Holy Week


HOLYWOOD for Grades 1 & 2


Scripture:  Mark 11-16 


Note: The Holy Week movie that is based on the Gospel according to Matthew presents the story in images that are too graphic for younger children.  We are showing the younger children a video that they saw last year. It is based on the Gospel according to Mark.  For the second graders, this will be a rerun, but for first graders it will be their first viewing.


Memory Verse: “We may make a lot of plans but the Lord will do what he has decided."  Proverbs 19:21 (CEV)




1.      God is in control and is all powerful. 

2.      Jesus took his problems to God in prayer.

3.      Jesus chose to be an obedient disciple of God.

4.      Even though we betray him, Jesus died so our sins would be forgiven.




1.      Children will view the video: “The Easter Story”

2.      The children will learn the events of Holy Week according to the Gospel of Mark.

3.      The children will be able to order the events of Holy Week.

4.      The children will think about the meaning of the cross and make a cross out of sticks.



Welcome and Introductions:


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


2.      Explain the purpose of this workshop. This unit is a study of Holy Week. We will look at the main events that took place during Holy Week.



Bible Story:


1.      Set up the story for the children. In the interest of time, start the video a few minutes into the story. You should already have it cued to the segment when as Mark begins to tell the story and the two disciples are sent to fetch a donkey. Explain that the story is about three kids who are sent back in time and they talk to Mark, one of the gospel writers. Mark is telling the story about the last week of Jesus’ life.


You may wish to define the words: blasphemy (making fun of God), “betray” (to help the enemy), fall away” (run away from Jesus).


2.      Start the video. It’s about 24 minutes long if cued as suggested. 


3.      Distribute the popcorn with help from the Shepherds or volunteer children. (Popcorn  should already be made)




Story sequencing. The story sequence statements (see below) should be printed on large cards/paper (without numbers or Bible references) and handed out randomly to the children. Ask the children to put the statements in order according to the story. Lead the discussion by asking what happened first in the video? Who has a statement they think was one of the first events of Holy Week? Continue until you have put all in order. When you are done, ask the children to read it.



Make a Cross

1.      Why did Jesus need to die on the cross? (Jesus had to die on the cross in order to save our sins, for everything we do wrong. Jesus paid a huge price for our sins – every one of us -- so that we are forgiven and can have eternal life. Now nothing can separate us from God.)


Recite John 3:16 (a previous memory verse) together: “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.” (CEV)


2.      Show the children a wooden cross that you have made from sticks. Explain that the cross is a symbol of the Christian church. It is not just a reminder of the cruel way that Jesus died, but something much better. Jesus died and paid the price for all our sins. That means that when we do something bad, we can ask for forgiveness and know that God loves us and forgives us. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Point out to the children that the cross is empty; Jesus is not on it.  After he was crucified, Jesus arose from the dead. The empty cross is a sign that Jesus has been raised from death into everlasting life and that we, as followers of Jesus, share in his new life.  Jesus lives forever in us and in the church.


3.      Give each child two sticks and some raffia. Use the raffia to tie the 2 sticks together as a cross. Think about the significance of the cross and what it means to be forgiven. Take your cross home as a reminder of God’s gift to us.



Reflection Time:


Recite the memory verse together: “We may make a lot of plans but the Lord will do what he has decided.” Proverbs 19:21 (CEV)


What does this verse mean? (It was God’s plan that Jesus pay the price for our sins so we can have eternal life. Jesus was obedient to God’s plan. God has a plan for us too. Perhaps that is why some things don’t turn out as we expect. We should seek out God’s plan for ourselves in prayer.)


Draw a cross on your journal sheet. Beside it trace your hand as if in prayer.




Prayer: Thank you God for your amazing love. You sent your son to die for us so we can never be separated from You. It is comforting to know that You are always in control of our lives. Help us listen to you and think about Your plan for us. Help us to be obedient as Jesus was. Amen.



Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up popcorn as they wait for their parents to arrive. Put bean bag chairs in piles against the walls, clearing the floor space. Wipe out popcorn machine thoroughly.



Teacher preparation in advance:


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

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

3.      Preview the video and have it cued to the correct starting place.

4.      As a visual aid to sequencing the events, print the statements on 3 colors (eg. green, blue, yellow.) The 3 colors represent the beginning (green), middle (blue) and end (yellow) of the story. Copy the statements (without Bible references or numbers) onto poster board and then cut into individual statement cards.

5.      Gather sticks, make a practice cross to determine your best technique.

6.      PRACTICE OPERATING THE POPCORN MACHINE. If this is your first time in Holywood, visit the current workshop leader for instructions before your rotation begins. Be sure you have plenty of popcorn popped BEFORE the children arrive. You will need to have your attention on the children at that point. Ask the shepherds or child volunteers to help distribute it to children who are sitting quietly.




Hanna-Barbera's  The Easter Story – The Greatest Adventure Stories From the Bible, distributed by Sparrow Communications Group, P.O. Box 2120, 9255 Deering Avenue,

Chatsworth, CA 91311.





·        Raffia

·        2 sticks per child – 6-8 inches, finger width in diameter. Gather them from the ground under trees outside. We are going for the rustic look.

·        Video

·        Story sequence cards





1.      Jesus rides into Jerusalem. (Mark 11: 7-10)

2.      Jesus goes to the temple and turns over tables. (Mark 11:15-17)

3.      The religious leaders make a plan to get rid of Jesus. (Mark 14:1-2)

4.      Jesus has the first communion with bread and wine (Mark 14:22-25)

5.      Jesus prays to God for help (Mark 14:32-34)

6.      Jesus is arrested (Mark 14:43-46)

7.      Jesus is sentenced to death. (Mark 14:53, Mark 14:60-64)

8.      The crowd decides to free Barabbus from prison. (Mark 15:6-15)

9.      Jesus is crucified on a cross (Mark 15:22-25)

10.  Jesus’ body is laid in a tomb (Mark 15:46)

11.  The women find an empty tomb. (Mark 16:5-8)

12.  Jesus appears to many people after his death. (Mark 16:14-15)