by Leanne Guenther
Sunday School Teacher's Guide - this is the final lesson in the series of Easter lessons. It would also be a great resource to use around Valentine's Day. Use the Easter Bible Lesson Plan for further ideas to supplement this.
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 is just one of the many verses that talk about God's love for us. This lesson will discuss Jesus' love for us, but also ask the question do we love Jesus? Jesus has showed us how much He loved us through His birth, death and resurrection and we need to examine our feelings after the huge sacrifice He made for us. 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 will sum up the Easter lessons, and tie them all together.
The message of Jesus dying on the cross to save us, and then raising from the dead is, like Christmas, very important, maybe even more so. The message is a life changing one, and gives us forgiveness and hope for a future with God. This would be a great time to talk to the children about knowing Christ personally, and asking Him to live inside them. Remember there is no 'special' prayer that has to be said but some important acknowledgments: God loves us, we are sinners and need forgiveness from God, and He needs to become central in our life. Sometimes diagrams work to illustrate the point to older children. There are booklets with more detail at any local Christian store, online, or just ask your pastor. Remember this is the most important decision - and prayer goes a long way!
Make sure you repeat the message many times during the lesson. Send the Jesus Loves You Take Home Sheet or the Easter Bible readings chart 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.
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 the Mini Book, Coloring Pageor you could look at the Easter 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 or 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!
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||Heart name tags, scissors (or adults can precut), crayons, markers, yarn, safety pins or tape.|
Preschool thru Grade 1:Make the Love Doorknob or Wall hanging. The more OPTIONS you use, the harder the craft will be. With this age group keep it basic. The doves in heart template would be a nice option for this craft, but use your preference. The hanging ends up about 2 feet long.
Grade 2 and 3: Make the Thumbody Loves Us craft. For less experienced crafters, get them to make small pencil marks on the paper to help guide them as to where they should be putting their thumbprints -- this helps with their hand/eye coordination, direction following skills and gets the caterpillars to look like caterpillars! At the top of the picture, write "Thumbody loves you, God that's who!"
|15 to 30 minutes
depending on your
|Preschool thru Grade 1: Love
Doorknob or Wall hanging. printer, paper, glue, scissors, ribbon or
construction paper, string or wool.
Grade 2 and 3: Thumbody Loves Us. paper, a couple of tempra paints or finger paints, and a black marker.
Bible Story/Song Time:
All Grades: Sing Jesus Loves Me
Preschool thru Grade 1: Read The Story of Jesus Loves You (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||The Mini Book or Coloring Page 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.|
Preschool thru Grade 1: Discuss what Jesus did to show that He loved you? Jesus wants us to love Him in return. What are ways that we can show Jesus we love him (talking to Him and telling Him we love Him, obeying Him and our parents, being nice to everyone - doing things that Jesus would do.)
Grade 2 and 3: Discuss what it means when we say, 'Jesus loves you unconditionally?' Then talk about how to love Jesus unconditionally as well. (When bad things happen it isn't Jesus' fault, its the sin in the world that causes bad things to happen). To illustrate get the kids to show with their arms how much they think Jesus loves them (they'll hopefully hold them wide open), then explain that, that is how much Jesus loves them because that's how His arms were on the cross when He died for them.
All Grades: For a simple snack make Popcorn Praises. Show the children the unpopped popcorn and tell them that the kernels are like children who haven't found Jesus. Without the warmth of God's love they haven't burst to life. Pop the popcorn. When God's love warms our hearts we burst with happiness, and praises to Jesus burst out of us. We can't help but tell others how much we love Him and how great we think He is. Eat the popcorn.
Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"
|5 to 15 minutes||Brainstorm Board (chalkboard, whiteboard, poster board,...)
All Grades: Popcorn Praises. Unpopped popcorn, popcorn popper.
Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"
Printable version of this Teacher's Guide
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