Creating Spiritual Connections

for Young People

& the young at heart
 

Wonders Of God
sunflowers

 

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Wonders Of God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson Plan  
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SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 27:4    “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
                                              that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
                                              all the days of my life.
                                              to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
                                              and to seek God in God's temple.”        NRSV

PREPARATION: 

   Have bouquets of sunflowers available in the classroom.
   Have packets of edible sunflower seeds available to eat.

   Put pictures up on bulletin board.

   Grow dwarf sunflowers and have them potted ready to distribute. 

   Secure book, Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt.

   Have camera ready to take digital pictures for web site or newsletter.

 

SING:   The Wonders of God are all around
             Just open your eyes and see.
                                         For music score click here.  

 

SAY:    Today we're looking at God’s sunflowers. 

 

DISCUSSION:

   What does the word ‘sunflowers’ bring to your mind?

               List on white board or chart paper.

    What do you know about sunflowers?

 

FACTS: 

     The sunflower is not one flower, but a cluster of more than
         2000 tiny flowers growing together.  

     It can produce up to 1000 seeds.

     Sunflowers originated in North America and were
         introduced into Europe in the 1500s.

     It is suggested that sunflowers are about 3,000 years old? 

     Archeologists found proof in North American clay. 

     The head can be as big as 2 feet across. 

     The largest head was found in Canada at 32 ½ inches across. 

     The plant can grow as tall as 18 feet.

     The largest plant was in the Netherlands at 25 and ½ feet tall.

     There are 67 species of sunflowers growing in USA, Europe,
          Japan, Russia. 

     The French word for sunflower is Tournesol which means
        ‘turn with the sun”

     Kansas has the sunflower as their state flower?

 

INTRODUCING THE STORY:

     The sunflower is one of nature’s most beautiful works of art. 

      An artist who loved sunflowers and painted them was
           Vincent Van Gogh.

      He copied them as he saw them.  He didn’t paint them perfect.
      He painted them as they were. 

      God gives some people the gift of seeing beautiful things and
           painting them,  A long time ago this gift was not looked upon
           as being important as you will see in our story.

 

READ:    Camille and the Sunflowers
                by Laurence Anholt 
                ISBN 08 1 2064097

                  Eating sunflower seeds while
                   listening is a treat. 

 

DISCUSSION:

     Today we accept the gifts, the talents
         that people have.

     It’s OK to enjoy painting.  It’s OK to make a living by painting.

     There is much joy in painting. 

     I would like you to experience this joy. 

     Look at the sunflowers brought for you to see.

     Let’s paint a sunflower, or two or three at the easel or table.

 

PAINTING PREPARATIONS: 

     Easels ready with paper or tables covered with plastic.
         Shower curtain liners make good covers. 
     Paint in cups and brushes one per cup so colors don’t get mixed. 
     Paint shirts ready.  Use old T-shirts that go over the head
         and cover the child’s body.

     These can be washed after each painting session and
         kept for future sessions.

 

SUGGESTION:  Take digital pictures to put on your web site or newsletter. 
               Sending these pictures to the parents with an explanation
                   of why you a doing a Wonders of God session is a means
                    of teaching the parents.

 

DIVISION:  Divide the group by older and young students.
 

                Depending on the size of the presentation room the younger
                    students may go to a different part of  the room or a different
                    room and be guided by a teacher or teenage helper.  They will
                    need help putting on their paint shirts and seeing their name
                    is on the paper. 

                Help them enjoy painting. 

      If the younger ones move to a different room for painting,
          take care that it has sunflowers in it as well as sunflower pictures.

 

CLOSING:  Have a time for sharing each person’s art.  Because the masterpieces may be ‘wet’, call attention to each one around the room.  And don’t forget the younger ones.  Encourage the older students to support the work of the younger ones.
 

With older students ask:  Are they called sunflowers because the flower head looks like the sun or because it follows the sun across the sky, looking east in the morning and ending the day facing the setting sun in the west?

 

 THINK ABOUT THIS:  I think the color of the sunflower glorifies
                                          God all throughout the day. 

                                        How do we glorify God all during the day? 

 

  STATEMENT:  God has created such a beautiful flower.

  What can we say when we see something beautiful as a sunflower?
                                     Thank You, God!

PRAYER:  End with a prayer thanking God for sunflowers and all
                  God’s beautiful creations.

             EXTRA INFORMATION AND SUGGESTIONS

 

MORE FACTS: Scientific name for sunflower – helianthus  
                           sun: hellos      flower:  anthos

                           Soviet Union grows most sunflowers.

                           Sunflowers were used by Indians for food and oil. 

                           We use sunflowers for oil, birdseed and for snacking.

                           Sunflowers have lots of calcium and 11 other important minerals.

                           They have 50% fat, BUT mostly polyunsaturated. 
                           Has linoleic acid.

 

SUGGESTION:  Use the Internet to bring up www.burpee.com where you
                               will find various varieties of sunflowers.

                           Google ‘Van Gogh Sunflowers’ and various pictures will
                                come up on the ‘Google’ page, plus many web sites
                                will be listed that will have pictures as well as information
                                about Van Gogh if you are interested.

 

SUGGESTION:  If painting is not feasible sunflowers can be created with:

                                    markers and paper petals using orange colored papers.

                                    dab with stencil brushes dipped in paint for middle of
                                        sunflower.

                                    scrap paper for leaves

                                    Have scissors and other tools ready for this activity.

 

SUGGESTION:  Language Arts activity.

                 God’s glory, the sunflower   is like a/the

                                                            is like a

                                                            is like a

SONG for young students:  Sunflowers,  Sunflowers

                        For music score click here.

 

AN ADVANCED WONDER OF GOD for older students: 

                        Sunflowers and the Fibonacci spiral.

                        The Fibonacci sequence, 0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144
                           to infinity,  is determined by starting  with zero and 1. Add these
                           together and continue by adding the previous two together.
                              i.e.     0+1= 1,  1+1=2, 2+1=3, 3+2=5,  5+3=8.  

                        If one counts the number of seeds in one spiral of the sunflower that
                        number will fall within the Fibonacci sequence.  Likewise, the other
                        spirals will fall within the Fibonacci sequence.  This is  called the
                        Fibonacci spiral.   This is truly a Wonder of God.

 

                        Google ‘Sunflowers and the Fibonacci sequence’ to find additional
                        information to help explain this very advanced wonder.