Ages 6 - 8 The Gospels - Overview (Schedule, Recipes, etc..)

CHURCH SCHOOL

THE LIFE OF JESUS – THE GOSPELS

AGES 6-7

This file is provided as a resource for Church School directors. Feel free to plug in your own dates and your own teachers.

 

TEACHERS:

 

 

 

    Date

            Lesson/Activity

    Teacher

     Special Notes

September  12

 

                 

                  18

                  19

 

                  26

 

Nativity of Theotokos/

Presentation of Theotokos

 

Movie Night

Annunciation

 

Birth of John the Baptist

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor, Parish-wide

October      3

 

                  10

 

                 17

 

                 23

                 24

 

                 31

                

 

Nativity of Our Lord

 

Meeting of Our Lord

 

The Three Kings

 

Movie Night

Flight to Egypt

 

Nazareth and the Temple/

All Saints Party

 

 

 

 

Memory Work: St.

     Simeon’s Prayer

 

 

 

 

Operation Christmas Child due

Dress as favorite gospel character

November  7

 

                 14

 

                 20

                 21

 

                 28

 

Theophany

 

Temptations of Jesus

 

Movie Night

Wedding at Cana

 

Calling of the Fishermen

 

 

Memory : Troparion

Jar Decorating

 

 

Jewish Dancing

 

 

Memory Work:

12 Disciples

December  4

                   5

 

                 12

 

                 19

 

                 26

St. Nicholas Festival

Calling of Matthew

 

Woman at the Well

 

Christmas Pageant

 

Sermon on the Mount

 

10 AM-1 PM in hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memory Work: Beatitudes

January      2

 

                   9

 

                 15

                 16

 

                 23

 

                 30

 

Walking on Water/Calming of Storm

 

Feeding of 5000

 

Movie Night

Transfiguration

 

The Good Samaritan

 

Parable of the Sower

 

 

 

Canned Goods

3 Kings Party

 

 

 

Health Kits

February    6

 

                  13

 

                 17

    

                 27

Zaccheus

 

Publican/Pharisee

 

Prodigal Son

 

Last Judgment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homeless Bags

 

March         5

                    6

 

                  13

 

                  20

 

                  27

 

Movie Night

Forgiveness/Paralytic

 

Miracles/Healing

 

Lazarus

 

Palm Sunday

 

 

 

Antiochian Art Contest

 

 

 

April           2

                    3

 

                   10

                

                   17

                

                  24

                  25

 

                  30

Marathon Movie Night

Last Supper

 

Crucifixion

 

Resurrection

 

PASCHA: No Church School

Easter Egg Hunt

 

Rehearsal for Passion Plan/Musical

 

 

 

 

 

Memory Work: “Christ is Risen”  in 3 languages

 

 

 

 

May          1

                 

                  8

 

            13-15

 

                  22

 

                  29

Passion Play/Musical

 

Doubting Thomas

 

Camping Trip Ages 6-12

 

Myrrh-bearing Women

 

Road to Emmaeus

 

 

For Parish/Public???

 

Piggy Banks Due

June          5

 

                 12

 

                 19

Ascension

 

Pentecost

 

Lord’s Prayer

 

 

 

Memory Work: Lord’s Prayer

Awards Ceremony

 

GENERAL NOTES

 

Classroom supplies: Each class is supplied with the following items:

Paper plates, small and large               Scissors                                               Stapler/Staples

Paper, plain and construction              Tape and dispenser                             Paper bags

Glue or glue sticks                              Crayons and/or markers                     

Popsicle sticks                                     Chenille (colored pipe cleaners)

If you use the last of something, please either replace it or let me know so I can replace it. If you need special craft supplies for your lesson, submit the receipt to me for reimbursement. While each child in the younger classes will have a copy of the Children's Bible Reader and it’s always fun to start out in your very own Bible book, many times we must supplement with the teacher’s copies of the Read with Me Bible, Children’s Bible (in the rooms), Children’s Stories from the Bible, or other books. Watch the lesson plan for page numbers and details. There are also flannelboard stories – these are fun but coordinate with the other young class since there’s only one flannelboard.

 

Teaching Schedule: We all know that there will be last-minute needs; trade with someone if you cannot teach on your assigned day and let the director know!

 

Insurance: Each of us must “apply” each year for our volunteer position of teacher. Please be sure not to send small children to the bathroom unattended and accompany your charges back to the Social Hall after class.

 

Opening Exercises: The Church School director will supervise this time, or delegate it when she is absent. Church School children and teachers are dismissed first from Liturgy; children come straight across for snack during opening exercises. These are an integral part of the curriculum – reviewing material from previous weeks, presenting additional Old Testament characters, rehearsing plays, hearing memory work, and playing quiz games.

 

Curriculum:  With each lesson, I have included True/False questions. These help to reinforce the lesson. Feel free to expand the list. There are also a craft ideas and discussion questions. The lesson plan is one that will work, but feel free to be creative. If you have a good idea for another way to approach the lesson, another craft, etc., go right ahead. Share your idea in writing for inclusion in the next version of the curriculum!

Hand Outs: Feel free to use the coloring pages in the Parents' Guide for each lesson as take homes to supplement and reinforce the stories of the week.

 

Movie Nights and Parties: We will have supper after vespers on Saturday night while showing a small children’s movie. Older children should bring a sleeping bag for a lock-in with “feature” presentation only for the marathon movie night. We have several of our usual parties planned: All Saint’s, 3 Kings, Easter Egg Hunt, and, this year, the St. Nicholas Festival. All are invited; please bring friends for an outreach opportunity.

 

RECIPES

 

                            CLAYS                                                                  PAINTS

SALT DOUGH                                                         FINGER PAINT (4 WAYS)

2 cups flour                                                                 Use pudding with food coloring!

1 cup salt                                                                     Mix liquid starch and food coloring.

about 1 cup water                                                       Mix 3 T sugar, ½ cup cornstarch, and

food coloring                                                                          2 cups cold water. Cook over

bath oil, vegetable oil, peppermint oil                                    low heat, stirring, till thick.

            Mix flour and salt. Add water                                      Pour into muffin tin. Add

slowly and mix with your fingers until                                   food coloring to each cup.

it makes dough. Knead in a few drops

food coloring and a splotch of oil (if                          SAND PAINT

desired). Store in air-tight container.                          Add dry tempera paint to corn meal.

                                                                                    Sprinkle over areas “painted” with white glue

SELF-HARDENING CLAY             

1 cup sand                                                                   for a sand effect. Shake off excess.

½ cup cornstarch

1 tsp powdered alum                                                                          PASTES

¾ cup hot water                                                          PRIMARY PASTE

Food coloring if desired                                             Mix ½ cup water and 1 cup flour

            Mix sand, cornstarch and alum                                   in a bowl. Spoon into a jar

in large pot. Add hot water and stir                                       or squeeze bottle to store.

vigorously. Add food coloring if

desired. Cook over medium heat                                PAPIER MACHE PASTE

until thick, stirring constantly.                                    3 cups water

After cooling, store in airtight container.                    1 ½ cups flour

                                                                                                Mix flour with cold water until lumps are gone.

SAWDUST CLAY                              

2 cups fine sawdust                                                    Dip strips of newsprint in paste and mold around

1 cup flour                                                                   surface to be shaped. Air dry.

            Mix sawdust and flour in bowl

or bucket. Add a little water at a time,

stirring till it is stiff but pliable. Knead

till it’s elastic and easy to shape. Store

in airtight container. Air dry.

 

CORNSTARCH DOUGH

2 cups cornstarch

4 cups baking soda

2 ½ cups water

            Mix cornstarch and soda in large

pot. Add water. Cook, stirring, over medium

heat until thick like mashed potatoes. After

cool, knead on wax paper for 5 minutes. Store

in an airtight container. Air dry.

Nativity of Theotokos and Presentation of Theotokos

NATIVITY OF THE THEOTOKOS AND PRESENTATION OF THE THEOTOKOS

 

Objectives:

  1. Students should be able to tell the stories of these two great feasts.
  2. Students should know the names of Joachim and Anna and Mary.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

2. Read the story of the feasts:

            There lived in the land of Israel a couple names Joachim and Anna. Joachim and Anna were Jews; God called the Jews His chosen, or special, people, and had given them His law and His prophets. Through the prophets, God had spoken to His special people, telling them that He would send His Son to be their king. And through the years, God had given the Jewish people many mighty and godly kings, like King David and King Solomon. Joachim and Anna were from the family of David. But, their own lives were sad because they had no children.

            In those days, a family with no children was thought to be worthless. In church, Joachim and Anna could not give their gifts until all the families with children had finished worshipping. They were called cursed. Everyone thought that they must have done something very bad for God to punish them by not letting them have children.  One day, when Joachim and Anna came to the temple to worship, a very cruel temple servant told them to go away and not to come back until all the people with children had finished!

            Joachim and Anna left in silence. They were so sad. Anna went home, but Joachim went out to the desert mountains to pray and fast to the Lord. Anna stayed at home and also prayed and fasted. At the end of forty days, God sent an angel to Joachim as he prayed and one to Anna as she prayed. The angel told each of them something wonderful. God was going to give them a baby! Just like Sarah and Hannah, even though they were old, God was going to answer their prayers! Joachim hurried home to tell Anna the good news, but the angel had already told Anna. How happy they were! And, their baby would be the mother of the Messiah, the king that God had promised for hundreds of years.

            What the angel had promised came true. Joachim and Anna, old as they were, did have a baby. They named their tiny girl Mary. She was truly beautiful. And they promised God that they would give her back to Him to serve Him.

            Soon little Mary was three years old. She was traveling the long dusty road from her village of Nazareth to the gleaming city of Jerusalem. Her mother, Anna, and her father, Joachim, had promised her this journey as long as she could remember. It took five days to reach Jerusalem. Finally, instead of only dusty brown road, the travelers began to see the brightly-colored houses of Jerusalem. Then, as they came around the curve at the Mount of Olives, Mary saw the brilliant sun shining off the massive white and gold of the Temple. This was to be her home!

            That very afternoon, Joachim and Anna dressed Mary in her very best clothes. They were happy, but sad, too. They would miss their little girl so much. But, a promise to God must be kept. Would Mary be lonely and afraid? They walked through the outer court of the temple, crowded with merchants, moneychangers, and sellers of all sorts of animals. As they reached the inner gate, Mary saw the temple virgins – young women dedicated to God – walking up the steps bearing torches of fire. This was truly her home! She left her parents and confidently climbed the same steps all by herself. The high priest gathered her in his arms and blessed her. Mary would stay there, living with the other girls, learning to fast and pray and to be pleasing to God. She was so happy!

            The church celebrates the birthday of Mary on September 8. We celebrate her entrance into the temple on November 21.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

                         True                                                False

Mary’s parents were Joachim & Anna            Mary’s father was Noah.

