These lessons for Christmas bible classes are meant to bring the wonder of the Christmas story to life for young teenagers. You can use them for class, family time, or just as thoughtful questions for pre-teens to ponder. Look and analyze the people that were a part of the Bible story, John, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the innkeeper the wise men. Think about how times have changed and what we would do in the same situation as Jesus Christ in those days.
1. The Birth of John the Baptist
Talk about the role he played in Jesus's birth, and the true meaning of his purpose. Use the bible quote from the book of Luke 1:5-25. Talk about special missions and how John did not realize how important his mission was. Go on to explain how everyone has a mission in life that we may not even realize. Create a lesson plan around John the Baptist and the role he had in Jesus's birth. The Object lessons here is about finding God's purpose for our life.
2. The Annunciation
This is the perfect lesson to talk about the feelings inspired by God. The angel Gabriel presented himself to Mary and told her she would be the mother of Jesus. Talk about the event and how she and Joseph must have felt. Ask students if they have ever felt those feelings. Use scriptures that represent the annunciation.
3. The Angel Visitation to Joseph
How did he feel? What was his initial reaction? Do you think it was difficult for him to believe the angel? How would you feel today? Use the scripture to show how the angels visited Joseph. Ask what they think Joseph learned from this visitation.
4. The Bible Story
The first thing you want to teach middle school kids in bible study is the story of Christmas, but in a way that makes sense to them. Ask them questions about how they would feel if this happened to them. You can integrate an activity like a personal story that relates to the nativity story or even have them make a video about Jesus's birth.
5. Analyze Christmas Songs
Teach Christmas carols and analyze the lyrics to understand the teachings behind the songs. Talk about modern Christmas Carols and whether they also have a teaching or a strong Christian belief in the song.
6. The Art of Cooperation and Giving
Why is Christmas the time of giving? What can giving to other people teach us. Use scripture to back up its importance. Use the candy cane game to teach sharing, cooperation, and giving. The game requires candy canes and cookies with holes in the middle. Place kids in pairs, and one student holds the candy cane with the other attempts to throw the cookie over the candy cane. The kids with the most cookies caught win.
7. Put on a Modern Christmas Play
Making a Christmas play takes work, but if you let the kids write out the script and take a larger part in the planning and organizing, they will have more fun, and you won't have as much stress. Set a date to show your play to the whole congregation. Everyone will have a blast with this bible study lesson activity, and the kids will learn about the story of baby Jesus in the process.
8. Host a Classroom Concert
Get some tambourines, some bells, and a tambourine or two. Have the kids jingle along to recorded Christmas songs. It doesn't matter if the kids are offbeat. They will still have a blast in class.
9. Pantomime the Bible Story
Discuss the bible story. Talk about the events. Sequence the events and talk about why they happened. Then ask one teen narrate the bible story from the new testament. Ask pairs of students to pantomime the actions as the first teen reads the narration. An alternative here is to have pairs of students pantomime parts of the story without the narration and have the other students guess which part of the story they are acting out.
10. Create a Bible Story Comic Book
Remember that some teens are more visual, others need to write down the idea. Have students create their own version of the nativity story in comic book form. Have students work in groups and give them a part of the nativity story to tell and to draw. They can make collages or draw cartoons, or use word art to create their part of the story. Put all the sections together. Take pictures of the projects, upload them to a free magazine app like Issuu and have a final showing of the kids' work before Christmas.
11. Bible Teaching Mementos
Please talk about the scripture of the birth of Christ as in Mathew 2. Talk about what it personally means to the kids. Read scriptures and phrases that relate to the story. Download a free blank bookmark template. Print the bookmarks on cardstock. Have students cut out the bookmarks? Give each student a bible quote on the nativity story. Place calligraphy markers, paints, and color markers on the table and ask them to decorate the book markers with the quote they received.
12. Journaling Activity: What Does Jesus's Birth Mean to Me
Read Mathew 1:23 then ask students to use 3 to 5 words, have students write adjectives or a one or two-word meaning of the nativity for them. Cut out blank stickers and have them write that one to 5-word meaning on the sticker. Let them color and decorate the sticker in a meaningful way. Ask the kids to place that sticker somewhere they will always see it: on their notebook, book bag, or water bottle. Anywhere they will frequently see it and be reminded of the meaning of Jesus's birth for them.
13. Christmases Remembered
Read Mathew 2: 1-25. Talk about how the kids feel with this scripture. Give kids two or three blank cards and ask them to write a single word of motivation, caring, or love on each card. Ask them to think of a single word that they believe represents the spirit of Christmas. Then have each student describe a Christmas they remember that best represents the word they wrote on the card. Discuss what we should teach, give and learn during the holiday season.
14. Who Were They?
Discuss the seldom thought about characters of the Bible.Talk about these characters, their lives, and why they made the decisions they made. Are their reactions similar to the reactions some people would take today?
- The Inn Keeper - What moved him to make the decision he did?
- The Shepherds - What kind of life did they have back then?
- The three Wisemen: What was their life like? Was it difficult for them to make this journey? How precious were their gifts in the markets of that time?
15. The Christmas Worksheet
Start a discussion about what Christmas means to students and the Christian lessons they have learned through scripture. Read scripture about the nativity scene and ask them what they think it is supposed to teach. Write these questions out or give them and hand out with the questions.
- If God is so loving and powerful, why do I have to wait for good things to come into my life?
- Why did Jesus have to be born in Bethlehem?
- Why did Jesus come at that time, and why for us?
- Discuss the answers in class.
16. Jesus, the son of God and the son of Man.
What do you think this means? Show scripture that describes this quote. Discuss these ideas. At the end of class, give students a black poster board and have them write all the names they can think of in all languages for Jesus. Write the names in different colors and decorate the poster board.
17. The Journey to Bethlehem
Talk about Mary and Josephs's journey to Bethlehem. Ninety miles doesn't seem a long way now, but then it was a huge trip. Talk about how they felt and what could have happened along the way.
18. Talk about the Wise Men
How did they know where to look for Jesus? Why would they have followed the star? Were they the only people excited about Jesus's coming? What would you have felt in their shoes? Ask these questions and refer to the scripture talking about the Wise Men. Use a word search worksheet to help students learn words that relate to the nativity.
19. Above and Beyond
Read scripture of Luke 2: 1-20 and talk about how God asks us to go above and beyond. Use the nativity scene to explain this and ask the teens. Why did Jesus choose to be born in a stable? How do teens feel when they know God became human to help them? How is God looking for them right now? Ask them to write a quote or one word on a piece of paper that describes this pursuit of God. Then discuss that word and why they chose it.
20. God is Accessible
Talk about how God came to earth as a human and was born in a stable. It made people understand that they could communicate with him. How does the birth of Christ make God more accessible to people? Did they begin to understand how God does understand our struggle because he has walked in our shoes? Talk about the scripture Luke 2: 1-20. What details show that Jesus was human?
21. Is There More to The Christmas Story?
Talk about things that you believe in that is not spoken about in the scripture that relates to the birth of Christ. In the community, church or school, are there people equivalent to shepherds. What does it mean to you to have God choose to enter our world like this? Have a group discussion. Ask kids to write their thoughts down in their journals.
22. Birthday Party for Jesus
In your bible class the week before Christmas, you can plan a Birthday Party for Jesus. This will help kids remember what it is we celebrate on Christmas and what is really important.