Daniel and the Lions' Den
For K-4th (with older student option added by Exchange Editor)
Summary of Lesson Activities:
In this workshop the learners will use a GLOVE to create a hand puppet to use to tell the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. Each finger on the glove will be decorated to represent a different character.
"For he is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end."
- God is with us in the good times and in the bad times of life.
- Prayer is the way we communicate with God.
- Even in times of trouble, God never leaves us.
- Daniel loved God and was loyal to God.
- The Children's Bible in 365 Stories, or NRSV Bibles (your preference);
- gloves (one per student);
- 5 chenille balls per student (2 flesh colored (pink, brown, or beige), 3 yellow);
- Constructions paper or felt scraps for eyes, etc.;
- hot glue guns and glue;
- small plastic eyes if desired;
- Read the Bible passage.
- Read over the background material included in your teacher packet as you review the lesson plan.
- Gather the materials.
Opening-Welcome and introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs if there are new students or visitors.
Open with a prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
1. Have the students sit where you would like them to during the reading of the story from the Bible. Hand out Bibles. Read or retell the story of Daniel found in the scripture. In The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories, the pages are 242-244.
2. The following discussion could take place as they are working on their puppets. If you do it first, don’t spend too much time on it (5 minutes would be enough) as the activity may take some time and you want them to have time to tell the story with their puppet. State the following: “One thing we see through the stories we have studied is that God is always with us in the good times and the bad times.”
- What were some of the good times for Daniel? Accept any answer but some might be when he was one of in the king’s army and was being promoted, when he was praying, when the lions did not eat him.
- What were some of the bad times? Accept any answer but some might be when he was arrested, when he was thrown in the hole with the lions, being in the dark hole all night, knowing people were plotting against him or were jealous of him.
State something like: It is fairly obvious that God was with Daniel when he was not eaten. Do you think Daniel was afraid during this time? Accept any answer and ask for why they think that. Assure them that if he was afraid that would be natural and would not show a lack of faith. It is okay to be afraid but we need to remember God cares when we are afraid.
3. State the following: The story tells us Daniel prayed three times a day. What do you think his prayers might have said? Accept any answer.
Ask them if that is similar to what they say when they pray?
What would you have prayed if you had been in such a scary situation?
Tell the students the following: It is good to pray even if it is just one sentence because that is the way we talk to God. We know we should give thanks to God and pray for others but we should also pray for ourselves.
4. Tell them we are going to make a hand puppet to remember and retell the story.
Directions for the hand puppets:
- Give each child one glove.
- Glue one flesh-colored ball to the thumb and one to the little finger of the glove (palm side).
- Glue a yellow ball to each of the three remaining fingers.
- For each lion’s face (the three yellow balls), cut three small triangles of black construction paper or felt for eyes and a nose (or use the plastic eyes). Glue the pieces to the yellow balls. Glue yarn scraps or cut construction paper for the lions' manes.
- For Daniel (little finger) and King Darius (thumb), use circles or the eyes for the eyes and a black circle for the nose. Glue these on the flesh-colored ball. Cut a crown for the king and hair to add to the characters.
5. When the puppet is finished let the students move their fingers as you read the verses from the referenced book "Daniel: Ideas A-Z."
Or let the children do a Round Robin story by each adding five words or a sentence to the story of Daniel, using his or her puppet to say the words. Begin the Round Robin story with the following: “Daniel was very loyal to the king.” If a child has trouble when it is his or her turn give them clues to the next action in the story. If time permits you can do the verses and the Round Robin story.
Remind the students that just like God was with Daniel, God is always with us. That does not mean God is going to stop bad things from happening to us (like taming the lions), but it does mean that God cares deeply for us during those bad times.
Close the class with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
God, help us to be loyal to you like Daniel. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.
Older Student Option:
Have older students create the glove puppet for a young child in the congregation. Go to that class and have the older students do a group presentation using the puppets, and then give their glove to a young child and show them how to tell the story with the puppet.
- Wezeman, Phyllis Vos, Liechty, Anna L., and Case, Judith Harris. Daniel: Ideas A-Z. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications. 1998.
- Wezeman, Phyllis Vos. Puppet Projects For Scripture Stories. Prescott, AZ: Educational Ministries, Inc. 1995.
A lesson by Jan Marshall from: Brenthaven Cumberland Pres.
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