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Art Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Holy Week

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

  • Please include a scripture reference, supply lists, sources, suggested age range. age modification, etc. 
  • Photos are much appreciated!  Click "attachments" and upload to your post.
  • Please be careful not to post copyrighted materials. Excerpting and paraphrasing is okay. Include attribution.


Including: Cross, Jesus, Caiaphas, Pilate, Scourging, Nails, Centurion, Golgotha, Place of the Skull, Calvary, Empty Tomb, Resurrection, Women, Mary Magdalene,, Gardner, Peter, and related stories. Matthew 26, Mark 14, Mark 16, Luke 22, John 18, Matthew 28, Mark 16, John 20:1-18, Luke 24, resurrection, etc. 

Bible lessons for Holy Week -with Art, craft, painting, construction, drawing, etc.

Shadow box art depicting scenes from Holy Week
From the Art Workshop at Scotland UCC, Scotland S.D.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
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Easter Egg Broken Shell Mosaic

One year our children were given a colored Easter egg in worship. In their classrooms, they peeled the eggs, broke up the shells, and I went from room to room inviting the kids to add their eggshells to make a resurrection symbol for the whole church to see. We used a large cross on foamboard and just spread glue on it as the kids added their shells. It was quick and fairly easy, looked beautiful, and it was on display on an easel as the congregation left the sanctuary.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen


Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Creating a "Life Size" Easter character gallery.
Using a variety of supplies and clothing, each Art workshop class will create a number of life-size mannequins of the characters in the Holy Week story. Each week the gallery will increase.

Characters are to be dressed, expressed, and posed to help represent their role and attitude in the story.

Moderator notes that attachments were not included that showed how to make the broom mannequins.

Lesson Objectives:

  • We would like the kids to know the “faces” of the Easter story. What then should the kids be able to do at the end of class? The children should be able to retell about their character from the Easter story. They should have their Bible memory verse memorized. They should have a script that they act out using their puppet. They should have a completed art project.

Leader Preparation:

  • Become Familiar with the project.
  • Gather the materials.

Materials List:

  • Bible memory picture chart
  • Easter character scripts
  • Brooms
  • Old adult sized clothes
  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Craft supplies
  • Pvc pipe
  • Duct tape
  • Picture of craft (not attached)
  • Glue
  • Buckets
  • Plaster of paris

During this rotation it is important to draw every child into the discussions/activities. As we grow larger and larger it is so important to acknowledge and talk to every child!
Please keep in mind that you will have several ages of children in your rotation and might need to adapt the lesson from week to week in order to accommodate the different ages. If you need help with this feel free to call! Please clean up room when finished. Throw extra papers away, put supplies back into bins. Etc.

Lesson Plan


Welcome students as they arrive. Take attendance.

Introduce the Bible memory verse using the wall picture chart. Read aloud the verse from the Bible as you point to the picture representations. See if the kids understand what the verse means. Have the kids say the verse several times using the wall chart. As the rotation progresses, start covering up on or two pictures at a time and have children say the verse.
Remember, your goal is to get the kids to know the Bible memory verse. 


This project is designed for the kids to work in groups of two-four depending
On the class size.
Each week the class that is with you will have different characters to make. This rotation is designed so that by the end of the rotation all of the major players in the Easter story are to be depicted in puppet form. You are then to put them in the fellowship hall with signs above each character to show the Easter story. After the kids have made the life sized puppets we will plaster of paris them into a bucket (so they will stand alone).
Please see attached handout for instructions on how to make the puppets (not included).
See end of lesson for each week’s character assignment.
Start with reviewing the Easter story. Either retell it in your own words, or read it from one of the Bible passages in the Bible.
Assign kids to groups, and hand out characters.  (See list at end of lesson) Let kids tell you who they have and as a group discuss what their character might be thinking, look like etc.
Show them a picture of the large puppet.
For younger children you might want to do a step-by-step process. For the older children you can probably explain to them and let them go. You might want to show them the picture of one, or make one yourself. After the first week, you can take the group to the Fellowship center and look at the ones that are already made.
Have supplies all laid out and ready for the children.
After explaining the process and after the discussions let the kids go to work. You will need to help monitor the time for the children, letting them know how much time is left etc. Try and leave time for the children to share their puppets with the class.
These Life Sized puppets were shown in the Group’s C.M. magazine last year (2011).

If time, mount in the buckets with plaster of paris, or do this after the children are gone. Carry to Fellowship Center when dry and hang above each character who they are and what role they play in the Easter story. Use the attached sheet for wording (not included, use ideas from below assignments).

Easter Story Art Gallery Assignments:

Week One: Matthew 26
Caiaphas- The High Priest that organized the group to kill Jesus.
Judas Iscariot- The one who betrayed Jesus
Woman- Who poured oil on Jesus’ head
Peter- Denied Jesus three times (Might want to add a rooster)
Girl in the crowd- the one who identified Peter
Soldier-who arrested Jesus
Angry crowd person
Angry crowd person

Week Two: Matthew 27
Pilate- Roman Governor
Priest- Took money from Judas
Barabbas- Criminal
Pilate’s Wife- Scared about her dream
Roman Soldiers-
Angry mob people

Week Three: Matthew 27
Simon- He carried Jesus’ cross
Jesus- Hanging on Cross with crown of thorns on head
Mary Magdalene- terrified that the earth shook
Mary-Jesus’ mother- terrified of the earth shaking
Zebedee’s wife- mother of James and John terrified of the earth shaking
Joseph- took the body and put it is his on tomb (he was rich)

Week Four: Matthew 28
Angel- shone with light
Guard- shook with fear
Mary- filled with excitement for Jesus’ body was gone
Mary Magdalene- running to share the news about Jesus
Jesus- Resurrected
Guards- accepted the bribe

Week Five: Matthew 28
Disciples- saw Jesus again and were told to go and make disciples of the entire world


Have the children assist in the cleanup. 

Close with a prayer.

A lesson written by Denise Roth-Ludke 

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Making Wooden Crosses

Here is an idea we are using this year. We've recruited an old shop teacher to help us and we are going to make wood crosses that stand on a stand. Many of the pieces will have been precut.

The kids are going to do some sanding, gluing, woodburning. As they assemble their crosses we are going to use the Benjamin Box idea (described in the next post) and have the kids glue onto the base of thier cross some items to remind them of the story. For example gauze, a nail, thorn, perfume painted on the base etc.

Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Admin Worm

Benjamin Box

Benjamin Box is the name of a book. It tells the story of a little boy who collects items as he is witnessing Jesus' life story. Each time something important happens he puts a reminder item in his box. For example a piece of fur from the donkey Jesus rode in on, or a thorn from his crown etc. We have used this book for a few years now in different forums. Each time though we have a plate with all of the items that are mentioned in the book and as Benjamin, the main character in the book puts something in his box in the story, the kids put the same item in their own box. We then decorate the boxes and the kids take them home. We have also had the older kids go to the E.C. area and share the story using their boxes. They pull out the items as they tell the story, or have the little kids put the item in the box as they talk about it. It is a great book and so many uses for the story!

We purchased little cardboard boxes a Hobby Lobby, 50¢ a piece. They were like treasure chests and had little latches on them. Since then, I have been told I could get them even cheaper at a paper store. Someone suggested purchasing the "to go Chinese food boxes" Someone said Costco and Sams had these, but I have never looked.

We have used jewels and glued them on, used sharpie markers to decorate the outside and have used paint markers.

I think our older kids had a printed sheet of Bible verses printed really small, tore that up and decoupaged it all over the box. Our 1-3 graders liked the jewels the best!


Last edited by Luanne Payne

Items you can put in the Resurrection Eggs or in the Benjamin boxes suggested above.

Small cracker (bread) pieces - Mark 14:22

Three dimes - Matt. 26:14-15 or Matt 27:3-4

Communion cup - Matt 26:26-28 or Matt. 26:39

Rooster (a feather) - Matt. 26:33

Twine with knots in it - Matt. 27:1-2 or a piece of rope

Soap piece - Matt. 27:24-26

Small piece of leather - Mark 15:15

Red fabric - Matt. 27:28-30 or purple fabric - Mark 15:17

Thorn - Mark 15:17 or Matt. 27:29

Cross made from toothpicks - Matt. 27:31-32 or John 19:17-18

Nail - Matt. 27:31 or John 20:25

Dice - Matt. 27:35-36 or John 19:23-24

Sponge - John 19:29-30 or Matt 27:48

Crushed rock - Matt. 27:50, 51 & 54 or dirt

Sword or spear (plastic hors d’oeuvres sword, Lego sword or spear) - John 19:34

White fabric - Matt. 27:58-60

Stone - Matt. 27:65-66 or Mark 15:46

Cinnamon sticks - Mark 16:1

Bayleaf - Matt. 28: 2 & 5

Empty egg - Matt. 28:6 or Mark 16:5-6 or Luke 24:3-6 John 3:16

Cotton ball (A cloud ) - Mark 16:19

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Make scene Backgrounds for a Video Compilation

