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 Beginner’s Bible, pages 303-307, the Children’s Bible Reader, pages 177-179, or the Read with Me Bible, pages 286-289. Supplement with the Golden Children’s Bible, pages 360-361.  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.