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Drama, Lego and Puppets Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources... for multiple parts of Holy Week

Post your Sunday School drama and puppets lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for Holy Week here.

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Including the Cross, Jesus, Caiaphas, Pilate, Scourging, Nails, Centurion, Golgotha, Place of the Skull, Calvary, Empty Tomb, Resurrection, Women, Mary Magdalene,, Gardner, Peter, and related stories. Matthew 26, Mark 14, Mark 16, Luke 22, John 18, Matthew 28, Mark 16, John 20:1-18, Luke 24, resurrection, etc.

Bible lessons for Holy Week—with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc.

A Holy Week Drama idea (not including the Resurrection story)

Summary of Lesson Activities:

All children will actively participate—with plenty of parts—in a number of scenes that retell the story of Holy Week from Palm Sunday up through the trial, crucifixion, and burial. (Only narration for these last parts of the story—no acting!)

Leader Preparations:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided.
  • Gather the following materials:
    • Props:
    • Palm Branches
    • Donkey ears or a mask
    • Cardboard boxes to act as tables, sheets to cover them, play money, merchandise (fake fruit, etc.)
    • A Bell
    • Last Supper table + foods (refer to lesson below)
    • Communion chalice, juice + bread for distribution
    • Garden scene (trees), campfire, Shields for guards
    • Audio Equipment
    • Music for Hosanna singing
    • Garden scene crickets, frogs, etc.
    • Microphone with an amplifier, to create the voice of Jesus

Lesson Plan: Opening

Instruct your students to form two lines facing each other. Ask them to sit down while you explain what is about to happen. Tell the kids that they are about to witness the events leading up to Jesus death, by re-enacting some of these events. Everyone will have a roll to play. We are all a part of the story of Jesus.

Say:  This story is filled with both happiness and sadness. Remember that everything that happened was according to Gods great plan.

Ask them to name some of the events that they recall from our story (Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, etc.) You may wish to write their replies on a whiteboard in whatever order they are offered. If desired, spend time reviewing the order of these events.

Have them find some of these stories in the Bible—by looking for headings. Are there are events that the children have left out?

Point out how different gospels include some of the same events. [Depending on your time and the age of your students, you can dig deeper into the Bible. For example, use a Concordance to discover which gospel does not include the story of Jesus clearing the Temple.]

Say:  At the end of each event, I will ring a bell. [Ring the bell now.] This bell will signify a change to the next scene or event. When you hear the bell, raise your hands up and shout "Praise God," and then, if you are standing, sit down.

Do:  Practice this with the kids for a warm-up.

Say:  We will all be participating in our drama. Some of us will need to play the role of certain key characters in our story.
Ask:  Who do you suppose are some of the characters in our story?

Do: Assign roles:

  • Narrator(s)
  • Jesus
  • The Voice of Jesus
  • Donkey (to wear a headpiece with ears)
  • Disciples Peter, James, John
  • Merchant(s)
  • Guards
  • Judas

Start the drama!

Scene 1: Palm Parade

Narrator: [Stand at the head of the lines.] Come everyone! We are entering the gates of Jerusalem [wide gesture to indicate imaginary gates]. We are here to celebrate the Passover feast, and look, [Point off in the distance.] Jesus is coming too! Look there he is, riding on a donkey.

[Jesus pauses at the beginning of the lines until the narration stops and the music starts.]

Narrator: Jesus is the one who comes to save us - the one who speaks the word of God - the one who heals the sick, and the one who has performed amazing miracles. Let's welcome Jesus with loud Hosannas and sing praises to God.

[Music tape begins. The kids wave branches, sing, and parade with Jesus about the room.]

[At the end of the music, the bell is rung. Kids raise arms with Praise God, then sit down. Jesus freezes, then sits down too.]

Scene 2: Temple Jesus overturns the Tables

[Cardboard box tables are set up with a white sheet covering. Appropriate props can be placed on table to represent buying and selling. Actors: merchant(s) and Jesus.]

Narrator: Jesus has come to worship in the great Temple of Jerusalem. But what does he find happening outside the temple doors? Its a noisy marketplace! Merchants, salespeople, and money-changers are using Gods temple to sell things, and Gods people are being cheated.

Jesus: This is a place of prayer, not a den of thieves!! [Jesus overturns the tables.]

[Bell rings.]

Narrator: What Jesus did at the Temple made the priests and leaders very angry. They became enemies of Jesus and plotted to get rid of him. They didn't understand what Jesus was all about. They worried that he was a threat to their religion and their way of life. They worried that he was becoming a powerful leader who would cause the people to rise up against the government.

Scene 3: The Last Supper

Narrator: Come let us gather together to celebrate the Passover Feast.

[Instruct everyone to make a big circle around the Passover table. Jesus takes his place in the centre. ]

Narrator: Passover is one of the most important celebrations of the Jewish religion. Does anyone remember what historic event is celebrated at Passover? The Jewish slaves in Egypt were freed when the angel of death passed over their homes, and the Egyptian firstborn sons were killed. Then, after this tragedy, Pharaoh finally released the slaves to let them go with Moses.

As part of the Passover meal, some special foods are served.

[Point out each of the following foods and explain its significance.]
Parsley a sign of spring. It is dipped in salt water as a reminder of the tears shed in slavery in Egypt.

