S: God's Chosen Hamsters The Solomon Shelf™
BC: THE WILBUR AND HILDA GLENN INSTITUTE FOR PHILANTHROPY AND SERVICE LEARNING The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Institute for Philanthropy and Service Learning is pleased to support The Solomon Shelf™ project. The mission of the Glenn Institute is to provide transformative educational experiences that engage The Westminster Schools’ family and peer communities in philanthropy, active citizenship, and commitment to the common good. The Institute strives to create opportunities to nurture in students and adults a sense of commitment to help others in their community and to improve society for the betterment of all. Through this service learning project, students in Mrs. Solomon’s Old Testament Bible class have had the unique opportunity to integrate their classroom learning of Old Testament text with an identified community need. By rewriting this often obscure text into modern day adaptations, they hope to widen the level of biblical literacy in young people and reinforce reading skills. Service learning became the vehicle by which students realized their potential for creativity and innovation, their desire to question and seek new answers to old problems, and their willingness to be engaged citizens. In short, it gave real purpose to their learning and living in today’s dynamic world. Like the Westminster student authors and editors of these books, the Glenn Institute likes to imagine the many different hands into which these books will find their way. The students’ goal was to develop a series of Bible stories that would elevate, educate, and empower others to live daily lives guided by their faith. The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Institute for Philanthropy and Service Learning hopes The Solomon Shelf™ project touches readers’ hearts and minds across the world.
1: God's Chosen Hamsters A Retelling of Genesis 21:8-21 Text and images by Jennie Werner, Debbie Shim, Daniel Oglesby, and Rishi Patel Ninth Graders in Kay Solomon's 2008-2009 Old Testament Class The Westminster Schools Edited by Claire Lindeman, Caleb Jones, Tyler McCamey, and Telissa Reynolds First Graders in Sara Chapman's and Mya King's 2008-2009 Class The Westminster Schools Special Thanks to The Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Institute for Philanthropy and Service Learning The Westminster Schools 1424 W. Paces Ferry Road, NW Atlanta, Georgia 30327 United States of America The Solomon Shelf™ is a series of retellings of Bible stories for children Copyright 2009 Kay F. Solomon, The Westminster Schools
2: There once was a dog named Joe. In his family there was Sarah Bunny, with a son named Jack, and Grace Hamster, with a son named Max.
3: Max and Jack grew up together. But Sarah, Jack’s mother, didn’t like Max. She didn’t want her son to play with Max. Sarah thought that Max and Grace weren’t as good as her. She wanted them to leave.
4: Sarah decided to complain to Joe. “I don’t like Max or Grace. My son is special and shouldn’t be playing with Max. You have to make them leave.” | Joe replied, “Let me think about it. Max and Grace are part of my family.” Joe did not want to make Max and Grace leave.
5: Joe went to pray to God, asking for help. God replied, “Don’t worry, Joe. I’ll take care of Grace and Max. You can listen to Sarah.” | Joe then went to tell Sarah that she may do what she wants.
6: Sarah gave Grace only a water bottle and a loaf of bread. Then she sent Grace and Max out into the wilderness.
7: Grace and Max wandered in the wilderness for many days. They ran out of food and water.
8: Grace put her hungry and thirsty son down in the shade of a bush. She was crying and shouting because she didn’t want her son to die.
9: Then a bright light came down from the sky, and God said to Grace, “Do not be afraid! I will take care of you and Max. I will give you food and water.”
10: “I will let Max grow up and have many children. He will have a big family and everyone will love him,” God said.
11: Suddenly, fresh water appeared near the bush. Grace and Max ran and drank from the spring and Grace was grateful and happy because she knew that God would take care of them.
12: God continued to help Grace and Max. They found a place to live. God also showed them what foods they could eat and how to hunt animals for food.
13: God also kept his promise to Joe. Max grew up to be a fine young hamster who God was always with. He showed him how to hunt with a bow and arrow and he became very good.
14: Max then married and had many children. Those children then grew up and had children, who also had children and so on. Max then became the start of a great nation, as God promised.
17: Trust in God because He will always provide. He never breaks His promises and takes care of those in trouble.
18: Sight Words Used in God's Chosen Hamsters Pre-Primer a, and, away, big, can, down, find, for, help, I, in, is, it, make, me, my, not, one, play, said, the, to, two, up, you Primer ate, be, came, did, do, eat, have, he, into, like, no, on, out, she, so, that, there, they, too, want, was, well, went, what, who, will, with 1st Grade as, could, from, had, her, him, his, how, know, let, live, may, of, once, put, take, them, then, think 2nd Grade because, both, don’t, gave, many, or, tell, their, those, very, would, your 3rd Grade about, grow, keep, light, only, start, today, together Nouns children, dog, man, water
19: The Writers and Illustrators with the Editors
20: “The Solomon Shelf™” “The Solomon Shelf™” is an idea which developed in one of my Old Testament classes during the second semester of the 2007-2008 academic year. As we were reading the first chapter of the book of Ezekiel aloud one class period, one of my students said, “You should read that to your daughter.” I replied, "There are no pictures.” Another student suggested, “We can draw the pictures!” I said, “The text is a little complicated.” My students said, “We can rewrite it!” And from there a series of books which my students entitled “The Solomon Shelf™” was born. While we were not able to complete the project that semester, I want to say “Thank You” to this group of students who had the foresight and innovation to lay the foundation for this project. “Thank you” Baylor Banks, Hilliard Burton, Forrest Cobb, Shelby Dover, Monique Gilmore, Jeremy Godsell, Anna Greene, Mary Zack H'Doubler, Lillian Haas, Sam Higgins, Julia Marshall, William Morgan, and CiCi Reid. Without you all, “The Solomon Shelf™” would not exist, and therefore would not benefit the many elementary students for whom biblical literacy and literacy as a whole is the key to unlock the world. Kay F. Solomon Department of Biblical Studies The Westminster Schools Atlanta, Georgia