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Cooking Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for the Parable of the Sower

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Parable of the Sower, Seed, soils, hard soil, thorns, path, Jesus, Word, Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, Luke 8:1-15, etc.

Bible lessons and ideas about the Parable of the Sower -with Cooking, Food, Bible Foods, Recipes, Baking, Preparation, etc

Parable of the Sower

Cooking Workshop

Lesson is for all ages groups. We told the whole parable in all workshops, then focused on one type of soil in each workshop. This cooking idea will work for any "soil type".

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Making four cakes like the four types of soil.

Scripture Reference:
Luke 8:1-15

Memory Verse: 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • In advance we made the cakes. We used one cake package mix for 4 mini-cakes (loaf pan size), so 2 cake mixes and 8 mini-cakes for the lesson.

Supplies List:

  • Cake Mix/Ingredients
  • Colored Sprinkles
  • Frosting
  • Plastic Knives
  • M&Ms
  • Green Vine Candy

Lesson Plan

Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
Divide kids into 2 groups. Each group will end up with 4 cakes (4 soil types).

Read the scripture Luke 8:1-15, either from a bible or storybook. (Older children can read the text.)

Say: We’re going to decorate 4 cakes like the 4 types of soil.

Hard Soil - Place 1 cake on each table.

Ask what was the first type of soil (a path). Have them read Luke 8 verse 5 again.

Ask what they think the path would have looked like. They might say “sidewalk”, but bring them back to a dirt path that’s packed down and hard.

Ask what would happen if you put water or seeds on this kind of soil (would run off and not go into the soil).

Ask again what the verse says happened -- the seeds got trampled (as people walked on the path) and that birds ate the seeds on the path.

Show them the “seeds” – colored sprinkles.

Ask what they think will happen if they put these “seeds” (sprinkles) on this “path” (plain cake). (they’ll fall off and not stick).

Have them try it, using only a pinch each. Make sure everyone gets to participate. If they find some of the seeds on the path, tell them to eat them like the birds did!

Rocky Soil - Place anoher cake on each table.

Ask if they remember what the second type of soil was. (rocky) Have them read verse Luke 8 verse 6 again.

Ask: With rocky soil what did the verse say happened to the seeds? (it grew but withered because it couldn’t get moisture).

Give the kids the frosting containers, plastic knives, and M&M’s.

Explain that each child should work together to spread a very, very thin layer of chocolate frosting on the cake, then put one layer of M&M’s (rocks) on the frosting, touching each other.

Then when everyone in their group has done this, get the seeds (sprinkles) and put a pinch on top of the rocks.

Ask: Do the seeds go down into the soil? (no) Why? (the rocks stop them)

Thorny Soil - Place another cake on each table.

Ask if they remember what the third type of soil was. (thorns) Have them read verse Luke 8 verse 7 again.

Ask: With thorny soil what did the verse say happened to the seeds? (the thorns grew with the plant and choked it out).

Give the kids the “green vine” candy (it's sour apple green "straws" or use any type of rope licorice), which will be our thorny weeds. Tell them to put some weeds down on the cake, sprinkle a pinch of seeds on it.

Say: Thorny weeds always overtake the good plants and choke them out.

Good Soil- Place another cake on each table.

Ask if they remember what the fourth type of soil was. (good) Have them read verse Luke 8 verse 8 again.

Ask: What does the verse say happens when the seeds fall on good soil? (they grow and produce a hundredfold)

Tell them to use the chocolate frosting and spread out some good “soil” with no rocks and no thorns, covering up all the dry path. Then sprinkle seeds on it.

Ask: Do the seeds stick?

Continue a discussion of one or all of the types of soils and their meaning for us today while kids enjoy a piece of cake.


End with a prayer.

We've done this lesson so far for our Pre/K kids (they loved it!) and our 5th/6th graders (who also loved it!).

A funny: When the 5th/6th graders were towards the end of the lesson, because we do our cooking lessons in the coffee/fellowship/ kitchen area, 2 middle school boys who think they are very "cool" walked in and said to one boy they know in 6th grade, who doesn't come very often, "Why are YOU here?" Without missing a beat, the workshop leader said to the kids, "So which type of soil do THEY represent!?!" We shared a good laugh afterwards!

