Archived Teaching the Bible Topics

This month's Activities section focuses on Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Jairus' daughter.

Swap Shop shares an activity in teaching children how to pray.

Teachers and Parents

Helping families feel safe enjoying summertime fun is the basis of Caryl Krueger's article, Playing in the Streets.

Margie Eddington's article, Joy Defeats Depression, addresses what might rob us of our joy.

Teachers, you might like to suggest to your students' parents that they read and discuss the special Bible stories listed in Kids Korner's Bible Characters. There are stories for all ages.

Below is a sample calendar of activities and ideas to read and discuss each week in July. There is a memorization verse for each week as well. Work with your child and your students to learn each verse. Then, discuss the meaning of the verse and how it can be applied to our everyday lives. On Sundays during class, riding in the car, or at dinner, it's fun to share stories of how the children have used the verse in their lives that week.

Weekly Activities Printable HTML Version Download MS Word File
June 28-July 4 June 28-July 4 June 28-July 4
July 5-11 July 5-11 July 5-11
July 12-18 July 12-18 July 12-18
July 19-25 July 19-25 July 19-25
July 26-August 1 July 26-August 1 July 26-August 1

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Click on the appropriate link. From your browser's File menu choose Print.

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Week of June 28-July 4
Memorization verse: Ps 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • What does it say about our nation?

Sunday, July 4
Ask the students to recite this week's Bible Verse.

  • How could you use this verse?
  • Who has God chosen for His own inheritance?
  • Do you believe God has anything to do with our government?

Younger Classes and Older Classes (pick and choose from a number of activities appropriate for your age group)

As this is the celebration of Independence Day in the United States, you might want to discuss freedom. Who experiences freedom?

  • Define freedom.
  • What does it mean to be free?
  • Make lists of the Bible characters who had to fight for freedom.
  • Go back over the list and discuss how the Bible figures won their freedom.
  • Is there any fight for freedom going on today?

Read Ezra and the story on Kids Korner: Ezra, the Good Man Who Taught God's Law to the Jews.

  • What do you discover about the lack of freedom?
  • How important is religion to our freedoms?
  • Ezra is trying to purge the Jews of interracial marriages.
    • Do you think it was fair to separate families not completely Jewish?
    • How would you feel if one of your parents had to leave the country because he/she didn't believe in the right religion?
    • Is it right to purge the land of people with different beliefs? Why or why not?


Younger Children - read Nehemiah and the Wall, complete the online crossword puzzle about Nehemiah, and follow the mazes of Rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem.

Older Children - read The King's Cupbearer and His Story, and How the Walls of Jerusalem Were Rebuilt and Hot Topics Joy Defeats Depression

Teachers: Read Bible Overview Nehemiah and Bible Characters - Nehemiah.

Week of July 5-11
Memorization verse: Ps 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • Why can we trust ourselves to God for safety?

Sunday, July 11

  • Ask the students to recite this week's Bible verse.
  • Discuss the meaning of the verse.
  • Talk about the importance of trusting our lives to God.
  • Is this verse like any of the bedtime prayers they've learned?

Younger and Older Classes (pick and choose questions and activities appropriate for your age group)

Discuss the story of Nehemiah and the building of the wall.

  • Why was Nehemiah sad in front of the King?
  • Why was that dangerous?
  • What did Nehemiah ask the King to do?
  • What did the King give Nehemiah?
  • How many days did Nehemiah spend in Jerusalem before telling the people about his mission?
  • If you have ever moved to a different house, have you wanted to go visit the old house and see what it looks like?
    • How did you feel when you saw your old back yard?
    • Just think how Nehemiah must have felt seeing his home town run down.
    • Discuss what you think he was feeling.
  • When he gathered the people together, what did he tell them?
  • Were the people willing to work?
  • What was unusual about some of the workers? [women]
  • What were they going to do? [rebuild the walls of the city]
  • Who were Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem?
  • Why didn't they want the city rebuilt?
  • What kinds of things did they do to get Nehemiah to stop the rebuilding? [they laughed and tried to say the wall wasn't strong enough for a fox to walk on; they wrote letters accusing Nehemiah of making himself a king to take over the city; and they plotted to kill him.]
  • How do you react when people laugh at what you're doing or make fun of you?
    • Do you get angry?
    • Do you act the way Nehemiah did?
  • Has anyone ever falsely accused you of anything?
    • How did you feel?
  • How long did it take Nehemiah to rebuild the walls and put the gates in place? [52 days]
  • What did Nehemiah do after rebuilding the walls? [Nehemiah 5:14 - Governor for 12 years before returning to the palace.]
  • Is there anything that needs rebuilding? A friendship? A relationship?
  • How do we mend a broken friendship?
  • What is the difference between rebuilding a city and rebuilding a relationship?
  • What did the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem symbolize?

Older Children: Refer back to the Hot Topic dealing with depression.

  • What is depression?
  • Have you ever been challenged with feeling down?
  • What do we need to do to stop depression?

Exercise for different age levels:

Construct blocks or bricks out of sheets of paper and build different types of walls in your Sunday School:

  • A wall of gratitude - have the pupils write something they are grateful for on each brick and put on a wall.
  • A wall of healing - every time you have a healing thought write it on the paper brick and build the wall.
  • A wall of attributes of God - write an attribute or quality of God on each brick. How many of these qualities are part of our consciousness? Example. God is - loving, kind, truthful, fair, honest, generous, etc.
  • A wall of Bible figures - have the pupils write the name of their favorite Bible characters and either draw pictures of them or write something about the people.


Pre-school children: - Read Esther... who helped people.

