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Storytelling, "Story Table" and Puppet Lessons, Ideas, and Activities for Teaching Daniel and the Lions, in Sunday School

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  • Daniel in trouble, in the lions den, prayer, etc.
  • Daniel 6

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Starting off with a puppet lesson . . .

Daniel and the Lions' Den

Storytelling/Puppet Workshop

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.

Scripture Reference:

Daniel 1-28

Memory Verse:

Daniel 6:26b:

"For he is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end."

Lesson Concepts:

  • 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.

Supplies List:

  • 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;
  • scissors;
  • small plastic eyes if desired;
  • pencils.

Teacher preparation:

  • 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:
Lesson Plan:
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.”

Then ask:

  • 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.

Closing prayer:
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.

Nashville, TN

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

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A Godly Play Script About Daniel

version of Daniel and the Lions Den

by Sheila Butler

"Godly Play" is a style of telling a story with props and objects placed out in front of you. It is a storytelling technique which the teacher can use, and if time, have the students create their own storytelling kits to retell the Daniel story.

Materials needed: Should be stored in a basket and all kept together except general use items.

  • Green underlay (could use felt)
  • Tri city walls (could use blocks)
  • Homes - small boxes decorated to look like small houses/towns enough for 4 groupings
  • King
  • Daniel
  • Other people
  • Lion's Den (Butter tub or box covered to look like a lion’s den)
  • Stone like cover (to cover den)
  • Small toy lions

Scene Layout

Lay out the green underlay
Put city walls on right side
Put small houses groups spread out around in middle
Put Lion’s den on left side with lions around it

Script [script in brackets] & Actions

[Once there was a King named Darius who
was King over many lands.]

Show the King
Spread hand over land indicating.

[He had men he called Presidents to look
Over his lands.]

Place a person at each group.

[One was named Daniel. He was the
King’s favorite.
He was going to be given rule over all
of the other Presidents.]

Hold up Daniel above the others.

[The others were jealous and tried to find out
bad things about Daniel.
Daniel was so good, they couldn’t find
anything bad to use.
They decided to force the King
to make a new law.]

Have the other Presidents group together in a huddle.

[They went to the King and convinced
him to make a law
To have anyone who prayed to anyone
besides the King be thrown
Into the lions den to be eaten.]

Have the Presidents go to the King.

[The King made the law and Daniel
knew it had been signed.
Daniel still went into his house and
prayed to God 3 times a day.]

Have Daniel go to his village.
Have the others close by watching Daniel.

[The others went to the King
and told on Daniel.]

Have the others around King.

[The King felt terrible and tried to
save Daniel but couldn’t.]

Have the King pace back and forth.

[Daniel had to be thrown to the lions.
And a stone was put in as a door
And sealed with the Kings mark so it could
Not be moved.]

Put lions in Den and put Daniel in the den and cover.

[King Darius told Daniel to pray to his God
to save him from the lions.
The King couldn’t sleep and worried all night.]

Have the King pace back and forth.

[In the morning the King went to the Lions Den.]

Take the King to the Lions Den.

[He called out, “Daniel, are you there?
Did your God Protect you?”
Daniel called back “O King Live Forever.”
The King was so relieved and happy that Daniel was alive. ]

Take Daniel out.

[Daniel said that God had sent angels to seal the
Lion’s mouths shut and they hadn’t touched him
because he had done nothing wrong.
The King had all of the people who told on Daniel
thrown into the Lions Den.]

Put the others in the Den and seal it shut.

[Then the King said that everyone should
Worship the God of Daniel.]

Wonder questions to be asked afterwards.

I wonder how Daniel felt when he was going to be made head of everything?
I wonder how Daniel felt when the King made a law that he couldn’t pray to God?
I wonder how Daniel felt when he was caught praying to his God anyway?
I wonder how the King felt when he realized Daniel had to die because of a Law he had made?
I wonder how the King felt when he had to seal the stone so no one could save Daniel?
I wonder how the King felt when he found Daniel alive the next day?
I wonder if you have very felt protected by God?
I wonder how Daniel felt when the King ordered everyone to worship his God?
I wonder how God felt?

