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Art Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching Palm Sunday in Sunday School.

Post your Sunday School ART lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for Palm Sunday here.

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Including: Palms, Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Bethany, Parade, Caiaphas, Annas, donkey, rocks and stones, and related. Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19, Zechariah 9:9, etc., etc.

Bible lessons for Palm Sunday -with Art, craft, painting, construction, drawing, etc.


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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Palm Sunday
Art Workshop 


Summary of Lesson Activities:
 
Creating a wire sculpture diorama display of the entry into Jerusalem. 

Scripture Reference:
Matthew 21:1-11, Zechariah 9:9


Leader Preparations: 

  • Review the lesson plan, background materials, and Bible passage(s) for the workshop.
  • Obtain several different types and colors of wire (for younger kids, use chenille stems). Wire should stiff enough to hold its shape but flexible enough for kids to bend it; 14-24 gauge wire works well. 
  • Cut many 12-inch pieces of wire in advance. Using pre-cut shorter pieces of wire is a safety measure; kids using long pieces of wire could accidently whip one around and poke someone in the face or eye.


Materials List:

  • NRSV Bible
  • "Little Colt’s Palm Sunday" (book) by Michelle M. Adams
  • 14 – 24 gauge wire, cut into 12-inch pieces (see note above)
  • Beads (optional)
  • Chenille stems (for younger kids)
  • Small wire cutters (1 pair for every 2-3 kids)


Presentation 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure you are wearing your name tag and that the children are wearing theirs. Take a few minutes for the children to introduce themselves if appropriate.
Briefly review the agenda with the kids. Say: Today we’re going to talk about Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Jesus’ death. We’re going to talk about Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem that day, what happened and what it means. Then we are going to create wire sculptures to represent Palm Sunday.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Lesson:

Introduce/review the lesson: This month we are learning about one of the first events of Holy Week, which is the week before Jesus died on the cross then rose from his tomb. Holy Week is the week before Easter. This month we are talking about Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem.

Ask: Why was Jesus going to Jerusalem that day? Discuss the following points:

  • Jesus and his Disciples were going to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Religious holidays were very important to the Jewish people in Jesus’ time. One of the most important holidays was the holiday of Passover – when the Jewish people remembered all that God had done to save them and help them.
  • For older kids, explain: The Passover Feast celebrates the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. The Israelites were held as Pharaoh’s slaves. God sent numerous plagues to convince Pharaoh to free them. The last plague was the angel of Death. At this time the Israelites were told to put blood on their doorposts so the angel of death would “pass over” (not stop) at their homes.
  • Passover is a “pilgrimage festival.” A pilgrimage is a journey to a holy place. Everyone would travel to Jerusalem where the Temple was to celebrate Passover. Each year in the spring, thousands of people came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.


Say: Jesus and his disciples were headed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, too. Let’s find out about what happened.

Younger Kids Bible Study:

  • Read the book "Little Colt’s Palm Sunday" by Michelle M. Adams.
  • Talk briefly about the story in the book. Allow a few minutes for the kids to comment on the story and illustrations.
  • Say: Jesus’ special entrance into Jerusalem is now a celebration that we call Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week – exactly one week before Easter Sunday. Why do you think Christians call it Palm Sunday?
  • Palms were a symbol of grace and victory in Bible times. By waving the palms and placing them on the ground before Jesus, the people were welcoming him as a king.
  • Ask: On the back of what animal did Jesus enter into Jerusalem? (A donkey)
  • Say: In Jesus’ time, great leaders and kings rode big, majestic horses, not donkeys.
  • Say: Jesus rode the donkey to symbolize that he was a peaceful and humble king, not a warrior.

Older Kids Bible Study - using their Bibles:

  • Ask: Where would we find a story about Jesus and his disciples in the Bible? (In the New Testament, Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.)
  • Say: We can read about Palm Sunday in all four Gospels. Today we’ll read the story from Matthew.
  • Remind them about this trick from our “Books of the Bible” rotation: if they open their Bible right in the middle, they should open to the book of Psalms (or very close to it). Psalms is roughly in the middle of the Bible. Then, if they open to the middle of the back half of the Bible, they should find Matthew, the first book in the New Testament.


Grades 2-3 – have them follow along in their Bibles as you read Matthew 21:1-11 aloud.

Grades 4-5 – have them read Matthew 21:1-11 round-robin style (each child reads 1-2 verses).

Note: After the first or second week of the rotation, the students will become more familiar with the story. Have them locate the Scripture in their Bibles. Then ask them to tell you the story. Fill in any missing details by using their Bibles.

