This lesson can be downloaded for free: Click the Download Area link above.
It’s David and Bathsheba this time. We want the kids to know that sin means going our own way, and to repent means to turn around and go God’s way. David sinned greatly, but when he did, he turned to God and was accepted (unlike the rejected King Saul, who turned to the witch of Endor).
After the normal CLAMbake lesson opening (prayer, collection, Bible Wars, Biggie Verse, CLAM Bible), the kids play a game that proved to be one of those games that kids want to play too many times. It’s a simple every-man-for-himself game based upon guessing the outcome of a series of coin flips. So it’s a very good discussion starter that gets to the theme of repentance.
I wasn’t sure how the Decoder Dial activity would go with kids in Upper Elementary but they seemed to like that as well. I made some changes to the activity based on how the kids reacted, including adding the Secret Message poster. In my classroom we have a circle of chairs where we spend most of our time, and tables for small group activities. The Decoder Dial can be done alone but small groups of friends always seems to work best, in my experience. I always walk from group to group, keeping them on track, encouraging them (and, with tongue-in-cheek, mocking the kids who like that sort of thing). Of course, never mock a kid unless you have a great relationship with the kid and you are certain he or she understands that you are poking fun because you like the kid.
The Zacchaeus cartoon story brings up a point you might want to consider. I debated whether to colorize it or leave it as a coloring page (I use it as such in a younger age-level lesson). Really, do 4th and 5th graders want to color a story like this one? Well, I ran out of class time, so we read it over but never took it to the tables. But, consider this: Several times in the past I’ve had kids with various syndromes and conditions that make it difficult for them to keep up with the rest. These kids are happy to sit off alone, coloring away. I don’t feel comfortable trying to force these kids to join the crowd, so I let them hang alone as long as they behave and are happy. A coloring activity like this one is just the thing, so I may do more of these in the future. On the other hand, you can likely find things that will work simply by looking in the younger age-level resources.
Like all of the lessons I do, we bring the focus to Jesus. Really, would many people care about King David, sin and repentance if it wasn’t for Jesus? That’s why this lesson ends with our look at Zacchaeus and what we can learn from his repentance and Jesus’ response to it.
The lesson doesn’t close with a call to salvation, but this might be a good opportunity for you to do so at the end of your class.