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In the Beginning . . .

Growing into a Life of Faith


UNIT 1: LESSON 2:

Good News of Great Joy

Lets Celebrate Together


Key Concept
We can celebrate Baby Jesus.

Bible Summary
1 Luke 2:1-20 The Bible tells us the magnificent story of Jesus birth. Not only has God given us the gift of His Son, Jesus, but He has also given us one another. During the teaching time, children will celebrate His birth with a time of praise and worship, singing Christmas music. The rest of the lesson has been intentionally set aside for you to celebrate the birth of Jesus together with your kids and to affirm them as individuals.

KEY CONCEPT MOTIONS:

Every time you say the key concept during the lesson, use these motions: We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth].

Objectives
KNOW WHAT:

Children will sing and participate in a music time to celebrate Jesus birth.
SO WHAT:

Children will celebrate the good news of Jesus birth.


NOW WHAT:

Children will celebrate Jesus birth and community with one another. They will hear specific affirmations from their teacher.

CD player Music for singing Decorated birthday cake for Jesus Bubbles Stuffed/toy duck (optional) Crayons For each child: 1 Party hat (optional) 1 Scarf (optional) Key Concept sticker (Lesson 2 SG 17) Two-sided take-home coloring sheet (Lesson 2 SG 18, Lesson 2 SG 19) Snack The following supplies will be needed only if you choose to use the Christmas Matching Game or the Christmas Story Bean Bag Game during the Activity time. Christmas matching cards (Lesson 2 KC 1Lesson 2 KC 10) Christmas Story poster (Lesson 2 SG 11Lesson 2 LG 16) 1 Beanbag

Spiritual Formation Bible Verse


I bring you good news of great joy . . . a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 Celebration and Community

People Needed
Teacher, Helper

Supplies
(Labeled visuals below can be found in the Lesson 2 Visual folder on the Winter Quarter CDs.)

Winter Quarter

2007 Willow Creek Community Church / Sunday School Teachers Guidebook / Lesson 2

UNIT 1:

Good News of Great Joy

In Advance
Recruit a Helper to operate the music CDs. Determine which songs you will use and be prepared to lead the children in singing. Song suggestions: Upbeat song, that kids can clap along to, for transition from Activity Stations to the Creative Bible Teaching (consider using the same song for all 15 lessons or using a different song for each unit) He is Born (Jump for Joy CD) Who Was There (Jump for Joy CD) Jump for Joy (Jump for Joy CD) Gather the supplies listed above and arrange your classroom as follows: Designate one area or corner of the room as your teaching area. Set up props that will be used during the lesson and consider covering them with a sheet or a large piece of fabric to keep them from curious kids during Activity Stations. Also consider placing a line of tape on the floor to help keep kids out of the teaching area. The Bible story ornaments on the tree will not be used this week, but leave the tree set up for your Christmas celebration. If you choose to use the Christmas Matching Game, print and copy the Christmas matching cards on cardstock and cut them apart. There are four to a page, but you will only need two of each card. Place one set of ten cards in a Christmas gift bag. Paper clip the other set together and also place it in the bag. This set will be ready for you to pull out easily and place on the floor for the game. If you choose to use the Christmas Story Beanbag Game, create the Christmas story posters by printing out the pictures in the supply list. Glue the six images onto a piece of poster board. Review the Additional Celebration Activities section in the Application time and decide what other activities you may wish to use with your class. Prepare the materials that will be given to each of the children. To prepare the stickers, print or copy the pages onto Avery label sheets #5294. Consider cutting the stickers apart for easier distribution. Print out the lesson and practice the teaching time.

Notes:

Teachers Prep
READ LUKE 2:1-20. Christmas brings people together. Families join to celebrate this wondrous event. People attend parties, gather to sing, play, and enjoy each others company. What a great time of year! This week, you have the opportunity to celebrate the good news of Jesus birth with your children. Make the most of this time. You know your group of kids and what they like best, so take time this week to reflect and pray for each of the kids in your class. Think about each childs strengths and how you can encourage them specifically. Come prepared to celebrate each of them in a unique way. This may be the most meaningful Christmas present they receive this year.

Winter Quarter

2007 Willow Creek Community Church / Sunday School Teachers Guidebook / Lesson 2

UNIT 1:

Good News of Great Joy

Activity Stations
(20 MINUTES)

Choose which activity stations you will use from the list included in the Activity Stations folder.