When we did our rotation on Holy Week, our Art Workshop was structured to be the week before the kids went to drama. The teacher had them PAINT a backdrop for a particular scene in Holy Week that they would then act out the following week in Drama. We videotaped the drama and as a result have a WONDERFUL record of this rotation.

Each grade was assigned a different piece of Holy Week to videotape. And although it was filmed out of sequence, one of the teachers remixed it properly. They even added the scripture text with voice over.

That was one of our BEST rotations!

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Memory Mandella

Hi Linda!

How about a Memory Mandella? Using poster board and a pizza pan, trace around the pan to make a circle. Then draw lines to make eight sections. Have the families draw symbols of Holy Week in each section.

This comes from a neat book, "Things To Make & Do for Lent & Easter, by Martha Bettis Gee. It's available from the, or Amazon.
Good luck!

Julie Burton
Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery

Last edited by Luanne Payne

3-D Time Line

Sequencing the Story of Holy Week
Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will see the story of Holy Week via a poster series and reinforce their learning by creating a 3-D time line of the events of Holy Week

Scripture References:

  • The entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11,
  • Jesus clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12-13,
  • The Plot against Jesus: Matthew 26:3-5,
  • Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16,
  • The Last Supper: Mark 14:17-25,
  • In the garden of Gethsemane: Mark 14:32-42,
  • Jesus arrested: Luke 22:47-53,
  • Jesus’ trials/crucifixion/placement in tomb: Luke 22:63 - 23:27, 23:32-56,
  • Jesus’ resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10

Lesson Objectives:

  • Children will learn that the events of Holy Week reveal to us that Jesus is the Messiah
  • Children will be able to sequence the events of Holy Week

Leader Preparation:

  • "Tour" of Holy Week Event: you will need to gather art/picture/posters of the events you want to show. One picutre for each event. Display so that the group can walk along and see and discuss each one, beginning with Palm Sunday, ending with the resurecction.
  • Gather items for the 3-D Time line. See below.

Lesson Plan


Greet your students, welcoming them to the Art Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Take attendance; greet visitors and get their info.

Tell them about the project they will be doing. Tell the students that they will be taking a tour of the events of Holy Week. Ask if anyone can recall any of the events of Holy Week. Make a list on the board. As the rotation weeks progress, this should be easier for the children. 


Prior to class, you have created a series of posters or visuals showing scenes from Holy Week events, beginning with Palm Sunday. Together, start at the Palm Sunday picture. Talk about the event in each picture/poster, what was happening to Jesus, what was probably going through his mind, how they would feel if they saw what was happening, etc. These events were part of God’s plan for us. Jesus engaged in them willingly in order to obtain forgiveness for us.

The Art Project

The project is to create a 3-D time line using various items that represent the parts of the Holy Week story.

Editor's Note:
This project originally had the items 'straight pinned' to a ribbon running up a piece of styrofoam. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the students create a BRAID of ribbons or leather thongs approximately 15 inches long to create a "memory necklace" or wall hanging. The items then get attached within the braids IN ORDER -either by sliding them on a piece of the leather/ribbon as you braid, or pushing it through space in the braid using a blunt stick such as a pencil. Or in the case of the donkey "fur", it can braided into the beginning of the braid. Some "braid-able items" have been alternately suggested below.

Suggested items for the memory project:

  • Faux fur: donkey ridden in Jerusalem. Alternately, braid in a small piece of a palm.
  • Gold “coins (wooden discs with a hole drilled in it and spray painted)”: Jesus overturns the money changers tables in the temple. Alternately, use gold ribbon.
  • Small piece of towel: Jesus washes the feet of his disciples
  • Small cup (wedding favor spray painted): Last Supper. Alternately, fold tin foil several times over to sturdy shape of a cup and place one braid over the stem to hold.
  • Larger silver “coins”; Judas’s betrayal. Alternately, fasten a key ring 'ring' to one of the braids and fold heavy tin foil over the ring to make coin.
  • Small clipart praying hands: Garden of Gethsemane. Alternately, use a small evergreen sprig to remind of 'garden'.
  • Feather: Rooster crows three times after Peter’s denial
  • Small thorn between two layers of clear contact paper so as not to poke: Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion
  • Nail: Jesus’ crucifixion
  • Small clipart dice: Soldiers gambled away Jesus’ clothes. Alternately, make small spear with large matchstick and dip tip in silver paint to make soldier's spear.
  • Small Cross: Crucifixion
  • Foam Butterfly: Resurrection. Alternately: white cloth.
  • In addition to these items, beads can be added as you braid. You might include 'letter' beads for the student to finish with by spelling out "Jesus Savior" or similar.


Ask the children if they have any further questions. 

Close with a prayer.

A lesson written by Barbara Mcleod from: Falmouth Congo Church UCC, Maine

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Colored Plastic Easter Egg Project and Game

Here is a link to an article that tells how families or a TEACHER can create their own set of "Resurrection Eggs" --which the children open to tell the story of Easter.



Editor's Note:
This could be adapted to a GAME workshop where the kids make their own Easter Egg game this way:

Number the scripture slips in order 1-8. Now also write the name of a color on the scripture slip and then put each slip in an Easter Egg that corresponds to that color. Write the colors/scriptures on the board as a cheat sheet, study, then cover it up.

Now mix up the eggs and see if each child can put the colors in the correct story order. Open the eggs to see if they got it right!

(Note: each scripture slip should be the Bible reference + a summary of that scripture.)

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Nail Cross Pendants or Magnetic Crosses:
Posted by member Lerner,

Students can make either nail cross pendants, or make craft stick crosses mounted on a clothes’ pin clip with magnetic backing.

(1) We will use horseshoe nails for the crosses, a hot-glue gun to pre glue them, and copper wire to wind them. Each member of cross, the crossbar and upright, is made out of two nails with a pointy end matched to a blunt end on each point of the cross to avoid having a sharp object dangling around student necks!

This is probably best for the 4th-6th grade group because some manual dexterity and strength is required to wire the nails together. We need to pre-glue the nails together using a hot glue gun, and then the kids wire them and attach them to the necklace cord.

(2) Younger children could make decorated craft stick crosses mounted on clothes’ pin clips. For these we will need craft sticks, sequins and glitter, white glue, clothes’ pins, and stick-on magnetic backing. These clips might be a good place to hang the rotation memory verses to learn at home!

You may need to cut the craft sticks (cut and file on sand paper – a good student activity?) so that the cross piece is slightly shorter than the upright piece. Then they are simply glued in a cross shape on the clothes’ pin. Add the magnetic backing, and decorate the cross. Students might want to make additional ones as gifts.


(added by editor)

Nails are sharp objects, obviously, which can be used for good or bad. They can represent things we do well (nailed it!), or things we did bad (got nailed).

Look at the nail cross you've made.
What did Jesus "nail" while on earth? (got right)
What got him in trouble? (nailed him)

What else did they use nails for in the story? (Nailing the sign)
What did the sign read? (King of the Jews)
God could have called us to pay for our sins. Instead, he nailed a sign for us to see. What was on OUR sign from God? Jesus!

What was God trying to tell us by allowing Jesus and his message to be "nailed" to the heart of history?

You might end your art project by creating messages which you can NAIL to a wooden cross. What 'sign' would YOU nail above Jesus?

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer


Art Workshop:

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Decoupage wooden crosses that will remain in the classrooms.

Scripture References:

The entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Jesus clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12-13; Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16; Jesus washes the disciples feet: John 13:4-15; The Last Supper: Matthew 26:17-30; In the garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46; Jesus arrested: Matthew 26:47-56; Jesus is questioned/condemned/put on trial: Matthew 26:57, 59-66, 27:1-2; & 27:11-26; Crucifixion: Matthew 27:27-66; Jesus’ resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Spread out the story telling supplies on the tables.
  • Write on the easel: Matthew 21:1, using one color of marker for the word “Matthew,” one color for the “21” and the third color for the “1.” Also write in the same manner, Matthew 28:10 and John 13:4-15. Then write the key Bible verse.

