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Drama, Puppet, and Storytelling Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching "Isaiah Foretells the Messiah" in Sunday School.

Post your Sunday School drama, puppet, story table, and storytelling lessons, ideas, activities, object lessons, and resources for teaching children about Isaiah's prophecies of the Messiah here, including lessons teaching about the names of Jesus. (Photos are much appreciated!  Click "attachments" and upload to your post.)

In addition to all of our public lesson ideas, the Writing Team has written a wonderful Isaiah Promised ~ Jesus Fulfilled lesson set that includes both Drama lesson and Storytelling lesson plans.

Don't miss the opportunity for your students to make a quick and fun video "Parade of Old Testament Heroes and Zeroes" to explore why God wanted to be king all along.  Isaiah is Grand Marshall, and God has quite a role. Humorous script included. Might make a good Christmas play as well!

Last edited by Amy Crane
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Jesus’ Birth through the Eyes of Isaiah

Drama- Newsroom Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activity:
Create a news broadcast with time-traveling reporters interviewing Isaiah and other Biblical characters to learn about prophets and the coming Messiah. [4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

Scripture Reference:

Isaiah 9:6-7.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials

Materials List:

  • Easel; appropriate marker
  • Bibles
  • A copy of The Children’s Illustrated Bible
  • Copies of attached interview script worksheets
  • Pencils or pens
  • Videotaping equipment: movie camera, tripod, extension cord, TV with camera hook up cords
  • Props: Microphone, Scene clapper, a sign: “WFUMC” {or your local church call letters}
  • Optional: Costumes

Advances Preparation Requirements:

  • Make sure you understand the flow of the newscast's four scenes. You may wish to sketch out the plan on the easel. Customize the script by adding local touches such as television station call letters that incorporate your church's name.
  • Set up videotaping equipment. Make sure that you know how to work the camera. See tips here.
  • And make sure you know how to hook up the camera to play back the video for viewing.


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction

Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the WFUMC Newsroom. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Ask: Are you excited about Christmas coming?
Are you ready for Christmas – do you have decorations up?

Say: Christmas is something we plan for way in advance isn’t it? Today we’re going to talk about how Jesus’ birth was something God planned for, for a very long time. God told the world about the coming birth of Jesus – way before it happened! In fact, about 700 years before it happened a prophet named Isaiah told about the coming birth of Christ. Since today we are set up here as the newsroom of WFUMC, we will be time-travelers to report this news from the Bible. Before we get started, let’s begin with prayer.

Pray: “Dear God, Thank you for your special message given long ago to the prophets – telling them about Jesus’ coming birth. Your message was a promise of hope. Today as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, we too are filled with hope because we are reminded of your love for us. Amen.”

Dig- Main Content and Reflection

Ask: Have you all seen news reporters on TV interviewing people?
Say: Today we’ll be time-travelers back about 2,700 some years – to report the news around the time of the prophet Isaiah.

Ask: What do you know about Isaiah? (prophet in Old Testament times)
What is a prophet?
Say: A prophet is God's special messenger. A prophet tells God's messages.

Ask: How is a prophet different from someone like a fortune-teller?
Say: A prophet doesn't look into a crystal ball and guess what will happen; a prophet knows what will happen because a prophet brings a message from God.

Ask: What kinds of messages do you suppose God gave prophets?
Say: Sometimes the messages were “shape up” – in other words, a warning.
Sometimes the messages were brought to people who were feeling down and discouraged – messages of hope. We are going to be exploring some of Isaiah’s messages of hope – messages about the coming of Jesus.

Say: At this time we are going to be breaking into groups. Each group will prepare a different part of our news show. Your group needs to follow the instructions on their handout. You have about 7 minutes to prepare your scene; then we’ll videotape it.

Separate into groups – Prepare the News:
Ask the Shepherd to help you break students into groups – see script worksheet as to number and size of each group.

[Note: This workshop has been written for 8 (or more) participants. If you have less than 8, eliminate scene four. Discuss the worksheet for scene 4 as a group, after the first three scenes have been filmed; then film scene four. There is plenty of room for more than 8 students.]

Once the kids are in groups, give each group a different “Interview Sheet.” Pass out pencils or pens. Also give:
Scene 1: The Children’s Illustrated Bible
Scene 2, 3 and 4: Bibles

You may need to help the students as they do their research and develop their interviews. Encourage them to look at the referenced Bibles verses to develop their interview. As you help the students develop their interviews, enhance their learning by telling them what you learned from the overview material.

Watch the clock; give a five-minute and a two-minute warning.

Video the News/View the News:
When the time is up, gather everyone together for a quick pre-production meeting.
If desired (and if enough time) allow a quick search for an appropriate costume.
Explain how each group will be signaled when a scene is being started or stopped.
Explain how you’ll tape each of the scenes, stopping in between to get into position. (Feel free, between scenes to ask any thought- provoking questions.)

Videotaping the news

Each scene needs to move quickly.
If there is time, you may wish to film the participants spinning backwards to represent that passing of time while someone stands still and moves the clock forward in time.

When done, hook the camera to the TV, rewind and enjoy!


Say: God told the prophets about Jesus’ birth way before it happened. The people at that time were in need of a message of hope. God's love was so great that God planned to send a Savior, the anointed one, the Messiah, to cancel out our sin and to establish God's kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness on earth. As we prepare for Christmas, remember to think of Christmas as celebrating God’s gift of love to us.

