Bold Girls Speak: Girls of the Bible Come Alive!
Do you care that a young person in your life loves to learn from the Bible? Or, do you need teaching materials for spring semester? Bold Girls Speak is ideal for classes age 10 and up. These ten stories of girls, and I mean girls between 8 and 16, show bold, problem-solving skills in adverse situations where they survive and thrive with trust in God.
Recently, I gave a presentation on teaching ideas for my book. I hope you find these suggestions useful to inspire young people to greater engagement with Bible stories. I found objects for each story that stimulate questions about the lives and times of these girls resulting in engaged hands-on learning.
1. Miriam Who Negotiated: Show the students a tightly woven basket and ask how long it will float, and what must be done to make it waterproof. The process of making mud bricks or learning to read hieroglyphics is also interesting to students. Discuss why the Egyptians mummified their dead, and why the Israelites did not.
2. Five Sisters Who Asked for Their Inheritance: It is somewhat harder to think of objects to represent the daughters of Zelophehad and their wandering in the wilderness, but I found paper that looks like leather and drew a map with the Jordan River, Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee on it. Describe how this land was to be divided between the twelve tribes, but girls could not inherit unless Moses makes an exception.
3. The Girl Who Spied: This story from 2 Sam 17:17 of a servant girl from the time of King David involves her walking outside the city walls of Jerusalem to carry a message. I used a simple bag with a rolled up scroll sealed with sealing wax. Discuss what writing looked like then, and what purpose the sealing wax imprinted with the seal of the king served.
4. The Servant Girl Who Boldly Witnessed: An Israelite girl was captured and brought to Damascus to be a maid of the wife of high-ranking Naaman. A shiny brass plate that could serve as a mirror is a good teaching device. Discuss how mirrors and glass were not yet invented so did people look at themselves as often as we do? Maybe that is a good thing!
5. The Daughters Who Built the Walls of Jerusalem: This story from the book of Nehemiah is about girls doing the hard work of construction, often under enemy bombardment. Think about the wooden tools they had available because metal was very precious. Certainly, they used a rock tied to a string to use as a plumb-line to check if the walls were straight.
6. The Girl Whose Hand Jesus Touched: The first girl from the New Testament lives in Capernaum, which is on the Sea of Galilee. I have a fish net with a plastic fish in it, because according to the fictional account of this girl’s life, before she got sick and died, she enjoyed fishing for her family.
7. The Maid Who Questioned: The maids in the courtyard of Caiaphas were busy with the charcoal fire when they questioned Peter. I show the children some charcoal and discuss how charcoal was made, and why it makes a better fire than wood. A rooster, which plays an important role in the story, or a stuffed lamb, which is sacrificed for Passover, foretelling the sacrifice of Jesus are reminders of the events.
8. Rhoda, the Servant Girl Who Persisted: I have a doorknocker for Rhoda, which I found in a home improvement store and mounted on a piece of wood. The children can make a very realistic imitation of Peter’s frantic knocking. A rose would also be good reminder of Rhoda, because that is the meaning of her name. Ask the children what their names mean.
9. The Girl Who Found Her Own Voice: This slave girl of Philippi, who hoarsely shouted after Paul, earned her keep by telling fortunes. This story offers the opportunity to discuss how people of all ages have tried to determine their fortunes, but Christians can learn the real truth. As told in the story, I have a bottle filled with oil and water, in which the girl gazes to tell fortunes.
10. The Daughters Who Prophesied: In the story of Philipp’s daughters, I imagine them writing texts so I chose writing utensils from the first century. An oil lamp that can be filled with oil and lit does not give off much light, but that is what they had to use. Try scratching Greek letters on a rough piece of papyrus or parchment.