This week I had a second opportunity to teach an Enrichment class at a local Jr. High School. The 8th Grade boys and girls split into gender groups for a separate curriculum during one educational block. The boy’s teacher is using this time to connect the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian religions. This all falls under the curriculum guide of our state. He asked me to come speak to them about King Solomon for yesterday’s class time. By the way, I used a Bible in a public school and while I was there I noticed that some students were giving religious material to their classmates – the Bible is still in public schools.
I used this time (about 45 minutes) as a literature / history class. The teacher made sure that the students connected Solomon as David’s son (they had studied David earlier in the week). We then read, from the Bible, sections from Solomon’s life and from Ecclesiastes. We read about Solomon asking for wisdom and receiving added blessings from God. We read about Solomon and the two women who argued over a living infant. We read about Solomon’s search for fulfillment in all the things of the world and his conclusion that all is vanity and striving after the wind. There was a collective gasp when some learned for the first time that Solomon had 1,000 women at his disposal and seemingly all the wealth, power, and fame the world could offer at the time.
I took a literary approach and asked them for morals or lessons they learned from Solomon. Below are the answers these 8th Grade young men in a PUBLIC school gave as lessons they thought they should put into practice.
- There are very few things in life that are really important.
- Love is very important.
- Family is very important.
- Food is important.
- Having a house is important.
- Jesus (God) is all that is really important.
And my favorite, from one of the young men near the back of the class,
- “What is really important is to have faith in God and Jesus.”
These were their lessons. Not mine. Great kids!