Creative Bible Teaching


(15 MINUTES)

[Play upbeat music as children transition to the teaching area. Invite kids to sit down.]
TEACHER:

Hello, friends! My name is_____________, and Im so glad youre here today! We are going to have a lot of fun! We will sing songs, play games, and meet some special friends! Do you know what special holiday is coming? [Christmas!] Christmas is coming. What is your favorite thing about Christmas? Maybe you like the presents, or the Christmas trees, or the decorations. Raise your hand and wiggle your fingers if you would like to tell us. [Choose a few kids to respond.]
TEACHER:

Well, my favorite thing about Christmas is learning about Baby Jesus. [Pretend to rock a baby.] Today we are going to celebrate and be happy because . . . God loves us so much, He gave us Baby Jesus. And today, we are going to celebrate that Jesus is born! We can all be happy that Jesus is born. We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. Say that with me, friends. We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. Today we are going to sing songs and play games as we celebrate. Its going to be a great day full of fun! I made something very, very special to help us celebrate. Do you want to see it?
EVERYONE:

Yeah!
TEACHER:

Okay. Hold on just a minute. [Pull out cake and display it.] Tah-dah! I made a birthday cake for Jesus! Christmas Day is Jesus birthday, so I thought we could celebrate and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! And if were going to sing Happy Birthday and have a party for Jesus, we should have party hats! [Teacher and Helper pass out party hats to the kids. If you dont use party hats, have the kids put on their pretend hats.]

Winter Quarter

2007 Willow Creek Community Church / Sunday School Teachers Guidebook / Lesson 2

UNIT 1:

Good News of Great Joy

TEACHER:

Great! I think were ready! Lets stand up and sing Happy Birthday! [Helper and Teacher lead kids in singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.]
TEACHER:

That was so much fun! Today is going to be such a great day because . . . We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. Say that with me friends. We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. I cant hear you! We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth].
TEACHER:

Lets look for some more ways we can have fun celebrating Baby Jesus. [Show scarves.] One way we can celebrate is by dancing and singing with our scarves. [Helper and Teacher pass out scarves to every child.]
TEACHER:

All right, it looks like everybody has a scarf. Lets sing!


MUSIC

Song Suggestion: He is Born [Dance with scarves up high, down low, and dance circles.]
TEACHER:

Great singing, everyone! Will you all please pass your scarves back? [Collect scarves.] Now on the count of three, everyone sit down. One . . . two . . . three. Sit down. That was fun! We want everyone to know Jesus is born. And since this is a party for Jesus, I think we should play a game! [If you have a toy duck, the Helper makes it walk up to the front and jump up on the Teachers shoulder.]
TEACHER:

Look! What animal is this? [Kids respond.] Youre right. Its a duck! We should play Duck, Duck, Goose. [Invite kids to sit in a circle. The Teacher will walk around the circle, tapping each head in turn, saying duck. When the Teacher taps a childs head and says goose, both the Teacher and the child run around the circle until the child sits back down. The Teacher should always be the one tapping heads in order to maintain control. After a child sits back down, the Teacher asks the child a question: What is your favorite thing to do at Christmas? What is your favorite part of the Christmas story? Lets all say our special words: We can celebrate Baby Jesus! Repeat until each child has had a turn.]

Winter Quarter

2007 Willow Creek Community Church / Sunday School Teachers Guidebook / Lesson 2

UNIT 1:

Good News of Great Joy

TEACHER:

You all did great! Lets stand and sing a song to remember all the people in the Christmas story.
MUSIC

Song suggestion: Who Was There?


TEACHER:

God wants us to celebrate Baby Jesus. We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. Say that with me, friends. We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. This is so much fun! I brought something else to celebrate. Look at this. [Show bottle of bubbles.] Do you know what this is? [Kids respond.] Thats right! These are bubbles. We are going to play some music while I blow bubbles. You can dance around and pop them. But were going to stop the music and freeze sometimes, and then everyone needs to stop! Okay, everyone, lets stand up!

[Helper plays upbeat music as the Teacher blows bubbles and the kids chase them. Helper cuts the music and yells freeze! several times. While everyone is frozen, Teacher says, We can celebrate Baby Jesus!]
TEACHER:

Okay, everyone. You did a great job! Lets all come back to our places. [Give the kids time to get back to their places.] Its time to sing one more song!
MUSIC

Song suggestion: Jump for Joy [Invite the kids to sit down on the count of three.]

Celebration and Affirmation Activities


(10 MINUTES)

The purpose of todays activities is to celebrate the good news of Jesus birth. You can choose one or both of the activities below, or consider what other treats, crafts, games, or surprises you can bring to celebrate with your kids. You may wish to make this time longer than 10 minutes today.
ACTIVITY 1: CHRISTMAS MATCHING GAME

TAKE out the Christmas bag and matching cards. SAY, I thought it would be fun to celebrate by playing a Christmas matching game. PLACE the cards, face up, in the middle of the circle.

