BIBLE SKILLS & GAMES Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Empty Tomb/ResurrectionFeatured Content

This thread topic is for posting your Bible Skills and Games Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Empty Tomb and Resurrection.

Please note that we have other similar topic forums, such as, "Overall" Easter story lessons which include crucifixion, for example. This thread is for resurrection lessons and ideas.
 
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FAITH QUEST - Kirk of Kildaire

The Resurrection - Matthew


ANTIOCH ARCADE - Games



Scripture: Matthew 28 (entire chapter)

Memory Verse/Key Verse: "Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world." -- Matthew 28:19-20 (CEV)

Concepts:
1. God raised Jesus from the dead.
2. The risen Jesus rules over heaven and earth.
4. Even disciples sometimes doubt.
5. Jesus Christ is always present with us and with his church.

Objectives:
1. Older children will locate the story of Jesus’ resurrection in Matthew. Younger children will learn that the story is in Matthew and the other gospels.
2. The children will play a game to help them learn the details of Matthew’s account.
3. The class will discuss the parts of the scripture that teach the concepts above.

Procedure:
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag.
2. Open with a brief prayer.

Scripture/Bible Story:
1. Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. Help the students to find the book of Matthew.
2. If necessary, review the organization of the Bible: The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. Have them figure out whether Matthew is in the Old or New Testament (it’s about Jesus so it’s in New Testament).

Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, they’ll usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out that the book name is at the top of each page. After finding Psalms, if they then take the pages on the right side and divide them in half, they’ll land somewhere near the beginning of the New Testament. Tell them that Matthew is the first book of the New Testament. (Some of the older children should know the books of the Bible. Encourage everyone to learn them.)

After they’ve found the book of Matthew, help them find chapter 28 and tell them this is one of the places where the story of Jesus’ resurrection is told in the Bible. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.

3. Review the story, using the CEV or the summary below as a guide. Emphasize the parts that are boldfaced below, as they are key concepts for the workshop. Unless this is the first Sunday of the rotation, let the children help you tell the story. This will give you an idea of how much they already know. Other ideas for reviewing the story in later weeks:
Begin the story and let each person in the circle add one line to the story until it is complete. Help them tell the COMPLETE story.

Tell the story with inaccuracies (Jesus was crucified on a telephone pole on Good Thursday, the next day was Superbowl Sunday, etc.) and let the kids correct you (especially fun for the younger ones -- but don’t do this until the later part of the rotation).

Photocopy the passage (remove verse numbers), cut it up and see if they can put it back together correctly.

Story Summary
After Jesus was crucified, his body was placed in a tomb with guards, and a stone was rolled in front of the tomb. The next day was the Sabbath, so everyone rested. As soon as the Sabbath was over, at dawn on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at Jesus’ tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, and an angel went to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. He was as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and fell down like dead men.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; God has raised him to life. Hurry and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is on his way to Galilee. Go there and you will see him.'"
The women were frightened but also happy. They hurried to tell the disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and greeted them. They held onto his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my followers to go to Galilee; they will see me there."
Meanwhile, some of the guards went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. The chief priests gave the soldiers a lot of money, telling them to say, "His disciples came during the night and stole the body while we were asleep." So the soldiers took the money and did as they were told.
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to a mountain where Jesus had told them to meet him. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Jesus told the disciples: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world."

Application:
Divide the class into several teams of three to five players. Have the shepherd keep score on the white board. Line the teams up and let them take turns spinning the game wheel, then answering questions. Let the first person in line spin for the team. The spinner can ask his team for help, but he is the only one who can answer.
If the spinner answers correctly, award his team the points he spun for. If he answers wrong, no points. Make sure the class hears the correct answer. Either way, go on to the next team for the next question.
After spinning, the player goes to the end of his team’s line. One spin, one question per turn.
Keep going until every child has spun at least once. If the kids are taking too long to answer, give them a 30-second limit and get the shepherd to time the game using the timer in the supply bin.
See end of lesson plan for questions. Feel free to add some of your own. For the first couple of weeks, ask the questions in the order given to reinforce the sequence of events. In later weeks, if the children seem to know the story well, you might mix them up.
Grades 1-2: If some of the questions are too hard for the younger kids, make up some multiple choices:
According to Matthew, how was Jesus’ tomb secured?
It was locked with a big padlock;
A stone was rolled in front of it; or
It had a burglar alarm.