Mary was born in Nazareth.                            Mary was born in Jerusalem.

God sent an angel to Joachim & Anna.          God called Joachim on the telephone

Mary climbed the temple steps by herself.     Joachim carried Mary to the temple.

 

  1. Review the story again, with the icons. Identify each figure. What was the role of each in the story? Ask the children: How did Joachim and Anna feel when they couldn’t have a child? How do you feel when people say bad things about you? Is it good to say bad things about other people? How did Mary feel when saying good-bye to her parents? Why did she climb the steps to the temple? Would you be brave enough to do that?

 

  1. Have a birthday cake for Mary, complete with candles and song. If you feel particularly adventuresome, what about the children writing new words from their story for the “Happy Birthday” song?

 

  1. Make the Steps of the Temple. Take a long piece of construction paper and fold like a fan into 15 steps (or fewer if it’s too hard). Using the pictures on the next page, copy and cut out each figure for each child. Color the figures and glue or tape a Popsicle stick behind each to make a puppet. Re-enact Mary climbing the steps of the temple.

 

  1. Close with prayer.


 


T

Annunciation

THE ANNUNCIATION

Objectives:

  1. Children should know that Mary was the mother of Jesus.
  2. Children should be able to say the word Theotokos and know its meaning.
  3. Children should be able to say “annunciation” and know it means announcement.
  4. Children should be able to identify the angel Gabriel and Mary in the icon.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the Annunciation in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 164-165, or  Read with Me Bible, pages 252-255. Supplement, if desired, with the Children’s Bible, pages 348-349. Review the story with the icon, identifying Mary and Gabriel. What is Mary holding? She is shown holding a spool of thread because she was spinning thread when the angel appeared to her.

     

 

  1. True/False Questions:

                            True                                                          False

            The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary.              The angel Michael appeared to Mary

            Mary was spinning thread.                              Mary was playing tag.

            Mary was the mother of Jesus                                    Anna was the mother of Jesus.

            Annunciation means announcement.              Annunciation means birthday.

 

  1. Ask these questions: What was Mary doing when the angel came to talk to her? What would you want to be doing if an angel came to your house? Arguing with your sister or brother? Disobeying your parents? How do you think Mary felt when she saw the angel? How would you feel? Have any of you seen an angel? Why did the angel come to talk to Mary? Who would be the father of Mary’s baby?

 

  1. Make a Bottle Angel: Take a small dish detergent or similar bottle. Add doily, feather, or paper wings, a strip of paper folded for a book, a Styrofoam head with yarn hair and chenille halo.

 

  1. Close with prayer.

 

 

Birth of John the Baptist

BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of Elizabeth, Zachariah , and the angel.
  2. Children should be able to identify John as the child of Elizabeth and Zachariah.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of John’s birth in the Childen’s Bible Reader, pages 162-63 and 166-68, or the Children’s Bible, pages 346-350. We also have the Arch book “Elizabeth’s Story”.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

                           True                                                               False

            Elizabeth and Zachariah were very old.         Elizabeth & Zachariah hated children

            Zachariah was a priest.                                    Elizabeth was a priest.

            The angel Gabriel spoke to Zachariah.            The angel spoke to Elizabeth.

            Zachariah couldn’t speak.                               Elizabeth couldn’t see.

            Elizabeth & Zachariah’s baby was John.        Elizabeth & Zachariah’s baby was

                                                                                                Mary.

 

  1. First review the stories of other “gift babies”: Mary to Joachim and Anna, Isaac to Abraham and Sarah, and Samuel to Hannah and Elkanah.  You can even review the stories in the Read with Me Bible or Children’s Bible. What gift did God give to Elizabeth and Zachariah? How did they feel? What did Zachariah say to the angel? Did he believe God? Do you always believe God? Is it hard sometimes to do what God says? Why couldn’t Zachariah speak? What were his first words? Did he obey God in the end? Who visited Elizabeth before John was born? Remind the students that Mary and Elizabeth were cousins.

 

  1. Have another birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to baby John. Can you make up words like a Troparion to go with “Happy Birthday” about John?

 

  1. Make a craft: Clay Tablet (like the one Zachariah may have written on). Any of the clays in the recipes or a bought clay should work fine. Shape a tablet. Use a pencil to inscribe the words, “His Name is John”. Why did Zachariah have to write?

 

Close with prayer. Use the prayer that Elizabeth prayed when she saw Mary coming: “Rejoice, O Birthgiver of God, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you! Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb. For you have borne the Savior of our souls!”

Nativity

NATIVITY OF OUR LORD (CHRISTMAS)

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to identify Christmas as Jesus’s birthday.
  2. Children should know that Nativity means “birthday”.
  3. Children should be able to tell the story of the Nativity and identify the figures in the icon.
  4. Children should be able to repeat the greeting: “Christ is born! Glorify Him!”

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of Christmas in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 168-170, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 256-265. You can supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 351-352 or Children’s Stories from the Bible, pages 131-133. Review the story with the children with the icon, having them identify the people, animals, and star and what each did in the story.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

                                                True                                         False

            Jesus was born in a stable.                              Jesus was born in a palace.

            Mary was Jesus’s mother.                               Elizabeth was Jesus’s mother.

            Joseph was Mary’s husband.                          John was Mary’s husband.

            Angels appeared to the shepherds.                 Goats appeared to the shepherds.

            Christmas is Jesus’s birthday.                         Christmas is Mary’s birthday.

            Nativity means birthday.                                Nativity means play day.

 

  1. Practice the greeting: Christ is born! Glorify Him!” Go around the circle until each child can say each half of the greeting.

 

  1. Make a class Creche scene and individual Christmas Stained Glass Windows. For the Creche scene, assign someone to make Mary, Joseph, Jesus, shepherds, and angels. Use toilet paper tubes for figures, with chenille arms and Styrofoam ball head. Use construction paper for the head covering and any clothing. Re-enact the story using your figures. Leave them in the middle of the table for later lessons.

Then make stained glass windows. Cut pieces from tissue paper and lay on a long piece of wax paper, overlapping as needed. Cover with another piece of wax paper and iron lightly.

  1. Close with prayer.



T

The Meeting of the Lord

THE MEETING OF THE LORD

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the meeting of the Lord.
  2. Children should be able to identify Simeon and Anna, as well as Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the icon.
  3. Children should know what churching is and that this feast is its origin.
  4. St. Simeon’s prayer is our memory work this week.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with St. Simeon’s Prayer: “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people, Israel.

 

  1. Read the story of the meeting in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 173-174, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 266-269. You can supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 352-353 or Children’s Stories of the Bible pages 135-138. Review the story with the icon, identifying each character. What is the role of each? Why were Simeon and Anna there? Why were Mary, Joseph, and Jesus there? What is Joseph holding and why?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

                                    True                                                     False

            Mary & Joseph brought Jesus to the temple.  Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the playground.

            Simeon was an old man.                                 Simeon was an angel.

            Simeon and Anna were waiting for Jesus.      Simeon and Anna were eating lunch

            Simeon and Anna were god-fearing people.  Simeon and Anna hated God.

  1. Bring an infant baby doll, wrapped in a blanket.  Tell the children that each baby is brought to the church when he

     

    or she is a few weeks old.  Just as in the days of Jesus, the mothers and fathers thank God for their new child and ask Him to take care of their baby and help him to grow up as a good member of God’s family.  This is called churching.  Act out a churching, with the teacher as priest, and a little girl holding the baby, a little boy as father.

 

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord. O Lord God Almighty, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, purify this woman, (name), from all sin and bless thou the child, (name), who is born of her.  (Make the sign of the cross over the child.) As Thou, O Lord, wast brought on the fortieth day as an infant in to the Temple according to the Law by your mother, Mary, and wast carried in the arms of Simeon the Just, do Thou, O Master, bless this baby who is brought here.  For unto thee are due all glory, thanksgiving and worship.  Amen.

 

 

  1. We bless candles on this feast day. Simeon and Anna were two old people who had been waiting a long time for Jesus, who would be the light of the world. We celebrate the light of Jesus with the blessing of candles. We use candles made of beeswax because God gives us His bees to make the wax.

 

  1. Make Peanut People Finger Puppets: Break peanuts in half for each puppet. Draw on faces and add cloth or paper headcoverings, yarn hair and beards, etc. Practice telling the story with the finger puppets. Someone in the class allergic to peanuts? No problem. Take small strips of paper, tape into cylinders, and decorate in the same way as paper finger puppets.

 

  1. Close with St. Simeon’s Prayer. Recite the prayer line by line with the children repeating. Or try singing it a couple of times like we do at vespers. Do it all together at the end with lighted candles.

 

The Three Kings

THE THREE KINGS

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the three kings, or wise men.
  2. Children should know that the star guided the wise men to Bethlehem.
  3. Children should be able to name Herod as the wicked king who wanted to kill Jesus.
  4. Children should be able to name the gifts the kings gave the baby Jesus.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer. Review St. Simeon’s prayer. Have the children memorized it yet?
  2. Read the story of the three kings in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 170-173, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 270-276. Supplement if desired with the Children’s Bible pages 354-357 or Children’s Stories of the Bible, pages134-136. Review the icon of the Nativity. Where are the three kings? Add them to your crèche and review all the other figures in the icon and the crèche scene. Does the Bible actually tell us how many kings there were? (no)

3.   True/False Questions:

                                    True                                                     False

            Herod was King of Judea.                              Herod was one of the wise men.

            The kings brought gifts for baby Jesus.          The kings hated baby Jesus.

            Herod hated baby Jesus.                                 Herod loved baby Jesus.

            The kings followed a star.                               The kings followed a kite.

            Jesus was born in Bethlehem.                         Jesus was born in Baltimore.

4.   Ask some questions: What were the gifts of the kings? Why did they bring these gifts? Why did Herod hate Jesus? What did God tell the wise men to do?

  1. Make king crèche figures and add to the class crèche scene (see Nativity lesson). Then each student can make paper stars; they’ll make great decorations for the Christmas tree.
  2. Alternate craft idea: Lacing stars. Trace the pattern on the following page with yellow poster board and punch out the holes. Give the students large tapestry needles and colored yarn. Have them go in and out, lacing around the outline of the star and then to its center from each point.
  3. Close with prayer.


Flight to Egypt

FLIGHT TO EGYPT

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should know how God’s angel helped Joseph care for Jesus.
  2. Children should know a little about Egypt and Moses.
  3. Children should recognize Herod as the wicked king who killed the children.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with Prayer.

 

  1. Read the story in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 174-175, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 277-279. Supplement if desired with the Children’s Bible, pages 356-357.  What did Mary and Jesus ride? Have the children pick the donkey out of the crèche scene. Who warned Joseph? Who wanted to kill Jesus? Why? Where were Joseph and Mary and Jesus living and where did they go?  Why Egypt?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            An angel warned Joseph about the danger.    Joseph heard a warning on the radio.

