Archived Teaching with the Bible Topics  
Activities
 

This web-site is for everyone interested in learning more about the Bible.

In all likelihood, many of you have an established curriculum in your Sunday schools. Our goal is to augment your lessons with additional information. In April, the Activities section will review the passion week, the resurrection, the activities during Jesus’ 40-day life instruction class before the ascension, and Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.

The entire Activities section is divided into Memory Work, Activities, Discussion Questions, and Assignments. You can go to any of these sections and select what best works for your pupils. March is a good month to show how Jesus lived the golden rule.

   
 

MEMORY WORK

   
 

Teachers and Parents

It is so important to encourage our little ones as well as ourselves to memorize Bible verses and stories – to become so familiar with the passage or story that its timeless relevance appears to us more and more clearly with every retelling. A major difference was evident between Sunday school pupils required to tell the story versus those who gave nodding recognition to the same story. Last year I asked three third graders to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. They couldn’t. After working with them to learn to tell the story in their own words and share it with family, friends, and our nursery children, they not only could tell the story at Christmas last year, but they remembered it without prompting. We can not overlook the significance of memorizing a verse or story.

Consider sharing with your Sunday school pupils and parents how to help little ones learn the verse and understand the impact of the message on their lives.

  1. Write out or type this week’s Bible verse on a card and place it on a mirror the child uses each day.
  2. Place the verse for the week in his/her lunch box.
  3. Ask the child to recite the verse before or after grace at the dinner meal.
  4. Practice as a family at dinner, going around the table with each one saying a word until the verse is complete.
  5. Put the verse to music. Create your own tune for each Bible verse. Create pictures to help remember the verse.
  6. Write it in a Bible verse notebook as many times as you can.
   
 

Bible Verses

Work with your child and your students to learn each verse. Then, discuss the meaning of the verse and how it can be applied to our everyday lives. On Sundays during class, riding in the car, or at dinner, it's fun to share stories of how the children have used the verse in their lives that week.

We provide memorization verses for each week. You can add your own.

Sunday April 2 Rom 8:38,39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Why would anyone feel separate from God?
  • How do you maintain your oneness with God?
  • Make a list of the kinds of things each word represents. Ex: powers = terrorists, horoscopes, drug dealers, media, advertising, etc.

Sunday April 9 Luke 9:23
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

  • To whom is Jesus speaking?
  • What does it mean to deny ourselves?
  • What does your cross look like? Is it heavy?
  • How are you following Jesus?

Sunday April 16 I Cor 11:28
… let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

  • Why is Paul asking us to examine ourselves?
    • How do you examine thought?
  • What bread and cup is Paul referring to?
  • What is our bread?
  • Are you drinking of that cup?

Sunday April 23 I Cor 6:20
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

  • What does “ye are bought with a price” mean?
  • What was the “price?”
  • How do we glorify God in our bodies?
  • Did you realize your body belongs to God?
  • How does this change your view of your body?

Sunday April 30 I Cor 15:12
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

  • Why is Paul asking this question?
  • Why was Jesus’ resurrection important?
  • What does the resurrection mean to you?
   
 

Bible Stories

This is a good time to review the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. The Gospel writers must have thought it the most important time in Jesus’ life as Matthew, Mark, and Luke give 40% of their Gospels to it and John gives 50%. Help the students to mentally drop in to that time in history and see it as though they were on the streets of Jerusalem.

Bible Overview offers a Chronology of the Passion Week. It gives the day-by-day activities of the ten days leading to the resurrection. See how Jesus calculated every move of this week. He was in total control. The events took place on his timetable. He knew he was the fulfillment of prophecy and that this was his cup. Select some of the events to work with each Sunday leading up to Easter and then spend the month reviewing the events after the resurrection.

