Enjoy this Easter lesson plan, suitable for young people in grades 7–8.
Young people will
a white cloth
a clear bowl
Ask the young people how their families usually celebrate Easter. Ask: Who goes to visit relatives? Who has relatives come to visit? Do any of your families dye Easter eggs? Whose families have baskets of food blessed for Easter? Allow time for the young people to respond. Then ask: Are there other Easter customs your families have?
Remind the young people that Easter is the most important day in the Christian calendar because it is the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. Say: During the Easter season we remember that Jesus was raised from the dead and that he ascended into heaven. Just as Jesus’ followers were prepared to proclaim the good news of his Resurrection, we too can prepare to live out our faith better.
Read aloud the first part of the Apostle’s Creed or ask a young person to recite it. Then hand out Student Handout A, The Resurrection. Ask the young people to read the first paragraph. Then ask for examples of good people who had died before Jesus came. (Adam and Eve, Moses, the prophets)
Divide the class into four groups and have each group read a different account of the Resurrection. The different accounts are
Ask young people to list at least four events described in their passages and then present the events to the entire group. When they have finished presenting, have the young people silently read the rest of the handout.
Tell the young people that Easter is a special time to remember our Baptism and to renew the promises our parents made for us at our Baptism. Pass out Student Handout B, Renewing Our Baptismal Promises. Discuss how our baptismal promises reflect what we say we believe in the Apostles’ Creed. Then have the young people write a short prayer that expresses how they will serve the world because of their beliefs.
Bring in a clear bowl and fill it with water. Place it on a white cloth in the center of the room. Have the young people gather around the bowl for the prayer found on Student Handout C, Prayer Service. Proceed with the prayer service, inviting everyone to pause before and after the Scripture reading. After the young people have had a few moments to reflect on their baptismal promises, invite them to come forward and bless themselves with the water. When all have blessed themselves, continue with the final words of the service. Conclude with the Sign of the Cross.
Pass out Student Handout D, Who Did That? Then have the young people complete the activity as a review of the events of Easter.
Remind the young people that Easter is the most joyful time of the year and that we celebrate it for 50 days. Have them make a list of ways they can be witnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus to their families and parish communities.
Print out the handout The Days Following Easter and have the young people take it home to their families.
Write these Scripture references on the board:
Have each young person pick a reference and create a headline for a news story based on the passage. Have the young people print the headline on a 2x12 inch strip of paper.
Divide the young people into five groups. Ask each group to choose one of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary and to draw the characters in the scene. Have each group cut out their drawings and glue them to a long sheet of butcher’s paper to create a frieze.
Direct the young people to write imaginary interviews with the people to whom the risen Jesus appeared (Simon Peter, John, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Thomas, the disciples at Emmaus, the apostles) or with the soldiers, Pontius Pilate, or the chief priests.