David and Goliath
Summary of Lesson Activity:
Use object theater puppetry (i.e., use kitchen utensils as story character puppets) to enact the story. [Written for 4th – 6th graders.]
Scripture Reference & Key Bible Verse & Objectives:
Refer to first post in this lesson set.
- Read Bible Background and scripture.
- A variety of Bible versions: NRSV, CEV, TEV, NIV (at least 1 Adventure Bible with tabs - Law, History, etc.)
- One copy of the document "Bible Dig Sheets" (See the attachment at end of lesson. To download, click on the underlined words "Bible Dig Sheets.doc")
- Scissors (one pair)
- A puppet stage
- Script (see link in resources at end of lesson)
- Salt & pepper shakers & a Teaspoon (for demonstration)
- Baby spoon – David
- Sponges – sheep
- Various spoons and smaller utensils (at least 3) – David's brothers
- Spatulas, tongs, ladles (taller utensils) – Philistines
- A rubber spatula made to look old by attaching some white “beard” – Jesse
- A large BBQ flipper - Goliath
- A butter knife – King Saul
- Props: Mini Marshmallows, some pieces of foil
- Easel; appropriate marker
Advanced Preparation Requirements:
- Distribute Bibles around the chairs/seats in the room. Make sure that you include the specific Bibles mentioned above.
- Cut the Bible Dig sheet apart so that one numbered item is on each piece of paper.
- Write the key Bible verse on the easel.
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction
Do: Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Puppet Workshop. Introduce yourself and have the Shepherds introduce themselves. Invite everyone to come over to the open end of the room.
Say: I would like to give you a little quiz, just so that I can see how much you know about the story of David & Goliath. This quiz requires you to answer the questions by moving. I will ask a true/false question. If you think that the answer is true, go to this side of the room. [Designate one side of the room]. If you think the answer is false, then move to this side of the room. [Designate the other side of the room]. And if you don’t know the answer, you can stand in the middle. It’s ok if you don’t know the answer. [Don’t worry about correcting kids who “answer” wrong. You are just trying to find out what they know.]
T/F quiz questions:
- Goliath was a short little man. True or false?
- David was a shepherd and took care of his father’s sheep.
- The Israelite soldiers drew straws to see who would fight Goliath.
- David wore King Saul’s armor when he fought Goliath.
- David used a whole bushel of stones to kill Goliath.
Do: Thank everyone for participating in the quiz. Have everyone sit down.
Dig: Main content and Reflection
Say: Today we will be acting out our story with puppets. First, so that we get the story details right, we’re going to tell this story together and I need your to help. So let's start by finding our story in the Bible.
Ask: If our story is found in a Bible book called First Samuel, how would we figure out where to find First Samuel? (use Table of Contents)
Say: Let’s all find First Samuel in the Bible.
Do: Have everyone find 1 Samuel 17:1. Then pass out portions of the Bible Dig Sheet.
If there are more than 11 students, form a few groups of two. If you have less than 11 students, eliminate sheets without an asterisk (*). Note: one sheet requires a particular type of Bible.
Say: Follow the instructions on your sheet. You have three minutes and then we’ll all report what we discover as we tell the whole story.
Do: As children read and do what is on their Bible Dig Sheet, sort the portions that you didn’t hand out so you’ll know which questions will not be answered by the class. When three minutes are up begin the following story with input from the students. Note: the #’s represent the Bible Dig Sheet where the answer should come from.
Ask: Is First Samuel in the Old Testament or the New Testament? (anyone can answer - Old Testament)
What collection of BIble books is First Samuel a part of? (#1 - a history book)
Say: First Samuel is a history book. [Show the classroom Bible with tabs.]
Say: We’re going to tell this story together and I need you to help me fill in the blanks.
[Note: Anyone may answer your questions but groups with noted # can be called upon.
In later weeks of the Rotation ask the students to help fill in more of story i.e., leave more blanks, OR try telling the details incorrectly and see if they catch you. For example: David lived 3000 years ago in the town of Ann Arbor...]
Tell the story:
David lived 3000 years ago in the town of Bethlehem. The Israelites who worshipped God were under attack by a tribe called the Philistines. The Philistines had a very large warrior whose name was _____. (#1 - Goliath) who was how tall? _____ (#1 or #2 - over 9 ft). How was Goliath dressed, in his khakis and polo shirt? _____ (#2 ) Oh, imagine the sight, over 9 feet tall and dressed in heavy armor! And can you hear his voice? What was it that Goliath said? _____ (# 3). How did King Saul and all the Israelites react? _____ (#4 - they were afraid!)
