Lesson 1: An Angel Announces Jesus’ Birth 01/27/2023
Classroom: My Classroom
Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-25 Leader Guide for Ages 3-6

Teachers Dig In

 

Dig In to the Bible

  • Read: Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-25
  • In This Passage: Mary was a young woman from Nazareth, engaged to Joseph, a carpenter. Neither of them seemed particularly remarkable, and yet in these passages an angel appears to each of them with an impossible message: They’d be the ones to parent God’s Son. Mary would give birth to God’s Son, bringing God to earth in a tangible way! Through these unlikely candidates, God did the impossible. He became a baby.
  • Bible Point: God does the impossible.
  • Summary Verse: “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

 

Dig Deeper

  • You’ll Be Teaching: God does the impossible. Kids often feel as if they aren’t good enough or special enough for God to work in their lives. But God used two ordinary people to do something so incredible and impossible. Kids need to know that God can do the impossible in their lives, too!
  • Think About: What’s an impossible situation you’re dealing with? How have you tried to take control of the situation? What would it look like to trust God to do the impossible?

 

Dig In to Prayer

  • Think of the kids in your group who are in difficult situations. Pray for God to do the impossible in their lives.

 

Quick Tip

  • Having elementary kids follow along in their Bibles as one person reads helps them focus, and it helps them learn how to navigate the Bible. But try to ask only experienced readers to read aloud in order to keep everyone’s focus.

This Lesson at a Glance

Opening

Preschoolers share about a topic related to the lesson.

Supplies

  • Bible

Music Video

Preschoolers sing songs of praise to God.

Supplies

  • “What Child Is This?” (watch or download here)
  • “Angels We Have Heard on High” (watch or download here)
  • “God Is Always With Us” (watch or download here)

Core Bible Discovery

Preschoolers experience the angel’s visit to Mary.

Supplies

  • Bible
  • “Angel” handout (download here)

  

 

Core Bible at Home

Only available in One Room class format.

 

Talk-About Video

Preschoolers watch a video and discuss God doing the impossible.

Supplies

  • “Al Risket, Stuntman” teaching video (watch or download here)

Preschool Puppet Skit

Recommended for preschoolers.

Supplies

  • Theophilus the FaithRetriever™ Puppet (order here)
  • blankie

Easy Prep

  • Place the blankie over Theo’s head.

Object Lesson

Preschoolers see a sheet of paper become taller than them.

Supplies

  • paper
  • scissors

Deeper Bible

Preschoolers color an angel and learn the summary verse.

Supplies

  • “Angel” handout (1 per child) (download here)
  • crayons
  • 2 small wiggly eyes per child
  • shakers of glitter
  • glue sticks

High-Energy Game

Preschoolers run to share a message with others.

Supplies

  • upbeat music (optional)
  • music player (optional)

Low-Energy Game

Preschoolers listen for others to guide them across the room.

Supplies

  • blindfolds (optional)

Craft

Preschoolers make paper angels with heart wings.

Supplies

  • construction paper (white and beige)
  • markers
  • glue sticks
  • gold or silver chenille wire
  • clear tape

Easy Prep

  • Use half a sheet of white construction paper and tape to make a 4-inch-tall tube for each child.
  • Cut a 2-inch circle from beige construction paper for each child.
  • Cut two 5-inch-tall hearts out of white paper for each child.
  • Cut a 6-inch piece of chenille wire for each child.
  • Use the instructions below to make a sample craft.

Life Application Wrap-Up

Preschoolers hold on to a rope as they follow a prayer path.

Supplies

  • bedsheet
  • ball
  • rope

Easy Prep

  • Put the bedsheet in one corner of the room.
  • Put the ball in a different corner.
  • Place a rope in the center of the room.

Take-Home

Preschoolers receive a take-home page about the lesson.

Supplies

  • this week’s “Dig In @ Home” handout (1 per child) (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Add your church announcements to the “Dig In @ Home” handout.

*Marked supplies can be reused from Core Bible Discovery

Let's keep kids safe! You can help by using supplies as instructed for only ages 3+, purchasing child-safe items, and being aware of allergy concerns.

Opening [5 min]

Welcome

Supplies

  • Bible

Welcome

            Thank preschoolers for coming.

            Just for fun, have children shake hands with four friends using the back of their hands.

            Make announcements.

            Introduce new kids.

            Celebrate birthdays by singing a birthday song off-key.

            Collect the offering.

 

Introduce the Lesson

            Say: Today we’re going to learn that God does the impossible. Impossible means that something seems too hard to do—or it can’t be done at all. But nothing is too hard for God! Today we’ll learn that an angel told Mary and Joseph that God would do something impossible in their lives—he'd give them his Son for a baby.

 

Share

            Say: The angel told Mary and Joseph to name the baby Jesus.

            Tell kids something about your name, such as where it came from or what it means.

            Have preschoolers take turns telling something about their names.

 

Summarize

            Open a Bible, and say: Today we’ll talk about how God does the impossible. We’ll learn about it from the Bible. The Bible is God’s special book. God can talk to us through the Bible. God is here right now, ready to talk to you.

            Pray, thanking God that he does the impossible.

Music Video [10 min]

What Child Is This?

Supplies

  • “What Child Is This?” (watch or download here)
  • “Angels We Have Heard on High” (watch or download here)
  • “God Is Always With Us” (watch or download here)

Tip

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can choose your own worship songs from our Best Of Dig In Music DVD here.

 

Sing Songs to God

          Sing the three songs in any order.

Core Bible Discovery [20 min]

God Does the Impossible (Luke 1:26-38)

Supplies

  • Bible
  • “Angel” handout (download here)

  

 

Tell About the Angel

          Gather children in a circle on the floor.

          Say: The Bible tells us that long ago, God promised to send a Savior to help his people. A savior is a person who rescues you from danger. Before God sent the Savior, he sent an angel to tell that the Savior was coming.

          Hold up the Angel handout, and point to the angel. An angel is a special messenger from God. God sent the angel named Gabriel to visit a young woman named Mary. She was engaged to a man named Joseph. Mary had never seen an angel before. She was scared.

          Ask children to show you what their faces would look like if they saw an angel.

 

Pass Special Messages

          Say: Let’s play a game to discover the special messages Gabriel had for Mary. I’m going to tell a message to the person sitting next to me. Then that person will whisper the message to the next person. We’ll pass the message around the circle.

          Whisper to a child next to you: “Don’t be afraid, Mary!”

          After the message goes around the circle, ask the last child to repeat the message. If they don’t quite have it right, repeat the message for everyone: “Don’t be afraid, Mary!” Repeat the activity with the second part of the angel’s message: “You are special to God.” (You may want to pass this message around the circle in the opposite direction.) Be sure to repeat the correct message after it’s been passed around the circle.

 

Mary’s Message

          Say: Gabriel also told Mary, “You’re going to have a baby. Name the baby Jesus. He is the Savior God promised to send. Jesus is God’s own Son. He’s a king!” Mary asked, “How can that be?” Gabriel answered, “Nothing is impossible with God.” God does the impossible! Mary said, “I love God. I will do what he has chosen me to do.” The angel told Mary that baby Jesus would grow up to be a king.

          Lead preschoolers in crawling like babies and then squatting down and “growing” taller.

 

Talk About It

          Ask: • What do you want to be when you grow up?

          Say: It may seem impossible to think about being a [name some of the things children said] when you’re just a kid! But God does the impossible! He has big plans for you and can help you do hard things now and as you grow.

 

But God Could Do That

          Say: In our Bible story, we heard about some things that sounded pretty impossible.  When I say them, call out “God does the impossible!”

          An angel talking to a person. (“God does the impossible!”)

          A young woman having God’s Son. (“God does the impossible!”)

          A baby not from a royal family being born as a king. (“God does the impossible!”)

 

Review With Rhyme

          Lead preschoolers in this action rhyme to remember the Bible story:

          “Don’t be scared,” the angel spoke,

          (shake head right, left; point to mouth)

          “You’ll have a baby; that’s no joke.

          (rock a pretend baby in your arms)

          Jesus is his name to be,

          (touch right index finger to left palm and then left index finger to right palm)

          He’ll save the world, just wait and see!”

          (hold arms out from sides like a cross, and then bring hands to eyes to look through glasses)

 

Prayer

          Say: God does the impossible. Nothing is too hard for God. Let’s thank God for his love and power right now.

          Lead children in prayer, thanking God for his ability to do impossible, surprising things.

Core Bible at Home [20 min]

Not available for this age level.

To use this feature, please ask your DIG IN Director to create a One Room classroom. For instructions and tips on creating a classroom for at-home lessons, click here.

Talk-About Video [10 min]

Al Risket, Stuntman

Supplies

  • “Al Risket, Stuntman” teaching video (watch or download here)

Tip 

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can download the videos before class using the “download” button at the link provided, or purchase DVDs here.

 

Discuss and Watch "Al Risket, Stuntman"

          Have kids form pairs. Say: Talk to your partner about a time you did something difficult. What made you decide to try to do that thing, and what happened? I’ll go first. Share your own story about a time you did something difficult. Take about a minute to share to model the type of sharing you’d like kids to do. Then invite kids to share their own stories with their partners.

          Allow about two minutes for kids to share with their partners, and then continue.

          Ask: • What’s something that would be impossible for you to do? Allow two minutes for kids to share with their partners, and then invite a few kids to share their answers with the whole group.

          Say: Let’s watch a video about someone who likes to try to do the impossible.

          Watch “Al Risket, Stuntman.”

          Ask: • What did you think was the funniest impossible trick that Al Risket tried? Invite several kids to share with the entire group.

          Say: Al tried some funny things and some dangerous things—but even he admitted that there were things that were impossible for him or other humans to do; things that are only possible for God.

          As we are looking at the Bible today, we’ve been learning that an angel came to Mary and told her that she was going to have a baby—and that he would be king over Israel and everyone! That seemed impossible to Mary, but she trusted God to do something that seemed impossible to her.

          Ask: • What are impossible things that you believe God can do?

          • Mary trusted God even though what he said was going to happen seemed impossible. When have you trusted God with something that seemed impossible? I’ll tell you something from my own life first. Share about a time you trusted God with a situation that seemed impossible. Then invite kids to share with their partners. Allow about two minutes for sharing.

          Say: Only God can do what seems impossible to us. He did the impossible—and something wonderful—when he brought Jesus to earth for us.

Preschool Puppet Skit [10 min]

Theo Is Scared

Supplies

  • Theophilus the FaithRetriever™ Puppet (order here)
  • blankie

Easy Prep

  • Place the blankie over Theo’s head.

Tip

  • Before printing, turn on page numbering in Word to keep the pages in order (or simply hand-number each page after printing). You may also find it helpful to highlight your part and set the script on a music stand nearby during the skit.

 

Theo: (Wanders around and then bumps into the leader.) Hello?

 

Leader: (Lifts the blankie to reveal Theo’s face.) What are you doing, Theo? (Places the lifted part of the blankie onto Theo’s head so his face stays visible.)

 

Theo: I’m hiding.

 

Leader: (Chuckles.) Why are you hiding?

 

Theo: I heard there was going to be an angel at church today. (Quickly lowers the blankie back over his face and continues to talk with his face hidden.) I’m scared of angels.

 

Leader: I understand. Someone we read about in the Bible today was also scared when she first saw an angel. But you don’t need to be scared. (Looks to kids.) Friends, how about we help Theo feel calm by giving him a welcome scratch.

 

Theo: That might help. (Still with the blankie over him, circulates among kids so each child can pet him.)

