‘I shall always bless the Lord; his praises shall be in my mouth forevermore’. Psalm 34:1

Week 1 objectives: to discover that this verse was written by David at a time when King Saul was trying to trap him, and to talk about what it means to praise someone.

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‘I shall always bless the Lord; his praises shall be in my mouth forevermore’. Psalm 34:1

Week 2 objectives: to familiarise the children with the idea of giving praise and to think about God deserving praise.

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‘I shall always bless the Lord; his praises shall be in my mouth forevermore’. Psalm 34:1

Week 3 objectives: to discover what the word ‘bless’ means and to think about David saying he would bless the Lord at all times. 

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‘I shall always bless the Lord; his praises shall be in my mouth forevermore’. Psalm 34:1

Week 4 objectives: to play a game that will help the children memorise the verse and remind them that David said praise would always be in his mouth.

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Four 15 minute sessions

 
Psalm 34,1 I shall always bless the Lord; his praises shall be in my mouth forevermore'..png
 

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Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

Week 1 objectives: to discover that this verse can be found in the book of Matthew and to talk briefly about rules.

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Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

Week 2 objective: to think about the Ten Commandments and our need for God’s help to live his way.

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Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

Week 3 objective: to think about what it means to love God.

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Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

Week 4 objective: to think about what it means to love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.

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Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

Week 5 objectives: to play a game that will help the children remember this months verse and to talk about God's great love and forgiveness.

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Five 15 minute sessions

 
Matthew 22,37 Jesus answered love the Lord your God with all your heart.png
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
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‘I remember what the Lord did. I remember the miracles you did long ago.’ Psalm 77:11

Week 1 objectives: to learn that this verse comes from the book of Psalms and that Psalm 77 was written by a musician called Asaph.

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‘I remember what the Lord did. I remember the miracles you did long ago.’ Psalm 77:11

Week 2 objective: to think about the Bible being made up of lots of books written by many different people and to think about the Bible saying what God wants it to say.

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‘I remember what the Lord did. I remember the miracles you did long ago.’ Psalm 77:11

Week 3 objectives: to think about the Bible being full of stories, poems and songs about God’s miracles and to begin thinking about the Bible being God’s way of telling people about himself. 

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‘I remember what the Lord did. I remember the miracles you did long ago.’ Psalm 77:11

Week 4 objective: to think about why Christians believe it is a good thing to remember what they read about in the Bible.

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Four 15 minute sessions

 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
  Zechariah 4:6
 

Objectives: To discover that this verse comes from the book of Zechariah, and that Zechariah was a prophet who passed on a message from God to Zerubbabel.

Game - 7 mins
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle and taste the food used in this activity. 
Aim: to play a game about building.
You will need:  paper plates, enough marshmallows for six per child, enough dried spaghetti for at least ten pieces per child, a felt-tip pen and wipes.

Before the session clean the work surfaces in your teaching area and encourage the children to wash their hands. Give each child a paper plate, six marshmallows and ten pieces of spaghetti. Explain that they need to build a tall tower using just spaghetti and marshmallows. Inform the children that the person with the tallest tower will be the winner.  Allow six minutes to build the towers. Examine the towers praising each person, and decide which tower is the tallest.

Encourage the children to write their names on their plates and put the structures to one side so that they can be collected at the end of the session. Make sure the children understand that they should not eat the dried spaghetti.

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: The Bible Curriculum Old Testament Flashcards, a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, marker pens, a Bible and the ‘printed message’ (see Printables). 

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. 

Underline the the reference and explain that this verse was written down by a man called Zechariah. Quickly find the book of Zechariah in the Bible explaining that Zechariah's book is the second to last book in the Old Testament. Draw a smiley face next to the word ‘Zechariah’ and explain that Zechariah was a prophet. Give the smiley face two ears and draw a speech bubble next to it. A prophet listens to God and passes on what he says to other people. Another word for a prophet is a messenger. Point to the verse and explain that God gave this message to Zechariah to pass on. Read the verse aloud again.

Talk about the activity the children have just completed - building with spaghetti and marshmallows. Explain that during the time of Zechariah a huge building project was taking place - God's Temple was being rebuilt. Quickly (in less than 30 seconds!) show cards 1- 9 of The Bible Curriculum Old Testament Flashcards. Remind the children at what stage the rebuilding of the Temple occurs in the Old Testament. 

