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

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Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Daniel

Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

A voice Choir Workshop.


Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
Supplies List:
  • printed copies of the poem,
  • recording device


Presentation

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Shepherds will gather children in a circle, do some introductions, and a short ice breaker activity or start conversation about everyone’s week.

  • Once the Shepherd is finished, say: "Today we’re going to be talking about a man named Daniel.  Has anyone heard of him before?
  • Then say: "One of the things we hear about Daniel is that he stayed strong and true to God…even when things got really hard for him. Would you all join me in prayer?”
  • After a moment of silence to let everyone calm down, say: “God, there are many hard things that happen in the world, times when we face injustice and times when we are scared or lonely.  When those hard times come, remind us of Daniel and help us to lean on you.  Amen.”

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Explain that this story takes place during one of Israel’s times of exile, when they were taken from their homeland.  No one really knows if this story REALLY happened, but we do know that the Hebrew people told each other this story to remind themselves to be brave and to stand up for what they knew was right—even when they were in a different land ruled by a different king.   Explain that, instead of reading the story to them, they’re going to tell the story together in the form of a rhyme.

Voice Choir:

  • Pass out the printed rhyme. 
  • Have fun with this!  Choose people to read different parts…or come up with sounds to make after different lines (e.g.: “The lions are hungry tonight” (ROAR!).  For younger kids, you might make up motions (lion claws) for different words in the poem.  For older kids, you might treat it as a voice choir, where you divide out parts and have a narrator or two read most of it, with everyone coming in for “The lions are hungry tonight” and different voices coming in as the king or Daniel.
  • You might also come up with 'responses' after each line, such as, "Ah" and "Phew!"  Add as many as your kids can handle. Assign such things, or have cue cards. 
    Example: "There once lived a good man named Dan"  All: "Yay!"
  • Practice it several times together, and then record it (you can do this on the iPhone voice memo option or using a laptop computer's Record/microphone option).  Then let the kids listen to it afterward to hear themselves.

Closing:

Point out to the kids that stories (like Daniel) are meant to teach us something or remind us of something.  What are some different things that the story of Daniel reminds us of…that maybe we can take into our lives today? (this is important because it connects the lesson to the opening).  Ask for any prayer requests.  Then pray for courage to face injustices and close by having everyone say this prayer together:

“God, make me your hands, your feet, and your heart to love others in the world.    Amen.”

"The Lions Weren't Hungry Tonight"

Originally composed by Mike Milligan on Bullfrogs & Butterflies' II cd "God Loves Fun", the following has been adapted and added to by Sarah Wernsing at Plymouth Congregation UCC, Fort Collins, CO. You can download (pay for) the music track on the internet.)  Christianbook.com has a sample of the music, as well as the CD Bullfrogs & Butterflies: God Loves Fun

There once lived a good man named Dan
The best man that lived in the land
So honest and just that King Darius
Made Daniel his next in command.

But there were some very mean men
Who all hated Dan the king’s friend
So jealous were they that they planned out a way
To throw Dan in the lion’s den.

The lions are hungry tonight, they said,
The lions are hungry tonight.
They’ve not eaten dinner;
We think they will bite.
The lions are hungry tonight, they said,
The lions are hungry tonight!

The jealous men hatched a big plot
to put Daniel in a tight spot:
a new law of the land that did command
prayer only to Darius as god.

Well, Daniel, he didn’t obey.
To God he continued to pray.
He said, “If I make the king mad, that’s just too bad;
Prayer to God is the only way.”

The king was as sad as could be
But could not reverse the decree
He prayed the night through & skipped dinner too
Then ran the next morning to see.

The lions were hungry last night, he said,
The lions were hungry last night.
They’d not eaten dinner;
I fear they did bite.
The lions were hungry last night, he said,
The lions were hungry last night!

The king cried, “Oh Daniel my friend!
I’m wondering how have you been.
And how is the weather? Are your pieces together?
Did God keep you safe in the den?”

