The Good Shepherd

John 10:11

Today's lesson is The Good Shepherd, but our craft will work for numerous other Bible lessons as well:

The Good Shepherd, Luke 15:307
Abraham Tested, Genesis 22
The Lord Is My Shepherd, Psalm 23
The Lamb Of God, John 1:29
And there are many others.


1. Bathroom cups
2. Black construction paper
3. Black pipe cleaners
4. Cotton balls
5. Scissors
6. Craft glue
7. Craft sticks (i.e. popsicle sticks)
8. Pencil and pen (or sharpie)
9. Stapler (or tape, but stapler is better)
10. Googly eyes

Pre-class Instructions:

There are only a few simple things to do before class to make this craft go quickly and smoothly.

1. Cut pipe cleaners to 9 inches in length. Each sheep will require 2.

2. Draw the sheep head outlines on the black construction paper. One for each sheep.

3. I have found that it is best to go ahead and cut out the heads. Older children (3rd grade and up) are capable, certainly, of doing this themselves, but as you know, I am all about making the most of our precious class time. I knew the kids would enjoy glueing on the cotton, so having pre-cut heads allowed us all to relax and have fun with it, without me fretting over the clock. I made a variety of sizes so the kids could have a choice. I also did not try to make them perfect. Just freehand it; it'll be fine.

That's it. Let's get started!

In-class Instructions:

1. Give each child:
      - One cup
      - Two pipe cleaners
      - One craft stick
      - One sheep head
      - A mound of cotton

2. Instruct them to fold each pipe cleaner in half.

3. Next bend small feet at the ends of the pipe cleaner. Each child will do this their own way, regardless of how you show them how to make the bends. Some may choose not to have defined hooves at all. And that's just fine.

4. Staple the legs to the inside of the cup. Do not let the kids do this part. It's quick to walk around the table stapling legs while the children are folding the feet. If you have a lot of kids to get to, ask them to proceed on to step #5 until you finish with the stapling.

This is what it should look like at this point:

Note: I used tape instead of staples on the prototype, pictured above. The tape did not hold as well as the staples and it was difficult to work with in the tight space. This is when I decided staples would be better.

5. Ask the children to slightly flatten the cotton balls by pulling the cotton to loosen it. Don't overdo it. Less is more. This step is not required, but it will make the cotton balls not as heavy. It also gives them something to do for a moment while you finish with the stapling of legs.

6. Now "paint" the glue onto the cups using the craft stick as a paint brush. Start at the top and work down to the rim. The easiest (and cleanest) way to handle the glue is to walk around the table squirting glue onto each child's stick as they need it. This allows you control over the glue! :)  I like using bathroom cups because the kids can easily hold onto their project by slipping one hand up inside the cup while dealing with the glue. Very little glue ends up elsewhere this way.

Tip: Tacky Glue is thick and sticky. It works great for this project.

7. Add the cotton. Again, holding the sheep with one hand inside the cup, press the cotton all over the cup.

8. Glue eyes to the face.

9. Draw a mouth with pen or sharpie.

10. Glue the head to the body.

All done!

As long as the faces and pipe cleaners are pre-cut, and you don't have a huge class, or some other special circumstance, this craft should only take about 20 minutes. It goes much faster than it sounds here. I tend to be heavy on the instructions, because I want you to know everything I can possibly tell you, so that your experience will be a smooth one.



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