How can we live at peace with one another? Includes a teaching guide and 2 games.
Needed: soft play balls or paper wads
Intro Game: Don’t Hit Dodge Ball
Divide students into two teams. They stand at opposite sides of your play area. Their goal is to not hit the other team while making the other team hit them. If someone throws and hits a member of the other team, they’re out. Meanwhile, members of the other team can dive in front of thrown balls to get the thrower out.
Players can’t hold balls. They have three seconds to throw, or they’re out. If a ball stays on one side for more than five seconds, the whole team is out. You can pretend the balls are bombs that they want to throw out of their area without hitting anyone else.
The first team to get all the members of the opposite team out wins.
Ask students, Does anyone remember why God gives us rules? (God gives us rules because He loves us. The rules He gives us are meant to protect us and others.)
How many of you are allowed to go kill someone if you wanted to?
How many of you are allowed to hit someone else?
You mean no one is allowed to hit or kill or another person? Why not?
(Have a student read Exodus 20:13 , quoted here in the NIV.)
“You shall not murder.”
What does God tell us not to do in this commandment? (God tells us not to murder.)
Why doesn’t God want us to murder?
Who made people? (God made people.)
Does God love people? (Yes.)
If we kill someone whom God made and someone whom God loves, how will God feel about that? (He will be sad that person died and He will be mad at us for killing them.)
Okay. So we’re not allowed to kill people, but we can at least hit them, can’t we? (No.)
God doesn’t want us to kill or to even hurt anyone in any way. We are not allowed to hit.
Game: Alex and Alicia
Help students apply the lesson by giving advice to two fictitious students. Tell students that you’re going to tell them a short story. Then, they’ll have to decide what the character in the story should do.
Story #1: Alex’s Pesky Brother. Alex’s brother, James, has been bothering him all day. He just won’t leave Alex alone. Alex has tried to nicely ask James to go away, but that didn’t work. Alextold his mom about it and his mom made James leave him alone for a little bit, but when their mom isn’t looking, James just starts bothering Alex again. Alex is getting really angry and he thinks that maybe if he hits James, that’ll make James go away.
What do you think? Should Alex hit James to make him go away?
(No.God doesn’t want us to hit or hurt anyone, even if they’re really bothering us. We have to keep our tempers under control and solve the problem a different way. Maybe Alex could talk to James and tell him how much he’s bothering him. Maybe Alex could play with James to give him some attention.)
Story #2: She Hit Me First. Alicia and Lisa got into an argument at recess. Alicia thought High SchoolMusical 2 was the best, but Lisa liked High School Musical 3 better. They started to really argue about it and then, Lisa suddenly smacked Alicia on the arm. It hurt and Alicia really wants to smack Lisa back.
What should she do? Should Alicia hit Lisa back?
(No. God doesn’t want us to hit or hurt anyone, even if they hit us or hurt us first. God wants us to forgive and love other people, not hurt them. Maybe Alicia can ask Lisa to apologize. If Lisa won’t apologize, maybe Alicia can walk away and talk to someone else for a while.)
Story #3. What to do about the Bully? Alex and Alicia were walking home from school one day. When they turned the corner, they saw Jimmy, the school bully, punching Chris, a kid who was younger than them.
What would you do if something like that happening?
Alex wants to run in and fight Jimmy to protect Chris. Alicia says he shouldn’t because they’re not supposed to hit. What should they do?
(No one should hit anyone else, even if it’s to protect someone. Instead, maybe Alex can go stand between Jimmy and Chris to break up the fight. Maybe Alicia can call an adult for help.)
Game: Don’t Hit Dodge Ball
Play the intro game again as long as time allows.
Father, we thank You for creating and caring about all humans. Help us to respect the people You made by never hitting or harming anyone. Help us to find other ways to solve our problems. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
This lesson is included in my book, The Lord’s Top Ten: Children’s Sunday School Lessons on the Ten Commandments.