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Reply to "Complete Lesson Set from River Community Church ~ Anointing of David"

David Anointed King

Games Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will play a game looking at optical illusions and closeups of objects to demonstrate that things and people are not always as they appear. The children will discuss the concepts of God seeing things that we don’t and God judging us by our hearts and not our outward appearance. 


1 Samuel 16: 1-13

Memory Verse:

1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV)

Objectives for the rotation
(see listing above)

Additional objectives for the Games workshop
At the end of the session, the students will

  • have experienced seeing that things aren’t always what they appear to be.

Teacher preparation in advance:

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study, ...
  • Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Confer with the Shepherd on age level adjustments needed each week (those included in the lesson plan and your own). Consider the “Stretchers” you can use, especially with the youngest children.
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model (tm) at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
  • The bin with supplies is located in the Sunday School room. Purchase or request additional supplies from --by July 10.
  • Collect pictures for use in the game. Books, magazines, newspapers and the Internet are all good sources. Have pictures large enough for display to a group. Write what you are going to ask about the picture on the back or a notecard so you can read the question as you hold the picture up for the class to see. Consider putting together a few optical illusions also (see Doherty, Paul and Don Rathjen: The Cheshire Cat and Other Eye-Popping Experiments on How We See the World.)
    FIELD TEST NOTE: Try out the pictures you want to use with someone sitting as far away from you as the children will be to see if the optical illusion still works and is clear from that distance (especially if you have more than 4 children in a class).

Room set-up:
No special instructions for this workshop. The children can sit in chairs or on the floor.

Supply List:

  • Optical illusion pictures or books (see resources)
  • button
  • posterboard with memory verse written on it
  • Memento: “good job!” or other reward/incentive stickers
  • Shepherd Time: no special supplies


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction: 
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing name-tags.

We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but you may open with prayer if you feel led to do so.

Explain the purpose of this workshop: We will experiment with what our eyes see and what our brains think. We will then think about what God sees and what He knows.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Scripture/Bible Story:
Read the scripture: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13.
[Encourage the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses. Show them how to use the table of contents and the page numbers in the Bible. We restate information about Bible organization in each workshop to be sensitive to visitors and new children in the class who may not have any knowledge of the Bible. We never want a child to feel like they do not belong because they do not know this information before they come to class.]

Younger Children: For classes composed primarily of pre-readers, show the children how to find the passage in the Bible and then have them do it. After everyone has found the passage, have them close their Bibles and listen while you read.


[adapted from Kirk of Kildaire lesson plan by Catherine]
Tell the children: Samuel couldn’t tell from outward appearances which one of Jesse’s sons God had chosen. Now we’re going to see how good we are at judging from outward appearances. Let’s play “To Tell the Truth!”

Show the kids a variety of pictures and have them guess at what the reality is. Use optical illusions, partial images, magnifications of microscopic objects, and photos of people who don’t fit stereotypical appearances. Ask questions appropriate to each picture and have them “vote” their judgments by moving to a certain part of the room. For example, with an optical illusion: “If you think all the circles are the same size, go to that corner. If you think one circle is bigger than the others, go to the opposite corner.” With partial images and magnifications, ask for suggestions as to what the complete picture is, or give them several choices and let them vote. With photos of people, ask: “Which one of these three people was convicted of robbing a bank?” Vary the voting by having them indicate their choices by hopping, spinning, standing on one foot, singing, or whatever else you can think of to keep them moving.

You might also use auditory illusions (for example, sometimes it’s hard to tell by the sound whether someone is laughing or crying) or have the children try to identify objects by touch, taste, or smell.

Older children: Use the hardest pictures. You want them to miss a lot in order to make your point about judging by appearances. They are likely to catch on pretty quickly that the correct answer is not usually the obvious answer – so when they guess one right, point out that it’s not the answer we would normally expect based on appearances.

Younger Children: Start out with some easy pictures or the Mouse Views book, but be sure that there are some that most kids will miss. Keep them moving.

Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

Talk about some of the pictures where the truth was surprising. Ask: Do you think God has a hard time knowing the truth about those pictures? [No, because God sees and understands things we do not.]

What about some of the people in the pictures? Sometimes it was hard to guess who was the criminal, who was the millionaire, who was the doctor, etc. Do you think God has the same problem we did? [No, God sees our hearts and not our outward appearance.]

In the story, Samuel thought Jesse’s oldest son was the one God had chosen. Why did he think that? [The oldest son was tall and handsome. Samuel was judging him by appearances.]