  • Say: Jesus’ special entrance into Jerusalem is now a celebration that we call Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week – exactly one week before Easter Sunday.
  • Ask: Why do you think Christians call it Palm Sunday?
  • Palms were a symbol of grace and victory in Bible times. By waving the palms and placing them on the ground before Jesus, the people were welcoming him as a king.
  • Ask: On the back of what animal did Jesus enter into Jerusalem? (A donkey)
  • Ask: Did you wonder about the part we read that said, “This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet?” (Matthew 21:4) What do you suppose that means?
  • Say: Oftentimes what is written in the New Testament is said to fulfill what the prophets of the Old Testament had said. In this case Matthew is referring to what the prophet Zechariah said almost 500 years before that time. Zechariah is a book found in the Old Testament. Listen as I read Zechariah’s words.
  • Show the class Zechariah 9:9 in your Bible. Read the passage aloud.
  • Ask: How would you picture a king in Jesus’ time; what would he ride into town on? (Accept all answers – looking for answer of a majestic horse)
  • Ask: Do you suppose the people in Jesus’ time would expect a king to be riding a lowly donkey?
  • Say: The people misunderstood. Jesus was a different kind of king than they were expecting. The people wanted a great military hero who would overthrow the Romans. Instead, Jesus came in peace and humility.
  • Say: Jesus rode the donkey to symbolize that he was a peaceful and humble king, not a warrior. 


The art Project: Wire Sculptures

  • Before class begins, prepare quantities of 18-24-inch lengths of different types and colors of wire (see note in preparation section above). Using pliers, bend over the last half inch on each end of every wire so they won't poke.
  • Distribute several strands of wire per student and one pair wire cutters per every 2-3 kids. Students may wish to swap different color wires back and forth.
  • For the younger kids(preK-K) use chenille stems.
  • CAUTION: Especially at the beginning, students working with wire should be supervised closely to ensure that they handle it safely and with respect. Any student that waves a wire around should be gently shown the correct way to control it.

Optional Wire Sculpture Diorama Assemble Suggestion
(Added by Wormy - the resident editor at Rotation.org)

A "diorama" is just another fancy word for a miniature recreation of a scene from a story. In the following example, you'll prepare parts of the "Jerusalem" city gate diorama in advance. Cardboard and packing tape are your friends! Smile

Assign parts of the scene and scenery of Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem to various students. Have them make that person/scene/prop out of wire. Older children can not only make a bendy-person, they can add wire around the bendy-person's head and torso to add bulk and fill out their character. Have everyone create a wire palm.

If you're making a group diorama of the scene, prepare some cardboard boxes to be the Walls of Jerusalem with a gate. These can be pre-glued on a sheet of cardboard where you'll also be fixing all your wire sculptures. Make an area on the walls for a soldier. Add some wire trees and bushes. Sand can be glued on the cardboard to show the road.

Here's a creative solution to how to get the wire characters and props to stand up on your diorama base: make sure each prop/person has a long "foot" which you can stick through a hole in the cardboard base and bend, then tape to the bottom of the cardboard.

Add "Hosannas" to the diorama, either by drawing them on the cardboard, or by drawing them on some paper pennants which are attached to wire "poles" you've attached to the cardboard building near the gate. You might also glue some confetti along the road, along with some pieces of cloth (the people's coats) and green wire (palms) laying on it.

Remember to discuss how various characters should be POSED, and WHY. In particular, consider how to pose the "doubters" and authorities afraid of Jesus.

Tip:
The younger children will have less impressive dioramas compared to the older students, but you can 'balance' that by adding some cool wire sculptures of your own to fill out their story. In fact, make some ahead of time to pull out of a box as needed. Some small children may be frustrated with how their character turns out, but will be proud to "pose" your wire character and make it their own.

Closing:
Close with a prayer and have the children assist with the cleanup.


 

 A lesson written by Bravo5 from: Church of the Beattitudes
Phoenix, AZ 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.




Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Palm Sunday

Art Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

This Arts & Crafts lesson seeks to highlight the worship element of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. The crafts tie into the lesson by creating items that can be used for the class to have their own "Jesus Parade." The 3 crafts consist of a crown, a maraca-type noise maker and a bubble blower. To view all of the lesson, click on the underlined name of the attached file (at the bottom of this post). From the attached lesson here is how the crown craft is explained (in first person) as well as a few of the teaching comments (Note: In the attached lesson, there are pictures to help illustrate the craft instructions.)

Scripture Reference:
Luke 19:29-48



Presentation

This is only a partial lesson. The full lesson is attached.

