LearningCycles series The Queen Who Saved Her People Creative Activities for Teaching about Esther

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Creative Activities for Teaching about Esther
LearningCycles series
The Queen Who Saved Her People

The LearningCycles series offers a creative approach to faith formation based on different learning styles, appropriate for K-5th graders.  Each LearningCycles unit generally includes seven workshops: Art, Story & Games, Drama & Activity, Music, Kitchen, Movie, and Publishing.  This series works well for whole family/intergenerational catechesis and is a great basis for grandparent camps or other vacation bible schools.

The book of Esther contains all the elements of a wonderful story – a common girl who becomes a queen, a dastardly villain with a wicked plot, and enough daring and intrigue to capture the imagination of even the most reluctant student. Plus, the Godly principles found in the ways Esther and Mordecai live their lives give us some wonderful opportunities to teach our children.

Our Jewish ancestors have been celebrating the bravery of Esther for thousands of years and there is much we can learn from them. Esther’s story may not be as familiar to many of our children as other Old Testament stories such as Abraham or Moses, but her story is a powerful one with many lessons to teach.

  • Art Workshop – Make a decorated Megillah (scroll) of the story of Esther and learn about the meaning and use of the Megillah in the Jewish tradition. Talk about how we honor special stories of God and God’s people.
  • Publishing Workshop – Examine the story of Esther through playing games and talking about how we make decisions, and learn about how Haman put his trust in casting lots (chance), while Esther and Mordecai put their trust in God.
  • Drama Workshop – Create a traditional Purim (Jewish holiday celebrating Esther) play, re-enacting the story as a way to think about what each of the characters might have thought or felt.
  • Movie Workshop – Reflect on the story of Queen Esther by watching a movie about the story. Use the story as a way to talk about standing up for what is right and how we, too, can stand up for what is good and just. (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
  • Story Workshop – Make noisemakers to use during different parts of the story. This is a traditional Purim activity.
  • Kitchen Workshop – Make Hammentaschen, a traditional Jewish cookie named after Haman (from the Book of Esther) and talk about how Haman’s ears got him into trouble because he listened to people who said he should use his position of power to destroy the Jews.
  • Music Workshop – Sing songs about heroes and talk about why we honor people who have done brave things and how Esther and Mordecai are heroes.

Click to find additional resources for use with this unit.

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Format: eResource
Product code: LR209
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 40 pages
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources
Written by Tracey E. Herzer