up another stone and say, "I want a _______." Again, fill in the blank with anything, from a bicycle to a Playstation to a pet dinosaur. Place this stone beside the first one on the cardboard. Continue in this fashion until there are so many stones on the cardboard that it collapses. Explain to the children that, if we're not careful, our "wants" can overwhelm us.
Story: The Magic Fish, by Freya Littledale. This fable about a fisherman's wife who demanded just a little too much is an excellent illustration of the consequences of greed.
Song: "I'll Be Content," from the "Kids Collection Sing Along: Happy Songs. 17 Sing-Along Songs of Joy" album by Brentwood Music.
Read the lyrics to the children first in order to help them understand the concept of contentment. Then play the music and encourage the children to march to the tempo.
"I'll be content when things don't go my way.
(Words and music by Clay Clarkson and Janet McMahan-Wilson, copyright 1994 New Spring Publishing, a div. of Brentwood Music Publishing, Inc.)
Bible Verse Bracelets:
Song: "If You're Happy and You Know It" (Traditional)
Story: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, by Simms Taback. Sing the song together after reading the book. Discuss how the Old Lady's greediness got her in trouble.
Art Activity: Make fingerprint flies. Give each child a small sheet of heavy white paper. Help the children moisten one thumb and one small fingertip in black ink. (This will be messy, be prepared!) Instruct each child to press his or her thumb down to make a fat body for the fly, and then press the inked smaller finger down to make the fly's head. Repeat for more flies. Give each child oval shapes, cut from colored cellophane, to paste on as wings. Draw wiggly lines for legs, and use small "googly-eyes" on the fly's head. Talk with the children about how flies behave as you make the art. Do flies act greedy? How do greedy flies make the children feel? How do they think greedy humans make God feel? Play "Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me" in the background while working.