This topic is for posting Video/A-V Workshop lessons, ideas and resources for teaching the story of Esther.

 

 


 

There have been two "go to" videos on Esther:

 

  1. Esther, from Nest Entertainment (30 min)
  2. Esther the girl who would be Queen, from Veggie Tales (30 min)
  3. #7 in the What's in the Bible? series of kids DVDs, "Exile and Return" has 30 minutes on Esther. This 60 min video has two 30 minute parts, the second part of which is all about Esther. It's a  great Sunday School overview and understanding of how Esther fits into the Bible's timeline and Jewish history. It also has a fine section on "who were the Jews" and how is Esther's story about "God's Rescue Plan".  
  4. For older children, teens, and longer class times, there's also the:

    Esther video from the TNT Bible Collection Series (same series as the Abraham, Joseph, and Jeremiah videos Rotation folks like so much). This video is 90 minutes.

    The Book of Esther by PureFlix Entertainment, 2012, 92 mins.

    These videos have 'live' actors, more realistic, and more for an older audience.
Original Post

Stump the Vegetables

 

From an idea originally suggested by member Janet Chisolm

 

Play the Veggie Tales movie:  "Esther, the girl who became Queen"

 

When the movie is over, Play "Stump the Vegetables"

 

Divide into two teams and call players (vegetable) forward one at a time to the front and give them ONE thing from the Bible or Veggie Tales list and have them tell you its corresponding match from either the bible or movie.  Or, recite a line or lyric from the movie and ask them to fill in the blank. Award vegetables such as carrot sticks and celery.

 

 

For example:

 

In the Bible...                                       In Veggie Tales it was...

-----                                                     -----

Sentences to death                              Land of Perpetual Tickling

Are women liked by the king?               Talent contest with winner being queen.

Haman                                                A squash

Mordecai                                             Pa Grape

Assassins to the king?                         French Peas

Read Court Records                            Read Journal

Banquet for king and Haman                Banquet for king and Haman

 

So you might say to the "veggie"
"In the Bible, the Jews were sentenced to death for not worshipping the King. What "land" were they sentenced to in the movie?  Award points.

 

As you preview the movie, write down OTHER PARALLELS to ASK ABOUT. I've only give you a few here. 

 

You might also ask questions about DIALOG and SONG LYRICS as "fill in the blank" questions.

 

As you get near the end of the quiz, ask opened questions more along the lines of "what does the story teach us?"

Esther

Movie Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities: 

The children will watch the Veggie Tales movie Esther and will reflect on how they can and should speak up for what is right.

Scripture Reference: 

The Book of Esther

Memory Verse:

 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)

Lesson Objectives for the Esther rotation
By the end of the rotation, the students

  • will learn where Esther is in the Old Testament and be able to locate the book.
  • will learn that God is always watching over them.
  • will learn that God always helps His people. 
  • will learn that God is in control and that we should worship Him.
  • will be able to repeat the memory verse.


Additional objectives for Movie workshop 
At the end of the session, the students will be able to

  • recognize that standing up for their faith is not always easy, and sometimes involves great risk.

 

Teacher preparation in advance: 

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study, Saturday, ___ at the church. It will be very important for you to attend this study led by ___. Please RSVP to ___ (also let her know if you need child care that morning).
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. 
  • The bin with supplies is located in the Children’s Ministries Office. Purchase or request additional supplies from ___.
  • Preview the video. Be familiar with the places where the video should be stopped for discussion. (Neil MacQueen’s "Two Most Important SHOWING TIPS: 1.) Use the PAUSE button. It’s your most powerful ‘video’ teaching tool. 2.) Don’t be afraid to view an important scene a second time. Kids (and adults) watch movies over and over all the time.")
  • Cue video to starting place (right after the lost puppies audition song). We won't show the opening.
  • Make two sets of cards for the memory verse review game. Write each word or phrase from the verse on a separate 8½x11 piece of paper.


Room set-up:
Students will sit in seats or on the floor facing the video/projection screen.

Supply List:

  • Popcorn, lemonade or water and cups, wet wipes, vcr setup, Bibles, 2 sets of memory verse cards.
  • Video: Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen, Big Idea’s Veggie Tales, 2000, (Available through discount retailers, amazon.com,...) About 36 minutes long.

 



Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction: 

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge.

Tell the children that today they are going to see a movie about a young woman named Esther. Ask them what they know about her story and fill in the rest. Tell them Esther had to do something that she didn’t really want to do. It was hard for her, but she knew that it was what God wanted her to do.

 

Ask them what "hard things" they have to do that they don't like.  How do they decide to do them?

