I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.
Christmas Jesse Tree Activity
This is a hands-on Christmas lesson I created for a two week unit on Christmas. In this lesson the children will make salt dough Jess Tree ornaments as they listen to the significance of each one. This lesson is the first of two co-op lessons on Christmas. Click on this to see the second lesson on Christmas. My lessons are geared toward 2nd-3rd grade level children and their siblings. These are lessons I created to do with a weekly homeschool co-op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 13 children between the ages of 0-13. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, family, or homeschool co-op!
Jesse Tree Order of Activities
***Please bring a baking sheet for each of your children.***
1. Discuss Jesse Tree (Isaiah 11:1)
2. Divide into 3 groups & make Baker's Clay. For each group mix together:
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cup water
MOM #1: YOU WILL NEED: 1 (5lb.) bag of flour, 1 cup measuring cup, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 mixing spoon
MOM #2: YOU WILL NEED: 1 (26 oz.) container of salt, 1 cup measuring cup, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 mixing spoon
MOM #3: YOU WILL NEED: 1 (26 oz.) container of salt, 1 cup measuring cup, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 mixing spoon
3. Form 24 Jesse Tree ornaments one by one and place them on a large ungreased baking sheet. The ornaments should be small. Be sure to keep them in order so you can figure out what they are later when you're ready to paint them. (We used parchment paper that we numbers 1-24 and placed each ornament on that number as we went along.) We read through The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm before making each ornament. Then the children suggested what they thought would be an appropiate symbol. They then formed the ornament and put it on the specific number on their baking sheet. Children could finish up their previous ornament as we read if they were taking longer than others. Below I listed the ornaments we made and what pages we read. If desired, after making all the ornaments, paint over them with a small amount of water to smooth over the cracks. Using a pencil, make a hole in each piece. Bake at 300 degrees until set (1/2 hr to 1 hr). (We only baked some of them. The others were taken home & baked.)
*Take home directions: After ornaments have cooled, paint each piece. Acrylic paints work best, but washable poster paint will work too. You can also use a permanent marker on the back of the ornament to number them and put the appropriate verses. If you would like for these to last for many years, coat them with shellac after the paint has dried. To use the ornaments, for each day in December read the specified Scripture verse(s) and hand the ornament for that day.
MOM# 4: YOU WILL NEED: Wire ornament hooks or paper clips (24 per child), 12 paintbrushes, 12 pencils, 6 bowls to hold water
4. Sing O Come, O Come Emanuel.
MOM# 4: YOU WILL NEED: 10 copies of words to "O Come, O Come Emanuel."
Jesse Tree Scriptures, Symbols, Pages to be Read
(The symbols are only suggestions. The shapes can be simple as they can be painted later. We used the photos from http://www.inlieuofpreschool.com/ as inspiration.
***When making the salt dough ornaments, we read the specified pages from The Big Picture Story Bible and then the children make a salt dough ornament (usually what I wrote as the "symbol"). The Bible verses are not read during co-op. I printed off the list so that each night as the children put up the specified ornament of their Jesse Tree, their family can read those Bible verses together.***
Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.16-20
Symbol: earth (circle)
Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.21-35
Symbols: man & woman (2 stick figures)
Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.38-49
Symbols: serpent/snake OR apple with bite
Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.52-66
Symbols: ark OR rainbow
Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.68-81
Joseph: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.84-105
Moses: Ex. 2:1-10
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.106-121
Symbol: baby in basket
Passover: Ex. 12:1-28
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.124-131
Symbol: door (paint blood on edges)
10 Commandments: Ex. 19:20-20:17
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.132-139
Symbol: 2 tablets
The Promised Land: Joshua 6:1-26
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.142-154
Symbol: wall (paint crack on it)
David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.155-172
Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.174-189
Elijah: I Kings 18:17-40
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.190-197
Symbol: pile of logs and/or rocks (altar)
Exile: 2 Kings 17:5-41
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.198-209
Prophecy: Ezekiel: Ezekiel 36:26-27
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.212-214
Prophecy: Isaiah: Isaiah 11:1-3
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.216
Symbol: flower on a branch
Prophecy: Jesus is Immanuel (God with us): Isaiah 7:14; 33:22
The Big Picture Story Bible n/a
Return from exile: Ezra 3:1-13
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.219-227
Census: Luke 2:1-3
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.230-237
Symbol: scroll with roman numerals scratched in
Mary: Luke 1:26-38
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.238-249
Symbol: woman's head
Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25
The Big Picture Story Bible n/a
Symbol: hammer OR saw
Jesus' birth: Luke 2:4-7
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.250-257
Shepherds: Luke 2:8-20
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.260-268
God's Promise Explained: Luke 24:44-48
The Big Picture Story Bible pp.400-411
Birth of Jesus: Luke 2:6-21
Additional Jesse Tree Lessons & Ideas
- Making Jesse Tree Ornaments with Materials
Making Jesse Tree Ornaments with Materials (Cotton balls, Twigs, etc.)
