This is a lesson plan intended to be used around Valentine’s Day, but you could utilize it at any time of year. It teaches about God’s Love Letters to us in the Bible, utilizing scripture from 1 John. I’ve also included an age-appropriate art project. The lesson is designed for children’s church or Sunday School and is intended for preschool children, ages 3-5.
Objectives: To develop a love for God’s Word in the hearts of young students. To equate love with God.
Materials to Prepare in Advance: Multiple 9 x 12 construction paper hearts (of varying colors). On each heart, write out the following verses. (Include big numbers on the back to correlate with the verses for the Bible lesson sequence.) You will also need blank hearts (smaller ones will be sufficient) for the Hide and Seek Game.
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- 1 John 4:8: Whoever does not LOVE does not know GOD, because GOD is LOVE.
- 1 John 4:9: This is how GOD showed his LOVE among us: He sent his one and only SON into the world that we might live through him.
- 1 John 4:10: This is LOVE: not that we loved GOD, but that he loved us and sent his SON as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
- 1 John 4:12: No one has ever seen GOD; but if we LOVE one another, GOD lives in us and his LOVE is made complete in us.
- 1 John 4:16b: GOD is LOVE. Whoever lives in LOVE lives in GOD and GOD in him.
- 1 John 4:19: We LOVE because he [God] first loved us
- 1 John 5:2: This is how we know that we are children of GOD: by LOVING GOD and carrying out his commands.
- 1 John 5:3: This is LOVE for GOD: to obey his commands.
Welcome Activity: Have 9×12 construction paper hearts cut out for children to decorate with crayons, markers, or colored pencils. Assist the students in writing their names on the hearts. They will decorate one side now and complete the other side after the lesson. Collect the hearts when finished.
Bible Lesson: Prior to the students’ arrival, hide all of the scripture hearts and blank hearts around your room or play space.
1. Sing the Song: “Where is Love?” (to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”)
Where is Love? Where is Love?
Here I am. Here I am. (point to Bible)
The Bible tells of Love. The Bible tells of Love.
God’s love for you. God’s love for me.
2. Say: On Valentine’s Day every year, people show their love for others with cards, sweet treats, and kindness. But, there is Someone very special who shows us His love every day. Can anyone guess who I’m talking about? (Yes! God!)
3. God tells us He loves us in the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. It teaches us what love looks like, sounds like, and acts like. Today, I have hidden God’s love letters to you all around the room. These love letters are written on hearts. Do you think you can find them? It’s time for “Hide and Seek Hearts!”
4. Show the students an example of what they are looking for. Tell them that when they hear the “Where is Love?” song they are to return to their seats with their hearts. Have the students search for the hearts on the count of 3. Monitor the search, by ensuring that all children find at least one heart.
5. Sing the “Where is Love?” song. Give the students a round of applause for finding the hearts! Ask the students to raise their hands if any of them found hearts with words and numbers on them. Does anyone have number 1? (You may want to draw the number on a chalkboard or whiteboard.) Have the student with the heart stand up and bring it to you.
6. Say: Each of these hearts has a letter from God. I’m going to read the letter while you listen carefully. Your job is to listen for two words. When you hear the word GOD, you need to point to the sky. (Or teach them the sign language sign for God – hand facing sideways going down in front of face.) When you hear the word LOVE, you need to cross your arms over your chest.
7. Collect and read each verse in sequential order, posting them somewhere if possible. (They can be used, afterwards, strung together as a garland or as accents for a bulletin board.) Explain each verse very briefly, in your own words.
8. Thank you for listening to God’s love letters to you! Now that we know where love comes from, let’s stand up and sing our new song, “Where is Love?” Sing the “Where Is Love” song a couple of times through.
Game: “God’s Word – Keep It!”
Materials: Children’s Bible Song CD, CD player, a Bible
- Play this game similar to “Hot Potato.” Have the students make a circle and sit down.
- Play your favorite CD of Children’s Bible Songs (my kids love any Cedarmount Ki ds Bible Song CD). As the music plays, have the children pass a Bible around the circle (a small Bible works best!)
- In the game, “Hot Potato” the children try to get rid of the object they are holding when the music stops. In this game, the children want to be the one holding God’s Word when the music stops.
- Have everyone cheer when the Bible stops in the hands of each child!
Art Project: “God’s Love Letter to Me”
Materials: Scissors, glue, photocopies of your Bible turned to 1 John 4 (1 for each student), 9 x 6 heart stencils out of cardboard, heavy cardstock, or a cereal box.
- Distribute the Welcome Activity Hearts. Also distribute the copies of 1 John 4:16, heart outlines, scissors, and glue.
- Have the children trace an outline of the heart on the photocopied scripture.
- Cut out the heart.
- Glue the scripture heart to the other side of the heart they worked on prior to class.
- In red marker, you may want to write, “God’s Love Letter to Me” on the photocopied heart.