March 14 Ė April 11, 2004

Antioch Arcade


Scripture:John 20:1-18 and 21:1-14


Memory Verse:

Jesus said, ďI am the way, the truth, and the life!Ē John 14:6 (CEV)



  • Although Jesus has returned to be with God, he remains present with us.
  • Godís abundant gifts are available through Jesus Christ.



1.      Older children will locate Johnís account of the empty tomb and Jesusí lakeshore appearance to the disciples in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the story is in John.

2.      Children will become familiar with Johnís account, particularly the lakeshore appearance.

3.      Children will play a game to help them see the net overflowing with fish as representing all of Godís gifts that Jesus makes available to us.

4.      The class will discuss Jesusí presence with the disciples and with us, and his gifts to the disciples and to us.



Welcome and Introductions:(10:00)

1.      Greet the children and introduce yourself.Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.


2.      Open with a brief prayer (optional, as they have just prayed in Great Hall).


3.      Explain the purpose of this workshop. Today weíre learning the story of how Jesus helped the disciples with their fishing, and then weíre playing a fishing game.


Scripture/Bible Story: (10:05)


1.      Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. The shepherds will have extra Bibles.Help the students to find the book of John. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.)


2.      If necessary, review the organization of the Bible: The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. Have them figure out whether John is in Old or New Testament (Itís about Jesus, so itís in NEW Testament). Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, theyíll usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out that the book name is at the top of each page. After finding Psalms, if they then take the pages on the right side and divide them in half, theyíll land somewhere near the beginning of the New Testament. Tell them that John is the fourth book of the New Testament. (Some of the older children should know the books of the Bible. Encourage everyone to learn them.)


After theyíve found the book of John, help them find chapter 20, verse 1. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.


3.      This workshop will focus on the passage from chapter 21. Give a brief summary of the passage from chapter 20, then read or tell the story of Jesusí appearance while the disciples were fishing. Be dramatic. You can use the summary below as a guide. Unless this is the first Sunday of the rotation, let the children help you tell the story. This will give you an idea of how much they already know. Other ideas for reviewing the story in later weeks:


  • Begin the story and let each person in the circle add one line to the story until it is complete.
  • Variation for older kids: Use the timer in the supply bin (or just a watch with a second hand). First child starts telling the story. After 15 seconds, second student picks up the tale, even if in mid-sentence. Keep going around circle until complete story is told.
  • Tell the story back to them with inaccuracies and let them correct you. (especially fun for the younger ones -- but donít do this until the later part of the rotation).
  • Photocopy the passage (remove verse numbers), cut it up and see if they can put it back together correctly.


Grades 3-5: Play a few rounds of "who can find the passage first." Call out verses for the students to search and read when they find them -- do this in pairs if you wish. Suggestion: The other gospel accounts of the Resurrection:

(Matthew 28.1-10; Mark 16.1-8; Luke 24.1-12) (Mark 16.9-11) Mark 16.9-11


Story Summary

On the Sunday morning after Jesus was crucified, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to Jesusí tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and told Simon Peter and Jesus' favorite disciple (according to church tradition, this is John). Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb and saw that it was empty except for strips of cloth that had covered Jesusí body and face.


Mary Magdalene stood crying outside the tomb when she saw Jesus standing there. But she thought he was the gardener until he said her name. When she recognized Jesus, he told her, ďDon't hold on to me! I have not yet gone to the Father. But tell my disciples that I am going to the one who is my Father and my God, as well as your Father and your God." Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples what had happened.


Later, Peter and some of the other disciples decided to go fishing. (They were fishermen and had to make a living. You can point out to the older children that Jesus died and was buried in Jerusalem, but this part of the story happens in Galilee. Show them Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee on the wall map).They went out in their boat onto Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee). But they didn't catch a thing all night long.


Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize who he was. Jesus shouted, "Have you caught anything?"


"No!" they answered.


So he told them, "Let your net down on the right side of your boat, and you will catch some fish."


They did, and the net was so full of fish that they could not drag it up into the boat.


Jesus' favorite disciple told Peter, "It's the Lord!" When Peter heard that, he put on the clothes that he had taken off while he was working. Then he jumped into the water. The boat was only about a hundred yards from shore. So the other disciples stayed in the boat and dragged in the net full of fish.


When the disciples got out of the boat, they saw some bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it. Jesus told them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught." Peter got back into the boat and dragged the net to shore. In it were 153 large fish, but still the net did not rip.


