Annual Christmas contest for children explores the shepherds of Bethlehem

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | December 22, 2021

Just for Kids 2021 ask children about the shepherds at the Nativity

GREEN BAY — Have you ever wondered how the shepherds reacted when an angel showed up over their nighttime fields? What did they say? What did they do after the angels left?

Just for Kids 2021 Art Winner, Grade K-2
Kendall Jack, Grade 2, St. Mary, Greenville. Teacher: Mary Doverspike

The shepherds of Bethlehem are the subject of the 2021 essay and art challenge for The Compass’ 34th annual “Just for Kids” Christmas contest. Children in grades K-8, from schools, faith formation classes and individual homes submitted 49 essays and 205 art drawings. (See all of the entries on our Flickr Photo Page.) Students from 10 schools and parish programs, as well as several individuals took part.

Again, this year, The Compass partnered with World Mission Services of the Diocese of Green Bay to submit “Just for Kids” art to the Missionary Childhood Association’s (MCA) national Christmas card contest.

The art and essay winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges. The art winners will be sent to MCA’s contest and national winners will be announced in summer 2022. 

Digital greetings cards, featuring this year’s MCA winners (including local 2020 Just for Kids winners Lynn Trinity Pereira of St. Francis Xavier School in Appleton – Marquette Campus and Victoria Wanke of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School in Greenville), can be found at (Pereira is a 2021 local winner as well.)

All 24 local winners — art and essay — will receive certificates from The Compass, as well as congratulatory letters from Bishop David Ricken.

All the art entries will be posted in The Compass Flickr account. Here are all the essay entries from this year, along with the names of the art winners:


Grades K-2


The shepherds were people who watched the sheep. They were very poor. The Angels told them first about Jesus’ birth. After the shepherds visited Jesus they were happy, danced and sang “Joy to the world.” — Lynn Trinity Pereira, Grade 2, St. Francis Xavier School, Appleton


The shepherds were the first people to see Jesus. The shepherds told their friends and family the birth of Jesus! God bless everyone!! — Bella Dvorachek, Grade 2, Holy Family Religious Education, Brillion


St Mary of Immaculate Conception, Greenville, ­Grade 2: Mary Doverspike, teacher


On their way back from Bethlehem the shepherds said “He was so cute and strong!” They knew that Jesus was going to be the greatest King. They were so happy to see Him, it filled their hearts with grace. — Gretchen Cahak


Jesus chose the shepherds because they were as poor as can be. The shepherds are special to God because they worshiped God and loved him so soo sooo soooooo much! Jesus the Messiah was born and after being visited by the angel the shepherds ran to see Jesus. — Charles Liptak


As the Shepherds walked to Bethlehem, they thought about what the angels said. I think the Shepherds probably said “Wow! I can’t believe we saw all those angels!” and “I can’t believe we are going to see our Savior Jesus Christ!” “How can our King be in a manger?” “I can’t wait to see Jesus!” — Grant Holdren


Jesus chose the shepherds because they were poor and they had nothing. They had no friends to help with the sheep. They had little money. They were the poorest people and often outcast. They worked hard and loved God. On the way to Bethlehem, I think they said “I can’t wait to see this king.” — Kendall Jack


The Shepherds were the poorest people in Bethlehem. God chose the shepherds because Jesus did not need to be rich. All Jesus needed was God His Father and Mother Mary. The shepherds took care of sheep. The shepherds guided the sheep like God guides us. God is our shepherd and we are like sheep. — Reese Neubert


As the shepherds walked to Bethlehem they thought about what the angel said. I think the shepherds probably said “I wonder what is so special about the baby king?” “I was so scared I have never seen angels before!” “I wonder if the baby is going to look like an angel?” — Pablo Cardenas


If I was a shepherd and I was going to see little Jesus I would say wow! I would be excited, I would be so happy. When I got there I’d say look at Him, He is so cute! — Roman McHugh


God chose the shepherds because they were lonely and because Jesus is the great shepherd. If I was a shepherd I would have said, “Thank you very much.” I’d say “I shall go bow low to the baby in the stable. Walking to the stable I’d say I can’t wait! — Leo Huza


