Skip to main content

Ideas and Resources for Teaching about King Josiah,
...Israel's "Last Good King"

Wormy Rotation Note:

"Josiah" isn't considered a "major" Bible story among Workshop Rotation enthusiasts for one simple reason: Rotation Sunday Schools focus on "major" stories for weeks at a time, instead of trying to cover them all. Thus, we have to pick and choose.  

If you have a great Josiah lesson idea or resource, please post it!

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

King Josiah Video Resource

I found this video on "Josiah and the Book of the Law" on YouTube.  I'm not sure what the original source is, but it appears to be linked to Mormon related users.  It seems biblically accurate and might be useful to anyone looking for video resources to teach about King Josiah and the Lost Scroll.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

"Josiah Finds a Scroll"

Three lessons posted by Central Baptist, Lexington KY

Summary of Workshops:

Games: scavenger hunt to find verses of the law hidden around the church
Puppets: scripted retelling of the story
Craft: children experience, in brief, the creation of a sacred scroll

Bible References:

2 Kings 22-23

Key Concepts:

  • Sometimes, even good people cannot overcome evil, but it is important to follow God under all circumstances.
  • Josiah’s reforms paved the way for much of the Hebrew scripture that we have today.
  • Personal morals matter.


Games Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

A Scavenger hunt.

Scripture Reference:
2 Kings 22-23 (Memory verse: 2 Kings 23:25)

Lesson Objectives:

  • To help children experience the Josiah story
  • To help children learn important biblical doctrines
  • To better acquaint children with the importance of Josiah’s reforms.

Leader preparation:

  • Prepare a copy of the 10 commandments and Deuteronomy 6:4-9, each verse written on its own slip of paper.
  • Hide each piece of paper in a different section of your building where you will not disturb another group.

Supplies List:

  • Scripture Verses

Lesson Plan

Opening-Welcome and Introductions:

Welcome each child, by name, as they arrive. When everyone has entered your meeting area, and you’re sure there are no stragglers, tell the group that today’s session will start in your meeting room, but will move through the building. Remind the children that other groups will be learning in Sunday school today, and that it is important for them to be quiet when moving about the building.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Story:
Begin by asking the children to search your room for the scripture verse that you’ve hidden. When the scripture is found, have it read aloud, then move the group to the next search area to repeat the process. Continue until all 16 verses are found and read, then return to your room and read together 2 Kings 22-23. Please note that it is a rather lengthy read, so you might want to read it through in advance and present a more “abbreviated version” to younger children. Ask the group questions like:

  • How is what we just did like the story we just read?
  • How do you think the people felt when they read the scroll they found in the temple?
  • What would you do if you were king and someone told you they had found such a scroll?

Reflection Time:
Encourage children to write in their journal about the most important things that they “find” in their church. Encourage older children to list some of the things that they learn or do at church that are important, while younger children might write about or draw a picture of something important that they found out at church.

Close with a prayer that the children might find the important things in their church that God has placed there to help them, whether those things be people, things, or teachings.


Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

A scripted retelling of the story.

Scripture Reference:
2 Kings 22-23 (Memory verse: 2 Kings 23:25)

Lesson Objectives:

  • To help children better understand the Josiah story
  • To lead the children to identify with the various characters and situations found in their scripture passage.

 Leader preparation:

  • Make several copies of Josiah Finds a Scroll (script below)
  • Gather puppets and dramatic materials for use in presenting the story
  • Obtain a video camera and other materials that can be used with older children
  • Find a few other adults or youth who can help present this story to younger children.
  • Practice reading the script. If you have time, you might want to record a reading of the script to be played for the younger children for use with puppets.

Supplies List:

  • The script
  • Puppets
  • Props
  • Video Camera

Lesson Plan

Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Welcome each child, paying some special attention to visitors and kids who have been absent from Sunday school for a while but have returned for the holiday season. Begin the workshop by reading reciting the memory verse.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Story:
Find the story of Josiah and share it with the children. Please note that it is a rather lengthy read, so you might want to read it through in advance and present a more “abbreviated version” to younger children.

For younger children, you may want to pre-record the drama on your own (either doing them all yourself or getting assistance) so you won’t have to worry with that during class time. You can then perform the script with a couple of puppeteers. If you can find some volunteers to work with your class, you might ask them to perform the Josiah story as a play for the children to watch. Encourage children to provide sound effects (ahhs, sighs, loud noises, etc.) for the production as it goes on.

For older children, instead of acting out the drama, you might encourage them to present this story as a news documentary. Have a “reporter” and various characters appear on camera as they tell about what happened.

=Script below=

Reflection Time:

  •  What were the good and bad things that happened in the story?
  • How do people "forget" the Word of God? and what happens when they do?
  • What does the story teach us about the importance of scripture to the church?
  • Where do you keep your Bible?  

Name some things you can do to make sure you read it at home.

Encourage younger children to draw the story in pictures, based on what they saw in the drama.

Pray that the children might learn how the big stories of the Bible are their stories, too.

Paraphrased from 2 Kings 22-23

Narrator: Gather around as I tell you the story of King Josiah: When Josiah was eight years old, he became king. He ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, as king David did. When he turned 18, he sent his secretary to the temple, saying

Josiah: "Go up to the high priest and have him count all the money that has been brought into the temple, which they have collected from the people. Give it to the workers who are fixing the temple, that is, to the carpenters, to the builders, to the masons; and let them use it to buy timber and quarried stone for repairs.

Narrator: The high priest said to the secretary,

Priest: "I have found the book of the Law in the temple!"

Narrator: When he gave the book to the secretary, he read it and came to the king, and said.

Secretary: "We’ve emptied out the money that was found in the temple, and have delivered it to the workers. Also, the priest has given me a book."

Narrator: He then read it aloud to the king. When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. Then the king commanded the priest, the secretary, and the king's servant, saying:

Josiah: "Go, pray to God for me, for the people, and for all Judah, about this book that has been found. I’m afraid that God is mad at us, because our ancestors did not obey the words of this book, and do according to all that it says we should do."

Narrator: So they went to the prophetess Huldah. She resided in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter, where they consulted her. She told them,

Huldah: "God says: Tell the man who sent you to me, ‘I will indeed bring disaster on this place and on its inhabitants—all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. Because they have abandoned me and have made offerings to other gods, I am so mad that I just can’t get over it. But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to ask me, tell him that I said that because he was sorry and humbled himself when he heard what I said and tore his clothes and cried I have heard him. Therefore, he will live out his life in peace and not see all the disaster that I will bring on this place."

Narrator: They took the message back to the king. Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the temple with all the people and he read all the words of the book to them. The king stood by the pillar and made a promise to follow the Lord with all his heart and all his soul and all the people joined in the promise.

Narrator: The king commanded the priests to stop people from worshipping other Gods, then he tore down all the places where people gathered to worship them. After that, he returned to Jerusalem and told everyone:

Josiah: "Keep the Passover to the Lord your God as prescribed in this book of the covenant."

Narrator: No such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, even during all the days of the kings of Israel and of the kings of Judah and Josiah got rid of all the books written by the followers of other Gods so that he established the words of the law that were written in the book that the priest had found in the temple. He even helped bring the Bible up to date and worked with the priests to add several books to the Old Testament.

Narrator: Before him there was no king like him, who turned to God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses, and there were none after him, either. Still God did not stop being angry

Narrator: The Lord said,

God: "I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel; and I will reject Jerusalem."

Narrator: Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah. A few years later, the king of Egypt went to fight the king of Assyria. King Josiah went to stop him; but when Pharaoh met him, he killed him. His servants carried him dead in a chariot, brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. The people of the land took Jehoahaz his son, anointed him, and made him king in place of his father.

Narrator: So you see, Josiah was not alive when the bad things that God threatened let happen to Judah finally occurred. God kept the promise and saw to it that the bad things that Josiah’s family did before him did not cause his people to suffer until after he was gone.

Art Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Scroll Making Workshop

Scripture Workshop:

2 Kings 23-25 (Use a shorter form for younger children.)

Lesson Objectives:

  • To help children better understand the significance of the written word in understanding their faith;
  • To help children create a meaningful object to remind them of the Josiah story;
  • To help children experience, in brief, the creation of a sacred scroll.

Leader preparation:

  • Gather the materials
  • Carefully read the unit scriptures in advance

Supplies List:

  • Pre-cut Butcher paper, along with (see below)
  • scissors
  • tape
  • crayons
  • dowels or straws (to roll scrolls)
  • yarn or ribbon to tie scrolls

Lesson Plan

Opening-Welcome and Introductions:

Explain briefly what the children will be doing during the session. Have children sit where everyone can have good access to their supplies. Be sure to welcome and get the names of any visitors.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Story:
Find the story of Josiah and share it with the children. Please note that it is a rather lengthy read, so you might want to read it through in advance and present a more “abbreviated version” to younger children. Give the older children Bibles and have them read along. After reading, tell the group: “The scrolls found in the Temple were very important and that they changed Josiah’s and his people’s lives forever. Because of that, we want to spend some time today making some scrolls of our own.”

Scroll Making:
Give each child a piece of pre-cut butcher paper. Have older children find the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) in their Bibles and list them in a decorative way on their scrolls. For younger children, you might want to have the commandments pre-printed for them. After reading them, have the children add decorations to their scroll. When the scrolls are complete, tape the ends of the paper to the dowels, roll it up, and tie with yarn or ribbon. 

Note: SOME paper can be made soft and pliable like an ancient animal skin scroll by repeatedly rubbing the paper over the edge of a table. This works especially well with brown paper bag paper and gives it a nice feel.

As you do this activity, talk about the different ways scripture was written down over the ages. On skins called "velum", on papyrus, on tablets of stone or metal, on paper.

Reflection Time Questions:  

  • Where do you keep your Bible at home?
  • What "clutter" in your life is getting in the way of you "discovering" God's word?
  • How can you make more room for learning God's Word in your life?  The scroll is a good start!
  • What are the benefits of learning God's Word? What had happened to the Israelites when they stopped following God's Word?

Encourage older children to write in their journals those scriptures that they think are most significant and why they chose them. If you have time, you might want to have them share their work. Encourage younger children to draw pictures of the scrolls as they are being found and read to the people.

End the session with a prayer that children can find important treasures in their own lives, and that they can follow God's teachings when they hear them. Be sure to invite the children back next week and to bring a friend.

A lesson set posted by Central Baptist Church,
Lexington, KY

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Add Reply

Post a New Topic
Lesson or Resource Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author are referenced. Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. Get a free Registered Membership or become a Supporting Member for full access to all site resources. is rated 5 stars on Google based on 51 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!
Link copied to your clipboard.