Passover/Last Supper/ Communion
Drama Workshop - Create a Diorama
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will create a diorama to tell the story of the Last Supper.
- The children will experience “The Last Supper/Passover” through the making of a diorama
- The children will have a better understanding of who the disciples were and what part they played in the ministry of Jesus.
- The children will learn about DaVinci’s famous painting, “The Last Supper” (a copy of which is hanging in our social hall).
- Read the scripture passage and Bible background.
- Familiarize yourself with the speaking parts of the disciples and how the dolls will be dressed.
- Check out DaVinci's painting and see what other details you notice.
- Gather the materials
- Painting of DaVinci’s “The Last Supper” (find it online or in a library book)
- Disciple's monologues (see the end of the lesson) – 1 copy
- 13 boy dolls
- Sash for each doll with a name of a disciple on it, or a placard to be placed in front of the doll on the table to identify it.
- Cloth to be draped around doll as disciples would dress
- Seating arrangement around a table as depicted in DaVinci’s painting of “The Last Supper” (use chairs around a table, or on the floor around a rug)
- Grape juice and pita bread (or possibly flat prepared pizza dough for bread) to place on the table or rug to be shared with the students, if time permits
- Digital camera
Lesson Plan: Opening
Opening- Welcome and Lesson
Welcome the children and the shepherd as they arrive.
Say: We are continuing with the theme, “Come Join the Circle,” and we have many characters joining the circle with us this month. They are the twelve disciples who will share a last meal with Jesus before he dies on the cross. But before we learn their names, let’s begin with a word of prayer.
Dear God, We are glad to be in church today. Thank you for inviting us. We want to learn about you and your disciples. We want to be your followers, too. Help us to be good listeners. And all God’s children say, AMEN.
Dig- Main Content and Reflection
Show the painting and say:
This is a copy of a very famous painting by a man named Leonardo Da Vinci. He painted it over 500 years ago! (This painting is supposed to depict the disciples’ reactions at the exact moment when Jesus tells them that one of them is going to betray him.) The real painting is huge (15ft. by 29 ft.) and is in a church in Italy. This painting shows Jesus and his disciples eating their last supper together before Jesus dies on the cross, only the disciples don’t know what is going to happen. In fact, the name of the painting is, “The Last Supper.”
Jesus and his friends were remembering a special time in their history when Moses was alive and was their leader. Do you remember Moses? Well he helped his people get out of Egypt. They killed a lamb and painted the blood on their door and when the angel saw it he passed over the house and no bad things happened to them. So this special meal that they were eating was called “Passover.” They ate a special flatbread, which you could make really fast in case you had to travel somewhere quickly, like when they wanted to escape from Egypt.
But now Jesus said that this bread was supposed to be his body that he was going to sacrifice for us. And whenever we eat this bread in church we are supposed to remember Him and when He died on the cross to save us from our sins. Then he told his friends that the wine they were drinking was supposed to be the blood that was shed when he died and we are supposed to remember that every time we drink the wine in church. We call this special eating of the bread and wine in church, Communion. You will eat this bread and wine when you are in 5th grade. Do some of you have brothers and sisters that already do this?
Making the Passover Scene:
Say: We are going to make our own 3-D picture of Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting. I am going to tell you the names of all the disciples in the picture and we are going to make each doll represent one of the disciples. Then we will place them around the table in the order that they are in the picture. When we get them dressed, I will tell you a little bit about each one of them. If we work quickly, we can have a little bread and wine (grape juice) with them. If you have a small class, the shepherd and teacher may have to help. Their names are: (see list below **)
Distribute dolls and fabric for clothing. They can cover the heads with fabric, too, if they wish. When finished have them find the sash with their disciple’s name on it and wrap it around the doll. Or if they have a sign, have them place it in front of their doll at the table or on the floor, whichever works best.
Identify disciples: They are sitting in the following order from left to right: Bartholomew, James, son of Alphaeus, Andrew, Judas, Peter, John, Jesus, Thomas, James the Greater, Philip, Matthew, Thaddeaus, and Simon.
Read Disciple Descriptions (The Disciple Monologues)
Read each description as the student stands behind the doll they made or as you are eating your bread and juice, whichever you prefer. If you have a small class they have probably dressed more than one doll. The teacher/shepherd may have to help. If you are running out of time, shorten the description. Just be sure to get all the dolls/disciples placed and named.
- Have them draw a picture of bread and wine.
- Draw a picture of their favorite disciple or simply write the name of their favorite disciple.
Say the memory verse together. Have them repeat after you:
This day shall be a day of remembrance for you,
You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord.
Lord, help us to remember you.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Disciple's monologues for "Last Supper" frozen moment:
The disciples are listed in order as they appear in the painting, left to right, as you look at the painting.