Materials List:

  • Easel and three different colors of appropriate markers
  • Bibles [3rd grade and up]
  • One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.) [3rd grade and up]
  • Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen [3rd grade and up]
  • Bookmarks, Pens
  • Story telling supplies: Leafy branches (use fake branches), A couple of (sealed) bottles of water, Plastic grapes, Red beads, Nickels
  • Magazines, pictures, wallpaper samples, Scissors
  • Wooden crosses
  • Decoupage Medium - Mod Podge
  • Containers for medium
  • Foam brushes
  • Wet wipes

Lesson Plan

Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Art Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

[Note: The Shepherd will be taking care of attendance while you are starting your lesson.]

Pass around a basket to collect any offering.

Say: Today we will learn more about Holy Week. This is what we call the week before Easter Sunday – from Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing that he would soon die, until Easter when he rose from the dead. First let’s have prayer time.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, We praise you for the chance to be here today, for the chance to have fellowship with our friends. Help us to work together to be creative in our art and at the same time to learn about your son Jesus who died so that our sins could be forgiven. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”

Ask: What season are we in right now? (season of Lent)
What is Lent?
Say: Lent is the time when we prepare for Easter. It includes the 40 days (not including Sundays) before Easter. During Lent, Christians think about what Jesus did for us – he died on a cross; he gave up his life and suffered for us. Lent is a time when adults often give up something – maybe they don’t eat chocolate – something that’s hard to give up! This helps us to remember what Jesus had to give up for us.

Say: In this workshop we are going to focus on the cross part of the Easter story.
Ask: Why do we have the symbol of a cross? (accept all answers)
Say: Without the cross we would be separated forever from God. But Jesus died for us on the cross, paying for our sins. The cross is a symbol of forgiveness.

Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus? (in the New Testament)

For 3rd grade and up:
Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the 66 books in the Bible are further divided into collections. We call this collection of Bible books, the Gospels.
Ask: Who knows what the word “gospel” means? (good news)
Say: Jesus’ death on the cross saves us from our sins and that is good news! If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the gospel section of your Bible. [Show the classroom Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]
Distribute Bibles. Ask if everyone has received a bookmark. [It is ok for students to take a bookmark every week if they want.] Distribute pens for those who took a bookmark.
Have everyone find Matthew, chapter 21, verse 1 in his or her Bible.
Ask: How would we write Matthew, chapter 21, verse 1?
If students aren’t sure: refer to the easel. Explain that Matthew is the name of the book of the Bible, “21” is the chapter and “1” is the verse; the chapter and the verses are separated by a colon.
Ask everyone who has taken a bookmark to write Matthew 21:1 on the back of his or her bookmark.
Say: We find stories about Holy Week in all four of the gospels. This is where the first event in Holy Week starts.
Have the students find Matthew, chapter 28, verse 10 while holding their place in chapter 21.
Say: This is where the story ends, telling about Jesus’ resurrection. Eight chapters are too much for us to read today. I urge you to take home your bookmarks and find these chapters in your Bible at home and read these stories.
Have the student write Matthew 28:10 on their bookmarks. They should read 21:1 – 28:10.
Say: We’ll be looking at the stories in Matthew with one exception. The story of Jesus washing the disciples feet is in the gospel of John.
Have the students write John 13:4-15 on their bookmarks.

For all students:
Say: Let’s review some of the events of Holy Week. I have placed on the tables some items that relate to these events. Maybe these items can help you recall the events.
Ask: What do we say is the first event that starts Holy Week? (branches - Palm Sunday)
Who remembers what happened on Palm Sunday? (Jesus rode into Jerusalem)
Say: A large crowd spread branches and cloaks on the road before Jesus. They shouted “Hosanna!” Jesus riding into town on a donkey fulfilled a prophecy from the Old Testament, something that Zechariah said almost 500 years before that time – “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey”. This is the one time that Jesus allowed the people to treat him as the king that he really was.
Ask: Did Jesus come to earth to be a worldly king? (no)
Say: Many people thought that Jesus would be the type of king who would defeat the Romans and make Israel a powerful nation again. They didn’t realize then that Jesus came to save us from our sins.

Ask what events the other items on the table might mean. Try to see if the students can help you tell the story in sequential order. 

