Donna is a retired Christian educator who writes creative lesson plans for Sunday school, children's ministry, and home education.
Use the Bible story of how Nehemiah rebuilds the walls in Jerusalem to teach children valuable life lessons. They can learn how God honored Nehemiah’s love for the holy city of Jerusalem and answered his prayer to rebuild her walls.
Children's Church Lesson Objectives
This Bible lesson is designed for elementary students. It takes about 45 minutes and requires few supplies. It is age-appropriate for use in Sunday school, children's church or by elementary educators.
The educational objectives are designed to show how God answers prayer. Teaching how to set and achieve Godly goals is demonstrated as is submission to authority.
Show and Teach
Sunday School Lesson Supplies List
You will need:
- Bible (text is in Nehemiah 1:1 - 2:20)
- Wooden blocks
- Map of Persia showing Jerusalem (see image to right)
- Coloring page
- Pretzel rods
- Cheese spread in aerosol can
- Disposable cups
- Small bean bag (prop for teaching memory verse)
In the next section, we'll discuss interactive ways to make the story come to life for your students.
Dramatizing the Story of Nehemiah
Use the map of Persia to show the class where Jerusalem was located.
Talk about how Nehemiah might have traveled to Jerusalem, and what he found when he arrived.
Tell the story, and then invite the class to use the wooden blocks and work together, like the Israelites did, to build a wall.
Use these discussion questions with the story of Nehemiah.
Answering them helps the kids understand the story better, and gives you an easy way to provide additional information.
These questions can be used during the story telling portion or during the wall building session.
- Who was Nehemiah? (The king's cup bearer.)
- What does a cup bearer do? (Taste the king's drink before the king drinks it to make sure it is not poisoned.)
- Why was Nehemiah sad? (He found out that Jerusalem's walls were destroyed.)
- What did Nehemiah do about this? (He prayed, and obeyed when God told him what to do.)
- What did the king do when he learned why Nehemiah was sad? (He sent Nehemiah to repair the walls.)
- How did God answer Nehemiah's prayer? (Encourage the kids to explain in their own words.)
Let the kids retell the story in their own words while playing with the blocks and building walls. Give them about 15 minutes of guided playtime, and then have them clean up. This is a good time to use the coloring pages or other craft activity, which is a perfect transition bridge to snack.
Teaching the Memory Verse
An age-appropriate memory verse for this lesson is Nehemiah 1:11. “O Lord, I pray, please let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who fear your name.”
An easy way to teach this scripture is by using a bean bag as a prop. Have the kids sit in a circle on the floor. As you hand the bean bag to one of them, say the first word of the memory verse.
They toss the bag to one of the other children and say the next word. Continue around the circle until everyone has had a chance to say one of the words to the memory verse.
Please Eat Your Walls
Finish the lesson by making a fun edible snack. Use pretzel rods and spreadable cheese, and let the kids build “walls” for their snack. Serve water in small disposable cups, and let the kids take turns being the cup bearer and serving each other.
Send the Nehemiah coloring pages home to reinforce the lesson of how Nehemiah rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem in Old Testament times.
I'm Waiting to Hear From You!
I hope you enjoyed this lesson plan for the story of Nehemiah in the Bible.
If you do use it in your Sunday school or children's church programs, please leave me a note in the comments section below and let me know how it worked for you.
If I need to make some tweaks to it, please let me know so I can improve it for other Christian educators and parents:)
I'm always glad to hear back from my readers with feedback on what they need to know about Christian education or teaching, so I can provide them with a better reading experience.
If you need more free Sunday school lesson plans or Christian teaching resources such as book and movie reviews or tips, you may want to check out my blog, Christian Education Plus.
The KHVKids' Study Bible, Zonderkidz, 1991, 1994 by the Zondervan Corporation
Author's own experience as a Christian educator and lay children's minister
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Donna Cosmato
What's Your Favorite Old Testament Bible Story?
Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on April 17, 2011:
Thanks, Tania...kids are such eager learners, it's fun to think of new ways to engage their interest :)
Tania Cowling from Florida on April 17, 2011:
Great teachable moments with Bible lessons :)
Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on April 17, 2011:
Thank you! Kids love it, especially the edible walls :-)
silly me on April 16, 2011: