Skip to main content

Mission Possible - Special Agent Christmas Rotation

We had a ton of fun pulling off a themed Christmas rotation that focused on the story of Jesus' birth and also let our students take on the role of special agents!  Our boys were especially excited about this rotation and still talk about it months later.

Some of our ideas were modified from other ideas posted on the rotation website but we found that grouping them all together in the "mission" theme gave them a little extra wow factor.

Here's how we did it...

(Summary) Why Mission Possible:

This rotation is part of a 3-workshop themed lesson focusing on the Mission of Christmas. Children are learning about God’s great mission to send His son and they are learning it with a creative “twist”. Instead of Mission Impossible, think Mission Possible! Children will be engaging in special agent activities - discovering how Mary accepted an assignment from God, learning about God’s ultimate mission to save the world and also thinking about what their mission is as current followers of Jesus. 

Setting the Stage:

  • all of our volunteers came dressed up as special agents (suitcases, spy gear, camouflage, black suits, identification cards, fingerprinting kits, lazer exposing powder, etc.)
  • Students each receive a file folder with "top secret" stamped across the front
  • Students received sheets to go in their folders top secret agent folders
  • Students/Leaders stayed in character as secret agents - we even did army crawls and quick running between classes to keep hidden from people passing by
  • Students received secret message decoders stapled on a string inside of their folders (http://www.3dglassesdirect.com...ret_Reveal_Lens.html)

Lesson sketches below:




 

Special Agent Workshop:

We can be special agents for God too!

Supplies:

  • Students each receive a file folder with "top secret" stamped across the front
  • Students received sheets to go in their folders top secret agent folders
  • secret message decoders stapled on a string inside of their folders (http://www.3dglassesdirect.com...ret_Reveal_Lens.html)
  • Special Agent costume photo props
  • polaroid camera and film
  • tape
  • stamp pad (for finger printing)
  • colouring page of a secret agent (not included, do an internet search)
  • crayons/markers

Activity Overview: 

You will be welcoming students to God’s Special Agent Recruitment office where you are the head recruiter. Students will be filling out their own personal Special Agent File and having their identification photo taken.

In your classroom you will find a small collection of Special Agent costume props along with a polaroid camera and film. Students may select any items they wish for their special agent identification photograph (ONLY ONE PHOTO PER STUDENT). Take head shots of each child and once developed, tape them onto their Special Agent File.

There is also a stamp pad in your room for fingerprinting the early elementary - upper elementary students.

Preschool/Kindergarten Notes: 

Explain to this age that Mary was a special agent for God during the very first Christmas. God asked Mary to be the mother of Jesus and she accepted that very special mission. Tell students that we can be special agents for God just like Mary was!! Hand out the sheets that display a colouring page of a special agent along with a secret message decoder. Explain how to use the decoder and have them find the words that correspond with the explanations below. This age cannot read but you can tell them what the words in each circle are.

Explain to this age what being a special agent for God means:

  • We can listen for God’s voice. Have students put a hand around their ear. Mary listened to the angel that God sent her. Explain that we can listen to what God wants to tell us by reading the Bible.
  • We can follow God’s directions. Have children walk in place. Mary followed God’s directions to have a baby and to name Him Jesus. Explain that the Bible teaches us how God wants us to live.
  • We can tell others about Jesus. Have children use their hands like a megaphone around their mouths. Mary had baby Jesus in Bethlehem and she welcomed all the shepherds and angels to come and meet Him. Explain that God wants us to tell others about Jesus too and to help others to get to know who Jesus is.

Have the students begin colouring their pages. As they colour you can have one student at a time come and choose a costume and take their photo. If time allows students can take turns showing their photo.