If you have extra time:

Add a late breaking interview to the news story. Interview a Shepherd present on the hillside when the angels brought news of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Here are some questions to start the interview:

  • How did you learn what Isaiah said would happen? (hint: it was in Hebrew scripture)
  • When did you think God would do these things? (hint: they’d been waiting a long time)
  • Isaiah had said that the people would see a great light.
    You saw some of God's other messengers, the angels. Did you connect them with Isaiah's prophecy?


A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First UMC
Ann Arbor, MI

Copyright First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.

Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability


If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:

Hulbert, Carol. Jesus’ Birth through the Eyes of Isaiah: Newsroom Workshop."
Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.


Last edited by Amy Crane

Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Isaiah

Storytelling Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activity:

Hear Isaiah’s story via two “visitors” from Bible times: a camel (puppet) and Isaiah himself (a guest storyteller). [1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop.]

NOTE: This workshop requires two adults – one to be the “storyteller” (dressed as Isaiah) and one to handle other duties (the “workshop leader.)  The storyteller should… prepare to tell the story. Refer to the script at the Writing Team Storytelling workshop on Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Isaiah.

Scripture Reference:

Isaiah 6:1-8, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:21-23, Isaiah 9:6

Key Verse: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

Workshop Objectives:

  • Name that the story is found in the Old Testament.
  • For 3rd grade and up: Locate the story in the Bible. Identify Isaiah as a book of Prophecy.
  • Define prophet: “God’s messenger.” Define Messiah: “Anointed one; Christ.”
  • Retell the story of the prophet Isaiah’s commissioning experience in the temple.
  • Recognize that Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah years before the birth of Jesus. (Jesus’ birth was planned by God way in advance!)
  • Identify some of the names to which Isaiah referred to this coming Messiah, and explore these names as attributes of Jesus’ character – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials

Materials List:

  • camel.puppetAn Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
  • For 3rd grade and up: Bibles; Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
  • Costume for the storyteller who will play Isaiah
  • Camel puppet (an internet search will turn up a variety of choices)
  • A bag or container large enough to hide the camel puppet
  • Easel; appropriate marker

Advanced Preparation Requirements:

  • Write the key Bible verse on the easel using the abbreviated version - “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Draw any pictures you can think of to help the non-readers. For example: a baby, etc.
  • Bookmark the Adventure Bible to Isaiah 9:6.
  • Have the camel puppet hidden in a bag or a container. Place this inside the classroom tent.
  • The workshop leader should prepare to meet the students outside of the tent. The storyteller should wait in the hall (out of sight).
  • NOTE: This workshop requires two adults – one to be the “storyteller” (dressed as Isaiah) and one to handle other duties (the “workshop leader).  The storyteller shoul prepare to tell the story. Print the script at the Writing Team Storytelling workshop on Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Isaiah.


Opening – Welcome & Lesson Introduction:

Gather the children outside of the classroom tent. Greet your students warmly, introducing yourself and any other adults. Ask everyone to sit in a circle.

Say: Welcome to storytelling! Today we’ll be hearing from a visitor from Bible times. Our visitor is Isaiah. Once we go in to the tent we’ll want to sit quietly and listen so I thought first we’d spent a couple of minutes sort of getting our sillies out and stretching a bit.

Ask: Are you excited about Christmas?
Who can tell me what season of the year it is? (advent)
What is Advent?
Say: Advent is a time of waiting. It’s a time of preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
Ask: What preparations have you been making during Advent, to get ready for Christmas? (allow several answers)

Say: Christmas is something we plan for way in advance isn’t it? We get our decorations up and we light Advent candles for four Sundays before Christmas. Today we will learn how Jesus’ birth was actually something God planned for a very long time. God told the world about the coming birth way before it happened! We will hear about that from Isaiah, our visitor from Bible times.

Say: Isaiah lived a long time ago in an area of the world where they gathered for warmth around a campfire. Let’s pretend and enjoy our nice warm fire. [Make like are enjoying a fire] But then the fire goes out and it gets cold. [Shiver and get up and stamp your feet] Let’s see…they rode camels back in that part of the world. Isaiah would have had to travel around a lot.
Ask: How might a camel move? [Move about like a camel]
How might you get on a camel?
How might you walk after you’d ridden for a while on a camel?
[End with a quiet “movement” to get everyone “calm.”]
If you were Isaiah, you’d have had to talk to the people as well as to the king. How might that have looked to talk to the king? [Prostrate yourself on the floor]

Say: Let’s move into the story tent.

Dig - Main Content & Reflection:

Ask: Was it hard to wait to be able to come into the tent?
Say: We can say that waiting is what the people in Isaiah’s time were doing. They were waiting for something.
Ask: I wonder what the people were waiting for? (allow a few replies)

Say: We have a special visitor today – visiting us from Bible times. Actually we have two visitors. Isaiah will be coming in a few minutes but first I would like you to meet Micah. [Slip your hand into the puppet while it’s still in the bag, and bring out the camel.]

Say: Micah, I would like you to meet our class today.

Micah (the puppet): Hello everyone.

Say: Micah, I understand that you are Isaiah’s camel?

Micah: Yes, I am Isaiah’s favorite camel.

