Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
Introductory Activity – Card Sort
- Gather a large variety of Christmas cards (all kinds); cut the fronts from all the cards. Divide the group of cards in half and place each half in a large gift bag.
Talk with the kids about Christmas. List things that are depicted on Christmas cards that show the meaning of Christmas (angels, manger). Create two teams of kids. Give each team a bag of cards. At your signal, the teams pour out the cards and sort them into two groups. They should make a group of cards that show the meaning of Christmas and a group of all the other cards. Tell kids that they will explore more about Jesus’ birth in today’s session.
Live It Out – “I Spy” Bottles
- Gather plastic bottles, one for each child. You will also need shredded paper (or sand), colored heavy paper, scissors, pencils, tape, and permanent markers.
Review the Bible story and the Life Point. Kids can make a list of things that remind them of the birth of Jesus. List their ideas on a board or large piece of paper. Show kids the materials and suggest they can create “I Spy” bottles. They can cut heavy paper into small rectangles (small enough to fit inside the bottles). On each rectangle, kids can print words or draw objects about Jesus’ birth; tell them to print or draw the same thing on both sides of the rectangle. After a child has created several words or pictures, he can choose a bottle and fill it with shredded paper or sand; fill the bottle about two-thirds or three-fourths full. The child can insert his words and drawings, one at a time, into the bottle and shake so the word is mixed into the paper or sand. Add more sand or shredded paper as needed to “hide” all the words. When all the items are in the bottle, put on the lid and seal it with tape. Guide a child to print the Life Verse around the bottle with a permanent marker. Show the children how to shake, turn, and move the bottle to reveal the words inside.
Introductory Activity – What’s in the Box?
- Place a baby bottle or other small baby care item in a small box. Seal the box and wrap it with paper. Insert that box inside another slightly larger box and seal it. Wrap the second box. Insert that box inside a larger box, seal it, and wrap it.
Show preteens the wrapped box. Give each preteen a large sticky note and pencil so he can write his guess of what is inside the box. Listen to their guesses. Unwrap the box to reveal the second box. They can write and share guesses again. Unwrap the box to reveal the third box. Tell preteens to write a final guess; listen to their ideas. Unwrap and show the baby item. Tell preteens that God surprised people by the way he sent a Savior.
Live It Out – Breaking News
Guide preteens to review the details of Jesus’ birth from the Bible. They may also want to look at Matthew 2:1-12 for more details. Tell preteens they can create a news broadcast about Jesus’ birth. Provide pencils and paper so they can write the information in newscast format. Use a digital audio recorder to make a “radio” news broadcast or record video for a “TV” news broadcast. Encourage them to practice a few times before recording. Allow a couple of chances to record the broadcast. Listen or view the broadcast and discuss why the birth of Jesus is significant.
(If possible, create a podcast on Jesus’ birth for your church’s Web site.)