- Holidays and Celebrations
A Jesse Tree for Christmas
Christmas Jesse Tree Activity
This is a hands-on Christmas lesson I created for a two week unit on Christmas. In this lesson the children will make salt dough Jess Tree ornaments as they listen to the significance of each one. This lesson is the first of two co-op lessons on Christmas. Click on this to see the second lesson on Christmas. My lessons are geared toward 2nd-3rd grade level children and their siblings. These are lessons I created to do with a weekly homeschool co-op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 13 children between the ages of 0-13. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, family, or homeschool co-op!
Do you make Jesse Trees with your family?
Jesse Tree Order of Activities
***Please bring a baking sheet for each of your children.***
1. Discuss Jesse Tree (Isaiah 11:1)
2. Divide into 3 groups & make Baker's Clay. For each group mix together:
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup water
MOM #1: YOU WILL NEED: 1 (5lb.) bag of flour, 1 cup measuring cup, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 mixing spoon
MOM #2: YOU WILL NEED: 1 (26 oz.) container of salt, 1 cup measuring cup, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 mixing spoon
MOM #3: YOU WILL NEED: 1 (26 oz.) container of salt, 1 cup measuring cup, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 mixing spoon
3. Form 24 Jesse Tree ornaments one by one and place them on a large ungreased baking sheet. The ornaments should be small. Be sure to keep them in order so you can figure out what they are later when you're ready to paint them. (We used parchment paper that we numbers 1-24 and placed each ornament on that number as we went along.) We read through The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm before making each ornament. Then the children suggested what they thought would be an appropiate symbol. They then formed the ornament and put it on the specific number on their baking sheet. Children could finish up their previous ornament as we read if they were taking longer than others. Below I listed the ornaments we made and what pages we read. If desired, after making all the ornaments, paint over them with a small amount of water to smooth over the cracks. Using a pencil, make a hole in each piece. Bake at 300 degrees until set (1/2 hr to 1 hr). (We only baked some of them. The others were taken home & baked.)
*Take home directions: After ornaments have cooled, paint each piece. Acrylic paints work best, but washable poster paint will work too. You can also use a permanent marker on the back of the ornament to number them and put the appropriate verses. If you would like for these to last for many years, coat them with shellac after the paint has dried. To use the ornaments, for each day in December read the specified Scripture verse(s) and hand the ornament for that day.
MOM# 4: YOU WILL NEED: Wire ornament hooks or paper clips (24 per child), 12 paintbrushes, 12 pencils, 6 bowls to hold water
4. Sing O Come, O Come Emanuel.
MOM# 4: YOU WILL NEED: 10 copies of words to "O Come, O Come Emanuel."
This is the book we read from to introduce the various parts of the Old Testament that pointed to the coming of Christ. It has great illustrations and simple but solid text.
Jesse Tree Scriptures, Symbols, Pages to be Read
(The symbols are only suggestions. The shapes can be simple as they can be painted later. We used the photos from http://www.inlieuofpreschool.com/ as inspiration.
***When making the salt dough ornaments, we read the specified pages from The Big Picture Story Bible and then the children make a salt dough ornament (usually what I wrote as the "symbol"). The Bible verses are not read during co-op. I printed off the list so that each night as the children put up the specified ornament of their Jesse Tree, their family can read those Bible verses together.***
Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.16-20
Symbol: earth (circle)
Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.21-35
Symbols: man & woman (2 stick figures)
Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.38-49
Symbols: serpent/snake OR apple with bite
Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.52-66
Symbols: ark OR rainbow
Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.68-81
Joseph: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.84-105
Moses: Ex. 2:1-10
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.106-121
Symbol: baby in basket
Passover: Ex. 12:1-28
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.124-131
Symbol: door (paint blood on edges)
10 Commandments: Ex. 19:20-20:17
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.132-139
Symbol: 2 tablets
The Promised Land: Joshua 6:1-26
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.142-154
Symbol: wall (paint crack on it)
David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.155-172
Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.174-189
Elijah: I Kings 18:17-40
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.190-197
Symbol: pile of logs and/or rocks (altar)
Exile: 2 Kings 17:5-41
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.198-209
Prophecy: Ezekiel: Ezekiel 36:26-27
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.212-214
Prophecy: Isaiah: Isaiah 11:1-3
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.216
Symbol: flower on a branch
Prophecy: Jesus is Immanuel (God with us): Isaiah 7:14; 33:22
The Big Picture Story Bible n/a
Return from exile: Ezra 3:1-13
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.219-227
Census: Luke 2:1-3
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.230-237
Symbol: scroll with roman numerals scratched in
Mary: Luke 1:26-38
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.238-249
Symbol: woman's head
Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25
The Big Picture Story Bible n/a
Symbol: hammer OR saw
Jesus' birth: Luke 2:4-7
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.250-257
Shepherds: Luke 2:8-20
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.260-268
God's Promise Explained: Luke 24:44-48
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.400-411
Birth of Jesus: Luke 2:6-21
Additional Jesse Tree Lessons & Ideas
Other Jesse Tree Ideas: Ann Voskamp's Jesse Tree
Other Jesse Tree Ideas: Explanation of Jesse Tree Ornaments
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