The Best Gift of All
— written by Linda Schrupp, LSEM teacher —
It was mid-November. My third-grade reading group was reading a series of stories that were mostly realistic fiction but contained an unexpected “twist” which helped to deliver the message of the story. Their stories were read, discussed, and compared so that the elements of each were evident to the students. We then read a “how-to” book on puppet making.
Combining the process learned in the puppet book with the format of the stories read in the unit, the students were to write a somewhat realistic puppet show with some sort of “twist” to get across a lesson.
After much discussion, the students decided they were going to write a Christmas time-travel story. The main characters were going to be wooden spoon puppets. The scenery would be made from construction paper and held up with wooden sticks.
The plot of the story involved two scientists who invented a time machine to go back to the first Christmas. After the bumbling scientist accidently hits the power button, they end up face-to-face with Gabriel, the angel. They ask him for directions to the stable. As they approach Mary and Baby Jesus, the realize that they forgot the gift they had intended to bring for Jesus back in the lab. Mary relieves their fears by telling them that all Jesus wants is for them to love Him and to love others. They return home realizing that they received the best gift of all.
The students were able to successfully and confidently perform their play in front of their classmates. Their hard work was met with laughter during the humorous scenes and applause at the end. The pride on their faces was the second bet gift of all!