And then the most wonderful thing
That had ever been seen by the king—
Down deep in the den stood Dan with a grin
And this is the song he did sing:

The lions weren’t hungry last night, oh king,
The lions weren’t hungry last night
I wasn’t their dinner;
God shut their mouths tight.
The lions weren’t hungry last night, oh king,
The lions weren’t hungry last night!

The story has something to tell
A lesson to learn from Daniel
When others mistreat you like lions that eat you
God’s love can keep you well.

And so when your back’s to the wall,
be strong and love God through it all.
And then in the end you can sing with a grin
‘cause God’s always near when you call.

The lions weren’t hungry last night, you’ll sing,
The lions weren’t hungry last night.
God thinks I’m a winner
I’ll be all right.
The lions weren’t hungry last night, you’ll sing ,
The lions weren’t hungry last night


The lesson is based on an idea originally posted by Liz Weingart from: Plymouth  UCC

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Posted by CreativeCarol:

 

Lion's Den Rap Song

 

Kid's Sunday School Place - lyrics by Craig.   Lyrics to the rap song at

http://www.kidssundayschool.co...ol/lions-den-rap.php

 


Posted by Neil

 

Daniel Song: "Standing In The Need of Prayer"

 


Posted by SheilaB, this set of lyrics is sung to the popular camp tune "Pharoah Pharoah" which is the same tune as "Louie Louie" for those who remember the song!

 

"Lions, Lions"

 

Chorus:
Lions, lions… Oh please let our Daniel go  (umph!)
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Lions, lions… Oh please let our Daniel go
Huh! Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Well I heard a little story just the other day,
a king told his people that to him they must pray.
But a guy named Daniel said that God was his friend,
so the king threw him in to the lion's den.


Chorus

Well you may think the lions ripped him up in shreds,
but the Lord closed their mouths and sent them all to bed.
In the morning when the king found him safe and sound,
he said "Daniel you can pray to anyone as long as I'm around."

 

Chorus

Moderator fix Daniel Rap Song Link.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Daniel in the Lions’ Den Script


Characters:

Daniel, King Darius, Satraps and Administrators (any number of them; abbreviated “SA"), lions, guard, narrator

 

Puppets or Actors?
This play can be done with puppets using the large puppet theatre (6 feet long) and also the small one. The large theatre could have the king’s palace at one end, and the smaller cardboard puppet theater could be the window of Daniel’s room and also the lions’ den. Place the small theatre near the end of large one farthest from the “palace”. If you prefer, you could simply do this as a play with a change of settings and actors instead. It is written as if done with puppets. You will have to adapt the script for the younger children who cannot read all of it. The king has the most reading to do. For non-readers, perhaps have a teacher read parts as children do the puppet actions, or write it more simply.

Scene I


[King Darius is sitting in his palace, and the guard escorts the group of SA in to see him.]
SA: “O king, live forever!”


KING: “May I help you?”


SA: “Yes! We want you to sign this wonderful new law. It says no person may pray to anyone but you for the next 30 days.”


KING: “Sounds like a great idea! I will sign it.” [He signs the law with the imprint of his seal.]
Scene II


NARRATOR: “Daniel knew about the new law, but he continued to pray at least three times a day. He gave thanks to God, as he always had done.”

[The SA group walks silently to Daniel’s house and secretly watches him. He is at the window praying. Then they walk back to the king’s palace and knock at the gate.]


SA: “O king, live forever!”


KING: “May I help you?”


SA: “Remember that new law you just signed?”


KING: “Yes..”


SA: [Different members of the group say the various things.] “Daniel is breaking the law!” “He is praying to his god, and not to you, O king!” “He still prays three times a day!”
KING: [He bows his head and moans sadly.] “The law cannot be changed. Guard, I guess you’ll have to bring Daniel and meet me at the lions’ den.”


