Here is an example of what could be done. The person telling this story should have an actual sunflower to show the children or a good photo. The story needs to be told in such a way that even small children will recognize the complexity of this very common flower. Describe the sunflower by showing the children that the flower is made of numerous small flowers all packed together. The outer florets (point to them), called ray florets, can be many colors like yellow, maroon, or orange. The florets inside the head (point to them) are called disc florets and grow into sunflower seeds, (show the seeds) but are actually the fruit of the plant. The husk is the wall of the fruit; the real seed is in the kernel.
The florets within the sunflower's cluster are in a spiral shape. Typically, each floret is slanting toward the next (called a golden angle) forming interconnecting spirals, There are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other; on a very large sunflower there is 89 in one direction and 144 in the other.
Sunflowers in the budding stage display what scientists call heliotropism. At sunrise, most sunflower buds face the east. Over the course of the day, they follow the sun from east to west, and then at night they turn back east. Blooming sunflowers are not heliotropic anymore. The stem freezes, typically facing the east. The stem and leaves also lose their green color. This illustration of God’s creation can excite all listeners and increase the children’s interest in His creation.
The Black Bear
Begin the story of black bears by asking the children how many own a teddy bear. Show an actual toy teddy bear as you begin your story.
Today we’ll talk about black bears. These animals live in the woods or in a swampland and grow to measure six feet tall (show how high six feet is) when they stand on their back legs. Some male bears weigh 450 pounds so they are very big.
The mama bear gives birth to from 1-5 cubs during January or February. The babies are blind at birth and weigh only 7 – 14 ounces (show something that weighs that amount—have a small scale, if possible). That’s not very big! The young bears stay close to their mother, but when the baby bear is about one and one-half years old, the mother sends them away to find their own place to live (Ask: Aren’t you glad your parents keep you for a long time?).
They have an in-body GPS (explain that to the children by showing what a GPS looks like). They have been known to find their way back to their home after being transported as far as 168 miles away. This ability helps them to find places previously visited where they have food sources and waterholes.
These bears have a very good sense of smell and hearing but their sight is not that good. They climb trees very fast and they can swim really well. They can run as fast as 30 miles per hour. Their paws are different than our feet because their big toe is located where our little toes are! (Show picture from web site.)
Black bears do not vocalize very much. When frightened, they may make huffing sounds or clank their teeth. In some situations, black bears make a moaning sound when they are afraid. Female black bears will communicate with their cubs with grunts and the cubs will bawl loudly when in distress. Cubs make what is described as a purring type of sound while they are nursing.
The black bear also communicates using body signals. When a bear feels threatened, it will flatten its ears and sometimes lower its head. If you see this behavior, it's a sign for you to back off. They love berries of all kinds, grapes and other fruit, and grasses. When bears were created in the Garden of Eden, they were friendly and loving. Since sin entered our world, some animals have become very vicious and unfriendly. Won’t it be wonderful when Jesus comes and takes us to heaven and we can pet black bears and other animals that we know as wild here on this earth?
The Aqua-Lung Spider
How many of you like spiders? (Show picture of one) Well, not very many. But, this morning, I’d like to tell you about an aqua-lung spider and how it differs from many other kinds.
These spiders make their homes under water. Oh, you might wonder, how does this spider breathe? Well, it breathes air like other spiders, but there is a difference. The aqua-lung spider spins a web tent under the water, then goes above the water, and grabs an air bubble. They carry the bubble down and place it under the web tent with other bubbles. This forms an air pocket and as they add more bubbles, it becomes big enough for them to live there for awhile.
When they decide to raise a family, the male and female spiders build bubble tents side by side and the female builds a third bubble room on top of the others for the eggs she will lay.
When the baby spiders, called “spiderlings,” come to life, they are given a tiny bubble of air. If it didn’t have the bubble, it would not live. However, they soon swim to the surface for their own supply of air.
What do aqua-lung spiders eat? Mostly on small fish. The big spiders spin threads around where they live and any time a fish brushes against one of these threads, the movement tells the parents that a “meal is ready.”
Aqua-lung spiders must carry an air bubble with them. Because the spider breathes through tiny pores (explain “pore”) in his abdomen, the bubble must surround that part of the spider’s body completely. This gives the spiders “oxygen masks.”
God created all kinds of spiders—and whether we like spiders or not, they have been given a method of living quite different from our own. Isn’t our God amazing?
Information for this story originally came from “Windows on God’s World” by James A Tucker, 1975, p. 86. In addition, the story is featured on kidsbibleinfo.com