Reflection Time:
1. Recite the Bible memory verse learned in the Great Hall. "Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world." -- Matthew 28:19-20

2. Discuss:
When the angel told the women, “I know you’re looking for Jesus. He is not here…” Do you remember what the angel said had happened to Jesus? God has raised him to life.
Then at the end of the story, Jesus tells the disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Do you know what “authority” means? Power, the right to be in charge. Who do you think gave Jesus authority? God. So God raised Jesus from the dead, and God gave Jesus the authority to rule over heaven and earth.

Matthew tells us that when the disciples met Jesus in Galilee, some doubted. What do you think they doubted? That it was really Jesus, or that Jesus had been dead and was now alive. Why do you think they doubted? It was hard to believe such a thing could happen. So even Jesus’ closest followers had a hard time believing that he was risen from the dead. We are Jesus’ disciples too, and sometimes we have doubts as well. It’s hard for humans to understand the power of God.

At the end of the scripture, Jesus tells the disciples, “I will be with you always.” How can that be? Jesus lives within and through his disciples. When we live the way he lived and carry on the messages he taught, Jesus is with us too. Jesus is always present with us and with his church.

Pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the workshop.

Tell the students to write “I will be with you always” at the top of the page, and write or draw a picture of something they can do this week to be like Jesus.


Extra activity
Grades 3-5: If you have time, play a few rounds of "who can find the passage first." Hand out Bibles and call out verses for the students to search and read when they find them. Do this in pairs if you wish. Use these passages from the other gospels’ Resurrection accounts. See if the kids can spot differences and similarities between Matthew and the other gospels. Despite differences in the details, the stories all tell us that Jesus is risen.

Luke 24: 1-4
Mark 16: 1
John 20: 1-2
Luke 24: 9-11
Mark 16: 4-5
John 20: 11-12
Luke 24: 50
Mark 16: 6-7
John 20: 14-16

Closing:
Encourage the children to bring an offering next week. Remind them that the money they bring during this rotation will go to the Pentecost Offering. The money supports things the church does that help children and young adults.

Prayer: Close with a brief prayer. Suggestion: Come into our hearts, Lord Jesus. Help us to live the way you lived and know that you are with us always.

Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help pick up Bibles, papers and pencils. When the room is tidy, dismiss the class.

Teacher preparation in advance:

1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare opening and closing prayers.
3. Write the scripture verse on the white board or display it in the room some other way.
.

Supply List

Bibles (CEV)
Pencils
Dry-erase marker
Questions for game
Journal sheets
Game Wheel

Questions for game

1. True or false: According to Matthew, Jesus’ body was placed in an unguarded tomb.
False – soldiers guarded the tomb.

2. According to Matthew, how was Jesus’ tomb secured?
A stone was rolled in front of it.

3. According to Matthew, who came to the tomb on Sunday morning?
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary

4. What time of day was it?
Dawn

5. Why did the women come?
To look at Jesus’ tomb.

6. True or false: According to Matthew, there was a thunderstorm and a bolt of lightning hit the tomb.
False – a violent earthquake.

7. According to Matthew, when the earthquake struck, what did the angel do?
Went to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

8. What did the angel look like?
He was as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. (Note: the scripture doesn’t say he had wings. An angel is a messenger from God.)

9. What did the guards do when they saw the angel?
Shook and fell down like dead men.

10. True or false: The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid.”
True

11. True or false: The angel said to the women: I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is right here!”
False

12. Who raised Jesus to life?
God

13. Where did the angel say Jesus had gone?
To Galilee

14. What did the angel tell the women to do?
Hurry and tell the disciples.

15. What were the disciples supposed to do?
Go to Galilee and see Jesus

16. How did the women feel?
Frightened but happy

17. As the women hurried to tell the disciples, who did they meet?
Jesus

18. What did the women do when they saw Jesus?
They held onto his feet and worshiped him.

19. True or false: According to Matthew, the guards decided not to tell the chief priests what had happened.
False

20. What did the chief priests do when they heard what had happened?
Gave the soldiers money to say that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body.