Say: That’s good because I need your help. You see Isaiah is going to be coming in a minute and I’m a little nervous because Isaiah is from Old Testament Bible times and ah, I don’t know much about Isaiah.

Micah: Isaiah is coming!? Oh goody – I’m Isaiah’s favorite camel you know.

Say: Great. Ah, but I need to know – Isaiah is a prophet but I’m not sure I know what a prophet is.

Micah: Maybe some of the children know what a prophet is – do you know? (allow any answers) A prophet is God's special messenger. A prophet brings God's message to the people. The message that a prophet brings is called a prophecy.

Say: A message; so that would be like “don’t forget to wear your coat?”

Micah: No. No. No. More like – change your ways people; shape up or else!

Say: That message sounds scary.

Micah: Well it could be, but what Isaiah heard from God, he had to pass along to the people. But, prophets also brought messages of hope.

Say: Hope! Oh really, what sort of hope?

Micah: Well, the people were feeling down and discouraged. Other prophets had said that a new king would come. The people were really waiting for their new king. Isaiah said that a child would be born – a Savior – and we would call him Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace!

Say: Oh right! I’ve read those words in the Bible in the book that Isaiah wrote. Ok, so in Old Testament times, a prophet told the people a message from God, and sometime it was about something that was going to happen in the future.

Micah: Yes. Ah, I need to go now. I’m hungry and I smell something good to eat.

Say: OK. Thank you Micah. I’m glad to know what a prophet is, because I’m sure Isaiah himself is going to ask us if we know. Bye Micah. [Put Micah away] Isaiah will be here in just a little while. But first, I have a question for you [direct to the students]…

Ask: If we were going to read in the Bible about an event that happened way before the time of Jesus – would we find our story in the Old Testament or the New Testament? (Old)

Say: That’s right, we would find a story written by a prophet in the Old Testament.

For 3rd graders:

Say: Because Isaiah was a prophet, we find the book of Isaiah in the collection known as “Prophecy.” If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive the tab for the Prophecy section of your Bible.

[At some point – probably later in the lesson - have the Shepherd do a “Prophecy” tab for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]

Say: Before Isaiah comes, let me read some of Isaiah’s words in the Old Testament, in the book of Isaiah. Read Isaiah 9:6.

Say: Let’s welcome Isaiah.

The Storyteller takes over:

Tell your story. Refer to the script at the Writing Team Storytelling workshop on Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Isaiah (a Supporting Member resource).

When you are finished, turn the class back over to the workshop leader.


Say: Thank you very much Isaiah, for visiting with us today. [Isaiah may leave.]

Ask: What did God ask Isaiah to do? (to give messages to the people)
From Isaiah’s description of seeing God, what can we learn about God?

[Refer to the easel] From these words that Isaiah spoke about a coming baby: “For to us a child is born…” who is the child referred to in the verse? (Jesus)
What do Isaiah’s words tell us about Jesus? (wonderful counselor)
What is a counselor? (someone who listens to you and helps you)
What other words do you know of that describe Jesus?

Say: God told the prophets about Jesus’ birth way before it happened. The people at that time were in need of a message of hope that they could look forward to: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” That verse is so beautiful – it’s full of hope and it came true! Jesus was born as a small baby! Jesus is a wonderful counselor, Let’s work on learning that verse.

Learn the Key Bible verse:

Have everyone stand. [Perhaps you want to go outside of the tent.] The students will learn the verse with movements so that their bodies will help their minds remember the words; accompanying movements are in italics.

Say: Isaiah 9:6 (hold up 9 fingers, then 6) This Bible verse is in the 9th chapter of Isaiah, in the 6th verse. So, Isaiah 9:6 (hold up 9 fingers, then 6).

For to us a child is born, (rock a baby)

To us a son is given, (hold out both hands palms up as if giving something)

And he will be called (sign your 'John Hancock' on your hands)

Wonderful Counselor, (put both hands at your ears, as if to hear better)

Mighty God, (hold both arms up to show muscles)

Everlasting Father, (both hands start at heart, reach and point out to sides showing eternity)

Prince of Peace. (hold two fingers up in a peace sign).


Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.]

A suggestion: Dear God, Thank you for this exciting season of hope. We wait with excitement to celebrate the birth of your son Jesus. Thank you for bringing everyone here today to learn about how your plan for the birth of Jesus was first told about so long ago. Thank you for the gift of Jesus and thank you for the prayer he taught us…(End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.

If you have extra time:
Play a game of “Twenty Questions.” Ask a student to come up with a person, place or thing from the Bible story. Other students can ask Yes/No questions to try to figure out what the thing is. The one who guesses first gets to think of the next item.


A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First UMC, Ann Arbor, MI

Copyright First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. Jesus’ Birth through the Eyes of Isaiah: Storytelling Workshop." Dec. 2009. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

If you have found these workshops useful it would make my day if you let me know about it (and/or please make a contribution to - see here for details. Thanks!


Images (1)
  • camel.puppet: jamel camel from
Last edited by Amy Crane

Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Isaiah
Drama/Video: Newscast Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activity:

The older students will record a newscast script that reports on Isaiah the prophet that will help them understand that he brought God’s words to the people. The younger students will watch and discuss the newscast and create some fun commercials to go with it.

