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Drama, Puppet, and Storytelling Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching Palm Sunday in Sunday School.

Post your Sunday School drama, puppet, and storytelling lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for Palm Sunday here.

  • Please include a scripture reference, supply lists, sources, suggested age range. age modification, etc.
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Including: Palms, Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Bethany, Parade, Caiaphas, Annas, donkey, rocks and stones, and related. Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19, Zechariah 9:9, etc., etc. Bible lessons for Palm Sunday -with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc.

Here's a great first post in this topic...

Palm Sunday Drama Workshop Lesson Plan

The following drama adjusts to any size group, and could be staged in the Drama Workshop. We wrote it for our children and youth to open Palm Sunday Worship.


This is a Palm Sunday Group Drama that can be used in class, in children's worship, or in front of the congregation..

Everyone participates as a character. Characters are "color coded" by the different color "scarves" (fabric pieces) they wear. You can also give each group a prop that identifies them.

You will encourage each student to be creative in their expressions, “How would an angry Pharisee look?” and so on.

Scripture Reference:

Read Luke 19:28-44

Materials List:

  • Costumes/scarves (these can be strips of colored fabric. See script for colors.
  • Props

Lesson Plan


Welcome students, explain what they'll be doing today, and tell them what you hope they will learn.

Study the Scripture:

First, ask student to tell you as much as they already know about Palm Sunday. Write their responses on the board in the form of a timeline.

When they're done suggesting, have them read Luke 19:28-44, then go back to the timeline and complete it.

Now write "what does it mean" above several of the timeline entries they came up with (such as, "Jesus rode a donkey," "People laid palms," "Religious authorities complained," "Jesus said rocks would sing."   

Ask students to EXPLAIN the MEANING of those things. As they do, inject additional insights and/or comments along the following lines:

  • Why were the crowds excited that Jesus was coming to them?
  • What did they know about Jesus?
  • What did they expect Jesus to do in Jerusalem?
  • Who are “Pharisees” and why are “mean”?
  • Everyone had great expectations for what would happen when Jesus came to Jerusalem, but what did happen that week?
  • On Palm Sunday no one knew what would happen. They were all very happy that Jesus was coming to them! How happy do you feel knowing that Jesus is with you all the time? Let’s express that happiness like the people on the first Palm Sunday!

Ask:  Where are YOU in the Palm Sunday crowd?  Have students "vote" by standing along an imaginary line on the floor, then interview a few of them. Be sure not to disrespect those who aren't sure.

Disinterested ---   Wondering what the fuss is ----   Wanting to see Jesus ---  Hoping he's the Messiah  ----Knowing He's the Messiah


1st Rehearsal – give directions with **. Ask everyone to be everyone!
2nd Rehearsal – divide into groups to be the characters. Only 1 Jesus! Have each group do their own parts.

Directions given in black are for presentation in the sanctuary.

Jesus – robe and a donkey (made from cardboard with a rope to put over Jesus’ shoulder)

Disciples- “Let’s go to Jerusalem!” – blue scarves
Pharisees – “Hey you!” “Be Quiet” – yellow scarves
1st Crowd – “Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!” – green scarves
2nd Crowd – “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” – orange scarves
3rd Crowd – “Hosanna! Hosanna!” – purple scarves – use the youngest children for this part.

**Have students stand at edge of gym. Practice “parade waves” and looking around – “Bring me a donkey!”
Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, waving to people as he walked. When he got close to Bethany he stopped and called to his disciples, “Bring me a donkey!”

**Act like you are pulling, pushing or encouraging a donkey – be nice – you are disciples!
The Disciples brought a donkey and placed their coats on and helped Jesus to get on it.

**Right face, start marching around the room – yelling “Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”
Wave your cloaks & palms high in the air, march in a stately royal manner.
Then a crowd (of green scarved people) saw Jesus coming. They ran up (from 1st pews) to Jesus and the Disciples and greeted them with waving palm branches. Then they turned back to town announcing with great joy,
“Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”

**Left face! Skip and jump and yell, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Wave your cloaks & palms high in the air.
Another Crowd (of orange scarved people) ran up (from 1st pews) to the crowds. They waved palm branches and greeted Jesus, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” They followed Jesus and the others, skipping and jumping and yelling “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

**Right face! Skip or jump up and down and yell, “Hosanna! Hosanna!” Wave your cloaks & palms high in the air!
And the children (purple scarves) joined in (from altar area) singing “Hosanna! Hosanna!” And they followed the crowds who were happy and praising God.

**Freeze! Everyone on this side – look like an angry Pharisee, point at the people and yell “Hey You!
Now some Pharisees were in the crowd and they yelled out to Jesus (step onto the pew) “Hey You!”

**People slowly turn around and look at the Pharisees like “What’s your problem?”
The Crowd froze and turned to look at the Pharisees.

**Pharisees point 3 times and yell “Be Quiet!”
The Pharisees yelled out again to Jesus, “Be Quiet!”

**If you were Jesus, how would you talk to the Pharisees, how would you hold your hands?
Jesus stepped toward the Pharisees and said loudly “I tell you - if they are quiet - then the stones will cry out!”

**Pharisees look disgusted, with a “forget you” wave and turn around.
The Pharisees shrugged their shoulders and went away (sit down).

**Everyone start marching to one side of gym, yell “Hosanna! Hosanna! . . .

The Crowds continued with their cheers and followed Jesus to the edge of Jerusalem. (everyone heads back to altar area) They waved their palms, and sang “Hosanna! Hosanna!” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” and “Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”

**Everyone yell “Let’s go into Jerusalem!” Run or skip to the other side, wave your palms and yell out your praises.
The Disciples and the Crowd were anxious to enter Jerusalem. “Let’s go into Jerusalem!” They all headed for the city. (head to back of sanctuary) They were skipping and yelling their praises as they went.

