Grade 1: Godly Play
The IFFP 1st Grade Class uses the Montessori-based Godly Play curriculum developed by Rev. Jerome Berryman and used by many congregations across the country.
Method: This curriculum invites children to enter stories from both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament and find their own wonder and meaning in them.
- The teacher first presents the story using special props such as a “desert box.”
- Students then respond to open-ended questions from the teacher by discussing their individual ideas about the story with the rest of the group.
- Finally, each student creates an “art response” to the story or plays with the story figures from this or another story.
Hebrew Bible Content: Stories presented from the Hebrew Scriptures are those that tell how God made God’s presence known to the Hebrew people. These may include: Creation, Noah’s Ark, Abraham and Sarah, the Exodus, the Giving of the Law, the Ark, and the Tabernacle.
New Testament Content: Stories from the New Testament include the Advent Cycle, the Parable of the Good Shepherd, and the life of Jesus, emphasizing his faith as a devout Jew and his work as teacher and healer.
Hebrew and Music: The first grade class regularly has music time and learns some basic Hebrew.
Resurrection: When the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is told, it is presented as a mystery, an end that is also a beginning.