A few months ago, our church began a journey through the entire Bible using Zondervan’s The Story curriculum. It was a great opportunity to take a look at the “Big God Story” as well as cover some stories that don’t always make it into the Children’s Church curriculum. One of the lessons that especially had me worried was the divided kingdom. I had trouble keeping track of all those kings when I was going through the course in college and I certainly didn’t know how to keep it all straight for elementary kids. Then I remembered. Clipart makes everything better!
To begin, I found some clipart of kings on Microsoft Word. I also used one clip from a favorite site of mine (Christian Clip Art) and a picture of a prophet.
Then we went down through history, making a chart and gluing the kings in place as we went. As you can see, the kings of Israel are on the left and the kings of Judah are on the right.
As we went through, we discussed whether the kings were good or bad and I also tried to make note of one distinctive characteristic for each king.
(If you have an older crowd, this might be a great “Cool Bible Tool” investigation activity for them too! Give them the name of one of the kings at the start of the class and have them look them up in a kids Bible dictionary. Have them make a note of which kingdom they ruled, how long, and one thing they did when they were king. Then collect all the cards and make your chart using the kids notes. Great way to get them involved!)
Through the lesson, I would ask the kids if the king was a good king or a bad king and then, together, we would all say “Good Kings Obey God!”
We also had this written on the point, so I could point to it each time we said it. After we did our brief overview of the kings, we broke out the construction paper and stickers so everyone could make a “good king” crown.
To make crowns, I had kids cut a zig-zag horizontally across a sheet of yellow construction paper. Then, they could decorate as they saw fit.
Once they were done with the decorations, we stapled the ends together for perfect fit!
Hard at work!
At the end of class, we gathered as a group and yelled “Good Kings Obey God!”
Update: Almost a year later, in December 2013, we were watching a video about Jesus’ birth. Of course, King Herod made an appearance, and an 8 year old boy asked me, “How come we didn’t learn about him on our king chart?” I couldn’t believe he remembered that! Yeah!!
- Grab an easy to follow chart detailing kings and prophets of the divided kingdom here!
- The Divided Kingdom Lesson by Ministry to Children (favorite site of mine)
- The Divided Kingdom Lesson by Hands on Bible Teacher (includes a fun song!)