 

Leader: Did that help?

 

Theo: Yes, I feel a little bit better.

 

Leader: Will you take the blankie off your head, then? (Takes the blankie off.)

 

Theo: Yes, that’s okay.

 

Leader: Good. Now do you want to learn the rhyme we learned today?

 

Theo: (Looks to kids.) Would you teach it to me?

 

Leader: (Leads kids to teach the rhyme to Theo.)

 

            “Don’t be scared,” the angel spoke, (shakes head right, left; points to mouth)

            “You’ll have a baby; that’s no joke. (rocks a pretend baby)

            Jesus is his name to be, (touches right index finger to left palm and then left index finger to right palm)

            He’ll save the world, just wait and see!” (holds arms out from sides like a cross, and then brings hands to eyes as if looking through glasses)

 

            (Repeats several times as time allows.)

 

Theo: The angel had really good news! I guess I don’t need to be afraid.

 

Leader: No, you don’t, because God does the impossible!

 

Theo: Like sending his special Son, Jesus, to earth to be our friend!

 

Leader: That’s right.

 

Theo: (Hands the blankie to the leader.) I don’t think I’ll need this anymore.

 

Leader: No?

 

Theo: Nope. Since God does the impossible, I know he’ll always take care of me. I don’t need to worry about a thing.

 

Leader: Exactly.

 

Theo: (Looks to kids.) Thanks for teaching me that God does the impossible. It helped me a lot. (Gives each child a hug.)

 

Leader: We love sharing with you about God.

 

Theo: My mom has been wanting me to get rid of my blankie, and now I can. I’m going to go tell her!

 

Leader: Great idea, Theo! Friends, let’s give Theo a big “woof, woof, goodbye”! (Leads kids to say “woof, woof, goodbye,” and then places Theo out of sight.)

Object Lesson [10 min]

Paper Stretch

Supplies

  • paper
  • scissors

Cut a Spiral

          Hold up a sheet of paper for children to see.

          Ask: • What things can you do with a sheet of paper?

          Say: I’m going to do something really amazing—and kind of impossible. I’m going to make this sheet of paper taller than any of you.

          Ask: • Do you believe I can do that? Why?

          Cut a spiral shape—in a single, continuous cut—from the outer edge of the paper to the center of the paper. Make the cut about ½-inch wide. (The narrower the cut, the longer the spiral will be.)

          As you cut, say: God told Mary and Joseph he’d send his Son, Jesus, as a baby. To Mary and Joseph, that seemed impossible. But God does the impossible!

          When you’re done cutting, ask a child to hold one end of the spiral to the ground while you hold the other end as high as you can.

          Have children take turns jumping to see if the paper is taller than they can jump.

 

Talk About It

          Ask: What did you think when you saw me do something impossible with this paper?

          • Why do you think God does impossible things?

          Say: I had a plan for this little sheet of paper. I wanted it to do something big and amazing! God has plans, too…and sometimes he has to do something impossible to make those plans happen. God did something impossible when he sent his Son, Jesus. God does the impossible.

Deeper Bible [15 min]

The Angel Gabriel Comes to Mary

Supplies

  • “Angel” handout (1 per child) (download here)
  • crayons
  • 2 small wiggly eyes per child
  • shakers of glitter
  • glue sticks

Bible Activity Page

          Give each child a handout, and write children’s names on their pages.

          Explain that an angel visited a young woman named Mary.

          Say: The angel told Mary, “You’re going to have a baby. Name the baby Jesus. Jesus is God’s own Son.” Mary asked, “How can that be?” The angel said, “Nothing is impossible with God.” God does the impossible!

          Let the children glue the wiggly eyes to Mary’s eyes to show how surprised she was to see the angel and hear this message.

          Have the children color the picture, being sure to color in the background, too. This will make the angel stand out even more.

          Let the children spread glue over the angel and then carefully sprinkle a small amount of glitter on the glue. Talk about how surprised Mary must have been to see an angel!