            Mary and Jesus rode a donkey.                      Joseph, Mary, and Jesus rode a car.

            Jesus was born in Bethlehem.                         Jesus was born in Egypt.

            King Herod wanted to kill Jesus.                   King Herod loved Jesus.

 

  1. Bring a small suitcase to class. Has any of the children taken a long trip with his family? What for? Explain that it was a long trip to Egypt and the Joseph family had to pack in a hurry to escape the angry king. Re-enact the story, having the children each pretend to put into the suitcase something that the family would need for the journey. What happened in Egypt? Review the stories of Joseph and Moses from the Old Testament briefly. What happened in Bethlehem after they left?

 

  1. Make Herod’s Soldiers: Take a toilet paper tube. Wrap it with a strip of red construction paper until it’s all covered. Use a thin strip of white paper for the face. Cut the helmet from gray and decorate with red feathers (like Roman soldiers). Cut thin strips of red for arms and glue on tiny white hands. Glue to your soldier. Finish by drawing in the face. Fancy? Decorate the “uniform” with gold metallic ribbon or braid and use chenille pipe-cleaners for arms to hold tiny swords or spears.

 

  1. Close with prayer.

Nazareth and Trip to Jerusalem

NAZARETH AND THE TRIP TO JERUSALEM

Objectives:

  1. Children should identify Nazareth as the childhood home of Jesus.
  2. Children should know that Joseph was a carpenter, and so was Jesus.
  3. Children should be able to relate the story of the trip to Jerusalem and Jesus talking with the elders in the Temple.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Read the story of Jesus’s childhood in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 175-177, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 280-285. Supplement if desired with the Children’s Bible pages 358-359 or Children’s Stories of the Bible pages 141-142. You could also use the flannelgraph story in the cupboard on our flannelboard. Why did the family come back from Egypt?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                         False

            Jesus grew up in Nazareth.                             Jesus grew up in Bethlehem.

            Joseph was a carpenter.                                   Joseph was a priest.

            Jesus and his family went to Jerusalem.         Jesus and his family went to Florida.

            Jesus was found in the Temple.                      Jesus was playing tag on the street.

 

  1. Discuss the love of our families: How are some ways our parents take care of us? (food, clothing, a house, etc.) How did Mary and Joseph care for Jesus as a boy? (many of same ways) What does your father or mother do at work? At home? What did Joseph do for a living? What’s a carpenter? Do you help your dad? Do you think Jesus helped his dad build things? How do you help your mom? Do you think Jesus did, too? Bring in some wood; we have hammers and nails. Play carpenter for a few minutes.

 

5.   Reenact the journey to Jerusalem: Have children play the roles of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and caravan members. Travel from your classroom to the sanctuary.

            On the road to Jerusalem: Stop and ask “Why are you going to Jerusalem? What are you looking forward to? What do you see on the road?”

            In the Temple: Stop and ask, “What are you doing in the Temple?” Have the whole class pray the Lord’s Prayer together in the sanctuary. Jesus stays in sanctuary; rest of class moves to vestibule.

            In the vestibule, about ready to go home, ask, “Where are you ready to go now?” Are you happy about your trip to Jerusalem?”

            Camping in the playground that night, ask, “Mary and Joseph, what have you just noticed? How do you feel? What will you do?”

            Back in the sanctuary, ask, “Jesus, what are you doing? Why did you stay behind? Mary and Joseph, how do you feel now that you’ve found Jesus? Jesus, what do you tell Mary and Joseph?”

            Back to the classroom, ask, “Where are we now?” Did we have a good trip?”

  1. Make a scroll, like the one Jesus might have used as a boy. Use a pencil or a small dowel for each end and glue or tape on the piece of paper. Make several – each with a different picture of Jesus’s boyhood (carpenter, traveling to Jerusalem, in the Temple, at home in Nazareth, etc.)

 

 

7.   Close with prayer.


 

Theophany

THEOPHANY

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of Jesus’s baptism by John.
  2. Children should name the River Jordan as the site of Jesus’s baptism.
  3. Children should be able to identify Jesus, John, and the dove in the icon.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of Jesus’s baptism in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 177-179, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 286-289. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 360-361, Children’s Stories of the Bible pages 143-145, or the flannelgraph story.  Review the story with the icon, identifying the characters and their roles. Remind the children that John was Jesus’s cousin. Review briefly the story of John’s birth; do the children remember it? Review the importance of the crossing of the Jordan River in the Exodus from Egypt in the days of Joshua.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.         Jesus was baptized in the Temple.

            Jesus was baptized by John.                           Jesus was baptized by Joseph.

            John was Jesus’s cousin.                                 John was Jesus’s father.

            The Holy Spirit appeared as a dove.               The Holy Spirit appeared as a spider.

 

  1. Review the custom of House Blessing. Does any of the children remember their house being blessed? When do we bless houses? Who blesses them? What do we use? Where do we get the Holy Water? Let them know that we will be able to decorate jars for Holy Water today after Church School that they can use for their House Blessing later this year. What do we sing? Practice the Troparion of Theophany with the children.

 

  1. Ask the children if they have ever seen a baptism? What’s it like? Why are we baptized? (to become part of God’s family, the Church) Sing together “As many as have been baptized…”  How was Jesus’s baptism like our baptisms? Different?

 

  1. Make a Come Alive Mural: Draw the icon HUGE on a huge piece of bulletin board paper (or brown wrapping paper). Let the children color the figures, each one concentrating on a particular figure. Cut out the faces and hold the paper up near a wall. You may have to do this in the Social Hall with parents to help hold. Let the children take turns with their faces behind the figures. When everyone’s had a chance, cut up the mural and let each take home his portion.
  2. Close with the Troparion and prayer.

Temptations

TEMPTATIONS

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should identify the devil, Satan, as the one who tempted Jesus.
  2. Children should know that Jesus did not sin.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 180-181, Children’s Bible, pages 362-363, or Children’s Stories of the Bible 146-147, or the flannelgraph story, or the really good Arch book, “The Temptations of Jesus”. Where did Jesus go after His baptism? What is the desert like? How long did Jesus spend without food and water? What would that feel like? Who is Satan? Review the story of Adam and Eve. What three temptations did Satan present to Jesus? Did Jesus sin?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Satan tempted Jesus.                                       God tempted Jesus.

            Jesus went to the desert after His baptism.    Jesus went home to Nazareth.

            Jesus didn’t eat or drink for 40 days.             Jesus had plenty to eat and drink.

 

  1. Ask some questions: Have you ever been tempted to do wrong? To disobey God or your parents? What might tempt you? Did you give in and do the wrong thing? Is it hard to always obey God and your parents?

 

  1. Play “Pin the Cross on the Devil”: Make a black paper or poster-board devil and tape it to the classroom wall. Make a small paper cross for each child. Glue a red heart on the devil. Blindfold the children one by one and have them pin or tape their cross to the devil. Whoever is closest to the heart is the winner! Who does the cross represent? Does the cross defeat the devil?

  1. Make a devil mask: Take a red or black plate. Draw mean-looking features and cut out eyes. Add horns. Tape on Popsicle stick to hold it with. Now pose some situations:

A dollar bill is on the floor.

            A friend left her candy on her desk.

            I can go to Hershey Park on Sunday morning.

Have the children decide what the devil would say with their devil masks. What would Jesus say to answer the devil?

 

  1. Close with prayer.

Wedding at Cana

WEDDING AT CANA

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should identify the water into wine as Jesus’s first miracle.
  2. Children should know the word “miracle” and what it means.
  3. Children should recognize that the wedding at Cana is part of our wedding service.

 

Possible Lesson Plans:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the wedding at Cana in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 184-185, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 295-297. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, page 366, or Children’s Stories of the Bible pages 158-160, or the flannelgraph story. Why was Jesus in Cana? Who asked him to supply more wine? How was the wine supplied? Remind the children that this was Jesus’s first miracle. What is a miracle?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Jesus went to a wedding at Cana.                  Jesus went to a wedding in Jerusalem

            Mary asked Jesus for more wine.                    The bride asked Jesus for more wine.

            Jesus turned water into wine.                         Jesus turned grapes into wine.

            Jesus’s wine was the best ever.                       Jesus’s wine was sour and nasty.

 

  1. Talk a bit about weddings. Has any of the children ever been to one? What happens? Discuss the bride and groom, the service and priest. Play-act a wedding with children as bride and groom, priest, and Jesus and Mary and the other guests. What happens after the ceremony? (reception/party) What’s a party like? What do you like to have at a party? What might grown-ups like to have? What would it be like to run out of drinks with all those guests?

 

  1. Usually, there’s singing and dancing at a Jewish wedding. Enjoy some of the dances you learned last week at movie night.

  1. Make The Steward’s Clay Pots: Take any sort of clay; they sell some nice Mexican reddish air-dry clay at most craft stores. Children love to make things of clay. Try making a pot shaped like a vase. It’s ok to paint on air-dry clay with acrylic paint even before drying if you want to decorate your pots. If you’re able to get a waterproof clay, the pots can be used as vases; otherwise, warn the children to use only silk flowers.

Close with prayer.
 

Calling of the Fishermen

  1. CALLING OF THE FISHERMEN

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to name the four fishermen.
  2. Children should be able to tell the story of the miracle of the full nets.
  3. Children should be able to say the word “disciple” and know that Jesus’s disciples were His closest followers.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the calling of the fishermen in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 182-184, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 290-293, the Children’s Bible, pages 364-365 or Children’s Stories of the Bible pages 148-150 and 160-162, or the flannelgraph story. When did Jesus first meet Andrew? (He was a follower of John the Baptist.) Why is Andrew called the “First-called”? Who was Andrew’s brother? (Simon, later named Peter by Jesus) Who were the sons of Zebedee, also brothers? (James and John) What do you think Peter said when he saw all those fish in his net? Why did the fishermen give up fishing to follow Jesus?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Andrew was the first called.                           Peter was the first called.

            Peter and Andrew were brothers.                   Peter and John were brothers.

            James and John were sons of Zebedee.          Peter & James were sons of Zebedee.

 

  1. Talk a bit about being a disciple. What is a disciple? Repeat the word until the children know it. Jesus had 12 close disciples, but many followers. What did the fishermen have to do to become Jesus’s disciples? Did they enjoy fishing? How do you think they felt leaving their homes and families? Was it easy being a disciple? We are also Jesus’s disciples. What does Jesus ask us to do? Is it always easy?

 

  1. Begin to list and memorize the 12 disciples: Peter and Andrew, James and John, Matthew, Philip and Nathaniel Bartholomew, Simon the Zealot, James (the Less), (Doubting) Thomas, Judas, and Judas Iscariot. Here’s a song to the tune of “Old McDonald” that may help:

 

Peter, Andrew, James, and John, fishermen were they.

Simon Zealot, James the Less, Judas Thaddeus.

With Philip and Nathaniel Bartholomew,

Doubting Thomas and Taxman Matthew,

Judas Iscariot last of all; he the Lord betrayed.

 

 

  1. Make Fishers of Men. Cut out about 20 fish for each child. Write the name of a disciple on 12 of them and other names on the rest. Clip a paperclip to each fish. Make a fishing pole with pencil, string, thumbtack, and a piece of magnet for a hook. To play the game, put the fish in a bowl. Catch a fish with the magnet and pull it up. The child should decide whether the name is a disciple or not. Keep the disciples and throw the rest in a pile as discards. Continue until all fish are caught.

 

  1. Close with prayer.


 

Calling of Matthew

CALLING OF MATTHEW

Objectives:

  1. Children should know that Matthew was a tax collector.
  2. Children should know that Matthew was one of Jesus’s disciples.
  3. Children should memorize the 12 disciples.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of Matthew in the Read with Me Bible, page 294. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 370-371, Children’s Stories of the Bible page 181, or the Arch book, “The Man Who Learned to Give”. What was Matthew’s job? Was he liked by most people? Why or why not?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Matthew was a tax collector.                          Matthew was a doctor.

            Jesus went to Matthew’s house.                     Jesus hated Matthew.

            Matthew was Jesus’s disciple.                        Matthew hated Jesus.

            Matthew gave back the money he stole.         Matthew stole Jesus’s money.

 

  1. Talk a bit about liking people: What makes someone a good friend, a nice person? Have the children come up with some characteristics. What makes someone a “bad” person? Did most people think Matthew was a nice person or a bad person? Why? Did most people like Matthew? Did they visit him? Were they nice to him? How did Jesus treat Matthew? Do you know some people who are not so nice? How do we treat people who are not so nice? Are we being like Jesus?

 

  1. Make a Money Pouch: Take a circle of leather or heavy fabric or felt. Cut 8 holes around the top. Use 2 shoelaces or heavy yarn or twine for each pouch and lace around the top, one in each direction. Pull tight and knot drawstring. Decorate the outside with fabric markers or acrylic paint if desired.

 

  1. Close with prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to love even people who are not nice to me and to be like You.

Woman at the Well

THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of Jesus and the woman at the well.
  2. Children should be able to say the word, “evangelism” and know that it means telling people about Jesus.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the woman at the well in Children’s Stories of the Bible pages 154-157 or The Zondervan Bible Storybook (2 copies total) on page 246. It is not in the Read with Me or the Children’s Bible. Why was Jesus at the well? Where were the disciples? What was the woman doing? What did Jesus say to her? What did she do?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Jesus was sitting at a well.                              Jesus was sitting in his car.

            A woman came to draw water.                       A woman came to buy a goat.

            She went and told everyone to come.                        She went home for a nap.

 

  1. Talk a bit about evangelism: Say the word and repeat it until the children know it. What does it mean? Was that what the woman at the well did? Was she excited to tell her friends what Jesus had said? Is there anyone you know who does not know about Jesus? Have you told them? Why or why not?

 

  1. Make the Woman at the Well Game: Cut several jars for each student. Write on each a question about the woman at the well. Make a well from a 28-32 oz. tin can; the outside can be covered with gray construction paper and lines drawn like stone. Tie a string to a small hole in each jar and put the jars in the well with the strings hanging over the side. See if the student can answer the questions drawn from the well.

 

  1. Close with prayer. Lord Jesus, make me so excited that I want to tell everyone about you, like the woman at the well.

Sermon on the Mount

SERMON ON THE MOUNT

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should know that the Sermon on the Mount is full of teachings of Jesus.
  2. Children should be able to list several important teachings of Jesus: the light of the world, the salt of the earth, the sparrows and lilies, the house on the rock, etc.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 193-197, or the Children’s Bible, pages 376-383 or Children’s Stories of the Bible 190-192. There is also an Arch book in the cabinet about the Beatitudes. All classes are working on the Beatitudes; this class will also focus on the story of the birds, the grass, and the lilies.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Jesus cares about the birds.                             Jesus hates birds.

            God cares for the grass and flowers.              Jesus hates grass and lilies.

            God cares for us.                                             We have to take care of ourselves.

 

  1. Discuss Nature: Who created plants and animals? Does God love His creation? What do plants need to grow and not die? Brainstorm some ideas – water, light, soil, etc. What do birds need to grow and not die? Brainstorm again – food (what type?), water, nests, etc. How does God provide these? What does the grass have to do? The lilies? The sparrows? What do people need to grow and not die? (food, drink, clothing) How does God provide these things? Will He? Why? Do we need to worry?

 

  1. Begin to memorize the Beatitudes. Say or sing it together to begin the memory work to be continued at home. Can each child say it? Go over line by line, reading it to the children:

What is “poor in spirit”? What is the kingdom of heaven like?

When do we mourn? What does God do when we are sad?

Who is meek, or gentle? Does it look like they would inherit the earth?

Do we hunger and thirst after righteousness, really? Are we truly satisfied?

What is mercy? Are we merciful? When? Do we need mercy?

What does “pure in heart” mean?

Who is a peacemaker? What makes them a peacemaker?

What does “persecuted” mean? Have you ever been persecuted for being a Christian?

Has anyone ever told a lie about you? Does it hurt? Did you rejoice?

 

 

  1. Make a bird feeder. Take 2 jar lids and a cake donut. Punch a hole through the jar lids. Add the donut. Use a bent nail to hold it all together and tie a string to hang it in your backyard. Replace the donut as needed. Are you helping God to care for the birds?

 

  1. Close with prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer, also from the Sermon on the Mount.

Walking on Water and Calming the Storm

WALKING ON WATER AND CALMING OF STORM

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the two miracles in their own words.
  2. Children should be able to identify Peter as the disciple who walked on water.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Read the stories of the miracles in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 193-197, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 304-307 and 318-323. Supplement, if desired, with the Children’s Bible, page 404, Children’s Stories of the Bible pages 162 and 165, the Arch book, and the flannelgraph story. What was Jesus doing in the boat when the storm came? How did the disciples feel? How did Jesus respond? Who came walking across the water? Who wanted to walk with Jesus? What happened when Peter looked down? How did Jesus respond?
  3. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Jesus was sleeping thru the storm.                  Jesus was afraid of the storm.

            The disciples were afraid of the storm.           The disciples loved storms at sea.

            Jesus told the wind to be quiet.                      The boat sank.

            Peter walked with Jesus on the water.            John walked with Jesus on the water.

 

  1. Talk a bit about storms: What are storms like? Lightning? Thunder? Wind? Bring some library books with pictures of storms or try making a storm in the room by turning out the lights, blinking them, and beating on a pot. Make a “storm dish”: Fill pie pan (or other shallow pan) with water. Add some blue food coloring and a tablespoon of vinegar. Float a small plastic boat in the water. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into the water like rain. Watch the “storm” of bubbling waves and the boat. Have the children imagine they are in a storm. Are you afraid of the thunder or lightning? Why or why not? Is God in charge of the world even in a storm? Can we trust God? What is water like? Think about swimming a bit. How do we keep from sinking? Can we breathe under water? Do you like to swim? Can we walk on water usually? Why could Jesus walk on the water? (He trusted God.) Did Peter trust Jesus? Completely? Is God in charge even of the water? Can we trust God?

  1. Make a Sailing Boat: Take a paper plate and color it blue. Make a tiny boat with a half walnut shell (or plastic bottle top), clay or play-doh, a toothpick, and a tiny piece of paper or fabric. Stick a piece of adhesive magnet strip on the bottom of the boat and another on the end of a Popsicle stick. Now use the Popsicle stick below the plate “sea” to make the boat “sail” around.
  2. Close with prayer, asking God to help us trust

                   Him even in a storm.

Feeding the 5000

FEEDING THE 5000

Objectives:

  1. Children should identify this as a miracle of Jesus.
  2. Children should know the little boy shared 5 loaves and 2 fishes.
  3. Children should know that Jesus fed 5000 people after blessing the food.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 210-211, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 312-317. Supplement, if desired, with the Children’s Bible, pages 402-403, Children’s Stories of the Bible pages 163-164, or the Arch Book, “The Boy Who Gave His Lunch Away”. What was Jesus doing? Why were so many people there? They must have been hungry. What did Jesus feed them? Where did He get the food? What did Jesus do with it? What was left over? Was this a miracle? How did the disciples feel?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Jesus was teaching in the wilderness.             Jesus was in a restaurant.

            The little boy had 5 loaves and 2 fish.            The little boy had a steak and peas.

            Jesus fed 5000 men from the blessed food.   Jesus sent the people to town to buy

                                                                                                food.

 

  1. Try a sharing demonstration. Bring to class a batch of brownies, enough for half the class. Hand out the brownies to half the students; let the others see that there are no more. Are there comments about not being enough? Ask the children what they can do about this situation. When they come up with the answer, cut each brownie in half. Now there are enough for everyone. Eat the brownies while you talk about sharing: Did the little boy have to share his food? Why did he share? No one forced him to share his food – he wanted to. Jesus teaches us to share food with others. Do you bring lunch or snack to school? What if someone asks for something especially delicious from you? Will you share? Are there other ways we can share? Think about some and write them down.

 

  1. Make a Fish and Loaves Plate: Cut out 2 fish and 5 loaves for each student from the patterns. Write on each something the student has said he can share. Bend the tabs and tape to a paper plate, writing on the plate “I Can Share”.

 

  1. Close with prayer, asking Jesus to help us to be sharing people, as was the little boy. Pray specifically for the areas the children have said that they are willing to share.



 

FISHES AND LOAVES PATTERNS

Transfiguration

TRANSFIGURATION

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the Transfiguration.
  2. Children should be able to say the word “transfiguration” and know that it means “Change”.
  3. Children should be able to identify each character in the icon and his role in the story.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the Transfiguration in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 218-219,the Children’s Bible, pages 406-407, Children’s Stories of the Bible 194-196, or the flannelgraph story. Show the icon. Have the children identify the figures and retell the story in their own words using the icon. Say the word “transfiguration” several times until the children can repeat it easily. What does it mean? Who was transfigured? In what way? Who did Jesus speak to? Which disciples came with Him?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Jesus shone with dazzling white robes.          Jesus turned pink and purple.

            Peter, James, and John came with Jesus.        Mary and Joseph came with Jesus.

            Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah.                Jesus spoke with King Herod.

 

  1. Review the Old Testament stories of Moses and Elijah; both are in the Read with Me and Children’s Bible. Why would God have chosen these two men for Jesus to speak to? What was their importance in the Jewish history? Both are considered to be forerunners of Jesus. Many people thought that John the Baptist was Elijah come back to life. How was John like Elijah? How was Jesus like Elijah? How was Jesus like Moses?