Scripture Reference:

Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-7a

Memory Verse: Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)

Objectives for the rotation
At the end of this rotation, the students will

  • be able to find Isaiah in the OT.
  • know that God promised to send His Messiah, and He kept His promise.
  • know that one of the ways God makes those promises known is through the prophets, God’s messengers.
  • understand that Jesus of Nazareth IS the Savior, the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ, God-with-us, promised in the Hebrew scriptures.
  • know the memory verse

Additional objectives for the drama/video workshop
At the end of the session, the students will

  • Know that Isaiah, a prophet whose name means “God has saved,” speaks for God and gives the people hope.
  • Know we can share this hope by telling the world of God’s promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study.
  • Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Consider the age level adjustments needed each week (those included in the lesson plan and your own).
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
  • The bin with supplies is located in the Sunday School room. Purchase or request additional supplies .
  • Learn how to operate the video camera. Practice playing the video back on the television. See video setup tips here.

SCHEDULING NOTE: the oldest class should be in this workshop at the beginning of the rotation so they can tape the newscast for the others to watch.

Room set-up:
Put a table and two chairs set up as a news desk. You can put a large map of the Holy Land on the wall along with a banner with the call letters WRCC.

Materials List:

  • Bible Times Costumes (bathrobes and head scarves are fine)
  • A “microphone” for the interviewer. (A handheld microphone is also a necessity or a mike can be made with a toilet paper tube and a nerf ball!)
  • Station call letters on poster board, masking tape
  • Map for the “weather”
  • Props for commercials: Clay jar or pot, picture of a camel or a toy camel, a pair of sandals, grapes, jewelry, tambourine, perfume bottle, bottled water, etc.
  • Flip chart or whiteboard and appropriate markers
  • Video camera and tripod (see video setup tips here)
  • TV and cables to connect camera to tv
  • Popcorn for viewing time (optional)
  • Attached script printed out or on transparencies to show with overhead projector (FIELD TEST NOTE: this did not work for us in our setup -- the print was too small -- make sure it is legible) or cue cards
  • Memento: Pencil stickers (So the children can understand Corrie ten Boom's quote “I want to be a pencil in the hand of God."). Prophets were pencils in God's hands!
  • Shepherd Time: pencils (to give to the children), precut rebus pieces, glue sticks


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.)

Explain the purpose of this workshop: We are going to take you back in time to help you get to know Isaiah and to understand his role as a prophet by producing/watching a newcast.

Read the scripture (Isaiah 7:10-14, 9:6-7a) from your open Bible.
Encourage the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses and read along.

Give the children some background information on Isaiah and his times.

Dig (grades 4 and 5 - newscast recording)

Gather the children around the news desk and ask them if they ever watch a news program. Tell them that today we are going to pretend that we are traveling back in time, all the way back to the time of Isaiah (approximately 2,500 years ago), and we are going to recreate a news broadcast. Explain that the call letters after the W stand for River Community Church. The focus of the broadcast will be community news. We will need a weather person, a sports person, and at least 2 news anchor people. We will also have a live interview with a local prophet, Isaiah!

Ask for volunteers to read the news and volunteers to place the correct transparencies on the overhead. (The script is attached to this lesson plan.) You will also need a camera operator. You need a director, too.

Read through the script and answer any questions, then LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

Rehearse and then film. (If it is moving quickly, you may want to have the older children create commercials also.)

When you finish the filming, the students will want to see their production, so be prepared to hook the camera to a tv and watch. Serve popcorn if you desire!

Dig (K/1 and 2/3 - watch newscast and add commercials)

Show the newscast the older children taped to the younger classes.

Tell them that they are going to create a variety of commercials to be played during the newscast. Show them the items on the table (grapes, jars, camels, etc.). Have them vote on the first item they want to create a commercial for.

Ask them to think of commercials they like to watch. Ask them how they would sell the item they chose. The teacher should be the scribe and should write the script or key words with a marker on a flip chart to be used as cue cards. The students can go to the costume box and dress up, gather their props, rehearse their lines, and then LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION. The Shepherd should then film while the Workshop Leader holds up the cue cards. These commercials can be taped at the end of the older children’s newscast.

If possible, view each commercial before going on to write another commercial for the next item. The commercials can be FUNNY.


Pulling it all together (closing discussion):
Did you have fun making this news broadcast? Can you learn something and have fun at the same time? I hope you learned some things about Isaiah. Let's see how much you remember.

  • What did his name mean? [May the LORD save.]
  • When did he live?[before Jesus; when Ahaz was king in Jerusalem; around 740-680 B.C.]
  • Name one of the King’s he brought messages to. [Ahaz, Ussiah, Jotham, Hezekiah]
  • What did Isaiah tell everyone that the LORD promised? [Isaiah 7:14] Who is that child? [Jesus]
  • What did he say Jesus would be called? [Immanuel]
  • Do people always listen to and do what prophets tell them to do?

Review the memory verse.
(the students will learn the verse with movements so that their bodies will help their minds remember the words; accompanying movements are in italics; note that these movements are NOT ASL.)
Isaiah 9:6 [hold up 9 fingers, then 6]
For a child is born to us, [rock a baby]
a son is given to us. [hold out both hands palms up as if giving something]
And the government [hands on hips, stand tall and authoritatively]
will rest on his shoulders. [pat both of your shoulders]
These will be his royal titles: [hands circle head like a crown]
Wonderful Counselor, [start with both hands at mouth, reach them out with palms up as if giving something]
Mighty God, [hold both arms up to show muscles]
Everlasting Father, [both hands start at heart, reach and point out to sides showing eternity]
Prince of Peace. [hold two fingers up in a peace sign]

Talk about what the names mean and then repeat several times until all are comfortable with it.