21. True or false: The soldiers refused to accept the bribe.
False

22. According to Matthew, once the disciples met Jesus in Galilee, they all believed he was risen.
False -- some doubted.

23. True or false: Jesus told the disciples: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
True – the risen Jesus rules over the world.

24. True or false: Jesus said: “I will be with you always.”
True.

25. Complete this sentence: Jesus said, “I will be with you always, even until ______”
The end of the world."
 
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Games Workshop:
The Empty Tomb/Resurrection Appearances
by Carol Hulbert,
First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI

Teaching Method: Use a variety of games to learn story details about the empty tomb and resurrection appearances of Jesus.

Scripture References: Luke 24:1-12, Matthew 28:1-7, John 20:1-21, Luke 24:36-44 (Note: A story summary is provided with this lesson. It is paraphrased from all of these Bible passages.)

Key Verse: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Luke 24:5 NRSV

Workshop Objectives — children will learn:

  • That the women found Jesus’ tomb empty. That the stone was moved away not to let Jesus out, but so people could see Jesus had risen from the dead.
  • The resurrected Jesus appeared to his followers; first the women, then to disciples in a locked room.
  • Jesus was alive! Jesus was raised from the dead to give us new life.
  • The empty tomb and resurrection appearances help us believe in Jesus.
  • Older kids: where to find the story in the Bible.


Leader Preparation:
Read the scripture for this lesson.
Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
Prepare an opening and/or closing prayer in case you need one.
Gather the following materials:

  • Lots of empty plastic eggs to use for relay and other games.
  • A set of “Resurrection Eggs” to tell story. In our case we are using ten different colors of eggs – each containing a different item related to the story. Note: we duplicated some of the eggs so there would be enough eggs for each student to have one to use.)
  • A basket to hold the Resurrection Eggs (because you want to keep them separate from the other game eggs).
  • Paraphrased story to use with “Resurrection Eggs” (attached).
  • Bibles (3rd grade and up)
  • Pencils (optional) for Egg Roll game.
  • Tape player with music tape for “Hot Eggs” game (optional).

Opening:
Gather everyone in the tent storytelling area. Welcome your students to the games workshop. Make introductions (including yourself and any other adults). Pass around a basket to collect any offering. Remind everyone what the Missions & Me project is for this month: Habitat for Humanity. (Share something you know about Habitat for Humanity.)
[Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance, etc. This can all happen quietly while you continue with the lesson.]

Say: Today we are going to play some games, but first let’s begin with prayer.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for wanting to have a special relationship with each one of us. At this Easter time we are reminded of the gift of your son, Jesus, who died and yet came back to life again. What a surprise it must have been for the followers to discover the empty tomb. We thank you Lord, for the empty tomb, because we know it means that Jesus is alive. Amen.”

Dig In:
[Note: depending on the needs of a particular group, use your judgment in deciding how to mix the following active games with telling the story. One restriction: the “Hot Eggs” game needs to come after the telling of the story. “Reflection time” should follow after that.]

Egg Carry Relay Game:
[Note: This game doesn’t really teach anything Biblical – it’s added to provide an active game that our younger students really need.]
Form two teams. (Try to avoid boys vs. girls. Use birthdays or counting off instead.) Decide on your race “course” (simple straight point-to-point, or more complicated). Object is for all members of a team to carry all the eggs in their arms (without dropping any) from point A to point B and back. This is a relay so they will be handing off their armload of eggs to the next team member, etc. until all on a team have had a chance to race. If they drop any
eggs while on the course, they need to stop and pick them up!
Have teams line up. Give the first member of each team an arm full of eggs. [Note: use fewer eggs for younger students.] Give the “go” and have fun. [Note: Don’t accentuate a “winning” team; emphasize instead that everyone did his or her best. They were all eggs-perts!]

