Memory Verse:“Choose my teaching instead of silver. Choose knowledge rather than fine gold.” Proverbs 8:10, NIrV
Life App: Wisdom—finding out what you should do and doing it.
Basic Truth: I need to make the wise choice.
Prepare ahead of time for 2nd–3rd grade Small Groups this week:
Plug In: Focus the Energy (Choose one or both of these activities.)
An offering container
1 roll of masking or duct tape and permanent markers (optional)
Kindness Smack Down
No supplies needed
Catch On: Make the Connection(Choose as many of these activities as you like.) * If you don’t have time to do all these activities, be sure to do activity #2. Activity #1 is particularly good for children who need to move in order to stay engaged. Think B4 U Speak! (application activity / review the Bible story)
(1) Choosing wisdom is not always easy. God’s Word is full of truth we can apply to our lives.
(2) The Bible challenges us to respond to others with wisdom even when it costs us something.
(3) Showing wisdom proves that God is at work within us. This week, we’re discovering:
In this week’s Biblical principle, Solomon, the wisest person who ever lived, teaches us to choose our words wisely. “Thoughtless words cut like a sword. But the tongue of wise people brings healing.” (Proverbs 12:18, NIrV) Speaking without thinking can cause damage. But wise words can help.
Our Bottom Line is: If you want to be wise, think before you speak. When we’re upset or emotional, we may be tempted to blurt out hurtful words that we might regret after we’ve calmed down. But taking a moment to think about the other people’s thoughts and feelings allows us to choose our words wisely. Imagine the great friendships we could have if we used our words to help others and heal situations.
The monthly memory verse is: “Choose my teaching instead of silver. Choose knowledge rather than fine gold.” Proverbs 8:10, NIrVTaking the time to think about choosing wise words will help us build stronger relationships. And strong relationships are more valuable than any treasure we might find.
Bottom Line: If you want to be wise, think before you speak.
Memory Verse:“Choose my teaching instead of silver. Choose knowledge rather than fine gold.” Proverbs 8:10, NirV(((((999
Life App: Wisdom—Finding out what you should do and doing it.
Basic Truth: Basic Truth: I can make the wise choice.
Plug In: Focus the Energy (Small Groups, 10-15 minutes)
Focus the energy on today’s Bible story in a Small Group setting with an engaging discussion question and an interactive opening activity.
Before kids arrive, pray for each regular attendee by name. Pray for those who might visit your group for the first time. Pray the kids will understand the power in the words they use. Ask God to help the kids pause to choose wise words. Pray they will get the chance this week to use their words for healing.
1. Early Arriver Idea
What You Need: Offering container; roll of masking or duct tape and markers (optional)What You Do:
While passing the offering container around the circle, ask the kids, “What is the nicest thing someone has said to you? Who said it and why did it mean so much to you? How do you feel about yourself when kind things are said to you? How do you feel about the person who spoke kindly to you?”
Optional: Help kids take a piece of masking or duct tape slightly bigger than their fist, fold in half the long way so it stays the same length, and then write with permanent marker one of the compliments they received on the tape. Pull off another short piece of tape to hold the 2 ends together to make a bracelet.
2. Kindness Smack Down
What You Need: No supplied needed
What You Do:
Partner up the kids and tell them to take turns bantering back and forth, giving each other compliments and counting them as they go, until they run out of kind things to say. Play for 15 seconds to see which pair can come up with the most compliments. Switch partners and play as many rounds as there’s interest and time for.
What You Say:
“How did it feel to have to keep thinking of more and more nice things to say? (Pause for their responses.) Was it harder than you thought? (Pause.) How did it feel to hear all those nice things from your partner? (Listen to their thoughts.) [Transition] Today in Large Group, we will hear how powerful our words can be. What do you think is more powerful: a sword or your words? Let’s go find out.”
Lead your group to the Large Group area.
Catch On: Make the Connection (Small Groups, 25-30 minutes)
Make the connection of how today’s Bible story applies to real life experiences through interactive activities and discussion questions.
1. Think B4 U Speak! (application activity / review the Bible story)
What You Need: 2 pennies, 20 plastic cups
What You Do:
Divide into two teams. The goal is to build a tower as a team, using 10 cups. To win, a team needs four cups lined up in a row on the bottom, and then the next tier should have three cups. The second highest tier should have two cups and one cup on top completes the tower. Kids should take turns either adding a cup or taking one down. For each turn, a kid will flip a penny to see if he gets to build (heads) or take down (tails). If heads is flipped, the kid gets to add a cup, if tails is flipped, remove a cup. (If tails is flipped three times in a row, do not remove any further cups. Instead, count to 10 and give the penny to the next kid.) See which team is able to build their complete tower first.