  • Raising of Lazarus (John 11:5-57) [This is significant in that after raising Lazarus, the authorities were looking for Jesus to put him to death]
  • Dinner at Simon’s House (John 12:1-11)
  • Palm Sunday - Jesus’ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19)
  • Monday – Cleansing of the Temple ( Matt 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48)
  • Tuesday – Jesus’ authority is challenged (Matt 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8)
    • Parables of warning (Matt 21:28-46; Matt 22:1-14)
    • Three questions by Jewish leaders (Matt 22:15-40; March 12: 13-34; Luke 20:2-40)
    • Parables of warning (Matt 24:32,33; Mark 13: 28, 29; 34-36; Matt 25-30)
    • Judas and the chief priests (Matt 26:1-5, 14-16; Mark 14: 1, 2, 10, 11; Luke 22:1-6)
  • Wednesday – no record
  • Thursday – Last Supper (Matt 26:17-36; Mark 14:12-31; Luke 22:7-38; John 13-17)
    • Jesus washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-20)
    • Naming of the betrayer (Matt 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:21-30)
    • Foretelling Peter’s denial (Matt 26:33-34; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:32-34; John 13:37-38)
    • Christ the way, the truth and the life (John 14:1-15)
    • Promised Comforter (John 14:16-31)
    • The Vine and the Branches (John 15:1-27)
    • Jesus’ prayer (John 17: 1-26)
    • Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane (Matt 26:30, 36-46; Mark 14:26, 32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1)
    • Arrest (Matt 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12)
    • Jesus is questioned by Annas (John 18:13-23)
    • Jesus is brought before Caiaphas and Sanhedrin (Matt 26:57-75; Mark 14:53-72; Luke 22:54-65; John 18:24-27)
  • Friday
    • Peter’s Denial (Matt 26:69-74; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-65; John 18:25-27)
    • Before Pilate (Matt 27:2, 11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-38)
    • Before Herod (Luke 23:6-12)
    • Before Pilate (Matt 27:15-31; Mark 15:6-20; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:39-19:16)
    • Crucifixion (Matt 27:32-56; Mark 15:21-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-37)
    • Seven Last Sayings (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34; Luke 23:34, 43, 46; John 19:26-28, 30
    • Darkness, earthquake (Matt 27:50-54; Mark 15:33, 38; Luke 23:44, 45)
    • Burial (Matt 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42)
  • Saturday
    • Sealing of tomb (Matt 27:62-66)
  • Sunday
    • Empty tomb (Matt 28:1-8; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1-10)
    • Appearance to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18)
    • Appearance to the women (Matt 28:9,10; Luke 24:9-11)
    • Walk to Emmaus (Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13-32)
    • Peter meets Jesus (Luke 24:33-36)
  • Next 40 days until ascension
    • Appearances
      • To disciples (John 20:19-31)
      • Morning meal (John 21:1-24)
      • Instructions to the disciples and 500 others (Matt 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18)
      • To all apostles (John 24:44-49)
      • Ascension (Mark 16:19; John 24:50,51)
  • I Corinthians 13 [Activity of love]
  • I Corinthians 15 [Teaching about the resurrection]
   
 

ACTIVITIES

  This month we are reviewing Jesus’ final days before his crucifixion, the resurrection, instruction to the disciples before his ascension, and a letter from Paul to the Corinthians.
   
 

Exercise

Acting Up is OK offers three wonderful Easter skits: One Wonderful Word, Jogging to Emmaus, and Go Fish. Use these and add your own depending on the grade level you teach.

   
 

Exercise:

Teachers, you might like to suggest to your students' parents that they read and discuss the special Bible stories about Jesus' life and his example to their children before tucking them into bed at night. Help the children learn to tell Jesus' life story. Sing the wonderful hymn, "I Love to Tell the Story” and explain what that wonderful story is.

Have you ever had difficulty finding the right words to use to explain Easter or any aspect of the Bible to your children? It helps if we understand the terms of this important event in Jesus’ life as well as the people involved. Caryl Krueger related a story about a young boy in Sunday school who went with his parents to see Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” Afterwards he said, “I didn’t know crucifixion could kill you.” It is important that our dear little ones know what we are talking about.