**Everyone excitedly announce “Jesus Is Here!”

Jesus stayed where he was. The Crowds and Disciples turned back to Jesus. (Jesus waves 3x-Everyone yell)
“Jesus Is Here!”

Jesus smiled and waved back to them, then he followed them to the temple. (all process out of sanctuary)


Remind students that no matter "where" they stand in Jesus' parade, Jesus "stands" with them  -- he sacrificed himself for the sins of all. Jesus wants us to believe in him, but he also wants us to cheer goodness and love in this world and share it with others. Close with prayer.

A lesson written by Julie Grendahl 
and updated by members of the Content Team

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
Original Post

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Palm Sunday

Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses the play Hosanna in the Highest Heaven by LD Mckenzie

Note about this play:
There is one speaking part, the narrator, a donkey named Danny. Other cast members play out actions as Danny narrates them. They can say them out loud in tableaux after narrative for each scene. Or in the middle during each scene. May depend on energy level of your kids.

Abbreviating the play for younger children
We used this play in 06 with a fair sized multi-age group. A five yr old girl was keen to be Danny. There was no way she could read all Danny's lines. Thinking quickly, we used only Scene 4 of the play, mainly acting along with me as adult narrator. The kids got quite caught up in deciding what kind of people (or animals) they would have been on the side of the parade route. We made simple costumes, then walked thru once or twice. Our Sunday school time is short, so we didn't have a lot of time before the grownups came downstairs for coffee and squares and to watch our play.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the script ahead of time
  • Gather the materials

Materials List:

  • Costumes and Props optional


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and Introduce yourself and any helpers that you have.

Open with a prayer. 

Dig- Main Content and Reflection: 

Hosanna in the Highest Heaven

Written by LD McKenzie.

Danny the Donkey (Narrator), street dogs, Jesus, disciples, donkey owner, crowd, Pharisees

Palm branches (or tapered strips of long green construction paper), cloaks or coats, 2 real or fake potted plants to form city gates, city sign for 'Jerusalem,' sign for 'Temple' at other end of parade route, maybe temple mural on large paper taped to one end of room.

Scene 1: Approaching Jerusalem [Characters named can act out actions described as donkey talks.]

There I was minding my own business. There was a lot of hoo haa in town, lots of visitors and travellers. Because it was the Passover holiday.

Then I heard some interesting news from other animals through the Twilight Bark. It looked like there was a parade coming to town. A bunch of men were coming into town over the hills to the east. And a large crowd was starting to follow them.

The street dogs said the leader was some kind of king. But they weren't so sure about that. They said he had no horse. He came on foot. I mean, come on, a king with no horse???!!!

They also said other humans were getting all crabby and whispering because this king kept doing tricks. Like making humans who couldn't see suddenly able to see. That's one thing I will never understand about humans. Why it bothers them when something nice happens to someone else.

[Danny stops talking. Attention diverts to small parade arriving at city gates. Could act out healing scene if you wish. Might need blindfold to dramatize healing of a blind man.

Jesus then calls one of disciples forward and either says out loud or in whispers for him to go find him a donkey.]

Scene 2: Sending for the donkey.

Danny: Next thing I knew, this shabby guy that smelled like fish started untying my harness.

My owner said, "What do you think you're doing."

The fishy guy said: "The Lord needs it, and he'll bring it back as soon as he's done with it."

Well, my owner must have heard the news on the Twilight Bark too, because he said no more. He just let the fishy guy lead me away.

Scene 3: Meeting the King

Danny: Soon I found myself in front of the one who must be the king. At least that was what the people were starting to chant. "Son of David,' they called him. David is one of their famous old kings.

The dogs were right. He didn't look like much of a king to me. He didn't have any armour. No chariot. No fancy robes. Just the most beaten up sandals you ever saw.

But I could see what everyone meant. There was something different about him. Something out of the ordinary and special.

Someone threw a cloak across my back. And then this Jesus guy climbed on. This kind of freaked me out because I'd never carried a rider before. But he gave me a gentle pat on the neck. I figured that meant I was supposed to start walking. So I did.

Scene 4: The parade begins.

As we passed through the city gates, a fairly large crowd had gathered on both sides of the street.

All kinds of people threw coats and cloaks down into the street for me to walk across. Truth be told, it was the softest path I'd ever travelled.

Other people cut down leafy palm branches. Some threw these into the street. Others waved them in the air like green flags of peace. Or victory.

And everyone was doing this cheer. They said:


Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna to the Son of David.

Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

Like I said, you never know about humans. I'm not sure what they were so whipped up about. Maybe they hoped this Jesus, this king, would help them to see again, like he did for the blind man. Or help them with whatever their problems were. At any rate, they were sure glad to see him.

Scene 5: Not all happy campers.

Danny: But I could tell not everyone in the crowd was thrilled to see him. I caught sight of some of the crossed arms, crabby whispering people. They had that look humans get when they want to kick a dog or smack a donkey. Not every human is like this. Not many, really. But there are always a few bad apples.

One of the crabby guys said:

"Teacher. "

(And here I thought he was a king, not a teacher.)

"Tell your disciples to stop." (Disciples, I think, were the fishy guys.)

But Jesus just said:

"If these people were silent, the stones would cry out."

And you know what? There was so much cheering and palm waving and hope in the air, I think he was right.

Scene 6: End of parade.

Danny: Then we did a turn around the temple. The king checked everything out. Finally he rode back out of town to the east with the 12 main fishy guys that started the parade.

Oh yes, he did hop off at the gates and send me back to my owner.

Even though he wasn't dressed fancy, this king sure knew how to put on a show. It was one parade to remember.

I heard on the Twilight Bark that there were some dark days ahead. The king died. I bet those crabby guys had something to do with it.

But then I heard people thought they saw him out and about even after that. They called it a miracle. And you could almost smell in the air the faint crushed green scent of the leafy hopefulness that had breezed through town during that parade.

I'll never forget it!



Close with a prayer.

>>> This unit has TONS more ideas for arts, kitchen, games. For more info, click . here

 A lesson written by LD Mckenzie 

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Photos of Palm Sunday

A Photo-Drama Workshop

Editors Note:

This lesson "plan" is more of a "sketch" showing you various possibilities for creating photos of key moments in the Palm Sunday story and displaying them.

In the original lesson writer's church, this lesson creating "Palm Sunday Tableaus" was used to prepare a Palm Sunday presentation that was viewed in the writer's church services.  A later version of this lesson by member Cathy Walz and others created a Palm Sunday Photo Album that had many photos, including some of the goofy ones. Captions were put in that photo album and it was put on display in fellowship hall.  The photos above is from Cathy's church. The original idea came from member Bravo5. The "photo" technique is a popular way to dramatize stories and key moments in the Drama Workshop.

Some of the wording in the following sketch may not apply to how you want to use this terrific approach to re-enacting the story of Palm Sunday. Adapt at will!


Kids take photos of themselves "freeze framing" (posing) key scenes and moment in the Palm Sunday School. These moments can include individual and varied facial reactions in the crowd.

Scripture Reference:

Mark 11:1-11

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather a variety of props for the freeze-frame scenes: stick donkey, robes and other clothing, palm fronds, cloaks.
  • Create a simple "Jerusalem" backdrop/scene for the photo sessions. This can be as simple as hanging a sheet or canvas tarp and painting some building blocks, city gate, and palm trees on it.
  • Write the scene names on flip chart paper (see lesson) and tape them to the wall before class.
  • Gather the materials

Materials List:

  • NRSV Bible
  • A storybook retelling of the Palm Sunday Story for all or just your younger children. Older children may simply read the story from their classroom Bibles. However, view the two videos linked below to see how the Palm Sunday story is being creatively retold by Christian authors. It will breathe life and age-appropriate meaning into the story of children.

    Storybook Recommendations: “Hosanna! The Story of Palm Sunday” by Patricia Nederveld. See "Hosanna" read aloud by a teacher here on YouTube.  See RC Sproul's "The Donkey Who Carried a King" for example. You can see a pastor read and show the entire book here on YouTube.

  • Props for freeze-frame scenes: stick donkey, palm branches (artificial), cloaks, robes, other costumes
  • Post-it flip chart (and extra tape)
  • Markers
  • Cellphone or digital camera or tablet with camera
  • Tripod to stabilize your camera/phone (really handy!)
  • Computer or TV screen with appropriate cables to show the camera/phone's photos on the big screen.

Lesson Plan/Sketch


Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Let

  • Say: We are going to create “freeze-frame” pictures of four different scenes of our Bible story. After we read the story, we will talk about each of these four scenes. Then you will get into costumes, choose props, and create these freeze-frame pictures as I read the story again. We are going to take pictures of the scenes and show them at the beginning of the 9:00 am service on Palm Sunday.


Bible Lesson:

  • Introduce/review the lesson: This month we are learning about one of the first events of Holy Week, which is the week before Jesus died on the cross then rose from his tomb. Holy Week is the week before Easter. This month we are talking about Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem.
  • Say: On the Sunday before Jesus was crucified, he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday of Passover with his Disciples. Many people would have been coming to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, so there was a considerable crowd present for Jesus’ entry into town.
  • Say: Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival that commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. It was also a time when expectations ran "high" that the Messiah would come and save Israel once again, this time, from the oppression of Roman rule.
  • Say: The four scenes we will create are (draw their attention to the four sheets of paper you have taped on the wall that list these four scenes):

    Scene 1: Jesus tells the Disciples to get the donkey (Mark 11:1-3)
    Scene 2: The Disciples get the donkey (Mark 11:4-7)
    Scene 3: The Disciples help Jesus get on the donkey (Mark 11:7)
    Scene 4: People praise Jesus as he enters Jerusalem (Mark 11:8-10)

    As we stage and photograph each scene, we'll pay special attention to people's facial expressions and body language. Let's practice a few of those!   

    What would "not liking Jesus" look like?  (Yes, some people didn't like him. Why)

    What would "ready to join Jesus' army" look like?  (What does Jesus army do? Go to war? How should we follow him?)

  • Say: As we read the Bible story, start thinking more about what is happening in each of these scenes.

Read the story:

  • Younger kids (preK-K): Read the book “Hosanna! The Story of Palm Sunday” by Patricia Nederveld(it will help the younger kids to see pictures of the scenes).
  • Older kids (grades 1-5): Have them read aloud or follow along as you read Mark 11:1-11. Offer comments from this lesson. Explain the images, the opposition, Jesus' intentions.
  • Say: Now we are going to talk about what is going on in each scene, what it might look like, and what props we will need to create the scene.
  • Do the following for each of the scenes, one at a time:
    • Re-read the verses (for the younger kids, show the pictures in the book again). Encourage students to refer to their Bibles.
    • List the characters in the scene. —write them on the flip chart paper.
    • Talk about the actions and emotions that are going on. —write these down.
    • What kinds of props are needed for the scene? —write these down.

"Freeze Frame Scenes" Activity:

  • Assign or let the kids choose the parts for each scene (it is possible that not every scene will require all of the students and/or some kids may be in more than one scene). You could write characters down on slips of paper and have the students pick out a piece of paper to determine their parts.  If you have a lot of kids, you could let different groups each stage their own version of each scene.
  • Bring out the costumes and props and let the children chose what they will use. They will need to use their imaginations somewhat and also share costumes and props among the different scenes.
  • Have the groups briefly practice each of their “freeze-frame” tableaus. Remind them to pay special attention to facial expressions and body language for and against Jesus.
  • Read each passage from the story aloud as they make their tableaus.
  • The kids who are not in the scene should sit on the floor in front of the stage as the audience.

