Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Genealogy

Our family tree for class is chaotic at best. The spelling is iffy, the lines aren't straight. It looks more like a bramble than an orderly tree. Every few weeks, we have to move it up, because we add so many new people. Right now, God through Mahalalel are on the ceiling, and Ephraim and Manasseh are touching the floor. The people in Jesus' direct line are underlined in red Sharpie, so that when we do our memory verse (Luke 3:23 to the end of the chapter), we can follow the relationships right up the line, from Amminadab (as we're only up to the time of Moses) through God. (Favorite quote from one of the kids, when he began to understand where this family tree was going: "So, Jesus was his own grandpa?"). JC and I draw the connecting lines, and the kids write the names. They take turns, and keep track of the rotation better than we do.

Through this family tree, they are beginning to make sense of Bible stories they've known since they were little. They've discovered, with some surprise, that Noah is Abraham's several-times-great-grandpa, and that a lot of the patriarchs married their cousins.
We play games with the family tree to get them to interact with it. They seem to like that. We've written people's ages, where they are given, in parentheses next to their names, so I can ask them to find the oldest person (if teaching children has taught me anything, it's to ask this question with the caveat, "not Jesus, and not God."). We ask them to tell us how many names begin with n, who has the longest name, who the shortest, who has a name that became the name of a place (Cainan, Israel). We ask them how many people there are between this person and that person, and we ask what relationship one person was to another.

It's a diagram they are helping to build, and I think they are understanding it. They're even memorizing the genealogy, which is a shock to me.

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