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Resources and Supplies for the 23rd Psalm. 


  • Keller, Philip. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. Zondervan. 1996. (Note: Best resource for learning about Psalm 23!)
  • Deffinbaugh, Robert L. “Psalm 23: A Psalm that Calms the Soul” found here.
  • “VBS 2001: A Sheep Odyssey”.Link to lesson here at by Neil.
  • Set of lessons from Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, Cary, North Carolina. Link to lessons.
  • The Learn-It-By-Heart Strips: (another idea from Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian; Used in Art Workshop)
  • Have an enlarged copy of the 23rd Psalm handout. Cut it into strips (example: one piece includes “He makes me lie down in green pastures.) Students attempt to put the strips together in correct order. If they are doing very well, cut the strips into smaller pieces (for example previous strip becomes: “He makes me” and “lie down in green pastures.) Have the Shepherd help with this activity and decide when to cut the strips into smaller pieces.
  • Jigsaw puzzle (used as extra activity in Art lesson): We made our own jigsaw puzzle by painting over an old puzzle with white acrylic paint, then using permanent markers to write out the 23rd Psalm.
  • We purchased a real shepherd staff from (Note: It would have helped if we’d created a “rod” from a gnarly stick. The kids really wanted to know what a rod looked like.)
Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
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Psalm 23 Mad Lib Exercise


My Psalm 23 Mad Lib is attached to this post. It could be used in ANY workshop.


We used this fun mad lib exercise as an extra-time activity. The kids enjoyed this very much. I got the idea of a mad lib from Neil MacQueen who suggested doing this as part of a computer workshop.


Basic lesson use:


Say: Does everyone know what a “mad lib” is? (A fun word game) 


Using the sheet provided, do the mad lib either as a class (where you ask the students to give you the type of word Indicated) or give out sheets to pairs of students.  When all the blanks have been filled, read the resulting mad lib(s) aloud.


Ps 23 Mad Lib is attached to this post.


Say: We’ve created something really funny sounding. Let me read you something that comes from the Bible.

Read Psalm 23.

Ask: Do you recognize any part of our mad lib?

Say: Psalm 23 can be very comforting in times of difficulty. I don’t know if our mad lib would be all that comforting! It’s important to learn Psalm 23 by heart, to store it in our hearts (and mind) so it comes back to us easily when we need it, when we want to feel comforted. 



Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
Book Ideas for Psalm 23
Originally Posted by rhondab:
The Lord Is My Shepherd! : From Psalm 23, by Joel Anderson (Illustrator), Kristi Carter (Illustrator), Golden Books, 1999, ISBN: 0307251764. (Out of print)

Other books by poster that may work:

The Lord Is My Shepherd: Psalm 23 For Children, By: Christopher L. Webber & Preston McDaniels, Continuum, 2004, ISBN: 081921986X.
Description: The Psalms have been some of the most beloved devotional materials for countless generations. But the most treasured all is the 23rd Psalm. Now Christopher L. Webber retells Psalm 23 to capture the hearts and minds of little ones today. Illustrated by acclaimed artist Preston McDaniels, these vibrant illustrations express the exuberance and joy of living in a world filled with the beauty of God's presence. Ages 3-7.
Dimensions: 10.0 X 7.0

The Lord is My Shepherd, By: Anne Wilson, Illustator, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2003, ISBN: 0802852505.
Description: The words of Psalm Twenty-Three have long comforted and reassured people of all ages. This imaginative, new presentation of the psalm pairs its timeless words with vibrant, contemporary illustrations that reinforce and aid our understanding of the psalm's powerful message. This unique reminder of God's constant presence with us makes a thoughtful and inspiring book for both children and adults.
Dimensions: 9.5 X 11

My Favorite Verses: God Is My Shepherd and I'm His Lamb (Psalm 23)
By: Dandi Daley Mackall, Standard Publishing, 2005, ISBN: 0784715335.
Description: Introduce your child to some of the best-loved passages in the Bible. This engaging series features today's most popular new Bible version, the NLT. I'm His Lamb endearingly presents the message of Psalm 23, the shepherd's psalm, by using familiar childhood experiences. Recommended for ages 3 to 7. A learning to read picture book. Dimensions: 8 X 8


Originally Posted by Jan Napa:
We used a book called "Psalm 23" (of course!) which is illustrated by Tim Ladwig, Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997, ISBN: 0802851630, Paperback.
I was able to borrow it from our local library. It has modern day pictures of kids in various situations which relate to the words of the psalm.
Dimensions: 9 X 10


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

"Readers" version of Psalm 23

"A" "B" and "C"  ...these can be readers, or groups, or puppets, or actions, or artwork/drawings, or body-posed and spoken, or sung, or... etc etc. 

"A" is the scripture, and then you have the option to use B or C or both, depending on your needs, ideas, groups. Feel free to copy and improve to your liking.  With older children, you could have them add a "D" comment.