Shepherd Time:

By 11:45 a.m. ask the Shepherd to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker of a pencil to paste in their journal as a reminder that prophets were and are "pencils in the hand of God."

Journal Activity:

Say: A woman named Corrie ten Boom said, “Prophets are pencils in the hand of God.” I wonder what she meant?

Ask: Does the pencil write the message or is it the hand that writes the message? The pencil is only a tool, isn't it?

Each child can then write in their journal how God might use them to be a pencil in His hand. What message does God want them to bring to the world? (You may have to ask them questions that make them think about how God might want them to be a message to others.)
Give each child a pencil to take home today!

This is meant to be a time of reflection and introspection. Writing about faith helps clarify lessons. In addition to the suggested activity, children may draw pictures relating to today’s scripture or memory verse, list highlights of the day’s activities, or rephrase the memory verse. The journal pages will be saved and given to the children at the end of the school year.

You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, games while they wait for their parents after worship.

Before noon, ask the students to stop journaling for a moment and sit quietly for prayer so they can leave when their parents arrive. Allow them to finish journaling afterwards.

Closing prayer:

Think about what God gave us at Christmas,
God gave us His Son, just like Isaiah said He would.
I pray that we will also think of what we can give Him.

What shall I give Him,
As small as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I'd give Him a lamb.
If I were a wise man,
I'd do my part.
I know what I'll give Him,
I'll give Him my heart.
by Christina Rosetti

Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas:

Older children: Older children will need practice reading the script before filming, but they should enjoy playing all of the parts.

Younger Children: Younger children may need to have adults play the parts of the newscasters. They can hold cue cards and run the camera and write and act in the commercials.

For classes composed primarily of pre-readers, show the children how to find the passage in the Bible (for example, “To find the Gospels, open the Bible in the middle and then open the second half in the middle - you should end up in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Our passage is in Mark." and then have them do it). After everyone has found the passage, have them close their Bibles and listen while you read.


Great People of the Bible and How They Lived, Reader's Digest Publishing Co.

Camp, Anne. lesson plan: Rotation.Org Writing Team Jesus' Birth Through The Eyes Of Isaiah Video Workshop.

Christina Rosetti's poem "What Can I Give Him?"

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

A lesson written by Judy McIntyre from: River Community Church, Prairieville, LA

Permission granted to freely distribute and use, attribution is included.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability


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Last edited by Amy Crane

Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Isaiah

Video–Newsroom Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activity:

Children will be conducting and taping interviews with biblical characters about Isaiah's prophecy.

Scripture Reference:

Isaiah 9:6-7

Workshop Objective(s):

  • The learners will explore the role of the prophet, how people responded to a prophet, and what they expected from a prophet.
  • They will also relate the promised Messiah to the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the Bible passages.
  • Read over the background material (check out the Writing Team's Isaiah Bible Background, open to everyone).
  • Prerecord the interview with Isaiah (see questions to ask below).
  • Before class have above interview cued ready to play on TV.
  • See that popcorn is made to be distributed during watching of videos.

Materials List:

  • Your prerecorded Video of an interview with Isaiah
  • Something to represent a microphone
  • Create a sign for your TV station with the initials of your church, such as "WBCPC" as we did for Brenthaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
  • Masking Tape to hang sign
  • Video camera and TV for playback; see tips for recording dramas and equipment to use here
  • Bibles
  • Clothes or props for costumes such as: a staff or stick, a beard, a towel (this could be used to cover both the shepherd's head and Mary's head depending upon which characters are chosen)


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

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 if there are visitors.

Your introductory conversation might touch on your students' nicknames and what they tell about that person. You might also talk about how many different "titles" they have: sister, brother, third grader, American citizen, member of _____Church. Which "title" tells something different about him or her to someone they meet for the first time?

Dig- Content and Reflection

1. Open by reading the Bible verses. Hand a Bible to each person or make one available to share.

Younger class: Point out the passage in the Old Testament, the book of Isaiah, and read the verses to them (Isaiah 9:6-7.) The passage is short enough to have them echo the phrases after you. You might even draw a symbol for each name to help the younger ones keep them straight.

Older classes: Find the passage in the Bible (Isaiah 9:6-7) and read it together. With older students share some information about Isaiah. Isaiah probably came from a wealthy family in Jerusalem, in the Southern kingdom of Judah. His name means "Yahweh (God) is salvation." He served King Uzziah. Because of the poetic nature of his writing, we assume that he was well educated. In chapter 6 Isaiah tells us of his dramatic call to be a prophet.

2. With the class work out a definition of what a prophet is. Some suggestions: A prophet speaks for God. A prophet understands God's will so clearly that God uses the prophet to bring a message to God's people.

3. Show the video of the prophet Isaiah you have previously recorded.

4. Now the children will be conducting and taping interviews with different people about Isaiah's prophecy. Review some possible "time-traveling guests" and some questions you might ask them. Try to have your students create their own questions for the interview. Depending upon the size of your class, you may use the same interviewer or have a new interviewer for each guest. Some possible jobs for children who don't enjoy the spotlight might include: a videographer, a cue card holder, and a director. (I would suggest the teacher be the director, but you never know what talents your class may have.)