My name is Bartholomew. I am the son of Tolmai and one of Jesus’ not so well known disciples. I am often listed after Philip in the gospels. Some people say I am also the disciple called Nathaniel. I once asked Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” I now know that Jesus is something good that came out of Nazareth!
James the younger, of the lesser:
My name is James – James the younger! I am called “the younger” so that you won’t confuse me with the other James. He is a fisherman – I am not. I am sometimes called Jesus’ brother. I stay in the background and keep pretty quiet. Jesus is the important one, the Son of God, that people come to hear. I am happy to just watch, listen and learn.
My name is Andrew. I like to tell people that I was Jesus’ first disciple. I am a fisherman, like my brother Simon Peter. We make our living fishing the Sea of Galilee. When I realized who Jesus was, I immediately went to my brother Simon and said, “We have found the Messiah!”.
My name is Judas. I am close to Jesus – very close. I am important to all the disciples too because I am the treasurer of the group. I have great hopes for Jesus. He is going to be a great leader and get rid of the Romans! Of course, he may need my help………
My name is Peter – that is what Jesus called me. Before I met Jesus I was called Simon. The first time I met Jesus he said that I should be called Peter, which means rock. I know that Jesus is the Messiah, but I sometimes forget and doubt him. I really wanted to be able to walk on the water like Jesus did that time in the boat, but just as I nearly reached Jesus, I was afraid and I began to sink into the water! I wish I could be strong and not feel unsure.
My name is John. I am the brother of James and the son of Zebedee. I am one of Jesus’ first disciples. Like my brother James, I am a fisherman. I have seen many wonderful things that Jesus has done. I even saw him bring Jairus’ daughter back to life! Just this morning Jesus asked Peter and me to go and prepare the Passover meal we are now sharing. We found everything just as Jesus said we would! Jesus is very special – I wonder what will happen next.
I am Jesus of Nazareth. I have gathered my friends in this place tonight to share this last meal with me. They do not know all that is to happen in the next few days, but I do. Tonight I will share with them the simple food of bread and wine. I will use those simple foods as symbols to help remind my friends of me when I am taken from them. I want to remind all who love me that even simple things like bread and drink can help them remember and have faith.
Thomas (with finger raised):
I am Thomas. I am not one of the more well-known disciples, but I have spoken out one or two times. For instance, just in the past few days, Jesus decided we had to return to Jerusalem. Many of the disciples think Jesus is crazy for wanting to go to Jerusalem – there are people here who want to arrest and execute him! Well, when I realized just how serious Jesus was about coming here, I told the others, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” I love Jesus and will stand by him.
My name is James – yes, another James! I am the brother of John - you have already met him. I am, or was, a fisherman. I fished with John, Peter and Andrew. I am older than John – guess that is why the other disciple names James is called the younger! Like John, I am very close to Jesus. I have seen many of the miracles that Jesus has done – not all of the disciples can say that. Once Jesus called John and me the “sons of thunder.” I guess that means Jesus knows we can get a little worked up about things! I am embarrassed to tell you this, but once John and I even went so far as to ask Jesus if we could sit at his right and left, places of great honor when Jesus got his kingdom!
I am Phillip. I live in the same fishing village, Bethsaida, like Andrew, Simon, James, and John. I know a lot about the scriptures and I knew that Jesus was the one the prophets foretold. However, I don’t always seem to understand what Jesus is trying to tell us. When Jesus fed the 5,000, I was worried about how much we could buy with the little money we had. I couldn’t even imagine that Jesus’ miracle was to feed to them all! I wonder what will happen at this meal…
I am Matthew. I was a tax collector. People do not like tax collectors. I was not a good person before Jesus called me. I collected more than I needed to and I lived a good life! I was astounded when Jesus ate at my house that time. What a wonderful thing that was. Jesus told me to follow him, and I did!
I am Thaddeus. I am not one of the disciples that most people know. My name is hardly mentioned in any of the stories that are told about Jesus. Some people call me by the name Jude, the son of James. However, there are already two James who are disciples, so that makes things sort of confusing! I am one of those disciples who followed Jesus but didn’t take a leadership role. Like James the Younger, I watched, listened, and learned. Those are important things too, sometimes even more important than doing!
My name is Simon. I am known among us disciples as the ‘eager one.’ At one point in my life, I was sure that Jesus was the leader we were looking for to help us force the Romans out of our land. However, now I am not so sure that Jesus is that kind of leader. My eagerness has changed. I am even able to call Matthew, the changed tax collector, friend. I would have never been part of a group with him before I met and followed Jesus. I sometimes wonder where my new ‘eagerness’ will take me.
Last Supper Lesson Set, Kirk of Kildaire, Presbyterian, Cary, North Carolina.
Disciple Monologues were written by Toni Dattilo,
Who’s Who in the Bible, Reader’s Digest, 1994 ISBN 0895776189
A lesson written by Kathy from Augustana Lutheran Church
St. James, MN