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Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Story of Queen Esther -- Exploring Iran/Persia

Do you know the story of Queen Esther? Many people do not even though Esther is a book in the Old Testament as well as one of the great female Bible heroes. She even has a Jewish holiday where they celebrate her and her courage to save the Jews of Persia. Her story is Hazel's favorite Bible story and Hazel was very excited when I explained that Esther was Queen of Persia which is now called Iran and the country we have been exploring with Global Learning for Kids this month. 
Edwin Long - Queen Esther - Google Art Project
Queen Esther by Edwin Long 
[Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For those who do not know the story is available in many places on-line. Briefly a Jewish orphan named Esther was chosen by King Xerxes to be his new queen. She did not tell anyone she was Jewish. One of King Xerxes's counselors, Haman, becomes angry with Esther's cousin and guardian and plots to kill all the Jews in Persia. He gets the king to decree the Jews to be killed on a certain day. Esther eventually approaches King Xerxes (even though it could mean her immediate death) to save her people. Upon seeing his queen, King Xerxes raises his scepter for her to approach. She invites the king and Haman to a banquet that night. At the banquet King Xerxes asks what he can do for Esther and she asks them to come to a second banquet. At that banquet she asks the king to save her life and the lives of her people and reveals that Haman has plotted to kill the Jews. Haman is put to death and her cousin, Mordecai, is given his position as counselor to the king. We read several versions of the story in story Bibles, including Five-Minute Bible Devotions for Children and Spark Story Bible. We also found For Such a Time as This by Angie Smith which is a collection of the stories of women in the Bible for girls.



There are also many books with the story in it. Hazel loves reading these.

Our favorite this month has been the chapter length (though done as a diary and not chapters) Persia's Brightest Star: The Diary of Queen Esther's Attendant Persian Empire 470s B.C. by Anne Tyra Adams. Hazel asked to make peg dolls so she act out the story. We did!!
Hazel's Peg Dolls: Haman, King Xerxes, Queen Esther, and Mordecai
We each made a set. I added some foam for hats and crowns as well as some jewel stickers. After trying white glue for my Queen Esther crown I pulled out the hot glue gun.



We also decorated a paper crown and made a scepter using a styrafoam ball, wooden dowel and tin foil. Hazel also decorated it with jewels. 


Hazel also modeled the crown and dressed up as Esther which previews some future items we will be posting about so stay tuned.


I also found some great printables for her to try and this printable puppet theater with the Esther story puppets.
She could not wait to try it out yesterday morning. She also did a few of the other printables I printed out for her. The ones pictured all came from DLTK Bible. For even more printables and ideas for the story of Esther check out my Pinterest Board.



This is part of our Global Learning for Kids series. If you have any Iran/Persia related posts, crafts, recipes, lessons, etc. please link them up here.