Palm Sunday Lesson for Children

This free Children’s Church lesson plan was first written for elementary aged students. It covers the story of Jesus on Palm Sunday. This material could also be used as the Bible lesson for children’s Sunday school. Be sure to consider your own ministry context and modify it as needed.

Even More Ideas: To supplement this lesson plan, you might enjoy our Palm Leaf Craft idea and  Palm Sunday Coloring page. For an outreach focus, have children complete these printable invitation cards to invite others to church for Easter. We also have an another free lesson plan “Jesus Triumphal Entry” by Kara Jenkins if you need even more teaching ideas. For an related video, check out this kid-friendly animated version of the Easter Story.

Bible Story: Jesus rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday
Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11
Target Age Group: Age 6 – 11 (U.S. Kindergarten – 5th Grade)
Time: 20 Minutes
Learning Context: Children’s Church
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Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate an understanding of the story by discussing the main points of the story and then reenacting it.

Items Needed:

  • Bible: Matthew 21:1-11. There is a detailed explanation below to help bring out some of the important parts of the story.
  • 1 paper plate per child, palm branch template, green crayons, scissors, pencils
  • Markers
  • Whiteboard, whiteboard markers
  • Easter Songs (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.

Children’s Bible Lesson About Palm Sunday

Welcome Activity: Welcome activities are things to have out for the children to do as they are arriving for class. These activities will get them engaged as soon as they arrive and will help the transition from their parents.

Have palm branch templates for the children to trace onto paper plates and then to color green and cut out.

Worship: Easter Songs or browse our kids worship suggestions

Bible Lesson Introduction: Discuss with the children what a King looks like and what one does.

Bible Lesson

  • What part of the Bible is Matthew in? The New Testament
  • What book of the New Testament is Matthew? #1

Read Matthew 21:1-11 (NIRV) aloud to the children.

1 As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage. It was on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two disciples. 2 He said to them, “Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a donkey tied up. Her colt will be with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them. The owner will send them right away.”
4 This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would come true. It says,

 

5 “Say to the city of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you.
He is gentle and riding on a donkey.
He is riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ” —(Zechariah 9:9)
6 The disciples went and did what Jesus told them to do. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt. They placed their coats on them. Then Jesus sat on the coats. 8 A very large crowd spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Some of the people went ahead of him, and some followed. They all shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” —(Psalm 118:26)
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. The people asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus. He is the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Discuss Bible Lesson
1 As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage. It was on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two disciples. 2 He said to them, “Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a donkey tied up. Her colt will be with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them. The owner will send them right away.”

  • Jesus and His disciples were walking towards Jerusalem when Jesus stops them.
  • He sends 2 disciples to get Him 2 donkeys.
  • But He doesn’t say anything about paying for them.
  • They are to go to the village and get a donkey and her colt.
  • If there are any problems…they are just supposed to say that “the Lord needs them” and it will all be fine.

4 This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would come true. It says,

 

5 “Say to the city of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you.
He is gentle and riding on a donkey.
He is riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ” —(Zechariah 9:9)

  • Jesus was fulfilling prophecy.
  • He was supposed to ride on a donkey’s colt.

6 The disciples went and did what Jesus told them to do. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt. They placed their coats on them. Then Jesus sat on the coats. 8 A very large crowd spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Some of the people went ahead of him, and some followed. They all shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” —(Psalm 118:26)
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

  • The disciples did what they were told to do. They went and got the donkey and the colt.
  • Jesus into town and rode as a king. Kings rode on donkeys.
  • A crowd had formed and they covered the street with their coats and branches from the trees. Remember that they didn’t have paved roads back then – the roads were dirt. They were showing their respect to Jesus by covering the road so that He wouldn’t get dirty.

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. The people asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus. He is the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

  • Jesus made quite an entrance! People were trying to figure out who He was.
  • Remember, there was no television back then. People had heard about Him, but they had never seen Him before.
  • Notice – they didn’t say that He was the Son of God. They called Him a prophet.
  • It was difficult for some of the people of Jesus’ time to realize that He was God and that He was going to save them.

Bible Lesson Activities : Use the following activities to reinforce the learning goals. If time is short, move on to the evaluation portion of the lesson plan.

Activity: Praising God

“In our Bible story today, Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem. Jesus is the king of kings and so He was riding like a king. The people celebrated His arrival. They were worshipping Him.”

  • Have the children brainstorm about ways that they could worship Jesus.
  • Write them on the whiteboard.

Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“Your king comes to you. He is gentle and riding on a donkey.” Matthew 21:5

Your king: act like you are putting a crown on your head
Comes to you: walk in place
He is gentle: smile
And riding on a donkey: act like riding on a donkey
Matthew 21: hold up 2 fingers on one hand and 1 finger on the other hand
5: hold up 5 fingers

Do this a few times with the children. Make it fun for them to do the motions and say the words. Involving them in active learning is essential for memorization.

Activity: Palm Branch Writing

  • Have the children write the Bible Verse on their palm branch from the Welcome Activity
  • As the children finish writing, have them tell a neighbor what the Bible Verse is

Evaluation: Have the children discuss the main points of the story and then reenact it.

Need More Ideas? Then browse all our Easter lesson plans and coloring pages


Comments

  1. Christina says

    Although we do not go to church. My we do not attend church heart knows my children need to know Him. Thank u for having the FREE lesson. Jesus is FREE

  2. Tabatha says

    I like to read the story as me being the donkey. I crawl around on the floor acting as if I think all the fuss is about me then later I realize it was not for at all but for Jesus. And what a great privaledge it was for Jesus to choose to ride on me.

  3. ShayLynn says

    Wow im a 14 year old girl just trying to understand the bible myself and trying to teach it to a class of children. All I can say is thank you because I was having a hard time trying to think up a lesson that I, let alone kids could understan. Thanks :)

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