Haroset - a mixture of apple, walnuts, lemon juice, cinnamon and honey - represents the mortar used to make the bricks that were laid by the slaves.

Matzoh - unleavened bread - a symbol of the haste in which the slaves left.

Lamb - A lamb was sacrificed to pay for sin. God instructed the slaves to sprinkle the blood of a lamb on their door posts and the angel of death would pass by their homes.

Jesus gathered with his twelve disciples to celebrate this meal together. He knew it would be his last supper with them before he would be arrested and put to death. He spoke to his disciples about many things, and tried to prepare them for what was about to happen.

Jesus: Don't be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now. I can go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe.

Narrator: Jesus gave his disciples a special sign to remember him by. Today, we call this the sacrament of Holy Communion. Let's celebrate with Jesus. We are all disciples of Jesus.

Jesus: [Breaks the bread] This is my body, broken for you. Take, eat do this in remembrance of me. [Hold up the wine] This is my blood, poured out for you, sealing the new agreement between God and man.

[Pass the bread and chalice to everyone, partaking by dipping the bread into the juice.]

[Ring bell]

Scene 4: Garden of Gethsemane
[Tape with sounds of crickets, frogs, etc. Dim the lights and set up the campfire scene.]

Narrator: It is evening. Jesus and his disciples gather in a quiet olive grove called the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is filled with sorrow and asks Peter, James, and John to stay with him while he prays.

Jesus: My soul is crushed with horror and sadness to the point of death; stay here, awake with me. Sit here, while I go to pray.
[Jesus moves away from the three and kneels in prayer.]

My Father! If it is possible, let this cup be taken away from me. But I want your will, not mine. [Jesus remains in prayer.]

Narrator: Although Jesus asked his friends to stay awake, their eyes became heavy. When Jesus returned to his disciples, he found them asleep.
[Ask the class to pretend they are sleeping; let's hear some snoring too.]

[Ring bell]

Scene 5: Arrest/Trial/the Cross
Jesus: The time has come. I am betrayed into the hands of evil men.

[Judas approaches Jesus and greets him by taking Jesus two hands and saying Hello Master. Then two men grab Jesus, arrest him and leave the room. While this is happening, the three disciples run away.]

Narrator: Judas had betrayed Jesus into the hands of those that wanted him killed. Jesus was taken to the High Priest, and then to Pilate, who was the Roman governor. He was ordered crucified. Jesus carried a heavy portion of the cross to the place called Golgotha, the place where he suffered, and where he died. In the last moments of his life, Jesus prayed to God:

Jesus: [voice from microphone] Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Narrator: When Jesus died, the whole earth was covered with darkness for three hours, from noon to three o'clock. The curtain covering the Holiest Place in the Temple was split apart, the earth shook, and rocks broke.

[Ask the class to stand up and stomp their feet and shake their bodies.]

[Ring bell]

Scene 6: The Tomb

[The stone is rolled to close the tomb. Two guards stand by the entrance.]

Narrator: Jesus body was covered in cloth and laid to rest in a cave that was cut out of a large rock. A large stone was rolled in front of the entrance, and soldiers were commanded to guard the tomb. It was late on Friday afternoon when this was done.

Can you imagine how Jesus friends and disciples were feeling? Everyone was filled with sorrow.

The disciples gathered together to talk about their sadness and to comfort each other. Someone remembered that Jesus had said, In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me. But they didn't understand what it meant.

Everything happened just as Jesus said it would. But Gods plan was not finished yet; the good news was yet to come.

Close with Prayer

Originally posted by member Ardith Knechtel, March 2002.
Updated and enhanced in February 2019 by Carol Hulbert

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

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Easter Walk


As we have twice as many kids on Easter Sunday it is hard to have our regular rotations so We used this "walk" for our Easter classes - it was great - kids really enjoyed it and did quite well explaining it to parents afterwards. They especially enjoyed the Last Supper and communion.
A couple of notes for cheap and easy decorating - I went "dumpster shopping" and found some carpet underlay remnants to use for the tomb and wrapped it around a childs tent - also wrapped some around my exercise ball for the stone and hot glued. For trees in the Garden of Gethsemane I used carpet tubes from the same dumpster with old church fern plants stuck in the top - very effective and quick. Same dumpster also provided large cardboard to make cross (dirtied it up with brown paint) - lightweight to suspend from ceiling

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Passion Week

Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The high and low emotions of Passion Week are relived through creative dramatics as students progress through a 'stations' of the cross journey, sometimes re-enacting, other times enjoying a short dramatic reading.

Scripture Reference:

Mark 11: 1-11; Mark 14-16 (also Matthew 26-28; Luke 22-24; John 13, 18-21)

Lesson Objectives:
At the end of the session the children will be able to:

  • Identify Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the first four books of the New Testament and identify the first books of the New Testament as the Gospels containing the Good News of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
  • Relate the Passion and Easter story and identify major characters.
  • Begin to understand that Jesus died but was raised on the third day for our sins.

