Cooking Workshop

Choose any or all of the following activities, depending on time.
All materials are located in the classroom.

All of the following information will be taught in Ames Hall.
Please repeat and reinforce in workshops:

Topic: Zacchaeus


  • Tell the story of Zacchaeus in their own words.
  • Understand the change Zacchaeus made from being a tax collector who stole money to a very generous man.
  • Connect the story to their lives (e.g someone who is unloved and does bad things, like a bully, may be transformed by love)
  • Experience Jesus’ radical and unconditional love and forgiveness

Main Idea: The love that Jesus had for Zacchaeus changed him. Like Jesus, we can love people who are unloved. Like Zacchaeus, we can be changed by Jesus’ love.

Bible Story: Luke 19:1-10

Memory Verse: “Jesus came to seek and save the lost.” (v.10)

Activity #1: (for all ages): Eat Figs

**Materials needed: picture of a sycamore fig tree, figs, knife (adults only please!), plates, napkins


  1. Invite children to take a seat. Show the children a picture of a sycamore fig tree.
  2. Ask, “Have you ever climbed a tree? Why did you climb a tree? Why did Zacchaeus climb this tree? What is it like to look at the world from a tree? (note: please caution children that they should never climb a tree unless an adult is with them!)
  3. Say, “A sycamore tree is very similar to a fig tree- both grow fruit called figs.” Show a fig to the class. “Figs were a very important food in Jesus’ time and were often served at meals. Figs may have been a part of the meal that Zacchaeus served to Jesus.” Ask, “Have you ever had a fig before? Or a fig cookie (like a fig newton)?
  4. Keep children seated and serve figs. Pass out plates and napkins and pieces of fig. Tell children they can have more if they’d like. Ask the children what the figs taste like, if they like them, if they would eat them again. Encourage everyone to at least try a bite!

Activity #2: (for all ages): Zacchaeus Trees

**Materials needed: shortbread cookies in shape of man, pretzels of different types, whipped topping, cups, green food coloring, napkins


  1. Before class the Youth Minister will make shortbread cookies using a cookie cutter in the shape of a man (Zacchaeus).
    1. Recipe for shortbread: (makes about 2 dozen)
      i.     Ingredients: 1 cup unsalted butter at room temp, ½ cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 cups all purpose flour, ¼ tsp salt
      ii.     Preheat oven to 350
      iii.     Mix ingredients in a bowl to make dough.
      iv.     Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead.
      v.     Roll one tablespoon of dough between palms to form one inch ball. Flatten and cut with cookie cutter. Repeat.
      vi.     Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
      vii.     Lightly sprinkle with sugar.
      viii.     Bake for 20 minutes.
      ix.     Immediately remove from oven and cool.
  1. Have students take a seat. Explain that they will be making a scene from the Zacchaeus story with various food items. Pass out a paper plate and napkin to each child.
  2. Have available: different types of pretzels (rods, rounds, sticks, etc), a cup filled with whipped topping with green food coloring mixed in, and the Zacchaeus cookies. Explain that the cookies are made of SHORTbread to help them remember that Zacchaeus was short.
  3. Have children make a tree with pretzels (rod for trunk, rounds and sticks for branches), and use green whipped topping as leaves on the tree.) Put the Zacchaeus cookie in the tree. After they have completed, tell the story of Zacchaeus and have the cookie in the tree jump down from the tree when time.
  4. Have children enjoy eating their scene.

Closing: (for all ages)

  1. After cleaning up, gather children together.
  2. Invite children to pray with you:
    1. “Dear God, Thank you for seeking out and loving everyone: the least, the last, and the lost. Help us to love everyone too. Transform us as Jesus transformed Zacchaeus. Amen.”