John the Baptist Unit Study

john-the-baptist-unit-studyDuring our John the Baptist Unit Study, one of my children dressed up like John the Baptist. We drew pictures of this prophet, made crafts, and dramatized his life. After hearing the Word of God regarding John the Baptist in the four gospels, I read the chapter about him from Wilkinson and Boa’s Talk Through Bible Personalities. My children had a well-rounded view of this prophet by the time we started doing hands-on activities.

The Birth of John the Baptist

First we saw prophecies that foretold the coming of John in Isaiah and Malachi. The birth of John the Baptist was surrounded by strange events, since his father Zacharias saw the angel Gabriel and didn’t believe the news when the angel told him that he was going to have a son in his old age. So he was struck dumb and wasn’t able to speak until the birth of his son. Meanwhile Elizabeth saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, and John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit and jumped in her womb before he was even born!

Here is a craft about the prophet’s birth:

John the Baptist Eats Locusts and Honey

In the wilderness, John ate locusts and wild honey. You can have your kids taste honey and observe a grasshopper in a terrarium. (Pet stores sell crickets for cheap, but beware that they chirp at night and are irritating.) John looked like a wild madman.

Here are a couple of activities depicting the wildness of John the Baptist:

grasshopper

Here is a printable craft about grasshoppers:

Here are some of my kids’ drawings of John the Baptist living in the wilderness:

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John the Baptist Preaches Repentance

He spoke in sharp rebukes and harsh words, and people flocked to him to hear him preach and be baptized by him. He preached the gospel: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

John-the-Baptist-hands-on-activities

Here is an activity to help children learn how to repent of sin:

When Jesus walked towards him, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” He said he was not worthy to untie the sandal of Jesus. Here is a hands-on activity about untying sandals:

The Baptism of Jesus

John baptized Jesus. At His baptism, Christ’s identity was confirmed by God the Father speaking, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The Holy Spirit descended as a dove at the same time.

Here is a video clip about the baptism of Jesus by John:

Here are some activities and printables to help you as you study the story of John baptizing Jesus:

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Baptism of Jesus: Hands-on Lego Activity

Here is a re-enactment of the baptism of Jesus, done with Legos:

John is Beheaded

Even before John was born, he leaped for joy when Mary the mother of Jesus entered the room. John recognized the presence of Jesus even before birth. So why did he doubt when he was in prison? John’s doubts probably came from the fact that he didn’t know that Christ was going to come again, and a lot of the prophecies weren’t being fulfilled. Jesus answered John with Scripture that was being fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus.

Christ said this about John: “Among those born of women, there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:11)

Because Herod was not happy about being told he had done the wrong thing to marry his brother’s wife, he had thrown  John into prison. Later when Herodias’ daughter danced for Herod, he granted her any wish she desired. After consulting with her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

head-of-john-the-baptistBack when I taught at a Christian school, every Reformation Day, the students would come to school dressed up as characters from the Bible. One year I had a kid come as the head of John the Baptist on a platter on a table. I though it was clever how the head was covered up and uncovered by another student. A bit gruesome, but biblically correct. Thus ends the life of John the Baptist.

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8 Responses to “John the Baptist Unit Study”

  1. Nicole says:

    This looks like fun and a great way to make the story of John the Baptist memorable. I remember when I was homeschooled studying the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. We made a tiny altar with a candle, I think, and had Playmobil toys as the prophets and Elijah, reenacted the story with the toys, and then lit the altar on fire. I love how creative parents can be when teaching. 🙂

  2. Hi Susan,

    Enjoyed your post! Such a great topic to read about….thank you for these cool ideas and sharing such an awesome post 🙂

  3. Patti P says:

    What a fantastic Unit Study. I am sure your children had a lot of fun with it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the Lego clip! I think of John the Baptist as the last Old Testament prophet, since prophets had 2 functions: 1) to turn the Jews back to God, and 2) to point to the Messiah.

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