    For dramatic effect, you can have each group get on the stage, close the curtain, and get into position behind the closed curtain. Then have the shepherd open the curtain to reveal the scene as you read the Bible passage.

    If you don't have a stage curtain, have a spotlight that you turn on to signal "freeze" to the actors.
  • Remind the kids that we are going to show these scenes to the congregation on Palm Sunday so we need a least a few good photos!
  • Take a photo of each freeze frame with the digital camera. (Use the tripod if it’s easier.)


  • Connect your camera/phone/tablet to the computer or TV in the classroom and look at them together.
  • For each scene, ask a student to explain what is going on in the picture.
  • Create "captions" for each photo  -- a sentence or two that captures what the photo reveals. Write these on sheets of paper. These comments can later be put into the photo display or used to caption the photos in a powerpoint presentation (if you are making one for the congregation or other groups).

Key points for the teacher to discuss while viewing:

  • Scene 1 (Jesus tells the Disciples to get the donkey): What do you think that the disciples thought about these instructions?
  • Scene 2 (The Disciples get the donkey): How do you think the disciples felt when the donkey’s owner confronted them? Is there anything that God asks you to do that makes you feel uncomfortable?
  • Scene 3 (The Disciples help Jesus get on the donkey): Why was it significant that Jesus entered on a donkey?
  • The donkey was a symbol of humility. In Bible times, kings and other powerful men rode strong horses to symbolize their authority. Jesus showed that he was a humble king by riding in on a donkey. He was a king with no need of a warhorse.
  • Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey also fulfilled a prophecy Zechariah made nearly 500 years earlier.
  • Zechariah 9:9 in the Old Testament says: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
  • Scene 4 (People praise Jesus as he enters Jerusalem): Why did the people cheer for Jesus? What does “Hosanna” mean? Why did they wave palm tree branches?
  • The words “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” come from Psalms 113-118. Young Jewish boys often memorized some of the Psalms in school. During the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles or Booths, everyone marched around the altar daily for a week carrying branches and singing Psalm 118. The words that surrounded Jesus as he rode the donkey to Jerusalem would have been very familiar to everyone present.
  • Hosanna means “Save us now.” The Jewish people had been waiting for a Messiah for 1000 years. At that time they were waiting to be saved from Roman rule by their Messiah. They thought that Jesus was this king that would save them.
  • Laying palm or tree branches down on the road was a common Middle Eastern practice in ancient times to welcome a king or hero home after a victory.

    Close with by taking a photo of what the students think they would all look like if Jesus rode into their classroom right now!   Then close with a prayer that invites Jesus to enter our lives and be our king, our prince of peace and savior.


Images (1)
  • Freeze20of20into%20Jerusalem
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Here's a photo from my church's "Drama Workshop" in which our kids re-enacted the Palm Sunday story. Our Drama Workshop already has several "biblical scenes" painted on various walls and simple costumes at hand that we've collected or created over the years.  Learn more about the Drama Workshop in the Rotation Model.

Freeze frame of entry into Jerusalem


Images (1)
  • Freeze frame of entry into Jerusalem
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Below are several Palm Sunday "Diorama Drama" Workshop lessons we wrote for several age groups in our Sunday School. We call the classroom/workshop where we do this kind of learning our “Soul Station.” It is a classroom setting and lesson plan in which students travel back in time with their imagination as they create interactive dioramas to tell Bible stories. In the Rotation Model, a different group 'rotates' into our Soul Station each week, but the teacher stays in the same workshop each week. In that way, the teacher really gets to know their lesson and how best to present it.

A diorama is a three-dimensional miniature scene in which figures, toys, backdrops, or other objects are arranged to recreate a Bible story scene.  Objects/characters can be moved as well as the story unfolds. Photos or video recordings can also be made.  Because we regularly teach with this method, we amassed quite a collection of figures and miniatures and misc props. We also make props and figures as needed.  Sometimes you might have a Star Wars figurine and Captain America in the same Bible scene with a Playmobile figure or LEGO person. Who plays what is a great discussion starter!

Learn more about Storytelling Tables and teaching with Dioramas here at

Palm Sunday

Diorama Workshop


Students will build a diorama to help them imagine the actual events of Palm Sunday. Children will walk away with a deeper understanding of the story. Middle/Upper Elementary students will also learn the slight variations between each gospel’s telling of the story.

Editor's Note: In the attached PDF (see end of lesson) are adaptations for this lesson for various ages, from preschool to middle/upper elementary.

Scripture Reference:

Luke 19:28-44
Matthew 21:1-11
Mark 11:1-11

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture and background materials ahead of time.
  • Gather the Materials

Materials List:

  • Pen & Paper
  • Brown Paper Bags (used for preschool group)
  • Diorama supplies:
    • Ground Cover (possible cobblestone)
    • Jesus
    • At least 2 of the disciples
    • City gates
    • A large crowd of people
    • A donkey
    • Palm trees
    • Palm branches
    • City buildings
    • Stones
    • Religious leaders

Advanced Preparation Requirements:

See the attached PDF for variations in set up for different age groups.

For each age group, prepare the resources to tell the story. For Preschool & Early Elementary refer to instructions below. For older students, collect info about the four gospels, who wrote them, who the intended audience was for each author, and what makes them unique. (Ask your clergy for help).

Lesson For Preschool & Early Elementary


Welcome kids to Soul Station as they arrive. Hand out name tags and create name tags for any new students. Introduce yourself. Explain what they'll be doing and what you hope they will learn.

Open with a prayer.


Diorama Activity (30 Minutes)

Refer to the attached PDF for basic directions for this activity for this age group.

Tell the story using this (link removed no longer active).

Editor notes: Due to the story they used is no longer available, read from the scriptures or find a good children's version of the story that incorporates all three gospels.

Note: the following adaptions were made...

