Sunday, March 31, 2013

Holy Week

Last week was very special because I had the opportunity to teach my 5th graders about Holy Week and the Easter story.  At the Christian school where I teach, every grade level focuses on the Easter story in some way.  For the past few years, I've shown the JESUS film during Holy Week, along with my lessons, and it's been quite powerful. 
The movie is kind of old (1979), but the kids enjoy it and we follow along in the book of Luke as the film is narrated.  The movie is two hours long, so we watched 30 minutes each day and then concluded with an Easter craft on Friday morning (we had a half-day).

Here are snapshots of the lessons I taught throughout the week:

Day 1 Lesson--The Triumphal Entry
  • I reminded students that Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus's arrival into Jerusalem.
  • Scripture focus:  Matthew 21:1-11
  • Essential questions:  "What makes Jesus different from every other religious leader in history?"  "What makes him different from every other human being in history?"

Day 2 Lesson--The Last Supper
  • We focused on the betrayal of Jesus and the last supper He and His disciples shared together.
  • Scripture focus:  Matthew 26:1-30 and John 13:1-20
  • We discussed how, in John 13, Jesus's act of washing the disciples' feet during the supper was a great example of selfless service.  We, as Christians, are to remember this act and humble ourselves, giving generously to (and serving) others.

Day 3 Lesson--The Garden of Gethsemane (Jesus Prays)
  • We read about how Jesus predicted Peter's denial as well as how Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
  • Scripture focus:  Matthew 26:31-46
  • Discussion questions:  "In verse 39, is Jesus saying he doesn't want to die?  Why do you think He asked God to 'remove this cup from me'?"  "What does it mean, in verse 39, when Jesus says, 'Yet not as I will, but as you will'?  How is this a good model prayer for us?"

Day 4 Lesson--The Crucifixion
  • We read about Judas's betrayal, Peter's denial, and Jesus's crucifixion.
  • Scripture focus:  Matthew 26:47-27:66
  • We discussed how the crucifixion of Jesus is a difficult thing to imagine.  Even though it makes us sad to think about, we can see from the scripture how much God loves us.  As Jesus died on the cross, He forgave those who were persecuting Him.  As Christians, we should forgive those who hurt us.

Day 5 Lesson--The Resurrection
  • We read the best part of the story--how Jesus rose from the grave!
  • Scripture focus: Matthew 28:1-20; 1 Corinthians 15:12-58
  • We discussed how significant the resurrection is.  In no other religion has a "god" raised himself from the dead.  Jesus triumphed over sin and death and He has the power to take us to be with Him when we die. 

I do a different Easter craft each year and this year it was sand crosses from Oriental Trading.  ;) 
The students really liked this craft and I liked the fact that they could do it on their own with very little assistance from me!  They each turned out differently but they all looked great. 

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!  He is Risen!

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