Giving the Gleanings

Scripture: Ruth 1

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Ruth going to Bethlehem with Naomi and eventually marrying Boaz.
  • Students will learn that you do not have to have a lot of excess in order to give to others.
  • Students will learn how to create usable products such as a quilt out of scraps and out-grown clothes.  

Guiding Question: How can we use our excess and things that we no longer need in order to help others?

Guiding Questions:

How can we apply God’s system of gleaning to our modern culture?

How can we help battered women and children who are victims of harmful family situations?

Materials: T-shirts that students have outgrown or freebie T-shirts that go unworn, interfacing, iron, sewing machine, thread, square templates, markers, scissors

Procedure: Review the story of Ruth. Explain to students that God encouraged the Israelites to show compassion for those in need by not taking every bit of crops from their field. Instead, they would leave a little behind so that the poor could come behind and pick up what was left. Ruth and Naomi did not have land to farm since they were new to the area and did not have husbands. They relied on Boaz’s extra grains. Today, we can give our extras to people too.

Have students collect outgrown shirts or freebie T-shirts that sometimes go unworn. Explain that they will be making a quilt that will be donated to a local battered women’s shelter, a particular family in the community, or other organization that collects blankets.

Allow students to trace a square template with a black pen and cut it out. The template needs to be the same size for all students and allow for the full image of an average shirt. Remember that this includes half an inch of seam allowance all around.

Once the squares have been cut, iron non-woven fusible interfacing to the back of the T-shirt squares. Stabilizing them this way prevents sagging. An adult can sew the squares together. The sewing may need to be finished by another volunteer, but allow the students to see the finished product before donating.

If you have more resources (such has templates and scissors) than students, let students share the stories behind their T-shirts while they wait. Where did they get them? How old were they? Emphasize that even though they do not need their shirts now, they are going to help someone who really needs it. Discuss how all of their collective experiences that are represented by the shirts are coming together to create a unique quilt for one person. Give additional information on the recipient of the quilt so that students feel a personal connection. Once the quilt has been given, take a picture of the quilt with the recipient/organization to show the students.

Additional Questions:

  • What are some other things that we have an excess of that we could share?
  • How does it feel to be kind to someone by giving part of what was once yours?
  • This clothing is a need that no longer serves its purpose. How are you turning it into a new type of need?

Supplemental Activity:Have students research the organization that you give your blanket to and report on the type of services they do. What other needs might the organization have?

Written by: Savannah Negas

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