Archived Teaching with the Bible Topics  
Activities
 

This web-site is for everyone interested in learning more about the Bible.

In all likelihood, many of you have an established curriculum in your Sunday schools. Our goal is to augment your lessons with additional information.  In February, the Activities section will look at the Gospel of John.  We will not discuss the passion week, leaving that for April.

The entire Activities section is divided into Memory Work, Activities, Discussion Questions, and Assignments. You can go to any of these sections and select what best works for your pupils.  February is a good month to discuss self-esteem, mercy, and healing.

   
 

MEMORY WORK

   
 

Teachers and Parents

It is so important to encourage our little ones as well as ourselves to memorize Bible verses and stories – to become so familiar with the passage or story that its timeless relevance appears to us more and more clearly with every retelling. A major difference was evident between Sunday school pupils required to tell the story versus those who gave nodding recognition to the same story. Last year I asked three third graders to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. They couldn’t. After working with them to learn to tell the story in their own words and share it with family, friends, and our nursery children, they not only could tell the story at Christmas last year, but they remembered it without prompting. We can not overlook the significance of memorizing a verse or story.

Consider sharing with your Sunday school pupils and parents how to help little ones learn the verse and understand the impact of the message on their lives.

  1. Write out or type this week’s Bible verse on a card and place it on a mirror the child uses each day.
  2. Place the verse for the week in his/her lunch box.
  3. Ask the child to recite the verse before or after grace at the dinner meal.
  4. Practice as a family at dinner, going around the table with each one saying a word until the verse is complete.
  5. Put the verse to music. Create your own tune for each Bible verse. Create pictures to help remember the verse.
  6. Write it in a Bible verse notebook as many times as you can.
   
 

Bible Verses

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.

We provide memorization verses for each week. You can add your own.

Sunday Feb. 5 Rom 8:16 
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

  • How are we the children of God?
  • What is Spirit?

Sunday Feb. 12 John 13:34
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another

  • Is this a commandment that is easy to follow? Why or why not?
  • How did Jesus love?

Sunday Feb. 19 John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

  • Who is speaking? (Jesus)
  • When is the message being given? (on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane)
  • Who is told not to be afraid? (disciples)
  • Not to be afraid of what? (Jesus’ crucifixion)

Sunday Feb 26 John 3: 17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

  • Why did God send His son?
  • What was he saving the world from?
  • How do we know God is gracious?

Sunday March 5 John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

  • To whom is Jesus speaking?
  • What is the significance of Jesus being the way?
   
 

Bible Stories

Select one or more Bible stories for the children to learn this month.

  • Andrew and Peter follow Jesus (John 1: 35-42)
  • Jesus at the wedding in Cana (John 2: 1-10)
  • Nicodemus (John 3:1-21)
  • The woman at the well (John 4:1-26)
  • Healing of the Nobleman’s son (John 4:46-54)
  • Jesus heals man with 38-year-old infirmity (John 5:1-9)
  • Jesus feeds 5000 (John 6:1-14)
  • The woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11)
  • Jesus heals the blind man (John 9:1-41)
  • Jesus as the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-21)
  • Jesus raises Lazarus (John 11:1-44)
   
 

ACTIVITIES

   
 

Exercise: Make a Valentine for God and for family and friends using God’s Bible messages.

Younger Children:

  • Open with a discussion about “love.”
    • What is God’s love like?
    • Can you find a Valentine from God in any Bible verses?
      • Teachers, you might want to bring materials and Bible verses to help them create special Valentines for God, family members, and friends. Bring a list of Bible verses on index cards for children to read. There are many to choose from; here are a few:
      • Gen 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
      • John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      • John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
      • Zeph 3:17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
      • Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      • II Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
      • I John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
  • How can we love the way God loves?
  • What is the Golden Rule?
  • Why is love important in living the Golden Rule?

Older Children:

  • Listen to their definitions of “love.”
  • Is “love” dependent on matter or Spirit?
  • What qualities of love do they want to see expressed in their friends, teachers, and family members?
    • Is the level of love or what it feels like different from person to person?
    • How is it possible that God loves everyone?
      • What kind of love is that?
  • Get concordances to the Bible and give them five-ten minutes to find at least three verses that would qualify as a Hallmark Valentine card from God.
    • For example:The Message has this wonderful verse from Jer 31:3 God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!"
  • At the end of five minutes – have them share God’s special messages of love.
  • You can bring note paper and have the students write their Valentines from God. They can be signed “God loves you!” and put them in church member's mailboxes or take them home and tuck them under the pillows of their parents and siblings.
  • Can you live the Golden Rule without love?
    • Why is love important to living the Golden Rule?
  • Another activity with the verses might include having the students add their verses to your prepared index cards and then having the pupils select one at random and create a card for someone special in the church or family.
  • During this activity, talk about God’s love for each of us.

