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 Beginner’s Bible, pages 473-479, the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 268-269, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 404-407. Use the Golden 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. Feed the Elephant 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 People”: Take some really huge pieces of paper – bulletin board paper, for example. Or brown wrapping paper. Have each child lie down on the paper and trace around his body. Allow the child to color himself and use yarn for hair. Don’t forget some clothes! Make flames from construction paper and glue above each child’s head. Remind the children that while the apostles received the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire, they, too, have the Holy Spirit. The fire above their heads symbolizes this.
  2. Too difficult or time-consuming? Try dove fans. Remind the children how the Holy Spirit had appeared at the baptism of the Lord as a dove. Remind them about the rushing wind at Pentecost. THen print a dove on paper, color it if desired, and fold into a fan, stapling at one end. Fan yourselves and feel the invisible wind. 
  3. Close with prayer.  Sing or recite “O Heavenly King”.