What You Say:
“Words are powerful. They have the power to build others up, like when we were adding cups, or they can tear others down, like when we were taking away cups. Did you notice that when tails was flipped, the tower was either being taken apart or building that tower came to a complete stand still? When we use hurtful words, it keeps others from growing in confidence and may even make them feel so hurt that they just stand there. [Impress] If you want to be wise, think before you speak. [Apply] This week, challenge yourself to encourage or build up at least one person a day.”
* 2. Turn A Frown Upside Down! (application activity / great for active learners)
What You Need: “Smiley Cards” (Activity Page)
What You Do:
Give kids each a card with a smiley face on it with an extra set of eyes below the mouth. Show them how if you hold the card covering the bottom set of eyes, it looks like a smiley face. Then flip it upside down and hold it covering the bottom set of eyes, so they can see that now it looks like the face frowns. Read a situation and ask the kids to hold the card showing how the kids in the situation feel. Help them to take turns sharing what could be said to help encourage and build up the person in this situation. When the kids feel the goal of building the person up has been reached based on all that’s been said, they will flip their card upside down and turn the frown into a smiley face to show the change.
You tease your little brother and he starts to cry. Turn his frown upside down.
A kid at school is super sensitive because he is really short. Everyone has nicknamed him Pee Wee and it really bothers him. Turn his frown upside down.
Snakes, spiders, and dogs easily frighten a girl in your class. She screams whenever she sees one. Kids have started calling her the “Scaredy Cat.” Turn her frown upside down.
You tell a kid on the playground to get out of your way. Turn their frown upside down.
You hurt your sister’s feelings when you imitate the way she sings. Turn her frown upside down.
You get mad at a friend and call her mean. It crushes her. Turn her frown upside down.
You tell your little sister that there is a monster under her bed. She is scared and won’t go to bed. Turn her frown upside down.
You tell a friend’s secret to another friend. They are mad and hurt. Turn their frown upside down.
You go to a sleepover and everyone is teasing your friend because he brought his teddy bear. He gets very embarrassed. Turn his frown upside down.
You saw that a kid in your class got a failing grade on a math test. You tell everybody you know about the “F.” The kid is humiliated. Turn her frown upside down.
Your friend is late to school and forgets to comb her hair. You call her “Bed Head.” She is hurt by the comment. Turn her frown upside down.
A kid in your class tells the shyest kid in your class that she has bad breath. She looks like she wants to run and hide. Turn her frown upside down.
What You Say:
“Everyone has said something they wish they could take back. So, repeat after me: [Impress]if you want to be wise, think before you speak.(Kids repeat.) [Apply] This week, practice building others up. The next time you find yourself about to say something negative, stop yourself before the words slip out. Remember to be careful with your words so you can make the wise choice.”
3. Thumb Wars! (memory verse activity)
What You Need: “Memory Verse Sets” (Activity Pages)
What You Do:
Tell the kids to partner up. Share with them that to earn the pieces to the memory verse, they will compete one on one. Show the kids how to thumb wrestle by joining fingers with another child, leaving both your thumbs free up top. Count off tapping your thumbs on opposite sides, “One, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war!” and then see which of you can pin the other person’s thumb first and count to three. Each time a kid wins, they take the next piece of the verse and put it in their pile. The first kid of the pair to collect all of the pieces wins the game and the other kid can then collect the remaining pieces that they need. Then have the kids put their pieces in order and take turns closing their eyes and reciting it to each other.
What You Say:
“Our memory verse is a great one to remember because it helps us [Recycle] make the wise choice.[Apply] It’s helpful to memorize and repeat it to yourself so that you can think of it when you need it most. Take these pieces home and practice memorizing the verse, so that eventually you can say the verse in your sleep because you know it so well. Then you can easily put the verse into practice. One way you can do that is to think before you speak. God wants us to say things that are helpful and encouraging to others, instead of tearing them down with hurtful things. [Impress] If you want to be wise, think before you speak.”
Pray and Dismiss
What You Need: No supplies needed
What You Do:
Using the guide below, discuss situations with the group where it is difficult to be encouraging to others.
What You Say:
“Why do you think it is easier to build some people up than others? (Pause for answers.) Are you more encouraging to your family and friends or complete strangers? Why? (Pause to listen to their thoughts.) Who are you the hardest on? [Personalize](Share a personal story of when you realized you were not patient enough or were being hard on someone.)
[Impress] “If you want to be wise, think before you speak. Think of someone you feel you need to build up more or someone you have a hard time saying nice things to. When I pray in a minute, there will be a few seconds of silence to allow you to pray silently for that person, picturing their face in your mind, and asking God to help you remember to think before you speak to that person. Let’s pray.
“Dear God,[Apply]Help us to actively encourage and build others up. Help us especially build up _______. (Kids silently pray for the people they know they need to be more encouraging to.) Thanks, God, that You build us up and help us so that [Recycle] we can make the wise choice. Amen.”
Give each child a GodTime card. Pass out Parent CUE cards as adults arrive for pick-up.