Background comments on the story:

  • Note the surprise ending (Mark 16: 8): "So they went out and ran from the tomb, distressed and terrified. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid." The ever-faithful women finally abandoned Jesus, just as the men had at the arrest or trial. Most scholars agree this is the end of the book written by Mark. They disagree whether this end is intentional or whether part of the scroll was lost. (Later copyists probably added verses 9-20.)
  • Consider: "Mark ended his story precisely where his readers were, looking forward hopefully to that coming judgement day" (Ramsay); Jesus will return at the end of the world.
  • Also, "Those who seek, in the resurrection, closure for the story of Jesus and a program for the mission of the church should turn to another Gospel. The significance of Mark 16: 1-8 lies instead in its understanding of the basic life-stance of a Christian: expectancy" (Williamson). "In one sense this unfinished story puts the ball in the reader's court. It puts us to work; we must decide how the story should come out" (ibid.).

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Read over the drama.
  • Gather the materials.

Materials List:

  • Bible-time costumes
  • Palm branches
  • Grape juice and bread (or doughnuts or matzo crackers)
  • Cards with key scripture quotes (lines to read)
  • A cave/tomb (turn puppet stage backwards or turn a table on its side and put a sheet or blanket over it)
  • Table and chairs for Last Supper
  • Hand wipes to wash hands before snack.

Lesson Plan 

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Early arrival activity: put on Bible-time costumes; help set up the stations to be visited; look at books illustrating the Easter story.

Books for sharing before and after class: there are many picture book versions of the Easter story available in the public library. Look for ones with appealing pictures that are well-written, such as
Heyer, Carol. The Easter Story. Nashville: Ideals Children's Books, 1990. (A good retelling of most of the Passion Week highlights.)
Winthrop, Elizabeth. He Is Risen: The Easter Story. New York: Holiday House, 1985.

Introduce the Easter story, reminding the students that it includes the days we celebrate as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. Remind students that the four Gospels are different versions of the same story. We will be focusing on the Gospel of Mark.

Explain to the students, "We will be experiencing the week leading up to Easter with Jesus and his disciples. At each station we will discuss what happened during that part of the story. Some parts will be assigned for some individual stations, and at some stations we will all be the same person, or just be the crowd. As we travel, think about how each character must have felt."
Visit the Stations. (Some stations have mini-scripts to get the dialog going. For others, tell the story. Ask the students how they would feel if they were one of the characters, such as a person in the crowd as Jesus was entering Jerusalem, one of the disciples as Jesus was entering Jerusalem, Peter at Last Supper, Judas at Last Supper, Judas in garden, Jesus on cross, Mary Magdalene and the other women when they saw the angel in the tomb, the disciples when Mary spread the word.)

Triumphant Entry to Jerusalem. Palm branches and hosannas. Take turns parading in and waving (use the attached key scripture card to help get dialog started).

Last supper. Sit at a long table and share "bread and wine;" while children eat, read Mark 14: 22- 25. Talk about communion and how the Lord's Supper is celebrated with our church family on a regular basis. Tell the students about Jesus' prediction of Judas' betrayal and Peter's denial. Take time to answer any questions.

Praying in the garden. Jesus prays while disciples sleep. Judas arrives and betrays with kiss. (Use the attached key scripture card to help get dialog started.)

Courtyard of high priest during the trial. Peter denies Jesus three times before cock crows.
This is a very sad story. Pause for a few moments of quiet reflection after reading the key scripture cards.

Jesus before Pilate (as time permits): read Mark 15: 1-15 (or Mark 15: 1-5).

Crucifixion. This should be a solemn time. Dim the lights before reading the key scripture card.

Empty tomb. Read the scripture: Mark 16: 1-8. Then split into pairs: one person will be Mary Magdalene and the other be a disciple. Mary finally got over her initial fear and tries to convince the disciple that she really did see Jesus. (Mark 16: 9-11)  

Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

  • How did Jesus Christ prove to be our savior? (Belonging to God: a First Catechism (PCUSA), question number 27.)
    He sacrificed his life for us by dying on the cross. He showed his victory over death by rising from the dead. He removed our guilt and gave us new, unending life with God.
  • How do we know that Jesus is Lord? (Belonging to God: a First Catechism (PCUSA), question number 28.)
    After he died and was raised from the dead, he appeared to his disciples, both women and men. He revealed himself to them as our living Lord and Savior. Through the Bible, he continues to reveal himself to us today.
  • What is the Lord's Supper? (Belonging to God: a First Catechism (PCUSA), question number 45.)
    In the Lord's Supper I am fed at the table of God's family. Through the bread that I eat and the cup that I drink, the Lord offers me his body and blood. He renews my faith, and gives me the gift of eternal life. As I remember that he died for all, and therefore also for me, I feed on him in my heart by faith with thanksgiving.
  • Do you think the women ever got over their terror at the angel and his message? Do you think they said anything to anyone? I wonder what they said.
  • In light of Mark 16:8, I wonder what we are called to do? (Do we have an obligation to share the good news?) How can we share this good news?


We thank you that Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed!
Give us courage to share the joyous story with all we meet.

A Journey with Jesus through Passion Week to Easter
Key scripture cards. Make copies of these for the students to use as dialog starters for some of the scenes. Encourage them to enhance and embellish what is included in (and left out from) scripture.
(Adapted from the Good News Bible/Today's English Version.)


People: Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Pharisee: Teacher! Command your disciples to be quiet!

Jesus: I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting.


PRAYING IN THE GARDEN: (Mark 14: 32-41)

Jesus: (to the disciples) Sit here while I pray.
(to Peter, James and John) The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch.
Father, my Father! All things are possible with you. Take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.

(He goes back to the disciples and finds them asleep. He wakes them.)