Vocabulary quiz:

  • So often the significance of word meanings is overlooked. For a solution-oriented perspective, see the article, entitled Words of Wisdom. Help the pupils understand the important words and their significance concerning Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
  • Have a good Bible dictionary handy as well as a Webster’s or Oxford Dictionary.
    • Ask the students to define:
      • Palm Sunday
      • Garden of Gethsemane
      • Passover
      • Crucifixion
      • Resurrection
      • Ascension
      • Scourge
      • Money changers
      • Pharisees
      • Scribes
      • Sanhedrin
      • Last supper
      • Betrayal
      • Passion
      • Deny
      • Add your own to the list
   
 

Younger Classes

  • Name the disciples.
    • The Bible gives two different lists of names:
      • Mark 3:14
        • Simon, Peter
        • Andrew
        • James
        • John
        • Philip
        • Bartholomew
        • Simon
        • Matthew
        • James the son of Alphaeus
        • Thomas
        • Judas
      • Luke 6:14-16
        • Simon, Peter
        • Andrew
        • James
        • John
        • Philip
        • Bartholomew
        • Simon the Zealot
        • Matthew
        • James the son of Alphaeus
        • Thomas
        • Judas (the brother of James)
        • Judas Iscariot (betrayer)

An easy way to remember the disciples’ names is to create a pneumonic. For example STAMP T(oast) with P(eanut) B(utter) and 4 J(ams) stands for Simon,
Thaddaeus, Andrew, Matthew, Philip; Thomas, Peter, Bartholomew, John,
James, Judas, and James,. Or create your own way of remembering. With my SS class I have the pneumonic written on the white board, like the sample below. The pupils are responsible for filling in the names. After a few weeks, they know the names. I do something similarly with the books of the Bible.

S
T
A
M
P
T
P
B
J
J
J
J

   
 

Exercise: ON WHICH DAY? Take eight sheets of paper and label with Sunday – the 10th of Nisan [this is the day the lamb was set aside for sacrifice on the Passover. Discuss the symbolism of Jesus being called the Lamb of God in relation to this day], Monday, Tuesday, and so on until you have resurrection Sunday.

Discuss the activities of the week. As you discuss each day, ask the children to write the important events on the correct day of the week.

On which day did Jesus:

  • Ride a colt into Jerusalem?
  • Cleanse the temple of the money changers?
  • Wash his disciples’ feet?
  • Tell Peter he would deny him?
  • Watch the widow put all she had into the temple treasury?
  • Get betrayed by Judas?
  • Appear before Pilate?
  • Carry the cross?
  • Get placed in the tomb?
  • Talk about the vine and branches?
  • Tell the disciples about the comforter?
  • Pray in the Garden of Gethsemane?
  • Leave the tomb?
  • Have his feet washed and anointed by Mary?
  • Tell parables about watchfulness?
 

 

 

Exercise:

Read the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. (John 13:4-17)

You might want to actually wash your pupils' feet. Bring a basin, towels, water, and lotion. While washing their feet, ask students to read John 13:1-17. Let them wash your feet, if they offer. The most important part of this activity is discussing how they felt.

  • What did you think when I asked if I could wash your feet?
  • What was it like to have your SS teacher wash your feet?
  • How do you think the disciples felt when Jesus washed their feet? ·
  • Could you understand why Peter was reluctant to let Jesus wash his feet?
  • What does this activity symbolize?
  • Why did Jesus wash their feet?
  • Why don't we wash each other's feet today?

A few years ago, I washed my high school students’ feet. It received mixed reviews, initially. When the SS secretary came around for the collection, she was curious about the activity and asked if we'd wash her feet. The pupils jumped at the opportunity and shared the story of Jesus washing his disciples' feet. They, in turn, asked her how she felt. She loved it and it was difficult to get her to leave. She thought the lotion on the feet was quite nice. After washing my feet, we all sat on the floor and talked about what it would have been like at that Passover meal. We discussed how we could symbolically take "foot washing" to a modern day level of caring for each other regardless of age or position in the church.

For younger classes, download the coloring page of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and tell the story to them while they color. Ask them questions about washing feet.

   
 

Exercise – He is Risen On Easter morning.

Greet the pupils with a high five and say "He is Risen." Then explain this is how Jesus' disciples greeted each other after his resurrection.

   
 

Exercise:

Get your Bibles open to John 20:1-24 and fill in the grid.

 

   
 

Exercise:

Break the Code to find the answer to why Jesus was willing to die on the cross.

   
 

Exercise:

What are the many names for Jesus? Can you find them?

