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Object Lessons


Give Generously Object Lesson 1: The Monkey Jar  https://sites.google.com/site/valueslessons

Preparation
You will need a jar that has a large enough mouth to slide your hand into, but small enough that if you make a fist you can't get your hand out. 
Put some M&M's TM, or small nuts like cashews, macademias or almonds in the bottom of the jar. (If using peanuts, check your volunteer isn't allergic to them.) 
Have a card on the inside or the outside of the jar labelled 'GREED.'

Lesson
Ask for a volunteer. Tell him to put his hand in and grab some M&M's (or nuts) in his fist. When he does this, his hand gets stuck and he can't get it out. Encourage him to try as hard as he can to get his hand out without opening his hand and letting go. Explain that the name of the jar is greed. When we selfishly want the best for ourselves, we get trapped by greed, and want more. But when we get more, it makes us unhappy.
Explain to him that in order to be set free from the jar and from greed, he must first let go of the M&M's or nuts. He does and his hand slides out.
Tell the class: When we let go of our selfishness by giving to others we are freed from greed. As we give with joy we can then receive happily. Generosity is a wonderful thing.
How does it make you feel when you give something to someone? How do you feel when you are selfish and keep things all for yourself?

Tell the student that the M&M's are a gift for him to share with his friends. Show him how to take them out one at a time, between two fingers, and offer them to others. The last one is for him.
After he has shared them, ask all the students who ate one and enjoyed it to stand up. Tell the student 'because you were willing to share what you were given, all these friends had the enjoyment too. That means the pleasure was multiplied. 

Optional Movie
Tell the class: “An experiment was conducted on a baboon to determine the power of greed. Watch this movie to see what happens.
Movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTX7Cxq8aGc

Image source: http://rubinmuseum.org/images/content/2037/monkey_brainwave_copy__small.png

Give Generously Object Lesson 2: Kisses from the Teacher

Tell your students how much you love them. Say, 'I love you all so much, I want to give each of you a kiss!' 
Just as the kids are cringing pull out a bag of chocolate kisses and say, 'I meant this type of kiss!' (Keep a second bag hidden, so the students think you have only one bag.) 
Explain that you are going to throw the kisses out to the students, but they need to keep their bottoms on the seats and can only get what they can reach from their seats. 
As you start to share the kisses, toss most in the front rows and almost none into the back rows. 
Pretend that you are confused about all the complaints. Ask a student to tell you what's wrong. Let them explain that you weren’t fair in how you tossed out the kisses. Ask them how that made them feel. (Cheated, upset, sad, angry, etc.)
Explain: 'I want to tell you why I did this. Life isn’t fair, and many of us have so much while others have little or none. Some of you got to feel what it is like to see others getting much while you received none. I want those of you in the front who got much to share your kisses with those who have none. (If needed, pull out the second bag and give some to the students who missed out.)

Ask: “We have so much stuff in our homes, while others have so little. Is that fair? We are
 What's something we have that we could share with someone who has little?” 
Take ideas about what you could give. Collect, package it find a place in your community to donate it.
Some examples include: each pupil could bring a can of food for the Food Bank; pack up clothes that have been outgrown or not being worn and give them to a charity or needy family; give toys, blankets and other household items – many inner-city ministries make home starter kits for those in need. 
Consider sponsoring a World Vision child as a class. It costs NZ$45 a month, which pays for a child's basic needs and schooling, plus clean water and community development. Perhaps the class could fund-raise with a sausage sizzle or hot dog stand to cover the sponsorship. See: https://www.worldvision.org.nz/Portal/Give/Child.aspx