The Ten Commandments




Scripture:  Exodus 20: 1-17


Memory Verse/Key Verse:            

"I will write my laws on their hearts and minds.  I will be their God, and they will be my people." -- Jeremiah 31:33b (CEV)



·        God gives us rules to show us how to live with God and with others.

·        When we obey God's laws we show that we love God.



1)      Older children will locate the Ten Commandments in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the story is in Exodus.

2)      The children will play games that help them to become familiar with the Ten Commandments.

3)      The children will discuss the concepts above and think about ways to obey the commandments in their daily lives.



Welcome and Introductions:

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

2)      Open with a brief prayer

3)      Explain the purpose of this workshop. “Today we’ll learn about the Ten Commandments and play a game that will help us to remember the commandments.”


Scripture/Bible Story:

Have two posters on the wall, one labeled “How to love God” and one labeled “How to love other people.” The posters can be in the shape of tablets if you like. The commandments should be written on individual strips of poster board and taped to the posters, 1-4 on the first poster, 6-10 on the second. Use this brief wording:


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 your 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.


Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. The shepherds will have extra Bibles.  Help the students to find the book of Exodus. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.)


After they’ve found Exodus, help them find chapter 20, then verses 1-17. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at the top of every page.


Tell the children: “The book of Exodus tells us that after Moses and the Israelites escaped from Egypt, God gave them these rules to live by.” You might show older children the location of Egypt and Mt. Sinai on a map.


With older children, read the entire text of each commandment from the CEV, or let them take turns reading. Point out that the first four tell us ways to love and honor God, and the last six tell us ways to treat other people with love.


With younger children, use the brief version above.


The other workshops will address the meanings of individual commandments, so a thorough explanation is not necessary here, but be prepared to answer questions or give a brief interpretation of the more difficult ones (such as “Do not misuse my name.”). The workshop leaders’ Bible study will help you with this. 




Remove the commandments from the wall. Have tape at hand for putting them back up.


Grades 3-5:  Explain that the children are going to play Wheel of Fortune with puzzles that spell out each commandment.

See the end of the lesson plan for a summary of the rules to the TV game show. You can adapt the rules to the workshop as you see fit, but usually simpler is better. Here is a suggestion for how to simplify the game, keep it moving, give everybody a turn, and avoid letting one team dominate or get bogged down in scorekeeping:

Divide the class into several teams of three to five players. Have the shepherd keep score on a piece of paper. Line the teams up and tell them they are going to guess letters to spell out each commandment. Draw short lines on the white board to represent each letter of the first puzzle. (Use the list above for the wording of each commandment. Present them out of sequence.) If you prefer not to delay the game while you draw the puzzles, draw them ahead of time on a pad of chart paper rather than using the white board. Then the shepherd can use the white board for keeping score.)

The teams will take turns spinning the game wheel, and then guessing letters to fill in the blanks. Let the first person in line for the team spin and guess a letter. The spinner can ask his team for help, but he is the only one who can make the guess. Don’t bother with “buying” vowels; just let the kids guess them along with the consonants. If the spinner guesses correctly, fill in the letter(s) and award his team the points he spun for (don’t multiply by the number of times the letter appears).  If he guesses a letter that is not in the puzzle, write it at the bottom of the white board; award no points but don’t subtract points. Either way, go on to the next team for the next spin. After spinning, the player goes to the end of his team’s line. One spin, one guess per turn. 

Instead of guessing a letter, the spinner can attempt to solve the puzzle. If he gets it right, award his team the points he spun for. If wrong, award no points and go on to the next team.

After a commandment is guessed correctly, tape it back in its place on the poster. If you have time, you might award 10 extra points for telling whether it goes in the “love God” or “love other people” column, or for telling which number the commandment is. Consider doubling the last score spun if the team can give a modern-day example of keeping or breaking the commandment.

Keep going until every child has spun at least once. If the kids are taking too long to guess letters, give them a 30-second limit and get the shepherd to time the game using the timer in the supply bin.


Grades 1-2: Play “In/Not.” Tell the children that they are going to read or hear some statements and will have to tell whether the statement is one of the Ten Commandments. They’ll have to think carefully, because sometimes a statement might not sound like one of the commandments but it is really the same idea put into different words. Other statements are good advice, but they’re not one of the Ten Commandments.

Use the list at the end of the lesson plan, and feel free to add your own ideas. Write each “commandment” on a slip of paper. Choose as many as you think you’ll need and put in a basket; save the extras to add to the basket if the game goes faster than anticipated.

Let the kids take turns drawing slips and identifying “in” or “not in.” As each commandment is identified, tape it back onto its place on the wall.


Reflection Time:

1)      Recite the Bible memory verse. “I will write my laws on their hearts and minds.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.” -- Jeremiah 31:33b


Discuss: God loved the Israelites and gave them rules to live by. How did they show that they loved God? By obeying God’s laws.


