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The lesson plans, ideas, and resources in this "General" forum about Jesus' Birth tend to cover the "entire" story of Jesus' birth, rather than focusing on individual parts or persons in it. Check our other Advent story forums for lessons that are more specific to particular persons or episodes, such as angels, Mary, shepherds, Magi, etc. Don't forget the Writing Team's extra creative Advent lesson sets too!

For our Coolios class (2nd-5th graders), we modified the "Jesse Tree" idea by pairing Old Testament scriptures (some of which were later interpreted as prophecies of Jesus) with passages from the gospels. We focused on 8 OT/NT themes regarding the birth and life of Jesus: 

- Descendent of King David (Stump of Jesse)  -- Isaiah 11:1-2; Matt 1:1-2, 6, 16

 - In the beginning -- Genesis 1:1-4; John 1:1-5

 - Bethlehem -- Micah 5:2; Matt 2:3-6, Luke 2:4-5

- Star and scepter -- Numbers 24:17; Matt 2:3-6

- The young woman shall bear a son -- Isaiah 7:14; Matt 1:20-23

- Prepare the way of the Lord -- Isaiah 40:3; Mark 1:2-4, 9

- Our shepherd -- Psalm 23:1-2; John 10:14-15

- Light of the world -- Isaiah 9:2; John 8:12

Another possible theme we didn't implement is Gifts for a king -- Isaiah 60:6; Matt 2:9-11.

To illustrate these themes we used 8 rondels from the Jesse Tree project created by the Reformed Church in America ( Three rondels were modified to illustrate the themes "In the beginning", "Star and scepter" and "Prepare the way of the Lord".

 We created fill-in-the-blank handouts of each Bible passage. We clipped each rondel to its OT handout and kept the NT handouts in a separate pile.

As the children arrived, they chose a "packet" of a rondel with its OT handout. They colored the rondel, then looked up the OT passage and wrote in the missing words.

As they finished those tasks, I gave them a NT handout that did NOT correspond to their rondel and had them fill in the blanks.

Then we played a matching game. Each child displayed their rondel and read their OT passage to the others. On the second go-round, each child read the NT passage while the other children evaluated whether their rondel and OT passage corresponded to what was being read. If it did, the NT scripture was given to the child with the matching rondel and OT scripture.

Here's our variation on the "Jesse Tree"! 



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Last edited by Luanne Payne
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