Scene III
[The guard brings Daniel out of his house and to the King. Then the room darkens as the theatre that was Daniel’s house is changed into the lions’ den. Tape brown paper onto the outside of the cardboard theatre. Have ready a large, round piece of brown butcher paper that will be the “rock” with which the den is sealed for the night.]


[As the scene opens, the guard takes Daniel to the lions den and pushes him into the opening from the outside. Some lions have already been seen and heard in the den by the audience, so the den appears very threatening.]

 

KING: “Daniel, may your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
[The guard places (tapes) the paper “stone” over the mouth of the den, and the lions STOP roaring, but the king is already walking sadly back to the palace. All night long (Darken the room and shine a spotlight on the “sky” above the palace.) the king paces back and forth in front of the palace, moaning softly.


Show that morning has come by increasing the room light.]


KING: [in front of the lions’ den] “Guard, unseal the den.” “Daniel? Daniel! Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

 

DANIEL: “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They did not hurt me. I am innocent in God’s eyes, and I have never done you wrong, O king.”


KING: [joyfully] “Take him out of the den!”


[As he is taken out, Daniel shows the king that he has not a scratch on him. The king points to the now-frightened SA, and the guard takes them to the den as the lions continue roaring. The SA are sealed in the den.]


KING: “I hereby decree that all people in every part of my kingdom must fear and reverence the God of Daniel, for he is the living God!”


Discussion questions:


1. (Possibly, this could be saved for a journal question.) Daniel continued to do what was right and good and he continued to pray even when other people did not like what he did, and even when it was against the law. Daniel always obeyed God’s laws. Tell about a time when you did the right thing even though it was hard to do.


2. Praying was one of the most important things Daniel did in his life. How can prayer help you know God better? What are some ways people pray? (ANS: Thanksgiving, praise & worship, asking for help for others, asking for help for themselves are some ways people pray. The Holy Spirit helps us pray when we ask Him for help, and as we commune with God, also reading and remembering Bible words we know, God helps us to know His will and His ways.)


3. Daniel 6:10 says “Three times a day [Daniel] got down on his knees and prayed…” Why do you think he was on his knees? Must we pray on our knees? (ANS: Being on his knees was his way of bowing humbly before God, acknowledging his need of God and honoring God. We don’t have to pray on our knees, however. We can pray in any position, at any time or any place. Sometimes it good to have a special place and a way that you pray in an attitude of humility and adoration toward God.)


4. Daniel told the king he was innocent and blameless; we call that having a “clear conscience”. How can a person have a clear conscience before God and before other people? (ANS: Always admit to God when you’ve done wrong, ask God’s forgiveness, and ask for help to do the right thing. Also admit to other people when you’ve wronged them, and ask their forgiveness. Ask God to help you do that and to help you behave right toward other people. We all need that help.)


5. Daniel was known for praying for his people, the Jewish people, to be forgiven of their sins and to be able to return to their own land. God answered Daniel’s prayer, and the people did finally return to their land after being captives for 70 years. Can you think of any ways God has answered your prayers?


 

A Script by Gail Smith

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Music Workshop Idea

One of our successful music workshops was part of our Daniel rotation.

We're using the song "Stand Firm" from the 2012 Group VBS. (It's the same as "Stand Strong" from the 2013 Group VBS.)

The kids listen to the song, and then hear a short version of Daniel's story as they make simple percussion instruments from PVC and duct tape. (Rhythm sticks, drum or shaker)

Then they listen to the song again, discuss how it relates to the story, and then sing it through a few times with their new instruments.

After the rotation, we'll practice it together a few times in our gathering time and then will share with the congregation.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Daniel in the Lion's Den
Drama Workshop Idea

State Street UMC G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Sunday school

Overview of the workshop: Children will act out the story while taking photographic “stills” of key scenes.

Note: Briefly review the story from the Bible, since the story will be covered in detail during the activity.