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Scripture/Bible Story: 
Tell the children: "This is a long story in the Bible, and we do not have time to read the entire story and see the video. Briefly, the king of Persia, Xerxes, has selected a beautiful young Jewish woman to be his queen. Her cousin, Mordecai, told her to keep her Jewish nationality a secret. King Xerxes made a man named Haman his chief advisor. However, Mordecai (Esther’s cousin) would not bow down to Haman. So Haman, with King Xerxes’ permission, proclaimed that on a certain day, all Jewish people were to be killed. Obviously, Mordecai is very upset. In our Bible reading, he gets word of this to his cousin Queen Esther in the palace. (Have your Bible open in front of you to reinforce with the children that the story comes from the Bible.)

Read the scripture: Esther 4: 7-17. (Encourage the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses; show them how to use the Table of Contents to find Esther. )

 

Before beginning the video, talk about the differences between the Veggie Tale version and the Bible:

  • there is a talent contest to select the new queen (in the Bible it is based on beauty)
  • punishment is banishment to the Land of Perpetual Tickling (rather than death)
  • peas want to smash king with a piano (assassins’ planned method not detailed in the Bible)
  • Mordecai went straight to Esther to ask her to go to the King for help (rather than through her attendant — he was not allowed in the palace as he was wearing mourning clothes: sackcloth and ashes)
  • everything was happily-ever-after after Esther told King Xerxes about Haman’s plot and he was banished (rather than the King’s decree permitting people to kill the Jews was still standing)


Tell the children: "While you’re watching the video...."

  • notice what the king was like. Was he a nice guy or did he just do what he liked? Is he very bright or a good leader?
  • think about what Haman wants. What was Haman willing to do to get what he wanted?
  • see if you can figure out what Esther feels about King Xerxes and what he feels for her.
  • notice the scribe (Larry the Cucumber) writing everything down. Why is this important?


Pass out wipes, popcorn and drinks.

Start the video. (Don’t dim the lights too much as you will be stopping frequently for brief discussion.)

This is a long video, so we are beginning when King Xerxes is selecting a new Queen (right after the lost puppy audition song). At the beginning of the movie, Esther had gone to her cousin Mordecai about how she could do the right thing when she saw a friend steal an apple — she was afraid to say anything. Mordecai had told her, "You never have to be afraid to do what’s right." Also, Haman dislikes Mordecai, who will not bow to him.

STOP after Haman posts the edict sending Mordecai’s family to the island of perpetual tickling.
Q Why did Haman say Mordecai and his family can’t be trusted? What was Haman’s real problem with Mordecai?

STOP the video after Mordecai’s speech: "I can’t tell you what to do....for such a time as this....you never have to be afraid to do what is right. I’ll pray for you. We’ll all pray for you."
Q What should Esther do? Why? Why doesn’t she want to do that?
Q What would you have told Esther if you had been there?

STOP the video after Esther says to King Xerxes, "I’d like you and Haman to come to dinner tonight." (The first time.)
Q Why didn’t Esther tell King Xerxes right then about the disaster facing her family?

Watch the video to the end.
"Any questions or comments about the video?"

Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

  • What would you tell a friend who is afraid to speak up when she/he sees other people doing things that are wrong? 

  • Can you think of a time when you wanted to do what was right, but you were scared? What did you do?

  • Is it easier to do what is right or what is popular?

  • How can we let God help us do what is right? 



Review the memory verse. 


Divide the children into two teams. Have the teams line up facing each other across the room. Place a set of memory verse cards for each team face down on the floor; one card in front of each player. On "Go" have each team pick up their cards and try to rearrange themselves so that their cards are in the proper order to make the verse read correctly. If the team members are in the proper order and have finished first they win one point, but if they are incorrect the other team wins the point. Continue play for a period of time. 


IF Time: 
Have blank sheets of paper with the words to Esther’s song printed on them:

"The battle is not ours.
We look to God above
For He will guide us safely through
And guard us with his love.
I will not be afraid
I will not run and hide
For there is nothing I can’t face
When God is at my side." 

Encourage children to design CD cover art for this song (using either vegetables or humans -- it does not need to be a scene from the movie, just something that goes with the meaning of the words) or write a few sentences reflecting on what these words mean to him/her.

Closing:

 

Ending prayer: 
God, help us have the courage to always stand up for what we believe. Amen.



Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas:

Older children:

  • Instead of summarizing the Book of Esther as part of the scripture reading, have the children look at the section headings in their Bibles to get a feel for the story. (For example, "Queen Vashti deposed," "Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews."


