Activity 1: The Story of Easter
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copy of "The Story of Easter"
- Optional: Fidget basket (see Session 1, Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects)
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story so you will be comfortable telling or reading it to the children.
- Optional: If you have a basket of fidget objects for children who will listen and learn more effectively with something in their hands, make the basket available during this activity. See Session 1, Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects for a full description of fidget baskets and guidance for using them.
Description of Activity
Invite the children to sit comfortably. Let them know that they will hear a story about Jesus, an important teacher from two thousand years ago, and what happened after he died.
Optional: If it is Easter time, and especially if your congregation offers an Easter service that celebrates the life of Jesus, offer some context for the story. Say:
Jesus is the key figure of the Christian religion. Many Christians believe that Jesus was different from other humans, that he was the son of God. Many Christians believe that after Jesus died, he was resurrected, that is, he came back to life. Some Christian Unitarian Universalists believe that, too, while some Unitarian Universalists believe Jesus was an important teacher, but do not believe he was different from other humans and do not believe he came back to life after he died. As a prophetic leader, Jesus—his teachings and the example of how he lived his life—is an important part of our religious education program. At Easter time, we celebrate the life of Jesus long ago, and the way his spirit is still with us, in our memory of his kindness and wisdom.
Read or tell the story.
Process with these questions:
- What do you remember most about this story?
- What do you think Jesus' followers remembered most about him?
- Is there someone in your family whom you never met that other relatives talk about and remember? Perhaps a great-grandparent or great-aunt or -uncle or a distant cousin?
- Why do you think holding on to memories is so important when someone dies?
Affirm that when someone dies, it is part of our Unitarian Universalist faith to have a memorial service that celebrates the person's life.
If your congregation honors Jesus as part of marking the Easter holiday, you might say:
Many Unitarian Universalist congregations remember Jesus. Because he was an important, wise teacher, we celebrate his life when it is Easter time. At other times, our congregation may celebrate other prophetic people whose wisdom helped make the world better.
Including All Participants
You may wish to make fidget objects available to children who find it difficult to sit still while listening to a story or can focus better with sensory stimulation. For a full description and guidance, see Session 1, Leader Resource 2.
Consider using rug squares in the storytelling area. Place them in a semi-circle with the rule "One person per square." This can be very helpful for controlling active bodies.