The following lesson is followed by several adaptations by other members.
Advent: Isaiah / Names of Jesus
Emmanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace
Bible Skills and Games Workshop
Activity Summary: Play a game based on "Wheel of Fortune" to help the participants learn a variety of names for Jesus.
Scripture: Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7a
Key/Memory Verse: Isaiah 9:6
Objectives for Workshop
- To learn some of the other names that Jesus is called.
- To become aware that a prophet named Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah years before the birth of Jesus.
Preparation and Materials
- Cardboard cartons (2) or poster board (for dice)
- Index cards, 4" x 6"
- Newsprint or paper
- Prizes (Optional)
- Rubber bands
Advance Preparation Requirements
Make two dice from cardboard cartons or from poster board. On one die, print the words "Lose Turn" on one side and one of the point amounts -- 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 on the other 5 sides.
Print each letter of a name for Jesus, found in Isaiah, on a separate index card. Include the words Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, and Immanuel. Put a rubber band around each set of cards.
For use with younger children -- non-readers -- print each of the five names listed above plus the name "Jesus" on a separate side of the second die. Add a simple drawing to illustrate the name in each space. Print a point value, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600, on each side of the die. Make a set of six index cards that contain the same names and illustrations.
Since this game is a play on the format of "Wheel of Fortune," prepare a game board, such as a piece of plywood painted an attractive color, that is large enough to hold all of the letters for one set of words. Put a series of nails across the top so a variety of words could be made depending on where the cards are hung.
Distribute Bible and help the children find the Scripture passages in the book of Isaiah. Read them aloud. Focus on the names for Jesus that are listed in these verses. Explain that each name helps us learn more about Jesus.
For children who can read, play a game based on "Wheel of Fortune" to help the participants learn a variety of names for Jesus.
Set up the game board with one of the names of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and Immanuel.
Divide into teams. Someone, such as a Shepherd or a Teacher will be needed for turning letters and for keeping score. One member of the starting team roles the die and guesses a consonant. If the letter appears in the word, the card(s) are turned to display the letter(s) and the player gets to keep the points. If not, the turn passes to the other team. The turn passes each time but points are only awarded when a letter is found. Point values on the die are 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500. Players may buy a vowel which costs 50 points. There is no guessing early; all letters must be uncovered.
For younger groups, show them the six names for Jesus and the corresponding illustrations on the cards as well as the die. Hang the six cards on the board. Divide into teams, and take turns rolling the die. On each turn the team can remove the name/picture they rolled and keep the point value on the die. The team to remove the last picture may guess or say the name to receive an additional 500 points.
Journal question: Are you ever called by more than one name, what are they and why? Draw a picture of the different roles you play. Now draw a picture of Jesus standing next to you and pick and draw your favorite "title" or name for Jesus.
Silently share your drawing when prompted as the teacher leads a closing prayer of praise using YOUR name and one for Jesus (for you are both worthy of praise! --you because of Jesus' acceptance and love for you).
Written by: Sheila Butler for Rotation.org.
Several members adaptations to the above lesson, have been compiled below for easy reference:
by Lisa Martin
Thought I'd share my adaptation, which opens with Sheila Butler's Wheel of Fortune idea, but includes a different "dig" activity.
A New King for All – Temple Courtyard (Games/Story/Bible)
Children will learn passages from the prophets that are commonly referenced as referring to Jesus and make a list of names given to Jesus.
Then they will look up words and phrases in ads that could be used by modern people to describe Jesus.
Wheel of Fortune type game with words “Wonderful Counselor” “Mighty God” “Everlasting Father” and “Prince of Peace” made into game letters.
Magazines and Newspapers, especially ones with a lot of ads
Dictionary or Thesaurus
Blank mailing labels
Place “Wheel of Fortune” letters up (hidden, of course)
Look up Isaiah 9:6-7 and read it together. We don’t know for certain what Isaiah was thinking of when he wrote down this prophesy, but Christians throughout the ages have taken these names to be about Jesus. Using a dictionary or Thesaurus if necessary, come up with definitions for these words and figure out how they help us understand Jesus better.
Now come up with some new names for Jesus.
Have children locate ads that try and sell a product, but which could be adjusted to have meaning about Jesus.
Examples: “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” becomes “Dude, you’re getting a Savior”; “Got milk?” becomes “Got Jesus?”; “Avis, we’ll pick you up,” becomes “Jesus, he’ll pick you up.” etc., etc.
Have them cut and paste the ad, then using a blank label, cover over the product name with Jesus or another phrase.
(For discussion or journaling)
Why is it important to have these “other” names for Jesus?
How do these special names help us understand Jesus better?
Which of the “new” names/ads for Jesus do you like best? Why? What does it say about Jesus?
Adjustments for age levels and abilities
Younger children may need help altering the ads. Allow them to pick ads they like and ask an older child to help them. They will also need help with dictionary definitions.
If time runs short
Keep opening time to under 20 minutes so you have enough time for the main activity. Play only two rounds of the opening game instead of all four.
If you have extra time...
Have kids create an ad for Jesus from scratch.
Contributor: Lisa Martin, Trinity UCC, Pottstown, PA
For our younger kids (K5-2nd grade) I made up a "Go Fishing" game with sets of cards with pictures and names of Jesus that I drew and copied onto cards. We first played a "Memory Game" with the same cards turned over and in rows. Take turns turning over 2 cards and "reading" the names. If they match go again, but keep cards turned up. Then played go fishing. I ran 2 sets of cards...you might need more..for 2 groups of 3-4 children. n.
Our kids love to play hangman. We modified the above slightly by:
- writing the names of Jesus on an index card.
- divided into two teams
- A child would draw a card, then the Shepherd would add the line spaces for hangman.
- Each child would then spin the wheel and guess a letter. If they landed on bankrupt, they lost all points.
- Their team would then guess a letter and have the chance to solve.