Holy Week


Good News


Scripture:  Matthew 21:1-11, 26:1-56


Memory Verse: Proverbs 19:21(CEV)

"We may make a lot of plans but the Lord will do what he has decided."   



·         Through Jesus, God did what God had promised in the Bible.

·         Jesus took his problems to God in Prayer.



1.      To assist the students with a better understanding of the events of Holy Week.

2.      To provide students an opportunity to create stories or lessons to explain Holy Week to others.

3.      To ensure that students understand the importance of Easter and Holy Week.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.      Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag.


2.      Explain the purpose of this workshop.

We are going to review the events of Holy Week.  Holy Week is the most important Christian holiday.  It is only because of Easter that Christmas is important. Easter is important because of the resurrection of Jesus.  Most of you are familiar with the crucifixion of Jesus on the Cross.  Many of you have marched in a Palm Sunday parade during worship to begin our celebration of Holy Week.  A few of you may have attended a Maundy Thursday service in order to focus on the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples before his arrest. 


I am excited about what each class will do to assist me in creating our Good News Book: The Christian Celebration of Holy Week.  Please listen carefully as we read the scripture about the first Holy Week.  At the end of the scripture reading I will review the special events and words to make sure we all understand what happened.  Then each of you will volunteer to work on a specific assignment that we will add to our Good News book.


Scripture/Bible Story:

1.      Have the Children stand and say the memory verse.  (You may want to have the verse on poster board.)

2.      Ask them to bow their heads for prayer.

3.      Have the children sit and open their Bibles to the Scripture.  Ask who would like to read, or have each child read a verse.  At the end – you might want to provide a sticker to the children who brought their own Bible.   



After the scriptures have been read, review the following vocabulary words: (Prior to the first lesson prepare a list of the items to post on the wall for each Sunday. Tape the list to wall and take down at the end of the lesson and store with the other items.)

1.      Jerusalem – the city Jesus had been traveling toward for three years as he conducted his ministry. (Map to show where Jerusalem is located might be helpful)

2.      Donkey – Jesus chose to ride a donkey into the city because the donkey was a symbol of humility and peace – historian’s state that Jesus rode a colt of a donkey, which meant the animal had not been used and was pure for this religious purpose. The Old Testament foretold that the king would come riding in on a donkey.  (What God had said would happen, was happening.)

3.      Hosanna – is a song and a praise

4.      Palm Sunday – the day Jesus entered Jerusalem, the beginning of Holy Week, and the reason palms were raised and place in his path was to show their respect and love for the Messiah.  Today palms are used as we enact Palm Sunday in Christian churches.  Some Christians call Palm Sunday, Passion Sunday to show the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ final painful/agonizing days before his death on the cross.

5.      Passover – was the Jewish Festival that marked the night the angel of the Lord protected the homes of Hebrews when they were slaves in Egypt.  Jesus entered Jerusalem just before Passover and there were many people in town. 

6.      Last Supper and Maundy Thursday – During the Passover Festival Jesus gave new meaning to the bread and wine as he ate his last meal with his disciples.  On this Thursday, he took the bread and told his disciples it represented his body that was soon to be sacrificed.  He took the cup of wine and told them it represented his blood that was soon to be shed for all sinners. At the end of the meal, the disciples along with Jesus went to pray.

7.      Gethsemane –a garden where olives grew on the Mount of Olives.  This is the place Jesus went to pray before he would be arrested, betrayed and crucified.  We learn here that Jesus took everything to God in prayer. 

8.      Good Friday – was the day Jesus was arrested and tried and crucified on the cross.

9.      Cross – to be crucified on the cross was the worst way to die.  It was used for horrible crimes.  After the crucifixion of Jesus the cross became a symbol of the Christian Church. 

10.  Easter – the day Christians celebrate God’s victory, through Christ, over sin, hate, and death.  It is a time we celebrate renewal and hope.



The Good News Book: The Christian Celebration of Holy Week!

Please note this is a work in progress.  The book is not to be completed until the last rotation Sunday.  Be flexible in assignment, ask the Shepherds to assist the students.  The book will be displayed later for the entire congregation to view. 