God loves us, and gives those same rules to us. The Ten Commandments show us how to live with God and with others. How do we show that we love God? By obeying God's laws.


What does it mean to have God’s law written on our hearts and minds? We know it so well that we remember it even when we’re not thinking about it, use it to guide the way we live and know what is right or wrong; always try to follow it.


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


Ask the children: Which is the hardest commandment for you to keep? Write the hardest commandment at the top of your journal page. Then write one or more ways in which you can keep that commandment. (Ex. Honor your father and mother - Do chores without being reminded, Listen when they’re talking, etc.) Or you can draw a picture of yourself obeying the commandment.




Prayer:  Ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer: You can prepare your own prayer or use this one:


Lord, please write your rules on our hearts and minds so that we can live by them every day. Help us to put you first in our lives and live in a way that shows love to you and other people. Amen.    


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up, collect Bibles, pencils, etc.


Teacher preparation in advance:


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

2)      Prepare a closing prayer.

3)      Maps. With the older children, you might use one of them to locate Egypt and Mt. Sinai.

4)      Display the memory verse in the room.

5)      Make posters labeled “Ways to Love God” and “Ways to Love Other People.” Write Ten Commandments on pieces of poster board and tape each in its appropriate place on the posters.

6)      For older children, write the Wheel of Fortune puzzles on chart paper if you prefer that to using the white board.

7)  Prepare “commandments” on slips of paper for younger children.



Supply List


Masking tape


Posters and commandments for wall display

Memory verse for wall display

Older kids:


Chart paper and marker, optional for Wheel of Fortune

Dry-erase marker (in supply bin)

Younger kids:

In/Not In “Commandments” on slips of paper




In-Not In -- Neil McQueen, Workshop Rotation Lesson Exchange, <>

Wheel of Fortune -- From Desoto Presbyterian Church, Workshop Rotation Lesson Exchange, <>


Wheel of Fortune ­ TV Rules

The object of the game is to solve a word, phrase, or name puzzle in which all the letters are hidden. Three contestants take turns spinning a giant wheel. The Wheel shows money in amounts from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, special prizes, and penalties such as Bankrupt and Lose a Turn. When a contestant turns up money on the Wheel, he can guess a consonant in the puzzle or buy a vowel for $250. If he guesses a consonant that appears in the puzzle, he earns the dollar amount he landed on, multiplied by the number of times the consonant appears in the puzzle. For example, if he lands on $100 and guesses "S," and the letter "S" appears in the puzzle two times, he earns $200. If a contestant spins a penalty, he may lose all the money he has earned so far ("Bankrupt"), or skip his turn entirely ("Lose a Turn").

The contestant then has a chance to solve the puzzle. If he solves it correctly, he wins all the money he has earned since the beginning of the round. If he is incorrect, the play goes to the next contestant.

A full game consists of four rounds. At the end of four rounds, the contestant who has won the most money and prizes goes on to play a bonus round. In the bonus puzzle, the most common consonants and vowel are shown. The contestant can guess a few more letters, and then has a chance to solve the puzzle. If he solves it correctly, he wins a prize.

--- “Wheel of Fortune FAQ.” About, the Human Internet. <>

In/Not In Commandments


Remember to pet your dog. -- Not in.

Obey your parents. - In

Do not ride your bike without a helmet. - Not In.

Do not worship any god except me. - In.

Brush your teeth after every meal. - Not In.

Do not make idols. - In.

Do not take drugs. - Not In.

Remember to make a good first impression. - Not In.

Do not misuse God’s name. - In.

Be faithful about doing your homework. - Not In.

Remember the Sabbath Day. - In.

Always eat your vegetables. - Not In.

Respect your father and your mother. - In.

Remember to fasten your seatbelt. - Not In.

Do not murder. - In.

Be kind to mom and dad. - In.

Be faithful in marriage. - In.

Read for 20 minutes a day. - Not In.

Do not steal. - In.

Make God more important than school, sports or TV. -In.

Read the Bible every day. - Not In.

Do not tell lies about others. - In.

Do not cheat in school. -In (if you consider cheating a form of stealing).

Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. - In.

Remember to exercise every day. - Not In.

Remember to say, “please” and “thank you.” -- Not In.

Do not be mean to other people. - Not In.

Do not take things that don’t belong to you. - In.

Always wear clean socks. - Not In.

Do not believe everything you hear. - Not In.

Be satisfied with what you have. - In.

If you and your sister are going to annoy each other, just stop talking. - Not In.

Make Sunday a special day. - Not In.

Get A’s in school. - Not In.

Do not cut in line. - Not In.

Remember to raise your hand before speaking. - Not In.

Do not spend all your money in one place. - Not In.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. - Not In