   
 

Exercise: 

Here is the copy from the newspaper.  Have the students draw a picture for the Jerusalem Times

   
 

Exercise – from Swap Shop

Look at the commandment Jesus gave his disciples – to love the way Jesus loved, then look at Paul’s description of love in I Corinthians 13. Help the students see the kind of love Jesus lived. Then ask them to write a “love” letter to a church member that demonstrates loving as Jesus loved.

   
 

Exercise – Forgiveness

Help your pupils to understand forgiveness, how to give it and how to feel it. You might want to try this exercise; it works with all grade levels. What would you do if someone pushed you from behind? Many kids say they would yell, or push them back, or ask why they did it or explain how rude that was. Then ask your students how they would feel if they discovered the person pushing them was blind? You'll see it in their eyes - it is an immediate shift to compassion - the point of forgiveness. Pushing is no longer an issue; and instead they find themselves wanting to help the other person. This "scenario" makes for great discussions on the wonderful love Jesus had for everyone.

   
  DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
 


 

Discussion questions about the passion week.

  • Raising of Lazarus (John 11:5-57) [This is significant in that after raising Lazarus, the authorities were looking for Jesus to put him to death]
    • Who wanted to kill Jesus? (John 11:7)
    • Why did they want to kill Jesus?
    • What was so wrong with bringing someone back to life?
  • Dinner at Simon’s House (John 12:1-11)
    • Who were the guests at dinner?
    • What did Mary do to Jesus while they were at the dinner table?
    • Who got upset about this?
    • What did Jesus tell Judas?
  • Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19)
    • Who was sent to get the colt?
    • Why do you think they brought the mother, too?
    • What did people do when they saw Jesus?
    • What was special about this day?
  • Cleansing of the Temple ( Matt 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48)
    • Why did Jesus remove the money changers?
    • What were the money changers doing that was so bad?
    • What did this have to do with prophecy? (Jer 7:11)
    • Who owned the booths? [Annas]
  • Parable of the ten virgins (Matt 25:1-13)
    • Why did Jesus share this parable?
    • What are we to do?
    • Why didn’t the wise give the foolish some oil?
    • What lesson do you learn from the foolish virgins?
  • Parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30)
    • What talents, skills, abilities do you have?
    • Are you using what God has given you or are you hiding it?
  • Jesus washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-20)
    • Why did Jesus wash their feet?
    • Would you let Jesus wash your feet?
    • Why is it important to serve?
    • What does serving mean to you?
    • How would you serve at home? Church? School?
  • The Vine and the Branches (John 15:1-27)
    • Why would Jesus take the time, just before he was to be betrayed, to talk to his disciples about grapevines?
    • Who or what does the vine represent? [Jesus]
    • What does the vine look like? [3-4 foot trunk from which the branches grow]
    • Who is the vinedresser? [God]
    • Who are the branches? [us]
    • What does this mean: if we don’t bear fruit, we’re taken away or cut off?
    • Why do the leaves need to be pruned? [fruit needs light]
    • What needs to be pruned from our lives to make us more fruitful (productive for God)?
  • Jesus’ prayer (John 17: 1-26) Examine Jesus' prayer in John 17.
    • Who is Jesus praying for in the first 5 verses? [himself]
    • Who is Jesus praying for in verses 9-19? [his disciples]
    • Who is Jesus praying for in verses 20-23? [Jesus’ prayer for each of us, that we may be one with God] Think of what Jesus was about to face.
    • What was going to happen to Jesus?
    • Would you be taking the time to pray for others if you were in trouble?
    • What do we learn about Jesus from this prayer?
    • What do we learn about how to pray from examining this prayer?
  • The Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:30, 36-46; Mark 14:26, 32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1)
    • What did Jesus ask Peter, James, and John to do? [pray]
    • What happened? [they slept]
    • Why do you think they fell asleep at such an important time?
    • Do you ever fall asleep praying?
    • What do we need to do to stay awake when we pray?
    • What was Jesus' prayer? [to do God's will]
    • Are you willing to do God's will?
  • Judas’ betrayal (Matt 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12)
    • Judas brings the soldiers to Jesus
    • What does Judas do to Jesus? [kisses him]
    • What does Jesus call Judas? [friend] Matt. 26:50
    • What did Peter do to one of the soldiers? [cut off his ear]
  • Jesus is questioned by Annas (John 18:13-23)
