Lesson 4: Gentleness
Story: King Rehoboam and the Division of the
Kingdom of Israel
Bible passages: 1 Kings 12:1-24
Read Proverbs 15:1. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Read a children’s story book that has escalating conflict (like “Prickle Says I’m Sorry”). Ask the students what gentle answer the characters could have used to keep there from being a problem.
Glue cotton onto the back of a square of sandpaper. Talk about a gentle answer being like cotton and a harsh word being like sandpaper. (I found this idea at Not Before 7 Teaches.)
Craft: Robe puzzle – divided into 12 pieces
Printout of robe puzzle
Ziploc bag to store pieces to take home
Briefly tell story of Jeroboam and Ahijah from 1 Kings 11:26-40. Then have the students color the robe and cut it up into the 12 pieces. Then, they can try to put it together again.(I found this idea at Hands On Bible Teacher.)
Bible Story: 1 Kings 12
Introduce Rehoboam as the son of Solomon. Tell the Bible story. Stop after verse 5. Have them think of the gentle and harsh responses Rehoboam could use. Continue with the story, stopping after verse 11. Have them predict the outcomes of Rehoboam following the advice of the elders or the young men. Continue with the story, ending with verse 24. Compare their prediction with the actual outcome.
Did Rehoboam choose gentleness? What do you think would have happened if he did?
Divided Kingdom Map Coloring Page
Yellow construction paper
Crayons or Markers
Have the students color the map of the Divided Kingdom and kings. Then, cut a crown out of yellow construction paper and decorate it. Fold it in half the long way and cut it. Put a hole punch in the center of the bottom of the map and inside bottom corners of the crown and then secure them together with a brad or fastener. This is based on an idea from the Hands on Bible Teacher blog.
Read each scenario to the kids and then have them take turns acting out first harshly, and then with gentleness. As some students act out the parts, have the rest hold up the sandpaper or cotton to describe their response as gentle or harsh.
1. Someone is kicking your chair.
2. Your brother says, “Where’s my new toy?”
3. Your mom asks you to set the table.
4. Someone is humming while you’re trying to do your homework.
5. You’re neighbor yells at you for being on his grass.
6. Somebody knocks down the sand castle you were building.
Links to all the lessons:
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