My Christmas lesson plans are really discussion notes that I hope will inspire you to discuss various topics as you read beautiful books to your children this season. Our discussions generally cover just one topic though we may read the book another time during December and discuss another topic.
My Notebook ideas are based towards the younger, not yet independent thinker/writer. My older children will be expected to replicate our discussion, or part of, in a written assignment.
The Tale of Three Trees
By Angela Elwell Hunt / David C. Cook
Featuring the wonderful illustrations of Tim Jonke, this best-selling children’s book tells the Easter story from a new and unusual point of view. Three trees on a mountain dream of what they wanted to become when they grew up. One wants to be a treasure chest, another an ocean-going boat, and the third a signpost to God. Their wishes come true in a way they never expected. Children will be deeply touched as they understand, perhaps for the first time, the significance of Christ’s life and his atoning sacrifice on the cross. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Different things we’ve talked about as we read this book:
God has a plan for each one of us. Prov. 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.In your discussion draw the parallel that we may have our ideas, our dreams but it is God’s plans that count. Are we willing to be used by God – in the way He desires?
Copy write the scripture verse. Commit it to memory.
Have the children draw / write something they dream about themselves becoming – have already prepared a clip art of praying hands for them to cut and glue to remind them that they need to commit this dream to God and be prepared for His direction.
Alternatively prepare the following clip art – a heart, 2 big feet, and a cross. The kids can write their desires on their heart, cut and paste the feet to the heart walking towards the cross.
God knows our strengths and he will use those to glorify Him. Ps 139:13-16 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.God sees our “substance” – what we are made of – are we beautiful, strong, loyal? God knows. Our days are “fashioned” – He has a plan.
- List your strengths and weaknesses – commit these to God in prayer
- If possible (if you are orderly and know where to find it) Discuss your child when he/she was in your womb – do you have any scans for them to see? Teach into this opportunity that God knew them when they were that little, before anyone else knew anything about them God knew and had a plan for you.
Christmas and Easter are connected; in fact Christmas without Easter is meaningless, and Easter without Christmas is not possible! In your discussions bring home the point to your children that they need to respond to Jesus because He loves them and died for them.John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
- Create original artwork or copy draw the drawing from the book that shows the three aspects of Jesus life: birth – ministry – death. Copy write the scripture verse on your artwork.
- Draw a picture depicting both Christmas and Easter and write a memory verse in between
- Get older children to write their prayers – you don’t need to look at this – a prayer is a thing of their heart, between them and God but learning to write your prayers slows us down and really think about our response to God.
We read this story for the first time this year the day we put up our Christmas Tree. In doing so it helped us have a God focus before we were totally consumed with our tree and all its decorations.
- You can continue your heart discussions while you put up your tree – Discuss the original tree – or the legend of the original Christmas tree.
- We like listening to Colin Buchanan’s King of ChristmasCD. Today we focused on the title song – The King of Christmas. It reminds us to remember that as we decorate the Christmas tree we can stand tall for Jesus and tell others of His love for them.
This is a part of my series of lesson plan / discussion notes for picture books we read at Christmas time.
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