Use this lesson outline to teach the David and Goliath story for kids. They’ll see how God can help with even the biggest of problems.
Editor’s Note: This lesson was adapted from Echoes, Elementary.
BIBLE BASIS: 1 Samuel 17
LESSON AIM: That your students will choose to seek God’s help in overwhelming situations.
David and Goliath Story for Kids: Bible Background
In this Bible story, several years had passed since David was anointed by Samuel. King Saul and his army were once again fighting the Philistines. When David arrived at the Israelite camp, things began to change.
The Philistines were a warlike people who lived along the Mediterranean coast just west of Israel. The Philistines continually raided Israelite territory and tried to expand their national borders to include the western hill country of Israel.
The Philistines had a tremendous advantage over Israel because they controlled the “iron industry.” Most of the iron that was mined, smelted, and used for weapons was controlled by the Philistines. This meant that swords and other iron weapons were often in short supply in Israel.
During this particular encounter, the Philistines appeared to have another advantage over Israel. They had a giant. Goliath was over nine feet tall. Not only was he huge, but the armor Goliath wore protected him from most harm.
This is truly a story of contrasts. Goliath was an experienced warrior; David was a shepherd. Goliath was huge; David was small. The giant wore armor; the boy refused to wear armor. The warrior carried a sword, a spear, and a shield; the shepherd carried a staff, a sling, and five smooth stones. Goliath scoffed at the God of Israel; David trusted the God of his fathers.
When the dust of the battle settled, it was apparent to all that the superhuman strength of the giant Goliath was not an advantage over the almighty power of the God of Israel.
As we admire David’s heroic courage, we need to remember that it was the God of Israel who enabled him to overcome Goliath. This is the same God who is with us today. When we trust in Him, God can enable us to overcome our giants too.
Your students will learn from the story of David and Goliath that God can help with even the biggest problems.
- Paper and crayons
- David and Goliath Teaching Aid
- Who Can Help? Teaching Aid
Distribute paper and crayons to each student.
Ask students to draw faces showing children with different feelings. They may draw people who are angry, afraid, happy, shy, sad, and worried.
SAY: Have you ever had any of these feelings? God is with you during all these times.
My Bible Words
Distribute the David and Goliath Teaching Aid and have children look at the picture of Goliath. Have a student read the description of Goliath. Ask another student to read the definition of an “enemy army.”
ASK: How would you feel if an enemy army with a big giant wanted to fight you? (Afraid!)
Point out the picture of David and the sling in his hand. Let a volunteer read the definition of “sling.”
SAY: A person tied one end of the sling to his wrist. The middle part of the sling was a leather pouch where a stone was placed. The person held on to the loose end of the sling and swung it around in a circle. At the right moment, he would let go of the loose end. The stone would fly out of the sling to the target. In today’s Bible story, David faced a scary time when an enemy army tried to fight God’s people.
Open your Bible to 1 Samuel 17. Help the children locate the passage in their Bibles. Have your students follow along as you read or ask volunteers to take turns reading each section.
Tell the David and Goliath Story for Kids
God’s people, the Israelites, were getting ready to fight an enemy army. David’s brothers were soldiers in Israel’s army. They were camped with King Saul and the other soldiers on a hill. The enemy army was on another hill across the valley.
The enemy army had a soldier named Goliath. Goliath was very big, very strong, and very tall. He was a giant! Every day Goliath would shout mean things at King Saul and the Israelites. Then he would say, “Choose someone to come and fight me. If he wins, we will serve you. If I win, you must serve us.”
King Saul and his men were afraid. They were used to fighting together. And Goliath was so big that no one wanted to fight Goliath by himself.
One day, David came to the camp to bring his brothers some food. David heard the giant yelling. David was very angry because of all the mean things Goliath was saying about God and the Israelites. David couldn’t understand why no one would fight Goliath. David knew that God was stronger than the giant. And David knew God would help the Israelites win.
One of the soldiers told King Saul what David was saying. So King Saul sent for David. When David arrived, he told King Saul, “I will fight Goliath.”
King Saul said, “You can’t do that. You’re just a boy.”
But David answered, “When I was taking care of my father’s sheep, I had to kill a lion and a bear. I know that the Lord who helped me protect my sheep from lions and bears will help me fight the giant.”
Saul wanted David to wear the king’s armor and use his sword. But when David tried to walk around with all those things on, he said, “I can’t fight in these!” And he took them off.
So King Saul said, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” Then David went and found five smooth stones to use with his sling. Now he was ready to fight the giant!
When Goliath saw David, Goliath got angry! He thought the strongest and biggest soldier in King Saul’s army would come out to fight him. But this person was just a young man. He didn’t have a sword. He didn’t have a spear. He didn’t have a shield. He didn’t have anything—except a sling! So Goliath yelled, “Come here, and I will kill you!”
Read David’s answer together as a class from 1 Samuel 17:45.
As the giant came closer, David ran toward him. David put a stone in his sling and shot it at the giant. The stone struck Goliath in the forehead. Goliath fell down and died.
When the enemy army saw what happened, they were afraid and started to run away. King Saul and his army chased after the enemy army and killed them.
David trusted God to help him, and God used David to help save the Israelites from the enemy army.
Pass out the Who Can Help? Teaching Aid to students. One picture at a time, talk about how David may have felt in each situation. For each picture ask:
- Why do you think David might have been scared? (He was caught outside with his sheep during a bad storm, meeting King Saul for the first time, being anointed by the prophet Samuel, going out to fight the giant Goliath)
- Who could help David be brave? (God can help David be brave.)
Have students complete the memory verse at the bottom of the Who Can Help? Teaching Aid by looking up Hebrews 13:6 in their Bibles. Students will write the correct word in the blank. Encourage students to try saying the verse without looking at the page.
SAY: When we face situations where we might be afraid, remembering this week’s Bible verse can help us.
Your students will ask God to help them face scary situations.
Pass out God Can Help! Teaching Aid to students.
SAY: Just like David, we sometimes get into some problem situations. Not everyone is scared of the same things, but all people face problems. Think of times when you feel like a David facing a giant problem. Choose one of them and write them on the first set of lines.
After students have had time to write down a time they are scared, divide the children into pairs. Have the children take turns telling their problems to each other. Encourage the children to be open about the sharing and to show compassion for each other.
Gather the children back together.
SAY: God helped David face Goliath. And He promises in our memory verse to help us too.
Have the children read Hebrews 13:6 at the bottom of the page on the God Can Help! Teaching Aid together. Invite the children to finish the page by writing in a prayer asking God to help them when they are facing scary, or David situations.
SAY: Remember that the Lord is your helper, and you do not need to be afraid. Just like David, you can trust in God.
For the class prayer time, let students share prayer requests. Encourage them to ask for prayer about things that are bothering them or scary situations. Have them read the prayer they wrote on the God Can Help! Teaching Aid.
Reach Every Student, Every Age and Every Day
Echoes Elementary consists of age-appropriate lessons that match the growing independence and responsibility of elementary students—especially their capacity to apply Bible truths and more deeply grasp the love of God.
Other Articles Adapted from Echoes Curriculum:
How to Celebrate People of Color in Your Sunday Lessons
Cain and Abel (Elementary Lesson)