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Drama, Puppet, and Storytelling Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching The Anointing of David in Sunday School.

Post your Drama, Puppet, and Storytelling lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for teaching the Anointing of David in Sunday School. Anointing of David, 1 Samuel 16, etc. teaching with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc.

Supporting Members:

Be sure to see our Writing Team's "Anointing of David" lesson set. It has creative Drama, Puppet, and Storytelling lesson plans in it. Everyone can see the lesson summaries and Bible Background for that special set.
Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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The Anointing of David
A Puppet Workshop using Everyday Objects
Summary of Lesson Activities:
In this workshop, the learners use “object theater” to act out the story. Object theater is a special type of puppet theater where everyday objects are used instead of "people" puppets to represent characters and characteristics.

Supplies List:
  • Copy of the Bible story from The Storyteller Series: The Shepherd King
  • household objects to be used to represent characters—at least 10 items are needed for characters, but more would give true choices for all characters (choose objects from the kitchen that have various shapes, sizes, and uses for these)
  • copies of the script for the narrator and God (see the script at the end of this lesson)
  • poster board with the phrase “No! People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside”
  • table turned on its side for the staging
  • pencils.

Teacher preparation:
  • Read the Bible passage.
  • Read over the background material included in your teacher packet as you become familiar with the Bible story and the lesson plan.
  • Place all the objects out in the floor on the table in the blue room. Keep in mind that this is a fun play—if it isn’t polished, that’s ok.


Lesson Plan
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.

1. Gather the children together and begin by asking some questions:
  • Do any of you have brothers and/or sisters (or cousins)? Are they older or younger?
  • How does the oldest treat the youngest in your family?
  • If you are playing a game and need a team leader, would you pick the youngest or the oldest?
  • What would you think if someone else picked the youngest to lead a team?

2. Optional Warm Up Activity:

How do we judge people based on looks and appearance? Play a quick game of "line up" with the following questions. (The first question about basketball will likely get the kids to line up by height. ) Let them work it out and listen very carefully to some of the "reasoning" they use to form their line. Stop to ask the "most" or "last/least" person in the line why they are standing in that position. 

  • Who looks like they might be the best/worst basketball player?  Who looks more "kind" and less kind? Who looks like they will someday become the richest/not richestperson? Who looks more/less honest? Who looks like they might have the most faith in God?  Let the kids work this out, then challenge how they judged based on appearance.
  • Remind students that today's lesson is about how God "judges" people, and WHAT God is looking for (not the richest or best basketball player), and God's way has nothing to do with "appearances," but what's in a person's heart. 
  • Ask students to relate how they felt when they were "passed over" for being "most kind" or "most honest."  Relate that in our story, David was the youngest and smallest. How do you think he felt when he heard that the prophet Samuel had come to his brothers to pick the future king?
2. Introduce the story for today by telling the class that Samuel was a prophet who shared God’s word with God’s people, and that Saul was the king of Israel at the time of the story. God was not satisfied with the work Saul was doing.

3. Read the story from the source provided. When done, review the highlights of the story, prompting the children for the important points:
  • God tells Samuel to choose another king, and gives Samuel an answer for the danger in which God places him.
  • Jesse comes with his sons for the sacrifice.
  • Samuel looks at all of Jesse’s sons, and deems each of them worthy. However, none is the correct one.
  • Samuel insists on seeing the youngest son, so Jesse sends for him.
  • David is anointed as the new king.
4. Review the characters in the story and talk about their characteristics, attitude, appearance, how they might talk and act. Ask "Why would someone think THAT person might make the "best" King? When you get to David, ask "why God chose David."

  • Samuel—prophet; we don’t know much about his physical characteristics;
  • God—only a voice in the story, but a strong voice;
  • Jesse—father of the 8 sons;
  • Eliab—eldest;
  • Abinadab—tall;
  • Shammah—handsome;
  • son number 4—big bulging muscles;
  • son number 5—smiling, jolly;
  • son number 6—well-dressed;
  • son number 7—curly hair;
  • David—young, tends sheep, writes songs.
5. Tell the class that today we will recreate the story using an odd assortment of everyday items as puppets. Ask for four volunteers for the play: one will be the narrator that reads the story, one will be the voice of God, and two will be “puppeteers,” moving the objects around in the play (one for Samuel and one for the others.) The rest of the class gets to watch the production. If you have enough kids, you can do the production TWICE so that everyone gets to do the script and puppets.
Begin by examining the script. Give the actor portraying "the voice of God" a script to go over and the poster board to hold up when God speaks God’s refrain. After the first time the line is spoken by God, the actor should hold up the board and encourage the audience to say the line with God. Give the two puppeteers time to choose objects for the other characters—Samuel, Jesse, and the eight sons. Tell them to make choices that might fit the physical characteristics of the characters, especially each of the sons.
When finished with the script, talk about the play and the choices that the puppeteers made for the characters. Let the audience tell why a certain object might have been chosen for a character, or let the puppeteer explain why that choice was made. 
Repeat again if you have more students. Have the puppeteers explain their object choices, ...what they were trying to convey to the audience.
Conclude by inviting each student to pick an "everyday object" that represents THEM, and complete the sentence, "On the outside to others, I may look like ______________, but on the inside I think God likes my ______________  (pick something good about yourself that you think God likes about you).