Draw another smiley face next to the verse and explain that Zechariah passed on this message to the man in charge of building God's Temple. Draw a ‘Z’ underneath the smiley face. His name also began with a ‘z’. His name was Zerubbabel. 

Explain that this message was given to Zerubbabel when he was facing difficulties. The foundations of the Temple had been laid, but the people living nearby had begun to moan; they moaned so much that the building work stopped. God wanted his Temple finished so he sent Zerubbabel a message. The message was this: ‘You will finish the Temple but not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit’. Point to the verse as you say the words. 

Show the printed message to the children. Explain that another way of saying this message is: ‘You will finish the Temple but neither by your own power nor by your own might, but by letting the Holy Spirit lead you and work as he pleases.’ Zerubbabel listened carefully to the message from God. He let the Holy Spirit lead and guide him and soon the Temple was rebuilt. At last God's people could worship God in his Temple once more.

Quickly underline the word ‘Spirit’ in the verse and explain that over the next few weeks we will learn more about God's Holy Spirit. 

High five - 2 mins
As a recap, ask the children to give the person next to them a ‘high five’ and say ‘give me five’. Before you say the first summary point below encourage the children to hold up one finger and shout ‘one’. Before you say the second point encourage the children to hold up two fingers and shout ‘two’ and so on... 

1. Zerubbabel stopped rebuilding the Temple
2. God wanted the Temple finished
3. God sent Zerubbabel a message
4. The message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple…
5. …but he would finish it not by his might nor by his power but by the work of the Holy Spirit.

 
 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
11_The Holy Spirit 2.jpg
 

Objective: To remind the children that God is three in one. 

Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game where the children hear the words ‘one’ and ‘three’ repeated over and over again. 
You will need: two buckets, four bean bags, masking tape ‘one’ and ‘three’ signs (see Printables) and sticky tape.

Stick the ‘one’ sign to one bucket and the ‘three’ sign to the other bucket. Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor. At a distance of approximately 1.5 m from the strip of masking tape place the bucket with the ‘one’ sign attached. Behind this bucket place the bucket with the ‘three’ sign attached. Make sure there is a distance of at least 10 cm between the two buckets. 

Explain that the children are going to take turns throwing the bean bags. They will need to stand behind the masking tape line and throw one bean bag into the ‘one’ bucket then throw three bean bags into the ‘three’ bucket.

When a child has thrown all four bean bags, whether the bags have landed in the buckets or not, it is the end of their turn and the next player should stand behind the tape ready to have a go.

Encourage the rest of the group to shout ‘one’ as the players try and throw the bean bag into the ‘one’ bucket and to shout ‘three’ as they try to throw the remaining bean bags into the ‘three’ bucket.


Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), ‘3 Persons’ textboxes (see Printables), a whiteboard, one or two big sheets of paper (see below), sticky tac and marker pens. 

Before the session write the verse on a large sheet of paper or whiteboard. Cover the verse with a second sheet of paper. On the top sheet draw a large circle. 

Talk about the numbers in the game: ‘one’ and ‘three’. Ask the children if they know why these numbers are important when talking about God. Listen to the children’s answers and respond positively. Christians believe there is one God (hold up one finger), three parts (hold up three fingers). Christians describe God as ‘Three in One’.  Show the ‘3 in 1’ symbol. Divide the circle you have drawn on the paper into three and place the textboxes in the circle as shown by the ‘3 in 1’ symbol.  Explain that although this picture might help us to understand that God is three in one it is not a perfect picture because there are things about God that it doesn’t show. Here are three things the picture does not show:

1. Point to the three sections of the circle as you explain that the parts of God are in fact called Persons: the Person of the Father, the Person of the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Son whom we also call Jesus.

2. Point to the three sections again as you explain that each of the Persons is fully God. The Father is God, the Holy Spirit is God and Jesus is God.  

3. In the circle there are lines between the three Persons but in God the three are so perfectly joined that they are one. There is one God and he is three in one (hold up three fingers and then one).

