Reply to "ART Workshop Lessons and Ideas for the boy Jesus in the Temple"

Jesus as a Young Boy in the Temple

Art/Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Create character masks and use them to present a Greek play of the story of Jesus as a Young Boy in the Temple. Children will read the parts of the character for the mask they have created. [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]


Scripture Reference:

Luke 2:41-52

Greek Play? Greek Masks? This is an ancient artform that was used in the Roman amphitheaters built by Herod. More important to our needs, it involves actors who get to 'hide' behind masks, which provides a degree of anonymity which may help some loosen up and share.

This lesson has an idea for doing the story drama with a Greek Masked Chorus, but the original script cannot be included here because it is copyrighted material we got from Cokesbury's PowerXpress rotation lesson on Jesus in the Temple. If you don’t wish to purchase this material, you can write your own script that tells the story --->> or use one of the scripts from this drama thread or the storytelling lessons here at, and adapt them.

Renovation Update:

We have posted a script in the Drama workshop of this forum which can be adapted to "tell with masks" as Carol's lesson suggests.


Note: This workshop was used in 2008. For our re-use of this Rotation in 2013 we have altered this workshop to be strickly drama only (using pre-created masks). It is left here for others who may be interested in this concept of combining an art and a drama workshop.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Bibles
  • Paper plates – one per student
  • Yarn – in various hair-like colors
  • Crayons and/or Markers
  • Scissors
  • Foil
  • Glue
  • Colored construction paper
  • “Talking with the Elders” script (see resources below) Or see this post for an alternate script.
  • Paint stir sticks or tongue depressors– one per student
  • Glue gun or stapler
  • Easel and appropriate marker
  • Index cards (7)

Before Start of Class:

  • Make a copy of the script and cut apart the speaking parts (Prologue part one, Prologue part two, Mary, Joseph, Young Friend, Elder, Jesus). Glue each part on to an index card, creating seven cards.
  • Pre-assemble mask handles by attaching (staple or glue) plates and stir sticks (or tongue depressors) – make one per student.
  • Write the key Bible verse on the easel.




Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:


Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Art/Drama Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

[Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance while you are starting your lesson.]

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. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Heavenly Father, we ask that you bless our time learning in your house today. May we grow in our understanding that we are your children and we are never lost with you in our lives (end using the Lord’s prayer). Amen.”


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:



  • Have you ever been separated from your parents?
  • Did you know you were lost?
  • What did they say when they found you?
  • How do you think your parents felt when they didn’t know where you were?


  • Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus teaching his disciples? (NT)
  • What are the first four books of the New Testament?
  • What do we call those first four books? (the Gospels)

Say: The word Gospel means “good news.” Jesus teaches us the good news.

Distribute Bibles. Have everyone find Luke 2:41-52 in his or her Bible.
If this is a week early in the Rotation, read the scripture together. Towards the end of the Rotation, ask the students if they can tell you the story. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy.


Art Activity: Create the Masks


Say: We are going to tell this Bible story as Greek Drama.
Ask: Is anyone familiar with a Greek Drama?
Say: Greek Drama began in Greece over 2500 years ago. A Greek play started with a prologue – an introductory passage. Then 2 or 3 actors would say lines. The other feature of a Greek play was that there would be a chorus – a group of characters. And everyone had masks.
Say: In our Greek Drama we will have 5 actors and a chorus. First we will make masks that represent the characters in this story including the chorus.
Ask: Who do you suppose could be characters in our play?
Say: We will use Jesus, Mary, Joseph, a Synagogue Elder, A Young Friend, and Bible-times people in the crowd who will be the chorus in the play. You will hold the masks on a stick in front of your face as you read the part of the character.

Say: Choose an index card to see which character you will play. (Either the Shepherd or a child volunteer can read the two Prologue parts.) If there is enough time we will do the play again so that you can trade masks and read a different character part. (Those that are Chorus characters should be given an opportunity to read one of the main character parts.)

Say: Let’s begin with making our masks. Show them the plates that will be the masks and describe how they may use various items to create the faces of the character they selected.

Discussion (while working on masks):


  • Why do you think Jesus stayed behind after the Passover festival to spend more time in the temple?
  • How does having God in your life help you feel not lost?
  • How do you feel the presence of God in your life?
  • As you get older and earn more responsibility and independence, like Jesus did in the story, what will you do to learn more about your role as a child of God?

When masks are complete begin the Drama activity. (Allow enough time to read through the play 2-3 times –about 10 minutes)


Drama Activity: The Greek Play


Say: Now let’s enjoy our play. Let’s all stand together holding our masks. When your character’s name is announced, take one step forward, hold the mask in front of your face and read your part. After you are finished speaking take your mask down and step back into the group. The chorus will hold up their masks and say, after each speaker has finished, “Where is Jesus?”


Give each character their speaking part on the 3x5 cards. Begin with reading the prologue. Then say the name of each character when it is his or her turn to speak. Have the chorus say, “Where is Jesus?” after a character finishes speaking and takes the mask away from his or her face.



Say: Let’s say our key bible verse together: “And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.” Luke 2:52

Ask: How did our Greek Play help you understand the key bible verse?

Say: Jesus knew that as he matured he would still be responsible and obedient to his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, and would also devote time learning about his special role as God’s Son.



  • The source of the idea for this workshop and the script for the play came from Sticker, LeeDell. “Talking with the Elders” PowerXpress! Bible Experience Stations by Abingdon Press 2001.


A lesson written by Barbara Hoffman and Beth Pascoe from:

First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2008 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.


If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hoffman, Barbara and Beth Pascoe. "Jesus as a Young Boy in the Temple – Art/Drama Workshop." 2008. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>



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