Early Elementary Notes: 

Explain to this age that Mary was a special agent for God during the very first Christmas. God asked Mary to be the mother of Jesus and she accepted that very special mission. Tell students that we can be special agents for God just like Mary was!! Hand out the single-sided special agent form and walk through the form together by explaining that we too can be special agents for God. Have students fill in the form and then explain to this age what being a special agent for God means (have students use their secret decoders to read each task required for being a special agent):

  • We can listen for God’s voice. Mary listened to the angel that God sent her. Ask students to share ideas of how we can listen for God’s voice (Read the Bible, listen to our pastor, parents, sunday school teachers or others who love God)
  • We can obey God’s commands. Mary followed God’s commands to have a baby and to name Him Jesus. In addition to this the Bible also told us that Mary had found favor in God’s eyes. That must have meant that Mary lived a life that pleased God. Ask students to share examples of God’s commandments. Explain to students that special agents have to do what their bosses ask them to!
  • We can tell others about Jesus. Mary had baby Jesus in Bethlehem and she welcomed all the shepherds and angels to come and meet Him. Explain that God’s biggest mission is to save the world and the way He did that was by sending His son Jesus. God wants everyone to know about Jesus - what are some ways we can tell others about Jesus?

After you have walked through the conversation above and filled in the special agent forms have students pose for their identification photographs. Explain that being a special agent for God is truly a special calling. If students would like to take on this special mission to listen for God’s voice, Obey God’s command and Tell others about Jesus have them add their fingerprint to their page. 

If you have time at the end, consider using some of the questions that appear on the back of the upper elementary special agent form as discussion topics.

Upper Elementary Notes: 

Explain to this age that Mary was a special agent for God during the very first Christmas. God asked Mary to be the mother of Jesus and she accepted that very special mission. Tell students that we can be special agents for God just like Mary was - our mission may look different but God has a plan for our lives too!! Hand out the double - sided special agent form along with some pens/pencils and explain to the students that they must take some time to fill in their special agent form. 

 Have students fill in the form using their secret message decoders and explain that they will be sharing some of their answers with the class at the end. Time is of the essence so they must work fast!

 As students are filling in their forms you can have one student at a time come and pose for their identification photographs.

 After all photos have been taken, gather together and have several students share some of their answers given on their forms.

 Explain that being a special agent for God is truly a special calling. If students would like to take on this special mission to listen for God’s voice, Obey God’s command and Tell others about Jesus have them add their fingerprint to the bottom of the back page. 




Mission Mary Lesson:

This workshop was an adaptation from the following post made by the writing team: 
 
Supplies:
 
All we did to make it mission possible themed was add some red rope lazer beams to crawl through between each station (red yarn tied in zig zags between two chairs), turn on a few strobe/police lights and time students as they went through the obstacle course.  As a souvenir to add to their secret agent folders we also created some secret code labels that they could read with their decoders.  These labels helped to tell the story of Mary's Mission.  I've attached the printable pdf's in case they help you out.  In discussion at this workshop we talked about Mary completing a mission for God and how that mission brought Jesus to earth!



Mission Map Lesson:

This lesson was adapted from another one of the writing teams lessons from the "Birth of Jesus Through the Eyes of Joseph: Geography Workshop" (Moderator Update: this lesson set was retired in 2016 and replaced by an all new lesson set entitled "Birth of Jesus" that includes geography in the new games workshop.  What's great about this site is when we see any lesson or idea improved upon and shared, as done here!) 
 
This lesson provides a brief overview of the Christmas story by placing the story details onto a map of Israel during the time of Jesus’ birth. Our hope is that children can visualize that the story actually happened as well as that thee children are introduced to the geographical setting of many Bible stories.  We stayed in theme by discussing God's great mission to send Jesus and researching where this mission was located and how Mary and Joseph had to complete the mission journey.

Supplies Required:


Presentation

 Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

 Open with a prayer.

 Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

 Introduce Activity:

Introduce yourself and explain to kids that you are going to be researching where God’s Christmas mission took place. Explain that each child will be making their very own map as you discover where God’s mission happened. Map making is a very important skill for a special agent!!

 Preschool/Kindergarten students will need very specific instructions on where to draw their symbols and how to draw them as well.

 Slide Notes: Here are some notes to use as you work through the slides. Feel free to embellish with narrative, questions or discussion. 

