We often speak of emptiness as a bad thing but sometime “empty” is good. That is the case of the empty tomb!
Many of us re-tell the resurrection story around Easter time. I thought I would share my favourite teaching tool for telling the Easter story. And, yes, it involves plastic eggs.
I did not come up with this teaching idea but I have to say I’ve used it over and over through the years. Kids love it and teachers find it very easy to use. I published a blog post about it in 2012 but I think it is worth posting again.
Here’s what you do:
(click here for printable instructions)
- Collect 12 plastic eggs and a used egg carton to store them in.
Note that you don’t have to use plastic eggs if they are not available. You can use 12 sacks or boxes or just cover the items with 12 cloths or paper.
- Use a permanent marker to number the eggs from one to twelve.
- Collect representative items (listed below) and put them inside the eggs. Place the eggs inside the egg carton.
- Introduce the story by asking the children how they would feel if they went on an Easter egg hunt and every egg they found was empty. Lead into the lesson by saying sometimes it is GOOD if an egg is empty. Sometimes an empty egg is the best egg of all.
- Open the egg carton and begin the lesson by opening egg number one.
- As you open the eggs one at a time you re-tell the story to the children. You might let them guess what each of the items might represent.
- After you tell the story distribute the eggs to the children and let them take turns re-telling the story.
- If you are able and have fewer children then you might help the children make one of these sets each to take home.
Here’s a list of items for inside the eggs:
- Egg #1: A leaf or twig (palm leaf if you have one)
Triumphal Entry- Matthew 21:1-11
- Egg #2: A cracker or communion cup
The Last Supper– Luke 22:7-23
- Egg #3: Coins (Judas betrayed Jesus for coins)
Judas betraying Jesus– Matthew 26:14-16
- Egg #4: Thorns (thorny twig from a bush)
Crown of thorns- Matthew 27:27-31
- Egg #5: A cross (made from twigs or paper)
Jesus carrying the cross- John 19:17
- Egg #6: Nails
Jesus being nailed to the cross John 19:18; John 20:25-29
- Egg #7: Dice and purple cloth
Soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ clothes– John 19:23-24
- Egg# 8: Black paper or cloth
Darkness covering the earth– Matthew 27:45
- Egg #9: Small piece of Sponge
Soldier offered a drink of vinegar on a sponge to Jesus– Matthew 27:46-48
- Egg #10: Thin cloth (white)
Joseph of Arimathea wrapping Jesus in cloth– Matthew 27:57-60
- Egg #11: A stone
The stone that was rolled away– Matthew 28:1-4
- Egg #12: EMPTY!!
He is not here. Jesus is alive! Matthew 28:5-7
As I said, this idea is not new with me. I’ve listed some sites I have seen that explain some other variations.
- Teaching items to collect for eggs at http://www.momfare.com/2011/04/24/plastic-eggs-turn-them-into-the-true-meaning-of-easter/
- Teaching items in eggs and printable scripture references at http://www.playeatgrow.com/2012/03/play-and-grow-homemade-resurrection.html
- I like how this one shows a picture of all the items laid out on a plate so you can see them at a glance. I’m not Catholic so I wouldn’t stress Catholic tradition as she does but I think her example is great. At http://www.momfare.com/2011/04/24/plastic-eggs-turn-them-into-the-true-meaning-of-easter/