The story of Zacchaeus is a great way to teach your little ones how they should treat their friends. A man that no one was too fond of and Jesus went to HIS house…what a great story of kindness!
Here’s how I taught this story to my little learners…
We started class just like every week. During the first 8-10 minutes, the children come in and play with toys that are laid out on the table. It is a great time to reinforce how God wants us to treat our friends. It also gives me time to talk to the little ones about their day, welcome visitors and finish up prepping any materials (I cut the brown paper bags during this time).
We then met on the carpet to discuss why we come to Bible class, sing songs and talk about our Bibles. We open our class time praying together with a circle prayer.
To activate a little background experience, I gave the children a chance to name one real friend or fictional character they would be excited to stay the night at their house. I asked why they would choose that friend and how they would treat their guest. Then, we read the story of Zacchaeus in The Beginner’s Bible.
After reading, we discussed how many people wanted to see Jesus because everyone had been talking about Him. Zacchaeus was short and not a well-liked man in the community. He was a tax collector so very few people trusted him, however, he was just as excited to see Jesus as everyone else. I asked the learners if they would want a man like Zacchaeus to stay as their house…most of them said “no”. When Jesus saw that Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree, He showed him kindness by saying that He was going to be staying at his house. Jesus wasn’t mean to Zacchaeus, He didn’t give him an ugly look. Instead, He told Zacchaeus He wanted to go to his house and be his friend.
After the lesson, the children went to their tables and we worked together to make a sycamore tree for Zacchaeus to climb. As we completed the craft we also sang our “Zacchaeus” song that you can get on Amazon for FREE…if you are a Prime Member! 😉
Now, back to the craft! First, I cut slits in the brown paper bag and stood each bag up. Next, we twisted the bottom of the bag to make the base of the tree. Then, we took sections of the bag and twisted the slits together.