 Slide 1- 

  • Intro slide showing Israel during the time of Jesus’ birth 


Slide 2- 

  • Angel visits Mary in her home to send the message from God
  • Mary accepts her mission
  • Luke 1:26-38 (For your reference as teacher, not to be read aloud)
  • Paste an angel symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story
  • Circle Nazareth 


Slide 3- 

  • A Census is called by Caesar Augustus - everyone must report to their home towns
  • Joseph is from Bethlehem so he and Mary pack up and depart to Bethlehem
  • The journey would have taken anywhere from 5-7 days, depending on how well Mary was feeling and nourishment found along the trip
  • People travelled by foot but it is possible that Mary and Joseph brought along a donkey so that Mary could ride it
  • Paste a donkey symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story 


Slide 4- 

  • Once they arrived in Bethlehem, the accommodations were full as many people had already gathered for the census and it is assumed that Mary and Joseph would be one of the later arrivals due to Mary’s pregnant condition
  • They found accommodations in a stable and after Jesus was born He was laid in a manger
  • Upper Elementary: The Bible has several prophecies about Jesus being born. One of the prophecies said that Jesus would be born in the line of King David. That prophecy came true and Jesus was born in Bethlehem - the very same town that King David grew up in.
  • Draw a line showing the travel between Nazareth and Bethlehem
  • Circle Bethlehem
  • Paste a stable symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story 

 

Slide 5- 

  • God marked the birth of His son by putting a bright star in the sky - creation even cooperated with God’s mission!
  • Paste a star symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story 


Slide 6- 

  • An angel appeared to shepherds just outside of Bethlehem (the geography surrounding Bethlehem was filled with pastures) and told them of the birth of Jesus
  • The Shepherds were told to go and find the baby and they accepted the mission!
  • They also travelled to Bethlehem to meet baby Jesus and found Him in the manger
  • Paste a shepherd symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story 


Slide 7- 

  • Wisemen also saw the star and followed it in search of Jesus
  • The wisemen brought Jesus lavish gifts as a sign of His Kingship
  • Upper Elementary: Wisemen didn’t visit Jesus in the manger - Jesus was a little older (maybe even as old as 2) by the time the Wisemen came. Some Bible scholars believe that after Jesus was born Mary and Joseph found better accommodations (a home) so that they could stay and live in Bethlehem for a while as Nazareth was quite a distance away. They stayed until God told them to move (see next slide)
  • Paste a treasure chest symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story 


Slide 8- 

  • Preschool/Kindergarten: A mean king named Herod lived in Jerusalem. The wisemen brought Mary and Joseph a message to stay away from the mean king!
  • Early-Upper Elementary: King Herod lived in Jerusalem and was fearful of Jesus because he knew the Jews were calling Jesus a king. Herod didn’t want anyone to threaten his role as the king. He tried to kill Jesus and get rid of Him. The wisemen brought a message to Mary and Joseph to stay away from Jerusalem and to go into hiding so that Herod would not kill Jesus.
  • Paste a crown symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story
  • Circle Jerusalem 


Slide 9- 

  • Mary and Joseph took Jesus and escaped to Egypt to get away from King Herod
  • They stayed there until God told them they could go home
  • Paste a pyramid symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story
  • Draw a line indicating the trip from Bethlehem to Egypt
  • (Egypt was located beside Israel - it is not shown on this map but you can place the pyramid on the bottom left corner to show the direction that Egypt would be) 


Slide 10- 

  • Once it was safe to come back to Israel, Mary and Joseph made the trip back to Nazareth with Jesus
  • Nazareth is the town that they called home for Jesus’ childhood
  • Paste a house symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story
  • Draw a line indicating the trip from Egypt to Nazareth 


Slide 11- 

  • Jesus grew up in Nazareth and apprenticed to be a carpenter - just like His father Joseph
  • Jesus worked as a carpenter until He started His years of ministry (performing miracles, teaching and leading His disciples)
  • Paste a saw symbol or draw a symbol that represents this part of the story 

This map includes some of the starting events of the first Christmas. It does leave out some details such as the angel visiting Joseph, Mary’s trip to Elizabeth and Zechariah’s, Jesus being presented at the temple as an infant and Jesus’ trip to the temple as a young boy. The map is intended to be an introduction to the geography of the events.

 Have the children take the maps with them. They will be adding them to their “Mission Possible” folder to take home 




 

Attachments

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Add Reply

Post a New Topic
Lesson or Resource

Rotation.org 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. Rotation.org Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service.
Rotation.org 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.
×
×