Family Activity: In my family we like to celebrate the Holy Week leading up to Easter, in addition to Easter Sunday itself. We’ve done this the last few years and it has been really meaningful not only to me and my husband but also my 2 young children. Beginning on Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter), we set aside a few minutes each day to tell the story about Jesus’ last week. Each day we read the scripture account of the events that took place in Jesus’ life in the same order as they actually transpired.
I’ve outlined the scripture references (The Last Week of Jesus’ Life-Easter PDF) and organized them by day of the week so you know what events happened when and which scripture stories to tell. I love to pull out pictures from the Gospel Art Kit to use as visuals, but even if you don’t have a hard copy of the Gospel Art Kit, it is all on lds.org’s Media Library so you can do it digitally too!
Sharing Time Lessons: Teach about Palm Sunday using the scriptures outlined in the document above, and some visuals from the Gospel Art Kit (or even this 1-minute video from lds.org). What happened on Palm Sunday and how did it get its name anyway? This is the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people waved palm leaves and laid them in His path as He rode into the city on a donkey. Some say that the palm leaf was a symbol of “great value” because the palm trees were highly valued by the people and used in many ways. Make a copy of the scripture references for each of your Primary children and send it home with them so they can study the Holy Week with their families and in preparation for your Sharing Time Lesson on Easter about the Resurrection. On Easter Sunday talk about the different events of Jesus’ last week to summarize (you may choose to highlight 2 or 3 specific events and bring pictures for those since you will not have time to review everything). Then teach about the Resurrection and why Easter Sunday is such a special day to celebrate Jesus! I teach children about the Resurrection using paper dolls (see templates below): one paper doll to represent the spirit and one to represent the body. Make a set for each child and one for yourself while you teach the concept of what happened to Jesus when he died (his Spirit left his body and his body was laid in the tomb). Then let each child have their own set to cut out and color then practice with you while you show how the spirit leaves our body when we die. The spirit continues living and the body goes in the grave. Then have the children reunite the spirit and body when it is time to demonstrate the Resurrection. This is a complex doctrine that is reinforced visually and kinesthetically when using paper doll visuals while you are teaching.
Enjoy teaching and testifying about one of the most important events in Christ’s life!