Whenever I think of this story, I think of the good old Sunday School flannelgraph, complete with four important pieces: Zacchaeus, tree, Jesus, and "Crowd." Remember those? And in my head, Jesus always sounds a little like Rod Roddy, the old announcer from the Price is Right, when he would say, "Joe Smith, Come oooonnnnnnnnnn down!" It's a great story, isn't it? Jesus noticing the guy nobody likes, showing love and forgiveness to someone who obviously doesn't deserve it by his own merits. This was the story we decided to teach Noah today during his "Bible time." We sang the song, of course, read the story, and acted it out (Elmo got to play Jesus while Amy Duck scaled the chair/tree). But what to do for a craft? I took stock of our supplies. I had some colored tissue paper left over from our tissue paper rainbow adventure on St. Patty's day, and we always have cardstock, glue, magazines, etc. laying around. So, I decided we'd make a handprint tree and stick Zacchaeus in it. Here's how we did it:
- 1 sheet each of brown and white cardstock
- small squares of green tissue paper
- old magazine
- scissors, glue, and pencil
STEP 1: Trace child's hand and forearm with fingers spread wide open on brown cardstock.
STEP 3: Scrunch up small tissue paper squares and glue all over branches to make tree leaves. This was Noah's favorite part. He's a great scruncher and loves not getting in trouble for it. He also loves glue. A lot.
STEP 4: Look through old magazine and cut out a small picture of a boy/man to portray Zacchaeus and a taller boy/man to portray Jesus. It's even cooler if you can find a picture of someone from the back so he can be looking up into the tree. Cut out and glue to picture. If you like, you can always find more people to make the crowd too, just like on the good old flannelgraph.
STEP 5: Cut out magazine letters to spell ZACCHAEUS and glue above tree. If you have trouble finding a big "Z" like I did, an "N" turned sideways can do the job quite nicely.
Now you can use the finished product as a prop for helping to re-tell the story!
This same idea can also be used as a general springtime craft; just swap out the green tissue paper for pink, white, purple, or any color you want and let it represent blossoms. You could cut out pictures of flowers, birds, bunnies, and other animals to put all around it as a nice visual. It could even become a lesson on seasons if you divide a large piece of posterboard in four sections and make one tree to represent spring, one with red, yellow, or orange "leaves" for fall, one with green "leaves" for summer, and a bare one for winter. It's super easy and even the littlest crafter can do most of the work independently. It may not be an old-school flannelgraph, but it just may be the next best thing. :)