God Our Maker
You might preface this teaching activity with
a short 'interview' with one someone you know who is a woodworker: you
could ask this person to bring in tools and samples of his/her work, and
talk a bit about how things are made from wood.
children, with a couple of adults, act out the story of Max Lucado's
"You Are Special" (Crossway Books,
- The story really speaks for itself, but
can be introduced or wrapped up with a brief summary of its meaning.
- Adult or
confident child reader as the story's narrator.
- Adult to
play Eli in the story.
- Adult to
introduce/wrap up the story.
to act in the story: a boy who's a confident reader (Punchinello), a girl
who reads well (Lucia), two other children to read (or be prompted to
say) a line each, and other children to dress up as various
- For the
Wemmicks: the story refers to all sorts of wooden people, with big
noses/large eyes, being tall or short, etc. It also talks about
Wemmicks who were good at jumping over boxes, singing, etc. Choose plenty
of props so that as many children as possible can be involved in the
story. For example: a false nose (simply made from a cone of paper which
the child can hold to her face), face paint (for painting on big eyes),
hat, coat, stick, box, and a long word printed on a piece of paper
('others knew big words').
- You also
need golden star stickers and grey dot stickers. These can be cut
out of coloured paper and stuck on with bits of sellotape, or you could
buy proper stickers.
- The book,
from which you can print out lines for the different readers. For
copyright purposes it's important to remember that you can adapt the
wording slightly (e.g. omitting words like "he said"), but must not alter
the message in any way.
There is no limit on the number of lines you can print out for this
purpose, but any printing that you do should have the title "An
Adaptation of 'You Are Special' by Max Lucado", and include the
permission line: "You Are Special, Copyright © 1997 Max Lucado. Used by permission." Please
note that this advice applies only to use in a not-for-profit environment
such as church services. For further information regarding the drama
rights to this book, please contact UpWords, the teaching ministry of Max Lucado.
- You can
select your readers at the start of the service, although you might like
to give Eli and Punchinello the chance to rehearse in advance, as they
have the most to do/say.
your Wemmick props in one area of the church, such as the
- Eli needs
to be in his workshop from the start of the story. The pulpit
works well for this.
narrator can prompt individual children to take the part of different
Wemmicks as the story progresses: e.g. after the words "Some wore hats,"
s/he might pass hats to a couple of children to put on. You could
also draw "large eyes" on one child with face paints, before the story
- "You Are
Special" is a story about Wemmicks, little wooden people whose
prime aim in life is to give and receive stickers: stars signify their
approval of each other's talents and behaviour, and grey dots their
disapproval. Nobody can feel good about himself if he has more dots than
stars, and our hero, Punchinello, has not one single star. He is covered
in grey dots. Not until he pays a visit to the woodcarver who made him
does he begin to see that other Wemmicks' approval or disapproval is not
as important as he has believed. He is special no matter what the others
think. He discovers that the stickers only stick if you believe that they
matter, and this frees him from their tyranny.
- God, our Maker, loves us no matter what
other people's opinion of us might be. It is His approval we should be
seeking, not society's. We are all special in His sight, because He made
us and loves us.