Game Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching "Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of the Wisemen" in Sunday School.

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Three Kings, Magi, Wisemen, Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh, Star of Bethlehem, Matthew 2:1-18, Herod, Jesus' birth, etc.
Bible lessons for "Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of the Wisemen, Magi" -with Games, Bible memory, Games that teach the Bible, Bible Activities, Bible Books, etc.


Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of the Wise men 

Bible Skills and Games Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Follow the Star quiz and Magi, Magi, Herod game.  

Scripture Reference:
Matthew 2:1-12 and Matthew 2:13-18 

Memory Verse:
"Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2) 


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture and questions ahead of time.
  • Know the answers to the questions.
  • Obtain the Materials.
     

Materials List:

  • Flashlight
  • Star template to go over the flashlight
  • Extra Batteries 


Lesson 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction
Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Call the children by name. Use name tags if needed.

Open with a prayer.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection

Games and Skills:

Follow the Star Quiz:

  • Turn off the lights, make sure the blinds and door are closed to make the room as dark as possible. Turn on the flash light, point it at some part of the room, and tell the children to follow the star.
  • When all the children are gathered at that spot, tell them that the first one to be called on and answer the question correctly will get to point the flashlight for the next time.
  • Ask a question from the list below, then call on one child at a time until one gives the correct answer. That child may now take the flashlight and point it at ONE place in the room (don’t let them swing it around). YOU ask the next question, and the correct answer-er of that question takes over the flashlight. Continue; try to let everyone have a turn at the flashlight.


Questions for Follow the Star Quiz:

  • What town was Jesus born in? Bethlehem
  • Who talked to the magi secretly? Herod
  • Where did the magi go after seeing Jesus? Home
  • Name one gift the magi brought.
    ONE of: Gold, (Frank-) incense, or Myrrh
  • What did Herod SAY he wanted to do to or for the baby? Worship him
  • Name another gift the magi brought.
  • What was Herod’s title? King
  • What did the magi follow? Star
  • In what city did the magi meet Herod? Jerusalem
  • How did the magi know where to go after they left Jesus? A dream
  • What was the third gift the magi brought?

 

Additional Questions if reading was through Matthew 2:18 at least:

  • Who spoke to Joseph after the magi left? an Angel
  • How did Herod feel when he realised the magi weren’t coming back? Furious/angry/etc.
  • Where did Joseph take his family? Egypt
  • When did they leave? During the night
  • What did Herod do to all the baby and toddler boys in Bethlehem? Had them killed.


Magi, Magi, Herod (Duck, duck, goose game):


RULES: Pick one child to be IT first. The other children sit in a circle on the ground (on their bottoms) facing inward. IT walks around the circle tapping heads and saying “magi” on as many as desired. IT says “Herod” when tapping one head, then starts to run around the circle. “Herod” jumps up and chases IT trying to tag IT. If IT sits down in Herod’s spot before being tagged, then Herod is the new IT; if Herod tags IT, then IT has another turn of being IT. (Don’t put kids in the “mush pot”. Anyone attempting to grab or trip Herod and IT, must sit out for a turn.)

Tell the children that we don’t really know how many magi there were. We say three because of the three gifts. So the children can say magi as many times as they want to.

Also, the Herod who was king at Jesus’ birth is not the same Herod who was king at Jesus’ death. The first was known as Herod the Great. His many sons used his name as a family name and ruled at various times over parts of the holy land. Herod Archelaus, mentioned in Matthew 2:22, was ruler of Judea after Herod the Great’s death. Herod Antipas, another son of Herod the Great, was the ruler over Galilee when Jesus was killed. All of that family, however, seemed to be prideful and cruel.

Extra Activity if time allows: “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” puzzle worksheet. 


Editor's note: It appears that this puzzle was made at a very useful puzzle making site: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker/
The particular type of puzzle made, sounds like it was a "Double Puzzle."
To create such a puzzle go to: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryed...ePuzzleSetupForm.asp
Use the info given below to create the puzzle. 


Title: Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?
Enter words, examples - boy child, magi, wise men, gold, myrhh, Herod, etc.
Final word or phrase for the puzzle: Bethlehem.
Numbered or scrambled phrase: Your choice...
There are two versions available, the easier one is "Numbered" - it has little numbers under some of the squares. The harder one is called "Scrambled" - it has circles inside some of the squares, but no numbers to help out the user.
Check the box if you want instructions to appear below the puzzle. 


Closing:

  1. Summarize discussion and what children have learned.
  2. Go over the memory verses again.
  3. Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends.
  4. Offer an age-appropriate prayer and/or involve children in the prayer.

Run out of stuff? Have extra time??

Other Questions to Discuss:

  • What leads you to God? or How have you been led to God?
  • What gifts do you offer God?
  • If you were a wise person what would you have brought? Why?
  • What are the “gold, frankencense, and myrrh” in your life?
    and What do they say about how you see God? And about how important he is to you?
  • If you were there in the Bible story, who would you be? Why?
    A wise man/woman
    Herod
    Bethlehem townfolk
    A chief priest?
    How would you have reacted, if you were Mary or Joseph, to having three rich men from a distant land showing up to look at your baby?