Journal/Reflection Time

Whether you use "journaling" for closure or not, invite students to create a message to themselves based on what they've learned from today's lesson. Suggest they write their responses in the SHAPE of a heart -- remembering that God looks at the heart.
Possible starter sentences:
  • Here's what makes me special to God...
  • When God looks in my heart he sees these good things...
  • I may be ___________, but with God in my heart I am ______________.
  • God, I need your help to become more ________________.


  • writing team lesson “David: God’s Chosen King” Drama Workshop.
  • Wehrheim, Carol A., editor, The Storyteller Series: The Shepherd King, Age-Level Leaders’ Guide, 1997, Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, MO.

Narrator's Script - The Anointing of David

(Narrated by the Prophet Samuel)
Adapted by Amy Crane and Jan Marshall
Scripture from the Good News Bible

[Suggested actions and responses are in brackets. Pause in the narration and encourage the students to use their imagination to expand upon the little bit of detail in the Bible. Note that there should be an object portraying Samuel in the drama as well as someone reading as Samuel the narrator.] 

[Samuel appears.] Good morning. My name is Samuel. I am a judge, a prophet, and a priest, called by God. I could tell you many stories -- about Saul, the first King of Israel; about his son Jonathan; about a giant named Goliath; and about a great king named David. I don't have time to tell all the stories today, but I do want to tell you a story about David. Did you know that he was not always a great king? It all started like this . . . 

God was unhappy with the way Saul, chosen by the people of Israel to be their first king, was behaving. He was not following God's way. One day, God talked to me about it. I was told that God had already chosen a new king and I was to go anoint this new king. I argued with God for awhile, because that’s pretty dangerous! We already had a king, and I was afraid he would kill me if he knew I was going to anoint a new one. But God told me to go on, plan a sacrifice as a cover-up, and anoint this new king—a son of Jesse of Bethlehem.

So, I packed my bag and was off to Bethlehem for an anointing and a sacrifice to the Lord. The town leaders were a bit concerned when I showed up, but I told them it was a peaceful visit. Everyone got cleaned up and gathered for the sacrifice, including Jesse and his seven sons. Such handsome young men! But which one was to be king? I trusted that God would tell me which to choose.

[Jesse arrives "on stage" and greets Samuel.] 

Well, I could tell it wouldn't be a problem finding a king in this crowd of fine young men! I started with Eliab, the oldest.

[The Eliab object comes on stage. Samuel faces him.] 

This first son of Jesse is such a fine young man. Since he is the eldest and has an important role in this fine family, I was sure this was the chosen one.

But God said, “No! People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside.” [The volunteer who is God says this, and holds the poster board up for the audience to see.]

Well, I asked for the next son, Abinadab. [The Abinadab object comes on stage.] I thought, “How tall this one is! Everyone will have to look up to this one as king. Good choice, God.”
[This time, God should hold up the poster board, and point to it encouraging the audience to say the phrase with God.] “No! People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside.”

So I called for Shammah, the third son. [The Shammah object comes on stage.] He was so handsome, a splendid example of one who should be king. The people would be proud of such a king. I started to ask him to kneel, when God said,

[God should hold up the poster board, and point to it encouraging the audience to say the phrase together.] “No! People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside.”

So I asked for son number four (by this time, I was confused about all their names. I still can’t remember them all!) [The number four son’s object comes on stage.] This son had big bulging muscles, and I thought he would be a strong leader. But God said,

[Again, point to the poster board.] “No! People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside.”

Then came son number five. [The number five object comes on stage.] This son had such a wonderful smile. I was sure this would be a jolly king. But again God said,

[Poster board.] “No! People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside.”

I was getting used to this by this time, so I called for son number six. [Son number six object comes on stage.] This son was very well-dressed. He would make a proper king. But God said,

[Poster board.] “No! People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside.”

Finally, I called for the seventh son. [Seventh son’s object comes on stage.] This one had such magnificent curls—truly a crowning glory for a king. But once again, God said,

[Poster board.] “No! People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside.”

