Friday, October 2, 2009

Abdu’l-Bahá and the Sheep.

We received our first request yesterday and our first two followers.
Thank you Aniela and Susan for the follow.
The request was for craft ideas for a Book 3 and Book 4 study circle, so here is the first idea for children's classes

The following is a story from Book 3, Unit 2 Section 6, and a suggested craft for the children.

One day Bahá’u’lláh sent Abdu’l-Bahá to inspect the work of the shepherds who were taking care of his sheep. Abdu’l-Bahá was a small child at the time, and the persecutions against Bahá’u’lláh and his family had not yet started. Bahá’u’lláh then had a good deal of land in the mountains and owned large herds of sheep.
When the inspection was finished Abdu’l-Bahá was ready to leave, the man who had accompanied Him said, “It is your father’s custom to leave a gift for each shepherd.” Abdu’l-Bahá became silent for a while, because He did not have anything to give them. The man, however, insisted the shepherds were expecting something. Then Abdul-Baha had an idea that made Him very happy! He would give the shepherds the sheep they were taking care of! Bahá’u’lláh was very much pleased when He heard about Abdu’l-Bahá’s generous thoughts towards the shepherds. He humorously remarked that everyone had better take good care of Abdu’l-Bahá because someday He would give himself away.
Of course, this is exactly what Abdu’l-Bahá did for the rest of his life. He gave everything he had, each and every moment of his life, to humanity, to unite us and bring us true happiness.

After telling the story you can discuss and memorize the quotation and then have the children do the craft project.

To give and to be generous are attributes of Mine; well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues.
(Baha'u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words)

Print out the quotation. I usually fill a sheet with as many copies of the quote as possible and, then cut it up into the strips as shown in the pictures below.

The beauty of this little project is that it can be as simple or as elaborate as the skill of the children, and the scope your budget can accommodate.

Basic Materials
•Paper or card stock
•Cotton balls (from the pharmacy)
•Google eyes (from the craft shop)
•Glue (Multi-purpose white glue)
•Crayons and/or markers
•Scissors (Both straight and patterned)
•Stickers (Flower, butterflies, etc. Dollar store)
•Felt or foam sheet

The children draw a landscape and then populate it with sheep by gluing the cotton balls to the paper and using the markers draw heads and legs. The sheep are completed by gluing on the eyes. Dependant on what is available the children can decorate further with stickers and shapes.

After preparing this post I was looking through Book 4 and found this picture in the section about the life of the Bab, and thought it would be ideal for the children to colour and add the sheep to. I added the quote. You can "save" the picture and then print it out.

A slightly more complicated project is this little critter

Dolly the Sheep

Around Easter time Juliet found “sheep kits”; each packet had sufficient material to make 6 sheep. (see sample).
We have not seen them again, but you can make your own by cutting faces from a sheet of black foam, and buying the fluffy balls, pipe cleaners and eyes from the craft shop.
(Walmart normally has all the materials, and if you “shop around” several Dollar Stores you can probably pick up the material. Some are better for crafts than others.)

Sheep Bits
They are reasonably easy to assemble:

•Cut the legs to length; put a blob of glue on one end and push into the body.
•Glue the eyes and nose to the face
•Glue the face to the body and Hey - Presto!!!! The sheep has landed.
•Our model has a small magnet attached to her butt, so that she can be displayed on the fridge door.

Take a look at the Book 7 crafts in the previous post for some more ideas.
Well I hope you and the children have fun as well as learning about giving

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