 

Deeper Conversation

          Ask: • How do you think Mary felt when the angel visited her?

          • What would you do if an angel visited you?

          Say: Mary must have been so surprised to see an angeland then the angel told her she’d have a baby that would be the Son of God. Wow! God does the impossible! What a surprise!

          Ask kids to think of something hard or even sad in their lives. Share your own example, such as a friend who is sick or someone who is out of a job.

          Say: When we’re facing a hard time, it’s good to remember that the Bible says, “Nothing is impossible with God!”

 

Pray

          Dear God, help us when we face impossible, hard, sad, or scary things. We’re glad to know that you do the impossible. Help us to trust you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Review With Rhyme

Lead preschoolers in this action rhyme to remember the Bible story.

           “Don’t be scared,” the angel spoke

           (shake head right, left; point to mouth)

           “You’ll have a baby; that’s no joke.

           (rock a pretend baby in your arms)

           “Jesus is his name to be,

           (touch right index finger to left palm and then left index finger to right palm)

           He’ll save the world, just wait and see!”

           (hold arms out to the sides like a cross, and then bring hands to eyes to look through glasses)

High-Energy Game [10 min]

Angel in the Night

Supplies

  • upbeat music (optional)
  • music player (optional)

Tip

  • You can purchase downloadable music and other items to enhance your DIG IN program here

 

Recommended for 6 or more kids.

 

Joseph Hears the News

            Say: Today we’re learning how Joseph and Mary discovered that God does the impossible. While Joseph was sleeping, an angel came to him in a dream to tell him the amazing, impossible news that Mary was going to have a baby. The angel said the baby’s name would be Jesus! Let’s play a game to remember how the angel helped Joseph discover that God does the impossible.

 

Spread the News

            Have preschoolers spread out across your room and lie down on the floor like they’re sleeping. These preschoolers will be “Joseph.” If they want to, the preschoolers playing Joseph can pretend to snore or make other silly sleeping sounds.

            Choose one child to be the “Angel.” If you have a large group, have two or three Angels at once so more children can have a turn.

            Play upbeat music, and have the Angel run to a sleeping Joseph, tap him or her on the shoulder, and say, “God does the impossible!”

            Have Joseph jump up and take the Angel’s hand and both of them run to share the news with another sleeping Joseph.

            Have that Joseph take the hand of the previous Joseph, and so on, forming a long line led by the Angel.

            Pause the music periodically throughout the game.

            Whenever the music stops, the Angel must immediately freeze in place. If the Angel freezes right away, he or she can keep playing as the Angel when you turn the music back on. If the Angel keeps moving after the music stops, that child becomes a sleeping Joseph and you’ll choose a different child to be the Angel.

            Play several rounds so multiple children have the chance to be the Angel.

Low-Energy Game [10 min]

Trust Trek

Supplies

  • blindfolds (optional)

Mary Trusts God

            Say: When the angel Gabriel appeared and told Mary that she was going to have a baby, Mary was confused and probably a little scared. How could she be having a baby? That seemed impossible! But Mary was also brave because she trusted that God does the impossible. Even though she didn’t understand, Mary was excited for this baby God was sending! Let’s play a game in which we’ll need to have trust like Mary did!

 

Walk in Trust

            Have all the preschoolers stand on one side of your room. Choose one child to stand on the opposite side of the room, across from the rest of the group.

            Explain that this preschooler must close his or her eyes (or you can use a blindfold).

            Say: I’ll spin you around three times, and then you’ll try to walk across the room to join your friends. Be brave! It’s not impossible! Your friends will cheer and help guide you! You can trust their voices.

            Spin the child around, and have him or her walk toward the other children as they cheer and guide the walker. Encourage preschoolers to use each other’s names as they cheer for one another.

            Make sure every child has a chance to walk across the room. If you have a large group, consider having two or three preschoolers walk across the room at the same time.