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Daniel and the Lions

Story Table Workshop Idea

A workshop idea from State Street UMC G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Sunday School, Bristol VA

Overview of the Workshop: Children will recreate scenes from the story using play figures.


  • Human play figures (such as Playmobil or Tales of Glory)
  • Other toy items (houses, household items, cave, lions, plants, rocks)
  • Paper for labeling scenes
  • Paper for making additional scene décor (such as window)
  • Markers
  • Digital camera and phone camera
  • Tripod
  • Light
  • Extension Cord
  • Sturdy Table
  • Science type tri-fold board (covered in tan for daytime, black for nighttime)
  • Scene clapper
  • Laptop for the Reflection music video "You Lifted Me Out" by Chris Tomlin.

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  1. Review the Background Information and Lesson plan.
  2. Gather the story figures and props needed for the scenes.
  3. Organize them into small plastic containers and label according to each scene. Set on one end of the table.
  4. Set up the backdrop on the other end of the table.
  5. Set up the digital camera on a tripod.
  6. Ask a volunteer/shepherd to take pictures of the children at work using a phone camera.

Briefly paraphrase Daniel 6 using the headings in the Bible. The story will be told in more detail as the children recreate the different scenes.

Note: We had two groups of children rotating through this workshop on different weeks, so we divided the scenes. Our older students recreated the first six scenes; our younger students recreated the final six scenes. An alternative would be to offer this workshop for two Sundays. Unless you have an extended time, 12 scenes are too many to produce in one session.


  1. Use the guide (attached below) to review each scene. Before each scene read the Scene Set and discuss:
    1. Who is in this scene?
    2. Where is it taking place? (palace, Daniels home, lion’s den, etc.)
    3. What is happening?

      Example of guide pictured below.

  2. Have the children take turns participating in the different responsibilities:
    1. setting up the scenes with all figures, props and scene title
    2. holding the light
    3. announcing the scene with the clapper
    4. photographing the scene
    5. clearing the scene figures
  3. If you have a large group, divide the tasks further to allow every child to participate. Rotate the tasks after each scene.
  4. Be sure all children have an opportunity to set up and photograph the scene. If necessary, take extra pictures of each scene to allow children this opportunity.
  5. During scene set up, the designated children will create the scene, but invite others to make suggestions.
  6. Encourage them to add “thought bubbles” to describe what the characters are thinking, feeling or saying.
  7. For photographer: take two photographs, one with the scene title and then one without it. Help the children zoom the camera in to get key scenes, without cropping out important details. Check each photograph before disassembling the scene to make sure the photo is clear and that the scene doesn’t crop out any important props. Repeat if necessary to get a clear shot.
    1. If your class is large, have two children photograph each scene – perhaps from slightly different angles – be creative – photograph from above, or from the side. Some of the best photos are taken at eye level of characters.
    2. Take a photograph of the entire “film crew” for each age group session after the last scene.

After Class:
After all scenes are photographed at the end of the rotation, compile the photographs together into a PowerPoint presentation or movie to share with parents and congregation.


  1. King Darius Chooses Daniel
  2. The Officials Plot Revenge
  3. The King’s Command
  4. Daniel Gets the News
  5. Daniel Prays at his Window
  6. The King gets the news
  7. Daniel is Thrown to the Lions
  8. Sleepless in Babylon!
  9. The Next Morning
  10. Daniel Lifted out
  11. Hungry Lions
  12. A New Decree


Have children listen to the music video on the laptop before journaling: "You Lifted Me Out" by Chris Tomlin.

Closing prayer
Sometimes when we do this Story Table workshop, we invite the children to choose a figure to use in our closing prayer. We say something like this: We’re going to close with a prayer about our story. Think about something from the story that you especially want to remember. You might think about Daniel, or how brave he was, or how he prayed even though he knew he might die because of it. You might think of those jealous officials who planned for Daniel to die, but ended up being punished for their evil plans. You might want to remember King Darius – who nearly lost a trusted friend because he wasn’t thinking. Or you might be thinking of something different. You may choose one figure from the story table props to hold as we pray. (allow the children just a few moments -- maybe counting to ten, to choose a figure).

Tell the children you will pray, “God help me remember ______” and children will take turns saying what they want to remember.

* Kids LOVE this workshop!


Last edited by Luanne Payne

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