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Teaching tips for the David and Goliath story

The following is not meant to be a lesson plan, but rather a number of ideas that you may wish to incorporate into any lesson about David and Goliath.

Story. Using my imagination, I usually tell this story from how the Giant (I don’t mention his name till near the end) might have seen things – e.g. a huge, strong, man loved fighting, so he joined his country’s army and soon became their Champion. His country went to war with their deadliest enemies, but the giant had a good idea – that he should challenge the enemy’s champion to do battle in single combat, with the losing side having to surrender to the victors. With the approval of his King, this he did. – – – – – – – – Eventually someone came out to challenge the giant, but his joy at the prospect of a fight soon turned to disgust when he saw that it was only a boy that was confronting him.

Skit. I then perform a fun skit, playing both parts myself by running from left to right as the two combatants confront each other. When I am the giant, I put on a crown hat marked Champion, pick up a cardboard sword, and use a deep booming voice. For the boy, I put on a cap, and use a little squeaky voice. Here is some suggested dialogue, but the important thing is to really throw yourself into the two characters. Children love it when you overact.

Giant. Am I a dog that you come against me with sticks. Are you going to beat me with your sticks? Why, I am going to chop your head off, and feed your body to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.

Boy. You come against me with a sword and a spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God of Israel, and – – – and – – – and – – – and I’m going to chop your head off, and feed your body to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field – so there!

Giant. Why you cheeky young rascal, I’m going to whip you.

Boy. No you’re not. I’m going to whip you.

Giant. I’m going to thrash you.

Boy. No. I’m going to thrash you.

Giant. Oh yes. You and whose army?

Boy. Just me and the Lord God of Israel. We are going to thrash you together.

Giant. Your God won’t be able to help you against me. Don’t you realise who I am? I am the biggest. I am the greatest. I am the strongest. No one can beat me.

Boy. Well, me and my God are going to beat you.

Giant. That’s enough of your cheek (lifting up his sword), prepare to die right now.

The giant took a stride forwards, but the boy reached down, picked up a stone, put it in his sling. The sling went round and round, the stone flew out and hit Goliath (because that was the Giant’s name of course) on the forehead. Goliath crashed to the ground, David (the boy’s name of course) picked up Goliath’s sword and slew him.

And that day, David and the Israelites won a great victory over Goliath and the Philistines.

Question. How was it that David could defeat the giant? Was he bigger than Goliath? No. Was he stronger than Goliath? No. Had he got better weapons than Goliath? No. The answer is that he defeated the giant because he remembered that God was on his side, Interestingly, God was also on the side of the other Israelite soldiers – they were part of God’s Special people -, but it didn’t do them any good because they forgot that! When they looked at Goliath, all they saw was a giant – a big problem. When David came along, he saw that Goliath was big, but he also remembered that his God was far, far, bigger!

Defeating Giants. At this point I use my Object lesson No. 6, Defeating giants, using the two curved cards to help the children understand that with God on their side, they can also defeat any giants in their lives.

Throwing your giants on Jesus. I usually teach 1 Peter 5 v. 7 – Throw all your worries on him, because he cares for you. in connection with this story. I explain that there are many giants or worries that people have in their lives, e.g. another person who is giving them a hard time, a bad habit, or a fear (e.g. of the dark, nightmares, flying, dying, snakes, spiders, dogs etc.). I get the children to write out the names of their giant(s) on a piece of paper. Then, as I lead them in prayer, at the appropriate time, I get them to crumple up their papers (giants) and throw them on Jesus – imagining Him to be standing at the front of the class. Conclude by emphasising that because Jesus now has their giants, they have them no more.

Object Lesson – Wrestling match. I invite one of the bigger boys to come out for a wrestling match. I explain that it is a handicap match – all of him against my little thumb! My volunteer can use both hands, and all he has to do is wrestle my little thumb to the ground! After he has failed to do that, ask Why wasn’t that big boy able to defeat my little thumb? Answer. Because my thumb, small as it is, is attached to something far bigger – it is attached to me! Remind the children that if they are trusting in Jesus, they are actually attached to God, and no matter how big their giant may appear, they will be able to overcome it because God is far, far bigger.

Object Lesson – Samson pad/ Wonder pad. These are pieces of white plastic, but they look and feel like cardboard. They can be obtained from places like One Way Street and The Outlet Mall area of CMT’s website. Take one plastic sheet and one ordinary cardboard sheet (which comes in the same pack), and write on each GIANT. The two sheets should look identical. Give the cardboard sheet to a small girl, and the plastic sheet to a big boy. Explain that we are going to imagine that both the volunteers have giants to overcome. God is on the side of both of them, but one – and you are not saying which – is like David, and has remembered that. The other is like the other Israelite soldiers who forgot that, and so were afraid of the giant.

Ask the volunteers to defeat their giants by ripping up the ‘cardboard’ into small pieces. It will soon be obvious which one is like David.

Puppet Script. A fun play David and Goliath can be found on puppetresources.com . It is well worth a look. As with all scripts, you don’t have to use it exactly as written, but you can adapt it to suit your particular class of children.

by Maurice Sweetsur, http://objectlessons.blogspot.com/

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  1. Amutha Sundar says:

    Wonderful and very useful!

  2. Tracy says:

    Love it! How much of this can I steal from you?

  3. Esther Prakash says:


  4. Minna Pollari says:

    Thanks from Finland! :) I’m gonna use some of these ideas tomorrow in the Sunday School of my church.

  5. salma says:

    beautiful teaching,

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