Introductory Activity – Dart to the Top
Materials: nerf suction cup darts, masking tape, white board, white board marker
Before class, draw a large tree on the white board. Place a piece of masking tape on the floor about 10 feet away from the board. Once kids arrive, instruct them to line up behind the piece of tape. Tell them they are to throw the dart at the tree, attempting to stick it as high on the tree as possible. The kid who sticks it the highest on the tree wins! Tell students they are going to learn about a man who wanted to see Jesus so much that he climbed high into a tree to be able to see Him.
Live It Out
Game – Search for Zacchaeus
Materials: online word search generator, white board, dry erase marker
Before class, find a free word search generator online. Input these words into the generator: Tree, Zacchaeus, Jesus, Crowd, Jericho, Guest, Sinner, Taxes, Wealth, Salvation. Print the result of the word search generator and bring it to class. Write the word search on your board and write the word list next to it. If possible, cover it up so kids can’t look at it when they walk into class. Form the students into two teams. Each team will alternate sending one contestant to the board to find one word within 15 seconds. The team that discovers the most words wins. Have everyone say the Life Point and remind them that even though Zacchaeus was not liked by people, Jesus loved him anyway.
Craft – Jumbo Zacchaeus
Materials: jumbo craft sticks, glue, scissors, green construction paper, white paper, colored pencils or crayons
Give each child a jumbo craft stick, green construction paper and white paper. Allow them to share colored pencils and glue. Tell them they are going to make a tree out of the craft stick and green construction paper. Instruct them to draw a cloud shape on the green paper, cut it out, and glue it to one end of the craft stick. Next, instruct them to draw and color Zacchaeus and Jesus on the white paper and cut them out. Briefly, remind them of the Bible story while acting out what Zacchaeus did throughout the story with the craft. Instruct them to tell their parents the Bible story with their craft when they go home.
Introductory Activity – Snowball Blocker
Materials: indoor snowballs
For this activity, there will be a Thrower, a Catcher, and a Blocker. Standing about 10-15 feet apart, the Thrower attempts to throw the snowball to the Catcher. However, there is a Blocker in-between them who tries to knock the snowball away. Give the Thrower three chances to get the snowball to the Catcher. After three chances, rotate the students to allow more to play. The Thrower becomes the Blocker, the Blocker becomes the Catcher, and the Catcher goes to the end of the line. At the end of the activity, tell kids they will hear about how Zacchaeus kept trying to get to Jesus, but people kept blocking his way.
Live It Out
Game – All Around the World
Materials: no materials needed
Form your class into two groups. Tell kids you will name a country and the first team that tells you the dominant language in that country will get a point. The team with the most points at the end wins!
Canada – English
Spain – Spanish
France – French
Israel – Hebrew
Sweden – Swedish
Mexico – Spanish
Japan – Japanese
Australia – English
Brazil – Portuguese
United States – English
Lead everyone to say the Life Point together. Remind your students that everyone needs to hear about Jesus, no matter where they live, what language they speak, or whether many people like them or not.
Craft – Telling Others
Materials: paper plates, colored pencils or crayons
On one side of the plate, instruct your students to draw and color a picture of Zacchaeus talking to Jesus from the tree. On the back of the plate, instruct them to write down the answers to these two questions: Who is someone I know who doesn’t know Jesus? How can I help him/her meet Jesus? Remind your students that their actions and words should help people find a relationship with Jesus. Encourage them to place their plates in their rooms to remind them to tell their friends about Jesus.