Shepherds were the poorest people. Jesus chose the shepherds because he wasn’t rich, the shepherds weren’t rich either. Next an angel appeared. The shepherds were amazed! Then thousands and millions of angels showed up and started to sign. It was so bright! The shepherds were told to go to the town of David to see our Savior, his name is Jesus. He will be our King. — Marek Wood


God chose the shepherds because they were disrespected and poor. God chose people like that because they would not brag. An Angel appeared to the shepherds and announced the Messiah has been born. They walked to the stable. The shepherds proudly said “I can’t wait to see the king” — Patrick Joyce


Grades 3-4


The shepherds were the first people to see Jesus after Mary gave birth to him. After the shepherds visited them the three wise men came a little bit later. Before the shepherds went to see Jesus they said, “Let’s go to see the new born king!”

On the way back they gave glory to God for what they had just saw. They spread the good news to everyone! Merry Christmas! — Sage Dvorachek, Grade 4


Holy Family Religious Education, Brillion

The shepherd’s job in the bible and in Bethlehem was to be the very first witnesses to seek baby Jesus. When the shepherds were told by the angels of what they had to do they felt joy and praised God. After seeing the baby, (Jesus) they praised God even more and spread the good news. The shepherd’s job was VERY important. — Jada Lohff, Grade 4, St. Pius X, Appleton

One night angels were telling shepherds that a new baby was born, the son of God. He’s a king! Then the angels left. One shepherd named John said we should go. I’m not sure, said Ron. We’re going, said Jedidiha. Ok Let’s go, said Ron. — Ariana McHugh, Grade 4, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Greenville. Heather Frommel, teacher.


Holy Trinity School, Casco, 

Grade 3: Gail Waterstreet, teacher

I am a shepherd and I am in the field. I have a bunch of sheep. All of a sudden an angel appears, she said that a savior would be born. His name was Jesus and she also said to follow a bright star. So I was on my way to the new born baby. I was walking and walking. I was finally there. He is so cute I brought some wool to keep him warm. I was finally home. — Wren Vanden Langenberg


Three kings that guided their sheep in the field. All day everyday. Until the day Jesus was born. Then they set off for the manger with three gifts. Their gifts were gold, myrrh and frankincense for Jesus at the stable. Then they went home, and celebrated the new born king. The star was glowing bright over the manger. — Carson Kinstetter


The night Jesus was born there were three shepherds, Jake, Phil and Bob. When the angels told them about Jesus, they wanted to go visit him. So the three shepherds took their sheep to Bethlehem. When they got there they sang, “Joy to the World,” and stayed in the stable with the animals to keep the baby warm. — Lucas Anderson


Grade 4: Gail Waterstreet

Paul, Daniel, and Ezra were the shepherds at Bethlehem. An angel appeared and said that a Savior was born in Bethlehem. So the shepherds traveled to see the Savior. When they got to the stable they found Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. When they came back they told everyone about what they had seen. — Leo Machut


I think the shepherds at Bethlehem were poor and living in the fields with their sheep. When they came back to Bethlehem they said, “It’s God’s miracle, it’s God’s miracle!” they proclaimed to everyone. — Sky Schoenberger


When the shepherds saw the angel, I think they said, “We need to go to Bethlehem.” And they lived happily ever after. — Will Markham


Grades 5-6


An angel shared news of our Savior’s birth with shepherds: poor people with little status in the world. Yet, these shepherds went in haste to the stable to find the Savior and shared the angel’s important message to the people there. We all should be like those faithful shepherds, by sharing the good news of Christ’s birth with the world. — Gianna McNamara, Grade 5, Seton Home Study School, San Antonio, Texas


St. Joseph School, Green Bay, Grade 5: Susan Aerts, teacher


One night some shepherds were in the field close to Bethlehem. All of a sudden an angel appeared and said “The savior is born! Look and follow the star of Jesus.” The shepherds were astonished they didn’t know what to do. So they followed the star and met our savior. They brought him silver and gold. — Andi Awe


Hey, said the shepherd to herd sheep, let’s check out this Jesus person that’s being born right now in Bethlehem. Baa… said all the sheep. Then okay we’re seeing the new son of Mary named Jesus. So the shepherd went and there was Jesus. — Kenyon Carter