Remove the sheet of paper with the circle on it to reveal the verse. Underline the phrase ‘my Spirit’. Explain that last week we learnt this verse was a message from God to Zerubbabel. God’s message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple not by his own might nor by his own power but by God’s Spirit. The Spirit God was speaking about was the Holy Spirit, one of the Persons of God. Remove the ‘Holy Spirit’ textbox from the circle and place it above the word ‘Spirit’ in the verse.


Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Oh when the saints’

    It’s not by might
    It’s not by power
    It’s by My Spirit says the Lord
    It’s not by might nor by power
    It’s by My Spirit says the Lord.

For simple actions: as you say ‘might’ punch the air with your fist, as you say power flex your arm muscles and as you say 'My Spirit' hook your two little fingers together in front of you (this is British Sign Language for finger spelling ‘S’).

 
 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
11_The Holy Spirit 3.jpg
 

Objective: To remind the children that God is three in one and when Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down. 

Game - 7 mins
Aims:  to play a game with paper aeroplanes before thinking about things going up and down. 
You will need: plain A4 paper, a score sheet (see Printables), felt-tip pens, masking tape and a timer. 

Encourage the children to each make a paper aeroplane. Make sure the children have written their names on their plane. 

Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor. Explain to the children that they will need to throw their plane as high as they can into the air then see how long it takes for the plane to glide back down to the ground. The plane that takes the longest to reach the ground (i.e the best gliding plane) will be the winning plane. 

Allow the children to take it in turns to fly their planes, encouraging each child to stand on the strip of masking tape as they take their turn. Use the score sheet to record the length of time the planes take to land. Praise each of the participants. When everybody has had a turn, announce whose plane took the longest to come down. If you have time allow everybody to have a second go. 


Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), ‘3 Persons’ textboxes (see Printables), The Holy Spirit arrow (see Printales), ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions (see Printables),  a whiteboard, one or two big sheet of paper (see below) sticky tac and marker pens.

Before the session write the Bible verse on the whiteboard or paper. Cover the verse with a second sheet of paper. On the paper draw a large circle. Divide the circle into three and stick the textboxes in the relevant sections as shown by the ‘3 in 1' symbol.

Quickly remind the children that God is three in one. Hold up three fingers then one. The three Persons of God are God the Father, God the Son (whom we call Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Each of the Persons is fully God. The Bible teaches that each of the Persons is real and living. They are good, powerful and wise. They are loving, joyful and peaceful. The three Persons are so perfectly joined they are one. There is one God and he is three in one. Hold up one finger, then three fingers then one again. 

Remove the sheet of paper with the circle on it to reveal the verse. Underline the phrase ‘my Spirit’. Explain that we've learnt that this verse was a message from God to Zerubbabel. God’s message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple not by his own might nor by his own power but by God’s Spirit. The Spirit God is speaking about is the Holy Spirit, one of the Persons of God. Quickly remove the ‘Holy Spirit’ textbox from the circle and place it above the word ‘Spirit’ in the verse.

Christians believe that today the Holy Spirit lives with people here on earth. They believe that wherever they are and whatever they are doing the Holy Spirit is with them. Explain that, a bit like the wind people cannot see the Holy Spirit, but Christians believe he is with people everyday, everywhere. Show the children the Holy Spirit arrow and explain that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit came to be with people over 2000 years ago. 

Talk about the game. Remind the children that they threw the planes up then watched them come down. Explain that the words ‘up’ and ‘down’ help us to think about what happened when the Holy Spirit came. The Bible tells us that when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down - when Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down to earth to be with people in a new way. In the Bible we read about Jesus going back up to Heaven. Christians call this Jesus' ascension. Christians call the day the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven the Day of Pentecost. 

Remind the children of the story of Jesus’ ascension and the story of the Day of Pentecost (see pages 383 and 384 of The Children’s Bible in 365 stories). The Day of Pentecost took place ten days after Jesus went up to Heaven, which is why we say… when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down. Use sticky tac to stick the ‘Holy Spirit arrow’ next to the verse. 

If you have time summarise by showing the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions. Remind the children that the Bible teaches that God the Father is sitting on a throne in Heaven, God the Son, Jesus, is now sitting at his right-hand side and the Holy Spirit is here on earth living with people. 


Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Oh when the saints’

    It’s not by might
    It’s not by power
    It’s by My Spirit says the Lord
    It’s not by might nor by power
    It’s by My Spirit says the Lord.

For simple actions: as you say ‘might’ punch the air with your fist, as you say power flex your arm muscles and as you say ‘My Spirit’ hook your two little fingers together in front of you (this is British Sign Language for finger spelling ‘S’).

 
 
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‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

 
11_The Holy Spirit 4.jpg
 

Objective: To discover that during Old Testament times the Holy Spirit came upon people to help them do jobs they could not do on their own. 

Game - 6 mins
Aim: to play a game that is so difficult it is almost impossible.
You will need: five clothes pegs, a plastic cup and a chair. 

Place the cup on a chair. Ask a volunteer to stand in front of the chair. Explain that the volunteer needs to tuck a clothes peg under their chin, lean over the chair and drop the peg into the cup without using their hands. Allow the volunteer five attempts before allowing somebody else to have a go.


Another challenge - 3 mins
Aim: to play a second game that is so difficult it is almost impossible.
You will need: a bowl of marbles, an empty bowl and some chopsticks.

Give a volunteer some chopsticks. Place the bowl of marbles and the empty bowl in front of them. Ask the volunteer to move the marbles from one bowl to the other using the chopsticks. After 20 seconds or so allow somebody else to have a go.  

Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), ‘3 Persons’ textboxes (see Printables), Old Testament story textboxes (see Printables), The Holy Spirit arrow (see Printables), a whiteboard, a big sheet of paper, sticky tac, marker pens and a Bible. 

Before the session write the Bible verse on the whiteboard or paper.

Talk about the challenge the children have just attempted. Ask the children if they found it difficult or even impossible. Explain that in the Old Testament (before Jesus was born) God gave some people jobs that were too difficult for them to do on their own. Show the Old Testament story textboxes. God knew that they couldn't do the jobs alone so he sent His Holy Spirit to be with them. The Holy Spirit gave them the power to do the jobs they needed to do. The Bible tells us that these people were empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon Bezalel (Exodus 31:1–5), Moses (Numbers 11:25), Samson (Judges 15:13–14) and King Saul (1 Samuel 10:9–11). The Holy Spirit empowered them to do different ‘jobs’.

Point to the verse and explain that we've learnt this verse was a message from God to Zerubbabel. God’s message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple not by his own might nor by his own power but by God’s Spirit - the Holy Spirit. Underline the phrase ‘my Spirit’. Show the 5th Old Testament story textbox. Explain that God was promising Zerubbabel that his Holy Spirit would help him to finish the Temple. The Holy Spirit would empower Zerubbabel. Using his own power or even working with other people Zerubbabel wouldn't be able to finish the Temple; he needed God's help; he needed the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Quickly remind the children that the Bible teaches that there is one true God, three parts; God is three in one. Refer to the ‘3 in 1’ symbol as you explain that the parts of God are called Persons. The three Persons of God are God the Father, God the Son (whom we call Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Each of the Persons is fully God. The Bible teaches that each of the Persons is real and living. They are good, powerful and wise. They are loving, joyful and peaceful. The three Persons are so perfectly joined they are one. There is one God and he is three in one. Hold up one finger, then three fingers then one again. 

Open a Bible between the New Testament and the Old Testament. It may be helpful to remind younger children that the Old Testament tells us about the time before Jesus was born and the New Testament tells us about the time after Jesus was born. Point to the Old Testament as you explain that, during Old Testament times the Holy Spirit came upon people to give them power to do jobs they couldn't do on their own. Now point to the New Testament and explain that , during New Testament times the Holy Spirit came to be with people in a new way.

Quickly show the Holy Spirit arrow and remind the children that the Bible teaches that when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down. When the Holy Spirit came down he came to be with Christians in a new way. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is now with them wherever they are and whatever they are doing. Use sticky tac to stick the ‘Holy Spirit arrow’ next to the verse. Explain that, a bit like the wind, people cannot see the Holy Spirit but Christians believe he is with people everyday, everywhere.

Explain that next week we will learn that Christians believe the Holy Spirit still helps people to do things they cannot do on their own - Christians believe the Holy Spirit helps them to live God's way. 

 
 
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