15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, pages 236 and 237
Use the Old Testament flashcards to remind the children of the events leading up to today’s story. Explain that when the Israelites finally reached the Promised Land, they called their land Israel. After many years Rehoboam became King. With Rehoboam in charge the people of Israel began to disagree and eventually the nation split into two kingdoms. The kingdom in the North was called Israel and the kingdom in the South was called Judah. After many years God let an enemy army capture his people and take them away. The Israelites were taken to Assyria and the Judeans were taken by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. Four Judean men, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were taken to the palace in Babylon. They were to be royal advisers. One night King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. Daniel told him the meaning of his dream. The dream was about a statue, but it was also about the future…
Today’s story may raise questions about being told what to do. Briefly talk to the children about the many different people who tell us what we should and shouldn’t do. Guide the conversation so that the children understand that the people we should listen to and obey are the people we trust; people who know what’s best for us. Remind the children that if we are told by someone to do something silly, hurtful, rude or unkind we should try very hard not to do what they say. In fact if somebody asks us to do something that makes us feel worried, uncomfortable or we know is wrong, then we should tell a grown-up who will listen.
After telling today’s story, remind the children that they must not play near fires and never touch matches or lit candles.
1. Setting the scene - 2 mins
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to nine
2. Starter question - 1 min
Have you ever chosen to do one thing while everybody else did something else? Sometimes the people around us choose to do things we don’t like. They might even choose to do something unkind, silly or rude. If somebody asks us to do something we know is wrong or makes us feel worried or uncomfortable then we should try very hard not to do what they say. What do You think Daniel’s friends did when they were asked to disobey God’s laws?
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
‘People of the empire’ speech bubble (see Printables)
‘We do not want another chance…’ speech bubble (see Printables)
A short piece of rope
‘You who serve the great high God – come out!’ speech bubble (see Printables)
Fabric to represent the men’s clothes
Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web
4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy colouring in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)
Option 2 - ‘Keep the king off the throne’
You will need: ‘Keep the king off the throne’ sheet (see Printables) and a pen. If you have a large group you will also need a marker pen, a large sheet of paper, sticky tac, a second large piece of paper (such as lining paper) or fourteen sheets of A4 paper, a long length of string and clothes pegs.
Before the session print a ‘Keep the king off the throne’ sheet. This game is an alternative to ‘Hangman’. The children should suggest letters they think may be in the hidden phrase. Every time an incorrect letter is suggested a line should be added to the picture of King Nebuchadnezzar on the throne. See Printables for more instructions on how to play the game.
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Before praying, briefly explain that the phrase ‘stand up’ means to stand on your feet but it can also mean that you believe something is right and true even when others disagree.
Father we know that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stood up straight while everybody else bowed in worship. Father help us to ‘stand up’ for what is right by being prepared to do what is good and kind even if it makes us appear different from those around us. Father God please help us to say ‘no’ to things that are wrong and ‘yes’ to things that are good and right. Amen
Alongside this story, make the craft...