24 Hours That Changed the World is Adam Hamilton’s acclaimed study, taking us through Jesus last week on Earth. A church-wide study available for adults, youth, 9 – 12 year olds, and 4 – 8 year olds. In this review, we will take a look at the 7-lesson curriculum for the 4-8 year olds.
The lessons are broken down into 7 separate lessons as follows. Palm Sunday, Jesus Washes Disciples’ Feet, The last Supper, The Garden of Gethsemane, Arrest and Peter’s Denial, Good Friday, and The Resurrection. Having received this just a few weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to review it by trying it out in a real classroom. We are on our third week.
Each lesson begins by the children being greet at the door and steered toward interest activities that have been set up in advance. It comes across very “Montessori” You allow children to explore the different stations of interest, but it didn’t quite work that way for us. The first activity was making palm leaf crosses. The children this age couldn’t do them without a lot of help. It also suggests that you photocopy the instructions for each child, but the younger children had trouble reading them. The next activities were palm leaf poundings, impasto paintings, and a game where children place cloaks down. All of these seemed liked fun, but didn’t work as stations. The second week we picked one activity and did it as a group and it worked out great. The ideas are very creative, but take a lot of supplies, volunteers, and prep work. They were also very messy. My volunteers were not real excited about the work, expense, and mess. Don’t get me wrong the ideas are GREAT! There is one where the kids make grape juice from grapes, and another where they plant a dish prayer garden. They were just bigger than we could pull off on a Sunday morning in an hour. They may work ideally for a Wednesday night program where you may have more time.
The next section, large group, was great! The kids began with a Palm Tree game, that they enjoyed, was simple, and age appropriate. Then, we transitioned into the Bible Story, and everyone helped tell the story of Jesus’ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. They loved it, and really enjoyed being a part of the story. It then moved into a lesson about “why a donkey” that included learning to sign the word “peace”.
The two are tied together with a hands-on movement activity that adds the bible verses. Well done!
Next, kids move into small groups. This great activity had the children trace their hand and cut it out, then write something they can do this week to show peace. Then, the hand prints were made into palm branches. The bible verse was repeated again. The children come together again for a large group worship time to finish the lesson.
This is a well thought out curriculum that offers very creative hands on activities to help kids really understand the lessons. I look forward using it again next year.