In ParagraphAdd words in italics...
1They called Him the Son of David and shouted Hosanna!
2...donkey. The disciples were not sure why Jesus wanted a donkey, but when they...
2...palms for Jesus. They also set some palm branches down on the path for Jesus to ride on.


(replace entire paragraph)

The people in Jerusalem had been waiting for God to send them a King. They had been looking for a magnificent warrior to come riding in on a beautiful horse but instead Jesus arrived on a donkey. He was not a King of war, he was a King of peace. He was a King who came to help people who were sick and people who were lost. Jesus came to be the King for the entire world!
6They also shouted, “Blessed is He...


(replace 1st sentence with...

There were leaders in the city who were not very happy about Jesus coming to town.


End story with this addition...

stop them from shouting for I am the King who is sent by God.”

The crowds kept cheering and shouting as Jesus walked through Jerusalem, praising Him with Palm Branches in the air.

Preschool discussion:

  • Have any of you ever seen pictures or a cartoon about a king or a queen? Can you tell me what kind of things a king or a queen have? Crown, fancy clothes, castle, etc
  • The story we learned today teaches us that Jesus is a King. What kind of things make Jesus the very best King? He loves everyone, He heals the sick, He is God’s son, He is God, etc.
  • Did you know that Jesus is still our King? Let’s all stand up and wave our hands in the air pretending that we are waving palm branches for Jesus!
  • What kind of special things could you do this week to thank Jesus for being your King?

Extra time:

  • Preschool aged children may have a limited attention span. Our focus at this age is to introduce a story and begin to teach them simple truths about God. Allow children to have free play time with the figurines and action figures.

Early Elementary Discussion:

  • In fairy tales, what kind of things make a person a king or a queen? A castle, servants, fancy clothes, crown, throne, etc.
  • The story we learned today teaches us that Jesus is a King. We didn’t see any castles and Jesus wasn’t wearing a crown but the Bible tells us that Jesus is the King of all Kings. What kind of things make Jesus the very best King? He loves everyone, He heals the sick, He is God’s son, He is God, He was sent by God, He rules over all of the earth, etc
  • The Bible tells us that Jesus will reign as King forever. Right now Jesus is seated in His throne in Heaven but one day Jesus will be coming back to earth. At that time he will make the earth perfect and anyone who believes in Jesus and follows Him will get to be with Him forever!
  • In the story, the crowds in Jerusalem waved palm branches and shouted Hosanna to praise Jesus for being their King. What kind of special things could you do this week to thank Jesus for being your King?

Prayer (2 Minutes):

Take a moment to thank Jesus for being our King. Have the class end the prayer by saying HOSANNA together!


Encourage parents to work on the memory verse with their kids during the week.

For Middle & Upper Elementary


Welcome kids to Soul Station as they arrive. Explain what they'll be doing and what you hope they will learn.

Prayer (2 Minutes):
Take a moment to pray for your morning together. Ask God to help us imagine what it would have actually been like to be on the scene of the Bible Story. Ask God to teach us through His word.


Team Story Reading (8 Minutes)

Students will be learning about the different details shown in each of the gospel versions of the Palm Sunday Story.

Assign app. 4 students to each gospel passage. As a team, have them read the story, paying close attention to detail and then recreate their scene through diorama.


Diorama Activity (30 Minutes)

Refer to the attached PDF for basic directions for this activity for this age group.

Give a 10 minute warning to wrap up the Diorama creations.

After teams are completed allow students to wander around the dioramas to point out what differences they see.

Say: We made Diorama’s about the Palm Sunday story found in different books of the Bible. Each of our stories came from a set of 4 books in the Bible called the Gospels. Each of the Gospels tell stories about Jesus’ life here on earth.

Ask: Can anyone name all four Gospels?

Say: Each of the gospels was written by a different author.

Have 4 different readers read the material previously collected about gospel differences.


Encourage parents to work on the memory verse with their kids during the week.

Click on the "linked' (underlined) words below: "Soul Station Age Group Variations..." to download a file that includes directions for various age adaptations.

A lesson written by member ZBCC from Zion Baptist Community Church
Edmonton, Alberta and updated by a member of the Content Team


Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Palm Sunday

A Storytelling Workshop Lesson Plan


The children will experience Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem through their senses during a guided/interactive reading/meditation of the story.

Themes will include praise by people and creation and also Old Testament prophecy. Follow-up discussion will focus on being witnesses.


Matthew 21:1-11
Mark 11:1-10
Luke 19:28-44
John 12:12-19

Memory Verses

Mark 11:9 - “Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” [NRSV]

Psalm 118:26 - “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. We bless you from the house of the LORD.” [NRSV]


Children will:

  • Older children will locate the stories in their Bibles; Younger students will learn that the story is in the New Testament in the Gospels.
  • Know that Jesus came to Jerusalem along with thousands of others to celebrate the Jewish Passover.
  • Learn that Palm Sunday remembers Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem just a few days before his arrest, trial, and crucifixion. This story begins the events of Holy Week.
  • Discover that Jesus’ entry on a donkey signified that he was a humble, peaceful Messiah, fulfilling Old Testament prophecy.
  • Understand the meaning of the word Hosanna; the people expected a king to save them. Yet the crowd misunderstood what sort of Messiah Jesus was.
  • Consider how creation can praise God.
  • Think about how they can be witnesses.

Leader Preparation

  • Read the Bible Background.
  • Read and prayerfully consider all four Scripture accounts and Psalm 118.
  • Write the memory verse(s) on poster board.
  • Create the journal pages for each child by printing the memory verse on 8 ½” by 11” paper, along with “Who?”, “What?”, and “Why?”
  • Find artwork of the “Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem” in books, teaching picture files, or online, and print them or download them for a PowerPoint presentation, or purchase posters. Internet sources for online artwork include and a source for posters could be
  • Locate pictures of Herod’s Temple and Jerusalem in books or teaching picture files. An Internet search will provide plenty including and
  • Arrange the room with comfortable seating, either at tables, in chairs, or on rugs or pillows on the floor.

