Friday, August 3, 2012

Esther

Today's Esther Bible lesson is for grades 1 & 2, but I have used it for K-5. For this lesson, I set up the room like the inside of a palace, and we act it out. Well, the kids act it out while I tell the Bible lesson.

I used the Disney princess background on one wall, set up the king & queen chairs and the table with rings and cheap beaded necklaces for the students to use and take home. I also made wood scepters and painted them gold (in orange pot on the left) for them to take home (see end of lesson). I also had crown for them to use, and paper crowns for them to take home.
 
The other side of the room was set up for the feast. A table with table cloth, glass and [gold] dishes to hold the feast that Esther might have had. Cheese, crackers, lots of fruit, drink boxes, etc. They love anytime they get food in class! Watch for those allergies, though. The red in the lesson below, is for the students to do.
Before starting the lesson, I gave the students a paper with a scroll on it and said: Write down a law that you would make if you were a king or queen. (Set aside.)

 At the end of the of the lesson (if there is time), I ask them to write another law that if they were king or queen they would make, and it should be for the good of the people.

People and how to say their name:

King Ahasuerus: A-has-u-e’-rus
Esther
Haman
Uncle Mordecai: Mor’-de-ki
First wife: Vashti: Vash’-tee


Bible Verse: The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Esther 2:17 (NKJV)


Bible Scripture: Book of Esther


Click the visuals to download a print the original documents

Background (I talked while they were getting ready):
When King Ahasuerus (AKA Xerxes) had been king for 3 years, he had a feast for his officials and servants. He showed them how great his kingdom was. It lasted 180 days! When that feast was over, he had another feast that lasted 7 days. His queen, Queen Vashti, had a feast for the women in the royal palace. On the seventh day, the king was feeling happy and told some men to bring in Queen Vashti to him, wearing her crown, so he could show his friends how beautiful she was.
But, the queen refused to go to the king and he was angry! Nobody refuses the king !The king asked his wise men what he should do for this insult. They told him that she not only wronged the king, but the princes and the people. Her refusal would be known to all the women in the province and they will look down on their husbands. They told the king to make a new decree. If the queen would not come to the king, then the king would give her royal position to another that deserves it more. So, the king sent out letters to the provinces in their own languages.
The king’s servants gathered all the beautiful young women for the king to choose a new queen. Mordecai was raising his cousin (his uncle’s daughter Esther 2:7), Esther, because her parents had been killed. She was beautiful. She was taken with the other women for the king to see, and he liked her. He moved her to the best place for the women in the palace. But she did not tell the king about her people. Mordecai had told her not to mention that her family was Jewish.
 
Every day Mordecai walked in front of where the women were so he could learn how Esther was. It took the women a whole year to get ready to go before the king! (KEY POINT))) Once a woman went before the king, she couldn’t go before him again, unless HE called for her by name.
Now, in the seventh year (4 years later) of his reign, Esther gets to go before him again. The king loved her more than all the other women. (2:16) He put the crown on her head and made her the queen, instead of Vashti. He made a great feast and called it “Feast of Esther”. (Have the king crown Esther & give jewels and Esther sits in queen chair)
After a time, when Mordecai was sitting out by the gate, he overheard two of the king’s doorkeepers talking. They were angry at the king and wanted to kill him. Mordecai told Queen Esther about this and she told the king what Mordecai had told her. When an investigation was done, they were both hanged! (Key pointJ))) After that, Haman was made second in command to the king.
When Haman walked in the king’s gate, everyone bowed to him…except for Mordecai. This made Haman so angry, and when he found out that Mordecai was a Jew, he decided to kill all the Jews!
Haman talked the king into making a new decree to kill the Jews for not keeping the king’s laws. He said their laws were different and it wasn’t right to have their own laws. So the king gave his signet ring to Haman so he could write a new decree which they sent out into the provinces.
The Jews mourned this new law, especially Mordecai. Queen Esther was very upset when she heard and sent one of her men to ask Mordecai why this happened. Mordecai explained everything and asked for Queen Esther to go before the king and plead with him for her people. Except that everyone knew that there was a law about going in to the inner court to see the king. If he did not hold out his scepter to you, you would die. Esther had not been called to see the king for a month.