Well, I knew something was wrong. And I didn't think it was the Lord. I had met all seven of Jesse's sons, and not one of them was the one God wanted. There had to be another son. So I asked Jesse if there were other sons. He told me of the youngest, the one who only watched the sheep and made up songs. [Samuel and Jesse face each other. Then David comes on stage.]

When the youngest son arrived, David was his name and I could see he was young. He had been tending the sheep and had been in the pasture for who knows how long, so he wasn't particularly clean. But I could see he was a handsome, healthy young man. How his eyes sparkled when he came into the room! And the Lord spoke to me again, but this time God said,

“Yes, this is the one I choose. People look on a person’s outside, but God looks on the inside.”

[Samuel anoints David.]
Well, my job was done. I made the sacrifice to the Lord and returned home alone, but with this secret. I could see the spirit of the Lord was with David. David would be okay there in Bethlehem until it was time for him to serve God and God’s people as king of Israel.

Puppetry Pre-K Adaptation:
Have the kid sit in a circle, each holding one of the objects. Use the objects to tell the story, having each kid hold theirs up as you tell their part of the story (you'll have to prompt them). After telling the story this way once, do it again, seeing if they can remember their parts. Finally, ask them to tell you the story, calling on different ones, asking "..and then what happened?".

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
David: God’s Chosen King
Apostle’s Playhouse - Drama Workshop
Summary of Lesson Activities:
The class will make a movie of the Lord choosing David to be King.

1 Samuel 16:1-13

Memory Verse:
“The Lord said, People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.” I Samuel 16:7 CEV

  1. God has a plan and is in control.
  2. God sees and understands things we do not.
  3. God sees our hearts and not our outward appearance.
  4. God chooses unlikely people to do God’s work.

Lesson Objectives:
  1. The class will learn about how David, a shepherd boy, was chosen to be king of Israel by listening to and acting out 1 Samuel 16:1-13.
  2. The children will understand that God sees and understands things that we don’t know and that God has a plan for us.

Supply List:

  • olive oil flask, back pack, “offering” to God, crown, stuffed sheep if available.
  • Scripts for each actor with lines highlighted
  • Sealed envelopes with cards for sons/daughters
  • Biblical costumes
  • index cards
  • Video camera/cellphone, tripod, cables, and TV screen to show the recording

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.


Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag.

Explain the purpose of this workshop. How many of you are the youngest child in your family? (Accept answers) Great! Today we are going to learn about David who was the youngest of eight boys. Even though he was the youngest he was still chosen to be king of Israel because God knew David’s heart was good and pure.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Scripture/Bible Story:
Review the Bible story 1 Samuel 16:1-13. Read the passage aloud to the children or let them take turns reading (for older grades).

  • I wonder why God chose David to be a king even though David was the youngest? David has good qualities that will make him a good king such as patience, love of God, fairness, intelligence etc.
  • How do you think David’s brothers felt? Surprised, jealous, glad to have a king in the family, annoyed because now they can’t pick on him any more.
  • Has God ever chose you to do his work? Examples of doing God’s work-helping others etc.
The class will make a movie of the Lord choosing David to be King.
Actors needed: Lord (can be workshop leader), Samuel, town leaders, Jesse. Sons/daughters pick 8 (more or less is appropriate).

Don’t assign sons/daughters names or designate one as David, instead give them sealed envelopes; inside the envelope have a son’s or daughter’s name and a brief description of them. For example: “My name is Shammah and I am honest/shy/hardworking etc. I enjoy working with my hands and I am especially good at building. My favorite food is olives.” (See suggestions at the end of lesson plan.) Include a description of David in one envelope.

When selecting parts give each son/daughter an envelope but tell them not to open it until it is time to do that in the play. Make sure to give David’s envelope to one child even if all the son/daughter envelopes are not distributed.

Everyone can have a part in the play adjust numbers as necessary.
Props: olive oil flask, “offering” to God, back pack, crown, stuffed sheep if available.

Older children can act and read lines, for the younger ones or non-readers “God” (the workshop leader) can act as a narrator to cue the action and words from the actors.

Videotaping hints:
Before recording, practice the play at least once (don’t open the envelopes during practice though, save that for the real thing) and then film. Another option: You may choose to go outside for the play either with or without taping it.

A shepherd or youth helper can be the camera person after all is set up. The shepherd can also eject the tape and get it ready to view on the TV.

Reflection Time:
Why do you think I didn’t assign David’s or Jesse’s children specific parts but left it as a surprise? (accept answers) Good answers, one reason is to show how we don’t always know God’s plan in advance. We can’t control everything that happens to us. God’s plans for us may come suddenly or as a surprise. God chooses unlikely people to do God’s work.