Materials List

  • Bibles
  • CD player or computer/online access to get and play the songs
  • CD recording or downloaded music file of “All Creatures of Our God and King” (the two suggested recordings have the traditional hymn arranged to a lively calypso/parade beat - you can preview them online at and other websites):
    • Passion Worship Band. Passion: Hymns Ancient and Modern. Six Step Records, 2004. ASIN: B0001BS3KW.
    • All Creatures of Our God and King from the "Weird Animals" VBS (by Group) see and play the video here.
      Look for these and other possible options on YouTube or iTunes.
  • Cymbals - or substitute cookie tins or metal popcorn cans
  • Food:
    • flatbread or pita bread
    • raisins or dried figs
    • water
  • Incense such as frankincense to represent what was burned in the Temple (Exodus 30:34)
  • Incense holder
  • Matches
  • Napkins
  • Palm fronds for everyone (Jade palm leaves are reasonably priced and not as scratch in little hands as some types of palms)
  • Paper, 8 ½” x 11” white
  • Paper cups
  • Pencils or pens
  • Pictures of Herod’s Temple
  • Pictures of Jerusalem
  • Poster board

Lesson Plan


Welcome the kids and explain what they'll be doing and learning about today.

Open with prayer: “Spirit, fall on us today and open your Word to us. Amen.”

Ask the children: “Have you ever been so excited about something, you wanted to tell everyone?” [Maybe a vacation, a present, an award?]

What does it feel like to be so excited?

Whom do you tell and how do you tell them?

Today we want to relive the excitement of a day in Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago. I hope that you feel so excited today after our lesson that you will want to tell others about it!

We are exploring Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This event is celebrated as Palm Sunday. Does anyone know what “triumphal” means? [Celebrating a victory]

Let’s begin by reading our Scripture. We find this story included in all four Gospels. Today we will read Luke 19:28-40.

Distribute Bibles to the group or ask the children to take out their own Bibles. Show the children how to open the Bible in the middle and then open the second half in the middle again. They should have opened the Bible to one of the four Gospels. Help them turn forward or back to Luke. Ask for volunteers to read, or read to the class.

I wonder what victory is being celebrated by this triumphal entry?


Read the following script, adjusting to reflect local experiences, customs, and environment.

Today we will travel in our imaginations to Jerusalem on the day we just read about – the day Jesus makes his triumphal entry into the city. So sit comfortably and listen, feel, smell, taste, and see the events unfold on the day we call Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week. Pretend you and your family live in Jerusalem ...

Guided Meditation Script

We have heard there is a teacher coming into town today. But he is more than a teacher. We have heard all sorts of amazing reports! He has done miracles. He has healed people. He has even raised a man named Lazarus from the dead! Lazarus is a friend of some of our friends, so we have heard that amazing story quite a few times. We are excited and want to see this man about whom we have heard so much. As is the custom, we eat a light meal to break the night’s fast. It is spring, so fresh fruits are not available; therefore we have some dried fruit with our bread and water before we head out for the day.

[Distribute water, bread, and dried figs or raisins to the children.]

[As the children eat, show them pictures of Jerusalem and the Second Temple, and continue with the script.]

It is a sunny morning, which is normal this time of year. In the distance we see the Temple. “The gleaming white marble of the edifice{is}visible from well outside the walls of the city. The scale of the building was deliberately designed to impress, and it dominate{s}the landscape to such an extent that it{is}the single unchallenged visual focal point of Jerusalem. Even the three great towers that Herod had built near his palace ... seem small{in comparison}.” [“Herod’s Temple” - Wikipedia]

The temperature today is about the same as it is in this classroom, maybe a bit cooler.

[Average high in Jerusalem in March is 60°F, in April it is about 70°F - weather.]

The Passover Festival is at the end of the week, so crowds of people have been arriving in town for days. (Think of all the crowds you have been in: maybe at a parade, a festival or fair, a football game, a rally, Disney World.) People are pressing against us. We head towards the city gate that we have heard the teacher will be entering – the Golden Gate on the east side of the city. People are pressing against you. Can you see anything, or are you too short? Are there too many people in front of you? Everyone is moving, pressing, waving. We go where the crush of the crowd carries us.

You feel excited at the thought of seeing someone who is so famous! Maybe he will stop and say something to you.

A breeze carries the smell of the incense burning in the Temple.

[Light the incense.]

The smell reminds you of the prayers that rise up to God like sweet perfume. You think about the upcoming Passover celebration, where after the lamb is sacrificed, you and your family will remember and celebrate how God led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. You pray that someday soon God will send the Messiah to free the Israelites from Roman rule.

We hear the lambs that will soon be sacrificed baaing. But we quickly forget about them, because Jesus is getting close! If we could see through the crowd, maybe this is what we would see.

[Share the art prints of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry.]

A donkey! He is riding on a donkey? It reminds me of the prophecy of Zechariah.

[Read Zechariah 9:9-10 from the Bible.]

We hear the branches waving. We feel the slight breeze they create. People put branches and their cloaks on the road to welcome the king. We hear people shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”

[Have the children shout the memory verse with you.]

What does Hosanna mean?

The people shouting reminds you of the Hallel, Psalms that you and the other students at the synagogue have memorized.

[Read Psalm 118:1, 22-29 from your Bible.]

I wonder where everyone gets palm branches from? Isn't it festive to see them waving? Look! Here are some palm branches. How would you wave yours?

[Give each child a palm branch and have them try waving slowly while standing still, jumping and waving, waving in time while shouting the memory verse, etc.]

It is so very noisy as Jesus passes. In fact, some of the Jewish leaders complain to Jesus: “Teacher, order your disciples and followers to stop this noise.” Jesus replies, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” [Luke 19:40]

I wonder what shouting stones sound like?