Here are some suggestions of people to interview and questions to ask them. Your time and the interest level of the students will determine how many to do. Be sure to save enough time to view your interviews.

Prophet Isaiah (prerecord)

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How did you become a prophet?
  • How do you know what to say?
  • How do the people respond to you when you tell them what the Lord will do?
  • What sign will the Lord give to us?
  • What does the name "Immanuel" mean for us?

A worshiper in the Temple who heard Isaiah prophesy

  • How did you feel when you heard Isaiah?
  • Isaiah's name means "Yahweh is salvation." What does that tell you about Isaiah?
  • What is "salvation" anyway?
  • What did you think about the idea of God sending a child for the people?

A scribe copying Isaiah's words

  • How do you feel when you copy Isaiah's words for future generations to read?
  • Why should God's son have all "authority"? What would that mean?
  • How does the name "Wonderful Counselor" help you understand God's promises?
  • What do you imagine will happen when these words are fulfilled?

Shepherd in Bethlehem

  • How did you learn what Isaiah said would happen?
  • When did you think God would do these things?
  • How does the name "Mighty God" help you understand God's promises?
  • You saw some of God's other messengers, the angels. Did you connect them with Isaiah's prophecy?

Joseph of Nazareth

  • Were you aware of God's promise, recorded in the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, to send a child, God's own son, to the people?
  • When the angel told you about Mary's child Jesus, did you remember Isaiah's prophecy?
  • How does the name "Everlasting Father" help you understand God's promises?

Mary, Mother of Jesus

  • When you learned that you would have God's own Son, did you remember the prophecy?
  • How did you feel to know that the prophecy would come true in your own family?
  • How does the name "Prince of Peace" help you understand God's promises?


  • You have been with Jesus through his entire ministry. How did you know that Jesus was the Messiah promised by the prophets?
  • When you read in Isaiah that there will be "endless peace" in the kingdom of David and you see all the trouble in Israel, how do you feel about the prophesy?

First Century Christian

  • You have joined this persecuted group of followers of Jesus. Why is it important to you that Jewish prophets foretold his coming?
  • When you hear in the prophesy that Jesus' kingdom will be of justice and righteousness, how do you feel about the injustice and unrighteousness that you see around you?


Watch the videos you made. Let the children comment on them and discuss them. Ask your students how seeing Jesus' birth through Isaiah's eyes helps them understand who Jesus is.

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Ask them to do write about the following:  Tell about a time in your life when a promise was kept.

Ask each student to name one thing that they are thankful for this week and close with being thankful for God's prophets, both ancient and modern, or use the following:
Faithful God, we thank you for all the things we have just named that are important to us. We also thank you for your prophets of long ago and of today who remind us who you are and who we are to be as your covenant people. Amen.

Have the children help you tidy up the workshop space, helping you put up the equipment used for videotaping and cleaning up the popcorn mess. Dismiss them with instructions about where they are to go.

Adjustments for younger children:
Younger class: If the interviewing seems a little advanced, then tape individual students explaining who Jesus is using one of the names from Isaiah, and how that name helps us know Jesus.

A lesson written by member JanMarshall.
Brenthaven Cumberland Presbyterian, Brentwood, TN

A representative of reformatted and edited this post for clarity and readability.

Last edited by Amy Crane

Key Verse Depictions

Flash mob brainstorming: 

Reading Isaiah 9:6, my immediate thought was "this verse could be chopped into fragments for a charades game!"

But it occurred to me that anyone who had been there the week before and heard the memory verse (or saw it on a poster on the wall) wouldn't have to guess very hard.

But maybe the students could individually or in groups of 2-3 be assigned a verse part:

For unto us a Child is born/
Unto us a Son is given/
And the government will be upon His shoulder/
And His name will be called/
Wonderful Counselor/
Mighty God/
Everlasting Father/
Prince of Peace

Groups could be challenged to find a way to demonstrate their fragment/idea with

  • a skit
  • or movement with no words
  • or an impromptu song to a familiar tune
  • or however they want.

The acting would be after a discussion of what the verse means.

Last edited by Amy Crane

Isaiah 7:14 - quick skit ideas

For a skit, I kept thinking of the "Coffee with Jesus" strips. (See Radio Free Babylon page).  What does it mean - "God with us"? (It could be a simple skit with one student and Jesus having conversation over coffee.)

Or, a skit could be done from the song "What if God was One of Us" (some modification of the lyrics might be needed).

Or -

do a skit of new parents looking at a baby name book.  They consider several, considering the merits of each name.  Then they come to "Immanuel", and thoughtfully ponder the meaning.

Isaiah 9:2 - quick skit idea

The New Interpreter's Bible commentary says that the "darkness" could be a link to the end of chapter 8, which is about God's silence with Israel.  The NIV uses "walking" as present tense, where the NRSV has "walked" - a past event. To me, it could be a lack of understanding of the prophecies; the light is their understanding. Or, God is in contact with them again.

Darkness is a metaphor for depression and death.

Light is wellness.

Darkness is silence from God.

Light is finding God's favor.

