The first chapter of the Book of Luke heralds the arrival of the infant Jesus. In this chapter, the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her that she will conceive and bear a child who is to be named Jesus. This is also the chapter in which Gabriel appears to Zechariah to tell him of the impending birth of John the Baptist to his wife Elizabeth, and the chapter in which the unborn John the Baptist leaps in Elizabeth's womb when Mary greets her. It can be overwhelming to plan children's crafts for a chapter in which so many important things happen, but there are categories of crafts to consider as you plan your lesson.
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The angel Gabriel plays an important role in Luke 1, appearing to give messages to both Zechariah and Mary. Children may enjoy making angel crafts that can then be displayed in their homes throughout the Christmas season. Make a "shape angel." Cut out circles and triangles from construction paper and have the children decorate them with markers or glitter glue. The circle will be the angel's head and the triangle will be its body. Fold a paper doily in half and glue it together to make angel wings, then glue the triangle and the circle to the doily.
Another easy angel option is a "foot and hands" angel. Have each child make a footprint on a piece of heavy paper; this can be done by tracing the foot or dipping it into a plate of washable paint and then stepping on a paper. The footprint with the toes facing down is the angel's robe. Then use hand prints (or trace the hands) to make angel wings on either side of the footprint. Draw a circle or cut one out of construction paper to make the angel's head.
Another prominent figure in Luke 1 is Jesus' mother, Mary. Draw or print from a template a black and white picture of Mary that can be used as a colouring page. Alternately, draw or print Mary's face and her arms holding a baby. Have children decorate these images and then glue them onto a toilet paper roll. The roll creates a 3D version of the colouring page. You can also combine a Mary craft with an angel craft to help children to understand the relationships in the story. Make both Mary and the angel out of toilet paper tubes, or cut out pieces of felt in easily manoeuvrable shapes and have children decorate them as Mary and Gabriel.
Luke 1 is about the special secret messages that Mary and Zechariah received from the angel. Help children understand these secret messages by creating "whisper tubes." Decorate cardboard paper towel rolls with wrapping paper, stickers and ribbons. Children can then use their tubes to whisper to their friends about Jesus. Consider other crafts that involve communication. Create "telephones" out of soup cans and string, for example.
Both Zechariah and Mary are given specific instructions on what to name their babies. Get children thinking about the importance and meaning of these names and their own names chosen especially for them by their families. Children can make name necklaces or bracelets using alphabet beads and string. They might also enjoy finger painting their names or the names of the people in the story.
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