Video, A-V Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching "Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, & - or Zechariah" in Sunday School.
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Mary Magnifies, Magnificat, Ponders, Gabriel, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Song of Joy, Zechariah, Luke 1:26-56, Luke 2:1-20, Jesus' birth, etc. Bible lessons for "Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, & - or Zechariah" -with video, audio-visual, movie, videotape, animated Bible, etc.
The Writing Team's "Jesus is Born!" lesson set is open to all! Matthew 1:18-25 (Angel's Announcement to Joseph) and Luke 2:1-7 (Decree, Journey to Bethlehem, and Birth). Free registration is required to view the Writing Team's Jesus is Born lesson plans --if you are not already a Registered or Supporting Member.
In addition to all our public lesson ideas, the Rotation.org Writing Team has written a wonderful set of lessons for Supporting Members titled: "Mary Accepts, Magnifies, and Ponders." The set includes extra creative Art, Video, Game, Drama Workshop lesson plans (and more). Everyone can view its lesson summaries and Bible background.
A Video Workshop Lesson Plan
The Announcement of Jesus' Birth by the Angel to Mary
Written by Jan Marshall from Brenthaven Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Brentwood, TN
Summary of Lesson Activity:
View scenes from the DVD "Jesus of Nazareth" (Artisan Home Entertainment) and "The King is Born" (Nest Entertainment).
Luke 1:26-55 & Luke 2:1-20
Memory Verse: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed." Luke 1:46b-48
In this workshop, the learners will view two versions of the announcement to Mary and one version of the birth story. They will compare these two, plus compare the videos with the Bible story in Luke.
- Read the Bible passages. The story will be read from the NRSV Bible this month.
- Read over the background material included in your teacher packet.
- The DVD should be in the player, cued to scene 5.
- See that popcorn is popped.
- NRSV Bibles
- DVD “Jesus of Nazareth,” cued to scene 5
- DVD “The King is Born"
- Activity sheets
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs.
Dig- Main Content and Reflection
1. Tell the children that you will be reading the birth story from the gospel of Luke, beginning with the announcement to Mary and continuing through the birth scene. Tell them to listen carefully so they can remember what is read in this version of the birth story.
2. From the NRSV Bible, read Luke 1:26-55, then Luke 2:1-20. Following the reading, remind them that the memory verse is the first part of the poem of Mary. Recite the memory verse together.
3. Tell the children that the class will be watching two versions of the announcement to Mary and one version of the birth story, basically the Luke story. Tell them to watch carefully for elements they recall from your reading of the story and especially to watch for elements in the video that were not in today’s reading. They should also watch for differences in the two video versions shown today.
4. Pass out the popcorn and start the DVD (scene 5 only). Stop the DVD after the scene in Mary’s house (when the scene moves to the marketplace.)
5. Talk about this scene for a few minutes. Ask:
- How did the messenger appear?
- What was Mary’s initial reaction to the messenger?
- Why do you think no one else, even us, could hear the messenger?
- What was Mary’s final response to the messenger’s news?
- What would your reaction be if you received a message from God?
6. Now watch "The King is Born" DVD. Stop it when the star appears in the sky following the birth and the visit from the shepherds. It should be about 15 minutes long.
7. Talk about this video. Ask:
- How was the birth announcement scene different in the two videos?
- How were they the same? (Refer to the questions in #5 above to compare these scenes.)
- What were some elements that appeared in the video that were not in the story? (Some that could be mentioned: the Jerusalem scene and the Herod scene; Joseph and the angel; riding on a donkey; animals in the stable; the term “swaddling clothes” as opposed to “bands of cloth.” There could also be others. Some might even mention not seeing the kings or wise men that visited Jesus. This part of the story is in the Matthew version of the birth story.)
- Was there anything you heard in the story that was not portrayed in the videos? (Mary’s poem, The Magnificat, isn’t spoken in the animated video. It is in the DVD, but we did not show it today. If they are interested in viewing it, it is in Scene 7 of the DVD. There may be others mentioned here, too.)
- Why do you think the videos are different from each other and from the story found in Luke? (Each person tells a story using his or her own impressions and images. Plus, each person tells a story to a particular audience and gives importance to the parts of the story that might be important to that audience. We each remember the parts of the story that have meaning for us.)
8. Feel free to let the children continue discussing the story as portrayed in the Bible and the two videos. Many things might come up as differences in impressions of the story, such as why angels are portrayed differently (some are actually scary beings), why rooms in Bethlehem were so hard to find, what the stable might have looked like, was the place that Jesus was born actually pretty “yucky” with all those animals there, etc.) You should wrap up any discussion by about 10:20 to be able to continue and complete the lesson.
The Spirit of God is not contained in boundaries. God acts in the world in new and fresh ways. God’s kingdom, proclaimed to ordinary people through the birth of Jesus, is a kingdom of inclusion.
Remind the children that the birth story is contained in two books of the Bible—Matthew and Luke—and they tell different parts of the whole story. Today we read the story from Luke only, but most videos, including both we saw today, contain parts of the story from both books.
Show the children the activity pages available. Let them pick those they would like to color, and let them begin coloring in class. They can take them with them, to worship and then home, to help them remember our story today.
Close with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Loving God, we thank you for faithful people like Mary and Joseph and for the gift of your son, Jesus. Like Mary, we are blessed by this gift. Help us to be a blessing to others as we share the good news of his birth and continue his work. Amen.
DVD “Jesus of Nazareth”, Artisan Home Entertainment.
Video “The King is Born”, Nest Entertainment.