 

  1. The Feast of theTransfiguration is celebrated on August 6. We bring fruit to church on the feast. Why? We are asking God to bless the harvest of fruit and the crops, which are just becoming ripe at this time.

 

  1. Make a Transfiguration Diorama. Use pipe-cleaners with a little clay on the bottom for figures. Draw your background on a piece of paper and glue into a shoebox or similar-size container. Green felt makes nice grass on the bottom. What are the figures carrying? Make clothing, if desired, of small bits of felt or cloth. Construction paper will do nicely for “props”.
  2. Close with prayer. Ask God to bless the fruit and crops now and every year.

 


 

Good Samaritan

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to identify this story as a parable of Jesus.
  2. Children should be able to tell the story in their own words.
  3. Children should have an understanding of what makes a good neighbor.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer. Recite it a couple of times for memory practice.

 

  1. Read the story of the Good Samaritan in the Children’s Bible Reader, page 202, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 324-328. Supplement, if desired, with the Children’s Bible, pages 412-413. Review the meaning of a parable, a story with a hidden meaning. Why did Jesus tell this story? What happened to the man in the story? Was the priest a good neighbor to this man? The Levite? Why or why not? Was the Samaritan man a good neighbor to the hurt man? Why?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            The man was traveling to Jericho.                   The man was traveling to Bethlehem.

            The man was hurt by robbers.                         The man had a safe and boring trip.

            The priest passed the man without helping.    The priest helped the man.

            The Samaritan man helped the hurt man.       The Samaritan hated the hurt man.

 

  1. Discuss the concept of “neighbor”: Ask the children who are their neighbors. After a listing of friends and neighbors, try to expand their focus. Is the homeless man in the street who smells bad and is dirty also a neighbor? Is the child who steals their lunch money also a neighbor? Is the boy who hits them on the playground also a neighbor? Did Jewish people usually like Samaritans? Did Samaritans usually like Jewish people? Remind the children that the Samaritans were the descendants of the people who were not taken into Babylon in captivity; they married people of the land and were hated by the Jews when they returned. Was it easy for this Samaritan man to care for the Jewish man? Is it always easy to love other people and to do good things for them? Is there someone you find particularly difficult to love? Can you do something nice for them as a good neighbor?

 

  1. Make an Envelope Viewer Movie Strip. Cut a TV screen hole in the front of a business-size envelope. Lick the envelope shut and cut off both ends. Give each student a strip of paper divided comic-strip style into about 6 frames. Have them illustrate the story of the Good Samaritan; what are the most important scenes? Insert the strip in the viewer and pull through to see the whole story. Can they tell the story with their “movie”?
  2. Close with prayer.  Have each child think of a particular person who is hard to love and pray for that person and plan something nice for that person.

Parable of the Sower

PARABLE OF THE SOWER

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the parable in their own words.
  2. Children should know the word, “parable”, and be able to say that it is a story with a hidden meaning.
  3. Children should know the “hidden meaning” of the seeds and the sower.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the sower in the Children’s Bible, pages 392-393, and the really fun Arch book, “Seeds that Grew”.  Tell the children that Jesus is telling a story. It is a special kind of story. It is called a parable. Repeat the word until the children know it. What is a parable? In this parable, who is the sower? What are the seeds? What is the soil?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            A parable is a story with a hidden meaning.   A parable is a comic strip.

            The sower is Jesus or God.                             The sower is the devil.

            The seeds are God’s words or teachings.       We are the seeds.

            We are the soil.                                               God is the soil.

 

  1. Try to understand the parable a bit: What kind of people are hard, rocky ground? Would seeds grow well there? What kind of people are easily dried out by the hot sun? Would seeds grow well there? What kind of people are so shallow the birds can eat the seeds? What kind of things might be thorns that take over our lives? What kind of people are rich soil? What kind of people are each of us? This will be hard with smaller children; they may remain totally concrete, unable to see people as dirt and teachings as seeds. That’s OK; talk about seeds and dirt and later understanding will come.

 

  1. Make a Seed Starter Station: Take an egg carton, preferably paper. Fill with soil. Plant various seeds in the different pockets, or try to do an experiment based on the parable – two pockets with only rocks, two with almost no soil, another 2 with lots of weed seeds (e.g. grass), and the rest with deep soil and pretty flower seeds. Have the children take their “science experiment” home, water it, and watch the growth.

 

  1. Close with prayer, asking Jesus to make us good soil to learn and obey His teachings.

Zaccheus

ZACCHEUS

 

Objectives:

 

  1. Children should be able to identify Zaccheus as the short man who wanted to see Jesus.
  2. Children should know that Zaccheus’s life was changed by meeting Jesus.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

 

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of Zaccheus from the Children’s Bible Reader, page 224, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 356-357. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, page 422, or Children’s Stories of the Bible 193-194 if desired. What did Zaccheus do for a living? Do we know another tax collector in the Bible? (Matthew, the disciple) Why couldn’t Zaccheus see Jesus? What did he do? What did Jesus say to Zaccheus? What did Zaccheus do for Jesus?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Zaccheus was a tax collector.                         Zaccheus was a priest.

            Zaccheus was a short man.                             Zaccheus was the tallest man in town

            Zaccheus climbed a tree.                                 Zaccheus flew in a balloon.

            Jesus went to Zaccheus’s house.                     Jesus walked right by Zaccheus.

 

  1. Sing the song “Zaccheus was a wee little man…”

 

  1. Look around the room: Who is tall? Who is short? Who has blond hair? Who has dark hair? Who has blue eyes? Who has brown eyes? Have children brainstorm other physical characteristics that make us uniquely ourselves. Does God love only tall people? Brown-haired people? Blue-eyed people? God loves everyone! God loves each of us, just like we are!

 

  1. Talk a bit about hard work and persistence: Do you remember the fairy tale of the fox and the grapes? The fox found a bunch of grapes, but they were too high for him to reach, so he told everyone that they were sour. Did Zaccheus give up on seeing Jesus just because he was too short? Did he just tell people Jesus wasn’t worth seeing? Zaccheus found a way to his goal. What did he do? He climbed a tree. Was that easy? Wouldn’t it have been much easier to just go home and say that Jesus wasn’t worth the effort. What did Zaccheus receive for his hard work and persistence? Did he only see Jesus as Jesus walked by? No, Jesus stopped, called Zaccheus, and went to his house for dinner!

 

 

  1. Make Popsicle Puppets: Take the Zaccheus and the Jesus patterns. Color and cut out. Tape Popsicle stick to the back. Have students take a piece of light blue construction paper. Cut out a brown tree trunk and green leaves. Glue to make a tree. Use this as your background to tell the story with your puppets.

 

  1. Close with prayer.

Publican and Pharisee

THE PUBLICAN AND THE PHARISEE

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to say the words “publican” and “Pharisee” and know their meanings.
  2. Children should know whose prayers God listened to and why.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story in the Zondervan Bible Storybook, one available in each classroom. This story is in neither the Read with Me nor the Children’s Bible. What is a publican? Who else have we met who is a tax collector? (Zaccheus and Matthew) Review their stories briefly. What did the publican pray? What is a Pharisee? (a respected man of the temple) What did he pray? Which did God listen to? Why?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            A publican is a tax collector.                             A publican is a teacher.

            A Pharisee is a respected man of the temple.    A Pharisee is a garbage collector.

            God listened to the prayer of the publican.       God listened to the Pharisee.

 

  1. Talk a bit about humility: How do you feel when you win a race? Get a prize? Do something good? This feeling is called pride. Some pride is OK. But the Pharisee had done many good things – so many good things that he was always bragging about himself, even to God! Do you ever brag when you do something good? How does it make you feel? How does it make other people feel? Do you feel like you’re better than other people? Does it look that way when you brag? Did the Pharisee think he was better than the publican? Was he in God’s eyes? Have you ever done anything wrong – ever disobeyed God or your parents, cheated in school, hit your brother, yelled at your sister, etc.? None of us is perfect; we all make mistakes. When we pray, should we brag, or should we ask God to help us obey Him even better? Remember the Beatitudes: can anyone recite “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Which was poor in spirit – the publican or the Pharisee? Which will inherit the kingdom of heaven?

  1. Make “Bible Bookends”: Copy the icon and cut out 2 Pharisees and 2 publicans; you’ll have to draw in just the bottom of the Pharisee where the Publican overlays it. Have the students color the pieces. Take a brick. Spray paint it or glue felt on each side. Glue felt on the bottom. Glue the Pharisees on the wider side and the Publicans on the smaller sides. The bookends will remind the students each day of the parable and its moral.

 

  1. Close with prayer.

Prodigal Son

THE PRODIGAL SON

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the Prodigal Son in their own words.
  2. Children should know that God forgives us even when we do something we shouldn’t.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the Prodigal Son in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 207-209, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 344-349. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 416-417, or Children’s Stories of the Bible 178-179 if desired. Where did the son go? What did he do with his money? Where did he end up, doing what? Why did he go back to his father? What did he say? What did his father say?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            The son left home with his money.                 The son stayed home with daddy.

            The son spent all his money.                           The son saved his money carefully.

            The son had to feed the pigs.                          The son worked in the market.

            The father was happy the son came home.     The father hated the son.

 

  1. Talk a bit about the words “I’m sorry”: These are powerful words. When do we say them? Have the children think of some times they have said them or heard someone else say them. What do we mean by saying “I’m sorry”? Did the Prodigal Son say, “I’m sorry”? How did the father respond? How do we respond when someone says they are sorry? Sometimes it’s not so easy to forgive. What if your friend broke your favorite toy and said, “I’m sorry”? Is it easy to forgive when the toy is still broken?

 

  1. Take a pigpen pledge: Review the story. The Prodigal Son was in the pigpen. He realized his sin and his father’s love – then he had to take a step. He had to get up and leave the pigpen and take a step towards his father! Picture this with the students. Then have each in preparation for Lent consider his or her own pigpen. What one single step can he or she take during Great Lent to move towards the Lord? Increased prayer time? Scripture reading each day? Lenten services? Improved fasting? Visiting the sick? Let each student actually write down the step he will take to draw nearer to the Father.

 

 

  1. Make a Piggy Bank: Take a gallon milk or juice plastic container. Turn it on its side so the handle is on top. Glue eyes just below the handle on both sides, 4 corks or bottle tops for feet, pink felt ears, and paper circles for spots all over the pig’s body. Twist a pipe-cleaner into a tail and poke it into the plastic behind. Draw on a mouth. Finally, cut a slit in the top for coins. All during Great Lent, we will each collect coins at home (from the sofa cushions, off the floor, by doing chores, etc.) and will bring them in to class to put in the class Piggy Bank to give to the IOCC at Pascha.