Winter Quarter

2007 Willow Creek Community Church / Sunday School Teachers Guidebook / Lesson 2

UNIT 1:

Good News of Great Joy

SAY, We will each take a turn and pull a card out of our Christmas bag. All the cards have something to do with Christmas. We will match the card from the bag with one of the cards in the circle. PLAY the matching game until every card is picked and matched. The cards include a wreath, gingerbread man, star, ornament, candy cane, lights, present, snowman, Christmas tree, and Baby Jesus. SAY, There are so many things I love about Christmas, but the best part of Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus. [Show Baby Jesus card.] That is why we celebrate Christmas.
ACTIVITY 2: CHRISTMAS STORY BEANBAG GAME

PLACE the Christmas story poster on the floor. The poster includes pictures of Mary, Joseph, an angel, a shepherd, Baby Jesus, and a donkey. Ask the children to stand around it. 1. GIVE one child the beanbag. Tell the children they will each get a turn. 2. ENCOURAGE the child to throw the beanbag on one of the pictures. (If children have trouble throwing, encourage them to drop or place the beanbag on the poster.) 3. PICK up the beanbag and point out the Christmas story picture to which it landed closest. 4. ASK the children, What is in this picture? Or Who is this? And What did they do in the Christmas story? 5. SAY, Today we learned God wants us to celebrate together the birth of Jesus. We can celebrate [point index fingers upward and dance] Baby Jesus [cradle arms and rock back and forth]. 6. REPEAT steps one through five until every child has had a turn. Pictures will be repeated.

Lesson 2 SG 11

Lesson 2 SG 12

Lesson 2 SG 13

Lesson 2 SG 14

Lesson 2 SG 15

Lesson 2 SG 16

Winter Quarter

2007 Willow Creek Community Church / Sunday School Teachers Guidebook / Lesson 2

UNIT 1:

Good News of Great Joy

Additional Celebration Activities


Bring in birthday goody bags for each child to celebrate Jesus birthday. Fill the bags with fun Christmas goodies. Tell each child why you are glad he or she is a part of your class. Have the kids make a Christmas ornament to give to someone in their family. Bring precut cardboard or paper circles with an attached string or ribbon. Bring in some simple supplies like stamps or stickers and let the kids decorate the ornaments. (Dont bring scissors for the kids.) Have the kids each make a Christmas card to give to a friend. Bring in folded heavy paper and stickers to decorate the cards. Provide a sample card to show the kids. Ask each child who they want to give their card to. Play Pin the Star on the stable. Bring in a large picture of a stable, tape to attach the stable to the wall, some large star stickers, and a blindfold. Children can pin the star on the stable. Give children the choice to be blindfolded or not. Some of them may prefer to just place the sticker on the stable. Check out these web sites for more Christmas celebration ideas, recipes, and games: www.marsbrightideas.com; www.ricekrispies.com; www.orientaltrading.com
TEACHER:

Shepherding Tip:
When making crafts, do as much preparation at home as possible. The kids should have only one or two things to do to complete the craft.

We have had a great time celebrating Gods good news, His Son, Jesus. We have also had a great time celebrating each other. God has put each of you in our class for a reason. He loves each of you and wants us to learn about Him together. God showed us His love by giving us Jesus. Lets pray to God and tell Him thank You for Jesus and our friends. [Lead the children in the following finger play.] Open them. [Open hands.] Close them. [Close hands.] Open them. [Open hands.] Close them. [Close hands.] Give a little clap. [Clap hands.] Open them. [Open hands.] Close them. [Close hands.] Open them. [Open hands.] Close them. [Close hands.] Fold them in your lap. [Fold hands in lap.] [Invite the children to repeat after you as you pray.] Dear God, Thank You for giving us Baby Jesus. Thank You for our snack. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Shepherding Tip:
Dont worry about getting all of your activities done. Instead, take time to notice and enjoy the kids as you play your games and activities.

Winter Quarter

2007 Willow Creek Community Church / Sunday School Teachers Guidebook / Lesson 2

UNIT 1:

Good News of Great Joy


can celebrate We

Snack and Coloring Activity


(15 MINUTES)

This is the time for you and the children to build community. A great way to let the kids know you care about them as individuals is to ask them questions about themselves. GIVE each child a snack to eat. GIVE each child a Key Concept sticker to put on their shirt while they are eating their snack. GIVE each child a coloring sheet to color while they are waiting to be picked up. ASK each child a question or two: What was your favorite part of our celebration today? What does your family do at Christmas?

Ba

b y J e s u s!

Lesson 2 SG 17

We can celebrate Baby Jesus!

Baby Jesus is Born (Luke 2:1-7)

Lesson 2 SG 18

Winter Quarter

2007 Willow Creek Community Church / Sunday School Teachers Guidebook / Lesson 2