Egg Roll Game:
Say: The object of this game is to roll your egg from one end of the room to the other. Here’s the catch: you can only touch the egg with your nose. [Note: Be sensitive to kids who might feel uncomfortable on their hands and knees – be flexible and change the rules: say can only move the egg with a pencil. Then hand out pencils to use.]
Divide class into groups of however many can comfortably roll eggs at the same time in the space you have to use. Allow everyone a chance at rolling an egg.
Ask: Did you expect that game was going to be easy?
What happened? (eggs didn’t roll straight)
Say: Sometimes things don’t turn out as we expect they will. That happened to Jesus’ followers in our Bible story. Jesus had told his disciples that he would be killed and would raise from the dead, but they still found it hard to believe. On the very first Easter, Jesus’ disciples were pretty surprised to find his tomb empty!

Tell the story with the “Resurrection Eggs”:
Gather students in the storytelling area.
Ask: Who knows what the word “resurrection” means? (literally "rise again")
Say: When we say that Jesus was “resurrected” it means he rose from the dead on the very first Easter. God’s power overcame even death and raised Jesus. Jesus was alive! Knowing about God’ power helps us believe in God.
Pass out the Resurrection Eggs so that everyone has at least one egg. (Don’t pass out the duplicate color eggs until all of the other eggs are distributed first. If you have less than ten students, some will have more than one egg.

Read the story, using the eggs in one of two ways:

  1. Best for younger kids: Tell the children not to open their eggs until they are told to. As you read the story, at the appropriate time, ask, “Who has the pink egg?” and let them open it and show what is inside.
    OR
  2. Let the children open their eggs before you tell the story. As you read the story tell them to raise their hand when they recognize the place in the story that applies to their egg.


Hot Eggs Game:
Collect the Resurrection eggs in a basket. Have the children stand in a circle for a game of Hot Eggs (instead of Hot Potato). Pull an egg out of the basket at random. Have the kids pass the egg around the circle. Options:

  • Play music and have them stop passing the egg when you stop the music.
  • Count, and have them stop when you get to 10.
  • You might have a better idea! Feel free to improvise with the form of the game.

When the action stops, have the child holding the egg open it and tell what part of the story it symbolizes. Repeat the game until every child has a chance to open an egg.

Reflection Time:
Gather in the storytelling area for discussion.

For 3rd grade and up:
Have Bibles available so that students can look up answers to questions if needed. [Answers will be in Luke 24: 36-43.]

For all students:
Ask: When the resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples, first he convinced them that he was not a ghost. How did he do that? (Showed them his hands and feet, told them to touch him, and ate a piece of fish, verses 39-43)

Ask: What helps you to believe in the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection? (allow all answers)
Ask: After Jesus convinced the disciples of who he was, he talked to them and helped them to understand the things that had happened. What did he say the scriptures said about him? (That the Messiah was to suffer and die but would rise from the dead on the third day, verse 44-45)

Ask: What do we mean when we talk about the “scriptures”? (the Bible)
Say: Reading our Bibles (or having someone read Bible stories to us) can help us to understand about God’s love and God’s power. God loves you very much and wants you to believe in him.

In case you have extra time (grades 3 and up):
Play a few rounds of “who can find the passage first.” Have everyone start with his or her Bible closed. Call out verses for the students to search for and read when they find them -- do this in pairs if you wish. Suggestions:
Matthew 28:2
Luke 24:5b
Mark 16:7
John 20:16
John 20:29

Closing:
Say: Easter is a special time for us to remember that Jesus lives. The empty tomb reminds us of the new life that God has promised each of us.

Ask children to help collect the eggs, Bibles, and other materials. Be sure that the Resurrection eggs are separate from other eggs used for games and have all their correct contents.

Encourage everyone to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite friends to come too!

Supplies to create before class:
Make a set of Resurrection Eggs (plastic eggs with symbols of story in them). [Note: a purchased set of Resurrection Eggs has additional symbols that tell other parts of the Easter story. The set created for this story will make use of symbols pertaining to the empty tomb and the resurrection appearances of Jesus.]