            Once everyone has had a turn, gather preschoolers together.

 

Talk About It

            Ask: • What was it like to walk with your eyes closed?

            • How would you have felt if no friends had called out to help you?

            Say: Sometimes we feel confused or sad about things in life, like having a new baby sitter or when someone in our family is sick. There’s a Bible verse that can help us when we feel like that.

            Read Luke 1:37: “For nothing is impossible with God.” Then have children say the words with you.

            Ask: • How does it make you feel to know that nothing is impossible with God?

            Lead children in jumping up and cheering, “Nothing is impossible with God!”

Craft [20 min]

Announcing Angels

Supplies

  • construction paper (white and beige)
  • markers
  • glue sticks
  • gold or silver chenille wire
  • clear tape

Easy Prep

  • Use half a sheet of white construction paper and tape to make a 4-inch-tall tube for each child.
  • Cut a 2-inch circle from beige construction paper for each child.
  • Cut two 5-inch-tall hearts out of white paper for each child.
  • Cut a 6-inch piece of chenille wire for each child.
  • Use the instructions below to make a sample craft.

Talk About Angels

            Ask: How do we get good news today?

            • What would be some fun and crazy ways to send a good message?

            Share your own wild idea, such as sending a message by parakeet or spelling it out in cotton candy clouds. Then let preschoolers share creative ways they might send a message.

            Say: God sent an angel to give Mary surprising news. It may seem impossible that an angel would talk to a person, but God does the impossible. The angel said that Jesus would be born.

            Show children a sample craft, and tell them that today they’ll make angels to remember that God does the impossible.

 

Make Angels

            Give each child a paper tube, two hearts, a circle, and a 6-inch chenille wire.

            Instruct children to draw an angel face on the circle.

            Help them wrap the end of the wire into a loop to make a halo.

            Help preschoolers glue the heart “wings” to one side of the tube and then glue the face to the other side.

            Help preschoolers tape the halos in place.

            Preschoolers can use their angels to practice saying the Bible Point or retelling the story of the angel giving Mary surprising news.

           

Life Application Wrap-Up [5 min]

Prayer Path

Supplies

  • bedsheet
  • ball
  • rope

Easy Prep

  • Put the bedsheet in one corner of the room.
  • Put the ball in a different corner.
  • Place a rope in the center of the room.

Hold the Rope

            Say: Today we learned that God does the impossible. Hold on to this rope while we pray, to remind us that we can always hold on to God—even when things seem impossible. Help all the kids find a spot on the rope.

 

Walk the Prayer Path

            Lead kids to the bedsheet.

            Have kids hide under it (still holding the rope), pretending to be scared.

            Ask kids to share things they’re afraid of.

            Say: God is so big that he can do anything—even things that seem impossible. So we don’t have to be afraid. He’ll always take care of us.

            Pray: God, help us trust you to do the impossible, even when we’re scared.

            Lead kids to the ball, and have them sit in a circle (still holding the rope).

            Say: Sometimes we want to learn something new, like writing letters or playing a new game, but it seems too hard. It might even feel impossible.

            Roll the ball to one child, inviting the child to tell about something new he or she wants to try. Let that child roll the ball to a different child to share. Continue a few times.

            Say: Nothing is impossible for God. And we can ask for his help when we want to try something new.

            Pray: God, thank you that we can always ask you for help, knowing nothing is impossible for you.
            
Have kids squeeze the rope while you close the prayer.

            Pray: God, we’ll always hold on to you. We know you love us, and you can do the impossible. In Jesus’ name, amen.

            Thank kids for coming, and remind them to trust God to do the impossible this week. Tell them you look forward to seeing them next week.

Take-Home [0 min]

Dig In @ Home

Supplies

  • this week’s “Dig In @ Home” handout (1 per child) (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Add your church announcements to the “Dig In @ Home” handout.

           Distribute a copy of the “Dig In @ Home” handout to kids as they leave, or email it to parents during the week.