Bible Lesson: Learning From the Ants (Proverbs 6)

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“Go to the ant, you sluggard;  consider its ways and be wise.”  Proverbs 6:6
This proverb serves as a wakeup call against the dangers of laziness. Culturally, laziness is becoming more and more acceptable. But the Bible teaches us in this passage that laziness ultimately leads to destruction. We can look at the ant as an example of how we are to live. Ants work hard, even without supervision. They plan ahead for times when they will have less food. It would be wise for us to be the same way. We should not waste our time but work diligently at whatever task we are given.
Lesson Title:   Learning from the Ants
Bible Reference:  Proverbs 6:6-11
Target Age Group: Preschool to Elementary
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 45 minutes
Memory Verse: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6
Main Idea: Do not be lazy what work hard at whatever task you are given by God.
Basic Supply List:

  1. Bible
  2. Ink Pad
  3. Construction Paper
  4. Markers/Crayons
  5. Cups
  6. Raisins
  7. Celery
  8. Peanut Butter
  9. Plates

Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.
> > > > Basic Teaching Plan < < < <
Introduction: Begin by asking the class what they think work means.  Explain that work is when we are doing the things that we have to do in life.  For young children, work might be cleaning up their toys or going to school or preschool and doing their best.  Explain that God wants us to work hard at whatever it is we need to do. He does not want us to be lazy.
Biblical Evidence: Read Proverbs 6:6-8. Say, Think about ants.  Anytime you go outside and see ants they are working hard. They scavenge for food and work together to complete tasks that are hard.  How can you work hard like an ant when your mom asks you to do something? Allow kids to answer.  Possible answer: They can quickly clean up without complaining. If they have siblings they can work together. Say, Ants work hard and plan ahead.  As Christians we should work hard and do our best to please God. 
Read Proverbs 6:9-11. Say, On the other hand, when we are lazy we can get ourselves into a lot of trouble.  Laziness can lead to destruction.  You might think that it is ok to just wait and put your work off until later but it is not.  A little bit of time being lazy can add up.  Being lazy may seem good right now, but in the long run it will not pay off and it is better to work hard.
Ant Thumbprints:  Give each child a piece of construction paper and an ink pad and let them put fingerprints on the piece of paper.  Then, let them use a marker or crayon to draw legs on their ants.  Put the Bible verse, Proverbs 6:6, on the paper as well.
Working Together Follow the Leader: Have all the kids stand up and hold hands in a circle. Pick one student or teacher to be the leader.  The object of the game is to follow the leader like ants march in line.  Emphasize that they should work together so that everyone is able to stay in line and caught up.
Working Together: Put the kids into pairs.  Give each pair a stack of 10-20 plastic cups.  Each child will put one hand behind their back.  Each child will use one hand to work with their partner to build a tower out of their cups.  This could be a race to see who can build the biggest tower or just practice working together with a partner.
Ant Snack: Make sure that none of your children have food allergies!  Give each child a plate with raisins (ants), celery (trees), peanut butter (dirt), etc.  Encourage the children to play with their snack and eat it when they are ready.  Remind them that they should be diligent like ants.
Conclusion: Close by asking the class to each say one thing that they can do this week to show that they value work.  This could be helping their parents or family with something or listening to their parents. Close by praying with the class and asking God to help them be diligent.

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