Resurrection Eggs
--color of egg-----contents-----application to story

  1. Green---Cross---Jesus died on a cross.
  2. Orange---Spices (cinnamon sticks)---women brought spices to the tomb to put on Jesus' body.
  3. Pink---Stone---had been rolled away from the entrance of the tomb.
  4. Dark Blue---Empty egg---Jesus’ body was missing from the tomb.
  5. Light Blue---Angel---Angels told the women that Jesus had risen.
  6. Light Purple---Burial cloth---When Peter ran to the tomb, the only thing he saw was the burial cloth Jesus’ body had been wrapped in.
  7. Dark Purple---Hands--- Jesus showed the disciples his hands so they would believe he was really Jesus.
  8. Yellow---Nails---Jesus’ hands and feet were nailed to the cross. He showed the disciples so they would know who he was.
  9. Maize/Blue---Fish---When Jesus asked for something to eat, the disciples gave him a piece of fish and he ate it while they watched.
  10. White---Scroll (scriptures)---Jesus talked about the scriptures


Story Summary (use with prepared “Resurrection Eggs”):
Jesus had been killed on a CROSS (green eggs). When Jesus was buried, some of the women who had been his followers, watched as his body was put in the tomb. Then it was time for the Sabbath, so they rested for a day.

Very early on Sunday morning, the women went to the tomb, carrying the SPICES (orange eggs) they had prepared to put on Jesus' body. When they got there, they found the STONE (pink egg) had been rolled away from the entrance of the tomb. So they went in, but they did not find Jesus’ body. The tomb was EMPTY! (dark blue eggs)

Suddenly two men in shining white clothes stood beside them. They were ANGELS! (light blue egg) The women were afraid, but the angels said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus is not here! He has risen.”
The women went to the 11 disciples and told them what had happened. The disciples thought it was nonsense and didn’t believe the women. But Peter ran to the tomb and looked in and saw only the BURIAL CLOTH (light purple eggs) that Jesus’ body had been wrapped in. So he wondered what had happened.

Later that evening, the disciples were in a locked room, for they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. The disciples were talking about what the women had told them. Suddenly, Jesus appeared and greeted them! They were terrified, because they thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus said, “Why are you so scared? Look at my hands and feet and see who I am.” The disciples could see that his HANDS (dark purple egg) had marks where the NAILS (yellow eggs) had been. Jesus said, “Touch me and find out for yourselves. Ghosts don’t have flesh and bones.”
The disciples were so happy and amazed they couldn’t believe it. Then Jesus asked, “Do you have something to eat?” They gave him a piece of FISH (maize &blue eggs), and he ate it while they watched.

Then Jesus talked about the SCRIPTURES (white eggs) and helped the disciples understand. He told them: “The scriptures say that the Messiah must suffer, then three days later he will rise from the dead.

This is the story we tell every Easter, to remember the first Easter when God’s power raised Jesus, proving that Jesus was the chosen Messiah, come to give us all new life.
###end of story###

Resources for this Games Lesson:
  • Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, Cary, NC. “ Resurrection”
  • Egg Carry game from “Postholiday Egg Race”. Family Fun, April 2002: page 18.
  • Egg Roll game adapted from Cokesbury’s “Exploring Faith: Middle Elementary”, Spring 2001.
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    Games Workshop
    RIVER COMMUNITY CHURCH
    EASTER AND HOLY WEEK


    This lesson was written by Jamie Senyard for River Community Church in Prairieville, Louisiana.
    Copyright 2003 Jamie Senyard. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.


    Scripture: Matthew 21:1-17, Matthew 26-28; Mark 11:1-19, Mark 14-16; Luke 19:28-48, Luke 22-24; John 12:12-19, John 13, John 18-21

    Memory Verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

    PURPOSE:
    During this workshop:
    • the children and the teacher will read the book Benjamin’s Box by Melody Carlson together
    • the children will race to put Resurrection Egg symbols into the correct order
    • the children will make their own set of Resurrection Eggs to take home
    • the children will practice telling the story of Holy Week using their Resurrection Eggs


    Objectives for workshop
    At the end of the session, the students will be able to
    • retell the events of Holy week in chronological order using a set of Resurrection Eggs.
    • share the good news that it is through Jesus’ death and resurrection that our sins are forgiven.


    Teacher preparation in advance:
    • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study:....
    • Prepare papers for sorting Resurrection egg symbols, index cards for memory verse activity, and a closing prayer.
    • Know the Holy week story well enough so that you can tell it using the eggs/symbols in order.
    • Make sure you have all the supplies you need. The following items for this lesson will be provided for you: a copy of the book Benjamin’s Box, 2 sets of Resurrection Eggs, plastic Easter eggs, egg cartons and symbols for each child to make their own set of Resurrection eggs, copies of the handout with the story of Holy Week, markers to number eggs


    Room set-up:
    Set out the supplies for making individual sets of resurrection eggs on a table so the children can walk past the supplies and fill their own set of eggs.