There is another character in our story and his name is Jesse. Jesse had eight sons. How many of Jesse’s sons had gone to fight for King Saul and the Israelites? _____ (#5 – three sons) The youngest son _____, (#5 - David) helped his father with the sheep. Now being a shepherd sounds like a piece of cake, right? Well what difficulties might a shepherd face? _____ (#6 - lions & bears) David learned to use a tool called a sling. As long as he had stones, his sling could be deadly against attacking lions.
From reading other parts of the Bible we learn more about David. He liked to write songs and poems that we call psalms. A famous psalm is Psalm 23. What does Psalm 23 tell us about the sort of relationship David had with God? _____ (#7) The Psalms David wrote tell us that he trusted God to be with him at all times.
Now how was it that David ended up on a battlefield with Goliath? _____ (#8) That’s right, Jesse had sent David to take food to his brothers. So David comes into camp and hears Goliath insulting the Israelites. Goliath had been doing this for 40 days!
David finds it hard to believe that no one has yet taken on the battle with Goliath! Forty days this Goliath has insulted God’s people! Goliath is insulting God!
David tells King Saul that he wants to fight the giant. What does King Saul think? _____ (#9) Saul thought that David was too young. But David was sure of God’s protection. After all, God had saved him from the paws of lions and bears.
Saul gives the OK to fight Goliath. What does he try to give David? _____ (#10) But David just couldn’t wear Saul’s armor – he says it doesn’t feel right. So he heads off to face Goliath with just his shepherd’s tools – his staff, his sling and five stones.
Goliath laughs when he sees David the shepherd boy coming toward him. He says he’s going to turn David into bird food. What was it that David told Goliath? _____ (#11)
Then David used his sling to throw one stone at the giant’s head, killing him. David the shepherd boy from Bethlehem had won the battle! The End!
Say: What a great story! This is the kind of story that needs acting out. Let’s use puppets to retell this story. But let’s use a special type of puppets.
Enact the story using puppets:
Have the salt/pepper shakers and a spoon near by.
Ask: Have you ever been at a restaurant and you’re waiting for your food, and you’re little bored so you start playing with the salt and pepper shakers? [Start playing with them.]
And pretty soon the salt and pepper shakers become animated.
Have the salt say to the pepper, “How are you doing today?” Have the pepper respond.
Pick up a spoon; carry on a short conversation with the spoon and the shakers.
Say: These items become a type of puppet. When ordinary household items are used as puppets – it’s called “object theatre.” Today we are going to use object theatre to perform the story of David and Goliath. We can do the puppet show more than once, so that some can be the audience while others are acting out the story; then we’ll switch.
Break the class in half. Assign parts to half of the group. Run through the script (a student may read if desired). Reassign parts so everyone has a chance to “act out” the story. Allow time for discussion and closing. [Perhaps do discussion in between acts of the play.]
Ask: Everyone else was afraid to fight Goliath. Why do you suppose David was so certain that he could win against Goliath? (he wasn’t alone, he had faith in God)
Say: Having faith in God – knowing that God is with you – that made a big difference for David.
Ask: What about giants that we face – do you suppose that having that same faith can help us?
What does it take to have faith like David?
Think of a giant in your life – how would it feel (or look) to face that giant with faith?
Say: David believed that no matter what happened to him, God would be with him always and would protect him. God loves you. No matter what happens to you, God is with you.
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 this day and for everyone who is here today. We are thankful to learn about Bible heroes like David – who looked to you for courage when facing difficult obstacles. Help us to be more like David and remember that you are always with us. Amen.”
If you have extra time:
Refer to easel, and say the key Bible verse once as group. Then, break into six groups. Have each group recite a portion of the verse:
“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
Have them repeat the verse faster, louder, or softer.
Resources for the Puppet Lesson:
- G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team at State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA.“David and Goliath - Giant-Sized Faith!” 2001. Print. (for True/False questions and quiz idea)
- McKenzie, Lisa-Dawn. “David & Goliath: Script for Object Theatre.” 2008. Web.
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "David and Goliath: Puppet Lesson." Nov. 2008. Web. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.
A lesson written in 2008, by Carol Hulbert from:
First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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