Weren't you able to stay awake for even one hour? Keep watch, and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

(He goes to pray again. Returns and finds them asleep. Wakes them. Repeat dialog.)

Weren't you able to stay awake for even one hour? Keep watch, and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

(Jesus goes to pray again. A third time he returns and finds them sleeping.)

Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come! Look, the Son of Man is now being handed over to the power of sinful men. Get up, let us go. Look, here is the man who is betraying me!
(Judas enters)



Servant girl: You, too, were with Jesus of Nazareth.

Peter: I don't know . . . I don't understand what you are talking about.

Rooster crows.

Servant girl: He is one of them.

Peter: No, I am not.

Bystander: You can't deny that you are one of them, because you, too, are from Galilee.

Peter: I swear that I am telling the truth! May God punish me if I am not! I do not know the man you are talking about!

Rooster crows again.

Peter hears it, remembers Jesus' words, and cries.


CRUCIFIXION (Mark 15: 33-41) room in darkness

Narrator: At noon the whole country was covered with darkness, which lasted for three hours. At three o'clock, Jesus cried out with a loud shout

Jesus: My God, my God, why did you abandon me?

People: Listen, he is calling for Elijah!

Narrator: One of the people ran up with a sponge, soaked it in cheap wine, and put it on the end of a stick. Then he held it up to Jesus' lips and said

Person: Wait! Let us see if Elijah is coming to bring him down from the cross!

Narrator: With a loud cry, Jesus died.
The curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Army officer: This man was really the Son of God!

Narrator: Some women were there, looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and Salome. They had followed Jesus while he was in Galilee and had helped him. Many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him were there also.

Ramsay, William R. The Westminster Guide to the Books of the Bible. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994.
Williamson, Lamar. Interpretation, a Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: Mark. Louisville, John Knox Press, 1983.

Scripture taken from the Good News Bible in Today's English Version - Second Edition, Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

 A lesson written by Amy Crane from: Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church
Tampa, FL 

Copyright 2001 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included. 

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer


Puppet Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Use handle-bag puppets to enact a modern story of persecution, similar to Jesus’ arrest and trial. The workshop leader will also relate an outline of the betrayal of Judas and Jesus’ time in the Garden.
Note: only grades 4-6 visited this workshop.

Scripture References:

Matthew 26:36-51 (the Garden and Jesus’ arrest), Luke 22:66 - 23:25 (the trial before Pilate)

Workshop Objectives – participants will:

  • Be able to retell the events of Holy Week
  • Understand the importance of the events of Holy Week; specifically, that it is through Jesus’ death and resurrection that our sins are forgiven.
  • Know that even though he was accused of doing wrong, Jesus was innocent.
  • Help the children better understand the social injustices that led to Jesus’ death on the cross.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Write on the easel the following words: “arrest”, “trial”, “guilty” and “innocent”.
  • Write the key Bible verse.

Materials List:

  • Easel with appropriate marker
  • Purple Adventure Bibles
  • Handle-bag puppets; 3 for main characters & several puppets for the crowd
  • The puppet stage 
  • Script entitled “The Crowd” (see references)
  • Scene clapper
  • A ten-dollar bill (play money)

Lesson Plan

Greet your students warmly, introducing yourself and any other adults. Pass around a basket to collect any offering.
[Note: The Shepherd will be quietly taking attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: Welcome to the puppet workshop. In this workshop we act use puppets that are very easy to use. We are learning (continuing to learn) about the story of Holy Week. For today, I want you to think for a minute about these words (refer to the easel).
Ask: What do these words mean?

Discuss the meanings of the words.
Arrest – to capture and take into custody by authority of the law
Trial – the formal examination of an accused person before a judge or jury
Guilty – responsible for committing a crime or an act of evil; deserving punishment
Innocent – not guilty of a crime; blameless; free of sin and/or guilt

Say: Remember these words as we work with the puppets and the Holy Week story this morning.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, thank you for everyone here today and those who are absent. Help us to understand the importance of Holy Week in both Jesus’ life and our own. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

Ask: Where in the Bible would we find the story of Holy Week? (in all four gospels of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

Say: We are going to look at the part of Holy Week that shows us the arrest and trial of Jesus. We’ll look at the Bibles for the scene of the trial, but let’s see what you recall from a previous Rotation about what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Ask: Why did Jesus go to the Garden of Gethsemane? (to pray)
Do you remember from past rotations what he was praying about?
Say: Jesus was sad about leaving his life here on Earth – he was praying to ask God to let him off the hook. He did not want to complete the journey to the cross. However, he did place himself in God’s hands completely when he said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39).
Ask: Do you remember what the disciples were doing as Jesus prayed? (they kept falling asleep)

Ask: After Jesus is done praying, he says to his disciples, “Here comes my betrayer!” Who betrays Jesus? (Judas)
Do you remember how the soldiers knew whom to arrest at Gethsemane?
(Judas told them he would kiss the one to be arrested, and when he saw Jesus, he said, “Greetings, Rabbi” and kissed him)

Say: When Judas arrives to help with the arrest of Jesus, he comes with a large crowd armed with swords and clubs. Now we’ll look up the trial scene in the Bible.

Distribute Bibles if needed. (Encourage everyone to bring his or her Bible every week.) Have them find Luke, chapter 22, verse 66.

