The Biblical book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of the courageous Jewish captive who became a queen. Queen Esther, despite danger to her own life, saved the lives of her people. Activities relating to the story of Queen Esther can focus both on the story itself and on practical applications for the students in standing up for what is right.
Have students make crowns to signify the role Esther played in the Bible. On card stock create an up-down, crown-like pattern down the centre lengthwise then cut it apart into two crown strips. Have students colour the strips with crayons or markers and glitter. Staple the strips together to fit the students' heads. Collect used, colourful greeting cards. Let students choose several and cut the front from the back of each card so they're same size. Glue the colourful fronts of the cards together in a series long enough to fit around a head. Cut one edge in a crown zigzag pattern. Fold Sunday newspaper comic strip sections to make long strips. Add the zigzag pattern to one side with markers and staple it into a circle.
Older children can write a play about how Esther saved her people then act out the different parts. You can provide robes and scarves to use as head coverings for costumes. Divide students into groups. Each group takes one of the characters from the story: Esther, Mordecai, the King and Haman. Write the story from the point of view of the different characters and have the actors read in turn to get differing perspectives on the story. Tell the story with the use of puppets made from paper bags.
The sceptre was a critical part of the Queen Esther story. When Queen Esther approached the king, she would have lost her life for being so daring if he had not extended his sceptre to her, indicating she was in his favour. Make sceptres. Cut poster board into thin strips, larger on the bottom than on top. Add a star or diamond shape to the top. Make the sceptres out of dowel rods cut into 2-foot lengths. Colour the rods with gold paint, wrap them with gold ribbon or strips of gold wrapping paper. Finish the rod off with a coat of clear glue. Use the activity to explain that as the king extended his favour to Queen Esther, so God extends His love to everyone. God gave Queen Esther the courage she needed then just as He gives the students courage to stand up for what is right.
Print out copies of the characters from the Queen Esther story onto card stock. Have the kids colour and cut them out. They can use their figures to retell the story. Glue craft sticks to the lower half of the figures to use as stick puppets. Create small cones by cutting out triangles and rolling and gluing the edges together. Attach these to the backs of the card stock figures to make the characters stand up on their own.