Amy’s Free Ideas

SS-LES-Deut. 5-6

Story: 10 commandments

Reference: Deuteronomy 5-6

Main point:

Verse: Deuteronomy 6:17-18, or 6:5-6

The following ideas are grouped into categories by how they might be used in teaching the lesson. Activities to introduce the lesson would not be the same kinds of activities as those used to apply the lesson, although some of the ideas could be used in more than one category. There are several ideas for each category in the hopes that out of 3 or 4 options, one will fit your lesson and your class. So choose one activity from each category--if you try to do them all, the lesson will last for hours! Be sure to read the Bible passage before you read these suggestions, or they won’t make much sense.

Activities for Early Birds:

1. Give them cards to help them review previous lessons with a time line. Write a phrase on each one, and give them a stop watch to see who can line them up in order in the fastest time. Scramble them, and let the next person try. Once they are good at it, try removing a card, and see if they can recall it from memory, or see if they can fool the teacher.

2. Ask them what rules they don’t like (at home, school, etc.)

3. Ask children if they or their parents have ever gone camping before, and ask what it was like, and what kind of problems they encountered. (Moses and the children of Israel were living in tents when they were given the 10 commandments.)

4. Use one of the craft ideas that you will not use for the whole class during the reenforcement activities.

Ideas for an Introduction:

1. Ask the children why we need rules. You can phrase this question on the country level, or school level, or family level for the best discussion for your group of children. Most rules are for protection--to protect us from people who will do things that might hurt us, or protecting other people from bad things we might choose to do. For example, traffic lights give everyone a turn to go through an intersection. It can be annoying to have to wait for the light to change. If someone decides they are going to keep going even though the light has turned red, they might hit a car or bike going the other direction--everyone could get badly hurt or even die in the accident. We need traffic laws to protect us from getting hurt.

God’s laws protect us, too.

2. Name a rule or law, and ask them if we should keep it or abolish it. Discuss why it would be good to keep it or why we should get rid of it. Help them to understand that there are reasons for laws, and that they not just arbitrarily made just to be annoying.

3. Ask them if they were God, what rules would they make? After you have written their list on the board, tell them about the rules God actually made.

Ideas for Teaching the Bible story:

1. Use a time line to review and help the students understand the time period this lesson takes place in, if the previous lessons have come from a different part of the Bible.

2. Ask a man in the church to dress up like Moses and read the passage from the Bible

3. Pass out sheets of paper with the 10 commandments written on them. It can be in list form, or chart/ bingo form. Tell them to check off each commandment as you talk about it, and at the end see who can tell you the one command that is missing from their sheets.

Ideas for Reenforcement Activities:

1. Craft:  Shape into stone shapes and let dry. Let children carve the Hebrew numerals 1-10 on the “stone tablets” with a nail.

2. Craft: Wash styrofoam trays and cut them into rectangles. Paint them gray with acrylic paints. Give one to each child to carve the Hebrew numerals 1-10 with a pencil or toothpick.

3. Craft: Make small boxes from stiff paper and tape ribbons to them so that they can be tied to their foreheads. (Deut. 6:8). Put copies of the Bible verses in the boxes. Now ask if wearing this would help them obey God’s laws better. If you want to, go online to get a photo to print of Orthodox Jews who take this command literally. Then discuss with them strategies that would help them to obey, such as memorizing Bible verses, or avoiding situations that will tempt them to sin. Be sure to include the strategies mentioned in Deut. 6:7-9.

4. Game: Beforehand, make cards, one commandment per card. Make more cards that have short situations that describe someone sinning. In class, spread the command cards on the table, and pass out the situation cards. Let each child read their card aloud and put it under the matching commandment card. If the other children disagree, let them debate where it should go. Be sure to include things like “being angry” because the N.T. teaches that it is the same kind of sin as killing someone Matthew 5:21-22. If your students are middle school, make sure these are thorny situation ethics issues. Ask the question, “when does it become sin in this situation?” If they need motivation to do this activity, make it into  a game by dividing them into teams, and the team with the most correctly placed cards wins.

Ideas for Application:

1. Read Deut.6:5-6 to the children. Ask them what it looks like to love the Lord with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind. Read John 14:23-24, 15:9-12, and Matthew 22:36-40 If we love him, we will obey him, and his command is to love other people. Now give the children cards with one commandment written on each card. Have them line them up under two headings: 1. ways to show that we love God, and 2. ways to love other people.

2. Have a list of the 10 commandments that the students can see. Discuss what happens when people ignore these laws of God, and do what they feel like. For example, telling lies can be convenient for staying out of trouble or not getting embarrassed. But when people tell lies, it is difficult to have good relations with them, because you never know if what they are telling you is the truth or not.

3. Have a list of the 10 commandments that the students can see. Discuss which laws are harder to keep. Here are some sample questions you could ask to get the debate going. What do they do to keep the sabbath holy? It’s easy to not covet their neighbor’s stuff, unless it’s really cool. Then what should you do? None of them will kill anyone, but what should they do when they get angry? (Matt. 5:21-22) Do they always honor their parents? Is disobeying them honoring them? Can you steal something that is not an object? What about someone’s answer on a test, or someone’s idea for a project? What about taking a coffee break that is longer than allowed at work? Is it stealing if a store clerk gives you the wrong change and you don’t give it back? How do you misuse the name of God? Did you know that is what you are doing when you say,”Oh, my God!” in English? Even if you don’t pray to stone idols, you can still have idols. Anything that becomes more important than God becomes an idol--money, time, good reputation, your own ability to do things well, etc. etc. Be sure to explain that following these laws will not get them into heaven, The only way to do that is to believe in Jesus and to follow him. Once we become Christians, then he gives us the strength to obey his rules.

4. Discussion for middle school: Ask them if they can get to heaven by following these 10 commandments. After they have discussed and debated this, explain the difference in the reasons for the law for believers and for non-believers.

God’s reason for making rules for unbelievers is to show them that they are sinners -- they cannot follow these rules by their own strength--no matter how hard they try, they end up breaking them. God’ reason for making rules for Christians is to make them more like Jesus--better and better people. Some people get confused, and think that the rules are made as a list of things to do in order to get into heaven. But the only way to get into heaven is through faith in Jesus, never ever by good works (trying to obey the laws in order to go to heaven.) Then, once we believe in Jesus and become Christians, we try to become more like him, and we want to please him by obeying his rules. You can think of it this way--your family has rules, and you follow them because you want to please your parents (and not get in trouble.) You did not become part of your family by following those rules. You follow the rules because you are part of the family. If someone wanted to join your family, they would not become part of your family by following your rules, they could only become part of the family by being adopted. Then once they became part of the family, they would follow the rules because they have become part of the family. Becoming a Christian is like being adopted into God’s family. Once you are part of the family, you want to follow God’s laws because you know it will please God, and because it will make you a better person.