Jesus said, "Come and eat!"


Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave some of it to his disciples. He did the same with the fish.


Application: (10:15)

1.      Have the shepherd hold a net full of paper fish with words demonstrating Godís abundant gifts written on them. The fish should be placed in the net so the kids canít see the side with the writing on it. See end of lesson plan for list of words.


2.      Choose one of these options for playing the game:

        Attach a large paper clip to each fish. Let the kids take turns using a magnetic fishing pole (dowel with string attached, magnet hanging from string) to pick up a fish.

        For a faster and slightly more realistic (the disciples didnít use fishing poles) but possibly less fun game, let the kids take turns just pulling a fish out of the net.


3.      Then choose one of these options:

        Abundant Gifts Bingo: Make Bingo cards, filling in the squares with words that are on the fish. Give each child a Bingo card and 15 beans or other counters. Let the children take turns drawing fish from the net. Read the word on the fish. If the word is on a card, the player places a counter in the square. First player to cover five squares in a row says Bingo. Donít end the game there; continue playing until everybody gets bingo.


        Fishing for Gifts: Divide the kids into teams of four or five people. Each team gets a chart with all the words on it. The teams take turns drawing fish and placing the fish on the matching spot on the chart. There will be multiple fish with the same word, so they might draw a word theyíve already covered. First team to fill their chart wins.


Older children:You might let the players read the word on their fish to the class. Be sensitive to shy children or those who donít read well Ė give each child the option of reading their fish or handing it to you to read.


Younger Children: Read each word and also write it on the white board to help the children find the word on their cards.


Reflection Time: (10:30)

1.      Recite the Bible memory verse learned in the Great Hall. Jesus said, ďI am the way, the truth and the life.Ē John 14: 6


Discuss: In the story, Jesus told gave Mary Magdalene a message for the disciples. What did he tell her to tell the disciples? I am going to the one who is my Father and my God, as well as your Father and your God.


Even though Jesus was going to be with God, he did not abandon his disciples. He was still there when they needed him. And even though Jesus has returned to be with God, heís always present with us too.


In the story, the disciples didnít catch any fish until Jesus told them where to cast their net. The fish were a gift from God. Through Jesus, God gave the disciples what they needed. Through Jesus, God cares for us, too. Godís gifts include things we need to live, like food and shelter, and things that make life good, like love and joy. In our game, we learned what some of Godís gifts to us are. How many can you name?


Journals (10:35): Pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. Optional: Give the children a sticker (a fish?) or some other memento to paste onto the page as a reminder of the workshop. Read the prompt to them, and offer suggestions if needed. If they donít know how to spell a word, write it on the white board. Those who finish early can turn the page over and do the activity on the back.


At 10:45, ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly.


Closing: (10:45)

Encourage the children to bring an offering next week. Remind them that the offering from this rotation will go to One Great Hour of Sharing. The money helps people all over the world who are hungry or poor or have been in disasters. This offering is one of the ways that God cares for people.


Prayer:Suggestion: Jesus, thank you for your loving presence with us, and for all of Godís gifts that you bring to us. Amen.


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help collect Bibles, pencils, and game materials. When the room is tidy, dismiss the class.


Extra activity if time permits:

Grades 3-5: Play a few rounds of "who can find the passage first." Call out verses for the students to search in their Bibles and read when they find them -- do this in pairs if you wish. Suggestion: Choose verses from the other Gospel accounts of the Resurrection:

Matthew 28:1-10

Mark 16:1-8

Luke 24:1-12

Mark 16.9-11

Mark 16.9-11


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.      Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.      Prepare opening and closing prayers.

3.      Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.

4.      Find the small blue fold-up table, stored behind the puppet stage. It is handy for organizing all your supplies. Optional: Bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, meditative music for Reflection time. A boom box is located in the Puppet workshop cabinet.

5.      Display the memory verse in the room.

6.      Practice reading or telling the story. Either way, be dramatic.

7.      Make materials for the game.


Supply List

Extra Bibles

Pencils (in supply bin; the shepherds also have pencils)

Dry-erase marker (in supply bin)

Game materials: net, fish, fishing pole (if using), bingo cards or charts, bingo counters

Journal pages



Storytelling ideas:

Godís gifts -- for the fishing game
















the Bible



















Eternal Life