David and Goliath
Summary of Lesson Activity:
Create two puppets – one to represent a giant in their lives and the other to represent God as their shield. Discuss the giants we face in our lives. What can help us face our giants? [Note: 1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop though it could easily be adapted for older students.]
Scripture Reference & Key Bible Verse & Objectives:
Refer to first post in this lesson set.
- Read Bible Background and scripture.
- For 3rd grade and up: Bibles
- Book: David and Goliath by Jean Marzollo
- Easel; appropriate marker
- Sharpie marker
- Duct tape
- Stones - medium sized, need to write words on them
- Paint sticks (two per student)
- Poster board: pre-cut shield shapes (one per student) and precut squares or rectangles (one per student)
- Construction paper in a variety of colors, scissors, glue, tape
- Any other supplies to create puppets – this is a great workshop to get rid of odd stuff!
- Markers, gel pens, colored pencils, crayons
Advanced Preparation Requirements:
- Write out the key Bible verse on pieces of Duct Tape - one or two words per piece. Put these pieces of tape on the rocks. (“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9)
- Attach the sticks to the puppet bases ahead of time – for each student: one “Goliath” puppet base attached to a stick, and one “shield” puppet base attached to a stick.
- Set out puppet supplies. [Note: it is best not to make sample puppets to show the kids. It allows students to use their own creativity. It is OK to play with materials so you are aware of how they can be used.]
- Look over the book David and Goliath so that you will be able to tell the story, rather than reading it. Bookmark the page in the book that shows the picture of Goliath. [There aren’t any page numbers. Use the page with the picture of Goliath that has no words on it.]
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Art Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
Do: Show the students the bookmarked page in the book David and Goliath.
Ask: How many of you have ever had to face a giant like this one?
Say: Thankfully none of you have had to face this giant. This is an artist’s rendition of someone who was called a giant, because he was a very tall man. His name was Goliath. Our Bible story is about how a young boy named David was brave enough to battle Goliath. Today, as we discuss our story, we’ll be making puppets.
Dig: Main content and Reflection
Ask: The Bible is divided into two sections. What are the two sections called? (the Old Testament and the New Testament)
If our story was one that Jesus would have heard when he was your age, where would we find this story? (in the Old Testament)
Say: We find this story in the Old Testament of our Bible. All of the stories in the Old Testament are stories that Jesus would have heard as he was growing up.
For 1st and 2nd graders:
Say: We find our story in an Old Testament book called First Samuel.
For 3rd grade and up:
Ask: Who can tell me the names of the books of the Old Testament?
Review the names up to the Samuels: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First and Second Samuel.
Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, they will usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out that First Samuel comes before Psalms, since we didn’t name Psalms. Let them flip through the first half of the Bible for it, referring to the list of books (hopefully in their heads!) or use the table of contents. If anyone has tabs in their Bible, tell them that 1st Samuel is considered a History book.
After they’ve found I Samuel, help them find chapter 17, verse 1 and tell them this is where the story of David and Goliath is told in the Bible.
For all students:
Ask the students to tell you what they know about David and Goliath. [This will guide you in knowing what to emphasize during the lesson.]
Use the book David and Goliath to tell the story. (Don’t read every word in the book; it will take too much time.) Show the pictures as you tell the story. In later weeks of the Rotation ask the students to tell you the story using the pictures in the book as a prompt.
Say: Let’s talk a minute about giants. Goliath was very tall so we say he was a giant. But the word giant can describe anything that is big – say, a giant problem. A bully can be a giant; a teacher or a boss that is a taskmaster can be a giant; being afraid of the dark is a giant; a problem in your family can seem like a giant.
Ask: With that definition of a giant, I am wondering what giants do you sometimes face?
Generate a few ideas, listing them briefly on the easel paper. If possible, share a giant that you personally have faced in your life.
Ask: Did David have any fancy armor or weapons to use against Goliath?
What did David use to fight Goliath?
Show the students a picture of David’s sling – use the page in the book David and Goliath where David is fighting a lion.
Say: It’s pretty amazing that Goliath was killed using a slingshot. King Saul had offered David his armor and sword but David didn’t wear it!
Ask: He must have had a secret weapon, what do you suppose it was?
Draw a large shield shape on the easel paper. Write the words “trust God” inside the shield.
Say: David didn’t have a shield like King Saul but he had a special kind of armor – David trusted God to protect him. David told Goliath that it was not his skill, but God’s power and might, that would settle the battle.
Ask: What about for us; what can our armor or shield be against our giants [refer to the list that was made]? (allow all answers)
Say: Our armor against our problems, our giants, is to trust that God will help us. We call that, having faith. The giants may still seem scary but our faith in God helps us face them.
Introduce the art materials:
Say: Today we are going to make two stick puppets. Make one puppet that represents a giant in your life. You may use any of the materials on the table. The second puppet will be in the shape of a shield. It represents the armor we have to protect us from our giants. Decorate your shield puppet as a reminder of how God is with you.
Allow the students to create two puppets. Use the Sharpie to write their names on the puppet sticks. Give them time to think about what they would like to create. Offer suggestions only if they need them:
- Their “giant” puppet should remind them of a giant in their life – one they have already faced or will face.
- They may use construction paper and scissors to make shapes to decorate their puppet.
- Their shield puppet could be a picture that reminds them of a time when God was with them.
- They could write on the shield, reminders of how God is with us. (Trace a shield shape on construction paper and write words on it and then cut it out.) Or write the memory verse.
Discussion: (while the kids are working, ask)
- Looking back in the story about David, what other ways was God with David? (as a shepherd fighting lions and bears)
- What are some past experiences that you can draw on to find courage in God?
- How does our armor protect us? How is God with us?
- How do we get armor like David had – how do we develop faith in God? (learn about God, read Bible, pray, ask questions, talk with your family, come to Sunday’s Cool)
Activities for early finishers:
- Challenge them to arrange the set of stones into the correct order of the key Bible verse.
- Have them use their puppets to enact the story. Ask them to enact a modern day version of the story.
Ask: Do you think David was afraid when he faced Goliath? What made him brave?
Say: David proved that God was at a child’s side, giving him courage.
Say the memory verse together. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Say: Take your puppets home and use them to tell your family the story of David and Goliath. Your puppets are a reminder that we can trust God to help us face giants.
Say: Let’s close with prayer. Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for the chance to be creative today in our art projects. We thank you for creating us. Help us to live boldly – even when we face giants in our lives. Help us to trust that you love us and call us your special friend. (End with the Lord's Prayer) Amen.”
Resources for Art Lesson:
- Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, Cary, NC. “David &Goliath.” 2003. Web.
- Bible.org Web
- Heyward, Will. “David and Goliath.” Smyrna Presbyterian Church. Waynesboro, VA. 2002.
- Shield Shape (note original link no longer active - here is another shield pattern https://patternuniverse.com/download/shield-pattern/)
Workshop Leader comments: "The younger kids had difficulty translating their personal giant into the puppet format - most just 'decorated' their form, not a bad activity, but didn't allow for reinforcement of the message as much as hoped." [Note: For this reason, this lesson was not repeated in 2015.]
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "David and Goliath: Art Lesson." Rotation.org. 2004, 2008. Web. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.
A lesson written in 2004, updated in 2008, by Carol Hulbert from:
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Printed from https://www.rotation.org