Role plays, such as the one suggested in this week’s Out of the Story section, can be threatening for some students. Don’t choose anyone for a role play who’s not at least somewhat willing to participate. You can ease students’ anxiety about participating in a role play by reminding them that there are no right or wrong answers: the goal is just to imagine what the Bible character might have been thinking.
One good way to prepare students for a role play such as this is to divide the class into four groups and assign one of the characters you want to role-play to each group. Send the groups off to discuss the story and that character in particular. All group members can give input into what they think about this character’s actions in the story, and what the character might have been thinking and feeling. Then have them choose one volunteer from each group to act out the role play, basing their characterization on the group discussion. That way everyone gets to contribute, and the role players don’t feel they have to come up with everything out of their own heads.