Prodigal Part 1, Skit
Golden Rule Game

David. by Bernini, 1623 - 24
(I like the slightly older look of David in this scupture)

Click here for: Overview * Background Notes * In the arts * Questions for Discussion * Workshops * Revu, David 1

Workshops include: Arts * Kitchen * Beat Box * Computer * Drama * Music.




The quintessential story about how God helps little guys bring down giants.


April Year C


ARTS – 1. rock mosaic, 2. modge podge rocks

BEAT BOX – create a rhythm routine based on key elements of the story

DRAMA – object theatre play

KITCHEN – shepherd's pie

COMPUTER – Pathways thru Jerusalem; KidPix; Bible Grand Slam

MUSIC – couple of rounds based on 'Come Follow,' and 'Rose, rose.'


Acts 10.1 - 43



1 Samuel 17. Read this chapter.


“ David said, "The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine."

After story time in church, all will meet in central Sunday school area for gathering time, brief review, then to scheduled workshops.


Info bytes from the Introduction and various footnotes in 1 Samuel, New Oxford Annotated Bible (New Standard Revised Version):

• 1 & 2 Samuel were "originally a single work recounting the beginning of the monarchy and the reigns of its first two kings, Saul and David."

• Major theme of 1 Samuel — "the Lord was with David."

• Shepherd is a frequent biblical and ancient Near Eastern metaphor for royalty (annotation to 23rd Psalm, traditionally viewed as composed by/for David).

House of David

From those famous seasonal oft repeated lines from Luke 2 about the story of Jesus's birth, we're all familiar with the idea that the Christ child came from the 'house' (KJV) of David.

The first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew goes to great lengths to establish the fact that Jesus was from the same bloodline as Abraham and David.

What all this does at the very least is convey a clear sense that Jesus comes from kingly stock. He definitely shares with David that certain something special that allows a little guy to bring down a giant.

A story rich in symbolism.

On the WORM website, Neil MacQueen has posted a great critique of some presentations of this story. Neil writes:

"Don't focus on the slingshot. Teach it as the improbable weapon it was meant to be.

Some lessons extol the slingshot as some sort of Shepherd's Superweapon. It wasn't. Against an armored warrior it was nothing. Goliath even said so (I Sam 17:43). The odds of it defeating Goliath were zilch. Obviously it took God to intervene, not a rock. And this is exactly the point the verses are trying to make. David is too young and too small to wear armor and only brings a slingshot. But David brings his confidence in God.

In some deep way, this story is also an anti-war, anti-weapon story. Most kings in the Bible want to define themselves by their achievements. God continuously called them to define themselves by their faith."

So what's the point of this story?

Let's give the last word here to Neil MacQueen: "David vs Goliath in a nutshell — 'Trust God to help you face giants.'"

Awesome art.

We've all seen Michelangelo's statue of David. (Click here to see it.)

Make sure you read the text. Neat factoid: 'David' was commissioned by the Guild of Wool Merchants. Get it?!?)

Now compare that famous sculpture to these lesser known but equally powerful ones:

- Bernini.

- And Verocchio .

(Surf thru a whole bunch of amazing art on the subject of David at this site called 'Biblical Art on the WWW by clicking here. )

Timeless poetry.

Look no further than Beowulf of around 1000 AD for distinct echoes of this David story. The translation of Irish poet Seamus Heaney circa 2000 has revitalized and made nouveau cool (!) this musty old narrative poem about a super strongman and his trials. Here's Heaney's rendering of the venerable text where Beowulf's 'successor' Wiglaf inherits the armour of his ancestors:

" the burnished helmet, the webbed chain mail and that relic of giants...
Weohstan kept that war-gear for a lifetime
the sword and the mail-shirt, until it was his son's turn
to follow his father and perform his part.
Then, in old age, at the end of his days
among the Weather-Geats, he bequeathed to Wiglaf
innumerable weapons.
And now the youth
was to enter the line of battle with his lord,
his first time to be tested as a fighter.
His spirit did not break and the ancestral blade
would keep its edge, as the dragon discovered
as soon as they came together in combat.

Great music.

Okay. Maybe this is a bit of a stretch (but at least it gives us some audio!). One recording on Roger McGuinn's Folkden is a song called 'Spanish Ladies.' This is pretty neat, because Canadians will recognize it as 'We'll rant and we'll roar like true Newfoundlanders.' As the Canuck title suggests, staying true is the motto for this sea song. And as our notes indicate, David's God stayed true to him. Click here and follow links to hear this song .

Or how about this?! Ever since Montrealer Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' appeared in the Shrek movie, we've all been humming it in our sleep. And that's not a bad thing! Dynamite lyrics and great tune, given an especially resonant treatment on kd lang's album of this year, hymns of the 49th parallel. Here's the first verse to that song:

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord.
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah


Here are some starter questions Neil offers in his critique:

• What are "the Goliaths" which individuals and communities face?

• Who should step forward to lead?

• What makes a person "weak" or "strong"?

• What makes a person afraid?

• What "weapons" and "protection" should we take into our battles?

Here are a few other questions:

• Name some king-like traits of young David.

