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DRAMA, MUSIC Workshop Lessons and Ideas for the Lions' Den

This topic is for posting your Drama and/or Music Workshop Lessons and ideas for teaching the story of Daniel and the Lions' Den.

 

The following is based on an idea originally posted by Liz Weingart, the thread starter. Thought I'd share for anyone looking for a drama/music workshop that DOESN'T have kids acting out the story (we've had a lot of dressing up and acting out, and the kids were getting a bit bored, so I've been looking for alternatives.  Your link to the song,  "The Lions Weren't Hungry Last Night" was perfect!).

 

Daniel Voice Choir/Drama

 

Supplies: printed copies of the poem, recording device

 

I.  Opening

Shepherds will gather children in a circle, do some introductions, and a short ice breaker activity or start conversation about everyone’s week.

  • Once the Shepherd is finished, say: "Today we’re going to be talking about a man named Daniel.  Has anyone heard of him before?
  • Then say: "One of the things we hear about Daniel is that he stayed strong and true to God…even when things got really hard for him. Would you all join me in prayer?”
  • After a moment of silence to let everyone calm down, say: “God, there are many hard things that happen in the world, times when we face injustice and times when we are scared or lonely.  When those hard times come, remind us of Daniel and help us to lean on you.  Amen.”

 

II.   Storytelling:

Explain that this story takes place during one of Israel’s times of exile, when they were taken from their homeland.  No one really knows if this story REALLY happened, but we do know that the Hebrew people told each other this story to remind themselves to be brave and to stand up for what they knew was right—even when they were in a different land ruled by a different king.   Explain that, instead of reading the story to them, they’re going to tell the story together in the form of a rhyme. 

 

III.  Voice Choir:

  • Pass out the printed rhyme. 
  • Have fun with this!  Choose people to read different parts…or come up with sounds to make after different lines (e.g.: “The lions are hungry tonight” (ROAR!).  For younger kids, you might make up motions (lion claws) for different words in the poem.  For older kids, you might treat it as a voice choir, where you divide out parts and have a narrator or two read most of it, with everyone coming in for “The lions are hungry tonight” and different voices coming in as the king or Daniel.
  • You might also come up with 'responses' after each line, such as, "Ah" and "Phew!"  Add as many as your kids can handle. Assign such things, or have cue cards. 

    Example: "There once lived a good man named Dan"  All: "Yay!"
  • Practice it several times together, and then record it (you can do this on the iPhone voice memo option or using a laptop computer's Record/microphone option).  Then let the kids listen to it afterward to hear themselves.

 

IV. Closing:

Point out to the kids that stories (like Daniel) are meant to teach us something or remind us of something.  What are some different things that the story of Daniel reminds us of…that maybe we can take into our lives today? (this is important because it connects the lesson to the opening).  Ask for any prayer requests.  Then pray for courage to face injustices and close by having everyone say this prayer together:

 

“God, make me your hands, your feet, and your heart to love others in the world.    Amen.”

 

"The Lions Weren't Hungry Tonight"

 

Originally composed by Mike Milligan on Bullfrogs & Butterflies' II cd "God Loves Fun", the following has been adapted and added to by Sarah Wernsing at Plymouth Congregation UCC, Fort Collins, CO. You can download (pay for) the music track on the internet.)

 

There once lived a good man named Dan
The best man that lived in the land
So honest and just that King Darius
Made Daniel his next in command.

 

But there were some very mean men
Who all hated Dan the king’s friend
So jealous were they that they planned out a way
To throw Dan in the lion’s den.

 

The lions are hungry tonight, they said,
The lions are hungry tonight.
They’ve not eaten dinner;
We think they will bite.
The lions are hungry tonight, they said,
The lions are hungry tonight!

 

The jealous men hatched a big plot
to put Daniel in a tight spot:
a new law of the land that did command
prayer only to Darius as god.

 

Well, Daniel, he didn’t obey.
To God he continued to pray.
He said, “If I make the king mad, that’s just too bad;
Prayer to God is the only way.”

 

The king was as sad as could be
But could not reverse the decree
He prayed the night through & skipped dinner too
Then ran the next morning to see.

 

The lions were hungry last night, he said,
The lions were hungry last night.
They’d not eaten dinner;
I fear they did bite.
The lions were hungry last night, he said,
The lions were hungry last night!

 

The king cried, “Oh Daniel my friend!
I’m wondering how have you been.
And how is the weather? Are your pieces together?
Did God keep you safe in the den?”

 

And then the most wonderful thing
That had ever been seen by the king—
Down deep in the den stood Dan with a grin
And this is the song he did sing:

 

The lions weren’t hungry last night, oh king,
The lions weren’t hungry last night
I wasn’t their dinner;
God shut their mouths tight.
The lions weren’t hungry last night, oh king,
The lions weren’t hungry last night!

 

The story has something to tell
A lesson to learn from Daniel
When others mistreat you like lions that eat you
God’s love can keep you well.

 

And so when your back’s to the wall,
be strong and love God through it all.
And then in the end you can sing with a grin
‘cause God’s always near when you call.

 

The lions weren’t hungry last night, you’ll sing,
The lions weren’t hungry last night.
God thinks I’m a winner
I’ll be all right.
The lions weren’t hungry last night, you’ll sing ,
The lions weren’t hungry last night

 

 

 
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Posted by CreativeCarol:

 

Lion's Den Rap Song

 

Kid's Sunday School Place - lyrics by Craig

 

Lyrics to the rap song at

http://www.missionarlington.or...-2YR-92-DanLions.pdf

 

Must scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the rap.

