Holy Week is a Christian observance that occurs the week preceding Easter. This also coincides with the last week of Lent and includes the observance of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. You can teach your class about Holy Week by incorporating arts and crafts projects.
This craft is a good way to illustrate the story of Palm Sunday in which people laid out palm branches in front of Jesus as he arrived at Jerusalem. Give each student a sheet of green construction paper. Fold the sheet in half and trace half of a large basic leaf shape onto the paper (you may have to assist with this, depending on the ability level of your children). Unfold the paper and cut out the leaf, then cut notches into each side of the leaf cutout, which will make the leaf look more like a palm frond. Tape or glue a wooden dowel, craft stick or chop stick to each leaf as a handle, and have students print their names on their leaves.
This craft celebrates the culmination of Holy Week, which is the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb. Have the children cut a paper plate in half then cut a half-circle out of the bottom-centre of one half (along the flat edge where the plate was cut). They should decorate this half of the plate with colourful flowers using markers or by gluing small artificial flowers to the plate then colour the other half of the plate black. Have the children glue the decorated half of their plates on top of the black halves so that the black colour shows through the half circle in the decorated plate. Using a bright colour--red, orange or yellow--children should paint the phrase "He Is Risen" on the section of black paint that is showing through the "door" to the "tomb." Punch a hole in the top of the plates (the rounded side), and loop a piece of yarn through to hang the craft.
The cross bookmark craft is a way to illustrate what happened on Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified on the cross. Trace crosses on sheets of construction paper and cut them out. Students should then decorate their crosses with markers and crayons. Write the following verse on one side of the cross: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life--John 3:16."
Laminate the crosses with contact paper, and use a hole punch to create a small hole in the top, centre of the cross. Thread a 2-inch piece of ribbon through the hole and tie it in a knot.
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