Passover is the 8 day observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites (Jewish slaves) from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II.
The plagues of the firstborn is a difficult one for young children to understand. The idea of all the baby boys being killed by an angel of God is even hard for adults to comprehend. You know your students. Give them as much as they can handle. The idea here is to set the foundation for an understanding of the passover feast throughout the rest of the Bible.
There are several reinforcement activities that are centered on the Israelites leaving in a hurry and the unleavened bread. These activities are especially good for younger children that would not understand the plague of the firstborn.
The plague of the firstborn is the final straw for Pharaoh. He finally gives permission for the Israelites to leave Egypt. The Israelites are told to put blood from a lamb over their doorposts. God will pass over the houses with the blood. The Israelites were told to leave Egypt in a hurry during the night before the yeast was added to their bread. This is why they celebrate the Passover feast with unleavened bread (without yeast). Matzah is commonly used as a staple during Passover. Jews are required to make the Matzah in no more than 18 minutes. This is, again, representative of the Israelites leaving Egypt in a hurry.
Be sure to point out that the blood was to be from a lamb. Passover is foreshadowing symbol of what Jesus did on the cross. That is why he is called the "Lamb of God".
Reference other times in the Bible when the passover feast is celebrated. Luke 2:41-52, Jesus' family was in Jerusalem to celebrate the passover feast when they realized he was not with them on the way home. They found Jesus in the temple. He was thought to be about 12, at this point; John 12:12-19, Jesus was going to Jerusalem to celebrate passover during the triumphal entry. He spent the passover with his disciples. This is where he washed the disciples feet and taught them to serve others, just prior to his arrest.
Have a sample of unleavened bread and regular yeast risen bread. Ask students to talk about the differences.
You can do the "Red over doorpost" reinforcement activity before students come into the classroom to see who notices it.
Can you remember a time when you were in a big hurry to do something? In our Bible story today, the Israelites had to leave in such a hurry that they couldn't finish making their bread.
Older students can listen to the story (Exodus 12) directly from a readers version of the Bible, since it is only one chapter long.
Younger students can be read the story from a Children's Storybook Bible or be told a summary of the events. Make sure you have a good understanding of the story before you teach your class, if telling the story in your own words.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Exodus 12:13-17, 12:31-34
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?