Tell

  • So in the story, the Pharisees do not recognize or accept that Jesus is a king. If they did, then they wouldn't try to tell Jesus what to do.
  • But the disciples DO think Jesus is a king and praise God for Jesus.
  • And even if they did stop praising God, Jesus says “the rocks would cry out.”
  • So today, we’re going to make some crafts that will help us to participate in our own “Jesus Parade" so that the rocks won't have to cry out instead.

Explain Crown Craft

  • The first thing we’re going to do is create a crown-like hat that reminds us that Jesus is the king that comes in the name of the Lord.
  • This is a picture of what our crown might look like: -->

Step 1

  • First thing we’re going to do is, using this flexible measuring tape, we’re going to measure our heads.
  • Then we’ll cut some blue duct tape to the length you just measured plus 2 inches.
  • Once the tape is cut, lay it on the table with the sticky side face up.
  • Put the straws on the tape, but leave 4 inches free on each end of the tape (use a ruler to determine the four inches)

Step 2

  • Once step one is done, cut a second length of blue duct tape that’s the same length as the first piece of tape.
  • Place this piece of tape on top of your first piece of tape sticky-side down as a way to “sandwich” the straws.
  • Cut a piece of duct tape, this time from a differently colored roll of tape, to the same length.
  • Fold this length of duct tape over the bottom edge of the “blue tape sandwich” so that half of the headband is now a different color.
  • Fit the headband to your head and then tape the ends of it together to hold the shape/circle.

Step 3

  • Now we’ll take the pipe cleaners and garland and slide them into the tops of the straws.
  • We can also glue the pom-poms on to the end of the pipe cleaners.
  • Bend the straws as you so wish.
  • And now, we have a crown-like parade hat that will remind us that Jesus is king!


For the full lesson download the attached Word document (found at the bottom of this post). Note that the first three pages of the document are background and that the actual lesson starts on page 4.

To view the other lessons in this lesson set click HERE for Storytelling and HERE for Science.

If you like these lessons, and are interested in more, visit www.rfour.org/curriculum.html




A lesson written by Nathanael V. from: rfour.org

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Attachments

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Palm Sunday
Art Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activity:
Students will be painting Praise Rocks to represent Jesus saying that if the crowds stopped praising the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:40). Students will be reminded that Jesus is deserving of our worship. Students will also be reminded that as the King of Kings, Jesus has power over all of creation.

Editor's Note: In the attached PDF file (see end of lesson) are adaptations for this lesson for various ages, from preschool to middle/upper elementary. Shown below is the lesson for the "Early Elementary" age group.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time
  • Gather the Materials

Materials List:

  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Water
  • Paper Towel
  • Smocks
  • Paint trays (palettes)
  • Permanent Markers

Advanced Preparation Requirements:

  • Before students arrive, wash the rocks and let them dry.


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome kids to Thou Art Studio as they arrive. Hand out name tags and create name tags for any new students. Introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:

Discussion Before Reading the Story:
Ask:   Has anyone here today been to a parade?

Can you tell me about what kind of things you saw in the parade?
One fun thing about parades is the crowds of people. Thousands of people come out to see all of the floats, mascots and marching bands. In today’s story we are going to be reading about a parade where Jesus was the main attraction. Thousands of people came to see Jesus as he entered into Jerusalem.

Instruct children that you want them to help you tell the story so we can imagine all of the noise that the crowd was making in Jerusalem.

Whenever you say Jesus students should shout “the King”.
Whenever you say crowd students should shout “hosanna”.

Practice quickly before telling the story.

The Story:
As Jesus approached Jerusalem he stopped at the hill called the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of his disciples to find a donkey. Jesus said, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a donkey tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

The disciples listened to Jesus and went and found the donkey just as Jesus had told them. As they were untying the donkey, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the donkey?”

They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

The disciples brought the donkey to Jesus. They put their cloaks on the donkey and put Jesus on it. As Jesus went along, crowds started to form. Large crowds of people welcomed Jesus with shouts of singing because of the miracles they had seen Jesus perform. People in the crowds spread their cloaks on the road as a path for Jesus.

The crowd shouted:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

The crowd was loud with praises and there were some Pharisees in the crowd that didn't like the noise. Many Pharisees didn’t believe that Jesus was the son of God and they were mad that the crowds were praising Jesus.

The Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples! Make them stop all this noise.”

Jesus said to them “I tell you if the crowds were to stop and keep quiet, the stones one the ground would cry out in praise to me.”

So the crowds continued to praise Jesus as he traveled through Jerusalem.