One night an angel went to three shepherds. The angel told them “follow the star and you see the new savior of the world.” The Shepherds were confused but they trusted the angel and followed the star. They kept asking themselves “why me?” They kept thinking and thinking and then they saw baby Jesus the new savior. — Zadaya Denny


Hi, let’s start with what the shepherds said. The day Jesus was born and an angel ascended to the shepherds. Now let’s start with what they said, we do not know their names. — Jackson Hollman


About 2,000 years ago, an angel came to the shepherds and said that the son of God was born. The shepherds had fear and amazement. The angel said “do not be afraid, I am an angel of the Lord, God. It said to follow the star and it’ll bring you to Jesus. — Emmalee Kelly


Imagine a shepherd that’s just sitting on the ground minding their own business. And then they see a star that’s too big to be a star then it starts coming down and they see it’s an angel. They tell her that Jesus is born and they start running over there and they see Him lying on the hay table. — Aiden Kingery


There the shepherds were sitting around a campfire when suddenly Angels came down to them and said don’t be afraid I have good news for you. Our savior Jesus Christ is here and then they returned to heaven and then the shepherds saw a big star over where Jesus was born so they went there. It took many nights. — Justin McAllister


Imagine you’re a shepherd on the way to Bethlehem because you were told the savior of the world had just been born. It sounds like a crazy fiction novel. But it’s not, it really happened and what the shepherds (probably) said went like this is weird and what just happened but that’s what I think so keep on thinking everyone! — Ben Reich


That night the shepherd was getting the sheep to sleep. So they did one by one, an angel came down and said “You got the word from us that God’s son is born and you should go see him.” The shepherd rushed to go see him and bring him gifts. And to get there he had to follow a star.  — Paulina Shcherban


The shepherds lived in the fields, and kept night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them, and frightened them. “Do not be afraid,” the angel said. “I have good news for you.” “A savior was born for you.” They quickly went and found the baby, lying in a manger. They spread the good news. — Isaac Wecker


One night an angel came from heaven to some shepherds. The shepherds thought, “What is going on?” The angel saw they were frightened, the angel said. Do not be frightened. I have good news from the Lord!” He said. “The son of God was born in Bethlehem.” So the shepherds went to go find him and prayed. — Rahnin Wright


St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School, Greenville

Grade 6: Jacquelyn Engelbert, teacher


The shepherds were regular not wealthy people. I think after they saw Jesus they thought why us. They might have thought Why a king would come to see him. They also might have thought it wasn’t time, but after they saw him they were happy so they preached the good news. — Henry Huza


The shepherds were people who were very humble and were excited as could be after the angels told them the majestic Son of God was born. While traveling to the stable I think they thought Glory to God in the highest, who brought the Messiah to Earth. Also, why would the angels choose to tell us first?! — Isla Vosters


The shepherds were people who watched sheep in the hills. I think the shepherds were startled just like I would be. The shepherds probably thinking why us, why do they want us to come to see a King. So they started there journey to Bethlehem. Along the way they told other people about Jesus. — Romy Wenninger


When you think of a shepherd you’d think of men watching over a flock of sheep. Everybody has different stories to tell, some have more than others like the shepherds of Bethlehem. Beautiful angels crowded around them singing Glory, Glory. Glory, then after telling the shepherds the glorious news they darted off to see a baby boy gleaming with light. — Scarlett Reichenbacher


Grades 7-8

Holy Rosary School. Kewaunee, Grade 7-8: Jenny Schlies, teacher


As they approached the small town of Bethlehem after leading their sheep out to the countryside for the sheep’s nighttime grazing they heard voices. These voices contained such sweetness and tone of joyfulness that the shepherds craved to get closer. They came upon a clearing where they saw a radiant man dressed in white robes. They knew instantly that the Savior had been born. — Isaac Heidel, Grade 8


For all their nights, the shepherds headered their sheep. Yet one evening changed everything for them. In the dimness of night, a hail of light came out of the sky. It was followed by an angel. The shepherds were struck with a great deal of alarm. The angels assured them to be calm, for, the Lord, your savior is born. — Spencer Messmann, Grade 8


