DLTK's Sunday School Lessons
People Wave Palms

by Leanne Guenther

Sunday School Teacher's Guide - this marks the beginning of the Easter lessons and Holy Week.  Visit the Palm Sunday Activities or the Easter Bible Lesson Plan for further ideas to supplement this.


The Palm Sunday message is bittersweet.  Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, and spends the rest of His time there telling parables and giving us valuable information about the future.  Every action is deliberate as referred to in Zechariah 9:9: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey."  He offers himself as Messiah, knowing that this will provoke Jewish leaders to take action against him.  I've said this before, but it's worth mentioning again.  When instructing young children, repetition is a positive thing.  Everything is so new at this age that it is helpful to repeat important messages multiple times.  This first lesson focuses on the Triumphal Entry, second is the Last Supper, then Jesus praying, Jesus dies on the Cross, Jesus is Alive, and concludes with Jesus loves me.

The message:

All grades: Jesus came as a King.  The people waved palms to Him. 

The message of Jesus dying on the cross to save us, and then raising from the dead is, like Christmas, very important, maybe even more so.  The message is a life changing one, and gives us forgiveness and hope for a future with God.  This would be a great time to talk to the children about knowing Christ personally, and asking Him to live inside them.  Remember there is no 'special' prayer that has to be said but some important acknowledgments: God loves us, we are sinners and need forgiveness from God, and He needs to become central in our life.  Sometimes diagrams work to illustrate the point to older children.  There are booklets with more detail at any local Christian store, online, or just ask your pastor.  Remember this is the most important decision - and prayer goes a long way!

Make sure you repeat the message many times during the lesson.  Send the People wave palms Take Home Sheet or the Easter Bible readings chart home with the children to encourage parents to reiterate the message during the week.  It includes a poster at the bottom that the children can color and hang on their wall or refrigerator.

Preview of the lesson:

Some people like to do craft time first and story time second and some like to switch it around.  I like the first option, myself.

Always consider offering  Coloring Pages,or you could look at the Religious Printables Game or Easter Printables for children who aren't interested in participating in the group activity (or if you get done the group activities very quickly and need something to fill in the spare time).  Everyone has a need for "alone time" once in awhile.  Also, sending home the coloring pages with the Take Home sheet provides parents with much needed help in reinforcing the lessons.  You can make a nice little booklet each week with the Take Home Sheet on top -- I promise that most parents will appreciate the effort! 


Time Allotted



Receive name tags.  Have the children use crayons, markers, yarn and whatever other materials (such as sparkle glue) you have available to personalize their name tag.

Sing the Learning our Names song

10 to 15 minutes Palm leaf name tags, scissors (or adults can precut),  crayons, markers, yarn, safety pins or tape.

Craft time!

Preschool thru Grade 1:  Make the Donkey paper bag puppet. Help the children become familiar with their bag from the beginning.  This will help them understand that the smooth flat side is the back, and the side with the flip is the front where the head will be.

Grade 2 and 3:  Make the  Palm frond collage craft.  A fun option is to make custom pieces of green paper by mixing different shades of green tempra paint or water paint and painting them onto white tissue paper.  Finger painting, paint brushes, toothbrush flicking, string painting, potato stamp painting and sponges can all be used to create different patterns and looks on your paper.

15 to 30 minutes 
depending on your
adult/child ratio

Preschool thru Grade 1:  Donkey paper bag puppet, gray or brown construction paper or poster paint, paper bags, printer, crayons, scissors, glue. OPTIONAL:  big wiggly eyes, gray fun foam.

Grade 2 and 3: Palm frond collage craft, printer, paper, scraps of green construction paper, tissue, gift wrap, felt etc., black construction paper, scissors. OPTIONAL:  glitter glue and something to color with.

Bible Story Time:

Preschool thru Grade 1:  Read The Story of People Waving Palms to Jesus (or read from your own store bought children's bible).

Grade 3:  it's tough to know when it's the right time to start readings from the Bible, but if the children have been read a children's version of the story in the past, I believe this is a good age to introduce the King James (or your preferred) bible reading. 

10 minutes The Coloring Pages of a boy waving a palm to Jesus can be distributed to the children so they are able to color at home, or during the story.


Preschool thru Grade 1: Depending on the time remaining, allow the children to brainstorm about ways that they can be nicer to others.  Especially those who get picked on, or don't have a lot of friends (just like the way the Pharisees treated Jesus).

Grade 2 and 3: Allow the children to imagine how Jesus felt; knowing that this is the last week of His life before He dies on the cross.  Knowing that as He's riding on the donkey into Jerusalem, He will be making the Jewish leaders angry because of His popularity.  This will ultimately lead to His death.

All Grades: End with the song Here comes Jesus.

Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"

5 to 15 minutes Brainstorm Board (chalkboard, whiteboard, poster board,...)


Words to:

Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"

Printable version of this Teacher's Guide