The Last Supper
Software: Jesus in Space: The "Planet Whamo" Mission Lesson.
The story of the Last Supper is big in length, complexity and meaning. The fact that it is covered by all four Gospels with some differing details doesn't help. Helping students "know the story" is going to be the primary focus of this lesson --as it is in the software itself. A secondary focus of this particular lesson plan comes from the software: The connection between Seder/Passover, Last Supper, and Communion. In fact, Jesus in Space's Mission to Whamo zaps that subject really well!
Unlike Baptism, most denominations and individual churches largely agree on the meaning and practice of the Last Supper. Perhaps the only thing we might disagree on is "WHO is welcome at the Table, and When?" The software doesn't really get into that, but it's a good discussion with older children. Some churches "gatekeep", and in history most churches had rules about who was worth of Communion. For the purposes of teaching children, however, I'd like to share this point of view, which the software does hint at: God embraced the Entire Hebrew nation at Passover. He didn't have a litmus test. The passover meal was an act of Family... children and all, Crazy Uncle Morty, sinner Jane, judgmental Grandma Jones. Indeed, the children at the Passover/Seder Feast have an important liturgical role. And then you have Jesus welcoming in the outcasts to God's Banquest. The church-y Pharisees were aghast. Don't be a Pharisee, and don't get too solemn in your discussion about this meal. Yes, the Last Supper was a sad meal. But the next time Jesus ate with his disciples, their hearts burned, ...and Peter jumped from his boat! Sounds like a Moving celebration to me.
- Read the background materials ahead of time
- Familiarize yourself with the software
Advanced Preparation Requirements:
- Have the software loaded and ready to go.
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
The Mission in the software IS the Bible Study. They'll be popping out their Bibles to explore the story. There are numerous "points to ponder" strewn through the story, so make sure you go along WITH the kids, or at least, print the Worksheet that guides them and holds them accountable for content. It's linked here at the bottom of this page.
1) Start your Mission to Planet Whamo
Start the Jesus in Space software and watch the intro. Then select Mission 2: Planet Whamo.
Lt Stu Dent rides the "Stu Pod" down to the Robot Planet Whamo and meets Chief WackyMac and his tribe of robots who are having a hard time remember the story. (The theme is "natives from around the world" which is my personal 'Nod to World and Out-of-this-World Missions').
2) The Bible Study
We want our kids to really know this complex multi-Gospel story. So with bibles in hand, your kids try to help the robots get the story right.
One by one the forgetful robot come forward and try to remember "what comes next" in the story. A sign with book/chapter/verse briefly pops up and should be written down by your students. Stu must either agree or disagree with their answer, and the robots sometimes get it slightly wrong so your students have to listen closely. Tricky of us, huh?
If the robot is right, and Stu (your student) agrees, confetti! and a point are awarded If the robot is wrong and Stu calls him on it (which he can figure out by consulting his Bible), it's "whamo" for the robot. If Stu gets it wrong, the Stu Zapper 5000 gives him a zap. The more of the story you get right, the closer you'll get to a special hidden game about the Seder Meal after the quiz. They may have to play through the story-quiz again to get it right and get access, but your kids will gladly do it.
Below is a screenshot of the Whamo setting so you get an idea of what this looks like.
The Chief says something profound at the end of the quiz to "Squish Boy" Lt. Stu. It's stuff like that strewn throughout the game that your teachers may want to latch onto for a moment of discussion.
3) After the Whambot story is complete...
....and regardless of whether or not the kids did well enough to unlock the secret game, your kids should NOW GO to learn about the Seder/Passover Meal by playing a game that leads through the "Whamo Labs". Quiz questions guard the items on the Seder Plate that Lt. Stu is trying to collect. Stu explains what the items mean. For older children with extra time, ask them to write down the explanations. In this way we are TEACHING IDEAS while the kids think they are playing a game. Nice.
At this point in the lesson, you might want to PAUSE and bring out a SEDER PLATE with all the things on it that Lt. Stu found... the bitter herbs, salt water, etc.
4) Return to the Starship Tarsus to view Captain Paul's COMMUNION Presentation.
It describes the practice and meaning of Communion and its connection to Passover.
It ends with some questions for discussion which you may want to pause and discuss!
Circle up and walk around with items from your Seder Plate (or simply some celery sticks in salty water, and pita bread). As you walk, hand out these items from the plate RECAPPING what they remind us of (tears and bread for the journey, God sustaining us).
Conclude by breaking the break like Jesus did and passing it around, inviting each to eat bread like the disciples. Tell them that Jesus welcomes all of us into his presence, even the unworthy and sinners like us, and when we spend time with Christ, our hearts can AND DO change!
Munch much. Amen.
Why JESUS in "SPACE" ???
Like Capt Paul and Lt Stu, we go wherever Great Commission Control tells us to go!
Alternative Software Suggestions:
Last Supper is covered in Life of Christ CD with a 6 minute narrated slideshow and quiz. See the Life of Christ "map" activity where kids can learn about the places Jesus went during his last 2 days in Jerusalem. I've also got a lot more "Holy Week" software lesson ideas here on this site in the different Holy Week forums.
Last Supper is also found in the Play and Learn Children's Bible CD. Now out of print, but many rotation churches own it.
Making a Quiz or a Wordsearch or a Crossword puzzle on the computer is a really good idea for this story. There are a lot of details to the story and meanings to work with. Becoming familiar with some of the vocab and concepts which the story leads to (such as, "atonement" and "lamb") are all things you can do with a good piece of quiz or puzzle software.
I am the author of Jesus in Space software mentioned in this post. My work with Christian education software grew out of my Rotation work, and the Rotation Board has encouraged me to post some of my lesson plans. Glad to do it, and I welcome suggestions, alternatives, and rebuttals! <>< Neil
A lesson written by Neil MacQueen
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.