Extra game, if time permits: King, King, Who is the King? (Adapted from Button, Button, who has the button?)

Younger children:
A child is chosen to be “it” (Samuel) and hides her eyes as a button is given to a child to hide behind his back. “Samuel” then has three chances to guess which child has the button (is the “king. (All children hide their hands behind their backs like they have the button.) The child with the button gets to be Samuel next.

Older children:
Same as above, except the children pass, and pretend to pass, the button as “Samuel” watches and tries to figure out who has the button. Once Samuel guesses the right person, that person gets to be Samuel.

Review the memory verse.
[adapted from The Big Book of Bible Skills]
“Simon Says Verse”
Say, “We’re going to play a game like Simon Says, except our game will use words instead of actions. I’ll say one word at a time from our memory verse. If it is the correct word, repeat it after me; but if it is not the correct word, don’t say anything. Let’s review the memory verse first.” [Hold up a poster with the memory verse and have everyone read it together several times.]

Begin play, saying several correct words, one at a time with the children repeating each correct word. Then say an incorrect word. (For example, THE (the) LORD (lord) DOES (does) NOT (not) RUN ...
If students repeat the incorrect word after you, begin the verse again. Continue this process until you successfully complete the verse together (or run out of time).

At 11:45 a.m. turn the class over to the Shepherd. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children “good job” stickers to wear home as a reminder of the story and activity.

Shepherd Time:
Have you ever had a day when it seems all your good choices were wrong? [It is helpful if at this point the teacher can start the ball rolling with, “I’ve had a day like that. One day...”]

Can we prevent “wrong-choice” days?
What can we do?
(Remember that Samuel was a man of God, who spoke to and for God, yet he almost chose the wrong son – several time!)

This is meant to be a time of reflection and introspection. Talking about faith helps clarify lessons. In addition to the suggested activity, children may draw pictures relating to today’s scripture or memory verse, list highlights of the day’s activities, or rephrase the memory verse.

You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, games. See the Teachers’ Background Notes and for ideas.

Before noon, ask the students to sit quietly for prayer so they can leave when their parents arrive. Allow them to finish the discussion afterwards.


Closing prayer:
Did you know that David wrote a number of songs and prayers that can be found in the Bible? They are in the Book of Psalms. Let’s pray using one of David’s prayers: Psalm 139: 1-14, 23-24.
(Older can read it together in unison; younger can listen prayerfully as you read it.)

Tidy and Dismissal:

  • Ask children to help tidy the room. Give any specific instructions for clearing the workshop room.
  • Give everyone the parent take-home flyer the first week of the rotation; give it only to children who were absent and have not yet received it the other weeks of the rotation.

Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas are included in the lesson plan.


  • The Big Book of Bible Skills. Ventura, California: Gospel Light, 1999.
  • Catherine. Optical illusion exercise from Kirk of Kildaire Faith Quest lesson plan
  • Optical illusion web sites: (These are just a few – there are LOTS available. These are really good, but printing them out big enough and with good enough quality may be difficult. It will probably be easier to go to the library and get some books.) 
  • Optical Illusion books: (Again, these are just a few. Check the library for more.)
    • Doherty, Paul and Don Rathjen. The Cheshire Cat and Other Eye-Popping Experiments on How We See the World. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1991, 1995. (This book from the Exploratorium science museum has simple instructions on impressive optical illusions you can put together yourself. If possible, take the time to put a few together.)
    • Hoban, Tana. Just Look. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1995. (Especially for younger children.)
    • Jennings, Terry. 101 Amazing Optical Illusions. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1996.
    • McMillan, Bruce. Mouse Views: What the Class Pet Saw. New York: Holiday House, 1993. (Great close up/“what is it?” views with a bit of a story line attached.)
    • Nurosi, Aki. Colorful Illusions: Tricks to Fool Your Eyes. New York: Sterling Publising Co., Inc., 2000.
    • Simon, Seymour. Now You See It, Now You Don’t: The Amazing World of Optical Illusions. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1976, 1998.
    • Wick, Walter. Walter Wick’s Optical Tricks. New York: Scholastic, 1998. (An excellent choice with large pictures – however, some really need to be studied up close to figure them out. Try out the pictures you want to use first with a friend sitting several feet away – or more if you have a big class.)
  • Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.


This lesson was written by Amy Crane for River Community Church
Prairieville, Louisiana. 

Copyright 2004 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.


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