The shepherds were three men from Galilee tending sheep in a field when a chorus of angels emerged from the heavens proclaiming the birth of Jesus, which at first was frightening to the shepherds, but soon they were joyfully speaking together while they hurried to the stable. When they returned they were speaking of the beautiful baby in the manger. — Robin Kunesh, Grade 7


The shepherds were just simple men chosen to go on a journey of a lifetime, to see our Messiah being brought into the world. They followed the beautiful light in the night sky, leading them to a truly astonishing sight. There were angels rejoicing in the heavens. Our king has been born to save us from sin. — Jolisa Kleiman, Grade 7


St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School, Greenville

Grade 7: Jacquelyn Engelbert, teacher


I think the shepherds were a little scared when they heard the angels at first. Once they understood, they said, “Glory to God in the highest,” and left to meet Jesus. I think the shepherds were a little confused about why they were chosen to meet the king of kings. If I were a shepherd, I would be really excited. — Grace Callies


The shepherds who traveled to Bethlehem heard the Good News and felt joy, fear and shock. Most people don’t get to experience such a great thing as the birth of our savior. The shepherds were normal people like us. After they received the news they walked across the desert and were hungry and tired but filled with motivation. — Katie Pomasl


These shepherds who received the Good News were normal shepherds who were poor. As they were walking, they were tired, cold and hungry, but their joy and excitement helped them power through. As they traveled back, the shepherds minds were blown because they expected the king to be robed in gold, but instead he was laying in a manger. — Mallorie Werner


The shepherds were poor and humble. The shepherds were afraid but listened to the angels. The angels told them about the savior. As they traveled they were excited because they were chosen to meet the Messiah. When they arrived they were surprised to see a baby in a stable. On their way back, they were all in awe. — Jack Holdren


Grade 8: Jacquelyn Engelbert

Shepherds were mistreated and made fun of. These three shepherds were sitting and taking turns sleeping while the others keep watch. All at once, the sky explodes with light. The shepherds, astonished, cry out. Angels explain, instruct, then leave the shepherds in their tracks. They take off to Bethlehem, spreading the news as they go, nor caring what people think. — Hailey Cummings


The shepherds were people who were alone. They were alone, shunned, made fun of and not wanted. Even though they were nothing, angels still appeared to them and led them to see the birth of Christ. They probably spoke about why the angels chose them and what they will do when they get there. — Maximos Jablonski


I think that the shepherds at Bethlehem were 3 normal men enjoying their night in the field, when a blazing light appeared above them, their eyes were burning as if they looked at the sun for too long. After hearing the angels, they rejoiced and ran as fast as they could proclaiming the news to all of Bethlehem. — Gavin Wiese


At once the sky was ablaze with song and praise, resounds off hills, filling the valleys. Terrified, the shepherds froze, feet locking to the Earth. “Fear not, the Lord has sent me as messenger.” “Why choose us? We are nothing in the eyes of society.” “I say to you whoever you view as least is great in the eyes of the Lord.” — Brooklyn Coenen





Kendall Jack, Grade 2, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School, Greenville. Teacher Mary Doverspike

Bernadette Langer, Grade 1, Individual entry, Reedsville.

Lynn Trinity Pereira, Grade 2, St. Francis Xavier School, Appleton. Teacher: Katie Scherer



Olive Fannin, Grade 3, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School, Greenville. Teacher: Deb Fuller

Patrick LeFeber, Grade 3, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School, Greenville. Teacher: Deb Fuller.

Lucas Anderson, Grade 3, Holy Trinity School, Casco. Teacher: Gail Waterstreet



Gianna McNamara, Grade 5, Seton Home School, San Antonio, Texas.

Case Gille, Grade 5, Holy Trinity School, Casco. Teacher: Gail Waterstreet

Brady Jackson, Grade 5, Holy Rosary School, Kewaunee. Teacher: Jenny Schlies



Olive Kolmorgen, Grade 7, Holy Rosary School, Kewaunee. Teacher: Jenny Schlies

Jakayla Steinhorst, Grade 7, Holy Rosary School, Kewaunee. Teacher: Jenny Schlies

Anthony Stephenson, Grade 8, Holy Rosary School, Kewaunee. Teacher: Jenny Schlies


Related Posts

Scroll to Top