David and Goliath

Good News



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 child’s question, 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:           I Samuel 17: 1-50

Other scriptures used in this rotation: Psalms 46:1, Psalms 118:8, Nahum 1:7


Memory Verse: Joshua 1:9 (CEV)

Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.





In the Good News Lesson we hope to:

  1. Leave with a better understanding of how our faith can strengthen us when we believe and trust the Lord.
  2. Have a clear picture of what the meaning of the scripture in I Samuel is telling us about how David served the Lord and be able to relate the story to their own lives.
  3. Learn that by reviewing the history of David’s people we will understand what he did for his family and for the Lord.
  4. Understand that what is on the inside is often more important than what is on the outside.



Welcome and Introductions:

1.     Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag.


2.     As the children come in give each child either a smooth stone or a penny.  Tell them you will explain the use of the items later. 



Explain the purpose of this workshop:

As we continue to study the life of David we want to discover how one’s faith in God can help make one stronger in times of trouble.  Today we are going to find out how David was able to help his people and the nation of Israel by defeating the Philistines. You will find that David was not afraid and that he used his skills of a Shepherd boy along with his faith to conquer what the army of Israel was afraid to do. 


Scripture/Bible Story:

1.     Ask the children say the memory verse.  (Display the verse on poster board.)

2.     Ask them to bow their heads for prayer.

3.     Tell the story. You can read the story from a children’s Bible storybook. Older grades: With grades 4 and 5, give out slips of paper with the following Bible references. Ask the other children to follow along.  Calling on students to read is a way to get them to interact in this class.


I Samuel 17:1-50:  key verses.  Ask for volunteers to read the following: I Samuel 17: 4-7, I Samuel 17: 8 and 11, I Samuel 17:13- 16, I Samuel 17:37, I Samuel 17:47, and these scriptures: Psalms 46:1, Psalms 118:8, and Nahum 1:7.


4.     Provide an opportunity for questions, in case the scriptures are not understood.  If you find that there are words or phrases that might need to be clarified for the various age groups, please do so.  You will provide more detail in the retelling of the story. 



After the scripture lesson conduct this opening activity. 

Pull out of your bag or box the following three “Presents” and place them in front of you. Inform the students that one of them is lucky today.  The student with the (black rock, rock with a colored dot, the penny that is shinny, who has the birthday closest to today,  etc) whatever method you decide to use to select one child, comes forward and picks a gift.  They are not to pick up or touch the presents to check them out; they are to point to the one they want to open. At their selection, hand the gift to the child to open. Before he/she opens the “gift” you explain that they will have to share with the rest of the class the contents of the gift.

Ø     The “gifts” must be wrapped in the following manner and the contents should be similar to the suggestions:

o      A large shoe box – wrapped so the lid will lift off – but the box is wrapped in beautiful paper and is very tempting!  Pretty ribbons/bow, very colorful paper.  Looks like a “million” dollars! The contents of the beautifully wrapped box are broken sticks, some dirt, candy wrappers, “clean trash”, etc.

o      The second gift is pretty bag, average size.  The contents should be cotton balls, rubber bands, paper clips, grass or leaves. 

o      The third gift is a brown paper lunch bag that is very crumpled and looks old.  Inside of the bag have a treat like gummy bears, life savers, jelly beans – enough for the class to eat!

Activity Explanation:

More than likely the child will select the big box wrapped up so nicely!  The contents are to show us that what we see is not always what we get.  What is on the outside is not always as important as what is on the inside.  Show them what was in gift in the brown paper bag that was ugly and not chosen. OR if the ugly brown bag was selected, ask why over the other pretty gifts?  Our faith in the Lord is something we carry in our hearts.  People can not always see what we believe, as you will find out in our story today about David and Goliath.




The story and the review:

The retelling of the scripture is found at the end of this lesson plan. Please note that you might want to add a few props as you tell the story using the scripture lesson of I Samuel 17:1-50.  Explain to the children that when you speak the word David, the children with the stones should quietly place their right hand over their heart and everyone should continue to listen.  When you say the word “Goliath” and the military might – the children with the penny are raise both hands as high as they can without making any noise and continue to listen.  Practice a dry run prior to retelling the story.


After the story there will be a few questions. Some of the questions are basic review questions, while others will be ones to make the story relevant to their life today.