 

  1. Alternate Craft idea: Pig paper bag puppet. Take a paper bag. Use the templates below for either the piggy bank or the bag puppet. Glue the verse to the bottom of the bag. Write the verse on the bottom of the bag: “I shall arise and go unto my Father and shall say unto Him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.’”

 

  1. Close with prayer. Ask specifically for each child to be faithful to his “Pigpen Pledge”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ears

 

Eyes and nose                                                             Arms

Last Judgment

THE LAST JUDGMENT

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should know that Jesus is coming again as judge.
  2. Children should be able to list some of the characteristics of goodness.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

2.   Tell the parable of the Last Judgment:  Jesus said, “When the Son of man comes, he will be like a king sitting on a throne.  All around the throne will be angels and in front of the throne will be all the peoples of the earth.  Then the King will judge the people.  He will separate the good people from the bad people.  He will have the good people stand on his right side and he will say to them, ‘ Come, O good children of my Father.  Receive the beautiful Kingdom that God created for you in the beginning. You have lived as my Father wanted you to live, for when I was hungry, you gave me food to eat, when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink, when I came as a stranger, you welcomed me, when I was naked, you clothed me, when I was sick, you visited me, when I was in prison, you came to see me.’ Then the people will answer the King: ‘ Lord, when did we see you and do all these things for you?’ And the King will answer, ‘If you were kind or helped anyone who needed help, you helped me.  The good things you did to them, you did to me.’ Then the King will say to those at his left side, ‘Because you didn’t help anyone, or weren’t kind or generous to anyone, you didn’t show kindness to me.’ Therefore the King will send them away to be punished forever, but to the good people, he will give life forever in his kingdom.”

 

  1. Instead of True/False Questions, have the children try to list the characteristics of goodness, as stated in the parable. Discuss each one: Have we done any of these things? When? Have children tell stories from their own lives.

 

  1. Review some Old Testament stories of judgment: Adam and Eve and the Garden, Noah and the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot’s wife, Pharaoh and the plagues of Egypt, etc. Each of these can be looked at again in the Read with Me Bible.

 

  1. Make a Last Judgment Projector: Take a paper towel tube. Cut off about 1 inch at one end. Tape 2 popsicle sticks nearly side-by-side to hold the 2 pieces of tube together with a ¼ inch slit between. Take a long-thin strip of paper divided comic-strip style into 8 sections. In the first, have the student draw a sheep and in the last, a goat. In each of the other sections, draw one of the specific actions called for in the parable. Insert the paper into the “projector”, hold up to the light, and watch your Last Judgment movie.

 

  1. Close with prayer. Have each child specifically select a Last Judgment good deed to do this week.

 

 

 


 

Forgiveness and the Paralytic

FORGIVENESS/ THE PARALYTIC

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the paralytic and his four friends.
  2. Children should know that Jesus can forgive sins because He is God.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Read the story of the paralytic in the Children’s Bible Reader, page 187, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 3003-303. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, page 370, Children’s Stories of the Bible 196-198, or the Arch Book, “The Lame Man Who Walked,” if desired. What does “paralytic” mean? Where was Jesus? Where were the friends with the man? How did they get into the house? What did Jesus do? Say? What happened? How do you think the man felt? His friends?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            The paralytic man could not walk.                  The paralytic man could not see.

            There was a big crowd around Jesus.             Jesus was all alone in the house.

            The man’s friends cut a hole in the roof.        The  friends went in the window.

            Jesus forgave the man’s sins.                          Jesus told the friends to carry the

            Jesus healed the man and he could walk.                   man back home.

 

  1. Talk a bit about disabilities: What would it be like to be a paralytic? Lie on the floor and pretend you can’t move your arms or legs at all. Can you walk? Can you eat? Can you brush your teeth? What would it be like to be blind? Close your eyes or turn out the lights. Pass around several familiar objects – a pencil, a crayon, a brush, a rubber band, etc. Can you identify them? What would it be like to be deaf? Try talking to each other by only moving the lips. Can you understand each other? How do you suppose the paralytic felt when he was healed?

 

  1. Who forgives sins? Jesus said something unusual to the paralytic before he healed him. What did He say? The Prodigal Son asked for forgiveness; did the paralytic? We all can forgive each other. Tonight, in church, we’ll be celebrating Forgiveness Sunday. We’ll go from one to another asking forgiveness and being forgiven. Demonstrate and practice with the class how to do the sign of the Cross and a bow and to ask forgiveness. But, only one person can forgive us all our sins. Who is that? When Jesus told the paralytic that his sins were forgiven, Jesus was claiming to be Whom? And, when the paralytic walked, Jesus proved that He was indeed God!

 

  1. Make a Stand-up House and add the paralytic, Jesus, and his friends. The house is easily made with a long sheet of construction paper. Cut out window and door, folding to open. Cut out the figures and color them. Glue or tape the friends to the roof, each one holding a string that attaches to one corner of a piece of felt for the stretcher of the paralytic. The strings should be just long enough that the paralytic, lying on his “stretcher” is visible in the window. Glue Jesus in the doorway.

 

  1. Close with prayer.

Miracles and Healings

MIRACLES AND HEALINGS

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of at least one healing of Jesus.
  2. Children should know the word “miracle” and what it means.
  3. Children should know the importance of saying, “Thank you”.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the stories of Jesus’s healing miracles in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 188-189, 213, 221-222, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 308-311 and 350-353. Supplement especially with the Arch Book, “He Remembered to Say Thank You” or with the Children’s Bible pages 369,372,373, 384, and 398 or Children’s Stories of the Bible 198-210. Use the flannelgraph as well for more depth. There are many, many healing miracles. Focus on two or three and have the children retell the stories, perhaps with the flannelgraph figures. What kinds of problems did Jesus heal? You may have to tell the children what leprosy is. What kinds of people did Jesus heal? Did He heal the same way each time? We’ll skip the True/False questions today in light of the large number of stories to cover.

 

  1. Talk a bit about illness. Ask the children: Have you ever been sick? What’s it like to be sick? Are there different kinds of sickness? Be prepared for them to launch into descriptions of their own pain and suffering. Is it fun being sick? What do we do when we are sick? (Go to the doctor, take medicine, stay in bed, etc.) What did Jesus do when someone came to Him who was sick? (He prayed for them and they got better.) Can we pray to Jesus, too? Can we ask Jesus to help us, too? What do we say to Jesus after asking Him to help us? (Thank you.) The Church has a special sacrament where we pray to Jesus for healing. It is called “Holy Unction.” Have the children repeat the words until they know them. We should call the priest and pray to Jesus whenever we are very sick.

 

  1. Make a Story Spinner: Take a paper plate. Divide it into a section for each miracle discussed today, at least 4 and no more than 6. Have students draw a picture of the miracle in the wedge-shaped section of the plate. Use an arrow cut from poster board (or another plate) and a brad to make a spinner. Can the student spin the spinner and tell whichever story it lands on?

 

Close with prayer, praying especially for anyone known by a student to be sick.

Lazarus

THE RAISING OF LAZARUS

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of Lazarus in their own words.
  2. Children should know the names of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the raising of Lazarus in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 227-229, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 329-339. Supplement, if desired, with the Children’s Bible, pages 423-425 or Children’s Stories of the Bible 210-213. Where was Jesus when Lazarus became sick? Who were the sisters of Lazarus? How was Lazarus by the time Jesus came? What did Jesus do? Why did Jesus cry? What happened to Lazarus after Jesus prayed? Review the story with the icon, identifying Jesus, Lazarus, Peter, and the sister.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Mary liked to sit at Jesus’s feet.                     Martha sat and listened to Jesus.

            Martha was very busy getting things done.    Mary was busy getting things done.

            Lazarus was very sick and died.                     Lazarus had a little cold.

            Mary and Martha were Lazarus’s sisters.        Elizabeth and Anna were Lazarus’s sisters.

            Jesus told Lazarus to come out.                      Jesus told Lazarus to take a bath.

 

  1. Play-act the story with one student wrapped like Lazarus in toilet paper. Another student plays Jesus, with students as Mary and Martha and the disciples watching. Jesus prays and shouts, “Lazarus, come forth!” Lazarus enters the room. Jesus tells the others to untie him and the toilet paper is unwrapped.

 

  1. Discuss death a bit: What is death? Have the children ever known anyone who has died? Why are we sad when someone dies? Mary and Martha knew that Lazarus would rise again someday, but they were still sad. They would miss their brother. Even Jesus cried. Remind the children that Jesus knew that He would also soon die. Is Jesus stronger than even death? (Yes) How did He prove this even before He Himself rose from the dead?

 

  1. Make the Holy Cross News: Take a newspaper. Have the students cut out words to form the headline they would write if they were reporting on the miraculous event of Lazarus’s resurrection. Glue the words onto a piece of paper and roll into a scroll, tying with a ribbon.
  2. Close with prayer.


Palm Sunday

PALM SUNDAY

Objectives:

  1. Children should know that Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
  2. They should be able to identify the characters in the icon and tell the story.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of Palm Sunday in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 230-232, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 358-361. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 428-430, Children’s Stories of the Bible 220-221, or the Arch book, The Donkey Who Served the King.  Use the icon and point out the characters and their roles. How did Jesus get the donkey? What were the people doing? What were they saying? Are there children?

 

  1. True or False:

True                                                     False

            Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey.   Jesus entered Jerusalem on an elephant.

The people were happy to see Jesus.     The people shouted, “Crucify him!”

The people shouted “Hosanna!”           The disciples stole the donkey.

The children waved palm branches.       Jesus entered Rome on Palm Sunday.

People made a carpet for Jesus with      People threw rocks at Jesus.

            with their coats.

 

  1. Show pictures of palm trees.  If you have them, show the children a palm branch and a pussy willow.  Let them hold and touch. 

 

  1. Make a Jesus Palm Branch: Cut lots of green construction paper leaves. Have the children brainstorm things that Jesus did or said. Write each on a leaf for each child or have them draw a picture of each on the leaf. Using a thin dowel for the stem, tape the leaves on the sides to make a palm branch.

 

  1. Close with prayer.


 

Last Supper

THE LAST SUPPER

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the Last Supper in their own words.
  2. Children should identify the major figures in the icon.
  3. Children should know that the Last Supper was also the first Communion.
  4. Children should be able to name bread and wine as the Communion foods.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Read the story of the Last Supper in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 236-242, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 366-381. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 440-447 or Children’s Stories of the Bible 222-224, if desired. What did Jesus wash before supper? Why? What foods did He bless? Who was going to betray Him? Review the story with the icon, identifying the characters, the bread, and the wine. We celebrate the Last Supper on Holy Thursday with the 12 readings of the story.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Jesus washed his disciples’ feet.                     Jesus washed his hair.