Say: You could say that Jesus was actually in three separate trials.
Review the meaning of the word “trial.” (Refer to the easel).

Say: The first trial was before the Jewish court called the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin consisted of 70 men. The president of the Sanhedrin was the high priest, Caiaphas.

Ask students to read Luke 22:66-71.

Have a student read the “Did You Know?” note at the top of page 1159.

Say: Jesus told this court that he was God. Look at verse 70. It is interesting that Jesus used the same words that God told Moses at the burning bush – I AM.

Ask: Do you think that this court gave Jesus a fair trial? (allow all answers)

Say: The Sanhedrin had certain laws that they themselves broke. For instance, no one could be arrested at night, they were to consider each trial for two or three days, and the accused person could not be questioned without someone to defend them.
Ask: Do you think that this court gave Jesus a fair trial? (no)

Say: The Sanhedrin was a powerful court but they couldn’t say that someone could be crucified – only the Roman governor could do that.
Ask: Who was the Roman governor? (Pilate)
Say: So a whole crowd of chief priests took Jesus to Pilate. This was Jesus’ second trial.

Have students read Luke 23:1-7.

Say: Pilate sent Jesus to Herod because Herod ruled over Galilee where Jesus was from. We can say that this was Jesus’ third trial. Herod questioned Jesus but Jesus didn’t say anything. The whole time, the crowd of chief priests was standing there accusing Jesus. Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate.

Have students read Luke 23:13-25.

Ask: Did Pilate or Herod think that Jesus was guilty of a crime? (no)
Did either of them say that Jesus should be put to death? (no)
Who, then, determined that Jesus should be crucified? (allow all answers)

Say: Pilate turned Jesus over to the crowd. They insisted that Barabbas be released. Pilate gave in to the crowd’s demands and sentenced Jesus to die. Jesus was innocent. This part of the story shows the power of mob mentality. Let’s act out another story about mob mentality using puppets. We can do the puppet show more than once, so that some can be in the audience then we’ll switch.

Explain how to use the puppets:
Show the students one of the handle-bag puppets.
Say: We can have lots of fun with these puppets but we need to treat them gently. Like all church property, we will be respectful and careful in our use of the puppets.

Show the kids how the “bag” or body, slips off the rod or handle. Show them how you hold the rod with one hand. Now slip the handle through the top of the bag. Show them how one hand is on the handle and the other hand is in the far corner of the bag – it becomes the “hand” of the puppet. Demonstrate how the puppet can wave, cover their puppet mouth to cough, and pick up something.

Assign parts or have students choose which puppet they want to be.
Puppets needed:
• 3 main character puppets; have 3 people be the crowd.

Enact the story using puppets: Use the script entitled “The Crowd”. Some coaching may be needed for the kids playing the part of the crowd (see script notes).
Perform the show a couple of times, changing parts each time.

Ask: Think about this puppet play we just acted out, and the story of Jesus’ arrest and trial. How are the two stories alike? (they both have people who are unfairly accused and judged, and they both have crowds that seem to control the outcome of the story)

Ask: How are they different? (Marcus defended himself a little – but Jesus said nothing in his defense)
Why do you think Jesus didn’t defend himself? (Jesus was being obedient to God – just as he was in the Garden – he knew that he was following God’s plan, even though it seemed impossible to follow – “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matt. 26:39)

Say: We said this puppet skit would show mob mentality – think about the crowd in both stories.
Ask: Do you suppose there were people in both stories who thought Marcus and Jesus were being unfairly accused?
Why do you think these people didn’t speak up in support of Marcus and Jesus?
[These questions are trying to lead the kids to realize that people in the crowd were probably afraid to speak against the majority – afraid that they would be punished or hurt as well.]

Say: We call this mob mentality because it is almost as if the mob has one mind.
Ask: How do you think the people who disagreed with the crowd but were afraid to say so, felt when they saw Marcus and Jesus being punished unfairly? (they may have wished they had spoken up and tried to stop this unfairness, this injustice)
What might happen if we speak up in a hard situation and go against the crowd?

Say: We might be able to change the situation positively – i.e. being kind to someone the other kids don’t like, taking a stand against discrimination (Martin Luther King, Jr.). This is part of being a disciple of Jesus; it is why Jesus said that he was the way, the truth and the light – caring for our neighbors as we care for ourselves.

Say: For each Bible story we study as Sunday’s Cool Disciples, we try to learn a Bible verse. Let’s say our verse together.

Say the verse together. (Refer to easel.)

Say: Jesus suffered and died for us. Jesus died for us so that we can have a relationship with God. Jesus is the way to God.


  • Hunter, Kurt. Puppets, Kids, and Christian Education. Augsburg Fortress, 2001.
  • Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. “Trial and Crucifixion: Praising Puppets.” 2002. (download The Crowd" puppet script from this web site)
  • Haidle, Helen. Journey to the Cross. Zonderkidz, 2001. (ISBN 0-310-70023-X)

A lesson written by Debbie Houghton from: First UMC
Ann Arbor, MI

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Houghton, Debbie. Lesson set posted at"Holy Week – Puppets." March 2007. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>. 

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Famous Holy Week Rocks

This is a drama concept based on a sermon and a series of children's sermons by Neil MacQueen.  Feel free to add your suggestions. More presentation notes are found at the end.