This Cooking Workshop lesson was done at First Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA
as part of the Sower & the Seeds rotation, created by Jan Hanson, Children's Ministry Director.

Exchange Volunteer modified title of post for clarity.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

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I did this with High Schoolers this past Sunday and it worked well. I made ziploc bags ahead of time with the graham crackers, 20 M&Ms per bag, and the Fruit Roll Ups and that made things go more smoothly.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Parable of the Sower

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson  Activities:

This is a more detailed version of Jan of Napa's lesson above.

Scripture:  Luke 8:4-8

Memory Verse:  Luke 8:15.


  • 1 can of chocolate frosting
  • 4 graham crackers for each child
  • candy sprinkles
  • M & Ms
  • stringy candy (for thorns) like sour green apple straws
  • licorice vines, or cut up fruit roll-ups
  • plastic knives
  • paper napkins

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the story ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Print and copy the 4 handouts (for details see * in the lesson below)


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and their guide, and open the workshop session with prayer. Ask God to reveal to each of you what He has to say to you about your relationship with Him today. The

Before beginning the lesson, review the memory verse, “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15

Review also, the bonus verse, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

If this is the first Sunday of the rotation, it will not be apparent to the children why they are learning these verses to go with this lesson. However, you might ask the children what it means to “deceive yourselves” in the bonus verse. Explain that “to deceive” means “to trick” or “to lie about something”. Ask them also if they know the word “persevering” in the memory verse. Explain that “to persevere” means to go on and on without giving up, sort of like the “energizer bunny”. So the memory verse is about someone who goes on obediently following Jesus by faith.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Introduce the Parable of the Sower by explaining first that Jesus was teaching large crowds of people. Matthew and Mark make it clear that the crowd was so big that Jesus got into a boat and taught the people who stood on the lakeshore. The crowd included people who were friendly toward Jesus and wanted to follow him. It also included people who didn’t care, who were just curious about Jesus, maybe wanting to see a spectacular miracle or something, and it included people who were actually opposed to Jesus, and who wanted to find something wrong with what he was doing and teaching.

Jesus was teaching using stories to teach a truth, stories with a hidden meaning; these stories were called “parables”. Some people listened to the stories and did not ask questions or even wonder about the stories. Other people, those who really wanted to be close followers of Jesus, wanted to know more about the meaning of the parables Jesus told. We can be thankful that Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower is written down in the first three books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Explain that we will learning a story about a farmer who went out to “sow” or plant seeds, and about the kinds of soils the seeds landed on and about the abundance of the crops they produced. Share the information from the “background” about how farmers “sowed” seeds in Jesus’ time.

(For younger children, be sure they understand that this is not “sewed”, meaning “stitched”.) If you want to show the various kinds of soils, jars are available in the resource room so you can prepare samples.

Have the children use their Bibles to find Matthew, the first book in the New Testament, then Mark, the second book, and then Luke the third book. (Grades 4 – 6 should be able to find Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8.)

Once they are able to do this, read the parable from Luke 8:4-8. (We’re using Luke because it’s concise, and our memory verse comes from Luke.) Do not go on to reading the explanation yet; let the children think about the parable as they experience it with their cooking lesson today. Do ask the children about Luke 8:8b, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Why would Jesus say that sort of thing? After they’ve shared, explain that Jesus was challenging them to think about the parable and learn its meaning. He was also indicating that this was important teaching for them, just as it is for us.

[Reference: Cooking idea based on Jan Napa's post at and a subsequent posting on the same site by Pam K.]

Cooking: Experiencing the Sower, the Seeds, and the Soils

Pass out the plastics knives and paper napkins, and give each child 4 graham crackers. Show the children the sprinkles. They will be the “seeds” from our story. Ask the children, “What happens if you drop seeds onto something hard?” (The seeds roll off; they don’t sink in or stick.)

