101 - Samson: Strong in death


15 minute Story planner

Judges 16
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 119

Remind the children that for six weeks we are learning about Samson. Samson was a judge. Use the Old Testament flashcards and ‘The story so far…’ (see Printables) to remind the children of the events leading up to the time of the judges. 

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 five

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Do you like a story with a happy ending, one where everything turns out just fine? Many stories have both happy and sad parts. Today we are going to hear the last of Samson’s story. Can you think back and remember one happy event and one sad event in Samson’s story so far? 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Hold up the story bag and reveal the previous weeks’ props. Encourage the children to talk about them and, if possible, describe their relevance to Samson’s story so far. After telling the story, place the props in the bag.

  • A short length of chain, either plastic or metal, from a garden centre (see last week’s props)
  • A picture from the internet of a hall with pillars (beware of copyright regulations) 
  • ‘O God, please give me back my strength’ speech bubble (see Printables) 

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 - Knock down the 'pillars' with the bean-bags.
You will need:  masking tape, a bean-bag, a score sheet (see Printables), six empty two litre drinks bottles and the list of Samson’s story questions (see Printables). 

1. Before the session place a strip of masking tape on the floor.
2. At a distance of approximately three meters from the tape arrange the bottles in a triangle – stand one bottle in the front row, two in the second row and three in the third row.
3. Divide your group into two teams. Name the teams ‘A’ and ‘B’. 
4. Ask the teams to stand behind the strip of tape.
5. Explain that the bottles represent pillars and each team needs to try and knock down as many pillars as they can. However they must knock them over with bean-bags.
6. Encourage the teams to choose a ‘thrower’.
7. Ask team ‘A’ a question from the list. If the team answers correctly their thrower can attempt to knock over the pillars. Record his/her score on the score sheet.
8. Now ask team ‘B’ a question. If team ‘B’ answers correctly, their thrower can attempt to knock over the pillars. Record his/her score on the score sheet.
9. Alternate between asking team ‘A’ then team ‘B’ questions. Encourage the children to take turns throwing the bean-bags.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father we think about the life of Samson. We remember the good choices and the bad choices he made. Father we thank you that you didn’t stop loving Samson when he made his poor and unwise choices. 

Thank you that in the same way you never ever stop loving us. Thank you that nothing we do will make you love us less and there is nothing we can do to make you love us more. Thank you that day after day we are able to keep saying ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and know that you have promised to be with us always. Amen.

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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