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(WT) Jesus Heals the Ten Lepers ~ Cooking Workshop Writing Team

Jesus Heals the Ten Lepers

Gratitude Pizza Prep Workshop 

Summary of Activities

Students will design a cardboard pizza circle that will reveal "acts of gratitude" beneath each slice of pizza which pizza-eaters agree to accomplish when they take a slice of pizza. Students will assemble a "take & bake" pizza on frozen crust on the customized pizza circle and pack it to go home in a box they will also design with content and insights from the story.


Scripture for the Lesson

Luke 17:11-19 

Key/Memory Verse:  ...... (NRSV)

Lesson Objectives

See the Bible Background at for this set's complete list of objectives, and a helpful discussion of the meaning of this miracle story.

Preparation and Materials

  • pizzaboyRead the Bible Background and scripture.
  • Color markers.
  • Buy cheese, sauce, pepperoni, veggies to top pizza with.
  • Buy frozen pizza crusts.
  • Buy circular cardboard pizza "circles" (very inexpensive online in quantity), enough for each student and at least ten extra for discussion use.
  • Buy pizza boxes.
  • ALTERNATELY: Ask a local pizzeria for the boxes and "pizza circles." They will appreciated the free publicity.
  • Utensils, foil to cover pizza.
  • Prepare the instruction label in advance to go on top of the box.
  • Prepare a few pizza circles ahead of time for the "opening" activity and reading.

Why Use Frozen Crusts?
Three reasons: (1) Rolling your own will take too much time. (2) Frozen crusts will keep the ingredients cooler on the way home. (3) Frozen crusts allow you to spend more time on designing the messages on the pizza circles and boxes.

The "acts of gratitude" cardboard circle is removed during baking, and replaced under the cooked pizza prior to cutting and serving.

Lesson Plan

The pizza circle and pizza box are the central activities. Use frozen pizza crust so that you don't have to spend much time assembling the pizzas.


Welcome your students and explain how they'll be learning about "Grace and Gratitude" today.

Have all your students stand together. Tell them that you're about to "fling" a pizza circle at them, and to sit down when they get one. Have as many pizza circles as you have students. You can make duplicates of circles 3 through 7.  Keep #8 for yourself.

Prepare in advance to toss out circles with these questions written on them:

Circle 1:  Find and prepare to read Luke 17:11-15.
Circle 2:  Find and prepare to read Luke 17:16-19.

Circle 3: What does the word "mercy" mean?
Circle 4:  What made the one leper return to praise Jesus?
Circle 5: Why didn't the other nine lepers return to thank Jesus?
Circle 6:  Define the words "grateful" and "ungrateful." 
Circle 7:  What has Jesus done for all of us?
Circle 8: How do you show your gratitude for what Jesus has done for you?

Prep this for Older Students:
On the back of Circle 1, write the word, "healed." On the back of Circle 2, write the word, "saved." On the back of Circle 3, write the word, "made whole," And on the back of Circle 4, write the word, "cured."

Read and Discuss:
After everyone has one or more circles, call upon circles number 1 and 2 to read the scripture. After the story is read, call upon Circle #3 to read their question aloud and answer it. Invite others to try and answer it as well. 

For Older Students:
When it's time to read and discuss Circle 7, pause and ask those who have the "extra" words written on their circle to hold them up and say them out loud. "Healed, Saved, Made Whole, Cleansed or Cured." (These are all the possible translations of the Greek word "healed" in verses 15, 17 and 19, and each gives us a new insight into the meaning of the miracle.)  

The teacher now reads aloud verses 15, 17 and 19 and when they get to the words "healed" and "made well"  point to the pizza circles and have them say their word out loud. 

The point to share with older students: Many words in scripture can mean more than one thing. "Healed" can be read as "saved" or "made whole." We also know that the disease of leprosy can be thought of as a sign of sin. This means that a simple story about "curing a leper" can also be a story about "saving" a sinner. Making a sinner whole. Instead of just being a story about a leper giving thanks for his cure, the story can also be telling us that we need to show our gratitude for our salvation, but that few do, ...and in the case of the story, only one returned to say thank you Jesus.


More Pizza Circle Discussion Notes:

"Have Mercy" (or "have pity" depending on your translation) –is what the lepers shouted to Jesus. Mercy means "compassion." By definition, it is undeserved. They were asking Jesus for something they didn't feel they deserved, and were appealing to his compassion.

We don't know why the one decided to return to Jesus, or why the others didn't. Perhaps he was just a grateful person who understood the importance of saying thank you for his curing, ...for his being saved. Perhaps his faith in God prepared him to know which direction to turn and say thank you. Our church is like that. It points us in the right direction.  Perhaps the other nine simply need someone to point THEM back in the right direction!

Why should we be grateful for our healing/curing/saving?   Jesus has given us his forgiveness, and like the lepers, it was undeserved. And when we return to say thank you, we can learn that Jesus also promises to be our Shepherd, Guide, Shield, Friend, and Defender in this life, and to prepare a place in heaven for us. That's what the ungrateful lepers missed out on, ...knowing that they now had much more given to them than just "no more leprosy."

For more on Salvation as a gift of God's Grace read the Bible Background.

Write "Gratitude Promises" on the Take-Home Pizza Circle

Each student receives a new cardboard pizza circle to write on. Following a brief discussion, students will write approximately 6 to 8 "gratitude promises" on their pizza circle. Write each in a compact form so that it will fit under a slice of pizza, but space individual promises across the circle so that no matter how you slice the pizza, at least one of the promises will appear under each slice.

Ideally, each "Gratitude Promise" will be something a person can accomplish within 72 hours and report back to those they ate the pizza with. You can write these instructions on the circle, or on the box, or on a label to apply to the box (see label sample below).

Here are some suggested "categories" of promises, with examples. Brainstorm more!

Gratitude you can share with someone

  • Write a note and give it to someone to thank them for being part of your life.
  • Invite someone to spend some time with you doing/playing what they like to do.

Gratitude you can show to someone

  • Offer to help someone with their chores.
  • Spend some time with a "leper" at work or school (someone unliked, unfriended, awkward, someone you normally don't spend time with.)

Gratitude towards God that will bless your church

  • Contact your church and volunteer for something.
  • Make a commitment to attend an upcoming event other than worship.
  • Bring a friend to worship with you next Sunday.

Gratitude for Being Forgiven and Loved by Jesus

  • Volunteer to say "grace" at the dinner table for three days.
  • Apologize to a friend or family member who has done you wrong, or to whom you have acted wrong.

Pizza Assembly!

Build your pizza on the cardboard circle and place it in the pizza box. Add a layer of foil if needed, to keep the ingredients or unbaked crust from sloshing around inside the box.

Advanced building techniques: Use your with pepperoni/onion/green pepper to draw the thankful leper, Jesus, cross, peace symbol on top of your pizza. Leave the cheese off of parts of the sauce to form an image or word in the sauce (such as, "Jesus" or "grace").

Reflecting on the Pizza Box

In this final lesson activity, students draw on their pizza box and add a label.

Preparing the Label in Advance:

You can print the following baking and game instructions on label paper, or on copy paper and simply glue it to the box.

Printed Instructions for Baking and Playing the Gratitude Game:


Remove the pizza circle before baking, and then place it back under the baked pizza prior to slicing. Suggested baking time: 14 minutes at 350, then check. Let the baked pizza cool for a few minutes, then cut into pieces.

*Baking time may vary depending on the size and type of crust.

Agree ahead of time, that each person taking a slice agrees to perform the gratitude promise on the circle that's most visible underneath their slice.

PLAYING the Gratitude Promise Pizza Pull-off Game

1. Agree that whatever appears beneath your slice you WILL do. Agree to "how much time" they have to complete their gratitude promise.

2. Let each person pull a slice. Write their names next to gratitude promise that was revealed. If they eat two slices, they must do the two promises!

3. Save the cardboard circle in a prominent location and check back in two or three days with everyone about their gratitude promise.


Students can add any or all of the following to their box:

  • Name of their Pizza Company (Suggestions: "Grateful Leper Pizza"   "Jesus Delivers")
  • Logo
  • List the Ingredients in:
      -Your pizza...
      -A Christian (gratitude, love, etc.)
  • A key phrase from the story.
  • A key concept in slogan form, such as: 

      "Grateful because of God's Grace."  "Healed, I will heal."  "Saved, I will be saving." 
      "Jesus loves me this I know, because a Thankful Leper told me so."
      "A Christian is someone who knows what Jesus has done for us all, and is grateful."
      "Live a life of gratitude."


For younger students: Have helpers write for them, and let them color around the words. You can also add some or all of the "promises" to the circle ahead of time.

If short on time: Don't put any designs on the pizza box, just provide a label (a sheet of paper you can glue to the box, see sample above).

Written by the Writing Team
Copyright 2017, Inc.


Images (3)
  • pizzaboy
  • pizzacirclewords
  • gratitudecircle
Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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