A Sunday School lesson written by Christine D.
Fountain Valley, CA

Original Post

:

Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of the Wisemen
Game Workshop

The WiseMen Board Game

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Journey of the Magi game.

 

Lesson Objective:

Will establish in the children's minds that the long journey these foreigners took to show respect to the new king took time, care and effort.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the background materials
  • Gather the materials

Materials List:

  • poster board
  • coloring markers
  • recipe cards
  • figures to serve as players' pieces. (These can be something like buttons, or even figures drawn on wide craft sticks stuck into plasticine stands.)
    • a die (or 1 dice).


Presentation

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction

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

 

Dig- Main Content and Reflection

 

The Game:

Make your own Journey of the Magi game board using a large piece of poster board. Draw a simple 2-sided path using a circular, hourglass or figure 8 shape. Intersect with lines for squares at approx 1 inch intervals.

Make game cards by writing new moves on the index cards. Here's a simple list of moves that could be written on 12 cards:

  • Forget to bring gifts, return to Persia and miss a turn.
  • You have a fast camel that makes good time. Move ahead 4 squares.
  • Sand storm blocks view of the star you are following. Move back 1.
  • Super hot day in the desert. Camels need more water. Go to the nearest oasis and move back 2.
  • Clear skies for several nights. Good visibility for following your star. Move ahead 3.
  • Herod's messengers ask you to pay a visit. Detour to Herod's place. Move back 4.
  • Good news, Herod wants to see the baby too. Let's you go on your way. Move ahead 2.
  • Camels need rest after detour. Move back 2.
  • Star seems to stand still over certain stable. Move ahead 5.
  • You find the baby, mother, and father in a house. Stop for a minute and give your gifts.
  • You are warned in a dream that Herod isn't such a nice guy after all. Take a secret route out of town without going back to tell Herod anything. Move ahead 5.
  • Prince of Peace brings good news for all. Go to finish and tell all your friends.


To play this game, start pieces at start and roll to next spot, picking up index card with each roll. First player across finish line wins.

You may have to make up 2 sets of game boards depending on the number of children you expect in your class.

 

Closing

Discuss what you have learned about the Magi and close with a prayers. Have the children help you clean up the game before they are dismissed.

 

A lesson written by LD Mckenzie 

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of the Wisemen

Games Workshop
Christ Seekers (Magi) – "Temple Courtyard"

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will play an action multiple choice game to help them remember the details of the magi story.

Scripture Reference:

Matthew 2:1-23

Lesson Objectives

  • Children can name all three gifts given by the magi.
  • Children can remember details from the magi story.
  • Children can sequence events in the Magi story.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the Scripture and Background materials.
  • Gather the materials.

Materials List:

  • Bibles
  • 9X12 posters for each of the three gifts
  • circle to step into (such as a hoola hoop, or a piece of posterboard)
  • note cards
  • markers or pens

Advance Preparation Requirements:

  • Make 9X12 (minimum) posters of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
  • Make a picture of gold coins for gold.
  • Make an incense box for frankincense with smoke coming out.
  • Make a picture of a perfume bottle for myrrh
  • Place the item name under each picture.
  • Place the letter A under “gold”, B under “frankincense”, C under “myrrh”

    Optional: The questions can be put on notecards, which enables you to shuffle the cards and/or put the questions back in the deck to be asked again later, if they missed the answer the first time through.


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction

Greet the children and introduce yourself and any helpers you have.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection
Ask the children what they know about the Magi story. Explain that some of what we know is stuff that was made up by hymn writers, or drama writers, and isn’t actually in the Bible. Invite them to pay close attention to the story as it comes from scripture.

Read Matthew 2:1-23 in unison. Pause after every few verses and ask children to explain what you just read.

The Game

  1. Divide children into three teams (ABC) and give them their corresponding posters.
  2. Read a question.
  3. Instead of calling out the answer “A, B or C” to multiple choice questions, the children with the correct answer will step into the circle with their poster, and call out the correct answer. For example: If the children think the answer is B then the group with frankincense will step in the circle and say “frankincense.” The answer only counts if (a) it is right; (b) they say the name of the gift, not the letter; (c) everyone in the group is standing inside the circle.

    Note that for a couple of questions, there is more than one correct answer. In that case, both (or all) groups need to step into the circle and call out their name.

    You may wish to switch gifts periodically to allow all children to get a turn at “frankincense.”
  4. If the children are just guessing, and don’t seem to know the answer, you can stop, and re-read that section of the story in the Bible.


Life Application

  1. Give each group 3 note cards and, using their Bibles, write three questions (with multiple choice answers) that weren’t covered in the game. Play with these nine cards if you have time, or simply read out questions and answers. Make sure answers are correct.
  2. Give the children copies of the questions and encourage them to test their parents and see how much they know.


Journaling
Three questions I would like to ask the Magi...

