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Advent Lesson Plans

Many thanks again to Lorna Webb for providing us with these Advent lesson plans.  Before embarking on these lessons teachers need to download the following zip file which contains all the templates and material required for the lessons.

Advent lessons: Summary

  The colours of Christmas are special and are used everywhere, not just in the church but even in supermarkets and other places where people tend to forget the real meaning of Christmas.   This year let the colours of Christmas be a constant reminder of what Christmas really celebrates: God’s wonderful gift to us in Jesus.

 

Gold is for giving – a celebration of God’s gift of his son 

Red is for loving – a celebration of God’s love for us

Green is for living – a celebration of life everlasting

Blue is for the night sky – a celebration of the first signs (star and angels) announcing the birth of Jesus

Purple is for royalty – a celebration of the king born in a stable not a palace

White is for purity – a celebration of being washed “as white as snow” by the sacrifice Jesus was to make

 

See also: "Colours of Christmas" poem (see files in zip file)

This poem can be printed on small pieces of card and given out to students or even the whole congregation.  They can also be laminated with a small strip of magnet attached to the back so they can be used as fridge magnets.

 

Advent 1: Purple or Blue

 

Introduction

(Note: you may choose to only consider the colour used in YOUR church)

For many years, purple has been the colour of Advent in the Western church.   Purple is not only a Royal colour but it signifies preparation for a major event.   It is also the colour used in Lent, the time of preparation and reflection before Easter.    As Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas, the colour purple is very appropriate. 

In recent years many churches have adopted a new colour for Advent – blue.   Blue is the colour of heaven and of the night sky.   It is a reminder of the angels announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds and of the star foretelling the birth which the wise men followed.   Blue is also the colour many artists choose for Mary’s robes in portrayals of the Nativity.  Using blue, therefore, signifies expectation of the birth of Jesus.

 

Bible reading: Luke 1: 5 – 16 (The birth of John the Baptist)

 

Discussion

·        Did you know that the birth of John the Baptist was foretold many years before he was born?  Even before his parents were born?   (Matthew 3:3, Isaiah 40:3) God began preparing for the birth of Jesus a very long time before it actually happened.   That means it was always in God’s mind to send us a saviour who would be our King and save us from our sins.   He didn’t just decide one day and it happened!

·        Purple is the colour of Royalty & preparation / Blue is the colour of expectation.   What can we do to prepare ourselves for the Christmas season?

·        How do people generally prepare for Christmas?  Eg decorate Christmas tree, make gift lists, shopping lists, food lists …

 

Activities

 

·        Use templates to make miniature Christmas trees: see section on making the tree.  Children will colour one tree template per week, culminating in the making of the 3D model tree.   If using purple, choose the crowns template, symbolizing Christ the King.   If blue is chosen, use the stars template. The star was the first sign in the night sky that told the wise men that something important was about to happen.   As children colour the rest of the tree in green, remind them that green is the colour of life and that God gives us new life through Jesus.

·        Make purple / blue ornaments to place on a real Christmas tree, leaving room for other colours (the remaining lessons).

·        Draw a tree on a large sheet of card.  Children create decorations in blue / purple to glue to tree.  Write a description of the colour meaning to put under the tree when displayed.

·        Make a list of ways we can prepare ourselves spiritually for Christmas and / or share what Christmas really means with others, perhaps inviting them to church for Christmas celebrations, etc.

·        Memorise a Bible verse.   Decorate the verse card in purple / blue.

 

 

Advent 2: Red

 

Introduction

Although red is not a liturgical colour for Christmas it is certainly used a lot in other ways during the Advent season.   Red is the colour of loving.   Red is also the colour of fire – reminding us of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, at Pentecost.

 

Discussion

What is usually coloured red at Christmas?  Suggestions: Santa’s red suit (Note: although many believe Christians should not encourage their children to believe in Santa, Sunday School lesson time is not the time for debunking the belief … simply acknowledge that his suit is red and move on - or some parents may be very unhappy!), red and white candy canes, (visit this link to find out about the candy cane legend)  red baubles and tinsel (refer to previous lesson on decorations and preparation for Christmas).

