*The name Ahasuerus is equivalent to his Greek name of Xerxes, both deriving from the Old Persian language Khashayarsha.
Objectives:The children will be able to - retell the story Queen Esther - identify Esther as the woman that was chosen to be queen - identify Xerxes as the king - discuss that Esther was courageous and obedient - discuss ways to be obedient even when it is difficult
Review: Prayer and questions from last week’s lesson
Xerxes Word Wall- Word wall templates are large flash card printables that you can hang on the wall to aid children when they are learning or using new vocabulary words.
Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrating the salvation of the Persian Jews from Haman’s evil plot to have them all killed. It is tradition to use noise makers (gragger as they are called in Hebrew) to make as much noise as possible whenever Haman’s name is mentioned when you read the story. The purpose is to stamp down or blot out Haman’s name which comes from the book of Deuteronomy which says, “You shall blot out the memory of the Amalekites (Haman’s people) from under the heavens.” Encourage the children to boo or hiss when the name of Haman is mentioned and cheer when Esther and Mordecai are mentioned.
*Have the children say “X” whenever King Xerxes is mentioned for added fun.
Read story: “Queen Esther” from your own story book.
Then ask questions from below.
What was the name of the girl? Esther
Was Esther Persian or Jewish? Jewish
What was the name of Esther’s cousin? Mordecai
What was the king’s name? Xerxes
Was King Xerxes Persian or Jewish? Persian
What did Mordecai warn Esther many times never to do? Never to tell anyone she was Jewish and not a Persian girl.
What did Esther become? Queen
Why did King Xerxes choose Esther to be his new queen? Because Esther was beautiful.
Mordecai heard about two men plotting to kill King Xerxes. How did Mordecai warn King Xerxes? He had Esther tell him.
Haman was an important man. Why was he so mad at Mordecai? Mordecai would not bow down to him. Mordecai would only bow down to God.
Who planned to have all the Jews killed? Haman
What lie did Haman tell King Xerxes so he would allow him to kill all the Jews? Haman told King Xerxes that the Jews did not respect him or his laws.
Why couldn’t Esther see King Xerxes whenever she wanted to? She has to wait for King Xerxes to invite her.
What could happen to Esther if she went to King Xerxes without permission? He may become angry and have her killed.
How did Esther get to see King Xerxes? She invited him to dinner.
What did Esther do to save her people? She asked King Xerxes to save her people.
Was Esther was courageous and obedient? Yes. How was she courageous and obedient? She faced her fears to save her people. She did what her cousin told her to do.
Can you name some ways to be obedient even when it is difficult? (Example: You come home from school and your friends want you to come out and play. You have chores you must do before you can play. What do you do?)
Songs and/or Finger Plays:
Introduce songs and/or finger plays: What was the name of the girl? Esther
If you hear the name of Haman stomp your feet. (stomp feet twice). Repeat. If you hear the name of Haman, if you hear the name of Haman, if you hear the name of Haman stomp your feet (stomp feet twice) If you hear the name of Esther clap your hands...... If you hear the name of Xerxes turn around..... If you hear the name of Mordecai shout hooray....
Introduce activity: Was Esther Persian or Jewish? Jewish
dltk-bible.com- Esther the Queen lesson with memory verse, teacher's guide, puzzles, take home sheet, coloring pages, crafts and activities, etc.
Introduce game: Who planned to have all the Jews killed? Haman
Throwing Sponges At Haman
Paint a backboard with a Haman face. Players try to hit the face with wet sponges.
Blow up balloons and draw "Haman" faces on them. Attach the balloons to a backboard such as drywall or thick Styrofoam. Players try to "pop Haman" with darts
Introduce game: What was the king’s name? Xerxes
Play the game called "If I Were King or Queen". Children sit in a circle and tell what they would do if they were King or Queen.
Pin the Crown on King Xerxes
Draw a picture of King Xerxes’ head. Make crowns. Blindfold children and have them try to pin the crown on King Xerxes’ head.
Xerxes- Be the first player to collect 4 Xerxes cards and win!
Directions: Place the Xerxes cards near the game board. Each player places a marker on “START”. Players take turns rolling the die and moving clockwise the number of spaces rolled on the die. Players follow the directions on the space they land on. If a player lands on a picture of a crown that player takes a Xerxes card. If a player lands on “LOSE A CARD”, they must put one of their Xerxes cards back into the pile. If a player lands on a picture of Haman all players boo and hiss. The player that landed on Haman gets to take a Xerxes card from any player they choose. If you land on LOSE A TURN you lose your next turn. When a player has collected four Xerxes cards, that player is the winner.
Optional: Play may continue until every player collects the four Xerxes cards.
Introduce snack: Who planned to have all the Jews killed? Haman
jewishrecipes.org- Hamantaschen (a triangle shaped biscuit said to be in the shape of Haman's hat)
Introduced snack: What Jewish holiday celebrates the salvation of the Persian Jews from Haman’s evil plot to have them all killed? Purim
perpetualpreschool.com- On Purim, it is customary to send baskets (containing at least 2 different types of food) to friend's and family. I like to use strawberry containers. Decorate with ribbon (weaving is a great activity for 3's and 4's!) and fill with colorful tissue paper and treats! The children are always excited to exchange their baskets!
Letter X Snacks-
Rice Krispie treats cut with a large "X" cookie cutter
pillsbury.com- Mini Soft Pretzels and Dip Shape pretzels into the letter X and bake. Serve with or without the dip.
Prayers while students are doing worksheets and/or coloring.
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