David and Goliath


Antioch Arcade


Thank you for teaching David and Goliath.  Given the present situation in the Middle East and the subject matter of the curriculum, please defer any questions you may be asked about the war, aftermath of the war, rebuilding of Iraq, etc., to the parents.  Please affirm the children’s questions, but encourage them to ask a parent, saying something like, “That is a great question, but I think your mom or dad might like to answer that question for you.  Christians don’t always agree about a particular war, and I think your parents should probably be the people you ask first about our war with Iraq.”


We believe that it is important for the parents to respond to their child’s questions, and share their thoughts and beliefs, instead of the Workshop Leader responding and possibly giving a differing point of view from what a parent would like his/her child told regarding the war.  Thank you.


Scripture:  1 Samuel 17: 1-50


Memory Verse: “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged!  I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 (CEV)



·       We should not seek success for ourselves; we should seek to serve the Lord.



1.     Older children will locate the story of David and Goliath in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the story is in I Samuel.

2.     The children will play a game that reinforces their knowledge of the details of the story.

3.     The children will learn that David didn’t seek success for himself but tried to serve God.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.     Greet the children and introduce yourself.

2.     Explain the purpose of this workshop. Today we’re going to talk about a story you’ve probably heard before: David and Goliath. Then we’re going to play a game where you’ll get to hit Goliath in the head and show how much you know about the story.


Scripture/Bible Story:

1.     Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. Tell them that it happened before Jesus’ time so it’s in the Old Testament. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. The shepherds will have extra Bibles. (There are also extra Bibles in the cupboard of Creation Station.) Help the students to find the book of I Samuel. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.)

2.     If necessary, review the organization of the Bible: The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments. Each part is a collection of books. Each book is divided into chapters and verses. Have them figure out whether I Samuel is in the Old or New Testament (happened before Jesus so it’s in Old Testament).

Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, they’ll usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out that the book name is at the top of each page. Tell them that I Samuel comes before Psalms, then let them flip through the first half of the Bible for it. (Some of the older children should know the books of the Bible. Encourage everyone to learn them.)


After they’ve found I Samuel, help them find chapter 17 and tell them this is where the story of David and Goliath is told in the Bible. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.


3.     Review the story, using the summary below as a guide. Using simple props is a great way to augment the story. Remind them to pay close attention to the details, because they’ll need to remember them for the game. Unless this is the first Sunday of the rotation, let the children help you tell the story. This will give you an idea of how much they already know. Other ideas for reviewing the story in the later weeks:


Begin the story and let each person in the circle add one line to the story until it is complete. Help them tell the COMPLETE story.


Tell the story back to them with inaccuracies and let them correct you. (especially fun for the younger ones -- but don’t do this unless you’re confident that they know the story well.)


(Older kids) Photocopy the passage (remove verse numbers), cut it up and pass out sections. See if they can put it back together correctly.


Story Summary


Some people called Philistines were enemies of the Israelites. The Philistines got ready for war and set up camp on a hill near a town that they planned to attack. King Saul and the Israelite army set up camp on another hill. There was a valley between the hills where the armies were camped.


The Philistines had a soldier named Goliath who was over 9 feet tall. (Show the kids how tall nine feet is but don’t make a big deal of it. You might mention that some manuscripts say he was only 7 feet tall – still quite large for his day.)  He wore a bronze helmet and had bronze armor covering his chest and legs. He had a bronze sword strapped to his back, and carried a spear. He was so strong, the armor on his chest weighed 125 pounds, and his spearhead weighed more than 15 pounds. A soldier always walked in front of Goliath to carry his shield (How would you like to be that guy?).


Goliath stood and shouted across the valley to the Israelites, "Why are you lining up for battle? I’m the best soldier in our army. Choose your best soldier to come out and fight me! If he can kill me, our people will be your slaves. But if I kill him, your people will be our slaves.”


For forty days, Goliath came out every morning and gave this challenge. Saul and his soldiers were so scared of him that they didn’t do anything.


Now there was an old man named Jesse who lived in the town of Bethlehem. He had eight sons, and the three oldest were in Saul’s army. The youngest son was David, and he tended his father’s sheep. One day Jesse gave David some food and told him to take it to his brothers and find out how they were doing.