[Crash the cymbals or bang the cookie tins.]

What do you think? [Briefly discuss.] Why would the stones shout?

If people are shouting, and if even the stones could shout, I wonder what else could be wanting to shout and praise God their Creator today? [Discuss briefly.]

Here is a hymn by St. Francis of Assisi that may describe how all creation is worshiping the Creator today.

[Play “All Creatures of Our God and King.”]

After Jesus has passed, the streets quiet. People go back to their usual busyness and we head home, treasuring in our hearts all we have seen and heard.

Reflect – Closure


After a day like we just experienced, how would you feel?
What would you tell your family when you sat down for dinner that night?
Why were people so glad to see Jesus that day?
Who is Jesus?
Do we still cry out to Jesus “Hosanna! Save us now!”?
What is a witness? [Two slightly different meanings: a person who is present at an occurrence and a person who gives testimony about what he saw, heard, or knows by personal presence]
Is it possible to be a witness to something we did not see? Or that we only saw in our imaginations, as we did today?
Can you be a witness to others about how Jesus came to save us?
What can you say or do as a witness?


Give the children the journal sheets with the memory verse as well as pens or pencils. Tell them to take some time to reflect on how they can be a witness. They are then to write whom they would witness to, what they would say or do, and why they feel called to be a witness to that person or group. Assure them that they will not have to share their responses.

Ask if anyone wants to share any thoughts or ideas or questions from their journaling time.

Pray for the children to be faithful witnesses this week. Let them take home a palm branch as a memento of the activity.


Younger Children - Instead of having them write their responses to the journaling exercise, younger children can dictate their responses to a teacher or older helper; illustrate their responses; or the class as a whole can discuss to whom, how, and why they would witness.

Older Children - Provide a printout of the words of “All Creatures of Our God and King” so the children can read along, and then further discuss ways all creation can praise God.


A Storytelling Lesson written by Amy Crane fro River Community Church
Prairieville, LA

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Props and costumes and scenery for Palm Sunday dramas from Oriental Trading

Search their site for "donkey" and you will find several useful things:

Donkey - cardboard cutout


A variety of donkey costumes, such as this one:


And you need palm trees. Search their site for "Palm Tree" and you find all sorts of trees, including:

Cardboard cutout


silk palm fronds


Need costumes? Oriental Trading has a entire page of Easter Pageant Costumes.

(I find Oriental Trading catalogs to be very inspiring!  &nbsp


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

How People Miss Seeing Jesus in Their Lives

A Palm Sunday "Parade of Distractions" Children's Sermon or Drama

Palm Sunday drama lesson turning your back on Jesus' parade

This children's sermon, lesson drama, or chancel drama/demonstration/skit may require several recruited players. It's perfect for a youth group or a couple of families to rehearse and perform, and can be used as a chancel drama or children's sermon. It can also be scaled for a Sunday School lesson "Drama Workshop."

I orginally organized this with several youth in my church who helped me do it as a children's sermon the week before Palm Sunday.

The gist of it is this: Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and in our lives --wanting to be our King, but many people are too distracted, self-centered, or busy doing something else to notice him, want to get to know him, and follow him.

The setup:

Jesus is represented by a child riding on the back of a donkey (played by a teenager).

Lining both sides of Jesus' parade route are various students -each initially facing the parade route, but who will become preoccupied with something that causes them to turn their back on Jesus as he approaches.  Space the students far enough apart so that their actions happen one at a time and are easily visible to your watching children. Tell them to start their action only when Jesus is approaching them and next to them, and stop after Jesus has moved on to the next person in the parade.

  1. A student on their cellphone
  2. A student dribbling a basketball
  3. A student rolling their eyes, arms crossed, standing defiantly.
  4. A student sleeping-in (their head on a pillow).
  5. A student who waives their palm while looking eagerly towards the heavens.
  6. A student playing a video game (using a hand-held controller)
  7. A student who is so sad they can't look up.
  8. A student with a remote TV control
  9. A student who is too concerned with how they look. Brushing their hair, etc.
  10. A student who is impressed with themselves and their muscles, and gives Jesus the brush off.
  11. Feel free to have youth come up with more ideas.

    **For Sunday School lesson, ask the kids to come up with distractions!

Just before the Jesus-child and teen-donkey go down the parade route (sanctuary aisle), the teacher says to the gathered children, "I want you to watch this Palm Sunday parade and see if you can guess what lesson our youth is trying to teach all of us about seeing for Jesus."

Parade #1:

  • As Jesus starts his ride down the aisle, each distracted youth begins their action AS Jesus approaches them. They stop after he has gone by so their action doesn't distract the children.
  • The donkey stops at each distracted youth for Jesus to see them, and long enough for the student to perform their distraction.

After the child/Jesus and donkey reach the end, the teacher walks the children down the aisle and up to each actor who then start their action again as the teacher asks, "What is this person doing that COULD BE distracting them from getting to know and follow Jesus?"  Be sure to point out that there's nothing wrong with cellphones, basketballs, sleep, and the like, but sometimes our things, attitudes, problems, and schedules can sure get in the way of seeing and following Jesus in our lives.

Parade #2:

Now we're going to hold this parade again, and this time I want you to go stand by all our youth and help them focus on Jesus as he approaches each one of them. If you see them being distracted, help them look for Jesus. (**Cue the youth to put away their distractions and wave at Jesus as he rides by this time.)


Jesus wants to be part of our lives, but to really see and know him, we need to know when to put away some of the distractions and stop doing things that aren't helping us, so we can really look for Jesus, discover his love, and become his followers. We've also just learned that we can HELP other people put aside their distractions and point them towards Jesus. Etc.

I hope your adaptation of this skit or children's sermon is inspired!

<>< Neil

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Drama or Puppet Skit

We have been working on lessons that teach Kids about Luke 19:40 when Jesus says that even if the crowds are silent the rocks will cry out.  

