AGE APPROPRIATE: ELEMENTARY AGE (5-11yr olds)
BIG IDEA: I CAN LEARN
AIM: The ‘Living Like Jesus in MY SCHOOL’ Lesson is part of the ‘Live Out Loud’ teaching series. This lesson provides an overview of the story of Daniel’s refusal to eat the King’s food.
1. ‘Do What’s Right’ by Jana Alayra
2. ‘This is Living Now’ by Hillsong Young and Free
1. Numbers Gone Wild. Number lots of small ball pool balls with different numbers on them and throw them out across the room. Split everyone up into teams and call out the numbers you want them to find between them. It’s up to you how you number the balls and how many numbers you ask for; single numbers or a whole range!
2. Ladders. Not for the faint hearted. This game asks to line up in two parallel lines. These will be their teams. The person they then face will be their opponent. Number each of the opponents and then they can sit down with their feet touching. In this way all the opponents together will look like a ladder. When the leader calls out the opponents number they must stand up and race by stepping over everyone’s legs, [we said it wasn’t for the fainthearted] running around the team and back into their original position. The winner is the opponent that sits back in their place first. They win a point for their team. The team with the most points is the winning team.
3. Talent Test. Can the teams/individuals learn how to juggle or make a balloon model the fastest? What about create a rap or write a song. The winner is the team that creates the best thing or that learns the fastest (you decide!)
BIG VERSE: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23.
SET the Scene:
Today we’re learning from the book of Daniel. Daniel is found in the Old Testament. This story takes place in Daniel 1. You can read the passage and also watch the ‘Daniel Refuses the King’s Food’ by LifeTV.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1. OBJECT LESSON: I CAN LIVE LIKE JESUS IN MY SCHOOL
You will need some easy well prepared questions to hold up or display. [2+2= , 7-5= etc]
Imagine how tough it must have been for Daniel and his friends. They were living with everyone they loved and doing what they wanted to do, until King Nebuchadnezzar and all his soldiers came and took over their homes. The Babylonians took everything God’s people had built and worked so hard to make and keep. Now Daniel and his friends had been chosen as some of the best men. They were good at everything and very intelligent. They would be trained for 3 years so that they could speak a new language and understand what the Babylonians cared about.
In school you also are being trained. One day you will leave school and go and work, but first you need to learn everything you need to know. Let’s see if you can answer these simple questions to see if you’re training is working… [Put some simple questions on paper to hold up or on your projector]. Well done! You are learning!
Daniel and his friends still wanted to serve and love God. But the Babylonians had their own gods. This was going to be tough for Daniel and his friends. You might find it tough at school too. Perhaps there are people that you know that don’t like Jesus. Maybe they laugh at you or call you names, or perhaps it is just difficult because you are the only Christian in your class. Daniel and his friends knew how you felt. They had the same problem. Yet Daniel and his friends knew how they could live for God in their training school. They knew what the law of God told them they should and shouldn’t do. They knew that is said nowhere in the law about taking a new name, so that was okay. However, they knew that God had told them in the Law that there were certain things they should not eat. So they obeyed God.
We can live like Jesus in our schools by knowing what God says is good for us to do, and understanding the things that God loves and the things He hates. That’s how we can live like Jesus in school!
2. OBJECT LESSON: EVEN WHEN I DON’T LIKE WHAT I’M LEARNING
B: Hey, what’s up with you? You look like someone just slapped you!
A: I’m never going to be good at Math.
B: What do you mean you’re NEVER going to be good at it? How do you even know?
A: I hate Math.
B: Well, okay, but that’s a little different to hating the subject.
A: I hate it so much! You obviously don’t understand. I’m so bad at it… so I’m not even going to try!
B: If you never try, then you’ll never get better. You’ll never even know you could get better! Give it a go, you never know what will happen.
A: I do. I’ll never be good at it. I HATE MATH!
B: You will only get better if you try. Don’t give up!
