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LearningCycles series The Boy Who Would Be King Creative Activities for Teaching about David

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Creative Activities for Teaching about David
LearningCycles series
The Boy Who Would Be King

The LearningCycles series offers a creative approach to faith formation based on different learning styles, appropriate for K-5th graders.  Each LearningCycles unit generally includes seven workshops: Art, Story & Games, Drama & Activity, Music, Kitchen, Movie, and Publishing.  This series works well for whole family/intergenerational catechesis and is a great basis for grandparent camps or other vacation bible schools.

In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), David stands out as a larger-than-life figure. He unified a group of tribes into a cohesive nation: Israel. He established Jerusalem as its capital, an important place in the nation of Israel and for the Jewish people to this day. He celebrated the arts in worship, writing Psalms and giving orchestras and choirs a central role in the worship of God at the Temple. The New Testament authors identify Jesus as the “Son of David,” the “Anointed One” or Messiah longed for by the ancient Hebrew Prophets.

The picture of David painted by the authors of Israel’s history is not one of a perfect hero, though. Instead, we hear about an ordinary, flawed human being who is used by God to accomplish great things despite those flaws. We will explore many facets of the character of David: the iconic hero/king, the champion of the arts in worship, and, most importantly, God’s Anointed One, chosen for a special role at a pivotal point in Israel’s history. We will invite students to reflect on the idea that God chooses each of us for a special role: by our baptism each of us is “anointed”: God wants each of us to be a part of God's plan!

  • Art Workshop – Learn about and create a timbrel and lyre (musical instruments) as a way to reflect on David as a musician.
  • Publishing Workshop – Learn about the battle of David and Goliath and do an “Unlikely Hero” worksheet to engage with different details of the story.
  • Drama Workshop – Create and re-enact parts of the story of David and discuss the difference between what God sees and what human beings see.
  • Movie Workshop – Watch a movie about the life of David, the boy who became king, and talk about what it means to be a person “after God’s own heart.” (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
  • Story Workshop – Listen to the story of David and learn particularly about his important friendship with Jonathan and his connection to the Psalms.
  • Kitchen Workshop – Make fig cakes and talk about what it means to “taste and see” that God is good.
  • Music Workshop – Listen to and sing songs based on different Psalms.

Click to find additional resources for use with this unit.


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Format: eResource
Product code: LR208
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 48 pages
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources
Written by John Allen Bankson