Summary of Lesson Activities:
Kids will make a "Black and White Baked Alaska" which demonstrates the lesson's metaphor: ice cream won't melt in the heat!
Esther heard God’s call to do a very important task. This Jewish woman spoke to the king about the impending destruction of the Jewish people. She asked the king, who had the power to kill her for approaching him, for permission for the Jews to defend themselves. Before she went to the king with this request, however, Esther prayed and fasted for three days. She also asked her uncle and other Jewish friends to pray and fast for her. It has been said that courage is fear that has said its prayers. Strengthened by God, in answer to those prayers, Esther appeared before the king.
To demonstrate this, the students will make Black and White Baked Alaska. The meringue protects/insulates the ice cream from the heat, and it will not melt, just as the prayers of God’s people brought protection for Esther and all the Jews of the land. During journal time, the students will focus on another aspect of Purim, (pronounced poorim) God’s command to share food with the poor.
- Read and become familiar with the book of Esther.
- Read the Bible background provided here.
- Find a good version of the story of Esther in a Children’s Bible to read aloud to the students.
- Wrap a brownie in clear plastic food wrap. Decorate with ribbons or stickers.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit’s presence as you teach this story to these precious young people.
- a Children’s Bible.
- Ingredients for Baked Alaska,
- hot pad holders,
- a mixer,
- a freezer
- an oven.
- juice or water,
- small dessert plates,
- Plastic food wrap,
- ribbons or stickers.
Recipe for Black and White Baked Alaska
Recipe adapted from The Science Book for Girls by Valerie Wyatt ISBN 1-55074-113-6 p. 29
Note: Meringue powder can be substituted for the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. If using meringue powder, follow package directions.
Advance preparation Requirements:
- Place individual scoops of ice cream on a cookie sheet; freeze for at least 1-2 hours. (or for several days)
- Cut brownies into small squares, just large enough for a scoop of ice cream to fit on top. Freeze at least 1-2 hours. (or for several days)
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
As kids arrive:
Have them help you prepare the meringue. Whip (room temperature) egg whites with electric beater until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar. Beat until stiff but not dry.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Welcome the students warmly. Introduce yourself to the students in the class.
Say: A word that is often used to describe the Book of Esther is “providence.” A dictionary definition is “divine guidance or care” or “God as the guide and protector of all human beings.” In other words, God was in full control of all events in the book of Esther.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Say: In this story the king issued a decree to kill all the Jews on a certain day. A man named Mordecai, sent word of this to Queen Esther, who was also a Jew. He asked her to beg the king for mercy. The queen replied that her life would in peril if she went to the king uninvited. Mordecai replied:
“Don’t imagine that you are safer than any other Jew just because you are in the royal palace. . . . Yet who knows—maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!” Esther 4:12-14 TEV
Esther changed her mind and told her uncle Mordecai that she would go to the king and beg, even if it meant she would perish. But first she asked Mordecai to have all the Jews do something very important. She asked them to fast and pray for her for three days and three nights. Esther, too, would pray and fast. Then she went to see the king.
Say: In answer to those prayers, God brought protection to Esther and to the Jewish people. Today we will make a dessert with brownies, ice cream, and meringue, and bake it in a hot oven. This dessert demonstrates protection in an interesting way. We will see for ourselves how the meringue “protects” the ice cream from melting.
During Baking Time:
Ask the students to:
- Wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Place brownie squares on a baking sheet.
- Place an ice cream ball on top of brownie square.
- Spread meringue over the ice-cream and brownies, making sure to spread meringue evenly all the way over the edges of the brownies so the ice-cream is completely sealed.
- Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 5-6 minutes until the meringue is delicately browned. Watch carefully!
The foamy egg white acts as insulation. The air bubbles whipped into it stop the heat from getting through to the ice cream. The ice cream will not melt!
This is the main metaphor you'll be working with.
- While the desserts bake, work with the students to set out forks, dessert plates, napkins, and glasses of juice or water for the feast.
- Serve the Black and White Baked Alaska.
- Invite the students to pray “Come Lord Jesus, Be our Guest . . “
- While the students are eating, tell the Story of Esther, or read it aloud from a Children’s Bible. This is especially important if it is the first week of the rotation, and the children are not yet familiar with the story.
- If students are already familiar with the story, discuss how God’s divine providence was at work in the story of Esther.
(Allow the students to contribute their ideas. The following points are listed if guidance is needed.)
- Esther came to be chosen as queen after Queen Vashti’s disobedience.
- Mordecai “happened” to overhear some men planning a plot to murder King Xerxes. He gave this information to the king’s protectors; it was found to be true.
- The night before Hamaan planned to ask King Xerxes if he could hang Mordecai on a gallows, the king could not sleep! He asked to have the records of his time as king read aloud to him, and heard about the failed plot. When he found out nothing had been done to thank Mordecai, he formed a plan to honor him, which undoubtedly saved Mordecai’s life.
- Mordecai’s loyalty to the king came to light the same week he found out that he had unwittingly ordered all the Jews to be killed.
End with a prayer.
- Recipe adapted from The Science Book for Girls by Valerie Wyatt ISBN 1-55074-113-6 p. 29
A lesson posted by Kristen from: Augustana Lutheran Church
St. James, MN
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.