    Supply List
    • A copy of the book Benjamin’s Box, by Melody Carlson
    • 2 sets of Resurrection Eggs
    • 1 dozen plastic eggs, 1 set of symbols, and
    • 1 egg carton for each child in the class
    • Two sheets of paper, divided into 12 numbered boxes, for each team to use for sorting the symbols
    • Markers
    • Two sets of index cards with one word from the memory verse written on each card.
    • Handout with the story of Holy Week, indicating when to open the numbered eggs. Also includes a brief explanation of the symbols in the eggs.
    • Symbols in Benjamin’s box:
      THING / OBJECT IN EGGS
      1. donkey/tuft of fake fur or dog hair
      2 coin/nickel
      3. Cup/plastic communion cups
      4. Praying hands/smooth twig
      5. Leather strip/leather shoelace cut into pieces
      6. Thorn/short pieces of someone’s rose bush
      7. Nail/nails
      8. Die/dice
      9. Spear/swords bars use for cherries and other garnishes
      10. Cloth/gauze bandage pieces
      11. Stone/garden rocks or pea gravel
      12. He is risen!(Benjamin shows everything to his friends.) /an empty egg


    PRESENTATION:
    OPEN:
    Welcome and Introductions:

    Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, use a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.
    We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but you may open with prayer if you feel led to do so.
    Explain the purpose of this workshop. Use kid friendly words to give a brief overview of what the children are going to learn and do.

    Scripture/Bible Story:
    Because the teacher will be reading the book Benjamin’s Box during this workshop, only a part of the scripture should be read: Mark 11: 1-11. (Encourage the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses.)

    Have your Bible open to one of the Gospels while briefly reviewing the events of Holy Week so the children understand that these stories are in the Bible. Tell the children the events of Holy Week are told in the first four books of the New Testament. The names of these books are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books are called the Gospels because they tell the Good News of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Make sure you tell them that the events that are covered in the book, Benjamin’s Box, are from the Bible.


    DIG:
    Application:

    Read Benjamin’s Box to the class. Point out the items that Benjamin puts in his special box, and encourage the children to try to remember the order Benjamin finds them.

    Have the children form 2 teams. Give each team a set of Resurrection Eggs. Have them empty the eggs and race to put the symbols in the correct order on the chart with the numbered boxes. After each team thinks they have them in the correct order (used in the book), check them. If they do not have them in the correct order, give them another chance. You may want to give them clues until the symbols are in the correct order or just give them 2-3 chances to get it right.

    Have the children put together their own set of resurrection eggs. Give each child a carton of 12 plastic eggs. Ask them to number the eggs 1 to 12 using a marker. Have the them place the correct symbol in each one of their eggs.

    Direct the children to divide into pairs to practice telling the story to each other using the eggs. When it is time for class to end, give each child a copy of the handout with symbol explanations and the Holy Week story. Please make certain that each child has his or her name on their set of eggs.


    REFLECT:
    Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

    Discuss Holy Week with the children, using “ I Wonder” statements, encouraging the children to share their thoughts on your wonderings, and to participate in the wondering themselves, sharing the things they wonder about. For example:
    [LIST]
  • I wonder how Jesus felt when the crowd wanted him to be their king?
  • I wonder why Jesus rode a donkey instead of a horse”
  • I wonder how it felt for the disciples to share the Passover meal with Jesus and hear him say this is my body, broken for you and this is my blood, shed for you?
  • I wonder how the disciples felt when Jesus died?
  • I wonder how the Disciples felt when they heard that God made Jesus alive again?
  • I wonder how Mary knew this person was Jesus?

    [I Wonder questions/statements are wonderful tool to use anytime you have a discussion with children. They invite children to dialogue around a topic, without presenting the expectation of a right answer. Through wondering, children begin to develop the ability to use the sacred stories, parables and liturgical events that they experience to discover and name God’s presence. The teacher’s responsibility in the group wondering is to genuinely enter the lesson him or herself. The unspoken part of the activity is the authentic participation of the teacher who is moving towards discoveries appropriate to him or herself. (If no one answers right away, allow a few moments of silence for reflection.)]

