Art Lessons, Ideas, and Activities for Teaching Daniel and the Lions, in Sunday School
Post your Art Sunday school lessons and Ideas for teaching the story of Daniel and the Lions' Den here.
- Daniel in trouble, in the lions den, prayer, etc.
- Daniel 6
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The first post here comes from First Presbyterian Church, Napa, CA, which created a Labyrinth on a 10'x12' drop cloth.
At Rotation.org we have a design forum with discussion and ideas about creating labyrinths and conducting a Prayer or Spirituality Workshop. Look for those great ideas here.
Daniel and the Lion's Den
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Kids will be making a “doodle drawing” while the workshop leader reads the story/poem. The focus will be on prayer and discussion of the ACTS prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication/Send Help). Children will be guided in a prayer labyrinth experience.
Bible Memory Verse: “He is the living God and He endures forever … He rescues and he saves …” Daniel 6:26-27
Objectives for kids to know:
- Children will hear the story of Daniel in the lions’ den.
- The focus will be on Daniel’s devotion to God and ability to rely on God for strength in a very difficult situation. Kids will learn that they too can rely on God in every situation.
- Read the scripture ahead of time. Read the poem. (See where to get a copy at the end of this lesson.)
- Arrange for an extra helper, especially if you plan to use your room-sized labyrinth in a different room and will have some of the kids wait their turn back in the classroom.
- Gather the materials
- White paper
- Flip Chart
- Prayer Labyrinth - both a room sized one (if possible) and finger labyrinths, or other activities for those who are waiting
- CD (of quiet, prayerful type music) and player
Introduce yourself and any other adults. Open with a brief prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Hand out one piece of white paper and let them each choose 1 colored marker or crayon. Tell them that as you read this poem/story called “The Lions' Weren’t Hungry Last Night” (see end of lesson) you would like them to “doodle” on their paper. Tell them to listen carefully to the words and just make designs on the paper (not a real picture of anything, just designs) that go along with the feelings they have as you read. Tell them to keep their marker on the paper at all times, not lifting it up, so it is one continuous line. Remind them there is no right or wrong way to do this. Read the poem/story “The Lions Weren’t Hungry Last Night." Ask them to put down their markers.
Ask and wonder:
- Why was Daniel put in the Lions' Den? What law did he break?
- Why were the jealous leaders so sure they could trap Daniel with this law? (he was well known as someone who was faithful to God. They made a law that tried to force him to be unfaithful).
- Look in your Bibles and read 6:10-11. What 2 things did Daniel pray for? (Thanks and help)
- How many times a day did Daniel pray? (3)
- How did Daniel pray? (on his knees)
- Why do you suppose he prayed in front of an open window where he was sure to be caught? (he did not want to hide his faithfulness to God)
- Ask the children about their prayer habits: When/where/how they pray. What do they pray for? Do they pray regularly? Just when they need help? There will be no “wrong” answers, of course.
- Daniel was in serious trouble in the den. If you were Daniel, what would you pray for? Children might answer: "Help"! Then ask: What kind of help? Wait until you get responses like: "Kill the lions", "get me out of here!"
- How did God help Daniel? (6:22 God shut the mouths of the lions so they couldn’t hurt him) Point out how God didn't kill the lions!
- Does God always help us the way we ask God to help? (God gives us the help we need. Sometimes we don’t see it that way, though.)
Today we’re going to talk about 4 different kinds of prayers. It is always OK to talk to God and ask for help and say little one-sentence, or even one-word, prayers throughout your day. When you pray at church, before going to bed or in the morning or whenever you want to say a prayer to God, you can practice using the 4 parts. It’s called an “ACTS” prayer:
A - Adoration (telling God how wonderful He is!)
C – Confession (telling God we’re sorry for the things we do wrong)
T – Thanksgiving (telling God, thank you for things)
S – Supplication or "Send help" (asking God for help for someone else or yourself)
Brainstorm ideas together for the 4 parts using flip chart paper.
Ask: At the end of a prayer we say what? Amen! It means “So be it!”
Tell them that God ALWAYS answers our prayers! Sometimes the answer is not what we expect or want! God answers our prayers in different ways. God answers either:
- Wait, not yet!
- Or I have a better way!
Back to the story - Ask:
If Daniel prayed to God to get him out of the lions’ den or kill the lions, which of these did God answer?
What did God do instead?
Tell them that many people, adults and kids, like to keep prayer journals. By writing down the things we ask God for in prayer and putting the date by it, after God answers that prayer, we can go back and look at our prayer and see how God answered it. It’s a way to really see how God is working in our lives. And then to be able to share that with others so they can see God working in your life.
Think right now about something that you or someone you care about needs God’s help with. Write it down on a slip of paper and include today’s date. Tuck the paper in your pocket or sleeve. (For kids who can’t write, have them draw a picture of something that reminds them of what they’d like to pray for)
The Prayer Labyrinth:
Has anyone ever heard of a labyrinth? It’s not a maze, a race, a game or a puzzle… it’s something that Christians have been using to help them in their prayer time for many years. It is a form of art.
NOTE: If desired, you could show pictures of a labyrinth and explain that ours is much smaller.
Say: Take a look at your doodle drawing – if you kept the marker on the page for a long time and made a winding doodle line, it’s kind of like a labyrinth.
Walk the Labyrinth:
Tell them that you will be going to another room where there will be a labyrinth set up. Before you go tell them that there are some ground rules they have to follow or they will be asked to sit out:
- This is a quiet time of prayer and they need to be respectful of each other and everyone's quiet time with God.
- Tell the kids that they will begin walking and they should leave space between them so they don’t bunch up.
- It’s NOT a race! It’s a time to be quiet and talk to God.
- When you get to the center where the cross is, stop and take out the slip of paper you wrote the prayer on, kneel down, and talk about it to God.
Workshop leader notes: When you arrive, begin the CD. Keep the lights off. Kids should take their shoes off. You should only take a manageable size group at a time (3 or 4). You will need to stagger the kids as they enter the labyrinth. Tell them that since this is a time to focus 100% on God as they walk the labyrinth, they might want to choose some words to say over and over and "meditate" on in their minds ... such as "God is good", or "Jesus", or "Praise the Lord" or their own choice. It will help them focus. As the first kids finish, have them go back to the workshop so they’re not a distraction to the others.
Afterwards, distribute and explain “finger labyrinths” to the kids. Since we all don’t have labyrinths at home, they can use these anytime.
- “The Lions Weren't Hungry Last Night” -- text here.
- Some of the discussion ideas used in this lesson were obtained from lesson plans at rotation.org.
A lesson from Jan Hanson at First Presbyterian Church, Napa CA
Photo of someone walking a labyrinth by GPS, is licensed on Flickr under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).