Give each child an index card. Write down something special or interesting about themselves that we can’t see, (for example: I enjoy walking my dog, I pray at night before I go to sleep. This can be an interesting fact about us that God knows because God knows our hearts not something that we can see (for example, I have brown hair.)
After the children write their cards shuffle them, pull one out and read it. Everyone will try to guess who wrote the card. Make sure shepherds and workshop leaders have also made a card.

Thank all the children for sharing those special things about themselves. Tell them that God knows each one of us inside and out and has a special plan for our lives.

Prayer: Lead prayer. Thank you God for having a plan for us and for loving us for who we are inside and not what we look like. Help us to do your work. Amen

Drama Script:
The Lord Chooses David to be King

Narrator: The Lord was in a bad mood, he was sorry that he had made Saul a King.

Lord (looking grumpy): Samuel, I don’t think Saul should be king anymore. He is not doing a good job. Don’t worry about it though. Pack up your olive oil and go visit Jesse. One of his sons will be a good king.

Samuel: But God, if King Saul finds out he’ll be really mad and put me in jail!

Lord: Don’t worry. Take a calf with you and tell everyone you are going to make a sacrifice then invite Jesse to the sacrifice. When Jesse comes with his sons I’ll tell you which son will be king and you pour the olive oil on his head. See, isn’t that easy!

Narrator: Samuel packs his back pack with olive oil and an offering and walks to Bethlehem. When he gets to Bethlehem, he sees the town leaders and they wonder if he has come to cause trouble.

Town leaders: Hey Samuel, are you here as a friend or as an enemy?

Samuel: I’m here as a friend. In fact, I’ve come to make a sacrifice to our Lord. You are invited to come. Oh, here comes Jesse, he is invited too. Hi Jesse, come to the sacrifice and bring your children too.

Narrator: Samuel sets up the sacrifice by preparing the sacrificial animal, cross and olive oil. Jesse walks up with some of his children, the other half are left behind.

Jesse: Hi Samuel, thanks for inviting me to the sacrifice. These are my oldest children (points to children). Kids, meet Samuel, an old friend of mine.

Samuel: Look at that child (points to the tallest child), he is the tallest so he must be the one God picked to be King.

Lord: I wouldn’t pick someone to be king just because they are tall.

Samuel: How about this one, (points to another child) he is so handsome or this one who has a nice haircut?

Lord: Being handsome won’t make you a good king or a good person. People judge others by what they look like but I’m God and I judge people by what is in their hearts.

Samuel: Do you have any other children that could come?

Jesse: Yes, they are at home, I’ll call them. (Yells to children) Kids, put the sheep away and come to the sacrifice. (other children come over.)

Narrator: Some of Jesse’s children were in the field taking care of sheep. Every one waiting until they came.

Samuel: So Jesse, these are all your children?

Jesse: Yes, they are all here, even the youngest, little David the shepherd but we all know you wouldn’t pick him. Ha, ha.

Lord: Like I said before, I choose people by what is in their hearts, not by what they look like or how old they are.

Samuel: Let us find out who is the chosen one.

(Children line up and take turns opening and reading their envelopes. After they are done reading….)

Lord: I have chosen David to be the King!

Narrator: Samuel pours olive oil on David’s head and then David felt God’s spirit with him.

Lord: (places crown on David’s head) My spirit will be with you.

Everyone together: Praise the Lord!

Eliab: I am the oldest son of Jesse. I have always been the boss and when I get older I will inherit all my father’s land. I’m good at math and I especially like counting money. Oh, did I mention that I am considered very handsome!

Abinadab: I’m the second oldest. I’m also quite good looking but I’m jealous of my brother because he gets all the attention and land because he is the oldest.

Shammah: I’m the third oldest. I’m kind of shy. I like to read a lot, I’m good at drawing and I love animals. My favorite food is olives. I love to go to church with my family.

David: I’m the youngest of eight boys. My chore is taking care of the sheep each day. I try to do a good job for my father because he has given me a big responsibility. I hope he is proud of me. When I take care of the sheep at night I like to look at constellations.

Son #4: I’m right in the middle. To get attention I like to pick on my little brothers and fight with my older brothers. I am really very smart but sort of lazy. My favorite food is pita bread with honey.

Son #5: I love to work as a messenger because I enjoy running to bring messages to different people. I don’t like sitting still. My favorite food is dates. I keep a handful in my pocket for quick energy.

Son #6: I am studying to be a carpenter because I enjoy building and using my hands. I’m glad I don’t have David’s job taking care of the sheep. I used to have to watch the sheep before David was old enough to do it. Shepherd is the worst job! But I love David, he is a great kid.

Son #7: No one ever pays attention to me because I’m not the youngest but not near one of the big kids. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe a farmer.

A lesson posted by member Catherine.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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