Play-by-Play | May 17, 2024 | God's World News

It's our June giving drive! Help more kids see God at work in the culture.

PLAY-BY-PLAY | MAY 17, 2024

Jonathan Boes • 05/17/2024
Playby Play Week15 Thumb
(AP/Vincent Yu)

Violins made from boats, AI country music, and Hong Kong’s protest anthem.

Welcome to the Play-by-Play. Every other week, we’re taking three recent stories from our God’s WORLD News publications and breaking them down to help you spark conversation in the home or the classroom.

As you move from discover to explore to discern, the themes go deeper. But any of these stories can work for conversation with the whole family. We’ll also include a Conversation Kickoff to help you break the proverbial ice if your kids aren’t ready to dive deep right away.

This week, we’re noticing themes of music and reparation. Look for these ideas as you explore today’s stories.

Sail into song.

(Read it at God’s Big WORLD.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
Inmates at Italy’s largest prison turn wood from old smuggling boats into one-of-a-kind violins. An orchestra uses them to make music.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
Look at our theme of music. What makes the old wood from old boats so good for violins? Why does music bring people joy? Notice our theme of reparation—with younger kids, you might want to explain the meaning of that word. How do these Italian inmates use the time they are serving to give something good back to others? As they restore and renew the material they work with, how are these boats used for smuggling giving back something worthwhile? Does this work remind you of something God does in the Bible? Hint: Look for the term “new creation.”

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
You can make your own instrument! You just need a two-liter bottle, a dowel or pipe, and some string. Learn how at the WORLDkids website.

Conversation Kickoff! If you could learn to play any instrument, what instrument would you learn? Instruments you already know don’t count!

AI with a Twang

(Read it at WORLDkids.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
Country star Randy Travis lost his voice after suffering a stroke in 2013. Now he’s using an AI model of his voice to make new music.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
Look again for our theme of reparation. How does Travis hope AI will help repair his ability to make music? How do he and his wife hope their use of AI will help repair even more than that? Then notice our theme of music. How might AI be used in music production? What are some bad ways to use AI in art, if there are any? Are there other positive uses of AI in music—and if so, what are they?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Get creative! Write a song either by yourself or together as a family. You may not think you can, but give it a try. You might be surprised! With a grownup’s help and permission, older kids might want to research AI music. What does AI-generated music sound like? Can it really compare to human-made music?

No Protest Song Allowed

(Read it at WORLDteen.)

🧠 What do we need to know about this story?
China has banned people from singing or sharing the song “Glory to Hong Kong.” The song had become an anthem of anti-China protests.

❤️️ How does this story affect our understanding?
Once again, spot our theme of music. Why do protests so often employ music? Why would China’s government bother to ban a song? Look for the theme of freedom. What does this musical ban say about China’s view of freedom? What does it say about China’s unwillingness to make reparation for what it has taken from Hong Kong’s citizens? How should governments balance freedom and safety?

✋ How does this story inspire our actions?
Research the history of protests in Hong Kong and its relationship to China. You can search for “Hong Kong” on the WORLDteen website to find dozens of great articles!


Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. — Psalm 100:1-3

Together, let’s get the conversation started. He has equipped you for the work.

Concurrently Ep 71 Thumb 2


Free speech. Religious liberty. Where do these rights come from? We’re joined by WORLD’s Steve West to talk about our liberties and their origins.

Pb P Wk 16 Thumb

PLAY-BY-PLAY | MAY 31, 2024

Pandas return, bullfights get banned, and Google makes an AI blunder.

Concurrently Ep 70 Thumb


How do we cultivate a right understanding of disability? We’re joined by author Stephanie Hubach to explore culture’s shifting attitudes on this topic and discover a biblical alternative.

Concurrently Ep 69 Thumb


It’s a presidential election year in the United States. What discipleship pitfalls might election season bring–and what opportunities does it present? We’re joined by author Kaitlyn Schiess to explore whole-person politics.