Ready, set … memorize!
Nothing like combining a bit of brain with a bit of brawn. And a package of marshmallows.
That’s what our homeschool co-op class did as the children participated in the Minor Prophets Olympics.
Using yellow yarn as a finishing line, the children lined up for several Olympic events, including a Hosea Whirlwind Race and a Swim Like Jonah’s Fish Race.
They also discovered the challenge of subjectively judging gymnastic/ice skating skills in an individual competition called, The Fall of Ninevah, in which athletes fell to the ground in astounding and dramatic manners.
The sense of taste was incorporated into the Marshmallow Drop in connection with Zephaniah’s admonition to have pure lips in the praise and worship of God.
The Olympic Plan
Here’s the complete list of our Minor Prophet Olympic Events, and the corresponding bits of key information shared with the children before each event.
Prophet – (event) key information to remember
Hosea – (whirlwind race) sow the wind, reap the whirlwind — and yet God still loves them
Joel – (hop like locusts) plague of locusts
Amos – (how high can you reach – yarn stretched overhead like a limbo line) plumb line
Obadiah – (grab a sheep and come back) Edomites – mtn canyons – raids on enemies – no more Edomites
Jonah – (swim like a fish) Ninevah, great fish
Micah – (ball toss) Savior is coming – Heaven is coming
Nahum – (dramatic interpretation of the city of Ninevah falling) Ninevah will be totally destroyed
Habbakuk – (close eyes, toss ball) in midst of gloom and despair, there is hope in God
Zephaniah – (pick up marshmallow, come back drop into cup) pure lips to worship and praise God
Haggai – (how far can you jump) vision of the temple rebuilt – took a leap of faith to rebuild after destruction
Zechariah – (neigh like a horse) several visions – including one with horses
Malachi – (say the list of the minor prophets) Coming of the Day of the Lord – whole Christian era, especially the last days
Ready, Set, Memorize!
Oh! And we used the fun as an opportunity to memorize!
First, I intro’d each event with the key info. Then – kind of like ready, set, go – the athletes shouted:
Before the second, they repeated:
Before the third event:
And so on, until we had the full list to repeat.
What It Takes
So, what did I need to get the Minor Prophets Olympics up and running?
- Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper medals* (we have four students, so adding copper offered everyone a medal)
- Score board and marker
- A length of yarn
- Plumb line (a length of yarn with a big metal nut on the end taped to the coffee bar counter)
- Felt Sheep – one person athlete (simple outlines cut from white felt)
- Felt whales – one per athlete (simple outlines cut from blue felt)
- Ball and ball toss container (drink holder from a fast food restaurant)
- Styrofoam cups and napkins – one per athlete
- Marshmallows – one (or more, yum!) per athlete
- A very kind father who helped demonstrate the broad jump, as well as set up whales, sheep, and marshmallows on the fly.
And that’s how we did the Olympics: Minor Prophet Style!
REALITY CHECK: We were going to OPA today, but two out of four were feeling less than gold medal-y. One of us was barely reaching copper. So, we stayed home and did our own restful thing in our own four corners. Some Olympic sports are individual events, after all.
* The medals were made simply by punching a hole in a circle of paper, adding a lanyard length of yarn and the metallic words: gold, silver, bronze, and copper.