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Welcoming the Baby Jesus

by Leanne Guenther

Teacher's Guide - this is the true meaning of Christmas!  Also the foundation of Christ's life on earth, and one of the sacrifices He made when He became man.  Imagine a God who can do anything, allowing himself to become a little baby who is completely dependant.
This is just one possible lesson plan.  Visit the Christmas Section for further ideas to supplement this.

Introduction:

Most children know the story of baby Jesus.  Unfortunately, Christmas has taken on a different meaning for so many children (the presents, decorations, Santa Clause...).   I've said this before, but it's worth mentioning again.  When instructing young children, repetition is a positive thing.  Everything is so new at this age that it is helpful to repeat important messages multiple times.  This first lesson focuses on the miracle of Jesus birth.  The next lesson will focus on the shepherds and the angels. The third lesson on the Wise men; concluding with the nativity.

The message:

Preschool thru grade 1: Baby Jesus came to earth.  Jesus became a child just like you.

Grades 2 and 3: Jesus came to earth as a baby.  Jesus came to save the world.

The message of God becoming Jesus is important.  He became a baby, and by doing so, lives life on earth just as we do. He has lived as a child, He knows what its like.  He didn't come to earth as a king, or somebody rich and famous, but was born in a manger.

Make sure you repeat the message many times during the lesson.  Send the Jesus Became a Child Just Like You Take Home Sheet (preschool thru grade 1) and the Welcoming Jesus Take Home Sheet (grades 2 and 3) home with the children to encourage parents to reiterate the message during the week.  It includes a poster at the bottom that the children can color and hang on their wall or refrigerator.

Preview of the lesson:

Some people like to do craft time first and story time second and some like to switch it around.  I like the first option, myself.

Always consider offering a Mini Book Coloring Pagesor you could look at the Christmas Printables for children who aren't interested in participating in the group activity (or if you get done the group activities very quickly and need something to fill in the spare time).  Everyone has a need for "alone time" once in awhile.  Also, sending home the mini book, coloring pages with the Take Home sheet provides parents with much needed help in reinforcing the lessons.  You can make a nice little booklet each week with the take home sheet on top -- I promise that most parents will appreciate the effort! 

Description

Time Allotted

Supplies


Welcome!

Receive name tags.  Have the children use crayons, markers, yarn and whatever other materials (such as sparkle glue) you have available to personalize their name tag.

Sing the Learning our Names song

10 to 15 minutes Manger name tags, scissors (or adults can precut),  crayons, markers, yarn, safety pins or tape.

Craft time!

Preschool thru Grade 1:  Make the Mary Craft.  You need some toilet paper tubes for this (ask your church custodian to save you some), construction paper, crayons, scissors, and something to stick it all together.

Grade 2 and 3:  Read the  Candy Cane Poem.  You can read them the poem first, and make copies for each of the children to take home with their necklace.  This will reinforce the fact that not only did Jesus come to earth as a baby, but that He came to save us from our sins; to die on the cross.

15 to 30 minutes 
depending on your
adult/child ratio

Preschool thru Grade 1:  Mary Craft template, tp tube, paper, crayons, scissors (adult precut), glue or tape.

Grade 2 and 3: Jesus Christmas Necklace, red or white yarn, penne noodles, red & white paint, wrapped 'J' shaped candy cane, clear tape, hole punch, black perm. marker. OPTIONAL:  instead of the noodles, use red & white construction paper.


Bible Story Time:

Preschool thru Grade 1:  Read The Story of Baby Jesus (or read from your own store bought children's bible).

Grade 3:  it's tough to know when it's the right time to start readings from the Bible, but if the children have been read a children's version of the story in the past, I believe this is a good age to introduce the King James (or your preferred) bible reading. 

10 minutes A Mini Book and Coloring Pages can be distributed to the children so they are able to color at home, or during the story.  Or use a page for each lesson plan to have the children color to form a book at the end of the life of Jesus.  Print the pages, staple them together in order and let the kids know when to turn the page.  The handouts can be taken home to color in.

Closing:

Preschool thru Grade 1: Depending on the time remaining, allow the children to brainstorm about ways that Jesus would have had a similar life to theirs (being picked on, having to clean up his room, obeying his parents).  Make it clear that Jesus understands them, because He was a child just like them.

Grade 2 and 3: Allow the children to imagine how Jesus felt; coming to earth as a baby, being mistreated by the very people He created, and then having to die to save us from our sins.

All Grades: Away in the Manger (all children should know this song)  You could also sing Silent Night, a great way to reinforce the Christmas story.

Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"

5 to 15 minutes To end the lesson you could make a Nativity Scene felt bulletin board.  Add to it each week, starting with Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus.  Next week add the angel and the shepherds, etc.

 

Words to:

Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"


Printable version of this Teacher's Guide


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