Jesus' famous prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane teaches children the importance of prayer. You can find the story of the Garden of Gethsemane in all four Gospels: Matthew 26:47 through 56; Mark 14:43 through 52; Luke 22:47 through 53; and John 18:2 through 12. After you tell the story to children, you can implement activities that help them remember the lesson.
Garden of Gethsemane Trivia
Create 10 to 20 questions about Jesus and His situation when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Some questions to consider include: who was the betrayer of Jesus; what was the name of the soldier Peter harmed; did the disciples pray with Jesus; and how many times did Jesus pray to the Father for relief. Assign each question a points value and divide the class into two teams. Award points to the team who first answers the question correctly. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Garden of Gethsemane Word Search
Create your own word search activity for use at the end of the lesson. Use words like "prayer," "sleeping," "Jesus," "disciples," "Judas," "sword," "Peter," "garden" and "Father." Make the word search activity easy for younger children by using simple, short words and only placing the words up and down and left and right. Older children can find words spaced diagonally in the puzzle. You can make your own word search activity or print a word search from your computer (see Resources).
Mother, May I
Although the Father answered Jesus' prayer request with a "No," Jesus stayed obedient. Teachers can reinforce this concept by organizing a round of "Mother, May I." One student or the teacher must stand in the front of the classroom to act as the mother. The other students line up across the back of the classroom. The "mother" shouts out a command that causes one of the students to advance forward. For example, the mother may say "Jeff, hop forward three steps," or "Mary, leap forward one step." The student must respond with "Mother, May I" to gain permission to follow the command before she actually follows the command. If she fails to do this, she must go back to the starting position. The first student to reach mother, wins.
Garden of Gethsemane Scene Puzzle
Give each child a sheet of white card stock; use card stock because it is thicker and sturdier than paper. Allow the children to color their own picture of the Garden of Gethsemane. They can depict Jesus praying alone, the disciples sleeping or the scene with the soldiers. After the students finish, give them a pair of scissors to cut the puzzle into six to 10 pieces. Tell the students to trade puzzles with the child next to them. Take time to put together the other students' puzzles.
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