That said - there is a commercial for Netflix for something that shows groups of people speaking gibberish.  The punch line is "when you aren't watching what others are, you don't know what's going on."

For a skit, perhaps a version of this commercial could work.  In a darkened room, someone starts reading the passage, but the others look confused.  As the reading continues, clear words begin to emerge, and the lights in the room get brighter as people begin to understand the reading.  (It's a stretch, but might work!)

Last edited by Amy Crane

Black light Skits .... Hands and Feet of "God with us"

These ideas were originally posted in our Lesson Flash Mob Project. Extra ideas were added to Sherry's original idea and consolidated here...

I'm thinking about how God is with us, not only in his presence, but when we become the hands and feet of God in a situation.  In these black light "skituations," different groups will illustrate (pantomime) the situation. A student may narrate the pantomime/situation as it unfolds.  

Have kids perform various skit situations wearing white gloves and white socks with a black light shining on them. Have actors wear a black sack you've made out of cloth.   Split into two or three groups of actors. While one group is acting, the other(s) watch.

"God with Us" Skit Ideas:

Hands of God comfort...

Feet of God come to help...

When they feel discouraged and alone and God has shown them He is present by sending  just the right person  to fill the void, the need at that very moment. It might be food, money, a baby sitter, a ride, someone to talk with, someone to help them understand a math problem, an extra set of hands, whatever.  I can't tell you how many times God has indeed done this in my own life.  Give the person in need a white hat to help distinguish them in the black light.

God helps us walk through the darkness, provides us with the light...

When I think of walking in darkness and seeing a great light I think of a group or individual stumbling through a cave "of troubles" then seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that guides us.- or searching for someone in the dark and there is the flare that shows you the way.  The God character can come searching, can lay out white Bibles that glow, can bring Jesus into the darkness and shine a big light on him.

Black light adds a fun cool factor, focuses on the action/gestures, and helps some kids feel less self-conscious when acting. Practicing is important. See tips for using black light here.

Last edited by Amy Crane

Here are "motions" to add to your reading of Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6

The students will learn the verses with movements so that their bodies will help their minds remember the words.



Isaiah 7:14  (move your hand to your mouth like you are shouting like a prophet, then hold up seven fingers, now flash seven fingers twice to equal fourteen)


The Lord himself will give you a sign.  (Point to the sky, then draw a sign on the ground)


Look, the young woman is with child  (run hand through long hair, and over belly)


and shall bear a son, (rock a baby)


and shall name him Immanuel  (put hand on baby's head to bless it)


...which means: God with us  (point to sky, then pull hand down and circle pointing to everyone)


Isaiah 9:6 (hold your hand to your mouth, hold up 9 fingers, then 6)

For a child has been born for us, (rock a baby)

a son given to us; (hold out both hands palms up as if giving something)

authority rests upon his shoulders; (pat both of your shoulders)

and he is named (sign your 'John Hancock' on your hands)

Wonderful Counselor, (start with both hands at mouth, reach them out with palms up as if giving something)

Mighty God, (hold both arms up to show muscles)

Everlasting Father, (both hands start at heart, reach and point out to sides showing eternity)

Prince of Peace. (hold two fingers up in a peace sign).

A Ruler from Bethlehem Shadow Play

Created to be Performed in Church during Advent

This drama features a conversation in the synagogue between two rabbis interpreting Scripture and discussing the prophecies about the coming Messiah.

It would work well for older children.

The children performed it as a shadow play and used sound effects of a ram's horn.

A PowerPoint is attached which shows what the shadows would look like and how they go with the script (pdf) script (Word Doc). It also includes the sound effects of the ram's horn and lines for the audience.

(Moderator's Note: The sound file is not included, so you will need to find a Shofar Sound Effect. Example: Found this nice one, though I do not know if this is what exactly would be played, but it is a short video of a Shofar horn being blown in Jerusalem (41 Seconds)  entitled SHOFAR in Jerusalem | Ancient music horn | Jewish posted by Soothing Music


Last edited by Luanne Payne

Isaiah's Announcement of the Coming Messiah

An interactive Puppet Drama from member "Lerner"

  • You can do this with the puppeteers reading, or better yet, with readers reading from the script and the puppeteers focused on the acting.
  • Make sure someone records the drama with their camera for viewing (and reinforcement) afterwards!
  • You can expand the "audience response" idea by adding more responses to the rest of the narration if desired. This also works as a presentation in worship.

Scripture Reference:

Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23

Materials List:

  • Puppet Stage (optional)
  • Puppets
  • Cue cards, markers
  • Video camera



Greet the children and introduce yourself. Let them know what they'll be doing and learning today.

Let's Get Started!

Teach the children the background about Isaiah being a prophet and a statesman, married with two sons, who lived from about 758 – 698 BC. He lived during the lifetimes of four different kings (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah), in Jerusalem, and at the same time as the prophets Amos, Hosea and Micah. The former nation of Israel had been divided into two kingdoms. The one in the north was called “Israel” and contained all the tribes (10) except Judah and Benjamin. (SHOW ON MAP) The southern two tribes comprised the kingdom of Judah, and that’s where Isaiah was called to minister.

Isaiah tried to give King Ahaz hope and a reason to believe God. He said God would give him a sign, if he would only trust in God alone. Then Isaiah told of future things, of the Savior, God’s Son, who would be born to a virgin and would be called “Immanuel” (God with us, see Isaiah 7:14), Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6,7).

