Godly Play

What is Godly Play?

Godly Play is a Montessori-based program designed to teach children sacred stories from scripture, help them become familiar with the rhythms of liturgy and the liturgical calendar, and to nurture the inherent spirituality of children.

 

Godly Play begins with the core stories of the Bible, such as creation and the exodus. It then builds on these central narratives by telling more stories from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament throughout the year. Since Godly Play follows its own storyline, children may hear different parts of the Bible than what their parents hear during the 9:30AM service.  However, Godly Play does mirror the lessons heard by the whole congregation during feast days and special liturgical seasons such as Advent and Easter. 

How is a Godly Play session structured?

  1. Each Sunday the children are dropped off at their classroom, giving each child the time they need to say goodbye to their parents.

  2. They are greeted by the Doorkeeper who invites them in and announces their arrival to the Storyteller.

  3. The Storyteller welcomes each child by name as they join the story circle, who then helps calm the children by making sure they are “ready” for the story.

  4. The Storyteller tells the story, and then the children wonder about the meaning of the story together.

  5. The children break free from the circle to engage in quiet creative response, which includes playing with the story materials, reading books, and creating art, until the Storyteller tells them it’s time to form a circle again.

  6. The children come back to the circle and say a closing prayer.

  7. The children say goodbye to the Storyteller, and then they are led back to the service by their teachers to join the larger community for Communion. 

 
 

Wondering Questions

Wondering Questions

After every story, the Storyteller begins a series of "I wonder" statements also known as wondering questions. Wondering questions are open-ended and relevant to the story and a child's experience. They are not memory recall, or meant for helping children figure out the moral of the story. Wondering questions are an invitation for children to explore their imaginations, and to help them connect personally and spirituality to the story. 

Wondering at Home

Many of our parents like to build on what their children learned on Sunday throughout the week. An easy way to do this is by repeating the core Wondering Questions our Storytellers ask every Sunday as part of our response time.

The core Wondering Questions are:

  1. I wonder which part of the story you like best?

  2. I wonder which part of the story is the most important?

  3. I wonder which part of the story you like the least?

  4. I wonder if there is a part of the story we could leave out and still have all of the story?

  5. I wonder which part of the story is most about you?