Primary Lesson 38 Supplement

INTRODUCTORY ACTIVITY: Give each student a chance to tell what s/he would do if s/he were a queen or king. You may want to pass around a crown or scepter (a rod of aluminum foil) as you do this. Explain that you will be learning about a woman who decided to use her power as queen to bless others at great personal risk.

VISUAL AIDS: “Esther Saves Her People,� Friend, Sept. 1998, 39, contains pictures that illustrate the story of Esther. You could use these to make flannel board figures, puppets, a coloring pages, etc., to use as a class or by each student as you teach the story.

WORD PUZZLES: Mary Ellen Jolley, “Esther, the Lovely Queen,� Friend, July 1972, 32–33, contains a crossword puzzle that you could use to review the story. Crane Delbert Bennett, “Queen Esther,� Friend, May 1986, 26, contains a simpler crossword puzzle about this story. Shauna Mooney Kawasaki, “Queen Esther,� Friend, May 1994, 11, contains a code to solve to find what decision Esther made.

PURIM: Purim is the Jewish holiday that celebrates Esther’s action of saving her people. The holiday is often celebrated by having children boo or hiss whenever Haman’s name is mentioned when the story of Esther is read. Your class may enjoy booing when they hear Haman’s name or using a noisemaker (such as a rattle or small glass jar with beans).

PERSIAN ART: Bring a 10-foot segment of white butcher paper and tape it to the wall. Assign each student a portion of the Book of Esther. Give them crayons or markers and have them draw their passage in a way that they think the ancient Persians might have illustrated it. (If you could bring a library book or laptop with images of ancient Persian art, that would be helpful.)

TYPE OF CHRIST: You may want to discuss the ways in which Esther’s life prefigured Jesus’, including most obviously that she saved her people but also three days of fasting as an allusion to the three days Christ spent in the tomb. Ask your class if they can think of other similarities.

8 comments for “Primary Lesson 38 Supplement

  1. Tona
    October 23, 2006 at 8:51 am

    If you’ve got a good Jewish bakery near you, you can often find Hamentaschen cookies, even out of season, or you could make them –

  2. Rachel
    October 23, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    What great ideas…I wonder if we are on different chapters because we did this chapter this past sunday. We would have LOVED to have implemented some of your ideas. Am I allowed to request an ealier posting of your great thoughts, Julie, in order to save our primary class from our sad attempts???

  3. Julie M. Smith
    October 23, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    Rachel, I’ll try to work a little ahead. And thank you for your kind words.

  4. Marjorie Conder
    October 23, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    Esther as a “type of Christ” is a real stretch. The only really sympathetic character in this whole story as it appears in the Bible is Vashti–she at least keeps her dignity if nothing else. I would gladly trade out, straight across, Esther for Judith in the Appocrapha.

  5. Julie M. Smith
    October 23, 2006 at 7:05 pm


    I have huge problems with this story: anyone who can sucessfully hide her religion from her husband isn’t letting her light so shine if you ask me. However, given that I had to do *something* with this story, I do think there is enough of a “savior” theme here that it is worth mentioning–if only to balance out the fact that we think every OT male is a type of Christ but we never talk about any of the women that way.

  6. peter m
    October 28, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    Maybe we could see Esther as a type for the church who must wed the world in the end times in order to save the covenant people of God. Or is this a little heavy for my 9 year olds?

  7. Rebecca H.
    November 22, 2006 at 4:09 pm

    I\’m really surprised at the comments made here. Especially by Marjorie and Julie.

    Esther \”hiding her religion from her husband\”? It\’s not as simple as that. Your thinking in terms of western culture and marriage. I feel certain that most of us would hide our religion if we were being persecuted. I know we\’d like to think we wouldn\’t, but we need to be honest with ourselves. The Bible is filled with dysfunctional, dishonest, stressed out people and God uses them every time.

    And Esther as a type of Christ is a stretch? She goes before a King to save her people and reaps great reward for it. She fasts for 3 days and 3 nights. All these events take place at Passover. Jesus has to go before a \”king\” (pontuas pilate) goes into the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights and reaps the greatest reward, all of this taking place at Passover!

    Maybe you\’ll reconsider your views?

  8. Julie M. Smith
    November 22, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    Rebecca, I don’t think we actually disagree on anything (if I understand your comment). Esther was flawed–everyone in the OT was flawed–you are flawed–I am flawed. My problem isn’t with Esther–my problem is with the whitewashing she gets when we teach about her, especially in the Primary. The fact that God used her flaw is a good message to take from this story, but it still doesn’t mean that we should seek to be flawed or ignore Esther’s flaw.

    Rule #1–whether modern or ancient–if your spouse can’t figure out what your religion is, you aren’t living it properly.

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