Early the next morning, David set out for the camp. He got there just as the Philistine and Israelite armies were gathering to face each other. David ran up to the battle line to see his brothers. As he was talking with them, Goliath came out and shouted his challenge. When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him.


David heard Goliath and he asked some of the soldiers, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and stopping him from insulting our people? Who does he think he is? He is making fun of the army of the living God.”


The soldiers told David that the king was offering a big reward to the man who kills Goliath. That man would get to marry the king’s daughter and his family would never have to pay taxes again.


Some soldiers told Saul about David, and Saul sent for him. When David came to Saul, he said, “This Philistine shouldn’t turn us into cowards. I’ll go out and fight him myself!”


Saul replied, "You wouldn’t have a chance; you are only a boy, and he has been a soldier all his life."


But David said to Saul, "I take care of my father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear gets one of them, I go after it and beat it until it lets the sheep go. It if attacks me, I grab it and kill it. I can kill this Philistine the same way. He should not have made fun of the army of the living God. The Lord has rescued me from lions and bears, and the Lord will keep me safe from this Philistine.


“All right,” Saul said. “Go ahead. I hope the Lord will help you.”


Then Saul dressed David in his own armor and helmet. David tried walking around, but then he said, "I can’t wear this. I can’t move with all this stuff on." So he took off the armor and picked up his shepherd’s staff. He went out to a stream and picked five smooth stones, put them in his leather bag and, with his sling in his hand, went out to meet Goliath.


Goliath came toward David, walking behind his shield bearer. When he saw that David was just a boy, he said, "Do you think I’m a dog, is that why you’re coming at me with a stick?” He cursed David by the name of the Philistine gods and said, "Come here, I'll feed you to the birds and wild animals.”


David answered Goliath, “You come out to fight me with a sword and spear and dagger. But I’ve come to fight you in the name of the Lord. You have insulted the God of Israel. The Lord will help me beat you, and the whole world will know that Israel’s God is real.”


When Goliath started forward, David ran toward him. He put a rock in his sling and swung the sling around by its straps. When he let go of one strap, the rock flew out and hit Goliath on the forehead. It cracked his skull, and he fell facedown on the ground. David killed Goliath with a stone and a sling. He didn’t even use a sword.



Take the class outside and divide them into two teams. Have the shepherd stand behind a big cutout of Goliath to hold it up. Let the kids take turns being “David” and throwing sock slings at Goliath’s head. If David hits Goliath, his team gets to answer a question. If he misses, the other team gets to answer. Use the questions at the end of the lesson plan, and feel free to add some of your own.


If the class is small, you can give each child five tries (since David had five stones). If it’s a big group, limit each turn to two or three tries. Don’t bother to keep score, just keep the game moving. Let the team answer as a group. If they miss a question, let the other team try to answer. Make sure everybody gets a turn.


Grades 1-2: Position Goliath where he’s fairly easy for the kids to hit. When you ask a question, offer a choice of answers.


Grades 3-5:  Position Goliath where he’s a little bit challenging to hit. If it still seems too easy, you might have the kids try swinging the sling around their head (more or less David-like) before releasing. When you ask a question, don’t offer the multiple choices unless the team needs them.


Reflection Time:

1.     Go back inside and gather in a circle. Recite the Bible memory verse learned in the Great Hall.  “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged!  I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9


Discuss: When David heard Goliath’s challenge, do you remember what he said? He asked the soldiers, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and stopping him from insulting our people? Who does he think he is? He is making fun of the army of the living God.”


I wonder why he asked what the reward would be for killing Goliath? I wonder if he wanted to know what was in it for him. Give the kids a chance to tell any thoughts they might have on that question, then tell them: We don’t really know everything that was going on in David’s mind, but we do know that when the story ends, there’s no mention of David collecting the reward.


So let’s think about what other reasons David had for fighting Goliath. Remember when he asked the soldiers about the reward, he also said, “Who does he think he is? He is making fun of the army of the living God.” And then when he was talking to Saul, he said Goliath should not have made fun of the army of the living God. Then when he went out to meet Goliath, he said, “You have insulted the God of Israel. The Lord will help me beat you, and the whole world will know that Israel’s God is real.”


