The Ten Commandments
Scripture: Exodus 20:1-17
Memory Verse: Jeremiah 31:33b (CEV),
"I will write my laws on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my people."
· People are precious to God so we should love and care for other people.
· God gives us rules to show us how to live with God and with others.
1. Children will learn about the Ten Commandments through discussion, repetition and acting.
2. The class will understand how God’s commandments help us live together by acting out a modern interpretation of each commandment.
3. Children will watch a movie of their acting out the commandments.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
2. Explain that the class will be acting out the Ten Commandments and then watching a movie of their creation.
1. Ask the students to use their Bibles to locate the scripture (Exodus 20:1-17). Make sure all the children are able to locate the passage. Assist the children having trouble. Once all children have located the passage, read it together as a group. They may take turns reading or you can read it to them. You may choose to have two “stone” tablets made out of poster board with the 10 commandments written on them for a prop.
2. Discuss each commandment briefly explaining each and giving examples. The first week or two of the rotation you may need to explain and give examples more; by the end of the rotation the children will be volunteering examples.
The Ten Commandments
1. Do not worship any god except me.
2. Do not make idols.
3. Do not misuse my name.
4. Remember the Sabbath Day.
5. Respect your father and mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Be faithful in marriage.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not tell lies about others.
10. Do not want anything that belongs to someone else.
For this skit a narrator is needed who can be a child who reads well or an adult (may be needed for younger classes). Several children can rotate being narrator if there are many eager volunteers. One to three children are needed to act out each commandment; most children will act in more than one scene. Group children into threes and assign one or more commandments to each. One way to organize would be to write the commandment number and acting directions on index cards and give the card the to the group of children who will be acting out that commandment. Practice the reading and acting two or three times then film with video camera. Be creative, feel free to add, subtract, or change the actions. The older children may want to make up their own actions to dramatize the commandments.
A student or shepherd can be the camera person.
Narrator: The first commandment says, “Do not worship any god except me”.
Action: 3 or more children fold their hands in prayer and say “Thank you God for giving us rules to help us be good Christians, Amen,”
Narrator: The second commandment says, “Do not make idols. This means that you should worship and love God, not things or statues.”
Action: One or two children pretend to pray to a “silver statue” (stuffed animal covered with foil to look like a statue or other statue prop). Another child steps in, removes the statue and says, “We can talk to God without fancy statues. God always hears us.”
Narrator: The third commandment says, “Do not misuse my name which means do not say bad things about God or use God’s name in a bad way”
Action: One child pretends to be angry (balled up first, mad face, sputtering and about to curse, etc). Other children pretend shock/surprise and cover their mouths, then one child says to the angry child, “When you are mad instead of cursing we can ask God for help.” All children pretend to pray.
Narrator: The fourth commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath Day which means that we should set aside time to rest and remember all that God has done for us.”
Action: Children pretend to be a family, gather Bibles and get in car and drive to church.
Props: Bibles, chairs
Narrator: The Fifth commandment says, “Respect your father and mother which means we should listen to our parents and learn from them.”
Action: One child pretends to be a parent to two other children and tells them, “Today I am going to teach you how to make bread so that when you are older you will know how”.
Props: cooking supplies
Narrator: The sixth commandment says, “Do not murder”.
Action: One child holding a toy sword pretends to be angry with another child. A third child steps in, takes the sword away and says, “Killing is wrong. “
Props: toy sword
Narrator: The seventh commandment says “Be faithful in marriage” which means a husband and wife should love and be true to each other.
Action: Two children pretend to be bride and groom. Another child is the minister and says, “You are now husband and wife”. Bride and groom shake hands.
Props: veil, top hat
Narrator: The eighth commandment says, “Do not steal”.
Action: One child dressed as robber (stocking cap or stocking over face etc.) pretends to steal something and is apprehended by police officer who says “Stealing is wrong and against the law”.
Props: hat or stocking etc.
Narrator: The ninth commandment says “Do not tell lies about others.”
Action: One child pretends to whisper a secret to several others, one of the children responds by saying “that isn’t true, we shouldn’t tell a lie.”
Narrator: The last commandment says that we should not want anything that belongs to someone else which means we should not be jealous of other people.
Action: One child is carrying several toys; another child has only one toy. The child with one toy says, “Hey, you have a lot of toys and I just have this one. That’s okay though, I like my toy. Do you want to play?”
After taping the action, gather the children together to watch their creation!
Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.
Prompts for journal writing: Write or draw about a commandment that you could follow at home with your family.
Prayer: Lead a prayer. Give thanks to God for giving us rules and showing us how to love God, our friends, and families better.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Put props in box back on the stage.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare a closing prayer.
3. Gather props.
4. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. Have all the equipment set up and ready to go.
· Props as desired, suggested items: statue, bibles, chairs, rolling pin and bowl, wedding veil, top hat, stocking or mask, assorted toys
· Video camera, TV/VCR, tape, tripod extension cord, blank tape
· Don’t Just Sit There: Bible Stories That Move For You Ages 6-8. Abingdon Press. 1997
· Curriculum writer’s Bible study notes by Lori Houck June 16, 2002