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

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

Game - 8 mins
Aims: to complete a challenge that involves making a trophy. 
You will need: at least three rolls of toilet paper, paper cups, paper cake cases, ‘handles and textboxes’ (see Printables), scissors, glue sticks, two cardboard or plastic boxes and ‘How to make a trophy’ instructions (see Printables).  Optional - teacher’s praise stickers, available from online stores.

Before the session follow the instructions to make a sample trophy. Prepare two boxes of materials. In each box place a toilet roll, a paper cup, a paper cake case, a ‘handles and textbox’ sheet, a pair of scissors, a glue stick and, if you are using them, a set of stickers. 

Divide your group into two teams. Give each team a box of materials. Don’t give out the instructions but place your sample trophy so it can be seen by the children. Allow them to come and take a close look.

When the children have examined the sample, ask them to return to their groups and explain that they need to create a trophy from the material in their box. When you say ‘go’ the children should start working together to make their trophy. It may take a while for them to realise that the only way to get to the cardboard tube inside the toilet roll is to unravel it! Encourage the children to place the loose tissue in their box. 

As soon as a group has finished making their trophy they should place it next to the sample. Allow the second group to finish making theirs, then praise all the children for their hard work. If you think it’s appropriate you could encourage one group to present their trophy to the other group. 

Talk about - 7 mins
You will need: a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, marker pens and a Bible.

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

Remind the children that this verse comes from the book of Psalms. Psalms are songs or poems; they are either to God or about him. Ask the children if they can remember how to find the Psalms in the Bible. Remind the children that they are in the Old Testament and roughly in the middle of the Bible. The Bible tells us that King David wrote Psalm 34. Draw King David as a stick man and write ‘David’ underneath. David wrote it before he was King. If you have drawn a crown on David’s head ask one of the children to rub it out. At the time Saul was King of Israel. Draw another stick man with a crown and write ‘Saul’ underneath. When David wrote this Psalm King Saul was very cross with him; he was trying to catch David. David ran away to a cave.

Underline the word ‘praise’ in the verse. Remind the children that praise means telling someone they are great, telling someone you are pleased with them and/or thanking them for doing something wonderful. 

Remind the children of the trophies they have just made. Talk about times when people might be awarded a trophy. Talk about people deserving a medal or a trophy because of something great they have done. Explain that giving somebody a trophy or a medal is another way of praising them – it’s a way of saying ‘you’re great, that’s a wonderful thing you have done’. 

Remind the children that Christians believe God is really, really, really great. They believe everything he does is fabulous and wonderful, there is nothing that God does that is just OK – everything he does is great! The Bible teaches that God does great things because he is great. Over and over again we read in the Bible about the wonderful things God did: he led the Israelites through the Red Sea and gave water and food in the desert.

However Christians believe the greatest thing God has done is send Jesus to live with people. Jesus came to earth over 2,000 years ago. He came to show what God is like, to teach people how to live and make a way for everybody, everywhere to become close friends with God. Quickly draw a cross and a heart next to the verse as you explain that Christians believe that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody, everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness and become close friends with him.

Christians believe God still does great things today. Christians believe that today he works in people's lives comforting, teaching and guiding - helping people learn and grow to live his way.

Explain that Christians believe that God deserves praise because he is great and does great things. Talk about how remembering all these things makes Christians want to thank God and praise him more and more. However Christians don’t give God trophies or medals, they give him praise through the things they say and sing. 

If you have time talk about singing praise to God; singing about the things God has done, thanking him for them and telling him he is great. You might like to play a praise song or talk about your favourite worship song. 

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