Queen Esther told Mordecai to have all the Jews to fast, not eat or drink, for 3 days. She would also do this with her maids. And then…she would go into the king, and if he didn’t hold out the scepter, she would die. 
(Have the queen go into see the king. King holds out scepter) On the third day, she put on her robes and when the king saw her, he held out his scepter! She went close to the scepter and touched it. Think about how she had to be feeling. Her heart had to be racing and she had to be scared, but she did it! The king said “What do you wish, Queen Esther? Anything you want, up to half of the kingdom, I will give to you.”
She asked if the king and Haman would come to a banquet that she has made ready for today. The king called Haman to come quickly and they went to the banquet. (Eat at banquet)  While they ate, the king asked her what her petition was. She told him that she would like them to come to a banquet again the next day. (Pic of banquet.)
(Haman needs to brag!) Haman went home that night and bragged to his wife and friends about his position with the king and his power. He told them about how Queen Esther had a banquet just for him and the king! But he told them “I just can’t stand to see that Jew, Mordecai, sitting at the king’s gate not bowing down to me.”
Hamaan's wife and friends suggested that he build a gallows and hang Mordecai on it. He liked that idea, so he started building it.
That night, King Ahazerus couldn’t sleep, so he had the records book brought to him. He read about Mordecai saving him from the two gate keepers plans to kill him. The king asked his servants what had been done as a thank you and they told him nothing. Haman had just come to the court, so King Ahazerus told him to enter. The king asked Hamaan: “What should be done to honor someone that helped the king?” Haman told the king that he should wear royal robes on a horse that the king has ridden and wear a crown. Then parade him around in the city telling everyone that “The king is honoring this man!”
(Haman leads Mordecai and is NOT happy) Haman thought this would be for him, but the king told him to go get Mordecai and do this for Mordecai! Even worse, Hamaan was the one that had to lead the horse and tell everyone that this man is being honored by the king! Haman was so upset! And then, right when he had finished showing off Mordecai, Haman was told to go to the next banquet with the king and queen.
During this second banquet, the king asked Queen Esther what she wanted, up to half of the kingdom. She told the king “If I have found favor with you, to spare me and my people.” The king asked her who would dare to do such a thing, and she said the wicked man is Haman. (Pic of finger pointing at Haman.)  (Have king step away & have Haman begging Esther.) The king was so angry, he went to the garden to think and while he was there, Haman begged the queen to save him.
He fell across the couch just when the king came back in and that made him even angrier! He shouted “Now you will attack the queen too?”              
One of the servants saw the gallows and told the king they were being built for Mordecai, so the king said “Hang Haman on it!” So, they hanged Haman instead!
The king gave Mordecai his signet ring and gave him Haman’s position (remind them it was second in command after the king.) (King gives ring to Mordecai.)  And Queen Esther once again went to see the king. He held out his scepter and she explained about the law Haman had made about killing the Jews. He told Mordecai to write out a new law and seal it with the king’s signet ring that no one else can change and save your people.
And that document was sent out into all the provinces.
Key point))) And these things that happened were written in the king’s books and Queen Esther and Mordecai was well liked and considered great among the people. (King writes in an old book and a ‘letter’ is sent out.)
One of the items for the students to take home is scepters. This is what I used:
5/8" wood doll pin stand
5/8" wood doll pin head
1/2" wood dowel rod
I use Aleene's Tacky Glue for all my craft/hobby projects. You can see from the photo how I put the pieces together to form the end. After the glue dried, I painted them gold. Super easy and lots of fun for the kids!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission.

6 comments:

  1. thank you! it was such a great help!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Thanks for the nice comment!

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  2. thank you for all of the printout and the ideas. This has been a true blessing! I wish I could do more . Be Blessed

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    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate you visiting and leaving the comment!

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  3. Where did you get the disney princess back ground ?? Please help!

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    1. I found this on EBay. It is discontinued and was sold at Oriental Trading. You can Google it to find it. Disney Princess Scene Setter Pack.

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