            Jesus blessed the bread and wine.                  Jesus blessed the broccoli.

            Judas Iscariot went to betray Jesus.                Peter went to betray Jesus.

            Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.    Jesus danced a jig in the garden.

            The disciples fell asleep.                                 The disciples prayed with Jesus.

            Judas kissed Jesus to betray Him.                   Judas cut off Jesus’s ear.

 

  1. Review the story of Moses and Passover in the Read with Me Bible. Jesus and His disciples were celebrating Passover dinner at the time of the Last Supper. In fact, Jesus is called the Paschal lamb. How is He like the Passover lamb? The lamb saved God’s people from death, just as Jesus was soon to save all people from death.

 

  1. Have a foot-washing: Have the children sit in a circle with shoes off. Take turns washing each others feet. Why did Jesus wash His disciples’ feet?

 

  1. Talk a bit about Holy Communion: What do we eat and drink for Holy Communion? Why are these foods special? When was the first Communion?

 

  1. Bake Prosphora to use during Holy Week: Tell the students that this is the bread that Father uses for Communion.  It would be best to mix the dough at home:

3 cups warm water                                          Mix warm water and yeast

2 tablespoons fast rise yeast                                        first

5 pounds bread flour                                       Add flour, salt, and cool

3 cups cool water                                                        water and knead.

1 ½ tablespoons salt

Let the dough rise during Liturgy in the kitchen (not in oven). Divide into a loaf for each child and let the children knead and shape the loaves and stamp them. Take them home again to bake. Help each child to make a list of relatives, living and dead, for Father to pray for.

 

  1. Close with prayer.


Crucifixion

THE CRUCIFIXION

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to say the word “crucifixion” and know that it means to be nailed to a cross.
  2. Children should know the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and be able to tell it.
  3. Children should be able to identify the characters in the icon and their meaning.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of Jesus’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 242-255, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 382-397. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 448-455, if desired, or Children’s Stories of the Bible 227-235,  or the Arch book, “The Man Who Carried the Cross for Jesus”. Where was Jesus when He was arrested? What was He doing? What were the disciples doing? How did Judas betray Him? Peter lied about knowing Jesus how many times? Before when? Who was the high priest? The soldiers put what on Jesus? Who condemned Jesus to death? How did He die? Who carried the cross? Why? What are some of the things Jesus said on the cross before He died? Who was crucified with Jesus? What happened when Jesus died? Who took Jesus’s body to his own tomb? Review the story with the icon, identifying the people. What role did each play?

 

3. True/False Questions:

                        True                                                     False

Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane.      Jesus was arrested at home.

Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.                                Judas hit Jesus with a sword.

Peter denied knowing Jesus 3 times.                          Peter denied Jesus 20 times.

The soldiers put a crown of thorns on Jesus.              The soldiers gave Jesus gold.

Pontius Pilate judged Jesus.                                        Moses judged Jesus.

Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus.                              Pilate buried Jesus.

 

  1. We celebrate the Crucifixion on Holy Friday. We sing on Thursday about the “Wise Thief”. The story is in the Children’s Bible, page 353, or the Arch book “The Thief Who Was Sorry”. Which thief was wise and why? We also sing on Friday about “The Noble Joseph”. Who was the noble Joseph? What did he do? Play these beautiful songs if you want with tape or CD from the bookstore. Do you remember what we do in Church on Holy Friday? (Procession, candles, the tomb.)

 

  1. The Cross is the symbol of the Crucifixion. Practice making the sign of the Cross until each child can do it correctly. Role play the prostrations while singing the song “Before Thy Cross”.

 

  1. Make a time line, written with readers, in pictures with small fry. Draw on it the events of Holy Week from Lazarus Saturday until Pascha, filling in each detail the children remember and jogging their memories if needed. Or make a card for each event and have the children line them up in order.

  1. Make a Holy Week game. Along the lines of chutes and ladders, draw a gameboard. Fill in events of Holy Week along the path, with a penalty (chute) for the bad events (betrayed by Judas, condemned by Pilate, crucified, buried by Joseph of Arimathea, etc.) and a reward (ladder) for the good events (Palm Sunday, washed disciples’ feet, prayed in Garden of Gethsemane, etc.) Have the children choose the most important events from their time line or cards to include on their game board and place them in order. Use dice to play the game; no dice? Tear 6 strips of paper and write a number from 1-6 on each and draw a paper when it’s your turn.

 

  1. Or try a Holy Week booklet. Use pictures of icons to color, or the booklet pages after the icons + a description of each day’s events. Decorate a cover and back of construction paper, and bind with ribbon or yarn.

 

  1. Close with prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOLY WEEK BOOKLET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Monday: St. Joseph the Patriarch

A symbol and pre-figuring of Jesus in the Old Testament. You can read St. Joseph’s story at the end of the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. As we think about St. Joseph today, we remember that the great events of the Old Testament become realities in the New.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Tuesday: The Parable of the Ten Virgins

We must make our decision to follow Christ now and not at some point future so that we may watch, pray and be prepared when we are called to join Christ. Our goal should be to seek out the will of God and hold onto his teachings in joyful anticipation of meeting Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Wednesday: The Betrayal of Christ by Judas and the Sinful Woman

On Holy Wednesday, the Church urges us to think about two people, the sinful woman who poured oil on Jesus’ feet and Judas. The woman came to know Jesus as her savior while Judas chose to betray Him. Judas lost his freedom in Christ, not because he sinned but because he refused to believe that he could be forgiven. The woman, believing that she could be free of sin asked forgiveness and was set free. We must remember that we ourselves deny Jesus when we sin, just like Judas, but we do not have to perish like Judas. We can be like the woman, ask Jesus to forgive us and be set free from our sin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Thursday: The Mystical Supper

At the Mystical Supper, Jesus gave us a new idea of what food and drink means by saying, “Take, eat; this is my Body. Drink of it all of you; for this is my Blood of the New Covenant” (Matthew 26:26-28). These words spoken by our Lord forever identify Jesus with the ordinary human food of bread and wine. We know that our bodies need food in order to live. In the Eucharist, the bread and wine mystically become the body and blood of Christ. God is able to feed us with Himself while at the same time he remains different from us. God lets us share His divine nature in the Eucharist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Friday: The Death of Christ on the Cross

On this day, we remember the sufferings of Christ: the nails, the thorns, the spear and death. The day of Christ’s death revealed all the sin that has dirtied our world since its creation. Christ is called, “The New Adam” and in Him there is no sin and no death. Christ chose to trade his life for death and in this way was able to destroy death forever. He chose to suffer greatly in being apart from his Father “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me!” (Mark 15:34). He then took on the scary experience of dying and said “It is fi nished” (John 19:30). When Jesus spoke those words, He let everyone know that He was in control of death and that his work to save us was being completed. Death is no longer a final ending to our lives, but a door opening into eternal Life with God, our own Pascha.


 

 

Pascha

PASCHA

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should know the Paschal greeting and response, in as many languages as possible.
  2. Children should know that on Pascha we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead.
  3. Children should recognize the icon and the figures in it.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer: Teach and sing the hymn, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death; and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”

 

  1. Read the story of Palm Sunday in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 257-258, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 398-399. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 356-358, if desired. Who came to the tomb?  Why are we so happy on Pascha?  Use the icon to retell the story, pointing out each character. Review the stories of Adam and Eve, of John the Baptist. You can also read one of the Arch books, either “Kiri and the first Easter” or “The Glory Story.”

 

  1. True or False?

True                                         False

            Jesus rose from the dead on Pascha.   Jesus rose from the dead on Palm Sunday.   

            Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus.             Jesus was crucified on Pascha.

            Jesus was crucified on Holy Friday.    Caiphas, the high priest, loved Jesus.

            Two Marys went to the tomb.             Mary and Mary saw a snake in the tomb.

            The noble Joseph of Arimathea          Peter never denied he knew Jesus.

                        buried Jesus’s body.

 

  1. Teach the Paschal greeting in several languages; the children can respond.

English: Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Greek: Christos anesti! Alethos anesti!

Russian: Christos voskrese! Voistinue voskrese!

Arabic: Al-masi-kam! Haq an qaam!

 

  1. Make Easter Banners. Take a piece of felt and staple over a coat hanger. Cut out letters to spell “Christ is Risen.” Let the children cut out other decorations – crosses, flowers, eggs, etc. – or bring in silk flowers or lilies. Glue these onto the banner.

 

  1. Close again with the song and a prayer.

 

 

Doubting Thomas

DOUBTING THOMAS

Objectives:

  1. Children should recognize the name of Thomas as a disciple.
  2. Children should be able to tell the story of Thomas in their own words.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Read the story of Thomas in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 261-263, or the Children’s Bible, page 458, or Children’s Stories of the Bible page 244, or use the Arch book, “Doubting Thomas”. This story is not in the Read with Me Bible. Who was Thomas? What happened to the other disciples? Was Thomas there? What did Thomas say? What did Jesus do? How did Thomas respond? Why is he known as “Doubting Thomas”?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Thomas was a disciple.                                   Thomas was a thief.

            Thomas didn’t believe the other disciples.     Thomas saw Jesus before anyone.

            Jesus appeared also to Thomas.                      Thomas never saw Jesus.

            Thomas bowed and worshipped Jesus.           Thomas ran away from Jesus.

 

  1. Talk a bit about doubt: Has someone ever told you something that was hard to believe? Listen to the children’s stories of things they would find hard to believe. If someone told you he saw a dead man walking around, would that be hard to believe? Did Thomas believe the other disciples? Would you? Talk a bit about the normal, expected way things usually are:  Can the children describe some things that we know should happen in a certain way or look a certain way? Maybe, things fall down, not up; we walk on our feet and not our heads; leaves are green and not purple. Life is full of normal, everyday things and it would be impossible to live life otherwise. Imagine a world where things fell up, down, or sideways at random, where …(go on with your children’s list). But, do things always have to be normal? Is God in charge? Can He change anything He wants when He needs to? So He can and did change death, and surprised poor Thomas.

 

  1. Make Storybook People of Jesus and Thomas. Use a L’eggs egg half or a Styrofoam cup. Clip on clothespins for legs (3 or 4, or it won’t stand up!). Draw on the faces. Draw the clothing, or use fabric. What about yarn for hair? How would Thomas look? Surprised? What about a crown of thorns on Jesus made of pipe-cleaners? Can the children tell the story with dialogue for each of the characters?

 

Close with prayer.

Myrrh-bearing Women

THE MYRRH-BEARING WOMEN

Objectives:

  1. Students should be able to say the word “myrrh” and know its meaning.
  2. Students should be able to tell the story of the myrrh-bearing women in their own words.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the myrrh-bearing women in the Children’s Bible Reader, page 257, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 398-399. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, pages 354-356, or Children’s Stories of the Bible 235-237, if desired. There is also an Arch book, “The Easter Women”. Why were women going to the tomb? Why on Sunday? What is myrrh? What did they find? What did they do?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            The women went to the tomb on Sunday.      The women went on Saturday.