Discussion After the Story:
Ask:

  • What kind of animal did Jesus enter into Jerusalem on?
  • Why were the crowds shouting and praising Jesus?
  • What did the Pharisees say to Jesus?
  • What did Jesus say to the Pharisees?
  • I wonder what Jesus meant when He said that the stones on the ground would cry out in praise?

The Bible tells us that all of creation listens to Jesus. If Jesus commanded the rocks to talk - all of the rocks would start shouting praise to Jesus.

Jesus loves to hear people praise Him! Today we are going to paint special rocks to remind us that if the crowds in Jerusalem stopped praising even the rocks would have praised Jesus.
The rocks will also help remind us that we too should praise Jesus!

Praise Rocks:
Explain to students that they will be making praise rocks. They can choose how they would like to decorate their rock. They might want to paint something that reminds them of Jesus or paint the rock with a face to look like it was shouting praises. Follow the steps below:

  • Provide a palette of paint for every 2-3 students. Pre-squeeze several choices of colours onto each pallet. Children can request different colours if needed.
  • Remind students that they don’t want to make the paint too thick or it will take a long time to dry.
  • While students are working:
  • Encourage students by complimenting their work!
  • Some students may need extra help. Be on the lookout for students who are needing a hand or more instruction!
  • Talk about what a treat it is to praise Jesus!
  • Ask students what they think a rock would sound like if it started to praise Jesus.
  • Be on the lookout for spills and keep paper towel handy. Clean up spills quickly to avoid bigger messes.
  • After they are done write their name on the rock (or on a piece of paper under the rock until the paint has dried) and help them to clean their hands.

Closing:
Close with a prayer.

Prayer Idea: Instead of a traditional prayer, take time to worship Jesus as a class. Have students think about what their rock would say about Jesus. Go in a circle around the class and let each student share what their rock would say.

Send Off:
Encourage parents to work on the memory verse with their kids during the week. They can find the memory verse on the Zion website or through their email newsletter.


Editor's Notes:

Member ZBCC had also shared this info about their Art Workshop:

WHAT IS THOU ART! STUDIO?
“Thou Art! Studio” is a place where children explore creativity and tactile learning. Children use a variety of art forms to experience worship, explore stories and express Biblical truths.

For the full lesson click on the attached PDF document (Thou Art Studio by age Palm Sunday.pdf) found at the bottom of this post.



A lesson written by ZBCC from: Zion Baptist Community Church
Edmonton, Alberta

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Attachments

Last edited by Luanne Payne



The Jesus Rocks! lesson ideas found below were turned in to a really neat Palm Sunday Storytelling & Stone Art Workshop lesson plan by our Writing Team.

Everyone can read the Team's lesson summary. Supporting Members can access the actual lesson Storytelling & Stone Art Workshop plan.

It was based on the following ideas below...



We're making "HOSANNA HEY" Rocks to lay at the base of the cross we have in the church yard.

After watching and discussing that famous Entry into Jerusalem scene from Jesus Christ Superstar (the movie), the kids will surround some large smooth rocks and use paint pens to decorate them with Palm Sunday symbols, verses, and their names. Then we'll carry them out to the foot of the cross.

If you haven't seen or don't remember the jubilant "Entry into Jerusalem" scene in Jesus Christ Superstar (movie), then you're in for a treat. The scene lasts about 5 minutes.

Our lesson will focus on two statements made in the video by the song/characters:

(1) The authorities:  "Tell the rabble to be quiet"

Ask: Why do some people or groups NOT want the message and followers of Jesus to be heard?  What's so "dangerous" about Christ's message?

How does our church/YOU "turn up the volume" i.e., "show we are followers" of Jesus?

(2) Jesus:  "The rocks and stones themselves will start to sing"

Do you think Jesus meant "real" rocks will sing?

Sometimes "a rock" symbolizes strength. In this passage, "rock" is probably referring to thing that are hard, lifeless, and dense, and overlooked.--Something you would not expect could bring glory to God.

Imagine that YOU are that rock...your faith is dense and lifeless. This means that God can make you SING his praises, even if you don't think that's possible!

A point: Sometimes we in the church forget that God is in control. We think that WE are responsible for "having enough faith," when it is God who increases faith.  We respond and nurture the faith God has given us through worship, service and prayer. (This is Reformed theology!)  And 'if' it grows, it is a gift.

Palm Sunday is a day to celebrate God riding into our cities and crowds and our own lives --inviting us to joyfully respond with the shout "Save Us!" (Hosanna), and thus proclaim Jesus as the one sent by God to save us from our sins.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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