Young Children: Follow the maze, Esther: The Queen Who Saved Israel; find the difference in the pictures of Esther; and read Queen Esther. Listen to the story about Esther on Kids Korner - Story Telling and play with the interactive puzzle of Esther. Color the picture of Esther on Kids Korner.

Older Children: Read Make a Difference and Why a Proud Man Planned to Destroy all the Jews, How Queen Esther Saved the Lives of Her People, and The Beautiful Girl Who Became a Queen.

Teachers: Read Bible Overview of Esther and Bible Characters of Esther.

Week of July 12-18
Memorization verse: Deut 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • What does it mean to be of good courage?

Sunday, July 18

  • Ask the students to recite this week's Bible verse.
  • Discuss the meaning of the verse.
  • Who is Moses talking to? [Joshua]
  • Why is he telling him to be strong and of good courage?
  • Is this a verse of comfort for you?
  • Isn't it nice to know God won't fail us or forsake us?

Younger and Older Classes (pick and choose questions and activities appropriate for your age group)

Help the students tell the story of Esther.

Female teachers - if you feel comfortable, come dressed as Esther and let the children interview you.

If you prefer not to be costumed, make a sign with Esther's name on it and place it on yourself or any pupil in class and let the class members ask her questions. They can be reporters, preparing a piece for your ongoing Sunday School news paper or magazine, or a film crew ready to do a documentary on Esther's life.

Let the children get the inside story on Esther. Some questions might include:

  • How did you feel when the King wanted you to be part of his harem?
  • What is a harem?
  • Why would that be frightening?
  • Were you surprised when the King selected you for his bride?
  • What happened to his previous wife?
  • What religion are you?
  • Does that make a difference to the King?
  • Why do you think he selected you?
  • What is your uncle's name? [Mordecai]
  • What did he ask you to do? [Talk with the King about saving her people]
  • Were you afraid? [The Queen could only talk to the King if he called her; otherwise he could kill her]
  • How did the King greet you?
  • What did you ask for?[a banquet]
  • Who was invited?
  • Did you have to fix the meal or did your servants prepare the meal?
  • What did you ask the King at dinner?
  • How did that affect Haman?
  • Who had Haman prepared the gallows for?
  • What happened instead?
  • What is the name of the feast the Jews celebrate every year for the defeat of the Jews' enemies?

Older Classes: You might discuss what happened to Queen Vashti.

  • Talk about vanity.
    • What is it?
    • How do you know when someone is acting vain?
  • Why is the story of Esther important enough to be in the Bible?


Pre-school Children: Read Jesus helps a little girl.

Younger Children: Read A Girl Who Died.

Older Children: Read The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life and Guest of the Month.

Teachers: Read Caryl Krueger's article, Playing in the Streets.

Week of July 19-25
Memorization verse: Prov 4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • Why is God our strength?

Sunday, July 25

  • Ask the students to recite this week's Bible verse.
  • Discuss the meaning of the verse.
  • Why should we ponder the path of our feet?
    • What does that mean?
  • What ways do we want established?
  • Who establishes our ways?

Read the healing of Jairus' daughter. Mark 5:22-43.

Read the healing of Jairus' daughter. Mark 5:22-43; Luke 8:41-56

Ask your pupils to practice retelling it. Give the first child a pencil. It can act as a microphone for them to start telling the story. They may stop anywhere they want after a few words or a few sentences and then pass it on to the next person. Each person with the pencil gets to add to the story until the story is complete. Correct any incorrect information about the story.

  • Who is Jairus?
  • Why is he important?
  • What does he ask Jesus to do?
  • What happens as Jesus is going with Jairus?
  • Who touched Jesus' clothes?
  • Why is that significant?
  • Why did Jesus ask who touched him?
  • What excuse did his disciples give?
  • What did Jesus know that everyone else didn't?
  • What did he say to this woman?
  • Would you have been upset that Jesus stopped to heal someone else before getting to your daughter?
  • Why do you think Jesus healed the woman first?
  • What happened to Jairus' daughter by the time Jesus got to the house?
  • Did death impress Jesus?
  • What did he do with the people crying?
  • What did Jesus say that made them all laugh?
  • Did people making fun of Jesus make him angry?
  • When he was with the little girl, what did he do?
  • How old was the little girl?
  • What is wonderful about these two healings?
  • What do these healings tell you about Jesus?
  • What did Jairus need for his daughter's healing?
  • Can you name any other healings Jesus performed?
  • Have you ever had a healing?
    • Tell about it (them).

Assignments: All grade levels, take the Bible Quiz on Kids Korner and prepare for a review of the Old Testament

Week of July 26-August 1
Memorization verse: Isa 62:10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.

  • What does this verse mean to you?
  • Why is God our strength?

Sunday, August 1

  • Ask the students to recite this week's Bible verse.
  • Discuss the meaning of the verse.
  • What is a standard?
  • How do we prepare the way for others?

All ages:

  • Why is it important to study the Bible?
  • How has the Bible helped you in your life?
  • What is your favorite story in the Bible?
    • Tell the story.
    • Why do you like that story?
    • What does the story teach us about God? Life? Ourselves?

Teachers: - Using 4x6 notecards - write names of Bible characters on each card. Then write events related to those characters on the other cards. Example:

Then ask the students to match the character with the event. After they have matched all the Bible figures and events, ask them to tell the story about each one. One of the exercises Joan Snipes, author of That Ye May Teach the Children, recommends is having the student put the events as well as the Bible figures in chronological order. This is an excellent way to help our children learn the stories and the order in which they occur.

Assignment: Read Job

  — GAL
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