Red is also a hint of what was to come for Jesus – his suffering and death on the cross – the ultimate sacrifice of love.

 

Bible reading: Luke 1: 26 – 33

 

Activities

·        Complete the second tree (see Advent 1).  

·        Make red ornaments in the shape of hearts, symbolizing God’s love for us, to decorate a Christmas tree. These ornaments could contain the ultimate Bible verse about love, John 3:16.

·        Make a Christmas card for someone to tell them how much they are loved.

·        Memorise a Bible verse.   Decorate the verse card in red.

 

Advent 3: Gold

 

Introduction

Gold – the word conjures up images of treasure, kings, wealth etc.  For many, items made of gold are their most precious possessions.

 

Discussion

At Christmas time we make lists of gifts we would like or would like to give to others.  What might be on God’s Christmas wish list?   (Love, caring for others, people taking the time to talk to God …)

What gifts does God give to us? (Love, joy, peace etc, creation, life…)  What is the greatest gift He ever gave us? (Jesus).

What is our greatest treasure?   God gave us all these wonderful things to treasure but what if there was no God to create them (and us)?  So God is the greatest treasure of all.

 

Bible reading: John 3:16

 

Activities

·        Complete the third tree (see Advent 1)

·        Wrap small items in gold paper to decorate the tree, thus symbolising God’s gifts to us.

·        Write a list of what we can give others that don’t cost money (love, time, a helping hand …)

 

Advent 4: White

 

Introduction

Jesus was born at Christmas to be a Saviour for all the world.  The Bible tells us that though our sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).   So white is a symbol of why Jesus came to earth as a baby and lived here as a man.

 

Bible reading: Isaiah 1:18 or 1 Corinthians 6:11.

 

Discussion

(Before the lesson, prepare 2 pieces of identical white cloth.  Keep one clean whilst making the other very dirty).   Hold up the two pieces of cloth and ask the children for their opinions.  Which do they prefer?  Why is one dirty?   How could it be made clean again, etc.   What other things are white?   Why are they white?  Does it have something to do with purity or innocence?

Read the Bible verse.   What does it mean?   It was written many years before Jesus was born but we know now that Isaiah was writing about Jesus.   In 1 Corinthians 6:11, the Bible says, “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.

 

Activities

·        Complete the fourth tree (see Advent 1)

·        Fold and cut paper snowflakes to decorate a large tree.

·        Give children a piece of white cloth (open weave) .   Keep one piece separate as a comparison on clean versus dirty.  Have them dirty their cloth (eg  they can use it to clean their shoes or dust the Sunday School room!)   Then prepare bowls of soapy water and ask them to wash their cloth so it is as clean as if it had never been dirtied.   Help them to realise how wonderful it is that God is able to wash all our sins away so thoroughly that we are like new.

·        If there is to be no further lesson before Christmas (or on Christmas day) the children should also complete the miniature tree by gluing all completed trees together.

 

 

Making the miniature Christmas tree

 

If using the blank template: copy template on green paper.  Cut out.  Decorate with ornaments in the week’s colour.   Write name, in pencil, on back of tree.   Teacher collects trees and keeps them all until the final week’s lesson.

If using the templates with ornaments: Copy the week’s template on white paper.  Children colour the tree using appropriate colours (eg green tree, red hearts).  Cut out.  Write name in pencil on back.  Teacher collects trees and keeps them all until the final week’s lesson.

 

In the final week, teacher gives out collected trees.   Fold each tree in half, with right sides together, to create a crease line, then unfold. Use a glue stick or craft glue to cover one half of the back of a tree shape.  Glue only one half (only) of a paper tree to the matching half of another tree.  Now add a third tree, matching one of the sides. NOTE: you can add more tree shapes in the same way if needed.   Use the final tree to join the last open sides together, forming the complete Christmas tree model. You may need to adjust the folds so that the tree can stand up.

This material is available free for non-commercial use only. 
All lesson plans and teaching material is
Copyright © 2007  Lorna F Webb