To take home
Copy of questions to quiz parents.

Adjustments for age levels and abilities
You make want to rearrange groups mid-game or have teams switch who holds the poster and calls out the answer to make sure one group doesn’t dominate.

How rowdy do you let this game get? This lesson was written to be fun for kinesthetic learners (learn through movement) and children absorb what they are learning through action, even if it appears that they aren’t paying 100 percent attention. In other words, a little rowdiness is expected, and okay, and you don’t have to wait for complete composure before asking the next question. If one child or group seems to run to the middle regardless of the question, then it’s time to slow things down and/or switch groups around.

If you have extra time…
Ask the children to retell the story in sequential order. If they forget something, go back to the Bibles and see what they missed.

Look up the prophecies quoted in Matthew (see background notes)

If time runs short…
Before class, highlight the ten questions you think are most important in yellow, the next ten in blue. After ten minutes of game play, see how far you have gotten. If you’re not as far as you’d hoped, read only yellow questions or only yellow and blue questions for the rest of the game.

Be creative:
How else might you play this game? What if you only have two children? What if the children are shy? What if they’re getting rowdy, and you are afraid someone will get hurt? Here are some game options:

 You could lay the posters in three corners of the room and have all the children run to the one they think is correct. [If the children are hesitant to move, include the shepherd in the game with the instructions to occasionally get it wrong on purpose. The children (rightly or wrongly) will follow the shepherd. Eventually, they may be willing to move without the shepherd.]

 Instead of posters, have children take the shape of the correct answer. Curl up like a gold coin, wave your hands like you are smoky frankincense, pretend to be/smell a perfume bottle.

 Let children take turns answering the questions. Lay the posters against a wall. The child answers by going over to the poster, raising it in the air and calling out the name.


Questions for the game:

1. When Jesus was born, who was king of Judea?
a. Solomon
b. Herod *
c. Caesar Augustus

2. How many magi came to see Jesus?
a. Three
b. Four
c. The story doesn’t say. *

3. What is the best word to describe what the Magi were?
a. Kings
b. Astrologers *
c. Professors

4. What were the names of the magi?
a. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
b. Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar
c. The Bible doesn’t say. *
Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar are names that were created in about the 7th century in the Western church. Eastern Christians have different names.

5. Where did the magi come from?
a. The East. *
b. The West
c. Jerusalem

6. Why did the magi leave home?
a. They saw a star. *
b. They thought the star meant a new king was born. *
c. They thought the star’s location was the place to find the baby.

7. Where did the magi stop to ask about the child?
a. Jerusalem. *
b. Egypt
c. Nazareth.

8. How did Herod feel when he heard about the magi?
a. Worried *
b. Excited
c. Sad. 

9. When Herod heard about the magi, he called together the chief priests and religious teachers. What did he ask them?
a. What do you think about those wise guys?
b. "Where will the Messiah be born?” *
c. When did the star appear?

10. When Herod asked the religious leaders where the Messiah would be born, what did they tell him?
a. "He will be born in Egypt, just as the prophet wrote.”
b. "He will be born in Nazareth, just as the prophet wrote.”
c. "He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote.” *

11. Herod secretly called in the magi. What did he ask them?
a. When they had first seen the star. *
b. What gifts they were bringing.
c. What was the name of the child.

12. After the magi answered Herod’s question, what did he tell them?
a. Go to Bethlehem and kill all the boys two years old or younger.
b. "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.” *
c. Go to Bethlehem and give the child some gifts from me, too.

13. When Herod told the magi he wanted to worship the new king, was he telling the truth?
a. Yes. He was excited that the Messiah had come.
b. No. He wanted to kill the child. *
c. The Bible doesn’t say.

14. After the magi talked to Herod, what did they do?
a. They followed the star until they came to the place where Jesus was. *
b. They went to Bethlehem and asked around until they found Jesus.
c. They followed the star to Egypt.

15. When the magi went into the house where Jesus was, whom did they see?
a. Joseph.
b. Mary. *
c. Jesus. *

16. Which of the following did the Magi NOT do when they first saw Jesus?
a. They warned his parents about Herod. *
b. They knelt down and worshipped Jesus.
c. They gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

17. What did the magi say to the shepherds?
a. In Bethlehem you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.
b. May we follow you to Bethlehem?
c. Nothing. The shepherds are in a different story. *

18. After the magi met Jesus, they were warned in a dream about something. What was it?
a. Not to tell anyone they had seen Jesus.
b. Not to return to Herod. *
c. To hurry away to Egypt.

19. After the magi found Jesus, how did they avoid seeing Herod again?
a. They dressed in disguises.
b. They hurried through Jerusalem without stopping.
c. They went home by a different road. *

20. When Herod found out that the magi had tricked him, what did he do?
a. He ordered his men to kill all the boys who lived in or near Bethlehem and were two years old and younger. *
b. He ordered his men to find the baby.

A lesson written by Lisa Martin from: Trinity UCC
Pottstown, PA

 A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

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