- Making a Jesse Tree & Symbols
Making a Jesse Tree & Symbols
Other Jesse Tree Ideas: Ann Voskamp's Jesse Tree
Other Jesse Tree Ideas: Explanation of Jesse Tree Ornaments
- Christmas Symbols Lesson - This is a hands-on Christmas lesson perfect for a class, family, or homeschool group. Act out a nativity play, make edible Christmas trees for family members, sing a Christmas carol, and more!
- A Jesse Tree for Christmas - This is a hands-on Christmas lesson I created for a two week unit on Christmas. In this lesson the children will make salt dough Jess Tree ornaments as they listen to the significance of each one.
- Gingerbread Man Lesson for Kindergarten - Ready for a fun kindergarten literature lesson on The Gingerbread Man? Compare and contrast two versions of the story, decorate gingerbread cookies, create character finger puppets to re-tell the story, and more in this fun literature lesson on the Gingerbread Man!
- Pilgrims Lesson - This is a lesson written for a class or family that teaches about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving in a fun, educational manner. Children will create pilgrim costumes, make stewed pompion (pumpkin), plant corn, and more!
- Thanksgiving Feast, Children's Play, & Authentic Recipes – This includes directions for performing a Children’s Thanksgiving play and eat a feast complete with authentic dishes. Recipes are included!
- How to Make Edible Turkey Decorations - Every Thanksgiving my children and I make edible turkeys to decorate our Thanksgiving table in order to keep the little hands busy while the adults work on the last minute details of the meal. I have included recipes and photos of many of the turkeys we have made over the years and have included helpful tips!
St. Patrick’s Day Ideas:
- Ireland: Giant's Causeway, Irish Stew, & the Blarney Stone - Want to know more about Ireland? Included is a St. Patrick’s Day menu, craft ideas, YouTube video clips on Ireland, children's book suggestions, and more!
Celebrating Summer Ideas:
- Hosting a Homemade Ice Cream Contest - What says summer more than a big bowl of delicious homemade ice cream? What better way to enjoy it than with your friends and family? Find my suggestions on how to host a fun homemade ice cream contest! Also included are game ideas, recipes, and more!
- Back to School Clothing Swap - As summer comes to a close, visions of spending hours at the mall and hundreds of dollars on back-to-school fashions come dancing through your head. Instead of dreading all those back-to-school sales (and the enormous credit card bills that follow), use these ideas to host an fun Back to School Clothing Swap with your friends or school!
All of my lessons and unit studies:
- Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies - Looking for all of my lessons and unit studies? Over the years I have posted over 30 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 140 lessons. The unit studies include the Human Body, Simple Machines, Earth Science, Medieval Period, American Revolution, Pioneer Life, Countries of the World, and many more! For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons at the above link.
What Do You Do To Make Christmas More Meaningful? - Or just let me know you dropped by. I love getting feedback from you!
Shannon (author) from Florida on November 19, 2014:
Yes, it was fun! Thank you so much for visiting!
Theresa @ MyJesseTree on November 13, 2014:
I really love the idea of baking the ornaments. We made a bunch of craft ornaments this year which was a blast! But I can definitely see us trying your idea in the future :)
Shannon (author) from Florida on December 06, 2012:
@Jazroockfree: Thank you!
Jazroockfree on December 03, 2012:
Great lens! Thanks for sharing and information
Shannon (author) from Florida on October 28, 2012:
@pinkscissorsdes: Thank you for the links!
marsha32 on May 06, 2012:
I followed a blog last season where the homeschool family was doing this. It's such a great idea.
River_Rose on December 17, 2011:
Great lens ! Merry Christmas !
JoshK47 on November 21, 2011:
Quite interesting indeed! Thanks for sharing these lesson ideas! Blessed by a SquidAngel!
chrissuard lm on December 08, 2010:
Great ideas for lessons. Blessed by an Angel!