I've attached a script for a short skit or reading or "Rock Puppet" play that we have written to help children understand more about what was going on during this part of the story.

Tip: We used a "voice changing microphone" that made the kids' voices sound "more like rocks" in everyone's imagination. It was fun and helped them focus. These types of toy microphones come with their own speakers, are rechargeable, and are quite inexpensive (check Amazon). They help drama and narrators quite a bit.

Below is the text of the script you can find in the color-coded parts seen in the attached PDF:



ROCK #1: Sometimes I think people don’t give us rocks the credit we deserve. We’ve seen a lot
of things in our lives.

ROCK#2: I think they just take us for granite. Last week someone kicked me as they walked
along the road. Don’t they know that I was the very rock that David used to kill Goliath!

ROCK #1: No kidding. Last week someone swept me off their floor. They didn’t even stop to
thank me for being one of the stones that Solomon used to build a beautiful temple for God!

ROCK #3: You guys were around in the Old Testament? You are old!

ROCK #2: Hey, we might be older than you but we’re still a solid part of the New Testament.
Remember the time Jesus taught about wise men building their houses on rocks. Even when
the storms came, the houses on the rocks stood firm.

ROCK #1: Us rocks, we’re a whole lot wiser and important than people think.

ROCK #2: I agree. People don’t even realize everything we have seen and heard. Have you guys
been listening to all the people walking around in Jerusalem these days?

ROCK #3: I can’t hear anyone talking. It’s way too loud with all those animals. I think I’ve
counted 30,000 lambs so far. I think those sheep are planning a takeover of this city.

ROCK #1: According to what I’ve heard, the Roman leaders aren’t worried about the sheep
taking over, but they are worried about someone else taking over.

ROCK #2: I heard two of the Roman soldiers talking yesterday. They kept on saying that too
many Jewish people were talking about Jesus. They were mad that the Jews were calling Jesus
the “King of the Jews” and the “Son of God.”

ROCK #3: Why were they mad?

ROCK #1: The Roman leaders think that only the Caesar should be called names like that.

ROCK #3: Why would the Caesar be called the King of the world or the Son of God?

ROCK #2: Years ago A guy named Octavian became the ruler of the Roman Empire. He decided
to tell everyone that he was a majestic leader and that he was the son of god!

ROCK #3: Was he the son of God?

ROCK #2: NO WAY! But word travelled through the whole world that Rome had a new emperor
and the news said that the Son of God had become the King of the world!

ROCK #1: People were pretty intimidated by the Roman empire. The Roman Empire is still really
strong and they don’t want anyone getting in their way.

ROCK #3: So why were the soldiers talking about Jesus?

ROCK #1: Those soldiers think that Jesus is going to come and take over the Roman Empire.

ROCK #3: Really?! Is Jesus going to take over Rome?

ROCK #1: Kid, you really haven’t been around very long have you? Us rocks have been rolling
around long enough to know a bit about God’s plans and God’s plan isn’t to have Jesus become
a political leader.

ROCK #3: What’s that noise? What’s all that shouting about?

ROCK #2: Shhh....Let’s be quiet and watch what is happening.

TEACHER: As the rocks watched they saw a magnificent scene take place on the path in front of
them. A large crowd started to form. People were shouting and waving palm branches in the air.
Others in the crowd were laying down their cloaks onto the ground. Amidst the crowd the rocks
saw a man riding on a donkey and making his way through the streets of Jerusalem. The man on
the donkey was Jesus!
The crowd shouted: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Just as Jesus came close to the rocks a group of Pharisees approached Jesus and said,“Teacher,
rebuke your disciples! Make them stop all this noise”

Jesus said to them “I tell you if the crowds were to stop and keep quiet, the stones one the ground
would cry out.” So the crowds continued to praise Jesus as he traveled through Jerusalem.

ROCK #3: That was amazing! I’ve never even seen crowds like that! There were more people on
these streets than there were sheep - and I counted a lot of sheep! I think Jesus really is going to
take over Rome. Didn’t you see all of those people following him!

ROCK #1: You are just as confused as those Pharisees are. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to quiet
the crowds because they think the Roman soldiers will come in and force everyone to be quiet.
Everyone is convinced that Jesus is here to overthrow the government.

ROCK #2: That isn’t Jesus’ plan. Didn’t you see what Jesus came riding into Jerusalem on?

ROCK #3: A donkey. So what?

ROCK #1: A warrior who is coming to overthrow a government would have come riding in on a
majestic horse! Jesus came riding on a donkey. A donkey is a sign of peace.

ROCK #3: If Jesus isn’t here to overthrow the government, why is he here?

ROCK #2: Well you are asking the right rocks. Even Jesus said that if the crowds stopped
shouting we could tell everyone why Jesus is here. We’re a part of God’s creation and we know a
thing or two about our maker!

ROCK #1: Jesus isn’t coming to be a ruler for Rome. Jesus is coming to be the true Son of God
and the true King to the entire World.

ROCK #3: That sound even better than taking over Rome. If Jesus is going to take over the
entire world as King, where will his throne be?

ROCK #2: That’s probably what today’s crowds are thinking too. Jesus isn’t on his way to a
throne. He’s on His way to a cross.

ROCK #3: A cross? Isn’t that where people get killed? Isn’t that where people get crucified?

ROCK #1: Yes, it is.

ROCK #3: How is dying going to make Jesus King of the entire World?

ROCK #2: The scriptures tell us that by dying, Jesus will be taking on the evil of the entire world.

ROCK #1: When Jesus pays the price for all the sin in the world, people will be free to enter into
God’s kingdom. Jesus’ death will offer people freedom to live with God for all eternity ~ and
that’s way better than just taking over Rome.

ROCK #3: Wow - that’s amazing. Next time someone asks me who this Jesus guy is all about I’m
sure going to be able to tell them the right story!


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