A - The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want 
B - The Lord looks after me and makes sure I have everything I need
C - When I follow God, I am never going in the wrong direction.

A - He makes me lie down in green pastures
B - God wants me to go the right way in my life
C - God says "stop! enjoy! rest."

A - He leads me beside still waters
B - God leads me to rest, to be still and to know God.
C - God leads me to a place where my soul can be quiet and untroubled.

A - He restores my soul
B - God makes me feel so good
C - God listens to me, and counsels me, and heals me.

A - He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake
B - God shows me the right things to do
C - God wants me to be about HIS business, and not just my own.

A - Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
B - Even though I may be in scared at times or in frightening situations 
C - Like the time I felt alone, or put down, or my grandma died...

A - I fear no evil: for you are with me
B - I never need to be scared, for I know the Lord is always with me.
C - I feel your hand in mine, Lord, and I know you will take care of me no matter what.

A - Your rod and your staff – they comfort me
B - Your love and discipline keep me safe
C - Your ways are not easy, but I know they are right, and that gives me strength.

A - You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies
B - You invite me to be with you even when people are mean to me
C - You invite me to forgive and try to sit down with those I have a hard time with.

A - You anoint my head with oil
B - You treat me like a King or Queen
C - I feel your acceptance and love flow down around me.

A - My cup overflows
B - God’s love and blessings are more than I need
C - With feelings of gratitude and energy to serve.

A - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
B - God’s goodness and forgiveness will always be with me
C - I just need to look over my shoulder to see you in my life.

A - And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
B - And I will always belong to the Lord
C - Because home with you is where my heart longs to be.

Originally written by Catherine Devins, of Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, Cary, NC.
Option "C" added by Neil MacQueen at a later date.

Last edited by CreativeCarol

Science Idea for Psalm 23


An idea originally posted by member Joan and member Neil:


For our Science Workshop about Psalm 23, we had the kids set up the following demonstration to dramatize "My cup overflows."


Stack plastic cups in a pyramid on a large tray. From a large pitcher marked "GOD'S BLESSINGS" start pouring water into the top cup. As it overflows, it will fill the cups beneath it and so on until all the cups are filled and overflowing (a little) onto the tray.  


Discuss what's in the pitcher.  (Note: you will need several pitchers of water for demonstrating!)


Discuss how each of us can "be a blessing to others" --sharing love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness.  It never runs out.


Now have the kids change the demonstration a few different ways to illustrate some related points.

  • What's wrong with just one cup receiving God's blessing?  Why does God want us to share?
  • What should we do to bring the cups together? (it's like God setting the Table in the presence of the other cups? think about it!)  
  • How do you prepare people to receive blessings?  You have to bring them close.  A church is a way to bring people together to SHARE blessings. When you are "close" to someone and they feel blessed, you feel the blessing too.
  • Can you put a lid over some of the cups?  Why do some people reject God?
  • What happens if you don't think you NEED God's forgiveness or blessing?  How would THAT cup look on our tray when we poured water over it?


The Straw Overflow Finale:


Let's put this ONE CUP far away over here.  How will it receive God's blessing?  It will!    


Using a pack of STRAWS, have your students make a long PIPE that reaches from the top cup all the way down to the floor where the "lone cup" is off on it's own. Have the students experiment with getting the water to "overflow" into the straw until it reaches that far away cup. Feel free to have several different pipes being attempted. Don't worry about spilling water, it will clean up easy.


  • Discuss ways our church reaches across thousands of miles to share blessings.
  • Discuss how our church reaches ACROSS TIME to future generations!  

(by being good stewards of our building and ministry, this church will be here 100 years from now to minister to people not even born yet!)


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

One can find cute sheep from lots of different places (such as resin ones from Oriental Trading) or look at a fairy garden supply store.

They could be used so many ways:

  • On a story table
  • In a game workshop - Hide them around the room before the children arrive and have them look for the lost lambs. 
  • Send everyone home with a lamb as a memento of a workshop
  • Art workshop - Make a dish garden with green pastures (plant grass seeds) and place them in the garden.
  •  Cooking - use as a cupcake topper - give the cupcake to a friend (or an enemy?)
Last edited by CreativeCarol

Free Bible illustrations by Richard Gunther contributed to and licensed for non-commercial teaching use. Good for teaching with non-readers and for using as "charade" or Pictionary clues, and for story-ordering games.

Gunther has two different Psalm 23 illustration sets:

1. https://www.freebibleimages.or...ns/rg-lord-shepherd/

2. https://www.freebibleimages.or...trations/rg-psalm23/

To see all of his illustrations organized by Bible story go to https://www.freebibleimages.or...tors/richardgunther/

You can also see many of his Bible illustrations formatted by author Jill Kemp as FREE printable Bible story books for younger children and preschoolers at (NEW Testament stories) and (OLD Testament stories).


Images (1)
  • mceclip0
Last edited by Luanne Payne

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