This printable lesson plan is designed to teach preschool aged children about the story of how Saul became the first king of Israel. It could be used in any setting with children age 2-5 at church, including a preschool Sunday School class or a preschool children’s church class.
We have included enough activities to offer some choice in your lesson planning. Below you will find craft, game, song, and memory verse suggestions. As always, consider your own ministry context and modify it as needed. Be sure to print off the Ruth storybook linked in the supplies below.
Bible Story: Saul Becomes King of Israel
Scripture: 1 Samuel 8:4-6, 19-21, 9:2, 10:1 & 24
Target Age Group: 2 year olds – 5 year olds
Learning Context: Children’s Church
Target Time Frame: 40 minutes
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- Bible, 1 Samuel 8:4-6, 19-21, 9:2, 10:1 & 24
- Print this free “Saul Becomes King” Story Booklet
- ½ sheet of construction paper per child, magazines, glue, marker to write their name on their paper. You can also use our crown craft project with printable template.
- Construction paper shaped as crowns or pre-made blank crowns (made from construction paper), crayons, stickers and other decorating supplies, stapler, glue, marker
Worship: You can print off these “Family Songs” to use to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.
Teaching Plan: Saul Becomes King
Welcome Activity: Welcome activities are things to have out for the children to do as they are arriving for class. These activities will get them engaged as soon as they arrive and will help the transition from their parents.
Have ½ sheets of construction paper, magazines, and glue available for the children. Tell the children that they are going to pretend to be the king (or queen) of their own country. Have the children look through the magazine and rip out any pictures of things they would have in their country. Let them glue the pictures onto their paper. Make sure that each child’s name gets written on their paper.
Worship: Family Songs
Bible Lesson Introduction: Have the children show their pictures to the class.
Bible Lesson: Read 1 Samuel 8:4-6, 19-21, 9:2, 10:1 & 24 (NIRV) aloud to the children. There is also a book that you can print out that has the story along with simple pictures to help the children understand what is being read.
Read the verses (story) to the children. If you are using the print out story, point to the pictures as you read the story so that the children can better understand what you are saying.
4 So all of the elders of Israel gathered together. They came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old. Your sons don’t live as you do. So appoint a king to lead us. We want a king just like the kings all of the other nations have.”
6 Samuel wasn’t pleased when they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” So he prayed to the Lord.
19 In spite of what Samuel said, the people refused to listen to him. “No!” they said. “We want a king to rule over us. 20 Then we’ll be like all of the other nations. We’ll have a king to lead us. He’ll go out at the head of our armies and fight our battles.”
21 Samuel heard everything the people said. He told the Lord about it. 22 The Lord answered, “Listen to them. Give them a king.”
2 Kish had a son named Saul. Saul was a handsome young man. There wasn’t anyone like him among the people of Israel. He was a head taller than any of them.
1 Then Samuel took a bottle of olive oil. He poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him. He said, “The Lord has anointed you to be the leader of his people.
24 Samuel spoke to all of the people. He said, “Look at the man the Lord has chosen! There isn’t anyone like him among all of the people.”
Then the people shouted, “May the king live a long time!”
Read the story again, but this time have the children do the following motions:
Saul: salute (as though in the army)
Samuel: show praying hands
Discuss the Bible Reading
When you are finished reading the story the second time, ask the children the following questions so that you can know they understood it.
“Who was in the story?” Samuel, Saul
“What did the people of Israel want?” A king
“What did Samuel tell Saul?” He was going to be Israel’s first king
Bible Lesson Craft / Activity
- Give each child a blank crown, Bible Verse and glue
- Let the children glue their Bible Verse onto their crown
- Let the children decorate their crowns
- As the children are decorating their crowns, walk around and make sure that each child’s name gets written on their crown
- As the children finish their crowns, staple them to fit their heads and let them wear them.
Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“Then Samuel took a bottle of olive oil. He poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him. He said, “The Lord has anointed you to be the leader of his people. “ 1 Samuel 10:1
Then Samuel took a bottle of olive oil: act like you’re holding a bottle
He poured it on Saul’s head: act like you’re pouring it
And kissed him: make a kissing motion
He said, “The Lord: point up
Has anointed you to be the leader: salute (like in the army)
Of his people: point to others in the class
1 Samuel 10: hold up all 10 fingers
1: hold up 1 finger
Do this a few times with the children. Make it fun for them to do the motions and say the words. Involving them in active learning is essential for memorization at this age.
Bible Verse Activity: Peasant, Peasant, King (a.k.a. Duck, Duck, Goose)
• Have the children sit in a circle
• Have the children play Peasant, Peasant, King (just like Duck, Duck, Goose – just with different words)
• Talk with the children about Saul started out being a peasant (a regular citizen) to being the king – all in one day.
Evaluation: Have the children tell you the main parts of the story.