  • The coins (nickels): remind us of two events –
    Say: When Jesus cleared the Temple, knocking over the tables of people selling items in the Temple. Jesus was upset to see how they had turned the Temple into, as he said, “a den of thieves!” The second event that coins remind us of is the 30 pieces of silver that Judas took as payment for betraying Jesus.
  • Bottles of water:
    Say: The water reminds us that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples during the Last Supper. In those days of dirt roads and sandals, feet were usually filthy. Only the lowliest servants got the job of washing dirty feet. Yet Jesus does this, and he does it to make a point. He is giving them an example of loving service. What a contrast! On Palm Sunday, Jesus enters the city as a king, and now he is taking on the role of a lowly servant.
  • Grapes:
    Say: This reminds us of the wine (made from grapes) at the Last Supper, when Jesus and his disciples were celebrating the Passover. Jesus took some of the symbolic foods of the Passover Meal and changed their meanings. The bread is his body. The wine is his blood—which was shed for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Red beads:
    Say: This stands for blood, but I am not thinking of the blood of the cross. After the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane. He went there to pray to God. Jesus really did not want to suffer what was coming—the beatings and the death on the cross. Jesus prayed so hard, that his sweat was like drops of blood.

Say: Let’s start our Art project and we can talk more about our story as we create.

Introduce and explain the art project:
Clear away the story telling supplies and get out the art supplies. Explain that we will decorate crosses that will be used in the classrooms of the church by a method called decoupage. Show them the sources of pictures. Have them decide whether they want a particular cross to have a theme. (For example – all nature pictures or all animals, etc.)

How to decoupage:

  1. Cut out pictures. These can be any size and any shape.
  2. Using Mod Podge, brush a smooth layer on the back of the picture.
  3. Lay the picture in place on the cross, adjusting its position as desired. Press with their fingers to adhere and to remove any air bubbles.
  4. Brush a coat of Mod Podge over the surface to seal the paper down.


  1. Have 3 to 4 students work together on a cross. (Two can be cutting out.)
  2. It is desirable to have pictures overlap.
  3. It is ok if a cross isn’t finished; another class can complete it.
  4. Other projects: After the first week, completed crosses will need a second and perhaps a third coat of Mod Podge over the entire cross. Let dry between coats.

Discussion: (while the students are working)
Say: Let’s talk about the cross. Dying on a cross was a very painful way to die.
Ask: Why did Jesus have to die? (allow all answers)
Say: Jesus knew that God’s purpose was for him to die so that all of us could be forgiven for our sins and live forever with God.

For 3rd - 6th grades:
Say: Jews for thousands of years had performed sacrifices to God for forgiveness of their sins. They sprinkled the blood of animals on the altar and prayed for God’s forgiveness. Blood paid for the sins of the people. When Jesus died, he was the perfect, sinless one, the “Lamb of God,” who gave his blood by dying once and for all. He took on all of our sins and paid for them with his death. Now we don’t have to make animal sacrifices anymore. Jesus took care of that forever. All we have to do is believe in Jesus and accept what he has done for us!

Say: When Jesus was arrested he was taken to the house of Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest who was the head of the Sanhedrin.
Ask: Does anyone know what the Sanhedrin was?
Say: The Sanhedrin was a very powerful Jewish court. They had been looking for a way to get rid of Jesus since Lazarus was raised from the dead. They were more interested in following the rules that they made up, rather than really doing what God wanted. The Sanhedrin was very powerful, but the Romans were really in charge. As long as the Sanhedrin kept things peaceful and quiet, the Romans let them do their own thing.

Ask: Why do you suppose that the Sanhedrin didn’t like what Jesus had been teaching? (allow all answers)
Say: Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin were afraid that Jesus was getting people too riled up. Maybe the people would even riot. If that happened, the Romans would take over and take away the Sanhedrin’s power. Caiaphas thought it would be better for Jesus to die, since he was just one man. Then everything would get back to normal.

Say: Caiaphas asked Jesus a lot of questions. Several people told lies about Jesus.
Ask: What did Jesus say to their accusations? (he did not fight back or say anything)
Say: Jesus only answered honestly when directly questioned. For instance, Caiaphas asked Jesus, “Are you the Christ? Are you the Son of God?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God.” This made Caiaphas so angry that he tore his clothes. He said, “This is blasphemy! This man is claiming to be God, himself. He must die!”

Say: The Sanhedrin was very powerful, but they didn’t have the power to put anyone to death, only the Roman governor could do that.
Ask: Who was the Roman governor? (Pilate)
Did Pilate think Jesus was guilty and deserved to die? (no, he thought he was innocent)
Say: Pilate found out that Jesus was from Galilee so he sent him to see Herod, who was the governor of Galilee. Herod questioned Jesus, but Jesus didn’t say anything. So Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate.

