Warning: You are using an old browser. For the sake of the entire Internet and to ensure all functionality works properly, please upgrade your browser.

Upgrade Internet Explorer Download Google Chrome

Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

1 Samuel 16-17

Story Summary

Remember that in the last story, we learned that Saul had been anointed as the first king of Israel. But Saul began to disobey the Lord and so God took the kingdom of Israel away from him. 

Once again, the task of anointing a king of Israel fell to Samuel. God told Samuel to fill up with olive oil and go to Jesse in Bethlehem. Samuel was worried that Saul might find out about it and be angry, so God told Samuel to take a young cow as a sacrifice to Bethlehem, so he would have a good reason to go down there.

Samuel found Jesse and began to look at his sons to determine which should be king. The first one he saw was Eliab. Samuel thought he must be the one since he was so handsome and tall (it worked with Saul, so why not with Eliab?). But God told Samuel that man thinks what is on the outside is important, but God is concerned about what is on the inside. 7 of Jesse's sons had walked in front of Samuel, but God hadn't chosen any of them.  Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons, and Jesse told him about David, who was out watching the sheep. He was the youngest of the brothers. When he came to see Samuel, God told him that David was the one he wanted to anoint as the next king of Israel. So Samuel poured olive oil on David's head and from that day on, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David with power.

Now, we get to one of the most famous of all Bible stories. Once again, the Israelites were fighting with the Philistines. They had a soldier named Goliath who was over 9 feet tall. The Bible gives us some other clues about how big and strong Goliath was. His armor weighed 125 pounds (which was probably more than David himself weighed). He had a spear with an iron tip on it that weighed 15 pounds. He had a bronze helmet, bronze leg guards, and a bronze javelin. Goliath was legit.

Goliath taunted the Israelite army, giving a challenge he knew no one would accept. If the Israelites would send a soldier out, they would fight man-to-man for the fate of their entire army. Goliath came out and repeated this challenge twice a day for 40 days. No one dared take it. Now David was taking some supplies to the battle lines for his brothers. He heard this challenge and was appalled that the Israelite army was letting him get away with it. He was most disturbed of the shame it was bringing on God. David accepted the challenge.

At first, Saul didn't want to let him do it (after all, the fate of the entire Israelite army rested on this battle). David told Saul about all his times fighting bears and lions and convinced Saul to give him a shot. So Saul put his military clothes on him, but they didn't fit (remember how tall Saul was?) David chose to go dressed in normal clothes (remember all of Goliath's bronze armor?)

[Note: many times David is depicted as a little boy when he fights Goliath. There is nothing in scripture to substantiate that he was a little boy. He is definitely portrayed as a "youth", but not necessarily a little boy. He was big enough to use Goliath's sword, and big enough to at least try on Saul's armor. So, most people believe David was around 17 or 18: pretty much fully grown, but still young.]

David went down to the stream, gathered up 5 smooth stones and took his sling to fight Goliath. As soon as Goliath saw him, he laughed in scorn. They sent this little scrubby boy to fight him, and he didn't even have any armor. This would be a piece of cake.  But David answered back, with a little attitude to boot: "You come at me with a sword, spear and javelin, but I come in the name of the Lord of Israel.  Not only am I going to win this battle, I'm going to cut your head off and feed the bodies of your army to the wild animals!"

The rest, as they say, is history. David took one shot and landed one of those smooth stones right in Goliath's forehead. He cut of Goliath's head with his own sword, and the rout was on.

After that, David went to serve Saul. God's spirit had left Saul, and he began to pretty much go crazy. David was skilled at playing the harp (or lyre), and so whenever Saul would be troubled (by an evil spirit), David would come play music for him and it would calm him down.

What You Will Need

Supplies
Shepherd staff to show during the story time
Snack Suggestion
Fruit Leather Sling Shot
Take Home Items
A smooth rock for each child to take home

Resource Sheet

David & Goliath Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts David fighting Goliath.

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

Ask the children: Who is the tallest person you know? Do you know how tall they are? 

Try and find a point in your classroom, or on the outside wall of your church that is 9 feet tall. Tell them that we are going to learn about how David fought a man who was that tall!

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: 1 Samuel 16:1-3, 16:6-13, 17:1-11, 17:32-51

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Why did God take the kingdom of Israel away from Saul? (he continued to disobey God)
  • Who was David's father? (Jesse)
  • Who did Samuel think was supposed to be anointed at first? And why? (Eliab, because he was tall, strong and handsome)
  • Where was David when Samuel was looking at Jesse's sons? (tending sheep in the field)
  • How did Samuel anoint David as king? (with olive oil)
  • Who were the Israelites fighting? (the Philistines)
  • Who was challenging the Israelites to a fight? (Goliath)
  • How big was Goliath? (over 9 feet tall)
  • What did David use to fight Goliath? (a slingshot and 5 smooth stones)
  • What did David do to Goliath after he killed him with the slingshot? (he cut off his head with his own sword)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • God used David, even though he was young, to win the battle for the Israelites.
  • Do you think God can use you?

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
Children, obey your parents in everything. That pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20

Reinforcement Activities

Large Clothes Relay

Scripture Then Saul dressed David in his own military clothes. He put a coat of armor on him. He put a bronze helmet on his head. David put on Saul’s sword over his clothes. He walked around for a while in all of that armor because he wasn’t used to it. “I can’t go out there in all of this armor,” he said to Saul. “I’m not used to it.” So he took it off. 1 Samuel 17:38-39

Supplies Adult-sized clothes and shoes (as big as you can get them), cone or other marker

  • Split the class into teams (aim for 3-4 students in each team, or based on the amount of clothes you can get)
  • Have each team line up at a starting line and place a cone (or some other marker) across from them, about 20-30 feet away.
  • When you say, "Go", each person on the team has to put on the adult clothes, run to the cone and back to the starting line.
  • Then they have to take the clothes off and the next person on their team goes.
  • The first team to finish wins.