Perhaps you've never noticed it, but "rocks" figure into Jesus' last days on earth in a big way. 

The following is a basic recollection of ideas I originally wrote as a sermon for one church, and later presented as a series of Lenten Children's Sermons in another church (which explains some of the divergent ideas in each rock story).

For the children's sermon, I kept a pile of various rocks on the floor in front of the communion table (where the kids sat) ...playing with the rocks each Sunday, having the kids help me assemble what I was talking about as I described that Sunday's "rock story."

This could be an "art workshop" lesson or "Lenten Stations" display that kids or families could make and present.  You're welcome to fill in the gaps and add insights. As I wrote this post, more memories of what I said and did kept coming back, so I've added some of those comments/ideas for you to make sense of on your own. ~Neil

Palm Sunday is Good News for Rocky People, dense people, hard people, annoying pebbles, people who don't want to listen (because rocks have no ears), or are afraid to talk about Jesus (because rocks have no mouths), or are keeping their mouth shut about Jesús (God may use you yet) and those who’s faith feels like a big clunkers. The shocking but Good News from Jesus himself on Palm Sunday is that God can get your faith to sing even if you feel like a big dumb rock about the Bible or your faith. You're not beyond hope!  Now some people may not look like the greatest believer or palm-waver right now, they may appear to be a big dead rock, but when God is inside of you, even a rock can sing....(holding rock like a seashell up to ear, have everyone do that), you just might hear a quiet, "Hosanna Hey!" today, which is a great start. (I then gave each student a "pocket" rock with eyes and a smile shouting the word "Hosanna.")


rockinsidedomeofrockJesus in "the Temple Built on the Rock." 
The stone Jerusalem Temple Jesus that taught in during his last week and cleared out the money-changers from, was built on a BIG ROCK.  The rock under the Temple was known as Mt Moriah, also known as David's threshing floor, also the location of Abraham's altar. Today, there's a temple called the "Dome of the Rock" there and there really is a rock under the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount where the Jewish Temple once stood. You'd think rocks this big would last forever, but no mountain or stone ever does. The Romans tore down the stone Jewish Temple a few years after Jesus was gone. They built another stone Temple over that, and now that's gone. Even the rock under the Dome of the Rock -which the Dome was intended to protect- has been chipped away. Jesus said, "tear down this Temple and in three days I will rebuild it."  And upon a new kind of rock --upon this new foundation, a new idea-- he built his church. Our foundation isn't a place or pile of rocks, or even a really nice building like we have around us.  We are built on Jesus and the promise of salvation; those are our rocks.  (As I described all these rocks and temples, I assembled rocks and temples out of rocks, and tore them down, chipped at them, then wiped them out. I then gave each student a bag of sand -explaining that these were once rocks worn to pieces by time. Inside the bag was also a small wooden cross representing the thing that never wears out or goes away: the love of God and presence of Jesus in our lives.)  Pictured: The rock under the Dome of the Rock where the Temple once stood.

rockgethsemaneGethsemane's rocky garden. Gethsemane means "place of the press" in Aramaic, the place where they crushed olives with big stones to make olive oil. (As I told this story, I had the kids help me press some olives between some big stones.) Jesus prayed there on his last night before his arrest -asking God to change his mind about what Jesus could see was coming, that is, his death. You might say Jesus was being fully pressed, between a rock and a hard place just like those olives. And when he felt pressed, Jesus prayed. Do you do that when you're in trouble?  Have you ever prayed, "let me get out of this?" or "don't let this happen!"  That's what Jesus did. Do you know what God's answer was? It was something like, "Do not be afraid. I am with you." And really, that's the best answer we can hear: that no matter what happens, God will not leave us.

There's another rock in the Garden, the one that artists frequently paint Jesus praying on. (I mimicked this pose on a rock).  The funny thing is that the Bible doesn't mention Jesus praying on a rock, but that's how we see him in our mind's eye, leaning, crying on a rock.

Have you ever been a rock for someone like that?  Been someone they can lean on when they are sad or afraid?  Being a rock for someone else is one of the ways we honor Jesus and show his love. Here's a rock to help you remember to be a rock for someone. On one side, draw a tear, on the other, a heart, and put it in your pocket or give it to someone you know is sad. 

The Rock of Calvary, Golgotha, the rocky outcropping where Jesus was crucified, is also known as Calvary hill.  Now if you go to Jerusalem, you can see what's left of Golgotha 2000 years later. It's inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. They have a big case around it to keep people from trying to chip a piece of it as a souvenir!   And in that rock, there's a slot where the cross was placed, the slot which the soldiers slid the cross into to hold the cross up in the air.

Now you might think that being the Rock of Golgotha, the rock where Jesus died, is not a good thing; but remember, he forgave our sins from that rock, so maybe the Rock of Golgotha is the most important rock there ever was!

Sometimes being a rock for Jesus means holding up Jesus to other people --showing them the love and forgiveness that God has for us --even when we try to reject him and get rid of him. When you tell the story of Jesus' death and forgiveness, you are being the Rock of Golgotha. (I stacked some rocks and wedged a cross into them as I gave this talk. At the end, I gave each kid a flat rock with a simple wooden cross glued to it that a volunteer had prepared in advance. We used clay around the base of the wood and gorilla glue to get a good connection.)

