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Psalm 23: A Shepherd's Psalm

Movie Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities: 

Children will watch a video about David to learn about his role in writing many of the psalms.


Scripture References:  

Psalm 23, “God is My Teacher and Guide – Psalm 23” page 207 Little Kids’ Adventure Bible  

God loves us and cares for us like a shepherd cares for his sheep.


Lesson Objectives:  

See Background Information


Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Read Background Information, Teaching Tips and Lesson.
  • Preview the video prior to class.
  • Prepare the popcorn before children arrive and have it bagged and ready to distribute so your attention can be given to the children.

Supplies List:

  •  The Story of David

    (Children’s Heroes of the Bible, Gateway Films-Vision)

    Video-running time 23 minutes

  • Popcorn

Important Note for Movie Workshop Leaders:

Children love this workshop!  Often the video is a direct correlation with the Bible story and creates a concrete, visual image in the children’s minds.  They refer to this image over and over throughout the rotation as they visit other workshops.  Some videos may take some liberties with the story-you may need to point out these discrepancies.  As much as possible sit down with the children and watch the video together. Feel free to pause the video to discuss something that you especially want them to note.  Please ensure that the children treat the room with respect-no standing, jumping or otherwise abusing the seats.




Opening-Welcome and Introduction:

Have the children sit in the theatre seats.  Have smaller children up front so everyone will be able to see. Welcome the children and introduce yourself and the shepherd.  Please make sure you are wearing your nametag and the children have picked up their nametags.

Opening Prayer:

Please open each session with an opening prayer.  You may pray your own or use the one below:
Dear Father in heaven,
Thank you for being our Shepherd, to guide us and protect us. Amen


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Video:  The Story of David

(Children’s Heroes of the Bible, Gateway Films-Vision)

Video-running time 23 minutes

Introduce the Story

Our memory verse is from the Book of Psalms.  What is a psalm?  (a sacred song or poem, many were sung during worship)  The Book of Psalms is one of the books in the Bible.  Many psalms were written by David.  What do you remember about David?  (shepherd, David and Goliath, became King of Israel)  David was a shepherd before he was chosen by God to become Israel’s king.  As a shepherd, David spent many hours in the fields with his flock.  A shepherd’s life was a lonely life – not much company except for the sheep.  David The sheep depend on their shepherd for guidance and safety.  God is our shepherd.  Do we let God watch over us and guide us or do we attempt to guide ourselves?
Start the movie and hand out the popcorn and a drink.
Once the movie is finished, have the children throw away their trash and move to the table for Bible discussion.


Each workshop has a Bible story time.  One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!  If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories.  Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the background information to help you introduce the story.
Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know.  The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well.  Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you.  One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.


Bible Study:  Grades K-1

David lived many years before Jesus was born.  Where would we find the psalms that David wrote in the Bible?  (Old Testament)  Have the children turn to page 207 in their Bibles and note the blue title on the page, “ Psalm 23.”   Children who have their own Bibles may use the Bible highlighters to highlight Psalm 23.  Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles. They may put their red Bible bookmark here to mark the memory verse.


Read and discuss the following Bible Notes: – Please remember the Kindergarteners need lots of help-some are not reading yet.

Life in Bible Times:  What God is Like, page 207
Let’s Live it:  God is my Shepherd, page 208

Bible Study:  Grades 2-5

The Book of Psalms is an Old Testament book of Poetry.  Psalm 23, the most well-known and loved psalm in the Bible, was written by David.  David was a shepherd before being chosen by God to become Israel’s king. 


Help children locate Psalm 23 in their Bibles. Children with Bible bookmarks can use their Blue bookmark to find the Old Testament Poetry books.  Then read the psalm as children follow along.  Have children with their own Bibles use the Bible highlighters to highlight Psalm 23:1.  Please do not mark in classroom Bibles.


Read and discuss the following Bible Notes:

Words to Treasure:  page 655
Life in Bible Times:  what God is Like page 656
Let’s Live It:  God is My Shepherd page 657

Discussion Questions:

  • What is a psalm?  (a song or poem written to express emotion to God)
  • Who wrote this Psalm 23?  (David)
  • Who did David say is his Shepherd in the Psalm?  (God)
  • What did David do before he became King?  (shepherd)
  • How is God like a shepherd?  (cares for us, love us, gives us what we need, guides us)
  • How are we like sheep?  (we can be stubborn, want our own way, sometimes we wander off)
  • Do sheep always follow their shepherd?  (no, remember the lost sheep we studied this summer!)
  • Do we always follow where God leads?  
  • What are some wrong paths we can take?  (lying, cheating, stealing, hurting others, saying mean things, gossiping, taking drugs, drinking, etc.)
  • What helps us stay on the right path?  (reading God’s word, coming to church, praying, talking with friends who are Christians, talking with parents)
  • How can we hear God’s voice in real life?  (prayer, reading the Bible, listening to trusted adults, listening to Sunday school teachers and preachers)
  • Use the Background Information for further discussion if you have time.


Memory Verse:  Review the memory verse with the children.  Use the Psalm 23 poster in the room. We are encouraging the children to learn to sign the entire psalm and will be signing this during worship.  If time allows, review with the children. 

Reflection and Journal Time:  The last ten minutes should be reserved for Journal Reflection Time.  This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what children have learned. 


Journal Questions:
Grades K-1: Draw your favorite part of the psalm.

Grades 2-5:  Draw your favorite part of the psalm.  Why do you like it?


Gather the children together.  Review with them one word or concept that they learned in today’s lesson.  (shepherd, sheep, God’s love)  Encourage the children to attend again next Sunday for another workshop.  Ask them to invite a friend, especially one who does not belong to a church.  Remind everyone to bring their Bibles.  Ask for prayer reguests and pray together.


Clean-Up:  Have the children throw away their popcorn bags and cups of they have not done so already.  Clean out popcorn machine and sweep up any stray kernels.  Put away Bibles, paper, pencils, videos, etc.   Bag up trash and place outside the classroom door. Replace trashcan liner (extras are found in the hallway supply closet)

A lesson written by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC

Bristol, VA


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