Isaiah’s job as a prophet was not easy because he often had to tell people, including the king, things they did not want to hear. He had to tell the people and the king to worship only God, not idols, and to trust God rather than to trust in their own strength.

Puppet Drama: He is Coming

4 puppet prophets, #1, #2, #3 and #4  (or as many as you want)

Mary, Joseph, Angel Gabriel, another (?) Angel of the Lord, baby Jesus, and a narrator (or group of narrators speaking various parts for the puppeteers).

You may or may not want to use a puppet stage.

Prepare the Scene 1 audience response "cue cards" in advance. These can be written on a white board or cards.

Prepare to record your puppet drama and view it at the end of class!


Scene I: The Prophets Tell of His Coming

(The four prophet-puppets may be operated by two to four children, depending on how many are present. They may act out their lines dramatically and you may have other puppets "listening" and reacting to prophecies.)

The (REACTIONS) can be spoken by other puppets or the audience. You can hold up "cue cards" with these comments on them.

Prophet #1: “He will be a descendent of Abraham. Genesis 22:18”   (AH!)

Prophet #2: “He will be a descendent of Jacob. Numbers 24:17”   (HMMM....)

Prophet #3: “He will come from the tribe of Judah. Genesis 49:10”   (OK.)

Prophet #4: “He will come from Jesse’s family. Isaiah 11:1”   (SOUNDS GOOD)

Prophet #1: “He will come from Jesse’s son David’s family. Isaiah 9:7”  (HUH?)

Prophet #2: “He will be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2”   (WHERE?)
Prophet #3: “A star will announce his birth. Numbers 24:17”  (YAY!)

Prophet #4: “He shall be born of a virgin and called ‘Immanuel’, ‘God with us’. Isaiah 7:14”   (WHAT?)

Prophet #1: “He will be called Wonderful Counselor. Isaiah 9:6”  (AWESOME!)

Prophet #2: “He will be called Mighty God. Isaiah 9:6”   (COOL)

Prophet #3: “He will be called Everlasting Father. Isaiah 9:6”   (OK!)

Prophet #4: “He will be called Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6”   (MUCH NEEDED!)

Prophet 1: "He save people from their sins"  (HUH?)  In other words, "Forgive and Welcome us all into his Kingdom" (HOORAY!)

Prophet 2: "Fast-forward now to a little town in Israel a few hundred years later where God is about to enter the world as a small child."   (HOORAY!  YAY!  AWESOME!   COOL!)


Scene II: The Angel Gabriel Visits Mary (see Luke 1:26-38)

Narrator: The Lord sent the angel Gabriel to visit a young, unmarried woman named Mary in the town of Nazareth in Galilee. Mary was engaged to be married to a carpenter named Joseph.

Angel Gabriel: “Greetings favored one; the Lord is with you.”     (OOOOOH)

Mary: (She just looks fearfully at the angel.)

Angel Gabriel: “Do not be afraid, Mary. I have good news. You will have a baby boy, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the son of the Most High. His kingdom will never end.”   (ABOUT TIME!)

(If desired, a teacher or a narrator could read Luke 1:30 – 33 instead, if the spoken lines are too difficult for the children to read.)

Mary: “How can this happen, since I am not married.”  (YEAH, HOW?)

Angel Gabriel: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you; the holy one to be born to you will be called the Son of God…Nothing is impossible with God.” (see Luke 1:35,37)    (OH)

Mary: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”  (HOORAY!)

Scene III: The Angel Visits Joseph (see Matthew 1:18-25)

(As the scene opens, Joseph is lying down and goes to sleep. An Angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream.)

Angel: “Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. The Holy Spirit has caused her to be carrying a boy baby. You are to call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Joseph: (He stays asleep, but in his dream he is paying attention to the angel.) 

Angel: “The prophet said, ‘A virgin shall be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means, God with us.’”     (NICE!)

Narrator: “Soon after that, Joseph was married to Mary, and took her home to be his wife.”   

Scene IV: Baby Jesus is Born in Bethlehem

Mary: (holding a puppet or doll baby Jesus) “Isn’t he wonderful, Joseph?”

Joseph: “Yes, and just think, he was born in Bethlehem, just like the prophets said.”   (YAY)

Mary: “I am a descendent of David, so our baby is also a descendent of David.”   (COOL)

Joseph: “It is an awesome job to be the parents to the Son of God! Thank you, Lord, for letting us love your Son!”   
(Mary and Joseph both smile at baby Jesus.)   (AWWW....)

Narrator:  And so Isaiah's promise of a Messiah came true, and Jesus grew up to be the Savior of the World (YAY, HOORAY, AWESOME!)

Narrator:  Now, the only thing left for you to do is to accept Jesus as your Savior and become one of his disciples (HUH?,  OH! OKAY!)

Closing/Sharing/Discussion Questions:

1. Can you think of any reasons God might tell people about the birth of Jesus hundreds of years before it happened? (ANS: To give people hope.)

2. If you were an angel like Gabriel assigned to go tell your friends and family about Jesus, what would you say to them?  Where would you meet them? What would they say when they saw you? Why would they believe you?

3. What do you think is the single most important description of the Messiah given by Isaiah in the opening?

A lesson written by member "Lerner"

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