Movie Title: Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (not rated)
Start Time: 6 minutes
Where to Begin: The parade begins.
Where to End: Santa has passed by, and the marching band is playing.
The Critics Say: You can use this movie clip to teach kids about praise and worship, about honoring God, and about joy.
Plot: A little girl is jaded about Christmas and shows no enthusiasm for the celebration. Her mother, though, is coordinating the gigantic annual Christmas parade. All of New York, it seems, has turned out for the joyous parade and the arrival of its special guest, Santa.
Review: Use this movie clip to introduce the topic of celebration and joy to your class. In the movie, crowds of people turned out to watch the annual Christmas parade. The highlight of the parade, as always, was the special appearance of Santa Claus. The connection to Jesus’ Triumphal Entry will be evident to kids–a parade, crowds of people, and a special appearance by a special guest!
Supplies: Variety of craft and household items which kids can use to make celebration instruments. Such items might include empty oatmeal boxes and coffee cans with lids (to make drums); cardboard tubes, dried beans, rubber bands and wax paper (to make rain sticks); and combs and wax paper (to make kazoos). You’ll also need markers, stickers, tape, and curling ribbon streamers for kids to use to decorate their instruments.
Preshow: Cut the wax paper into squares large enough to rubber band around the ends of the cardboard tubes. (That size should also work for the kazoos.) Cut the curling ribbon into 12-inch lengths, and curl it yourself if you have mostly younger kids in class.
- Has anyone here ever been to a parade? What was it like?
- Why do people have parades?
Say: People have parades to celebrate important events or important people. There have been parades to celebrate the end of wars, to celebrate a president being elected, and even to celebrate a sports team winning a big title. Let’s watch a scene from the movie Miracle on 34th Street to watch another kind of parade.
Show the movie clip.
- What kind of parade was being held in the movie?
- Who was the guest of honor in that parade?
Say: That movie clip reminds me of another parade, one in the Bible. The parade I’m thinking of is often called the Triumphal Entry, because it’s when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. Crowds of people gathered along the road and cheered for Jesus. They even laid down their coats and palm branches on the road for his donkey to walk on. It was quite a celebration! Let’s make something to help us celebrate Jesus!
Set out the supplies, and explain that kids will be making instruments to play during their own parade. Let kids experiment with the supplies to make and decorate instruments.
Say: If necessary, suggest instruments for kids to make. But if possible, let kids discover ways to make their own unique instruments. After kids make and decorate their instruments, lead them in a parade around the church to celebrate Jesus, just as the people along the road to Jerusalem celebrated him. Encourage kids to take their crafts home to remind them that Jesus gives us a reason to celebrate!