Secure a copy of A Bug’s Life and cue it to 24 minutes and 55 seconds into the movie. (This is where Hopper demands to know where his food is.) Be prepared to stop the clip after Hopper says, “Someone can get hurt.”
This clip is a perfect way to teach children about bullying, God’s care for us in difficult times, and God’s love for us.
The grasshoppers visit the ants to get the food they have extorted, just as they have done every year. Hopper, the leader of the grasshoppers discovers that the Ants do not have the food ready and demands they get it ready right away.
The plight of the ant colony is similar to the years of oppression the Hebrew slaves experienced in Egypt. You can use this clip to help the children empathize with the enslaved ants’ fear and frustration. Once this emotional connection is built, it’s a small jump to understanding the state of the Hebrews and how their loving God ached for their freedom.
Note: Little children may find this scene frightening. If you have young children in your class, you might not want to show it.
Take the class to a place where the children have room to run.
Say: Let’s play Chore Tag. One person is “It.” If “It” tags you, “It” will tell you a chore that you have to pretend to do. You have to pretend to do that chore for “It.” I will choose another person to be the “Rescuer.” The Rescuer’s job is to tag anyone who is doing chores. If the Rescuer taps you on the head you are free.
Play several rounds of the game. Switch roles often to allow as many children as possible to have a turn.
Tip: If space is tight, have the children “run” on their knees or “heel-to-toe.”
- How did it feel to be stuck doing chores?
- What was it like being the Rescuer?
- How would you feel if a stranger made you do his or her chores?
Say: We are about to view a scene from A Bug’s Life. The ants are slaves to the grasshoppers. The grasshoppers make the ants collect food for them every year. The ants had an accident and lost the food they were to give the grasshoppers. Watch how Hopper, the leader of the grasshoppers responds.
Show the Bug’s Life clip.
- Do you think the Grasshoppers were treating the Ants fairly?
- How would you feel if you were an ant that lived in the colony?
- How would you feel if your best friend was someone’s slave? What would you do?
Say: There was a time when God’s special people were slaves to the Egyptians. God didn’t want his people to suffer. Let’s read what God did. Read Exodus 3:1-7.
- Why do you think God cared about the Hebrew slaves?
- How do you think Moses felt after God told him that he cared about the hard times of his people? Why?
Say: God cares for us when we are going through hard times, too.
For more great ideas like this in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine.