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This topic is for posting your Workshop Lessons and Ideas for John 4, the Story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, "Living Water."

We don't have a lot on the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well mostly because it's not one of the "major" stories of the Bible that Rotation fans teach. That said, we've been collecting good ideas and invite you to add your own!

John 4
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Build a well.

Have children crumple newspapers and stuff into a large paper grocery bag. When it is full, put another bag on top of it to make a block. Stack the blocks in a circle and make the well.

Place a large bowl of ice cold water in the well and lower a cup down by a rope to get water from the well. Give each child a sip of the water.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Other ideas...


Posted by P. Kelly on February 18, 2003

Our 1st and 2nd graders wrote invitations to Sunday School as they discussed the woman witnessing to others about her encounter with Jesus. You could do this as a writing workshop or as a journaling option.

Posted by <Jo Jacobs> on March 20, 2002

We just completed a unit on the Woman at the Well. For art we created a fountain that looked like a well and with the coninuous flow fountain, it demonstrated "Living Water". We also created the scene using Barbie dolls in a display case, and made on video some comercials for Living Water. The whole thing was put together as a display in the church narthex for all to see what the children had been studying and to pique interest as well. The adults were all very enthusiastic about it we got a lot of feedback, several people told us they would like to see the fountain a permanent fixture!

Posted by <Chris Himes> on January 19, 2002

We just completed a very successful rotation on the Samaritan woman. For our art workshop we gathered several pictures of Christ and the woman of Samaria from the Internet. We were able to find about 20 different drawings, paintings, or sculptures depicting the scene. We printed them all and laid them out for the workshop. THe children were led in a discussion of the similarities and differences in the pictures.

What three elements do we find in every one? (Jesus, woman, well)
How does the woman look? (happy, sad, tired, scared)
In some pictures there is a wooden support for the well, what does it remind us of? (the cross)
What is the well made of? (stones, bricks)
What is the land around the well like? (trees, green, dusty, desert)

After comparing the pictures and discussing them each child chose a picture to mat and hang in the gallery. Then using a variety of materials each child created their own "Christ and the woman of Samaria" scene. We used watercolors, pastels, torn tissue mosaics and "stained glass" windows, and pencil drawings.

The children really enjoyed seeing "real" art and comparing the pictures.

Chris Himes
Pompey United Church
Pompey NY

Posted by nmoff on October 14, 2002

This web site has links to a lot of the great art for the Woman at the Well...Most of the art you can print out on a color printer and get fine results.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Jesus as Living Water

We just did a lesson on the Woman at the Well focusing on Jesus as living water. If you are thirsty drink water. If you are looking for God you need Jesus the living water. The kids made lava lamps from empty 20 ounce soda bottles. We filled them a third full of cooking oil, added food coloring and glitter and then filled them almot to the top with water. On the side we wrote Jesus is living water. The kids loved the craft. Thanks for the help I got on this topic on these posts. I know they are old but it really helped me and I wanted to add in case anyone down the road is working on this subject too.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

"Passing the Water"

Danielle's Place has some great story/acting suggestions. We incorporated "passing the water" for our Story Telling rotation. It's a type of left/right game which the kids love.

For cooking, we are making "living water" and discussing what that means. We are mixing gingerale with blue koolaid and adding vanilla ice cream. I've given options for any kind of blue liquid recipe (blueberry smoothie; pour sprite over blue kookaid ice cubes and watch it turn blue)

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Preschool-K Video for Woman at the Well

Shine Your Light (Cherub Wings) Ages 3-7,  Vision Vision, DVD, 0727985008035. Vision Video to see a description
(I really like these, Cherub is an adorable little angel with a lovely laugh).
The 25 min video is broken into 8 segments.  The Bible Story Segment "He Told Me All I Ever Did! – covers this story, about the time that Jesus met a woman at a well and what He said to her that changed her life.  Plus, the rest of the video segments promote telling others about Jesus.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Woman at the Well

Arts & Craft Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Make sand covered flower vases

Lesson Objectives: 

  • After completing this lesson, the students should be able to: ·
  • Retell the story in their own words ·
  • Recite the memory verse and reference (with growing confidence as the rotation continues) · State the book of the Bible where today’s story is located ·
  • Be able to explain:  what Jesus meant by “living water” and, who the Samaritans were at the time of Jesus

Supplies provided: ·

  • Table cloths to cover tables ·
  • Basic Supplies – pencils, markers, crayons, tape, glue, glue sticks, staplers, scissors and hole punches ·
  • Clear glass bottles, with labels removed ·
  • Tacky glue,
  • paint brushes,
  • small paper cups ·
  • Colored sand (order from Oriental Trading Company or Discount School Supplies) ·
  • Several empty boxes to collect excess sand (the extra sand can be reused to create rainbow colored vases or tossed) ·
  • Paper plates (to help carry project home)

Teacher Preparation Needed: 

Before class, the teacher will need to: ·

  • Read the background information and the Bible story. 
  • Determine if you are going to read the story from the Good News Bible or from the Children’s Bible in 365 Stories.
  • Review the reflective questions and make sure you understand both the questions and possible answers.
  • Cover the tables to facilitate easy clean up.
  • Make a sample of the project so that you can be sure you understand the process and can explain the project directions to the class
  • Mix 1t water to about 3T glue in enough cups for 1 per student
  • Set out glass bottles, paint brushes and glue cups on tables
  • Set up “Sand Stations” – separate locations where the sand will be applied to the bottles over a box.  This could be outside on the grass if the weather is clear or on the covered sidewalk.  Either you or a Shepherd should supervise this area closely.


Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Gather the students. Welcome the students and introduce yourself.  Have the students wear their nametags so that you can call them.  The nametags are located in the tote box and the shepherds are responsible for handing them out.

Introduction:  Today we will hear the story of the Woman at the Well, which is found in the Gospel of John in the New Testament.  In this story, Jesus talks about “Living Water”. To remind us of this story we will make sand covered vases to remind us of Jesus’ promise to “quench our thirst” with his water of everlasting life.

Memory Verse: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman – Jesus answered, “Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again but whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  John 4:13-14

Review the memory verse for this rotation using one of the tips in your folder.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Passage/Story: John 4:5-30, The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories, Story # 285
If this is the first week of the rotation, read the background information to the class so the students can familiarize themselves with an overview of the entire story.  After covering the background information, continue on with the part of the story assigned to this rotation.
If this is the 3rd or 4th week of the rotation, some of the students have heard the story 2 or 3 times already.  They should be able to retell the story in their own words.  You may want to choose a different way to present the story in the last 2 weeks of the rotation.  Consider using one of the story telling ideas found in your curriculum folder.

Art Project: 

  • Each student will pick a bottle and coat the outside with thinned tacky glue using a paint brush.
  • Once the bottle is covered in glue, the students will move to the “sand station”.
  • Each student can pick up to 3 colors of sand and gently sprinkle the sand over the glue.  The sand colors can be separate or overlapped.
  • Set the bottles aside on paper plates to dry as much as possible before time to go home.  · Toss glue cups when done. · Have the students clean their own paint brushes.

Reflection Questions:

  • Why were the disciples surprised that Jesus was talking to the women in this story (verse 27)?  (At that time, Jews were not friendly with Samaritans.  They didn’t usually speak to each other and certainly would not share cups..)
  • Why do you think the woman was surprised that Jesus was talking to her? (both for the reasons above plus she didn’t feel she was worthy to talk to Jesus because of the way she lived her life.)
  • What did Jesus mean by “life-giving” water (verse 10)? (The word of God.)

Journaling: Ask the students to journal about something they found meaningful, surprising or interesting in today’s class or pose one of the reflective questions as a journaling topic.
Many students have difficulty getting started and some of the younger children have difficulty writing. If this is the case, you may want to suggest that they copy down the memory verse (have it written on the white board or on a flip chart) or draw a picture of today’s story.  You could also write one or two partial sentences on the board for the students to copy down and complete.


End with a prayer.


A lesson originally posted by member NMOFF, from: Sunnyvale Pres,
unnyvale CA

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Casting Crowns has a good song about "The Well" (Leave it all behind).

The following YouTube music video features that song, with onscreen lyrics, a few images of people in need, and a bunch of "messages/hopes/key ideas" that move towards you.

It is the video's moving words which give me an idea for how to turn the song into an activity --and it goes something like this: After listening and discussing and looking at the lyrics, give each student several slips of paper to write on and turn into a long paper chain the things keeping us from finding what we long for, as the song says, things holding us back, sins, problems, pride. And what is our goal that these chains are holding us back from? Across the room is a whiteboard where we can write what we hope for, want out of life, know is what we need most, believe God can give us.  Note that many good words (things we need) are seen in the video. After writing those things on the whiteboard, return to the paper chain and discuss how Jesus 'breaks' that chain. You might even now show Zach William's CHAIN BREAKER music video, also on YouTube. It's awesome and has the chain-imagery. You could imagine it too being a song for the Samaritan Woman. What was holding her back?]

Here are the lyrics. Discussion questions abound.

What is the "work" that Jesus has done?
What are people searching for? What do we want most out of life?
What is it that we need to leave behind?  (What is chained to us and keeps following us?)
What does it mean to "come as you are"?

Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
I have what you need,
But you keep on searchin',
I've done all the work,
But you keep on workin',
When you're runnin' on empty,
And you can't find the remedy,
Just come to the well.
You can spend your whole life,
Chasin' what's missing,
But that empty inside,
It just ain't gonna listen.
When nothing can satisfy,
And the world leaves you high and dry,
Just come to the well
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well
So bring me your heart
No matter how broken,
Just come as you are,
When your last prayer is spoken,
Just rest in my arms a while,
You'll feel the change my child,
When you come to the well
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well
Leave it all behind
The world will try, but it can never fill, leave it all behind
And now that you're full,
Of love beyond measure,
Your joy's gonna flow,
Like a stream in the desert,
Soon all the world will see that living water is found in me,
'Cause you came to the well
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well
Leave it all behind, leave it all behind
Leave it all behind, leave it all behind
Songwriters: John Mark Hall / Matthew West
The Well lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group. Excerpted here under the Fair Use clause for non-profit teaching and commentary purposes.

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