Monday, February 4, 2013

The Mystery of Easter

Hi Godly Play Teachers!
Welcome to The Mystery of Easter, our lesson for February 10.

This lesson gives us a wonderful way to help the children remember that Easter "turns everything inside out and upside down" and that as we enter Lent and study each Sunday who Jesus grew to be, we should be on the lookout for God to show us unexpected things. The Mystery of Easter reminds us that Easter, as our faith's biggest celebration, is full of God's mystery and joyful surprise.

Though it doesn't focus on a particular Bible story, I think it's worth giving this lesson a whole Sunday morning because it both signals to the children that Lent is beginning and reminds the kids what Lent is all about. When we announce Lent and usher it in, we allow the children to realize what an important time it is--and hopefully they'll wonder what they can do to make it special to them.

A great way to begin this lesson is by changing the color of the felt underlay underneath the holy family to purple, since this is the First Sunday of Lent. This also segues well into the lesson script, "Now is the time for the color purple..."

Ideas for the Make A Gift For God Time
We have ideas just for this Sunday's response time and also ideas that can last through Lent.
Projects to Last Through Lent
I love the idea of individual or class projects that can be added to and worked on over the entire Lent period, allowing kids to go back to them each week as they like, in addition to any other projects they want to do on  a certain Sunday.

Here are two ideas for the whole season of Lent that I hope you might consider:
1. A Cross, with blocks to illustrate each week's lesson about Jesus

You could do this many different ways.

What I did here is to take the biggest construction paper we have ( 12" x 18", I think) and made a pattern of a cross, which looks uneven because the copier cut the top off. Sorry! Then I sectioned it off into blocks. The kids could make their illustrations on squares of white paper the same size of the squares and glue them on, or they could draw directly on the cross. I would suggest they use the white paper, so they don't have the urge to throw the whole thing away if they make a mistake or are unhappy with one block.

The words are just to show you where you might put the different lessons. The children could choose to write captions or not.

It would be really cool if the crosses could be in purple, and then on Easter they could make one illustration on a matching white cross and glue it to the other side. Then it would remind them of this particular lesson.

2. A Jesus Tree.
You might have heard of a Jesse tree, like this one here, sort of like our Chrismon tree which we use to celebrate advent.
For Lent, why not make a Jesus Tree, with ornaments representing our lessons as we get closer to Easter?
I've purchased trees from Improvements, which y'all can use, if you like. I'll put them in your rooms. You may want to have your class figure out how to cover the star with something Easter-y.

See Rebecca's blog, to see her ornaments, below. They're great!
I can buy you some tags to make some like these with if you let me know ASAP!

Look here and here for finished ornaments sold on etsy. The children could easily make their own versions of these! You can see some ornaments made out of felt here and here and here.
If children need help thinking of what to make for their ornaments, here are some suggestions:

Feb 10, The Mystery of Easter: A cross

Feb 17, Jesus' Birth and Growth and Presentation in Temple: Doves, Manger, Holy Family, shepherds, angels, kings, donkey, etc

Feb 24, Jesus Lost and Found: scrolls, Temple, Mary and Joseph

March 3, Baptism and Blessing: doves, Jesus himself in the water, John the Baptist

March 10, Desert Experience: Bread, stones, an angel, mountains

March 17,Jesus as a healer and parable maker: person being healed, Jesus's hands, anything from the parables-bread, shepherd, mustard seed, the Good Samaritan, pearl, seed packets

March 24, Jesus Offers Bread and the Cup: chalice, bread, palms, table

March 31, Easter: Children could make a cross out of white construction paper and make it beautiful with illustrations or cut out pictures of flowers from magazines and glue it to the back of their cross. If they wanted to make ornaments for the Jesus tree, they could make crosses, or the stone from the tomb, or Easter Eggs. (Come to think of it, this would be a great time to do the Romanian eggs--or any kind!)

Projects Just for This Sunday

Children could make crosses.
Here are a few kinds:
1. Mosaic Cross. Cut a cross from fun foam and then cut bits of fun foam of other colors to glue on the cross to create a mosaic effect.
2. Suncatcher crosses: we have 30 or so in the resource room. And paint too.
3. Stained Glass Cross:
Using a pattern, have the kids cut two identical cross shapes from waxed paper. Then use a plastic knife and scrape old crayons into shavings of various colors. Spread the crayons on one of the wax paper crosses.  Then place the second waxed paper cross on top. Have an adult use a warm iron to press the two pieces of waxed paper together. Attach a hanger and hang in the sun!
4. Make a "Magic Cross" as shown here.

Hope this helps you. Enjoy!

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