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BIBLE SKILLS & GAMES workshop lesson plans, ideas and resources for the story of Jesus' presentation in the Temple; Simeon and Anna.

Scripture reference: Luke 2:21-40

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Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Simeon & Anna

Game Workshop


Primary and Junior classes will play “Wheel of Fortune.” The Beginners will play a board game where they are the playing pieces (the pieces that move.) Instructions for games are in appendix of this lesson.

Scripture Reference:

Luke 2:21-40

Memory Verse: Luke 2:22
“When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.” (NRSV)


  1. God works through everyday experiences and ritual traditions.
  2. Our community of faith helps us to be obedient to God.
  3. God uses others to help us see more clearly our calling.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time
  • Gather the Materials.
  • Become Familiar with the rules of the game.
  • Prepare an overhead transparency or chart with blanks for each of the following words. (You can draw out the spaces as you go if you prefer. This could be prepared with Power Point if you desire.)

Materials List:

  • NRSV Bibles
  • Wheel for game
  • Overhead or chart for keeping score
  • Writing the spaces for the letters of the words (read the game directions for the words or phrases to be used)
  • Cards for game for beginners (read the game directions in order to prepare these)
  • Pieces of construction paper taped to floor in game board style, or game board drawn on sheet for beginners
  • Prizes for all children if desired
  • Journaling supplies

Opening- Welcome and introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection

1. Have the students sit where you would like them to during the reading of the story from the Bible. Hand out Bibles and have the children find the scripture in the Bible. Read or retell the story from the Bible, taking note of the following points:

  • As you read the story tell the children that taking Jesus to the temple was a Jewish tradition and Jesus’ parents were faithful to following the customs and traditions of the Jewish religion.
  • As you read about Simeon, tell the children that Simeon was a man that people listened to when he spoke. He had been watching each day for the Messiah. The Holy Spirit had told him that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. He knew the Messiah would come from the tribe of David and be born in Bethlehem.
  • As you read verse 35 talk about whether or not Mary understood what this meant. Ask when would she fully understand? Accept any answer but remind the children that Mary was at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified.
  • After you read Anna’s story, tell the children that Anna saw Jesus as the one who would give spiritual salvation to the people (release the people from the bondage of sin). Note how God used these two people in the temple to tell of Jesus’ future ministry.

2. Tell the students that, “Today we are going to play a game to help us remember this story.” The Primary and Junior classes will play “Wheel of Fortune.” The Beginners will play a board game where they are the playing pieces (the pieces that move.) Instructions for games are in appendix of this lesson.

Bring the children back to the group and ask them what they think the most important thing they will remember from this lesson is. Remind them that Mary and Joseph did what was required of them by their religion and through this God worked in their lives and in Jesus. Remind them that Anna and Simeon were used by God to identify Jesus as the Messiah and help others to see that God was true to the promises made to God’s people.

Closing prayer:
Close the class with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
God in heaven, help us in this exciting season to remember that the reason for the season is the greatest gift of all--your son, Jesus. Thank you for sending him to all people. Amen .

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Have them answer the following:
One way my church helps me to be obedient to God is by helping me learn about . .

Game Directions:

Rules for “Wheel of Fortune”

Divide the class into teams, or let them play individually.For better classroom control you can tell the children that if they or their team makes noise or speaks out of turn they will lose a turn.Spin the wheel to see who gets to go first. The one with highest amount goes first.That person gets to pick a letter. If that letter is one of the letters in the puzzle, the team may guess or spin again. If they can guess the puzzle, that team or person gets the amount of money or points that their spin landed on. If they can’t guess the puzzle or the letter they chose was not part of the puzzle, the next person or team gets a chance to spin and follow the same procedure.It is good to keep up with the letters guessed but not used so they won’t be guessed again.

Words for the game

A Jewish Tradition
Burnt Offerings
Two Turtledoves
Two Young Pigeons
Mary and Joseph
Christ Child
House of David
Holy Spirit

Rules for Board Game for Beginners:

Place a stack of red cards and a stack of blue cards in a spot convenient for the leader to pick them up for a child to draw one for their turn.

Children may guess a number to see who goes first, or you may decide however you want.

Each child starts at the beginning piece of paper that should be marked “Start”.

He or she chooses a red card and the teacher reads what is on the card, or the student may if they are readers. He or she then moves the number of spaces backward or forward as the card says, or draws a blue card as directed. Then the next in line follows the same procedure.

The winner is the child who moves through all the tiles (pieces of paper) first. If all cards are used they can be shuffled and used over.

On Each Red Card write one of the following:

(Be sure these are shuffled so Blue Cards will be drawn.)

  • At the end of eight days he was named Jesus. Move forward 3 spaces.
  • Mary and Joseph took him to Jerusalem as the Jewish religion required. Move forward 2 spaces.
  • Simeon came to the temple on the day Jesus was present. Move forward 1 space.
  • The Holy Spirit had told Simeon he would not die until he saw the Messiah. Move forward 3 spaces.
  • Simeon took Jesus in his arms and blessed God saying now he had seen the Messiah. Move forward 2spaces.
  • Anna went to the temple every day to pray. Move forward 1 space.
  • Redemption was a key message of Anna’s. Move forward 3 spaces.
  • When Anna saw Jesus she gave thanks to God for sending him as the Redeemer. Move forward 2 spaces.
  • Mary and Joseph “did everything required by the law of the Lord.” Move forward 1 space.
  • Jesus grew in strength, wisdom, and graciousness. Move forward 3 spaces.

Do about 5 Red Cards that say:

  • Choose a blue card.

Blue Cards

  • You came to Sunday School today. Skip ahead 4 spaces.
  • Brenthaven is so glad you are here today. Skip ahead 4 spaces.
  • You are a child of God. Skip ahead 4 spaces.
  • Mary and Joseph offered a sacrifice as required by Jewish Law. Move forward 1 space.
  • A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons had to be sacrificed. Move back 2 spaces
  • Simeon had come to the temple every day for many years but had not seen the Messiah. Move back 2 spaces.
  • Simeon told Mary, “A sword will pierce through your own soul.” This predicted Jesus’ suffering. Move back 2 spaces.
  • Anna’s husband died when they had been married 7 years. Move back 1 space.
  • Anna was over 100 years old when she saw Jesus at the temple. Move forward 1 space.
  • Anna longed for redemption for the people from their personal sufferings. Move back 1 space.
  • Anna and Simeon were so old that they did not live to experience Jesus’ ministry. Move back 1 space.

Written by Jan Marshall from Brenthaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Brentwood, TN

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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