 

   
 

Exercise: Look at the Swap Shop exercise on “I am” statements.

So often one of the hurdles young people face is removing negative labels or statements they have attached to themselves.

For example:

  • “I am dumb.”
  • “I am ugly.”
  • “I am weak.”
  • “I am unhappy.”

It is helpful to ask your pupils to make a list of their “I am” statements. Every time they say “I am,” ask them to jot down what they are saying about themselves. Help them catch themselves saying the negative statements and practice reversing those statements by replacing them with positive “I am” comments.

Ask students to search for Jesus' I am statements. See the list in Swap Shop.

Discuss why it is important to make positive statements about ourselves rather than negative ones. Look at the following “I am” comments Jesus makes about himself:

John 6:35   And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:
 
John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 8:16   And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

John 8:18    I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

John 8:23  And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

John 8:58  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 9:5  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 10:7  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

John 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 10:36   Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

John 11:25   Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 12:46   I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

John 15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

John 15:5   I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

   
 

Exercise – Break the Code

Three additional Break the Code exercises for younger children  have some of the verses of John.

Break the Code 1

Break the Code 2

Break the Code 3

   
 

Exercise

John 1:17
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Take the above verse and create two columns. Put Moses at the head of one column and Jesus at the head of the other. Starting with their births, find what things their lives had in common. For example:

Moses Jesus
Life threatened by Pharaoh at birth – boy babies killed Herod ordered boy babies killed
Lived in Egypt as a child Lived in Egypt for a few years as child
Built tent of meeting His body and life the tent of meeting
Brought Ten Commandments Explained 10 Commandments in 2
40 years in the wilderness 40 days in wilderness being tempted of the devil
 

 

 

Exercise:

Review the healings in John.

How many are there?

What was healed?

What is unique about each of these healings?

What lesson can we learn from the healing of Nicodemus? The Nobleman’s son? The man at the pool of Bethesda? The blind man? Lazarus?

Are these healings the same as any found in Matthew, Mark, or Luke?

What does Jesus expect from those he healed?

Share a healing with the class from your Healing Journal.

   
 

Exercise: Help children remember Jesus’ healings by drawing pictures.

Create a picture for each of Jesus’ Healings in the Gospels. First, make a list of the healings. Then, assign or ask for volunteers to draw or paint a picture of Jesus healing. This can be a homework assignment. Each week, have the members of the class add more pictures and decorate your classroom walls with reminders of Jesus’ healing works. Make certain each child can tell the healing before the picture goes on the wall or into a special notebook labeled – “Jesus’ Healings.”

   
 

Exercise:

Practice learning the books of the New Testament. Have the students create poems or jingles to help remember the order the books. By now they should be able to do all the books of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Some pneumonics that might help remember the 27 books in the New Testament:

  1. We’ve been studying the Gospels so Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s Acts are remembered during the time of the Romans.
  2. I and II Corinthians (come up with a way to remember)
  3. If you remember A, E, I, O – You’ll get Galatians, Ephesians,
    Philipians, Colossians.
  4. Then you get five “Ts” that are alphabetical: I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, and Titus.
  5. Philemon counted Hebrews
  6. Then there are the letters: James has one, Peter has two, John has three, Jude (the shortest) leaves us last with Revelation.
   
  DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
 


 

