Skip to main content

Reply to "COMPLETE LESSON SET: The Greatest Commandment ~ FUMC Ann Arbor, MI"

The Greatest Commandment

Creative Movement Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities: 

Focus on learning the key Bible verse in an unusual way: create words in the Bible verse by using their bodies while wearing body sox. Photograph their efforts and display the photos on a TV. Discuss loving God with all they’ve got. [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]


For scripture, objectives, and background - see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Easel and appropriate marker
  • Index cards (11); Marker
  • Adventure Bibles; One with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
  • Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
  • Body Sox (tubes made of a very stretchy Lycra)
  • CD player; CD of appropriate music
  • Digital Camera and cords to connect the camera to a TV
  • TV
  • A noise maker


Before Start of Class:

  • Write the key Bible verse on the easel.
  • Write the following words on index cards (one word per card): Love, the, Lord, your, God, with, all, heart, and, soul, mind.
  • Have a body sock available to show, but keep it out of sight. (My experience has been that the kids see the body sox and you’ve lost them to their excitement!)
  • Practice hooking the camera to the TV. Make sure that you can display pictures on the TV.
  • Decide what area(s) of the room to “enact” the words.



Opening- Welcome & Lesson Introduction:


Greet your students warmly. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: First, let’s begin 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. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for bringing us all here today. We are thankful for everything that you have created. You made all of us and you made the beautiful world in which we live. Thank you for your laws that teach us how we should live in your beautiful world. We know you want us to love and care for all of God’s people. Help us to see how best to do that. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”


Dig - Main Content & Reflection


  • Ask: Has anyone ever heard the Bible story from the New Testament, where a Pharisee was trying to trick Jesus? Tell me what you know about that Bible story.

If the students know about the story from Matthew 22:34-40…
Be sure they include:

  • Pharisees testing or wanting to trick Jesus,
  • Who were the Pharisees? [Have them look it up in dictionary in back of purple Bibles],
  • Pharisees asking Jesus what’s the most important commandment, and Jesus’ reply.

Distribute Adventure Bibles.


  • Ask: How many books are there in the Bible? (66)
  • Besides being divided into books, what are some other ways the Bible is divided?

Say: The Bible is divided into two Testaments – the Old and the New Testament. The Bible is also divided into collections.

  • Ask: What do we call the collection where stories about Jesus are found? (the Gospels)

Say: Stories about Jesus are found in the Gospels. If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the Gospel section of your Bible. [Show the classroom Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]

Have kids find Matthew, chapter 22, verse 34 in their Bibles. Remind them of the quick way to find the New Testament. (Opening the Bible in middle lands you usually in Psalms. Taking just the back half and finding middle of that, gets you to beginning of NT.)

If the students did not know the story…
Have kids take turns reading verses 34-40.

  •  Ask: Who were the Pharisees?

If students don’t know, have them look up the word “Pharisee” in the dictionary in the back of the Bibles. [On page 1446.]

  • Ask: What is this story called? (the greatest commandment)

Say: You can find that out by looking at the heading just above verse 34.

  • Ask: Why do you suppose it’s called the greatest commandment?

Say: The Pharisee was trying to trick Jesus into picking one commandment that was more important of all of the Ten Commandments. And, at Jesus’ time, there were hundreds and hundreds of other commands that the Pharisees had come up with. This expert in the law is thinking that if he can force Jesus to choose one command as the greatest, maybe Jesus will leave out something important. This Pharisee who was questioning Jesus wanted to know what the most important commandment was.

  • Ask: What were we learning about last month? (the Ten Commandments)

What was Jesus’ reply – what did he say was the greatest commandment?

Point out the “Words to Treasure” in the box on page 1081. Have everyone read these words together. Tell them that this is our key Bible verse for the month.

Have everyone say the verse again.


The Activity:


Say: So far we have used our ears and our mouths to learn about our story – our mouths because talking about a story is an excellent way to learn about it. Now I would like us to use our whole body. We are going to use our whole bodies to spell out the words to our key Bible verse. And to make it more interesting…we’ll be wearing what are called body sox. [Show a body sock.]

Sound the noisemaker. Tell the students that when they hear that sound they must stop talking and be still.

picture showing a portion of the word LOVEForm groups for the first two or three words (Love, the, Lord). Tell each group what word they will be performing. Encourage them to plan out how they will present this word – laying on the floor, or standing up? [Do this before passing out body sox!]
Say: I will be taking digital photos of their efforts that we can look at on the TV.

Tell everyone to take off their shoes.
Pass out body sox and have everyone put them on.


[Expect chaos for several minutes because of the excitement of the body sox. After a couple of minutes, sound the noisemaker.]

Ask the groups to form their words. Photograph each word. Give them the next word to create. Continue until 7 minutes are left in class.



Have everyone take off the body sox and sit down over by the TV.
Show the pictures on the TV.

Say: Jesus told us to: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Matthew, chapter 22, verses 37 and 39.

  • Ask: What does Jesus mean – to love our neighbors? (means we help people who are in need)
  • Ask: What are different ways to love our neighbor? (include programs that your church is involved in such as Habitat for Humanity, local programs, etc.)



Say: Today we used all of ourselves to study God’s word from the Bible. We have learned that Jesus gave us a summary of what we should do –
It is amazingly simple. Love.
Love God first.
Then by loving God first, we are empowered to love our neighbor.
One cannot love one’s neighbor, without loving God first
one cannot love God without seeking to share that love with others.
This week try to remember to use all of yourself in loving God and others.

A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First United Methodist Church

Ann Arbor, MI 
Copyright 2008 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.




Images (1)
  • L and O (and a peek of V) from LOVE
Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author are referenced. Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. is rated5 stars on Google based on 51 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!