- Students will learn how Nehemiah took action when the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed.
- Students will learn the importance of staying updated on current facts about local and world events.
- Students will learn how to read news related articles.
- Students will learn how to respond to issues on which they have an opinion.
Guiding Question:Why is it important to have an opinion about ongoing events and how do you take action based on your opinion?
Materials: paper, pencils, news articles
Procedure: Review the story of Nehemiah focusing on his strong emotional reaction to hearing that Jerusalem’s wall was destroyed. Discuss that he was far from home and was moved to action. Show students different articles from local and/or global news. Ideally have different articles of the same event and different opinions of the same event. Be sure that they are appropriate for students and not too controversial to cause major issues among peers. Read them as a whole group or in small groups. Explain that most news articles serve a purpose besides informing people. They are often a call to action and/or trying to convince someone of their opinion. The best news articles are objectively written. (Explain that objective means to only state the facts.) When Nehemiah heard about Jerusalem’s wall, what was his opinion of the event? How did he react? Nehemiah was emotionally moved and called by God to leave his job to lead the construction of the wall. Lead students in a discussion of different events and help them form an opinion. More advanced students can construct an argument supporting their opinion and even perform a mini debate.
If possible have students take action. They can do this by writing local political representatives, teachers, or other appropriate authority figure. Another way they can take action is by taking donations or serving in the community if it is applicable to the event. Discuss how they can take active on-site action by serving, reporting action to authority figures, and informing peers. All of these are forms of making a difference.
- In Nehemiah’s story what were opinions that different characters had?
- How do we use the Bible to form a good opinion or current events?
Supplemental Activity: Students can write their own opinion article about an event. It can be something global, local, or something that pertains to their school or church community. Include a call to action in their writing.