Sunday School Lessons for Holy Week Stories
Some churches teach the "Holy Week stories" (such as Palm Sunday, Last Supper, Crucifixion, Resurrection) in the weeks leading up to Easter, others focus on them on Easter Sunday and afterwards. No matter when you schedule these important stories related to Jesus' death and resurrection, we offer many engaging ways to share these stores with your students and families, including in our creative Writing Team lesson sets. All of our suggestions are appropriate for "traditional model" Sunday school churches (a different Bible story every week) as well as Workshop Rotation Model Sunday schools.
CATHY: Palm Sunday ~ Storytelling and Stone Art Workshop - this creative art lesson from our Palm Sunday: Jesus is the One! Writing Team lesson set allows students to make the story personal and memorable as they create a "parade of stones" that "cry out" with the various types of responses and levels of faith people have in Jesus.
ROBIN: Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet science lesson - an engaging lesson that drew my attention as a sensory activity for kids. Not only do the kids experience walking on a variety of textures, they also create a take-away Epsom salt "foot soak" which will allow them to continue to share the story.
NEIL: Make a communion tablecloth - I like this art workshop from the Writing Team's Last Supper ~ Lord's Supper lesson set because it helps kids connect to the Holy Week "Holy Thursday" worship service. I would add an element of kids being invited to worship that evening to present their tablecloth along with other holy objects, such as carrying in the bread and cup. I also like this lesson because the Communion cloth can be worked on by many different classes. This project has lots of options and could be intergenerational, including having participants help decorate the cloth in a fellowship meal leading up to the service.
CATHY: Garden of Gethsemane Prayer Labyrinth - a Prayer Labyrinth is a pathway one walks while contemplating, and is perfect for a Lenten practice or a Holy Week lesson. This form of practiced or led contemplation dates back centuries in the Christian tradition. Labyrinths can be simple or big, and have stations/objects/prompts spaced at intervals. In this lesson, the five stations help the students explore different kinds of prayers.
NEIL: Jesus Christ Superstar's amazing scene of Jesus in Gethsemane - not only is this scene super-dramatic and emotionally powerful, but also it makes us deal with the essential truth of Holy Week that is often glossed over with kids: Jesus is going to be killed. (As a Supporting Member benefit, access this complete outline and discussion guide to the entire movie Jesus Christ Superstar.)
ROBIN: Two great videos for teaching about Peter's denial:
Crossroad Kids' Club, God's Story: Peter has a nice overview of who Peter was and what he did, and it includes references to his denial and restoration. I like this because it would appeal to almost any age child.
Meghan Adrian's video, Peter Denies Jesus, is a great example of how one of our Supporting Members created a great lesson and shared it on our site. The story is told and the concept of repentance is clearly explained, all in 6 minutes.
CATHY: Trial and Crucifixion Games Workshop - this relay game helps reinforce what the students have learned about the Bible story in an active way as they hop or skip or tiptoe to and from a basket with various symbols of the trial and crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. After retrieving a symbol, they identify it and how it relates to the Bible story.
IAN: A "Stations Reflection" Workshop - this unique lesson from the Writing Team's Jesus Goes to the Cross lesson set allows students to participate in three "learning stations" that take them through Mark's story of the Cross with a special focus on the meaning of the Cross for us today. It includes activities that incorporate two songs about the cross—one traditional and one contemporary—and a science experiment. One of the hallmarks of the Workshop Rotation Model is its emphasis on the importance of teaching scripture and life application through a variety of teaching media and learning senses.
AMY: Dish Garden Tomb - this art project from the Writing Team's Mary Magdalene: Meeting Jesus at the Empty Tomb lesson set is an example of the type of art project that our Writing Team strives to develop: a meaningful end product that children can create, that helps to tell the Bible story, that supports life-application discussions, and that will make it home (rather than being left at church or on the floor of the family van). And, as is the case for all of our WT lessons, this lesson also includes a variety of adaptation suggestions for those with less time and for younger children.
CATHY: The Road to Emmaus Computer Workshop - the Easter story doesn't end with the resurrection! We have creative lessons to help you teach about Jesus' post-resurrection appearances, including this one that uses the Jesus in Space Bible software that is FREE for our Supporting Members. Students re-create the story using snowmen and icy props, which helps them focus on the story. Playing it back provides the repetition needed for the story to really sink in.
AMY: Families Celebrating Easter and the Resurrection Stories at home and while traveling - many churches have families that travel during Easter (visiting Grandma or DisneyWorld). We have heard that Family Discipleship is important to you, and so we have a number of suggestions that you can send with your families – some are simple and easy to pack like a link to a video with discussion points and some are family lessons that will add an activity and Bible study to their time together away from home and church.
We have many more lesson plans for the stories of Holy Week to help you teach about Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, Good Friday, the Resurrection (Easter), and more—including five extra-creative Writing Team lessons sets!