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Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching the Story of King Saul in Sunday School

Post your lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for teaching the Story of King Saul in Sunday School. King Saul, David, Goliath, Samuel, etc. 1 Samuel 16, etc.


Wormy Note: 

Where are the Saul lessons? 

In the Rotation Model, if King Saul gets taught at all it's usually with David stories. This is due to a Rotation Model practice of prioritizing which stories our children learn. Because we're going to spend four to five week per story to really learn it, Rotation churches must focus on the "majors"  because we're not going to be plowing rhrough 52 different stories every year. That means few Rotation folks cover Saul by himself because he's considered a "minor" character in the Bible for the purposes of teaching children.

That said, some Rotation churches do write lessons about him. Some have been shared here.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Movie suggestions for King Saul:

1. What's in the Bible? DVD #5.  Israel Gets a King.
Phil Vischer original creator of the Veggie Tales – has a smash hit with this new series called “What’s In The Bible?”. Great teaching tools filled with Phil’s humour that even we adults enjoy! The age range is optimally age 7 to young teen. Younger kids will enjoy some of the content, and it is presented in sections so you can easily skip.


2. Jacob’s Ladder Episodes 8, 9
Recommended for pre-teens / teens (ages 10-15) Join a group of teens as they are transported back into Bible times in the "Jacob's Ladder" series. The "teenpack" is looking for adventure when they discover a mysterious old lighthouse and the even more mysterious keeper, Rafael. Through the lighthouse, the young teens are transported to Bible times where they interact with timeless characters and learn of a loving God who cares for His people through all the ages. Below are descriptions from Vision Video.

Vision Video has free downloadable study guides for Jacob's Ladder which may be useful in deciding if the particular video will cover the part of Saul’s life you wish to focus in on. I have not seen these, so cannot comment on how good they are, but note they were filmed in Wales and the actors have British accents. I’ve included the David episodes as well, as David and Saul’s lives are intertwined. 

Here's the breakdown of the episodes:


Jacob’s Ladder Episodes 8 & 9: Saul, Vision Video, 727985009117


Episode 8: A King for the Hebrews
Samuel has been a faithful prophet and judge of Israel for many years, but the people are increasingly dissatisfied. Attacks from surrounding nations have fed their desire for a king to lead them. Will the fledgling nation ever learn to trust in God alone and thank him for all He's given them?


Episode 9: Saul Takes Charge 
Since the shy farmer, Saul, has become the king of Israel, his family has noticed some changes. His newfound power and status leave him little time to consult with God, and there's no telling who will be the next target of his suspicions and anger. How far should we follow if our leaders take a wrong turn? This and other lessons come through in this story. Link to study guide download


Jacob’s Ladder: Episodes 10 & 11: SAUL & DAVID, Vision Video, 727985009124.

Episode 10: The King Needs Help  King Saul is slipping into mental illness, but he won't accept help from his family or from the prophet, Samuel. God Leads Samuel to secretly anoint a new king who will eventually take Saul's place. How will the king react when a boy named David has enough faith to obediently follow the Lord's calling?

Episode 11: Death Waiting 
Now a leading officer in King Saul's army, David enjoys one victory after another, but his success fuels the king's anger and jealousy, How can Prince Jonathan, son of King Saul, do the right thing when his own father plots to kill his best friend, David?


Jacob’s Ladder Episode 12 & 13: DAVID, Vision Video, 727985009131.


Episode 12: David on the Run
King Saul is out to kill his most successful and loyal soldier, David. While David finds refuge through the people of God, Saul shows no respect for God or his people. See the results of their decisions as this tale unfolds.

Episode 13: A New King
In King Saul's darkest hour, he finally attempts to call on God as he once did, but God is silent. Where will Saul turn now? Can he sink any lower in his defiance of God? The story of David comes to a thrilling conclusion as he continues to walk in covenant with the Lord - the same covenant that began so many years before when Jacob saw a ladder to heaven.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Video Tips:


Thank you so much for recommending the "Jacob's Ladder" videos and posting the link for the study guides!

Overall, I'm extremely pleased to have the resource, especially the study guides, which give me plenty of extension ideas to use "out of the box" or incorporate into other activities (questions for quiz games/Bible bowling/dramas/etc.). Makes a great finisher for those rotations for which you have an open slot, don't have enough material, or just don't have a video yet.

We're working on Saul, and focusing on the "be careful what you wish for" theme (Israel demanding a human king), Saul's human flaws and struggles, and how we must rely on God/Christ as our perfect King, instead of focusing on the "Witch of Endor" part of the story--so I'm finding more materials geared toward teens and adults than younger kids. I've seen, however, that kids are smarter than most adults give them credit for, so I try not to dumb things down for our kids, and they rise to the occasion! They have come up with some great insights!

Review on the videos:

The settings and costumes come off more like medieval Europe than Old Testament-era Israel, compounded by the British accents (I realize, however, that this is what they had to work with in England; it was low-budget, and it shows). I don't think most of the kids notice, but older kids might and teens would, and I worry if the kids could get the wrong impression from some parts (I guess I just don't want them retaining the inaccuracies). The acting is actually pretty good, but the low-budget production definitely highlights any poor acting which may slip through.


Teaching Note:


You WILL want to use the study guides and/or have another activity planned, as each video only lasts for about half of a one-hour class (OR you could watch two videos back-to-back in one class--there are SEVERAL videos covering Samuel, Saul, and the transition to David).


Tips About Downloading These Videos from


If you'll be downloading them from Amazon, PAY ATTENTION to the download time estimates! You should try downloading the video(s) well in advance, as you could hit a snag...certainly don't (ahem) try "instant download" fifteen minutes before class starts, as your church Internet connection may not REALLY be as fast as the WiFi says it is..."instant" isn't always so instant, Murphy's Law applies, and you'll be really grateful for the "pre-video" activities on the study guides...not speaking from experience here at all... Wink


My opinion is to go ahead and install the Amazon Unbox player on your laptop if that's what you'll be using to show the kids the videos, as you can then download the videos to your laptop in advance and play them even without an Internet connection (mind, though, that you'll only be able to download the videos to two devices, in addition to being able to watch them online on the site from anywhere). Prayer works--use it--and yes, it is better to just download the entire one whopping season that is available (you'll end up wanting it anyway, and you'll save a lot of money). I just wish that: a) I'd found out about this sooner, so we could have used the Gideon, Ruth, and Samuel resources, too; and b) there was more of this series to use with the rest of the Bible!


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

DVD - “David and Saul” (New Superbook Series)davidsaul

Chris vows to take revenge on some teens, but Superbook whisks the trio off to meet David, who has become a great warrior and foe to an angry and jealous King Saul. Chris watches as David shows mercy to Saul. After seeing David’s act of mercy, Chris decides against vengeance, and leaves judgement to God.

Lesson: “We should not take revenge. We should repay evil with good” (Animated - approx. 28 mins)

See reviews of the "New Superbook" DVD Series for more details on this series link.

See video lesson, using this video, written by Ron Shifley here.


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Saul, Jonathan, and David "Bow and Arrow" Workshop

View and print the attached PDF of the lesson

This lesson was originally written for their Art Workshop, but we think it's better adapted to a Game Workshop that has the kids shooting their arrows at lesson-related targets. We also have several suggestions about making the arrows "safer."

Be sure to read the attached "doc" file which has many photos and "how to." One of the websites referenced in the Word doc file also has many photos and instructions/options:


  • Scripture: I Samuel 17-20   A retelling is found in the lesson plan.
  • Jonathan Warns David by shooting arrows. Jonathan and David depart friends.

    Excerpt from the retelling: 

    I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. Then I will send a boy and say, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I say to him, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,' then come, because, as surely as the LORD lives, you are safe; there is no danger. But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you,' then you must go, because the LORD has sent you away.

    Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; and he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David. 
 In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, and he said to the boy, "Run and find the arrows I shoot." As the boy ran, Jonathan called out after him, "Isn't the arrow beyond you?" Then he shouted, "Hurry! Go quickly! Don't stop!" The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, "Go, carry them back to town." 
 After the boy had gone, David got up from beside of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most. 
 Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD forever.” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

 After hearing a retelling of the story (which could be acted out), students construct a bow and arrow.  We've added the suggestion below to create a "target" game to enhance the life application of the story.

Additional Suggestions:  This is a lesson for 2nd graders and up. Please look at the alternative arrow tip suggestions to be safe. Hot Glue a styrofoam tip to the end of the arrow. 

Game Target Suggestion:  Create an "arrow target" option to this lesson to add life application. 

What "things or problems or people" should we be "warning" our friends about like Jonathan did for David?   Draw a "rock of Ezel" and tape to the back of a chair which is sitting 3 feet from a wall. Then place a "target problem" on the wall BEHIND the sheet of paper. This mimics Jonathan's "sign" to David that arrows shot beyond the rock are the warning to David.

Create a few "Saul jealousies and anger" targets to knock down. How do we resist becoming jealous of others popularity like Saul was of David's??

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.


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

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