Picture of the remains of Golgotha inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

rockemptytombThe Rocky Tomb It is the purpose of some rocks to form walls and surround things, to hide things from view. It was the purpose of a rock tomb in Jesus' day to hide dead bodies from view (and smell), and let them naturally decay. After a year or so, the bones would be moved into stone boxes inside the tomb called ossuaries. When they brought Jesus into the tomb, they laid his body on a bench of stone, sealed the door with a stone, and then three days later, they found Jesus' grave clothes sitting on that stone bench and he was gone.

(I had some rough rocks, and a couple of really cool looking rocks, including a GEODE that had crystals in it which I showed at the end.)

Do we know exactly what happened in there? No. If only those walls and that bench could talk!  There are things we don't understand and are hard to believe sometimes, like how did a dead body come back to life?  These things are like rocks in our faith, big boulders of doubt. HARD to understand. Sometimes it's okay to have rocks in your faith, to be a little dense. To wait and watch and surround and embrace things that you don't fully understand. Rocks are good at waiting-- waiting for God to turn our unbelief into amazing faith. To transform ordinary people like us into beautiful rocks of faith.  (showing the geode and polish rocks).

(I gave each student a polished rock that I had purchased in quantity.)

The Stone that Got Out of the Way.   (The kids helped me assemble the empty tomb with the rocks I had, then  The rock that sealed Jesus' tomb?  It may have been round or square. Matthew says it took an earthquake (rattle of rocks!) to frighten away the soldiers. An angel sat on Matthew's rock as if to say, "ha!"  But if I were that rock, I would have gladly moved when I heard what God was trying to do.  God:  I want to raise Jesus from the dead!  Me:  Okay, let me get out of the way!

Stones are great at covering things up, sealing things away, letting us know there are no shenanigans going on. Stones can also just be in the way, like our stone-hard attitude about coming to church ("I'm a rock, I don't wanna go to church.")    Or being a person whose faith is harsh and unloving, kind of heavy like a boulder, instead of joyful.

Stones are often used as witnesses, too --they can be set up to mark that something important happened!   Abraham and Jacob set up special stones in Israel to commemorate their encounters with God. We piled up the white stones of the Washington Monument to remind people of George Washington. Where are the "monuments" for Jesus????    We are the rock monuments for Jesus. You are Jesus' stone witness, standing strong and pointing out that God did an amazing thing.  (I had round rocks for each kid with a tomb outline and smiley face rock painted on them.)


rockmtolivesAscension from the rocky top. 
 Rocks may not be good for a lot of fancy things, but when you pile them up they are really good at showing off something magnificent. Jesus standing atop the Mount of Olives before he goes into heaven, for example, or Moses on top of rocky Mt Sinai receiving the stone tablet commandments from God.  (As I talked about this, we created a tall pile of rocks.)

Have you ever been to the top of a mountain?  The feeling and sight can make you feel....well, like closer to God. And the mountaintop can also be seen for miles around by lots of people. Piles of Rocks are good at reminding people to look at something important.

Now, is one rock a very high pile? No. How about two? How about a lot of rocks?  Yeah, the more rocks that work together to lift up God's story, the more people will see it. You might even say that the Church, all of us and all these adults, are really just a great pile of rocks lifting up Jesus to the world.   

But here's a secret for you: You can also be "a pile of one."  Every day you can lift up God's love to the world by being forgiving and compassionate. And every day, you can invite Jesus to stand on top of YOU by lifting him up in your prayers. Jesus loves rocks. And rocks like us can love Jesus. (I gave each student a pointy rock and invited them to draw a cross on the top corner.)

Presenting as a drama?
Each "rock" could come forward in the spotlight, either in a rock costume or carrying a rock. Rock costume you say?  Easy!!  Grey garbage bags, a sack made out of butcher paper, a large piece of cardboard with some errant spray paint markings on it. Presentation and lighting are a must to accentuate the "play" aspects. 

Could also be a "rock garden" project or  Lenten Stations of Rocks:
Kids assemble and paint various types of rocks to tell the rocks' stories to others who pass by and read.  You could invite people to video it with their smartphones and share. Teams of students/families could make and present each rock, telling a story from the rocks point of view.

Things I Wish We Had Done
I always wanted to have a rock tumbler tumbling in the Sunday School room so the kids could see how "life in Christ wears off the rough edges and doubts and turns us into a new creation." Would tumble those and pass them out or use them for a rock art project.


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Look at the fun sets that Oriental Trading has! They would be great additions to your story table for a Palm Sunday or Easter lesson. Children can use the figures to retell the story.



Update  The below wooden empty tomb set appears to be discontinued, as it no longer is on there site.


 New 2019  Last Supper (3 Pieces)


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Lego Workshop - Events of Easter Week

Jesus Arrest in the Garden


The entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus clears the Temple: Matthew 21:12-13
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16
Jesus washes the disciples feet: John 13:4-15
The Last Supper: Matthew 26:17-30
In the garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46
Jesus arrested: Luke 22:47-51 and Matthew 26:55-56
Jesus’ trials: Luke 22:63 - 23:27
Jesus’ crucifixion and burial: Luke 23:32-56
Jesus’ resurrection: Matthew 28:1-10

For lesson I used "Events of Holy Week Photography Workshop", written by Carol Hulbert and Chris Nelson from: First UMC, Ann Arbor, MI found here

My adaptation was rather than using Freeze shots of the students as Carol did, the students created the scenes using Lego on what we call "God's Story Table". Below are photos of "Jesus Clears the Temple" done by the students will give you an idea how we did it with Lego.

