The Ten Commandments




Scripture:  Exodus 20: 1-17      


Memory Verse: I will put my law within them and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.       Jeremiah 31:33b (CEV)



1        God is active and present in all parts of our lives

2        People are precious to God so we should love and care for other people



1.      The children will learn that the 10 Commandments are absolute, God commands us do these things that are His laws. 

2.      The children will discuss through an interactive story how the commandments are relevant to our daily lives and how we use them everyday.

3.      The children will gain a better understanding of how and why the commandments were given to us to follow.




Welcome and Introductions:

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

2.      Explain the purpose of this workshop. This morning we are going to go back in time and discover why God gave us the 10 Commandments.  After our brief history journey we will get up and participate in an activity to see how well we understand and follow the 10 Commandments.  At the end of our lesson we will have quiet time to think about which Commandment is the most difficult to follow and how our church family could help support us. 


Scripture/Bible Story:

1        Have the Children say the memory verse as a group. 

2        Ask them to bow their heads for prayer.  Pray a prayer.

3        Older children -Have the children sit and open their Bibles to the Scripture.  Ask who would like to read, or have each child read a verse.  Younger Children - Have the children sit.  Read the scripture to them.  At the end - you might want to provide a sticker to the children who brought their own Bible.   



1.      After the reading the scripture tell the Story.  See attached story.  Please fell free to add your own input, drama, and/or style.  Try not to read the story.  Tell the story with flair!

2.      During the story use the props suggested within the story.  Visuals will make the story more exciting for the students.

3.      At the end of the story provide a quick review of the 10 Commandments.  Older Children - Pass out Commandment strips and have the children to read their commandment.  Young Children - you and the Shepard take turns reading the commandments out loud. 


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.


4.      Line continuum - this will get the children up and active.  Make numbers on large poster board (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) Place the numbers on the floor or the wall in a continuum.

5.      Explain to the children that the 1 means they NEVER feel that way about the question you ask, 2 means they ALMOST Never feel that way about the question, 3 means SOMETIMES they feel that way about the question, 4 means MUCH of the TIME they do feel that way about the question and 5 means ALWAYS they always feel that way about the question.  Remind them that there will not be a wrong or right answer - it is their choice/action/feeling.

6.      Provide a few sample questions to make sure they understand - I wish I could eat pizza for dinner everyday, or I wish school was out all the time, or I treat my pet with extra care.

7.      Use the questions for the activity - provided in this lesson packet. You may want to have brief discussions after each question to make sure they know it is fine for all of them not to be on  the same number.  You might ask the Shepherd to join them and see how their reactions/choices are the same and/or different.

8.      Thank them for participating and being honest.  Ask if anyone has a question.

9.      Ask if anyone wants to list the 10 commandments from memory. 

10.  If someone can recite the 10 Commandments, you may want to provide him or her a sticker.


Reflection Time:

Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets 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: Provide a list of the Ten Commandments - either on chart paper on a mini list they can take home.  Ask the children which one of the 10 Commandments is the most difficult to follow.  Ask them why it is hard to follow this commandment.  OR ask them to share how they show respect for their parents.



Prayer:  Suggestions for the closing prayer -

Thank you for providing us laws to follow so we will treat each other with respect and show our love for you.  Help us to remember how much you love us as we follow your commandments.



Teacher preparation in advance:

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

2.      Prepare a closing prayer.

3.      Please read the scriptures.  Read and re-read the attached story so that you become familiar enough with the story that you can tell the story instead of reading the story to the students.  Making props will assist you in the delivery of the story - but is not necessary.  When using the “voice of God” stand and sound very strong.  When speaking for the people, sit and speak softly.  When you speak as Moses, sit straight and speak as he would have to God and then the people. 


Suggested Supply List


·        Cardboard to make a pyramid(s)

·        Sand and rocks

·        A staff or cane that represents Moses

·        Something to assist you in holding “Fire” (a flash light under red/orange cloth), something that crackles or is bright and red.

·        Gray cardboard to list the ten commandments on - explaining the first four tell of our relationship with God and the last six for community relationships.

·        Five cardboard numbers for the continuum line.

·        Stickers  if you want to reward those who brought their Bible, or could recite the 10 Commandments.




Lori Houck’s Bible Study Lessons

Jeanne Carol’s Ideas Exchange on the 10 Commandments (from

Amy Crane’s Ideas Exchange on the 10 Commandments (from



The 10 Commandments, a Story for Good News

Adapted by Amy Crane and revised by Angela Farthing for the Kirk of Kildarie Presbyterian Church


Have sand and model pyramids in the corner - if you want - a few bricks and chains might add drama.


Way before the time of Jesus, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the people we know as the Israelites, were slaves in Egypt. 


As slaves their job was to build the great pyramids.  They worked long hard hours and sometimes were mistreated by they Egyptians.  The Israelites were tired and many began to pray for help. 


God heard their cries for help and sent Moses, to be their leader.  God told Moses to go and tell the Pharaoh - the king of Egypt - to let His people go.  Moses went many times to this king and told him to let the people go.  The king was mean and did not care if the slaves suffered.  Because this pharaoh/king would not let the people go - God sent many plagues upon the Egyptians.  (remember the plagues you studied a few months back) In all 10 different plagues, illness, sickness, God sent destruction to Egypt.  It was not until the last plague that the king saw their God had more power than he did.  He called Moses to come meet with him.  He told Moses that he was to take the Israelites and leave Egypt. 

The were to take their families, livestock and leave at once! 