    Review the memory verse.
    John 3:16 is probably a familiar verse to many of the children. Make two sets of index cards with one word from the memory verse written on each card. Divide the children into two teams. Give each team a set of index cards. Have the teams race to see who can put the words in the correct order in the shortest amount of time.

    If time permits:
    Ask for a volunteer to use his/her eggs to retell the story to the class. The students may prompt the teller if he/she gets stuck and asks for help.

    Closing prayer:
    Remind the children that just as Benjamin showed his friends the objects in his box and told them the story of what he saw, they should take their eggs and tell their families and their friends the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
    [Offer a prayer asking for Jesus to go with each child this week as they carry their eggs and the story that goes with them to their family and friends.]

    Additional Suggestions:
    Older children:
    Make sure the atmosphere of the games is cooperative, not competitive.

    Younger Children:
    Be prepared to help them remember and sort the objects from the Resurrection Eggs. You may want to mix them up and let the groups resort them several times to be sure everyone knows the order.
    If splitting into pairs doesn’t seem to be working, let each adult leader take part of the class and work with them practicing the story.


    Resources

    Carlson, Melody. Benjamin’s Box. Sisters, Oregon: Gold ‘n’ Honey Books, 1997.
    Some ideas borrowed from other lessons here at rotation.org.

    Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

    --------------------
    EXCHANGE VOLUNTEER ADDS:
    I'd make a suggestion to turn the second activity above also into a game and play it first. We had eggs already filled and numbered (on the outside of the egg) spread around the church basement (they can be out in the open). The kids were given a carton and then the race was on to find all twelve eggs. Older kids (after filling their own cartons), as well as the teacher assisted the younger kids by checking to see if their egg cartons had duplicate numbers while the searching was in progress. They can use the symbols from their boxes to play the other two games. Doing this you can have all the kids playing at the same time - not two teams of two - while the other are waiting to play! And finally they have to put the symbols back into the correct eggs in their cartons.

    ****

    GAME WORKSHOP HANDOUT: STORYTELLING EGGS

    Egg # 1 The Donkey
    Matthew 21:1-9
    The fur reminds us of the donkey Christ used to enter into Jerusalem.

    Egg # 2 Thirty Coins
    Matthew 26:14-16
    The coin reminds us of the 30 pieces of silver Judas received for betraying Jesus to the Jewish leaders.

    Egg # 3 The Cup
    Matthew 26:17-19,26-28 The cup reminds us of the Passover meal: Jesus’ last supper with His disciples before His crucifixion. The re-enactment of the Last Supper through the sharing of Communion is our reminder of the price Jesus paid for us – “This cup is my blood, shed for you. Take it in remembrance of me.”

    Egg # 4 Prayer
    Mark 14:32-42
    The twig reminds us of Jesus visiting the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.

    Egg # 5 The Trial
    John 19:1-15
    The leather reminds us of the whip used to give Jesus 39 lashes after His trial by Pilate.


    Egg # 6 Crown of Thorns
    Mark 15: 16-20
    The thorn reminds us of the crown of thorns that the soldiers placed on Jesus’ head while mocking Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

    Egg # 7 Nails
    John 19:16-22
    The nail reminds us of the nails that were used to nail Him to the cross.

    Egg # 8 Dice
    John 19:23-25
    This one die reminds us of the Roman soldiers gambling for Jesus' robe.

    Egg # 9 Spear
    John 19:31-37
    This sword reminds us of the spear that the Roman soldiers used to cut Jesus’ side when He was on the cross.

    Egg # 10 Burial Cloth
    Matthew 27:57-61
    The gauze reminds us of the linen cloth used by Joseph of Arimathea to wrap Jesus’ body after He died.

    Egg # 11 Stone
    Matthew 28:1-2
    The stone reminds us of the tomb with the stone that closed it; the stone that was later rolled away by the angels.

    Egg # 12 Empty Tomb
    Matthew 28:5-8
    The empty egg reminds us of the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

    Idea adapted from other previously posted lessons at rotation.org
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