1. Students should know the story of Jesus’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial and be able to tell it in their own words.
  2. Students should be able to identify the characters in the icon and their meaning.
  3. Why is the cross the universal symbol of Christianity?


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Scripture References: Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 18-19. Again, divide into 4 groups, each reading one gospel. Report to the rest of the group. Draw a large time-line on the board and fill in the events of Holy Friday. 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?


  1. We celebrate the Crucifixion on Holy Friday. We sing on Thursday about the “Wise Thief”. 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. Review the major players: Jesus, the 12 disciples (who were they?), myrrh-bearing women (though they haven’t brought the myrrh year, who will they be?), the Pharisees (a group of religious leaders of the Jews particularly devoted to the Torah), the Sadducees (a wealthy priestly aristocracy, concerned with Temple administration and ritual), the scribes (educated civil servants), the Sanhedrin (a senate of 70 priests and laymen, presided over by the high priest), Caiaphas the High Priest, Pontius Pilate the Roman governor, Herod the King, Barabbas the condemned murderer, the 2 thieves, the centurion (the same one who had early sough Jesus out for healing of his servant according to tradition), and Joseph of Arimathea (a wealthy follower of Jesus and member of the Sanhedrin, “the noble Joseph”).


  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.
  2. Try a Holy Week Scavenger Hunt. 

  1. Close with prayer. Sing “Before Thy Cross” and practice the sign of the cross. What do the 3 fingers represent? The other 2 fingers?