Say: So Jesus was moved all over town that night.
Ask: How do you suppose the guards treated Jesus? (badly, they beat Jesus)
Pilate offered to release Jesus. Why did he do that? (it was the custom during Passover to release one Jewish prisoner)
Who did the Jews want released? (Barabbas, who was in prison for killing someone)
What did the crowds say should be done with Jesus? (they shouted, “Crucify him!)
Why do you suppose the people wanted Jesus to be crucified? (accept all answers)
What did Pilate do with Jesus? (had him whipped, then ordered to be crucified)

Say: Pilate’s soldiers made fun of Jesus. They put a purple robe on him. They made him wear a crown made out of thorny branches. They pretended to bow to him and worship him. They beat Jesus with sticks. They spit on him. Then they led him out of the city to the place where they were going to kill him. Jesus was so weak from the beatings that he could not carry his cross. The soldiers forced a man named Simon to carry it for him.

Ask: Does anyone know the name of the place were Jesus was crucified? (Golgotha)
Say: The soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross. Instead of cursing the soldiers, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”
Ask: how does it make you feel to know that Jesus suffered? (allow all answers)

For 3rd – 6th grade:
Say: The soldiers played games by tossing dice to decide who would get Jesus’ clothes. This is something else that was written in the Old Testament that came true. Psalm 22:18 says, “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”
Pilate had ordered that the charge against Jesus be written on a board and placed above the cross. The sign said: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Say: Jesus was innocent. He hadn’t done anything wrong.
Ask: When someone is innocent are they suppose to be punished?
Do you think Jesus had fair trials? (no)

For 3rd – 6th grade:
Say: When Jesus died on the cross several things happened.
Ask: Can anyone tell me one of those things? (earthquake, rocks split open, Temple curtain ripped from top to bottom)
Say: It is interesting about the Temple curtain.
Ask: Who remembers the purpose of the Temple curtain? (this curtain separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place in the Temple, only the high priest could go into the Most Holy Place once a year; it symbolized a barrier keeping people from the presence of God)
What did it mean that this curtain was torn? (all people are free to approach God because of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. Jesus made a way for us to be with God)

Have the students repeat the key Bible verse.

Say: Jesus spoke these words during the Last Supper. He was telling his disciples, and telling us, that Jesus is the way; our path to having an everlasting life with God.
At Easter we celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection so that we could have life with God forever.

If desired, say this closing prayer [by Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)]
O Lord Jesus Christ, you are the way, the truth, and the life.
We pray you allow us never to stray from you, who are the way,
nor distrust you, who are the truth,
nor rest in any one other thing than you, who are the life.


  • Cathy W. of the Western Suburbs-Chicago-Roundtable Group. “Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet Art 2 Station.” 2007 (for storytelling)
  • G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team at State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. “Easter – Trial and Crucifixion.” 2002.
  • From a group of educators and Presbyterian pastors known as “St. Elmo’s Choir”. “Easter: Trial/Cross.” 2001.

    Scripture quoted is taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

 A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First UMC
Ann Arbor, MI

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert,Carol. Lesson set posted at"Holy Week – Art." March 2007. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>. 

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Holy Week Bracelets 

Holy Week Bracelet supplies:

  • Chenille sticks
  • Pony beads: green, blue, red, purple, (cross), black, white and yellow
  • Plastic or wooden cross charms

Holy Week Bracelets

  • Green for palm branches – Palm Sunday, Jesus enters into Jerusalem
  • Blue for water and holy service – Maundy Thursday, Jesus washes the disciples feet
  • Red for wine – Maundy Thursday, Jesus shares bread and wine at the Last Supper
  • Purple for pain, suffering, mourning – Jesus is arrested and crucified


  • Black – liturgical color for Good Friday
  • Yellow – triumph, victory, God’s glory and presence
  • White – liturgical color for Easter, resurrection, purity, joy
Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Dioramas that show what Easter means to us as Christians

Here is a video from St Paul's Church in Auckland, New Zealand, inviting the entire congregation to make a diorama. This might help you think about what sorts of materials to provide to your students. (Consider inviting them to bring things from home if you have a newsletter or e-news or facebook page where you can get the word out in advance.)

Here is more inspiration, a look at the finished dioramas:

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