Supplies:

  • Bible costumes – lion head costumes, soldier costumes, crowns
  • Digital camera
  • Cardboard bricks covered with tan fabric to look like lion’s den
  • Optional: Bring a laptop to class to show the pictures to the children. If you have LOTS of time (or a helpful volunteer), you might want to create a keepsake for the children. I created a photo storybook using the photos from the workshop. I made small storybooks and gave to each child. They loved it!

 
Directions:

  1. Assign parts.
  2. Have narrator read the script to set the scene for each part of the story.  Have children choose costumes and/or props and act out the scene briefly.  At a moment of high action, have children freeze their action and take a digital picture.
  3. Move onto the next scene and repeat.
  4. Pause in between scenes to reflect on the story and discuss the feelings of the characters.

 
Modifications:
As the Rotation progresses and/or for older children, shuffle the story slips before acting out the scenes.  Have children put the scenes in order before creating the “still” pictures. Encourage children to be creative as they set the stage for each scene. 

If you have a short timeframe, divide the scenes into two parts. Have one group of children create the first scenes, then on a different week, have the second group of children create the remainder. Or offer the workshop two times and complete the scenes in two sessions.

Script
Introduction 

The nation of Israel, had been divided into two kingdoms, the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.  For many years, prophets tried to warn the people of God to turn away from worshiping idols and worship God alone.  But they didn’t listen.  First the northern kingdom fell.  Then even the southern kingdom of Judah fell.  The Babylonian army came to Jerusalem.  They captured all the brightest and smartest young people and took them away to live in exile in Babylon, far from their home.  Daniel was a young teenager when he was taken away.  His friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were taken also.

Daniel and his friends quickly became leaders in the king’s court.  Daniel lived to be a very old man.  Four different rulers governed Babylon during Daniel’s lifetime.  Daniel became a trusted friend and advisor to all the kings.  Our story begins when Darius was King of Babylon… 

Scene One:  King Darius Chooses Daniel
Characters:   Daniel, King Darius,  King’s officials/governors

Narrator:  Daniel worked hard for the new king.  The new king put Daniel and two other men in charge of all 120 regions in his empire.  But Daniel was a much better leader than the other two men.  So King Darius decided to put Daniel in charge of ALL the regions.  The other two governors or officials were bitterly jealous of Daniel.

Discuss:  Why was Daniel put in charge?  How did the other governors feel?  How can we show this scene?

Photo:  Darius selects Daniel to be in charge of all his regions.

Scene Two:  The Officials Plot Revenge
Characters:  King Darius, Two governors (officials)
Props:  scroll, pen, throne, signet ring

Narrator:  The officials were bitterly jealous of Daniel.  They decided they would find a way to get Daniel in trouble with the king.  But try as hard as they might, they couldn’t catch Daniel doing anything wrong.  “This man never does anything wrong,”  they said.  “We’ll have to find something about his Jewish religion that will get him into trouble.”  And so they plotted and schemed….

Now Daniel had grown from a young teenager into an old man.  Although he had lived in Babylon nearly his whole life, he had not forgotten the ways of his home.  He had stayed loyal and true to his God.  Three times a day, Daniel knelt next to his window, facing Jerusalem and praying to God.  He knew that even though he was far from home, God was with him. 

Finally, the jealous officials came up with a plan to get rid of Daniel.  They went to the king and tricked him into making a new law.  People were required to pray only to the king for the next month.  Once the law was signed it was sealed with the seal of the King.  Such a law could not be broken.  And here was the worst part – anyone who broke the law would be thrown into a den of lions! 

Now King Darius didn’t realize the officials were trying to trap Daniel.  Daniel was his friend.  So, without realizing what was really happening, King Darius signed the new law. 

Discuss:  Why were the officials jealous?  What did they try to do?  Why did they have to find something in Daniel’s religion to pick on?  Why would the king sign a law against Daniel?  How can we show this scene?

Photo #1:  The officials plot against Daniel

Photo #2:  King Darius signs the new law.

