Skip to main content

I am looking for material for a unit I'd like to do on Martin Luther and the Reformation in May 2003. Any suggestions for art, games, drama, movie would be appreciated! (We don't have a computer lab yet.)

Exchange Volunteer modified title to fit content. Add your ideas by using REPLY.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

It seems almost required to get some old doors and mount them somewhere so kids can NAIL their 95 Theses to them. Describe and teach it as "the place we post our suggestions for change." I'd go for the complete hammer and nail approach.

I've always been impressed with Luther's famous line: "Here I stand, God help me." Stand for "what" seems to be the question. Have you seen STATE ST UMC's new photo at this website of their GIANT Goliath? How about creating a statue of Luther "taking a stand." (There is a famous statue of him doing just that somewhere in Germany). State St used branches and bark. I'm SURE you could figure out another material to do Luther in. I like the monumental nature of this art project. How about statues of kids taking a stand on some of THEIR subjects?

How could you make "castings" of your students on a large scale? One possible way is to have one or two of them lay in a wet sandbox to make a "half impression". Then lay plaster coated strips in the impression and lift out the "half" body when dry. Then colorize/write on the casting and stand it up on a box for display. The newer style cast material forms a very hard cast in just minutes. You couple apply colored tissue paper on top to add colorful touch.

I'm sure there are other "casting" ideas out there. Folks?

<>< Neil

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Luther Ideas

I may be too late...but for those who do a Luther lesson somewhere down the line....(Ours is scheduled to come up in rotation in 2005.)

In the music room you could look at a couple of the hymns Luther Wrote...and then maybe have the kids write one of their own.

Since Luther often put his own words to a familiar tune (making music accessible to the people) the kids could write their hymn to the tune of a nursery song or popular song from today.

Another idea:
Talk about Luther putting the Bible and liturgy into a language everyone could understand. Perhaps you could have someone begin the class session by speaking another language (German, Latin, or something else that the kids don't know.) Or even sign... And use it as a discussion starter about how it's important that we use our own words when we tell the story of Jesus to others so they will understand.

Perhaps this could lead into a lesson on evangelism. (Did I just say the "E " word?!?!) or stewardship of our time.

I'd also check out what Thrivent Financial has to offer. (Formerly Lutheran Brotherhood and Aid Association for Lutherans) They often have resource material available for free.

You might also contact Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque Iowa. Their campus is actually set up to look like the building in Wartburg Germany and they boast a prominent statue of "Marty" out front. Someone from their campus may even be able/willing to do a presentation about the seminary to your junior and senior high kids, as well as provide you with information about Wartburg and some other historical information.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Shrinky Dinks

We just finished a unit on Luther. For an art project, we made "Shrinky Dinks" of Luther's rose. This was his coat of arms that he designed, using colors and symbols with specific meanings. (We found bookmarks with the rose and an explantion of its design at creativecommunications (no longer available) do a search for "Martin Luther's Seal Reformation Bookmark" (comes in a pkg of 25).

Moderator adds: Another idea see here scan down and look for "Gather up your crayons or markers and have your child color the Luther Rose. "

Last edited by Luanne Payne


We are doing a rotation on Martin Luther this spring. I was given a skit that can be found at http://www.synodresourcecenter...1/martin_luther.html called Martin Luther Comes to Hope Lutheran. It is a skit originally designed for Junior High Youth but I am going to be adapting it for elementary.

Ethelyn Christopher

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

This year we will be interviewing Martin Luther for Reformation Sunday. I purchased a monks costume and will ask one of the men in the congregation to dress us as Luther. Below is the interview that will be done. I supplied both the teacher and the actor with additional background information on Martin Luther and the Reformation period in history.

An Interview with Martin Luther

Leader: Today we are going to talk with a very important person in the Lutheran church, his name is Martin Luther. The time that he lived in was called, “ The Reformation”. That is a big word that comes from the smaller word – reform. The word reform means to change. We’ll talk more about that after our interview with Mr. Luther.

Enter Martin Luther

Leader: Good morning, Mr. Luther.

Luther: Good morning and good morning, children.

Leader: Mr. Luther we would like to hear more about the Reformation and your part in it. Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

Luther: Sure, I was born in 1483 in Saxony. My father was a miner and foundry owner. I was a very good student in school. My father wanted me to be a lawyer so I decided to go to Law School.