Discussion questions about John

  • Andrew and Peter follow Jesus (John 1: 35-51)
    • What did John the Baptist call Jesus?
    • Who were originally John the Baptist’s disciples?
    • Why did they leave John for Jesus?
  • Jesus at the wedding in Cana (John 2: 1-10)
    • Why is turning the water into wine considered Jesus first miracle?
    • Did Jesus turn the water into wine, or did he give them water to drink?
    • If a religious man didn’t drink, what was Jesus’ obligation to bring wine?
  • Nicodemus (John 3:1-21)
    • Who was Nicodemus?
    • Why did he visit Jesus?
    • Why did he come at night?
    • What did Jesus mean by being born again?
    • What did Nicodemus think he meant?
    • What is the name of another healer that Jesus mentioned?
    • What is the story about the serpent in the wilderness?
    • What is Jesus telling Nicodemus about himself?
  • The woman at the well (John 4:1-26)
    • What does Jesus ask of this woman?
    • What does he tell her?
    • What is so special about living water?
    • What are the disciples doing?
    • Jesus spends a long time with this woman -- for what purpose?
    • What does she recognize about him?
    • What do we learn about Jesus from the story of Nicodemus and the woman at the well?
  • Healing of the Nobleman’s son (John 4:46-54)
    • Where was the Nobleman’s son?
    • What kind of healing did Jesus perform?
    • Did the Nobleman believe Jesus that his son was going to be well?
    • Who met the Nobleman on his way home?
    • What did his servants tell him?
  • Heals man with 38-year-old infirmity (John 5:1-9)
    • What does Jesus ask this man?
    • What is the man’s response?
      • Is it just an excuse?
      • Do you think he really wanted to be well after 38 years?
      • How would this healing change his life-style?
      • Do you think he was ready to start working for a living?
      • Sometimes people make excuses to be sick; do you think he genuinely wanted to be healed?
    • What day of the week did Jesus heal the man?
    • Why wasn’t it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?
    • Why did Jesus break the law?
    • Would you have healed this man on the Sabbath?
  • Feeds 5000 (John 6:1-14)
    • Who does Jesus ask about buying bread?
    • Why? (his hometown?)
    • What does Philip tell him?
    • How much money did Philip say they would need to buy bread for 5000 men, plus women and children?
      • Two hundred penny worth of bread would be 200 days of wages.
    • Who did Andrew bring to Jesus?
    • What lesson did the disciples learn?
    • How many baskets of leftovers did the disciples collect?
    • What is significant about this display of abundance?
  • The woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11)
    • What is the lesson in this story?
    • What is Jesus doing when he stoops down?
    • What do you think he is writing?
    • What statement does he make that sends them all away?
    • Were they really interested in stoning the woman or just testing Jesus?
    • How does Jesus make certain he’s not the center of attention?
    • What does Jesus tell the woman?
    • How would you have felt if all your accusers, who wanted to kill you, just walked away?
  • Heals the blind man (John 9:1-41)
    • What was significant about Jesus healing this blind man?
    • What did Jesus do to the blind man?
    • Why do you think he spat on the ground? (the man was blind from birth – Gen 2 suggests man born of the dust or clay – Jesus is showing man’s origin is not of the dust – so go wash off that concept of birth)
    • What happens after the man is healed?
    • What do you think Jesus meant by the following verses? John 9:39-41 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
  • Jesus as the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-21)
    • What is the difference between the Good Shepherd and the hireling?
    • What is a hireling?
    • Why isn’t he as responsible as the Good Shepherd?
    • What does Jesus call himself the Good Shepherd?
    • What does Jesus mean that he is the door of the sheep?
    • Did you know the Shepherd slept over the entrance to the sheep?
    • What are the qualities of a good shepherd?
  • Jesus raises Lazarus (John 11:1-44)
    • Why do you think Jesus waited so long to see Lazarus?
    • Do you think he knew Lazarus was going to die? Why?
    • What does Mary say about resurrection?
    • What is the shortest verse in the Bible? (Jesus wept)
    • Why do you think Jesus cried?
    • Why didn’t Martha want Jesus to remove the stone from the cave?
    • Who believed Jesus could bring back someone that had been dead 4 days already?
    • What is important about this healing?
    • What happened to Lazarus and Jesus after Lazarus was alive? (The Chief Priest and Pharisees wanted to kill both of them)
    • Why would the Jews want to kill Lazarus and Jesus?
   
 

ASSIGNMENTS

   
 

Teachers:

Younger Children:

Puzzles and Games

Stories to read

Stories to hear

Activities

  • Create a Valentine for God.
  • Make positive “I am” statements.

Older Children:

Puzzles and Games

Stories to read

Article to read:

Stories to hear

Activities

  • Create a Valentine to give to others from God.
  • Make a list of your “I am” statements and compare them with Jesus’ “I am” statements.

Teens:

Puzzles and Games

Stories to read

Articles to read:

Activities

  • Make a list of “I am” statements you say about yourself.
  • Read the Gospel of John and list the “I am” statements Jesus makes about himself.
 

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