The Bible records how Ezra read scripture to the Israelites. Everyone gathered to hear him, and he stood on a raised platform so all could see him. As he read, the people began to cry because they realised they had not been following God's teachings. Ezra told them to be happy because they had heard the scripture and now knew how to obey God. Lead your Sunday school class in making crafts to reinforce the lessons from this story.
Make a scroll that resembles the one that Ezra may have read. Give each child a piece of white construction paper. With a marker, tell them to write important lessons that the Bible teaches. Then tell children to rip the edges of the paper and crumple it to make it look old. Let them flatten their papers and instruct them to paint the paper with brown watercolour, using a lot of water to dilute the paint. When the papers are dry, show the children how to roll both edges around a pencil so they curl inward. Roll the two edges inward until they meet and tie a piece of twine or brown yarn around the scroll.
The Israelites had forgotten God's commandments because they had not heard scripture very often. When Ezra read it to them, they remembered. Make a memory game that reminds kids how important it is to remember God's word. Give each child 12 blank index cards. Tell them to draw six important commandments from God's word on the cards -- one commandment on each card. Instruct them to make a duplicate of each card. Kids then scramble the cards and place them face down on a flat surface to play a traditional game of "Memory."
Bible Book Covers
The Israelites realised the true value of God's word after Ezra read to them. Tell kids that we should be thankful for God's word, too. If you have a group of older children, let them make book covers to protect their Bibles from getting dirty or scratched. For each child, cut a piece of felt that is 1 inch higher and about 6 inches wider than the Bible when the book is opened flat. Position the felt on the Bible like a book cover, folding excess material inside the covers like flaps. Let children sew the flaps to the cover with a needle and thread, and then let them decorate the cover with craft embellishments.
Talking Ezra Puppet
Children make an Ezra puppet that reminds them of how he spoke to the people about scripture. Position a brown paper bag so the bottom flap is facing upward. Show children how to draw Ezra's upper lip on the flap and the bottom lip just below it on the side of the bag, so when children open the bag and stick their hand inside to move the flap, it will look like the mouth is speaking. Tell children to draw the rest of Ezra's face. Give them scraps of cloth to represent his clothing. Glue yarn on top of the bag to make hair, then roll a small piece of white paper to represent the scripture scroll and glue it to the puppet.