Leader: What was is like in Saxony at that time?

Luther: Well it was not a good time – many had died because of the Plague, a very serious illness. Many of us lost loved ones. Death seemed to be everywhere.

Leader: That doesn’t sound good at all.

Luther: Yes it was very bad.

Leader: How did you become a monk? You were studying to be a lawyer, right.

Luther: Yes I was studying to be a lawyer. Until one day a flash of lightening struck me to the ground. It scared me so badly that without even talking to my father I decided to become a monk in the Catholic Church.

Leader: Wow, I bet that was scary. So happened next?

Luther: Well, because of my near death experience I began to have feelings of not being good enough. I knew that if I died that very minute that I would not be able to stand before God and to go heaven. I knew I would be judged and found guilty of sin. I tried everything to feel good enough. I climbed the Scala Sancta - 28 stairs!! The custom, in my day, was to kiss each stair in order to release a soul from purgatory. But when I reached the top I discovered that I was still in doubt of my worthiness.

Leader: But are we all sinful, right? How can any of us not be found guilty?

Luther: That is when I began to read the Bible and I learned much.

Leader: Tell us what you learned, please.

Luther: I found that man, us, is sinful and can do nothing about our salvation, but Jesus can. He died to save us - we can be saved, or justified, by faith alone nothing more.

Leader: Wow that is great news!!

Luther: Yes it is. The Catholic Church during my time was teaching that we could do “things” or “stuff” to get ourselves into heaven but the Bible teaches us that faith in Jesus is the only path to heaven.

Leader: But shouldn’t we do things or good works or something to please God?

Luther: Oh, yes, we should - I am not saying that you shouldn’t. It is out of love for God that we want to serve Him and do good works. But we can’t rely on these works to open the door heaven for us. Only faith in Jesus can do that.

Leader: I bet the people of your time did not like what you were saying did they?

Luther: No they did not. I had to hide in a castle for a whole year they were so upset but God was there beside me keeping me safe the whole time.

Leader: A whole year, wow. So what did you do in that castle for an entire year?

Luther: Well I wrote many papers and I even translated the New Testament in to German so everyone could read it before this it was only written in Latin.

Leader: You kept pretty busy then.

Luther: Yes I did. So may I ask the children a question?

Leader: Yes you may

Luther: Thanks, so children how do we receive the gift of heaven?

Children: By believing that Jesus died for our sins. (you may need to help them with this)

Luther: That’s exactly right

Leader: Well, Mr. Luther we realize that you are a very busy man so we will let you get back on your journey. Thank you so much for taking the time to come and visit with us today.

Luther: Well you are very welcome. Thank you for letting me come in talk to the wonderful children here at Solid Rock Lutheran.

Leader: Let’s tell Mr. Luther thank you coming to visit us today

Children: THANK YOU !!

Luther exits the building through that back door downstairs.

Leader: Many things changed during Martin Luther’s time. Can anyone tell me some of those changes or reforms were?
There are many different answers to this question

1. how people believed
2. their faith in Jesus
people began to believe that Jesus was the only way to heaven
2. Works were still important but a way to heaven
3. People began to read the Bible in a language they could read

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Reformation Day Party

We did a reformation day party in lieu of a Halloween party and had all kinds of Martin Luther games.

Pin the 95 on the door (blindfolded)
Build the church relay (with shoeboxes)
Make Luther Seals shrink art - big hit!
Gummy worm games

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Now that the Luther movie is in video form, parts of it might be viewed. Have you made your lesson plans yet? Please post!

I just ordered from Creative Communications for Lutheran (1-800-325-9414) the following items that look really terrific in addition to the bookmarks mentioned above:

  • Life-size Stand up Martin Luther (no longer available)
  • Booklet "Martin Luther! God loves You" for grades 3-8 (ML8, 2 to 99, 99¢ ea.)
  • Teacher guide for the booklet (ML-2, $3.99)

  • DVD of "Martin Luther! God Loves You" (Vision Video's website)
  • "Adventures of Martin Luther" by Carolyn Bergt, Concordia. (no longer carried on site - try Concordia Publishing House website).
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Shrinky Dinks


Shrinky Dinks are farely simple. You can create a template or picture on a white sheet of paper and then run the shinky dink sheets through the copier rough side up.