Scene Three:  Daniel Gets the News!
Characters:  Daniel, Officials
Props:  Daniel’s room, window

Narrator:  The officials were very cunning men.  They knew exactly what they were doing, even if King Darius didn’t.  They knew that Daniel prayed every day.  Soon, they would trap him!  Soon Daniel would be lion chow and they would be rid of him forever!

Daniel heard about the law.  He probably figured out that the officials were trying to trap him.  Daniel must have wondered if he should just pray silently, maybe move inside his room, instead of praying next to his window facing Jerusalem…. After all, God would still hear his prayers, right? 

But no!  He decided he would not give in.  He continued to pray by his open window as he had always done.  He prayed out loud to God, just like he had always done.  And, sure enough, the officials who were watching saw Daniel praying …. Disobeying the King’s new law.

Discuss:  Why didn’t Daniel just pretend to stop praying?  Why didn’t Daniel do what he had to do to save his skin?  Wasn’t he crazy to do what would bring certain death?  How would we show this scene?

Photo:  Daniel prays at his window.

Scene Four:  Daniel is Thrown to the Lions!
Characters:  Officials, Daniel, King Darius, Soldiers, lions

Narrator:  The officials were watching closely.  With glee, they saw Daniel praying out loud at his window and ran quickly to the king to report the news.  The king realized he had been trapped by his officials, but there was nothing he could do.  The law could not be broken.  He gave the order for the soldiers to go and arrest Daniel and throw him into the den of lions.  The king felt so bad that he came along.  Before they threw Daniel into the lion’s den, he said, “You always serve your God faithfully.  May he save you!”  Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den.  A large stone was rolled across the opening so he couldn’t escape.  The King sealed the opening with a seal from his special ring. 

Discuss:  How do you think the king feels knowing he has been tricked into putting his friend to death?   How do you think Daniel is feeling?  How can we show this scene?  What do you think Daniel did while in the lion’s den?

Photo #1:  Daniel placed in the lion’s den.

Photo #2:  Daniel praying while the lions sleep.

Scene Five:  Sleepless in Babylon!
Characters:  King Darius

Narrator:  Now the king felt just terrible about this whole situation.  Daniel was his trusted friend.  How could he have been so stupid!  How could he have been so gullible?  What was he thinking?  All night long the king paced back and forth, worried about Daniel.  He felt so guilty for letting this happen.

Discuss:  Have you ever done something without thinking that hurt someone else?  What can you do to make it better?  What do you think the king learned from this?  How can we show this scene?

Photo:  King Darius worries and can’t sleep.

Scene Six:  The Next Morning!
Characters:  King Darius, Daniel, King’s servants, two officials, lions

Narrator:  As soon as the sun was up, the king ran from the palace to the lion’s den where Daniel was.  He called out to him, “Daniel, Was your God able to save you from the lions?”

And amazingly enough, Daniel answered him.  “My king, God sent his angel to shut the mouths of the lions.  They haven’t hurt me at all.” 

King Darius was overjoyed!  His servants lifted Daniel from the den.  There wasn’t even a scratch on Daniel!  Then King Darius made another law.  He ordered the officials who had tried to trick Daniel to be brought to him.  They were thrown into the den of lions right then.  And this time the lions did not keep their mouths shut!  

Photo:  Lions attack the other officials

Scene Seven:  King Darius worships God!
Characters:  King Darius, Daniel, people of Babylon

Narrator:  Then King Darius wrote to the people of all the nations, saying, “Everyone in my kingdom must respect and honor Daniel’s God.  He is the living God.  He will live forever.  He sets people free and saves them.  He does miraculous signs and wonders.  He does them in the heavens and on earth.  He has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.”

Discuss:  How was Daniel’s courage used to tell other people about God?  How can you do what is right when others around you are not?  How did Daniel’s practice of praying three times a day make his faith stronger?  How can we show this scene?

Photo:   King Darius, Daniel and people worship God.



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