On newsprint that you will post on the wall each Sunday - record the items the book must have in order to help explain to others what Easter means to Christians.  For the students who create a challenge or if the rotation begins with the youngest children, be flexible in the items they might work on:

1.      Book Cover Design – This will be the poster board folded in half.  It could be done the first week, or a week in which there is a creative artist in the group. 

2.      Index page (the last week – so the pages can be numbered)

3.      A map showing the route Jesus took as he arrived in Jerusalem – have the student(s) to use one of the maps included in the kit.  I would let them use a half of sheet of the newsprint so the map will be large enough for them to label.  (the masking tape can hold the pages together, later)

4.      Pictures of the following events drawn by the students on regular paper that will later be glued in the book. (You could have more than one working on the same concept and/or two children working together. Their interpretation will make the book more interesting.)


I have noted the scriptures for each event – the student may want to reread and/or refer to the scriptures.

a.       Palm Sunday – Matthew 21:1-11

b.      Plot to kill Jesus – Matthew 26:1-5

c.       Judas agrees to betray Jesus – Matthew 26:14-16

d.      Last Supper – Matthew 26:17-30

e.       Praying in Gethsemane – Matthew 26:36-46

f.        Betrayal and arrest of Jesus – Matthew 26:47-56

g.       Easter Morning – there are books in the church library as well as resources provided here.

h.       Other pictures or items the children and/or you come up with


5. Vocabulary Words: Definitions and/or Paragraph descriptions – I suggest using the strips of paper in the kit for word definitions and whole sheets of paper for the paragraphs. (Depending on the age group)

Holy Week




Palm Sunday



Last Supper and Maundy Thursday

Garden of Gethsemane and Mt. of Olives

Good Friday




5.      Pictures from old magazines as to how people celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring.  Glue into the book – this is where the Shepherds could help assist in making sure proper placement of pictures.

6.      Poems – if there are creative students who enjoy this type of expression – Have them to write on the regular paper and later glue the work into the book.

7.      Pictures of Christian Symbols for Holy Week

a.       Cross

b.      Crown of Thorns placed on Jesus head at his crucifixion

c.       The Bread and The Cup – Communion in a church today

d.      Other items


Reflection Time:

This will be a different type of reflection, than normal.  Since the children are creating a Good News book on Easter Celebrations Surrounding Holy Week there may not be time to stop and complete the journal page.  At the end of the lesson share with the class their work and the other classes work and ask them the review questions.


Review/reflection questions:

  1. What does the cross symbolize?
  2. How did Palm Sunday get that name as Jesus rode into Jerusalem?
  3. What happened on Maundy Thursday?
  4. Jesus died on a Friday.  Why do Christians call this Good Friday?
  5. Where did Jesus pray before he was arrested?
  6. Why did Jesus go to God in prayer before he was arrested?
  7. What do the bread and wine symbolize when we celebrate the Last Supper as Communion?



Prayer:  Suggestions for the closing prayer – Dear God, thank you for loving each one of us, no matter what we do.  Thank you for listening to our concerns.  Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sins.  We are glad you have provided us with hope. Amen.


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up.


Teacher preparation in advance:

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

2.      Compile a Resource Kit (see below)

3.      Prepare an opening prayer for your lesson.  

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

5.      Please read the scriptures. 

6.      You may want to provide old magazines for pictures in case there are students who will not draw and provide a “lesson” in the book. You many need extra markers. 

7.      Think of other review/reflection questions that are age appropriate.


Suggested Supply List

·        Stickers for rewards if you so desire

·        Questions and answers for reflection/review

·        Newsprint to post memory verse and vocabulary words

·        Old magazines

·        Glue and markers

·        Masking and Scotch tape

·        A few pair of scissors

·        Knowledge of the events of Holy Week

·        Resources for the advanced student to review and create.

·        Camera in case you want to take photos to include in the book.



·        Lori Houck – KOK Bible Study Leader for Faith Quest

·        Heather Eaton and Ellen K. of Rotation Info Pop

·        Information from Children’s Creative Writing

·        Items in Resource Kit, National Geographic Maps, Library Books

·        Christian Resource Institute