PLEASE NOTE *** this will heat up your copy machine so only do 2 - 3 at a time. Wait for 5-10 minutes than run a few more (learned this the hard way). This may seem like a pain, so you could use a rubber stamp, if you have one.

Punch any hole before shrinking.
Colored pencils work best for coloring.
Place them colored side up on white baking paper and then on a cook sheet.(local bakery gave us 20 sheets of white paper)
Bake 3-5 minutes at 375 degrees. You are just better off to watch them continuosly for the first 2-3 batches, because each oven cooks a little differently. For me the oven at church cooked a lot slower that our home oven.
You will see the shrinky dinks curl up - shrink - then flatten. Remove immediately after they flatten. If they are a little curled press down with spatula immediately after removing.
Shrinks to about half the original size.

HINT*** don't have the original shape more than 4-5 inches, as it curls in the oven it could stick to itself if it is too big and might not release

There are instructions in the box, but they don't tell you all the nuainces you run into.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Luther Ideas

My kindergartener is learning to count. Having this age group count out nine groups of ten and then 5 to help them understand how many 95 is is an idea.

How about children making a newspaper or magazine page layout explaining one of the complaints in an eye-catching manner?

You could make recycled paper (for your scroll) using leftover paper. (Lots of paper making techniques around).

Luther was really inviting people to a debate, so for a drama lesson, at least with older kids, you could have a debate about one of Luther's issues, or one of the issues in your church with different children assigned to opposing points of view.

You could project an image of Luther using an overhead projector, trace onto large piece of paper, and then work as a group to paint or otherwise fill in the outline. [Not sure that I'd want a giant Luther head around ??]

Have the children work in teams to create a 95 Theses game board for a set of questions that either you prepare or they make up.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

More posts moved here...

Posted by Rachel H on June 22, 2009

Martin Luther Background

Martin Luther was a true hero in every sense of the word. Over 500 years ago, Martin Luther said these words, “Here, I stand,” Martin Luther stood for his faith and stood out for God.

He was born in Germany in 1483 to Hans and Margaret Luther, and baptized the next day – St. Martin’s Day – which is how he got his name. Martin was seen as a gifted child right away. He began school at the age of 4 ½. He received much education and was going to become a lawyer.

Then, he was frightened in a lightning storm and promised God he would join the church and become a monk. At the time the Catholic Church was telling people that you could give an offering, called an indulgence, in order to receive the forgiveness of your sin. The bigger the sin, the more money you were expected to give.
Martin Luther eventually stood up against the Catholic Church and its leader, the Pope. He said that the Bible he read told him we can’t earn or deserve God’s forgiveness. But, because Jesus died on the cross for us, we can receive forgiveness by grace, through faith, in Jesus.

The Emperor of the time, Edward V, wanted to talk to Luther so he called him to the town called Worms. There he had all of Luther’s books and asked him to recant, or take back, all he had written about the church. Luther didn’t realize he was going to Worms to be on trial, but he wouldn’t take back what he had written. The Emperor called him a “devil”.

Luther began what was called the Protestant movement to protest what was going wrong in the church. Eventually, he began the Lutheran church. To protest, Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church doors at Wittenberg. He did this on October 31, 1517. We refer to this day as Reformation Day. Reformation means change. This day changed the world.

Because he stood for his faith. Luther was even threatened with death. He hid for a year at a place called Wartburg Castle. While he was there, Luther translated the Bible from Latin, Hebrew and Greek into the everyday language of the German people. That had never been done before. Luther also wrote many church hymns, including “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. He also wrote 25 books and the small and large catechism to help teach people the basics of the Christian faith, such as the Ten Commandments, the Apostles Creed, and the sacraments.

Luther was married to a wonderful lady named Katie, and together they had 6 children. They also took care of many nieces, nephews, and foster children.

Luther created a symbol of his faith, or theology, known as Luther’s Seal or Luther’s Rose. It is designed with a

  • White rose which stands for trust in Jesus.
  • The black cross in the center reminds us that Jesus died on the cross for us.
  • The red heart reminds us that God gives us life.
  • The blue background symbolizes everlasting life in heaven
  • And the gold circle around the outside shows how God’s love has no beginning and no end.
  • Sometimes we see green leaves surrounding the white rose to show that God helps all things live and grow.

In early 1546 Martin Luther traveled to Eisleben, the town where he had been born. While he was there he caught a chill and died.