            The women carried myrrh.                              The women carried wine.

            They found the tomb empty.                          They found Jesus’s body.

            They told the disciples Jesus was risen.          They cried and fell asleep.

 

  1. Discuss a bit burial customs. Have any of the children been to a funeral or vigil? What are our customs? See if the children can remember singing “Memory Eternal” or eating koliva. The Jewish custom was to rub the body with myrrh. Why couldn’t the women do it Friday night? (the Sabbath) Where do we go to visit someone who has died? (cemetery) Where was Jesus’s body  put after He died? Can you remember whose tomb it was? We usually bury people in the ground and fill the grave with dirt. How was the tomb of Jesus sealed? (stone) How did the women feel when the stone was rolled away? How would you feel if the grave of a loved one were found dug up? But, Jesus’s body wasn’t stolen; He told the women He had risen from the dead! How did they feel now? What did they do?

 

  1. Make a Spicebraid for a Mother’s Day gift. Begin with 6 3-foot lengths of yarn for each child. Fold over in the middle. Tie with a bow at the fold and 1 inch below it. Braid the yarn all the way down and tie with a bow at the bottom. Make several small sachets with a circle of fabric filled with spices and tied with a ribbon. Use the ribbon to tie the sachets along the length of the braid. Hang it at home for all to enjoy.

Close with prayer.

Road to Emmaeus

  1. THE ROAD TO EMMAEUS

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to tell the story of the road to Emmaeus in their own words.
  2. Children should know that the disciples recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of the Road to Emmaeus in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 259-260, or the Children’s Bible, pages 356-358 or Children’s Stories of the Bible 240-241. Where were the men going? Why? Who was the stranger? When did they know that He was Jesus? Review the story of the Last Supper, when Jesus last broke bread with His disciples.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            The men were going to Emmaeus.                  The men were going to Nazareth.

            They met Jesus on the way.                            They met John the Baptist.

            Jesus told them all about the Bible.                Jesus told them “The Three Pigs”.

            They knew Jesus when He broke bread.         They never knew who Jesus was.

 

  1. This is a good time to review, as Jesus did, the span of the Old Testament and prophets and what they said about the Messiah. When did people first disobey God? Review the story of Adam and Eve. Over and over, God saved His people: Noah and the ark, Abraham and Isaac, Moses and Passover, Jonah and the big fish, the three boys in the fire, Daniel in the lion’s den. Look at the pictures in the Read with Me Bible. In each case, God provided the means of saving His people. What were they? (ark, ram, blood of lamb, fish, Jesus Himself, an angel) He gave His people His law, the Ten Commandments, but they disobeyed even that. Now He has given His Son to save us all!

 

  1. Re-enact the scene as the men broke bread with Jesus. Have the students sit in a circle. Have some really tasty bread, with butter and jam ready. Remember to pray before eating. The teacher then can tear off a piece of bread for each student and everyone can eat the bread with butter and jam.

 

  1. Decorate a hiking stick, like the ones the men might have used to walk to Emmaeus. The students will have chosen sticks at the camping trip last weekend. Bring acrylic paints for them to decorate them. Using Christian symbols? After they dry, spray with clear spray to fix the paint.

 

  1. Close with prayer.


 

Ascension

ASCENSION

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to say “Ascension” and define it.
  2. Children should identify the characters in the icon and tell the story.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.  Remember especially Pascha and the Paschal hymns and greetings.
  2. Read the story of the Ascension in the Children’s Bible Reader, page 267, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 402-403. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, page 361, or Children’s Stories of the Bible 245-247, if desired.  Use the icon as a visual aid and identify the people as you tell the story.  There are Jesus, Mary, angels, and 12 disciples.  Can the students name the disciples?  Can all the students identify the people and tell the story?

 

  1. True/False Questions:

True                                         False

            Jesus rose into heaven on Ascension.             Jesus died on the cross on Ascension

            Mary and the disciples were there.                 Noah rode him to heaven on an ark.

            Jesus told the people that He would               Jesus told everyone He hated them.

                        always be with them.

            Jesus is still alive in heaven                             Jesus is dead and gone.

            Jesus told his disciples to wait in                    Jesus told his disciples to go home

                        Jerusalem.                                                        and go fishing.

 

  1. Was this a sad or a happy story?  What did Jesus promise? (That He would always be with us.) Why are Jesus’s hands spread? (He’s blessing us.) What did He tell His followers to do? (To go to Jerusalem and wait for a helper from God.) Where is Jesus now? (in heaven)

 

  1. Discuss the butterfly.  Use pictures from the library or the encyclopedia.  Show the caterpillar, the cocoon, and then the butterfly.  Is this the same individual – the caterpillar, the cocoon, and the butterfly?  So Jesus was born as a man, died, and rose into heaven – each a different form but the same God.

 

  1. Make the Great Commission Plates. Bring in a globe. On one side of a paper plate have the students draw the world, continents and oceans, with blue and tan crayons. Copy the icon and have the students color it. Cut it out in round shape and glue to the other side of the plate. Print with black marker, “Go Ye,” on the side with the world, and the other already says Ascension. Remind the students that Jesus gave us the Great Commission at His Ascension. What is the Great Commission? “Go ye, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations…” Punch a hole in the plate and hang it with a string so it will spin around.

 

 

7.   Sing the song “Spread the Good News”:

Jump to the left and jump to the right                  (jump left, jump right)

And sing to the Lord with all of your might!       (song directing, strong arms)

Raise your hands and wave them in the air          (raise hands, wave around)

And spread the Good News everywhere!            (lower hands in a circle)

 

 

 

 

 

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8. Close with prayer.

 

Pentecost

PENTECOST

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to say the word “Pentecost” and know that this feast is the birthday of the Church.
  2. Children should know that the Holy Spirit descended on Pentecost.
  3. Children should be able to identify the characters in the icon and tell the story.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Read the story of Pentecost in the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 268-269, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 404-407. Use the Children’s Bible, pages 362-363, as a supplement, if desired.  Use the icon as a storytelling aid, identifying the characters and their roles. Who’s the little person in the center? (He represents the whole world.) Think a bit about the whole world – all the different peoples and customs. If you have pictures or dolls of people from around the world, show them now. Do they all dress alike? Look alike? But God sent His Spirit to all of us.

 

  1. True/False Questions:

                             True                                                            False

            The Holy Spirit came down on Pentecost      Jesus was born on Pentecost.

            Mary and the disciples were in Jerusalem.      Pentecost happened in Rome.

            Tongues of fire appeared over the heads.       Elephants appeared over their heads.

            A great wind filled the room.                         The roof leaked and rain poured in.

            The disciples spoke in many languages.          The disciples crawled off and hid.

 

  1. Try just a bit on the Holy Spirit: Can we see the wind?  Can we see what it does?  Turn on a fan and watch their hair blow, pieces of paper move, etc.  Can something invisible be very strong?  When is the wind very strong? (tornado, hurricane, etc.)  The Holy Spirit is like the wind.  We cannot see it, but we can feel it.  It is very strong.  It is all around us and in us.  So when the Holy Spirit came, the disciples could not see it, but they felt it and could hear it blowing and it changed their lives.  The day when the Holy Spirit came down is called Pentecost; practice the word. When did each of us receive the Holy Spirit? (Chrismation)

 

  1. We’ve now met all the Persons of the Trinity. This is a mystical concept, confusing to even adults. But let’s discuss it briefly. Practice making the sign of the cross and saying “in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Who is the Father? Remind the children of the Lord’s Prayer; say it together. Who is the Son? (Jesus) Who is the Holy Spirit?

 

  1. The Church was born on Pentecost.  Even though Jesus had risen from the dead, the disciples were still frightened and didn’t know what to do.  After the coming of the Holy Spirit, the disciples could speak many languages and they were no longer afraid.  They went all over the world, telling people about Jesus.  What did some of the disciples do after Pentecost? (wrote gospels, traveled to far lands, baptized people, died for Christ)  Have a Birthday Party for the Church, complete with cake and candles.  How old is the Church?

 

  1. Make “Pentecost Placemats”: Give each child a piece of construction paper with a face shape. Have them color the face and draw in hair, eyes, etc. Glue a paper flame above the head. Cover with clear contact paper so it will wipe clean.

 

  1. Close with prayer.  Sing or recite “O Heavenly King”.  



                  

 

Lord's Prayer

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Objectives:

  1. Children should identify the Lord’s Prayer, or “Our Father”, as the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples.
  2. Children should memorize the Lord’s Prayer.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.  Use the Lord’s Prayer.
  2. Read the Lord’s Prayer in the Children’s Bible Reader, page 194, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 298-299. Supplement with the Children’s Bible, page 380, or the Arch book, if desired. The disciples asked Jesus how to pray the right way. This is the prayer Jesus gave them. Go through the prayer line by line with the children:

“Our Father”: What’s a father like? Who is your father on earth? God is our father, too.

                 “Who art in Heaven”: Where does God live? What’s heaven like?

                 “Hallowed be Thy name”: “hallowed” means “holy”; what’s holy mean?

                 “Thy kingdom come”: What is God’s kingdom?

                 “Thy will be done”: Why do things happen to us? Who is in charge?

                 “Give us this day our daily bread”: Remember the Sermon on the Mount? God even feeds us and takes care of us.

      “Forgive us our trespasses”: Do we ever do anything wrong? Do we need forgiveness?

                 “As we forgive those who trespass against us”: Has anyone ever done anything unkind to you? Have you forgiven that person?

                 “And lead us not into temptation”: Remember Jesus’s temptations? Is it hard to always obey God?

                 “But deliver us from evil”: Who is the source of evil? Did Jesus win even over the devil?

  1. Instead of True/False questions, write each line of the Lord’s Prayer on a card. Read them out loud at random and have the children put them in order. Then say the whole prayer together.
  2. Talk a little about prayer: When and where do we pray? Ask the children how prayer is done in their homes. Do they pray before meals? Do they pray in the morning or the evening? Do they have an icon corner? Do they pray at bedtime? Remind them to say the Lord’s Prayer every morning and evening.
  3. Make a Prayer Reminder: Take a clothespin and apply adhesive magnet strip to one side. Glue a small icon on the other side; we have lots of old bulletins to cut up. Cover it with Contact paper if desired. Take a small pad of Post-It Notes and have the students write on each slip “Pray For”. Take home and stick to refrigerator, beginning with the prayer requests of their friends in class today.
  4. Alternate craft idea: Make a Lord’s Prayer Puzzle. Use the prayer on the next page and have the students decorate the puzzle and then cut the pieces apart. See if the children can put them back together again!
  5. Close with the Lord’s Prayer.