The slaves were so excited about being free!  They sang, they danced, they rejoiced as they left the land that had treated them so badly. 


Soon however the Israelites began to complain and grumble.  Yes, God had freed them and they were safe, but they still were not happy.  They whined that the water was not fit to drink. 

Moses asked God to help them. 


The Lord God told Moses to throw his staff in the water and when he did the water was sweet to drink.  The people praised God.  (have them to help you cheer!)


The people continued walking in the desert, the sand was hot, the sun always shinned.  They began to run out of food.  The people began to complain and grumble once again.  They asked Moses to help them find better food. 


Moses went to God in prayer and asked for food.  The Lord God sent quails in the evening for meat and manna in the morning to keep them refreshed.  Quails are birds, similar to ducks, or chickens, and manna was the food from heaven. The people praised God.  (have them to help you cheer!)


Soon the people began grumbling again.  The water has run out - they yelled at Moses saying you brought us into this desert to die.  You have not provided us with enough water!  It is hot and we are thirsty!  Moses goes to God and asks for water.  The Lord God tells Moses to strike rocks with his staff and water pours forth.  The people praise God.  (have them to cheer!)


After 3 months of walking in the desert toward their new home - they began to grumble and complain again.  Aren’t we there yet the people cried?  How much longer do we have to walk?  We are tired, we are tired of eating this manna.  They walked a few more days because Moses knew the Lord wanted them to camp at the foot of Mt. Sinai.  When they arrived at Mt. Sinai, Moses told them to set up camp.  He told them that the Lord had protected them from the King of Egypt and had provided food for them as they traveled in the desert. He wants you to obey Him and keep His covenant.  If they keep the covenant they will be called His People. 

The people answered together, saying, "We will do everything that the Lord has said." (have the children to repeat this - We will do everything that the Lord has said!)

God told Moses to have the people prepare and purify themselves, because in three days He would come down upon the mountain so that the Israelites would hear Him speaking with Moses, and would believe.

On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning. A thick cloud appeared on the mountain. A very loud trumpet was heard. The people trembled with fear. Moses led them out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered in smoke, because the Lord had come down on it in fire. The smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace. The sound of the trumpet became louder and louder. Moses spoke, and God answered him with thunder. The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. 

God spoke: "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves.
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.

The Lord gave Moses these ten laws and many others. Moses told the people all of the Lord's commands. They said, "We will do everything that the Lord has said."

The Lord said to Moses, "Come up the mountain to me, and while you are here, I will give you two stone tablets which contain all the laws that I have written for the instruction of the people."

Moses went up Mount Sinai, and again a cloud covered it. The bright/shinny light of the Lord's presence came down on the mountain, and it looked like a fire burning.

The Israelites waited for Moses to come down the mountain.  They waited forty days and forty nights.  When the Israelites saw that Moses had not come down from the mountain, they gathered around Moses' brother Aaron and said, "It's been forty days! We do not know what happened to this Moses who led us out of Egypt. Make a god to lead us."

Aaron replied, "Bring me your gold jewelry." He melted it, poured the gold into a mold, and made a gold calf.

The people said, "This is our god, who led us out of Egypt!" The next day, the people made offerings to the calf. They had a festival, with singing and dancing.

The Lord said to Moses, "Your people, whom you led out of Egypt, have rejected me. They have made a gold calf, and are worshiping it and saying it led them out of Egypt. Now don't try to stop me, for I am angry, and am going to destroy them. Then I will make you and your descendants a great nation."

Moses pleaded with the Lord, "Lord, why should the Egyptians be able to say that you led your people out of Egypt in order to kill them in the mountains? Stop being angry. Do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your promise to Abraham, and to Isaac, and to Jacob, that you would give them as many descendants as the stars in the sky."

So God did not destroy the Israelites. And Moses went back down the mountain, carrying the two stone tablets with the commandments written on both sides. When Moses came close enough to the camp to see the gold calf and hear the singing and see the dancing, he became furious! There, at the foot of the mountain, he threw down the tablets he was carrying, and broke them.

He took the gold calf and melted it. "Aaron," he said, " what did these people do to you, that you made them do this awful thing?"

Aaron replied, "You know how these people always grumble and complain. They said, ‘We don't know what has happened to that Moses who led us out of Egypt. Make a god to lead us.' I collected their gold jewelry, and cast it into the fire, and out came this gold calf!"

Moses called upon all who were on the Lord's side to put on their swords and kill those who did not follow God's commands. About 3,000 men were killed that day. Moses and the others were sad and scared!

The next day, Moses said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin. But now I will go up the mountain to the Lord; maybe I can get him to forgive your sins." Moses went to the Lord and the Lord forgave His people. God again wrote the commandments on two stone tablets. The covenant was renewed with the Israelites, God's chosen people.

As a quick review - Pass out the 10 Commandment strips you made and have the children to stand and read their commandment. 


The Continuum Line Activity - addressing the 10 Commandments in our daily life.


1.     I have taken a friend's toy away from them because I wanted it! 

2.     I have always told my parents the truth. 

3.     I always do exactly as my parents or grandparents tell me. 

4.     I have watched a TV program that my Mom or Dad told me not to.

5.     I sometimes get jealous of my brother or sister because they seem to get more attention than I do. 

6.     I get upset when I cannot have my way. 

7.     I look forward to coming to church every Sunday.

8.     When I have homework over the weekend I complete the assignment before Sunday, so I do not have to work on Sunday.

9.     When I am angry - I yell at God and or blame Him!

10.I like to have time to pray and praise God for the Blessings.