Reflection Time:

Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheet for Good News* and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste on their journal page as a reminder of the story or activity, if you are taking up the pennies and stones.


Prompts for journal writing:  The students are to complete the Good News Journal Page.



Prayer:  Suggestions for the closing prayer – Dear God, thank you for being patient with us and forgiving us when we doubt.  Please continue to provide us with strength so we can do your work.  We pray that one day our world will know real peace and that all people everywhere will know your Love, Jesus.  In our Father’s name we pray. Amen.


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. You can allow them to keep their rock and/or penny or take them up and use next week.  If the gift selected was the “candy” then allow them to share.  If it was the other gifts, just remind them of what we learned today about faith and what is on the inside. 


Teacher preparation in advance:

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

2.     Prepare an opening prayer for your lesson.  

3.     Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.

4.     Please re-read the scriptures and become very familiar with the story of David and Goliath.  The story needs to come alive as you retell the story. 

5.     The Dollar Store, Dollar Tree or Dollar General will have bags of smooth river stones – you will get about 45 stones in one bag for a dollar. 

6.     Wrap your three “gifts” for the opening activity.  


Suggested Supply List


·       The three “gifts” wrapped with the specific contents noted above.

·       Smooth stones/rocks, and pennies

·       Any props you deem necessary to make the story come to life for them (sling shot, wool of a sheep to pass around, a shield, or some sort of armor).



Bible Study led by Lori Houck the Kirk of Kildare, Brueggemann’s First and Second Samuel Interpretation.

CEV Bible

Storytelling, Kids, and Christian Education, Arlene Flancher

Ideas from Farthing’s teaching days


David and Goliath – The story


Our story today comes from the Old Testament, the Book of I Samuel chapter 17.

Israel was a nation trying to grow and prosper and at the same time defend land that they believed belonged to them.  The battles took place in deserts, valleys and the mountains. 

The Israelites in this story have made camp on a hill over looking Elah Valley and on the other side of the river valley the Philistines have set up their camp.  The Philistines are a tribe of people that are known for their height. 

The leader of the Israel Army is Saul.  Saul has not been a good leader for this army because they have not yet been able to defeat the Philistines. Saul is waiting for someone to step up and help him make a decision. The Israel Army is filled with soldiers that are afraid of the Philistines due to their military might and height. 

One of the main leaders of the Philistine army is a man named Goliath.  (The ones with pennies should raise their fists) Goliath is very tall. In one book we are told he is over 9 feet, and in other books we are told he is over 7 feet.  For this time in history, anyone over 6 feet is considered tall!

Goliath is a brave solider who has bronze armor to cover his head, chest, and legs that weigh over 125 pounds!   (Imagine you carrying not only your own book bag but that of 15 of your friends) He has a bronze sword and a spear that weigh up to 15 pounds.  He has a soldier that walks in front of him with his shield that is also bronze and very heavy. 

Goliath got tired of waiting for the Israel army to fight.  So he goes down to the river bed and shouts loudly a challenge.  He yells that he is the best soldier of the Philistine army and that the best solider of the Israel army should come over and fight him.  The man who loses this battle promises his people will become slaves to the other side. 

This challenge frightens the army of Israel and no one knows what to do.  They have no one who can defeat Goliath.  They do not reply. 


There was a man by the name of Jesse (who if we had time to draw a family tree – we would see that Jesus was related to this man.) Jesse had 8 sons.  He was an old man who lived in Bethlehem. Three of his sons had gone off to fight in this war for Israel.  While they were away fighting for Israel the youngest son, David was given the responsibility to watch over the flocks of sheep, since his Dad was too old to watch the sheep.  (Students with pennies should now place their hand over their heart.)

David was strong.  He was not afraid to be out watching the sheep alone.  He did however want to be with his brothers and fight in the war.  He asked his Dad if he could go and join his three brothers.  Jesse told him he was too young and he had responsibilities here.  David understood and did not ask his father again about going to fight. 


Meanwhile the two armies are still camped out and no fighting has occurred.  Goliath comes out each day and issues his challenge about the best solider coming over to fight him.  He does this for 40 days! 


