Friday, October 10, 2008

Sunday School - Proverbs (2) wisdom

Proverbs is a wonderful book to read with children. It hands on the wisdom of the older to the younger generation.

Proverbs includes a father's advice to his son (chs. 1-29) and a mother's wise words handed down through two generations (ch. 31). It encourages children to fear God, heed correction, accept discipline, choose friends wisely, use words carefully, enjoy pleasure, money and food with moderation, and live wisely throughout their lives.

Yet when I searched the internet, I found no Sunday School material on Proverbs (if you know of some, please tell me!). So my friend Liz and I are writing our own. Since you'll probably have the same problem if you want to teach Proverbs to children, I thought you might be interested to hear about our lessons. No doubt someone will end at this blog after doing the same search I did! If that's the case, welcome. We got our lessons a bit mixed up: you'll find lesson 1 here, and all the lessons here.

Liz taught the children this memory verse: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:4-6). A great choice, because it shows wisdom comes not from our own cleverness, but from God, through humbly trusting and obeying him.

Here's the brilliant craft Liz and the children made during their first weeks on Proverbs. They read Proverbs 3:13-18, and chose 4 verses about wisdom. The children illustrated the 4 verses, and made a cleverly designed hanging book, a wonderful reminder of the beauty and value of wisdom:

All you need to make a book like this is a sheet of white A3 paper, some coloured pencils, and some glue. Cut the A3 paper in half lengthways. You'll have 2 rectangles of paper.

Cut one of the pieces 36 cm long, and fold it into 8, into a concertina or fan shape. On each 1/4 section, draw a picture. Here are my son Ben's illustrations of the 4 Proverbs verses they chose:

Cut the other rectangle 28 cm long, fold 1 cm over at each end, then fold the 26 cm central section into 8, again in a concertina or fan shape. Hold the paper folded, and cut half an arch into the side with four folds and no ends (you'll get it when you see it). Open out the paper, and decorate the arches.

Here's Ben's decorated rectangle, with the 4 verses printed out and stuck on each section:

Put the short rectangle with the arches over the long rectangle (you'll see the 4 pictures through the arches), fold the 1 cm strips at the ends of the shorter rectangle over the ends of the longer rectangle, and glue the ends and upwards folded edges together, so that it looks like this:

Bring the two end together, and glue them. It will turn into a four-sided book, which you can hang from a string through the centre. From the top, it should look something like this:

Here's the 4 verses with my daughter Elizabeth's illustrations.

"Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace" (Proverbs 3:17).

"She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her" (Proverbs 3:15).

"Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour" (Proverbs 3:16).

"She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed" (Proverbs 3:18).


The book design is from a book about making books belonging to my friend - I'll get the details and add them here.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this activity! I have looked all over for an activity for my kids to do with Proverbs however I am teaching my Sunday School kids and they just don't make available activities. This is great ... thank you!

Liz G said...

Hi Jean
Could you please send me a copy of your proverbs studies I would be interested in viewing them. I teach Christian Studies in an anglican school. Please email to

josephinetyler said...

Hi,Jean! My pastor recently chose me to be the children's Sunday school teacher and he wanted me to begin by teaching the children from the book of proverbs. I searched the internet for activities and lessons and found nothing! May God richly bless you and keep up the good work!

Phyllis said...

Thank you for your post. I have done lessons on the Proverbs for a church in Arizona and was now thinking of putting them together in book form.

Loved the activity you showed! If there is a need for a book, may I come back to you for permission to use this activity?

Jean said...

Ah, yes, that craft! It was from a book about making books (I'd better chase up the reference for you!) so it would depend on whether you were planning to publish the book or not. If you were, I guess you'd need permission from the original authors - and I may also need to talk to the publishers who may be publishing my sunday school material; if it's a book for private use, just an acknowledgement would do. I'll try and remember to chase up the details of that book and put them here - remind me if I forget!

Wanda said...

Just stumbled across your post this morning in my search for more material on Proverbs.

Jean said...

Thanks, Wanda, hope it was helpful!

Marie said...

Thanks so much for your post on Proverbs. I was at a loss on how to present a lesson on Proverbs and your suggestions were a great help. Thanks Wanda

Jean said...

I'm glad they were helpful, Marie.

Kirsty said...

As far as permission's concerned, ideas can't be copyrighted. So you'd be fine unless you were actually copying words or pictures from the book.

I like this idea.