Without Luther there would be no Lutheran church. Without Luther we wouldn’t be able to read the Bible in our own language. Without Martin Luther we might not know that we are made right with God by grace, through faith, in Jesus. Who knows how far wrong the church would have gone if Martin Luther hadn’t stood up for his faith. Will you stand up for your faith, too?

Posted by Cathy W on June 07, 2010
I would appreciate some ideas for our Reformation program, which will be happening in October.

Our church does not do a Christmas program every year; instead, we do programs at various times in the church year. We have done Christmas, Epiphany, the Last Supper. Next fall, we are doing a Reformation program. We are Lutheran, so the main focus will be Martin Luther.

We do not do a stand-alone program. Instead, we are a part of the second service. Our part of the service lasts 15-20 minutes. Generally, we sing 2 songs (one for younger kids, one for older), do some sort of short drama/skit, and do "something else". In the past, the something else has included: a choral reading of the Bible story (Last Supper), a candle-lit procession with readings (Epiphany) and a Christmas poem--with each line starting with C, then H, then R....

The only time we rehearse is during Sunday School (which lasts 45 minutes). We take 3-4 Sundays to prepare for the program and then present it at the second service that last week.

I know it is early, but I am trying to get as much done this summer, especially since rehearsals will start in September!!


Last edited by Luanne Payne

Well, I think singing A Mighty Fortress would be a given! 

I am wondering if there are not some denominational resources you could tap for a skit?
I am picturing the 95 theses and the door- perhaps you could have a group of children who would each represent ONE of the theses- and each child could be brought forward in front of a door and "proclaim" his/her part? You would obviously not be able to do all 95! The kids might be wearing black turtle necks and pants.

I am also picturing other kids using dowel rods to represent the door.

I am not sure what your space looks like, but maybe that will spark something for you.

I would also check out a great source for skits etc that are free.

Or, you could consider having a "trial" and present the story that way?

I hope you let us know what you come up with!
Jan S

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Hey Cathy,
Interesting request!
You could invite me to come, I'm related to Martin Luther (true story). Big Grin

I assume we're talking about a program done by the kids?

Why not do a narrated paegant of his Life. There are lots of interesting things about him. You could have the kids dress up as the different people, one person play Luther at various stages and places in his life. Luther breaks into the narrator's patter at key points saying "Lutheran" things from that period of his life. (Luther decides to become a monk: "Cracck Rumble Rumble OK! I'll become a monk!" Kid in crowd: "Diet of Worms? Yuck")

For a nice short overview, start at

Gosh we could really have some fun with this. Maybe you should post a script and we could work on "punching it up" here.

<>< Neil

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Reformation Rotation

Emmanuel Reformed (RCA) (a rotation newbee) is also doing a Reformation Rotation. We will be doing 3 weeks -

Art we will be doing the coats of arms as suggested in one of the other workshops. You can also do an internet search for Martin Luther Coat of Arms for ideas. This will give the kids an opportunity to question values of the world and Christian values.They will understand how the Bible guides us to develop and stand fast to God- like values.

Drama we will have a visit from John Calvin. Our children will have press passes and questions to ask. They will have a copy of the interview with words deleted that they will insert pictagram stickers we made. They will understand from the interview the courage and cost of standing up for God's word.

Worship/Mission Workshop will take us to Nigar, Africa by cellphone and speaker phone.( We will not use SKYP as it is not reliable between the mission and upstate NY.) In this workshop the youngsters will understand how the reformers are still affecting us in the 21st century.

Rose Ann Ferris - Christian Ed. Cord.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Object Lesson Idea

Sorry I'm so late posting this. We do a different Reformation lesson every year as a break from our rotations. One year, we had a visit from "Martin" himself. Last year we passed out Bibles in various languages EXCEPT in English and asked children to read passages. When they couldn't, the leader said, "That's okay. I can tell you what it says." She then proceeded to make up ridiculous statements, like, "It says you should stand on one foot, hop, and cluck like a chicken." After a few laughs, we talked about how important it is to read Scripture for ouselves, and how a large part of the Reformation was getting the Bible into the hands of the people so they could read about God's grace for themselves.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Add Reply

Post a New Topic
Lesson or Resource Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author are referenced. Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. is rated5 stars on Google based on 51 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!

Link copied to your clipboard.