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Some David and Jonathan Ideas

Originally posted by Neil MacQueen

Here are some notes of things we did to teach I Sam 20, the story of Jonathan saving David from Saul's rage (the story of the arrows) and their covenant of friendship which is expressed throughout this chapter.

1. We dressed up and did I Samuel 20 in its entirety. Dramatic stuff. Notice how the idea of "Covenant" is used to define their friendship. What is a Covenant? A Covenant means a promise you keep even when the other falters.

2. We brought in "Man's Best Friend" for a simple workshop that defies classification. Call it the "Dog Workshop."

We went outside and formed a circle on the ground and introduced the kids to my new puppy. He happily crawled over everyone.

I discussed with them, questioned them about why a dog called "man's best friend." What is it about dogs that make them called that?

We talked about all the qualities of a dog, what we had to do for the dog, how we took care of it. Then we compared and contrasted Man's Best Friend, to David and Jonathan's friendship.

Of course, puppies aren't people, but the dog BEING THERE IN THE LESSON created an intense focal point. They all wanted to talk about the dog and friendship, and their pets. It was an easy segway into talking about their friends, times their friends had let them down, stood by them. etc. They were completely interested.

Truly Memorable.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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More ideas...

Posted by Daryl Ready on October 02, 2003
Our rotation ... is on David and Jonathan and the friendship they shared, and I'm wondering if anyone knows of a movie, suitable for young children, ages 3-grade 2, about David and Jonathan, or perhaps another movie we can use with the bible lesson. For our older children, we used the movie David, from Warner home video, but it would be a little too intense for the smaller children. Any help is greatly appreciated, and meanwhile, I'll keep looking.

Posted by Lisa M. on October 03, 2003

Off the top of my head...
My children (age 3 & 4) enjoy Winnie the Pooh movies which have good lessons about friendship -- even though some of the characters are sometimes mean or unfair, they continue to be friends with one another. (I mean the older titles that I watched on Wonderful World of Disney years ago -- there are newer titles that I'm not familiar with.) The one I'm thinking of we don't actually own so my recollection may be fuzzy. Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is where Pooh gets stuck in Rabbits front door. Pooh's friends come to his rescue and some of them stay with him at all times until he is able to get unstuck.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
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Posted by: CathyW on June 30, 2010
I am looking for a video to show when we study David and Jonathon--we are focusing in particular on the passage where Jonathon is shooting the arrows to signal to David if he is safe from Saul or not. I see 2 videos mentioned in the lesson sets, but can't tell from the descriptions here or elsewhere if the video contains that scene. The two videos are:
**Testament Bible in Animation: David and Saul
**Children's Heroes of the Bible: David

Is anyone familiar with either of these 2 videos--do they cover the material that we need.
Or does anyone know of another video that covers what we need.


Posted by: Neil MacQueen on July 2, 2010
Use a clip from "David" ..starring Richard Gere. Very good And tends to stay biblical.
<>< Neil
Last edited by CreativeCarol

"Children's Heroes of the Bible: David"


We ended up going with the "Children's Heroes of the Bible: David". It did have the arrow-shooting scene that was a big part of the lesson. One good thing with the video was that it would do a sort of recap of important points at various parts of the movie. The biggest complaint is the primitive animation (especially with kids who have grown up on VeggieTales and Pixar).


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

I second Neil's "King David" starring Richard Gere.  We have used/will use different portions of it for several rotations on David.  With our senior class (mostly middle and high school but some upper elementary), part of our discussion looks at the differences between the biblical and movie versions (as Neil comments, relatively minor in general).  This allows us to explore such concepts as how a story's presentation (including the viewpoint and medium used) can effect our impressions/interpretations of a story.  This includes what is left out of a telling of the story (such as in David and Goliath, which we generally stop reading after verse 50, eliminating some of the gore).  This goes over very well with the students and encourages them to be active listeners/observers in other aspects of their lives. 

David and Jonathan video short from Saddleback Kids

A 2-minute, fun "popsicle stick theater-style" presentation of the story of David and Jonathan and Saul's jealousy. Suitable for introducing the story, or use in worship.

Jonathan and David "Science" Workshop

View and print the attached PDF of the lesson


  • Scripture:  I Samuel 18:1-12; 20:1-42. the story of Jonathan and David's friendship

 Several science demonstrations that illustrate concepts related to friendship. Float a Needle, Marble in Bubble, Saucer Slime

Additional Suggestions:  Another demonstration involving a dish of water and surface tension is sprinkling pepper on top of the water. The moment you add a drop of detergent the pepper repels and starts to sink. What kinds of things can destroy a friendship?

You are welcome to use it in part or entirely. In addition to printing the PDF, you can copy the text from the PDF by dragging it with your mouse and copying/pasting into your own document. You can quickly save the PDF to your computer, then upload the PDF to and convert it to a Word doc for easy editing in Word.


Last edited by Luanne Payne has a terrific David and Jonathan lesson plan with fun opening activities for Pre-K. The "thumb buddy" game is cute, and the lesson even has room decoration/theme suggestions. Has a nice "cut out and share a friendship arrow" activity at the end too.

I really liked the interactive story reading too....

“Yes, we will be friends [fist on heart] forever!” said David
[raise hands and wiggle fingers].

Here's the link to their free PDF.

I've recommended Gracelink's videos and lessons before. They are an SDA ministry but do good stuff. Adjust your point of view as needed.

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