 



Posted by Neil

 

Daniel Song: "Standing In The Need of Prayer"

 


 

 

Posted by SheilaB, this set of lyrics is sung to the popular camp tune "Pharoah Pharoah" which is the same tune as "Louie Louie" for those who remember the song!

 

"Lions, Lions"

 

Chorus:
Lions, lions… Oh please let our Daniel go  (umph!)
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Lions, lions… Oh please let our Daniel go
Huh! Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Well I heard a little story just the other day,
a king told his people that to him they must pray.
But a guy named Daniel said that God was his friend,
so the king threw him in to the lion's den.


Chorus

Well you may think the lions ripped him up in shreds,
but the Lord closed their mouths and sent them all to bed.
In the morning when the king found him safe and sound,
he said "Daniel you can pray to anyone as long as I'm around."

 

Chorus


 
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A Script by Gail Smith

 

Daniel in the Lions’ Den

CHARACTERS:

Daniel, King Darius, Satraps and Administrators (any number of them; abbreviated “SA"), lions, guard, narrator

 

Puppets or Actors?
This play can be done with puppets using the large puppet theatre (6 feet long) and also the small one. The large theatre could have the king’s palace at one end, and the smaller cardboard puppet theater could be the window of Daniel’s room and also the lions’ den. Place the small theatre near the end of large one farthest from the “palace”. If you prefer, you could simply do this as a play with a change of settings and actors instead. It is written as if done with puppets. You will have to adapt the script for the younger children who cannot read all of it. The king has the most reading to do. For non-readers, perhaps have a teacher read parts as children do the puppet actions, or write it more simply.

Scene I


[King Darius is sitting in his palace, and the guard escorts the group of SA in to see him.]
SA: “O king, live forever!”


KING: “May I help you?”


SA: “Yes! We want you to sign this wonderful new law. It says no person may pray to anyone but you for the next 30 days.”


KING: “Sounds like a great idea! I will sign it.” [He signs the law with the imprint of his seal.]
Scene II


NARRATOR: “Daniel knew about the new law, but he continued to pray at least three times a day. He gave thanks to God, as he always had done.”

[The SA group walks silently to Daniel’s house and secretly watches him. He is at the window praying. Then they walk back to the king’s palace and knock at the gate.]


SA: “O king, live forever!”


KING: “May I help you?”


SA: “Remember that new law you just signed?”


KING: “Yes..”


SA: [Different members of the group say the various things.] “Daniel is breaking the law!” “He is praying to his god, and not to you, O king!” “He still prays three times a day!”
KING: [He bows his head and moans sadly.] “The law cannot be changed. Guard, I guess you’ll have to bring Daniel and meet me at the lions’ den.”


Scene III
[The guard brings Daniel out of his house and to the King. Then the room darkens as the theatre that was Daniel’s house is changed into the lions’ den. Tape brown paper onto the outside of the cardboard theatre. Have ready a large, round piece of brown butcher paper that will be the “rock” with which the den is sealed for the night.]


[As the scene opens, the guard takes Daniel to the lions den and pushes him into the opening from the outside. Some lions have already been seen and heard in the den by the audience, so the den appears very threatening.]

 

KING: “Daniel, may your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
[The guard places (tapes) the paper “stone” over the mouth of the den, and the lions STOP roaring, but the king is already walking sadly back to the palace. All night long (Darken the room and shine a spotlight on the “sky” above the palace.) the king paces back and forth in front of the palace, moaning softly.


Show that morning has come by increasing the room light.]


KING: [in front of the lions’ den] “Guard, unseal the den.” “Daniel? Daniel! Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

 

DANIEL: “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They did not hurt me. I am innocent in God’s eyes, and I have never done you wrong, O king.”


KING: [joyfully] “Take him out of the den!”


[As he is taken out, Daniel shows the king that he has not a scratch on him. The king points to the now-frightened SA, and the guard takes them to the den as the lions continue roaring. The SA are sealed in the den.]


KING: “I hereby decree that all people in every part of my kingdom must fear and reverence the God of Daniel, for he is the living God!”


Discussion questions:


1. (Possibly, this could be saved for a journal question.) Daniel continued to do what was right and good and he continued to pray even when other people did not like what he did, and even when it was against the law. Daniel always obeyed God’s laws. Tell about a time when you did the right thing even though it was hard to do.


2. Praying was one of the most important things Daniel did in his life. How can prayer help you know God better? What are some ways people pray? (ANS: Thanksgiving, praise & worship, asking for help for others, asking for help for themselves are some ways people pray. The Holy Spirit helps us pray when we ask Him for help, and as we commune with God, also reading and remembering Bible words we know, God helps us to know His will and His ways.)


3. Daniel 6:10 says “Three times a day [Daniel] got down on his knees and prayed…” Why do you think he was on his knees? Must we pray on our knees? (ANS: Being on his knees was his way of bowing humbly before God, acknowledging his need of God and honoring God. We don’t have to pray on our knees, however. We can pray in any position, at any time or any place. Sometimes it good to have a special place and a way that you pray in an attitude of humility and adoration toward God.)


4. Daniel told the king he was innocent and blameless; we call that having a “clear conscience”. How can a person have a clear conscience before God and before other people? (ANS: Always admit to God when you’ve done wrong, ask God’s forgiveness, and ask for help to do the right thing. Also admit to other people when you’ve wronged them, and ask their forgiveness. Ask God to help you do that and to help you behave right toward other people. We all need that help.)


5. Daniel was known for praying for his people, the Jewish people, to be forgiven of their sins and to be able to return to their own land. God answered Daniel’s prayer, and the people did finally return to their land after being captives for 70 years. Can you think of any ways God has answered your prayers?

 
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