Ask, “Which soil in the story was hard?” (The pathways were hard.) Ask, “What happened to the seeds that fell on the pathways?” (verse 5, “It was trampled on and the birds ate it up.") Pass the sprinkles, and tell the children to drop a pinch of sprinkles onto a plain, unfrosted graham cracker. Let them experience being “birds” and eating the seeds that roll off the hard “soil”. (Tell them to save the crackers to eat later, so we can compare our soils.)

Ask the children, “What happened to the seeds that landed on the rocky soil in the story?” (verse 6, “when it grew, the plants withered because they had no moisture.") Tell them they will have to make some “rocky soil” by putting a very thin layer of chocolate frosting on a graham cracker and then covering it with M & Ms (“rocks"). Then pass the sprinkles and have them drop a pinch of sprinkles onto their “rocky soil” to see what happens. Many “seeds” will roll off, and a few will go down between the M & Ms.

Ask the children, “What was the third type of soil, and what happened to the seeds that landed on it?” (verse 7, “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.") Pass the frosting again, have the children apply a moderate amount to a graham cracker, and pass the “thorn” candy. Then pass out the sprinkles and have them drop a pinch of sprinkles on the “thorny soil” on their crackers. What happens? Could these seeds grow up to be large plants when the thorny weeds were hogging the food and water in the soil? (No)

Ask the children, “What was the fourth type of soil, and what happened to the seed that fell on it?” (verse 8, “Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown").  Explain that Matthew and Mark say a little more; they say that the seeds produced plants that yielded 30, 60, or 100 times what was sown. Pass the frosting, and have the children apply a generous amount to the remaining cracker. Then pass the sprinkles. Ask, “What happens to the seeds that fall on your ‘good soil’?” (They stick on top; if they were real seeds on soil, they would put down roots and grow.)

Before the children eat their crackers, have them answer the following questions, and then read Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower from Luke 8:9-15.


  1. Who do you think the sower is? (God, or Jesus, or anyone who spreads the “seed”. The children may say, “He’s the farmer."
  2. What do you think the seed is? (God’s word)
  3. What do you think the birds are? (Something that takes away God’s word; the devil/evil)
  4. What is hard soil? (A person who is resistant to God’s word, who doesn’t care about it)
  5. What is rocky soil? (A person who, due to difficulties, believes for only a short time)
  6. What is thorny soil? (A person who has competing interests and affection, who doesn’t put God first)
  7. What is good soil? (A person who, by faith, seeks to follow and obey Jesus faithfully and completely)

*After reading the Bible explanation and answers to these questions, pass out the Parable of the Sower pages and review the application section on each of the four pages. (Reference: https://www.kidssundayschool.c...parable-of-the-sower print the "click here for handout" in each of the 4 lessons). For older classes, like grades 5 & 6, these pages can be just review/take-home sheets. Older students, and maybe some younger ones, can answer the following questions.

Discussion questions:

  1. When Jesus said the “seed” was the “word of God”, what did he mean? (ANS: He meant that we should have faith in what God says in the Bible and should have faith in Jesus as the Son of God who died for our sins and rose to life on the third day.)
  2. How or why might a person be “hardened” concerning part or all of God’s word or concerning Jesus? (ANS: Some people are proud and unconcerned about the things of God. Some have had no teaching at home about God either. But a person can also be unbelieving concerning a PART of God’s word, and this is also a hindrance to the Kingdom of God since God does not rule that part of the person.)
  3. What might “rocky soil” be in a person’s life? (ANS: A person who just gives up following Jesus because it is a difficult and unpopular thing to do.)
  4. What can you do to avoid having thorny soil? (ANS: Put God first, read your Bible and pray every day.)
  5. Why does good “soil” produce fruit? (ANS: Because you’re listening to Jesus’ words from the Bible, believing Him, praying to Him, are filled with the Holy Spirit, and He makes the good things we call “fruit” happen. Part of that fruit is the “fruit of the Spirit” found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.)


End with a prayer.

A lesson originally posted by member learner.

Last edited by CreativeCarol

This video contains an animated version of the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23), PLUS - we make a little snack using crushed Oreo cookies as "soil."

Bible images copyright Kirsty McAllister from Lamp Bible Pictures used with permission.

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