So why do you think David thought it was important for somebody to fight Goliath? Because when Goliath insulted God’s people, he was insulting God. David wasn’t just trying to win a reward for himself, he was trying to serve God.


If we want to be like David, we should not seek success for ourselves; we should seek success in ways that serve God.


Journal Time:

Pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento (maybe a pebble) to paste in their journal as a reminder of the workshop.


Read the journal prompt to the kids: What is something that you are good at? How can you use your skill to serve God? Help them think of an answer: If they’re good at sports, they can serve God by playing fair, encouraging and helping other kids, being a good sport instead of just trying to win. If they’re good at reading they can read to younger kids, help friends who struggle with reading, read their Bibles to learn more about God. Etc.


Kids who finish their journals quickly can turn the page over and do the crossword on the back.




Encourage the children to bring an offering next week.

Prayer:  God, please help us to be like David and use our talents and abilities to serve you, not just to have success for ourselves. Be with Dan and Elizabeth Turk who are helping the people of Madagascar. Amen    


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to collect pencils, Bibles, etc. When the room is tidy, dismiss the class.


Teacher preparation in advance:


1.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.     Optional: Bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, meditative music for Reflection time. A boom box is located in the Puppet workshop cabinet.

3.     Write the scripture verse on the white board or display it in the room some other way.

4.     To make sock slings, pack the toe of a long sock with several more socks or other soft fabric scraps. An adult-size tube sock is good for the outer sock. Put in three or four socks – if it’s too light, it’s hard to throw. Other stuffing materials such as beans or rice would probably work as well, if you knot the sock to hold them in. For a slightly more complicated alternative, see instructions from Heritage and Smyrna Presbyterian Churches for making “sock rockets” from hose at

5.     Cut a large figure of Goliath from cardboard, posterboard, or perhaps some other material, depending on your level of ambition and skill. Paint a bull’s-eye on his forehead if you like. If you can’t make him 9 feet tall, try to make him big enough to shield the adult who’s holding him.


Supply List


CEV Bibles


Journal sheets

Goliath cut-out

Sock slings



David and Goliath lesson set. Heritage and Smyrna Presbyterian Churches.

Dennis Dewey, Biblical Storyteller.


Questions for Game


Who was the King of Israel when David visited his brothers?





What was the name of Goliath’s people?





What was Goliath’s armor made of?





What was Goliath’s challenge?

Send your king out to fight me. If he kills me, my people will be your slaves.

Send your 10 best soldiers out to fight me. If they kill me, my people will be your slaves

Send your best soldier out to fight me. If he kills me, my people will be your slaves


How did Saul and his army react to the challenge?

They were too scared to do anything.

Every day for 40 days, they sent a soldier out, and Goliath killed him.

Every day for 40 days, they shouted insults back at Goliath.


Who was David’s father?





What town did David come from?





How many sons did Jesse have?





Who was Jesse’s youngest son?





How many of David’s brothers were in the army?




What did David do while his brothers were away at war?

Helped on his father’s farm

Tended his father’s sheep

Went to school


Why did Jesse send David to the battle line?

To fight Goliath.

To talk to King Saul.

To take his brothers some food and make sure they were OK.


What did David think about Goliath’s challenge?

It was insulting to God.

It was scary.

It was none of his business.


What did the King offer to do for the man who fought & killed Goliath?

Give him 125 pounds of gold.

Let him marry the king’s daughter and pay no taxes.

Give him 125 acres of land.


When David said he would fight Goliath, what was Saul’s first answer?

Go ahead, what do I care if you die?

At last, somebody is brave enough to fight that Philistine!

You can’t do it, you’re just a boy.


What experience did David have that had taught him how to fight?

He had killed lions and bears that attacked his sheep.

He had been in the army for a while.

He and his brothers had a lot of fistfights.


What did David think of Saul’s armor?

It made him feel much safer.

It was too heavy for him to wear.

It was too light to protect him.


What did David carry with him to the battle?

His shepherd’s staff, a sling and five stones

How did Goliath react when he saw David coming to fight him?

He said, “Uh oh, I didn’t think anybody would call my bluff.”

He said, “Do you think I’m a dog?”

He said, “Do you think I’m a lion or a bear?”

What did David use to kill Goliath?

A spear

A stone and a sling

A sword.