I am always looking for creative ways to teach my students about what it means to have a servant heart.  This activity was to help them understand about the cards we’ve each been dealt.


  • Deck of cards
  • Supplies to build ginger bread houses, included irrelevant supplies
  • Task cards

Prep time: 1 hour 

Activity time: 30 min – 1 hour 


  • Break students into groups of 4-5 people.  Instruct them their task will be to build a ginger bread house.
  • Give each team 7 cards.
  • Each card has been assigned a piece of supplies, for example:
    • Ace = Graham cracker
    • King = frosting
    • Queen = Candy
    • Jack = Knife
    • 10 = Plate
    • 9 = Tortilla Chips
    • 8 = Nothing
    • 7 = BBQ Sauce
    • 6 = Noodles
    • 5 = Marshmellows
    • 4 = Bottle of Water
    • 3 = Pen
    • 2 = Nothing
  • One person comes and gets the supplies they’ve been dealt based on their cards.  They do not have to use the supplies they’ve been given.  There is an opportunity to get/earn the supplies they actually need.
  • Task Cards: Students can earn more supplies by completing a task from a task card.  Tasks included:
    • Sing a song or do a dance.
    • Run around the building.
    • Research how many people are in poverty in your county, city, state, country.
    • Research transportation options in your town.
    • Research how many homeless people in your city.
    • Research the definition of justice.
    • Research the definition of generational poverty.
    • Research the definition of situational poverty.
    • Research a local place to receive a meal during the week.
    • Research a local food pantry and their requirements to receive assistance.
    • Research a local shelter and their requirements to receive assistance.
    • Students completed a task, then they were able to draw a card from the deck.  It was random, so they may receive nothing, supplies they already had, or they may receive a supplies they didn’t need.  They had to complete another task in order to receive another card.
    • Students could choose to keep completing tasks and drawing cards or they could use the supplies they had to try and build a ginger bread house.  For example, one team did not have graham crackers, so they chose to build their house out of marshmellows.

Discussion Questions: 

  1. How did it feel to have no control over the cards you were dealt?
  2. How did it feel to not have the supplies necessary to complete the task?
  3. How did it feel to have to complete tasks in order to build a house?  How did it feel to have unnecessary supplies (representative of how we help those in need)?
  4. In what ways can we make sure we are meeting the needs of those we serve?
  5. Were any facts you researched surprising?
  6. How does God call us to serve?