Say: [Begin by sharing a personal story of your own experience of a subject you hated growing up]. Daniel and his friends knew how important it was for them to learn. They understood that if they didn’t learn the Babylonians way, their lives would be very difficult, they would be treated badly, they wouldn’t be able to look after a family and they might even die. Now, you probably won’t die if you don’t do well with your work, but you may flunk school. If you don’t learn and work hard then you might not get the job you want when you are older, you could end up struggling to look after your own children.
That seems a very far away problem, right?! But it’s the time now that gets you ready for being grown up. How you spend your time now can make life easier or harder when you are older. If, like the character in our skit, you can’t be bothered to work hard and you don’t try then you will have to face the consequences when you get older. Daniel and his friends knew that if they didn’t work hard and learn the things they didn’t like then they would have big problems later on in life. They did their best in their training. They worked hard and did all they could do… even though they must not have liked what they were learning.
Our big verse reminds us that everything that we do can be done in a way that Jesus would love. If you were to hand Jesus your homework would he be able to tell that you had done your best or would he be thinking that you hadn’t bothered? Sometimes it’s difficult to do our best all the time, and Jesus is there to help us whenever we feel like giving up, all we have to do is ask for his help.
3. OBJECT LESSON: EVEN WHEN EVERYONE IS DOING WRONG AROUND ME
Show the anti-bullying video. It’s a little dated, so you might want to make a joke about that, but explain that the video itself makes a great point!
The Babylonians didn’t care about Daniel’s god. They didn’t care what He thought or how He wanted people to live their lives. Daniel and his friends did care. They wanted to show that God would look after them if they lived like He wanted them to. When they stopped eating the food of the Babylonians – the food God didn’t want them to eat – the Babylonians were so surprised because they looked even better than them! God was looking after them and making them strong!
The Babylonians were all doing the wrong thing; eating things that God didn’t want them to eat. Maybe you have the same problem at school? Perhaps you struggle because people bully other people, laugh at them or call them names and you know that it is wrong. Perhaps they say bad words or don’t listen to their teachers. You can be different by stepping away when they do those things and not joining in, or letting them know that you disagree with what they are doing. You could even befriend those that get bullied. There are lots of ways that you can act differently to those that do wrong. When you start doing the right thing you might find it is sometimes difficult, but God is with you. He will never leave you. Eventually people will see that what you are doing is right, whether it is now or when they are older. People will remember how you have acted and may even realize that God was with you, just as the Babylonians saw how Daniel and his friends saw that God was with them too.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Play pass the parcel and wrap a bible verse and a candy up in each of the layers. The layer in the middle of the parcel will have the bible verse for Jesus and a larger prize. The children must look up the bible verse before eating/using their prize.
Others that had to learn:
The Disciples: many of the disciples were tax collectors or fisherman and had had to learn that trade before meeting Jesus. They had 3 years training with Jesus before he died and they were called to preach the gospel and see the Church grow.
Jesus: learned and worked the trade of a carpenter (Luke 2:52)
Paul: learned and worked the trade of a tent maker. Paul also studied the Law of God under Gamaliel, a Jewish teacher. (Acts 22:3)
Luke: Luke was a believer that was a trained doctor, thought to have written the gospel of Luke. (Colossians 4:14)
Kings: all the kings had to learn to understand their kingdoms and learn to lead them well. In fact, King Solomon prayed for wisdom so that he would learn how to rule his kingdom better. (2 Chronicles 1)
SENSE How You Feel:
How do you feel about school or being home schooled?
1. What are the things that you love about school/home schooling?
2. What are the things that you hate?
Ask the children to fill in the Prayers for My School printable and pray with one another, that they would live like Jesus in their schools.
CRAFT: You will need toilet or kitchen roll, colored paper, card stock, scissors, glue and decorative items such as stickers, glitter and sequins.
Create a colorful pencil pot that you can use as a reminder to pray for those in your class at school (if a child is homeschooled perhaps they can pray for the person or parent that teaches them).