    • Why did Annas question Jesus? (John 18:12-14, 19-24)
    • Did he have any authority? [No. It was just a time filler before they collected the members of the Sanhedrin. "The Sanhedrin functioned as a supreme court for the Jews in religious matters."
    • If this scene had been caught on video camera, would this have been considered police brutality?
  • Peter’s Denial (Matt 26:69-74; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-65; John 18:25-27)
    • Why do you think Peter denied Jesus?
    • Would you deny Jesus?
  • Discuss the trials and what injustices occurred.
    • Who else questioned Jesus? [Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod]
    • What were some of the injustices that were done to Jesus?
      • Example: Jewish law prevented asking a prisoner a question which would incriminate him. Jesus informs Annas of this and gets slapped. (John 18:19-24) Caiaphas asks if Jesus is the Messiah.
      • The Sanhedrin couldn't meet at night, nor could it meet during the time of great feasts. This occurred at night and during the Feast of Passover.
      • If the Sanhedrin's verdict was death, they had to let a night elapse before carrying it out. They moved the same day.
      • All witnesses must agree when testifying against someone. Not one of the witnesses agreed.
      • Pilate couldn't find any reason to imprison him, let alone kill him.
      • There was no reason to scourge Jesus. Pilate thought that this would appease the crowd.
  • Empty tomb (Matt 28:1-8; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1-10)
    • Appearance to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18)
    • To the women (Matt 28:9,10; Luke 24:9-11)
      • Who was first at the tomb? [trick question: the angel or the women?]
      • Why did the women come to the tomb?
      • Who were these women?
      • What did they discover?
      • What did the angel tell the women?
      • Whom did the women tell?
      • Did the disciples believe the women?
      • Why do you think Jesus appeared first to women?
  • Walk to Emmaus (Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13-32)
    • Why didn't the disciples recognize Jesus on the walk to Emmaus?
    • What made the disciples' hearts burn within?
  • Reflection on the crucifixion and resurrection
    • Would you be willing to take up the cross?
    • Would you have carried the cross for Jesus?
    • Would you have tried to stop them from crucifying Jesus?
    • Would you have been at the tomb waiting for Jesus to come out? Why is the story of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension important to us?
    • What did Jesus prove to us with the crucifixion? The resurrection? The ascension?
    • What means the most to you about the Easter story?
    • How important is it to forgive? Love? Trust? Do God's will?
    • What makes us believe that the resurrection really happened? o
    • Look at the lives of the disciples.
    • What did they do after they thought Jesus died on the cross?
    • What did they do after they saw Jesus was alive?
    • What did they do after Jesus ascended?
    • How long did Jesus stay on earth before his ascension? [Acts 1:1,2]
    • Approximately how many people saw him?
    • What did Jesus do during the time right after his resurrection?
    • What did Jesus serve his disciples for breakfast?
    • When Jesus tells them to cast their net on the right side of the ship, what happens?
    • What does this remind you of?
    • How is the catch this time different from the first time? (John 21:11) [the net didn't break this time]
    • What is the significance of the net not breaking?
    • How many fish did they catch? (John 21:11)
    • What important question did Jesus ask Peter?
    • How many times did he ask the question?
    • What does this number correspond to? (number of denials)
    • How would you answer Jesus' question, "Lovest thou me?"
   
 

Bible scholar Cobbey Crisler said if the cross represents a problem, the crown represents the solution. Intertwined, they deliver the message - problem solved.

  • What problems did the cross solve?
    • What does it mean to follow in Jesus' footsteps?
    • Are you willing to follow him?
    • Are you willing to take up the cross?
    • What do the crucifixion and resurrection teach us?
  • I Corinthians 13 [Activity of love]
    • List three qualities of love
    • What isn’t love?
    • How do we live that kind of love?
  • I Corinthians 15 [Teaching about the resurrection]
    • What is Paul teaching about Jesus?

These questions just scratch the surface, add to the list.

   
 

ASSIGNMENTS

   
 

Teachers:

Younger Children:

Puzzles and Games

Stories to read

Stories to hear

Activities

Older Children:

Puzzles and Games

Stories to read

Article to read:

Stories to hear

Activities

Teens:

Puzzles and Games

Stories to read

Articles to read:

 Activity

 

GAL

   
 
   
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