Advance Preparation:

  • hand-draw and colour a map of Jerusalem (Jesus Last Week), see mine below. I did it large enough to cover the top of our table.
  • in advance I created an "Empty Tomb with stone" and the "3 Crosses" all from Lego, due to the number of scenes and time-frame (see photos below).

Easter Empty Tomb Lego PropEaster Cross Lego Prop


  • Mega Bloks (used for walls of Jerusalem and Herod's Temple, also stacked 2 square blocks, one set to represent Herod Antipas' Palace & one for House of Caiaphos)
  • 2 Castle Bird Houses (purchased at Michaels) represented Herod's Palace & Antonia's Fortress)The Last Supper Trinity Toyz
  • The Last Supper Building Block set by Trinity Toyz (pictured)
  • Lego blocks - to build tomb, stone, and three crosses.
  • Lego Characters - people (men, women, knights (use for Roman Soldiers), Priests, brown horse (used for donkey)
  • Lego Props: knife for Peter, spears for Roman Soldier, table(s) for temple, chest with coin, Palm Branches & Tree blocks, bowl (feet washing),
  • Doves (mini wedding cake decorations)
  • mini toy white sheep
  • mini toy rooster
  • rock(s) for garden (toy or real)
  • Block Tech Assorted Plants and Flowers (compatible with Lego - Walmart) used to create Garden
  • 2 small gray baseplates (one to build tomb on, one for the three crosses to sit on)
  • 2 narrow green baseplate (place greenery for Mount of Olives)
  • Cards to write scenes on
  • Camera and Tripod

Map Study Idea

The map idea would also be great for other journey stories, like Paul or Abraham.

Go over quickly the different areas on the map of Jerusalem:

  • Garden of Gethsemane
  • Mount of Olives
  • House of Caiaphos (High Priest, elsewhere named as Caiaphas, Courtyard…where Peter denied Jesus)
  • Herod's Palace (Herod - Jewish King)
  • Golgotha (place of the skull)
  • Kidron Valley  (valley disciples crossed to get to Gethsemane)
  • Upper room (where disciples gathered for Last Supper)
  • Herod's Temple (Temple courts - where Jesus said to Judas he had been teaching)
  • Court of Gentiles
  • Bethany (where Jesus found a donkey to ride into Jerusalem)
  • Pool of Bethesda
  • Antonia Fortress
  • Upper City
  • Herod Antipas' Palace
  • Upper City
  • Lower City
  • Hinnom Valley
  • Pool of Siloam

Easter Props 7h Jerusalem Story Table Mat

I had the students write on cards places/events they can add to their scenes.  (I found these neat self-standing acrylic holders, called "Card Stands", in packages of 3, at the Dollar Tree. )

Once we'd gone over all the different points on our map, I had the students work together to line a row of Mega Bloks, to create walls surrounding the city. We added a couple of wooden bird house castles, etc. to represent some buildings.


Next you will have the students take turns setting up each Easter Scene.

Lego Time

Below are the steps for each Easter scene, example shown is "Jesus and the Money Changers".

  1. Set-up scene

    you'll do this for each scene. . . .

    Where on the map does the scene take place? What props/characters does it require? (Note: I had all the props on a table behind girls, for easy access, to pick from.)

    Easter Scene 1 Setup

  2. Photograph Scene

    Once they've set the scene up, it's time to photograph it: adjusting camera angle, zoom, as needed, take a few shots, to ensure they get at least one good one. I find a tripod is handy to keep the camera steady.

    Easter Scene 1 Photograph

  3. Final Photo Result for Jesus Clearing the Temple

    Easter Scene: Money Changers
    Location; Temple
    Characters: Lego Priests, People
    Props - Trees, tables, gold chests, gold coins, are Lego & Playmobil. Plastic Doves - Cake decorations. Toy Sheep.
    Background: Sky Flannelgraph (ours is glued to a large piece of cardboard).

    Easter Scene 1

    Above photo has doves in brown box on table.

    You'll notice in the second photo (below), the girls got creative (LOL) and had the doves flying away. The doves had holes in their bases, so they used white paper clips, they straightened, and inserted one end in dove and the other end in Fun-Tak mounting putty.

    Easter Scene 2

Computer Option

Creating a Slideshow Presentation in Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D):

  1. In advance import photos, taken previously by the students, to each computer in Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D).

  2. Assign to each computer group which scenes they are responsible to add voice overs. (voice overs are saved and then attached to photos, by simply dragging)

    Sound Booth Tip - Whenever a group is ready to add their voice to a photo, have them let you know they are ready, then you say "Quiet on the Set!" and everyone stops talking so they can record. When that group gives the thumbs, indicating their voice over is good, say "Action" and everyone can talk again, until you say "Quiet on the Set" again as each team is ready to record a scene.

    "Quiet on the Set!"

    Pictured below, adding voice over in Kid Pix 4 (or 3-D)

    Pictured below, "Thumbs Up Signal" to indicate their voice over is complete.

  3. Then they go to slideshow option, insert their scene photos, add transitions, timings, and any sound effects or music.

  4. Each group can also create an opening slide for their scenes and a final credit page.


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

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