• Name some people you know of that have these traits.

• When the going gets tough, where does your courage or confidence or 'faith' come from?

• David faced his giant more or less alone. Are we always alone facing our giants. Name some people in your support circle.


Please find below suggested workshops for this unit. For each one, when you are in real time with the children:

1. Quickly review or recap the story with them before starting activity. Each week, see how much more detail each group of kids can supply on the story they've been studying.

2. Link or explain your activity to the current story.

Arts 1 -- make rock mosaic or pictures

Why: to highlight to simple stones that young David uses to fell the giant. David's trust in God turns simple stones into tools of power.

Materials: various types of small stones -- pebbles, aquarium stones, pea gravel, etc., heavy construction paper or cereal boxboard, white glue, pencils.

Instructions: design on paper or boxboard in pencil an image from the David story that can be rendered in the stones. Apply glue to desired areas and set in rocks.

Arts 2 -- Modge podge rocks. Why: To show how special ordinary rocks become when you put your trust in God.

Materials: Fairly large rocks, tissue paper and/or old magazine pages, white glue.

What to do: Rip up paper and add to rock in strips covered over with glue. (If you can't find the right size rocks, you could pre-make some papier mache rocks by wadding up lumps of newspaper, tape into shape, and papier mache with newsprint. Let dry in time for class.)

Kitchen -- Shepherd's pie.

Come on, we've all thought about it! Reinforces the idea that David was a shepherd, not a soldier.


You can probably pre-cook a lot of ingred and let kids fill pans.

You will need

- ground beef

- mashed potatoes.

You can add to meat mixture:

- frozen mixed vegetables

- fried onions

- maybe a tangy chili sauce

You could top the potatoes with:

- grated cheddar cheese. Cheese could be grated in class.

You could fill muffin tins for small individual servings. Or loaf tins for large single servings. Or a lasagna type pan for family serving. These could be frozen and taken to a senior or someone in need of pastoral care at your church. Talk to the pastoral care team at your church.

Baking instructions. Everything is already cooked, so you really just need to warm thru and firm the potato topping. Try 350 for 15 - 20 mins (less time if using muffin tins.)


For intro and overview, go to David's story on Pathways thru Jerusalem.

Animate the story using figures and voices in KidPix.

Here's one more off the beaten track idea: Bible Grand Slam. Why: sling, baseball...!

Bible Grand Slam is an easy game to load and launch. There's a question editor, so you can insert some questions pertaining to the David story. Try it!

Beat Box

Activity: make up a beat and voice routine using key elements of the David and Goliath story.

How to do it:

(If you have a pc, you can view an episode of Beat Team from the show 4 Square on Treehouse TV.)

- Divide your class into 4 groups.

- Give each group a part

- Have them practice their part together.

- Have each group try all the parts in sequence.

- Have the whole group do the parts in sequence in a round.

Re the Parts.

- you can come up with your own 4 lines and actions.

- you can use or take inspiration from the ones suggested here:

Part 1 -- Say 'David was a shepherd boy, David was a shepherd boy. 2 times. Accompany with walking stick action. You could even create some simple carry along sheep from blobs of quilt batting to tuck under arms if you wish.

Part 2 -- 'Here comes Goliath, Here comes Goliath.' 2 times. Make loud stomping and strutting motions. Use deep voices.

Part 3 -- Say 'Slingshot ping, slingshot ping'. 2 or 4 times to fit. Do action of putting shot in a belt type sling, whirl over head and release.

Part. 4 -- Say 'God is good, God is good.' 2 or 4 times Make strongman arms in big circular motion.

(***Huge thanks to Susannah for suggestions for these parts.***)


Since David was the musical, lyre playing, later psalm writing king, we definitely need a music workshop here.

Activity: Work up one of following suggested rounds

To the tune of 'Come follow,' to go with the idea of following wherever God leads, secure in the knowledge that God stays with us. (This song is on a Sharon Lois and Bram tape, can't recall at moment which one. It has a pretty tune.)

Come follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow me (2x)

Whither shall I follow follow follow, Whither shall I follow follow thee (2x)

Where you send me, where you send me, where you send me, se-end me. (2x)

(Only the last line here is different from actual. You can of course make up your own line about the destination -- how about 'Go and set my people free' !))

2nd round -- to the tune of 'Rose, rose, rose, rose, will i ever see the wed...'

David, David,

Plucked 5 stones from the river bed

When the giant hit the ground

God is with me, David said.

Drama -- Object Theatre play, 'The Lord will deliver me.'

Activity: Object theatre play.

Why: I like this kind of play for representing battle stories. There aren't any bad guys, just misguided salt shakers and soup ladles.

Also, David & Goliath had lots of action. You really do need a play for this study unit!

Click here for the script with suggested props and materials.

Revu -- Activities from David 1

- Arts; wire and clay sculptures

- Game with remote control cars

- Kitchen/'Giant' chocolate cookies

- Computer/use Moviemaker program

All original text 2004 - 2014, LD McKenzie

For a brief site ed's bio, click here:


Components of these lesson sets may be used for non-profit educational purposes, citing this author and site.

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