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Reply to "DRAMA, PUPPET, STORYTELLING Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Lazarus"

A Puppet or Drama Lesson with a Script

about the Resurrection of Lazarus

written by Amy Crane

Story: John 11:1-44
Memory Verse: John 11:25

The children will use puppets to act out a scripted story of Jesus raising Lazarus and will reflect on the meaning of the story and the life we have through Jesus.

Materials list

Chalkboard, whiteboard, or newsprint
Cloth to wrap around Lazarus puppet
Copy machine
Markers for board or paper
Paper, 8 ½” x 11” white
Pencils or pens
Props: cave and rock
Puppet stage
Puppets, one for each character in Bible story
Script for puppet show (at end of lesson)

Advance Preparation Requirements

  • Make or obtain the puppets. Any sort of puppets can play the parts in the Bible story, but One Way Street - Creative Ministry resources has some nice Bible characters: https://www.creativemin.com/cr...cter-Puppets-c62.htm).
  • Create the props, a cave and a rock. This can be as simple as a box and a crumbled up brown grocery bag, or build something more elaborate out of papier-mâche and paint it.
  • Find or build a puppet stage or cover a movable board or a table with cloth.
  • Print the memory verse on a chalkboard, whiteboard, or large piece of paper.
  • Duplicate a copy of the script for each participant.
  • For more information on puppetry techniques, see "Bringing the Bible to Life Using Puppets."

LESSON PLAN

Introduction:

Introduce yourself, any other leaders, and the children and explain how today's lesson will unfold.

Note: Because the puppet script tells the story and this is a long scripture passage, briefly summarize the story of Lazarus in your own words. Ask the children to help you.

The script below is your scripture "reading" for the day. For the memory work and sign language reflection you may want everyone to turn to John 11 and look up the verses.

Tell the class that they will have the opportunity to present the Bible story in the form of a puppet show. Display or distribute the puppets. Demonstrate puppet techniques and proper puppet handling.

Engage the puppeteers in warm-up exercises: have the puppets cry, hug, roll the stone. Ask the students to suggest other movements and emotions that would be appropriate for this story.

Assign parts and act out the story using the script provided at the end of the lesson.

Discuss other things that can be added to the drama, and if time permits, reassign parts and do it again.

Discuss:

  1. What was the reason Jesus gave for not rushing to heal his friend?
  2. What was the reason Jesus gave for wanting to resurrect Lazarus?
  3. How would you have felt it you were there watching Lazarus come out?
  4. How would you have felt if you were Lazarus!  and it was YOU being resurrected?
  5. Knowing Jesus promises you the gift of resurrection, how does that make you feel? How does such a gift potentially change someone's life and faith in God?


Memory work:


Practice saying the verse in unison either reading John 11:25 or echoing the teacher phrase by phrase; repeating motions that you are comfortable with will help the students remember the words. For example:

From John, chapter 11, verse 25 [hold hands like an open book]

Jesus said to her, [American Sign Language sign for Jesus--point to "nail holes" in your hands]
"I am the resurrection [point up]

and the life. [point to heart]

Those who believe in me, [point to head]

even though they die, [tilt head and rest on hands as if sleeping]

will live.” [point to heart]

Ask for a volunteer to say it alone (prompt with motions if he or she gets stuck).

Encourage all to repeat the verse a few more times during the class, and congratulate all on a job well done.

Close with prayer asking Jesus to help us believe in him and live with gratitude.



PUPPET SCRIPT

The Death and Resurrection of Lazarus

Scripture: John 11:1-44 (adapted from Today’s English Version)

Characters:
Narrator
Mary
Martha
Jesus
Lazarus
Friend 1
Friend 2
Disciple 1 (Thomas)
Disciple 2




Narrator: A certain man named Lazarus, who lived in Bethany with his sisters Mary and Martha, was very ill.

Mary: We must send a message to Jesus.

Martha: He will want to know his dear friend Lazarus is sick. Friend, come here!

Friend 1: Yes Martha?

Martha: Please go to Jesus and tell him that his good friend Lazarus is sick.

Friend 1: Certainly. Right away. (Travels across stage)
Jesus, Jesus!

Jesus: Yes, friend?

Friend 1: Lord, Mary and Martha sent me to you. Your dear friend Lazarus is sick.

Jesus: Thank you for letting me know. The result of this sickness will not be the death of Lazarus. This has happened to bring glory to God. The Son of God will receive glory through this illness.

Narrator: Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus. But after he received the news that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. Then he called his disciples together.

Jesus: Let us go back to Judea, to Bethany.

Disciple 1: Teacher, just a short time ago the people in Judea wanted to stone you. To kill you!

Disciple 2: Bethany is in Judea! And now you are planning to go back?

Jesus: A day has twelve hours, doesn’t it? So whoever walks in the daytime, does not trip, for he sees the light of this world. But if he walks during the dark of night he trips because he has no light.

Disciple 2: Huh?

Jesus: It is safe for me to return to Judea at this time. Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I will go and wake him up.

Disciple 1: Why do you need to go?

Disciple 2: If he is asleep, Lord, he will get well.

Jesus: Not that kind of sleep. Lazarus is dead, but for your sake I am glad that I was not with him, so that you will believe. Let us go to him.

Disciple 1: Let us all go along with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!

Narrator: Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many friends had come to see Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother’s death. When Jesus arrived in Bethany, he found that Lazarus had died and been buried four days earlier.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at the house.

Martha: If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.

Jesus: Your brother will rise to life.

Martha: I know. He will rise to life on the last day, as will all of us.

Jesus: I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live. And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?

Martha: Yes, Lord! I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.

Jesus: Where is Mary?

Martha: She waits at home. I will hurry back to tell her that you are here.

Narrator: Martha went back home and called her sister Mary privately.

Martha: The Teacher is here. He is asking for you.

Narrator: When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him. The friends who were in the house comforting Mary followed her. They thought she was going to the grave to cry. As soon as Mary saw Jesus, she fell at his feet.

Mary: Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!

Narrator: Jesus saw her crying. He saw how the friends with her were crying also. His heart was touched and he was deeply moved.

Jesus: Where have they buried him?

Friend 2: Come and see Lord. We will take you to the tomb.

Narrator: Jesus wept.

Friend 2: See how much he loved him.

Friend 1: He gave sight to the blind man, didn’t he? Could he not have kept Lazarus from dying?

Jesus: Take that stone away!

Martha: There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!

Jesus: Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believed?

Narrator: They took the stone away. Jesus looked up.

Jesus: I thank you, Father, that you listen to me. I know that you always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of the people here, so that they will believe that you sent me.
Lazarus! Come out!

Narrator: Lazarus came out. He was wrapped in grave cloths.

Jesus: Untie him. Let him go.

Narrator: Many of the friends who had come to visit Mary and Martha saw what Jesus did, and they believed in him.


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