Younger Children:

  • Do not keep score in the memory verse game.
  • Show the children how you use the table of contents to find the Book of Esther and read the Bible out loud to them. (There may not be time for them to find it and read along, since it is a long movie.)

 


This lesson was written by Amy Crane (amycrane@hotmail.com) for River Community Church in Prairieville, Louisiana.  

 

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

 

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

 

Esther

Video Workshop

for Grades 2-5

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Video: #7 "Exile and Return" Part II

from the What's in the Bible? DVD series

 

Part II on the DVD has 27 minutes all about Esther. It is a GREAT Sunday School overview and understanding of how Esther fits into the Bible's timeline and Jewish history. "Chester Wigget's Popsicle Stick Theater" retelling of the story of Esther is a hoot. (My co-teacher and I laughed more than the kids).

 

Scripture Reference:

The book of Esther.


 

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Preview the video.
  • Gather the materials 

Supplies List:

  • Video: #7 "Exile and Return" Part II

    from the What's in the Bible? DVD series

  • Popcorn


 

Presentation

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

 

Open with a prayer.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

You will NOT need to do much set-up to the video, as the characters and segments do a lot of background on the story, including, some MAP work, helping the kids understand how Esther's story is connected to the Exile and the land of Israel.  It might be helpful afterwards to show a map of the Middle East to recap where Esther's story took place, and the bit about the Exile.

 

Recommendation for 2nd and 3rd graders:  Take a brief PAUSE in Part II AFTER the retelling of the story, BEFORE you get into the last section on the review of the "History" books and how this story fits into God's Rescue Plan. It's good stuff, don't get me wrong, but younger kids will need a pause and discussion before you get into it.

 

Part 2's sections on "who were the Jews" and how is Esther's story about "God's Rescue Plan" is great stuff.  

 

To begin, I wrote out Mordecai's famous line,  "Perhaps you have been put here for just such as time as this" and told the kids to watch the video to figure out why Mordecai told Esther this.  

 

Then we watched the video with some popcorn. (We also "boo-ed" Haman each time his name was mentioned. This practice is also explained in the video. TIP: Keep the boo's extremely short so as not to drown out the dialog!

 

After the video was over, we focused for about 10 minutes on these points and questions, all of which were explained in the video:

 

  1. When Mordecai first came to ask for Esther's help, she refused. Why was she scared to help?  Why are some people scared to help others?  Who helped her get past her fears? (Mordecai).
  2. How did Esther rescue her people?  Was it easy or hard? What could have gone wrong?
  3. At this point I asked the kids to explain the verse I had written on the board: "Perhaps you have been put here for just such as time as this."    What time was it? Who put Esther in a position to do the right thing?
  4. What have YOU been put here to do?  What things have "gone wrong" in your school, community, life, --and need you to be like Esther --to stand up and do the right thing?
  5. As the video narrator points out, the Jews tried to obey God, but kept failing. So God kept sending a series of people to rescue them: Moses, David, Elijah, and now Esther.  Who is THE "Rescuer" we worship?  (Jesus).  
  6. The video narrator makes a point of talking about God's rescue plan which will send a MESSIAH, a SAVIOR to the people. In our class, we discussed the fact that those words, along with the word, "Christ" mean the same thing in three different languages (Hebrew=Messiah, Greek=Christ, Savoir=Roman/Latin).  We asked the kids to come up with an "English" equivalent for someone who saves others from trouble. We came up with "Rescuer"  as in "Jesus the Rescuer" who rescues us from our sins. 

 

We ended with the point that if we follow and believe in "The Rescuer," we are supposed to be rescuers too, just like Esther was.


Note about this Video's Age Range:

 

I would not have used the video with JK to 1st. It's a little fast-paced and the content would be over their heads. Instead, pick a video, like the Esther video from Nest.

 

6th and 7th would enjoy this particular segment in this particular DVD because it has A LOT of humor.


A lesson written by Neil MacQueen

Venice, FL

 

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

 

DVD - “Esther: For Such a Time as This” (New Superbook Series)

 

At school, Joy has to choose between standing up for Bonnie or going with the crowd. Suddenly, Superbook sends Joy, Chris, and Gizmo to a time when Queen Esther chooses to stand up for the Israelite people. This encourages Joy when she faces Janice and the Girl’s Leadership Club.  Lesson:  Be (brave and) ready to do good things. Be the best/greatest for the benefit of others.  (Animated - approx. 28 mins)

 

I have their Abraham and Issac DVD called "The Test" and loved it! (see Rotation.org reviews of the "New Superbook" DVD Series for more details on this series link)

 

Luanne

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