Make Shepherd Staffs

Scripture So [Samuel] asked Jesse, "Are these the only sons you have?" "No," Jesse answered. "My youngest son is taking care of the sheep." 1 Samuel 16:11

Supplies Clay (the kind that hardens as it dries)

  • Have the children create a shepherd's staff out of clay to take home.

Saul's Paper Bag Armor

Scripture Then Saul dressed David in his own military clothes. He put a coat of armor on him. He put a bronze helmet on his head. David put on Saul's sword over his clothes. He walked around for a while in all of that armor because he wasn't used to it. "I can't go out there in all of this armor," he said to Saul. "I'm not used to it." So he took it off. 1 Samuel 17:38-39

Supplies Paper grocery bags, scissors, crayons or markers

  • Cut a hole in the bottom of the paper bag (for the head), and an arm hole on each side (for the arms).
  • Allow students to decorate the armor. Encourage them to write "Saul" on the armor so they remember that David tried on Saul's armor, but decided not to use it.

Making Slingshots

Scripture He reached into his bag. He took out a stone. He put it in his sling. He slung it at Goliath. The stone hit him on the forehead and sank into it. He fell to the ground on his face. 1 Samuel 17:49

Supplies String, fabric, paper, duct tape

  • Make slingshots like David used by following the instructions below.
  • You can ball up paper to use as practice stones.
  • Or wrap paper in duct tape to make it a little heavier.

Rock Throw

Heads up! Make sure you find a good open space to do this activity in

Scripture As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet him. He reached into his bag. He took out a stone. He put it in his sling. He slung it at Goliath. The stone hit him on the forehead and sank into it. He fell to the ground on his face. 1 Samuel 17:48-49

Supplies Rocks

  • See who of your students can throw a rock the farthest.
  • As they are doing the activity, ask the students to consider why David used a slingshot.
  • Do they think David could have killed Goliath just by throwing a rock at him?
  • How close would David have to get to Goliath to be able to do any damage just throwing it?

Rock Dodge Ball

Scripture He reached into his bag. He took out a stone. He put it in his sling. He slung it at Goliath. The stone hit him on the forehead and sank into it. He fell to the ground on his face. 1 Samuel 17:49

  • No, not really - just kidding...

Rock collecting

Scripture Then David picked up his wooden staff. He went down to a stream and chose five smooth stones. He put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag. Then he took his sling in his hand and approached Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:40

  • Find rocks around the church building and talk about whether they would be good for a slingshot or not.
  • David chose smooth stones, most likely because they would fly straight and true.
  • He would have wanted to find stones that were not too big (or they would be difficult to control), but not too small (or they wouldn't fly far enough and do enough damage)

Line Up: Tall to Small

Scripture But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider how handsome or tall he is. I have not chosen him. I do not look at the things people look at. Man looks at how someone appears on the outside. But I look at what is in the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Supplies Children

  • Line up your students in order from tallest to smallest
  • Then read them 1 Samuel 16:7
  • Remind them that Saul was taller than any of the other Israelites when he became King.
  • How did things turn out for him? Because he was disobedient, God took way the kingdom of Israel from him.
  • David was the smallest of his family. But the Bible tells us that he was a man after God's own heart.

Fruit Leather Slingshot

Scripture He reached into his bag. He took out a stone. He put it in his sling. He slung it at Goliath. The stone hit him on the forehead and sank into it. He fell to the ground on his face. 1 Samuel 17:49

Supplies fruit leather, twizzlers, round candy (m&ms, jelly beans, etc)

  • Cut strips of fruit leather into rectangles or fold to make a rectangle.
  • Attach a twizzler to each corner of rectangle, by pinching fruit leather together.
  • Place 5 pieces of round candy in middle of "sling shot"

David and Goliath game

Supplies 5 small stones, one large stone, masking tape, permanent marker

  • Follow directions on link

Memory Verse stones

Heads up! This activity needs to be done several days in advance.

Scripture When David picked up his wooden staff. He went down to a stream and chose five smooth stones. He put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag. Then he took his sling in his hand and approached Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:40

Supplies coffee grounds, salt, sand, water, flour, strips of paper with one word from the memory verse

  • Make coffee ground rocks.
  • 1 cup used coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sand
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Mix together dry ingredients and then slowly add enough of the water to make a stiff dough (Add water slowly. You may not need it all)
  • Knead the mixture on a floured surface until fairly smooth.
  • Break the dough into desired size.
  • Fold memory verse strips.
  • Mold dough around the strips.
  • Bake at 150 degrees for 2 hours and then air dry 2-3 days.
  • Baking and air drying varies, depending on size of rocks.
  • They will look and feel like rocks when dry.
  • In class, allow students to break stones and place memory verse words in order.

Throw rocks at Goliath

Heads up! prepare paper bag rocks ahead of time, gather needed supplies

Scripture 1 Samuel 17:40-41

Supplies newspaper, paper lunch bags, roll of craft paper, markers

  • Before class take the lunch bags (as many rocks as you want to use) and twist and crumple it. Fill it will newspaper and crumple the bag closed.
  • For the activity roll out the craft paper and trace one of the kids (you can make teams and allow multiple groups to do this if you have a large class)
  • Color the tracing to be Goliath and hang up on the wall.
  • Have the kids line up to take turns throwing the rock, aiming for Goliath's forehead.