Story: The Bible
- Become familiar with the names and locations of the books of the Bible
- Know that God gave us His Word in the Bible to point the way to Jesus
- Understand that the Bible also shows His love for us and His plan for us
- Review Background notes.
- Gather the materials.
- Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
- This class will require two rooms—one for the introduction and a separate one for the obstacle course (the students can’t enter this room until you are ready for this activity).
- Prepare a special bag for the introduction by cutting the side of one paper grocery sack and taping it to the inside of a second grocery sack to make a secret pocket. Put the following into the pocket: ribbon, recipe on a card, cross necklace, small birthday candle.
- Cover the windows of the classroom with dark paper so that it is pitch-black when the lights are turned off. Set up a simple obstacle course with chairs, tables, boxes, etc (consider student safety as you are doing this—their first trip through this will be in the dark). At 3 different locations in the course, you should have 3 boxes decorated to look like Bible, with a label that says “Look inside”. There should be a stamp and stamp pad in each box.
- Bibles (supplied in teaching box)
- Introduction: 2 paper grocery sacks, ribbon, recipe on a card, cross necklace, small birthday candle
- Obstacle Course: Flashlights, 4 boxes decorated to look like Bibles, stamp pad and stamp for each of the 4 boxes (see lesson for suggestions on stamps), slip of paper for each student (see end of lesson)
- Bible Knowledge Games: Bible Book coloring sheets (one for each student), large sheet of paper (or dry erase board) and marker to keep score, Bible Book cards (66—one for each book) and Bible Category Cards (see end of lesson)
- Bible Story Book (Arch book or Children’s Bible)
Make sure you have your nametag on. Introduce yourself to the students.
Open with a prayer.
Introduction & Bible Story:
Please make sure that the students hear and “get” the Bible story as well as the application of that story to their lives. The Bible story is the MOST important part of the lesson—it is much more important than the activity associated with this station!
Hold up the paper bag that has the hidden pocket with items (be sure to hold the top of the secret pocket closed to the items don’t escape). Show the kids the inside and outside of the bag and say: This looks like an ordinary, empty bag, doesn’t it? But there are some useful things inside—let’s see. Pull out the items and ask how each of these items is useful.
Hold up Bible and say: Some people might think this is an ordinary book, but it has lots of wonderful surprises in it—just like our paper bag. There may be some wonderful things you didn’t even know about.
A ribbon can be used to tie things together—the Bible helps us to stay close to God, who loves us so much. A recipe tells us how to make something—the Bible helps us know what God’s plan is for us—it tells us lots of things we need to know about God and living a godly life. The cross reminds us of Jesus and everything that He did for us. What do you think the candle has to do with our memory verse from Psalm 119: 105 which says “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path”. (God’s word helps us know where to go and what to do—without it we are in darkness and don’t know)
One of the Psalms—Psalm 119—is devoted to the word of God. We won’t read the whole Psalm because it has 176 verses! Read Psalm 119: 9-16. What does this tell us about God’s Word? (tells us how to live, need to think about God’s Word—meditate on it—so that we know it and it is hidden in our heart). Now read Psalm 119: 41-46. What does this tell us about God’s Word? (talks about God’s love and promises and salvation, word is truth, will speak about God’s word to others).
We’ll be going into another room for our first game. Before you open the door to the room, have the students close their eyes. Lead them into the room and then hand them a piece of paper. When everyone is in, tell them they can open their eyes. Tell them they need to go through the obstacle course, but do not give any more information. Station yourself and the guide near anything that might be hazardous. Give them just a minute or two to bump around in the dark because there are a lot more activities to come. Then give each student (or group of students) a flashlight which they should first use to read their slip of paper. SAY: Here is a light for your path! (See end of lesson for description of papers) They should go through the course again with their flashlights and follow the directions at the 4 stations to find the stamps & stamp pads. They should stamp in with each stamp in the section of their paper that applies. The stamp for “know how to lead Godly life” could be 2 stone tablets of 10 commandments; stamp for God’s love for us could be a heart; stamp for knowing Jesus as our Savior could be a cross; stamp for heaven could be a crown.
When everyone is done stamping in, say: Were you able to make your way through the course and fill in your papers in the dark? What helped you get this done? (the light) How is this like the Bible in your life? What does each of the stamps tell you about the Bible?
Bible Book Games Intro
Hand out the coloring sheet with the books of the Bible in the bookcase. The Bible is one big book divided into 66 smaller books. These books were recorded by a number of different people, but God is the author of the Bible—the Holy Spirit guided people to write what they did. The Old Testament has 39 books—it came first. It is the Bible that Jesus used. Go over the different categories of books in the OT : law (Genesis to Deuteronomy), history (Joshua to Esther), wisdom literature/poetry (Job to Song of Songs), major prophets (Isaiah to Daniel) and minor prophets (Hosea to Malachi).
The New Testament has 27 books. It starts with the birth of Jesus and tells about the life and ministry of Jesus, His death & resurrection, and how the Christian church began and grew. Go over the different categories in the NT: Gospels (Matthew to John), history (Acts), Paul’s letters/epistles (Romans to Philemon), letters by others (Hebrews to Jude), and prophecy (Revelation). Have them repeat the names of the books with you. Now we are going to play some games to test you on this knowledge.
Old Testament/New Testament (younger students)
Divide the group into teams of 2-4 players. Say the name of a book in the Bible and the teams say if it is OT or NT. Teams getting it right get a point. You could either go around the room and give each team a turn with a book of the Bible or have teams raise hands if they know the answer.
Book of the Bible in Order (Older students)
Cut pieces of card stock and put one Bible book name on each card. Have one group put the OT books in order and the other team put the NT books in order. If needed, they can refer to the coloring sheet. If there is time, you could scramble them up again, and have the 2 teams put the other testament books in order
Which Category (all students)
Use the cards from the books of the Bible game. Mix them up and give each student several cards (until all cards are handed out). Set out Bible Category cards on the table/floor: Law, OT history, wisdom literature/poetry, major prophets, minor prophets, Gospels, NT history, Paul’s letters, other letters, prophecy. Go around the room and have each child put one of their cards into the right category. (For example, they would put the card “Galatians” into the “Paul’s Letters category or “Jonah” in the “Minor Prophets” category). Keep going around the room until all cards are used. Older students could also put the cards into the right order into each category.
We’ve learned a lot about the Bible today. What is the most important thing about God’s word for you.
Close with a prayer.
We made the following adaptation for the PreK/Kindergarten class (we didn't want to scare them by putting them into an entirely dark room). The helper took the kids out into the hall while I hid the boxes in the room. I put paper arrows on the floor to lead them to the boxes. Then we really dimmed the room and gave the kids flashlights to follow the arrows to the boxes. We put the kids in groups of 4--that way each child had a turn with the flashlilght to find one box. As we found each stamp, we talked about its meaning and then stamped in on our sheets.
You could use this adaptation with the older kids if you didn't want to create an entire obstacle course--or if you need to shorten this part of the lesson.
- Rainbow Crew Lesson Plan (Science—The Bible) from First United Methodist Church
- “Books of the Bible Brain Time” lesson by Diana Russell (on rotation.org)
A lesson from St. John Lutheran Church (2006)
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.
In the Obstacle Course activity, the students had a chart/table to place stamps in the 4 boxes of the table. Here are the 4 statements that went into the boxes:The Bible ………….
helps us know how to live a Godly life
tells us about God and His love for us!
helps lead us to our Savior, Jesus Christ
shows God’s plan for us—everyone who believes in Jesus will be in heaven with Him one day