Jesse gets a message that the soldiers need food and that they are running low on supplies.  He tells David to go and take food to his brothers.  The journey to the military camp is over 15 miles.  David gets up early the next morning and begins his journey to take supplies to his brothers.  Remember he is not afraid to walk alone, because he believes the Lord will protect him.  He also has fought lions and bears when they threatened the sheep. 


David arrives at the military camp just about the time that Goliath is yelling about the best solider needs to come over and fight him. Goliath yells that the Israel Army is full of cowards, and they know he is a better solider and will beat whom ever they send down to fight him.


David searches for his brothers and asks how they are doing.  They give David a hard time and tell him he should not be here, he is too young and may get hurt.  He should be home watching the little sheep.  They do not like the fact that he might be in danger.  David explains that he is here to bring food as their father told him to do.  David also asks questions about the tall man yelling at the army. 

His brothers tell him it is none of his business and that he should run back home now and tell their father they appreciate the food. 


David does not follow the directions of his brothers as he does his father. He continues to walk around and ask other soldiers what is going on with this large man.  David gets angry because he takes Goliath’s threats as a threat to not only Israel but to their God!  The soldiers tell David that King Saul has promised that who ever kills Goliath will receive a large sum of money, get to marry the king’s daughter and his people will not have to pay taxes to King Saul.


David asks his brothers another question.  He wants to know where he can find King Saul, because he wants to let him know that he will kill Goliath, he is not afraid and is really up set at how the Israel army is acting so cowardly.  David’s brothers give him a hard time and tell him he should go home and stop asking questions.


David walks away from his brothers and several other soldiers show him where King Saul’s tent is. 

When David meets King Saul he calls him your Majesty.  He shares his view of how he can kill Goliath and is very angry that no one has tried yet because he is insulting not only King Saul, the army, Israel but their God.

King Saul, at first talks down to David, calling him a young boy who would be killed instantly by this Giant Goliath. 

David tells King Saul that he is not afraid.  The Lord has protected me from lions and bears as I have watched over our sheep.  I am strong!  I have killed lions and bears with only my hands. I have faith that the Lord will help me with this evil person. 

Saul finally agrees and tells David he hopes the Lord will be with him, but just in case – please take my sword and armor to help protect you. 


David did as Saul instructed, but David could not walk around in the heavy armor.  The sword was too long and he had trouble keeping his balance.


David said, this is too much I cannot even move in this stuff!  So he took it off and went down to the river and found five smooth river stones and placed them in his leather pouch on his waist to use with his slingshot. 


With the sling and stones ready, David walked toward Goliath.  Goliath began walking toward him, but he made sure the soldier with his shield was in front of him.  When Goliath saw that it was just a boy coming toward him, he laughed and made fun of David.


Do you think I am a dog, yelled Goliath?  You come toward me with a stick?

David yelled back that he was not afraid of him with all of his armor, and sword.  That he came to fight him in the name of the Lord who would protect him.


Goliath laughed and began to run toward David. 


David ran toward Goliath and pulled out a stone and placed it in his slingshot.  He slung the stone and hit Goliath on his forehead where there was not armor to protect him.  He cracked his skull and Goliath fell down and died.  David ran over and took Goliath’s sword and cut off his head and showed it to the armies that were watching the fight!


The Philistines were the ones who were now afraid and they began to run away.  The army of Israel followed them. 


David became a hero!  He had used his strength and his faith to conquer the evil man. 


Questions for review and reflection

Younger classes

1.     Who did David trust more than anything?  (Lord)

2.     What weapons did David use to kill Goliath? (faith, stone and strength)

3.     What was David’s job while his brothers were off fighting? (Shepard)

4.     With all of the armor and shield, why was David able to kill Goliath for the Israel army? (David used what was on the inside, his strength and faith in God.  He was not afraid because he knew God would protect him as he had done when he fought the wild animals.)


Older classes

1.     What represented the outside world when King Saul tried to help David prepare to fight Goliath? (The extra armor and sword of the regular military – but it was too heavy and did not fit him.)

2.     What made David mad when he reached the military camp where his brothers were? (That no one seemed insulted by Goliath’s challenge. That the army had become cowards and that the king was not leading them.)

3.     How did David handle his fear?


For all – Who is your hero today?  Why this person?  What makes them strong?




The Good News Journal Sheet – will help with review as well.  Please pass it out at this time.