David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Upper Elementary

Special Gifts

Lesson 4 

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Winter 2021-22

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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December 26, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

We can accept God’s amazing gift.

Bible Basis:

Luke 2:21-38

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access
  • “Our 12 Days of Christmas” worksheet (6 copies cut in half; template here).
  • Whiteboard and marker (or screenshared document)

Summary & Links:

Students will watch a video about some recipients who were surprised by their gifts as they consider the amazing gift God wants us to accept.

Memory Verse:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
—John 3:16

Step 1:

Students will watch a video about some recipients who were surprised by their gifts as they consider the amazing gift God wants us to accept.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • “Our 12 Days of Christmas” worksheet (6 copies cut in half; template here).
  • Whiteboard and marker (or screenshared document)

PRIOR TO CLASS: Make six copies of the “Our 12 Days of Christmas” worksheet (template found here). Cut each page in half so that you have 12 copies of the worksheet. Beginning with the second sheet, number each worksheet with one ordinal number in succession (2nd through 12th) written in the appropriate spot on each sheet. Keep the first sheet for yourself, label it “1st” and fill in “partridge in a pear tree” as the gift. (If your class is meeting online, email the worksheet for families to print for their students in time for class.)

Even though Christmas day was yesterday, the 12 days of Christmas are just beginning. Traditionally, the 12 days of Christmas was the period starting Christmas day and ending on January 5, the day before Epiphany, the celebration of the wise men’s arrival. One popular Christmas song that has been around for over 150 years tells the story of a number of gifts that were given over a period of 12 days. We’re going to use “The 12 Days of Christmas” to create our own version of this well-known Christmas song. 

Divide your students into 11 groups (even if each “group” contains only one individual). If you have a small class, you can assign multiple days of Christmas to each group. (If your class is meeting online, you can use the breakout room feature of your video chat software.)

Randomly distribute “Our 12 Days of Christmas” sheets (1 per group) and pens/pencils. (If you have a small class, give some groups more than one sheet.) Instruct groups to come up with a gift that corresponds with the specific day on their paper. For example, the group with day four (4) of Christmas might write “Four cups of coffee”; the group with the 12th day of Christmas might write “Twelve frosted cookies.” Give the groups a minute to choose their gift and write it on their paper.

When the groups are ready, have them get in a line in order from the second day of Christmas up to the twelfth day. Explain that the first day of Christmas will still be the partridge in a pear tree—everyone will sing that together—but the assigned group for each number will be responsible for singing out loud on the day shared by their group. Using the link below (a karaoke version of the song with no lyrics)—or with no music if preferred—sing through the song, allowing each group to sing their gift at the appropriate time. If you play the karaoke music as backup, it is suggested that your students not be allowed to look at the words on the screen as it might confuse them if the group singing “12 frosted cookies” sees 12 lords a leaping on the screen. This has the potential to get pretty silly, so have fun with it. You may have to do it twice to get the hang of it.

If desired, play this karaoke background music as your students sing their version of the Twelve Days of Christmas [4:26].
Twelve Days of Christmas Instrumental Karaoke Song / Children Love to Sing

Gifts are a big part of the Christmas season; our 12 Days of Christmas song showed that! Most everyone gets very excited thinking about the gifts they want to open and enjoy! 

For some people, the excitement of gifts during Christmas isn’t what they are going to get; instead, they love the opportunity to give something to someone they care about. Your parents enjoy picking out what to give you and then watching you open it on Christmas day. 

  • You probably remember a favorite gift that you’ve received. But can anyone remember a favorite gift that you gave? What made it special and memorable? How did you feel as you watched the other person opening your gift? How did they respond? (Allow students to share their experiences. Be prepared to share your own.)

Our lesson today focuses on a very special gift that is offered to everyone, even though we don’t deserve to receive it.  Let’s take a look at what this special gift is, and how two people responded when this gift was brought into their lives.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • “The Best Gifts Can’t Be Wrapped” worksheet printouts (1 per student; template found here)
  • Pens/pencils
  • Whiteboard and marker (or screenshared document)

Before class, print out a copy of The Best Gifts Can’t Be Wrapped worksheet (template here). (If your class is meeting online, email the worksheet for families to print for their students to bring with pens/pencils to class.)

Without a doubt, gifts are a big part of the Christmas season. People put thought into what the perfect gift would be for someone they love, and then they spend time and money to find that specific gift. We sing about gifts in songs, we see gifts being given all around us, and we enjoy the excitement of receiving gifts on Christmas. Our lesson today reminded us of the most amazing gift that has ever been given—the gift of Jesus. His birth was celebrated by the shepherds and wise men who came to visit Him, and Simeon and Anna rejoiced in the fact that Jesus was the Savior they had been waiting and longing for.

Most of the time, when we think of gifts, we think of things—an object that is wrapped up in pretty paper with a ribbon or bow. It’s easy to focus on the toys, games, electronics, clothes, and other stuff that we are excited to get, and give, at Christmas.

But gifts don’t always have to be objects that we can touch and play with. We can give in other ways besides going out and buying something in a store. These gifts might not be something that we can wrap, but they can still be given to people in our lives through our actions, our words, and our thoughts.

Encourage students to think of gifts they can give that can’t be bought or wrapped. List ideas on the whiteboard (or screenshared document) as they are shared. Ideas will vary but might include:

  • Respect to my parents
  • Loyalty to my friends
  • Forgiveness when someone hurts me
  • Willingness to work and do my best in school
  • Thankfulness for what I’ve been given
  • Kindness toward my brothers/sisters
  • Love and compassion to people around me

Distribute “The Best Gifts Can’t Be Wrapped” worksheet and pens/pencils (or invite students to have those items ready at home) and give students time to list the gifts that they might strive to give. Instruct them to wait to fill in their gift to Jesus.

While students are working, the following music video may be played in the background if desired:
O Holy Night – HomeTown

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUh7xDO-8bE&list=RDpMI2vcJsgB8&index=2

When Jesus was sent to earth as a baby so that He could grow up and ultimately give His life for our sins, we were given the best gift we can ever receive—the gift of eternal life. Salvation through Jesus ensures that we can rejoice in the gift of Jesus the same way that Simeon and Anna did. They knew that He would save His people from their sins, that He would prepare a place for them in Heaven, and that those who give their lives to Him will be with Him forever. That’s a gift like no other, and it’s freely given to whoever chooses to accept it.

Invite students to think about and write down the gift that they can give Jesus. Students who have already invited Jesus into their hearts may want to give Jesus their time through daily devotions, service by finding ways to bless and give to others, or a stronger relationship through intentional prayer. Students who haven’t yet accepted Jesus as their Savior may write that they want to give Jesus their heart; others who aren’t sure may be uncertain of what to write. Make yourself available to students after class who might have questions about asking Jesus into their heart.

Before closing in prayer, encourage your students to keep this gift list somewhere where they can see it regularly and be reminded of the gifts they can be giving to those around them long after the Christmas season has ended.

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