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Reply to "DRAMA & MUSIC Workshop Lessons and Ideas for the Lions' Den"


Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

A voice Choir Workshop.

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
Supplies List:
  • printed copies of the poem,
  • recording device


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

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.”

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

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.

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.


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.) has a sample of the music, as well as the CD Bullfrogs & Butterflies: God Loves Fun

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

The lesson is based on an idea originally posted by Liz Weingart from: Plymouth  UCC

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


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