The first graders in Mrs. Jessica Hanzsche’s class are taking on a special project this Christmas season - creating Jesse Trees to track the lineage of Jesus. By going straight to scripture, these young students are learning about the truth of the Christmas story and gaining a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and New Testament. The students are keeping the Bible stories and characters they encounter in chronological order, starting from Creation and progressing all the way to Jesus being born in a stable. Each story and character is symbolized as an ornament and is placed on their Jesse Tree, allowing them to visually retell the story.
“Our prayer for our students is that this story will come alive to them each and every year,” says Mrs. Hanzsche. “That the Lord will reveal Himself to them in new ways and that it will never get old. Our thought and hope is if we teach them how this story came to be, it will mean a bit more to them and give them the ability to share confidently with others what Christmas is really about.”
Mrs. Hanzsche says this project helps our first graders focus on the one and only "reason for the season" - Jesus. He is what it's all about, and He makes all the difference, not just during the Christmas season, but throughout the entire year. Mrs. Hanzsche says she has been touched by the students’ reactions to the project “as they make connections to the stories they’ve heard before, and respond to the power of the Word.”
Through their Jesse Trees and their growing knowledge of scripture, these young students are being equipped to confidently proclaim the message of Jesus' birth and share the joy and hope that it brings.