Introductory Activity—Wave Streamers
Materials: praise music, crepe paper cut into 2-foot streamers
Give each child a streamer. Play a praise song and encourage kids to wave their streamers to the music. Ask a child what the song said about Jesus (or God). Continue by playing several songs, waving streamers, and talking about the song. Explain that today kids will hear a story about people who praised Jesus.
Live It Out
Game—Catch the Teacher!
Materials: no materials needed
Repeat the Weekly Verse several times and instruct kids to pay close attention. Then repeat it again but change it a little bit. Either leave a word out, add a word, or say a different word. Kids should try to catch your mistake and tell you what is correct. Do this several times and then repeat the verse together as a group. Talk about ways the people praised Jesus as he came into Jerusalem.
Craft—My Own Palm Leaves
Materials: green construction paper, glue sticks, pencils, wooden craft sticks
Kids should trace their hands on 3-4 pieces of green construction paper and cut them out. They can glue those cut-outs onto wooden craft sticks, fingers pointing out to look like palm branches. Encourage kids to write the Weekly Verse and the Life Point onto the branches (fingers).
Introductory Activity—Praise Scramble
Materials: index cards, pencil
Print the letters P, R, A, I, S, E onto index cards, one letter per card. Make a set for each team you expect. Form two or more teams of 3 or 4 kids each. Give each team a set of cards. When you say “Go,” the teams should work together to arrange the letters into a word. When a team has a word, they should call out “Got it!” and wait for all teams to finish. Ask the kids to say the word together. Tell them today they will hear about praising Jesus.
Live It Out
Game—Memorize it Quick!
Materials: dry erase board and eraser
Write the words and reference of Luke 19:38 on the board. Gather students in front of the verse and read the verse three to four times as a group. After reading, start the timer, erase a few random words, and recite the verse again. Continue erasing and reciting until the group can say the entire verse from memory. Stop the timer to see how quickly you were able to memorize the Bible verse. After memorizing the verse, talk about how kids can apply this verse to their own lives.
Craft—Draw Jesus and Make Palm Leaves
Materials: copy paper, markers, green construction paper, scissors, glue sticks
Instruct kids to draw a picture of Jesus riding a donkey on their paper but leave room at the bottom of the page under the donkey. Using the green construction paper, kids can cut out leaves the shape of an oval with pointed ends. They can then cut strips down the sides of each leaf to look like palm leaves. After their leaves are cut, kids can tape them to the bottom under the donkey on their drawn picture of Jesus. Remind the kids that the people put down the leaves on the road to show honor to Jesus.