Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the Bible is a great resource to help you teach key concepts like leadership, choice, integrity, and friendship to children, teens and adults alike. Use the book in a Sunday School class or after-school youth group, or in more informal moments with your children and family. We’ve put together some ideas for you here. We’d also love to hear your ideas! Please tell us how you’re using the Bible volume. And if you would like to add resources on the Book of Mormon volume, please email mcarthurkrishna@gmail.com— would love to have your ideas to post!

THEMES

Themes covered by each story
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SAMPLE LESSON PLAN

CHILDREN
Each story can be the basis for an engaging lesson
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DISCUSSION

TEENS & ADULTS
Use the stories as a jumping off point for meaty and enlightening discussion
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ACTIVITIES

GROUPS & FAMILIES
Have fun telling and teaching stories! Ideas for you to run with
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REFERENCE

Links to other sites we find helpful
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Themes of the Bible volume

The overarching theme of the book is choice. Each woman makes a choice that affects her, her family, and/or her community for the better. But they also provide examples of other important qualities.This table helps you find a story to illustrate a quality you want to teach.

Woman Example of… Values* Bible Reference
Eve Courage Divine nature Moses 2-4
Miriam Family togetherness Choice & accountability Exodus 2:2-10
Mahlah and sisters Problem solving Choice & accountability Numbers 26:33; 27:1-11; 34:14-15
Deborah Leadership Faith, Knowledge Judges 4-5
Esther Standing up for others Good works Esther 1-10
Mary, mother of Jesus Trust in God Divine nature Luke 1:26-38, 46
Samaritan Woman Helping others Good works John 4:6-30
Mary and Martha Gospel learning Knowledge Luke 10:38-42
Generous widow Giving/sacrifice Integrity Mark 12:41-44
Healed woman Asking God for help Faith, Individual worth Luke 8:43-48
Mary Magdalene Following Jesus Integrity John 20:11-18

* Corresponds to LDS Young Women’s Values


SAMPLE LESSON PLAN – CHILDREN

Teaching a Sunday School or Primary class? Girls Who Choose God is an excellent teaching tool. Complement a story from the book with discussion and an activity or two and you’ve got yourself a lesson. We’ve created a sample lesson plan for you to use, based on the Generous Widow story. Adapt as needed,or use it as a template for building lessons around other stories in the book.

Another approach is to group several stories together to illustrate a larger theme and build a lesson around that. See the Themes section for some ideas.

 

Outline Sample (Generous Widow)
Define: Vocabulary that may be new. Mite (Roman coin worth the least)Sacrifice (give up something important or of value for something better)
Read: First part of story. Read page one of the story, minus the choices. Show the pictures to the children.
Illustrate: Concepts Use your imagination (or Google) to find ways to help illustrate concepts presented in the story. Distribute pennies to the class (each child should receive between two and ten pennies). Ask each child to put two of their pennies in a jar. Children with only two pennies may complain that others have left over pennies while they don’t. Explain that while every student put in two pennies, some put in a greater percentage of their total pennies. Some gave all they had while some had plenty left.
Read and ask: The woman’s two choices. Read the two choices the woman had (bottom of first page of story). Ask the children what they think she did.
Read: Second page of story. Read the paragraph (page two of the story) that reveals the woman’s choice.
Discussion: Concepts presented in story. Here are some ways to develop discussion:

  • True/False questions
  • Review questions
  • Why was two mites more than larger amounts given? (it was all she had; relative worth)
  • How did the Pharisees feel about their giving? (proud, self-righteous)
  • Which giver was Jesus pleased with? (widow)
  • Do we need to give to God if we are poor? (yes)
  • Why wasn’t Jesus impressed with the giving of the rich? (it was “extra” money for them, not a sacrifice)
Ask: When have you made a similar choice? Read the personal question that ends the story (When have you chosen to sacrifice something for God?) Let each child respond. Develop discussion around children’s answers as appropriate. Have a story of your own ready to share with the children if needed.
Activity: Do an activity or two to help reinforce the lesson. Some ideas are:

  • Act out the story
  • Act out a concept (e.g., giving reluctantly vs. giving joyfully)
  • Sing a song about the topic (e.g., giving)
  • Craft (e.g., draw or make a Roman coin)
  • Review: Draw a question about the story out of a hat and answer it
  • Draw a picture of the story
Conclude: Apply the lesson to the child’s life. How does God use our money? (to support preachers or missionaries, to provide the places and things we need to study and worship, to help people in need)Name two ways we can work for God (e.g., give our time to help others, give some of our allowance, teach others about him).


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS – TEENS AND ADULTS

Choose a couple stories to illustrate a particular quality you want to highlight (see the “Values” column, above).

Use the stories in the book as a jumping off point for meaty and enlightening discussion. Here are some questions you could use to get your group talking.

  • The “personal choice” questions at the end of the stories make for great and often insightful sharing opportunities.Pose the question and ask the class to consider it as you tell the Bible story. (This gives them time to think about the question.) After telling or reading the Bible story (feel free to read directly from the Bible instead of the book), invite people to share their own stories that answer the “personal choice” question.
  • Consider the idea of choice as it applies to women in Bible. Some stories are so familiar, we often forget that the women actually made choices to act the way they did: their actions were not foregone conclusions. Discuss.
  • Many choices the women made were difficult and put themselves and/or their families at great risk. When have you made a decision rooted in faith that seemed risky? What were the risks and why did you make the choice you did?
  • Many of the women exhibit great decision-making and leadership qualities. Think of Eve, Deborah and Esther. How did they lead? How do you lead?
  • The story of Mahlah and her sisters is a great example of advocating for justice in a peaceful manner. Their case resulted in a change of law. Consider the implications of their actions and discuss ways in which you can advocate for justice in your community.
  • Miriam was likely a young girl when she was entrusted with watching over her baby brother. She had to make a quick decision about his well being and chose well. How you can you develop trust in your girl’s decision-making abilities? How can you help her develop good decision-making skills?


ACTIVITIES – GROUPS AND FAMILIES

  • Read together.Each child chooses her favorite story and reads it aloud to the family. The child also leads the family in discussing the “personal choice” question at the end of the story.
  • Play charades.Divide into teams. Each team chooses a story and then acts it out—without using any words!—for the other team(s) to guess.
  • Make your own book of family stories. Choose a story from Girls Who Choose God and read it together as a family. Then, instead of discussing the “personal choice” question, each family member answers the question by writing down their experience on a piece of paper. Take turns reading your personal stories to each other, then gather them together to make a book.
  • Cook together. Read and discuss the story of Mary and Martha. After you’ve done the “Mary” part (studying the story together), do the “Martha” part – make something you like to eat together!
  • Participate in a cause. Using Mahlah and her sisters as inspiration, identify a cause that is important to your family or group. Brainstorm ways you can help it succeed and then do those together. It could range from writing a letter together to volunteering time together; raising money; creating a petition. Track your progress.
  • Create a diorama. For craft lovers, creative types, and kids of all ages. Choose a story and make a diorama that tells that story. There are lots of ways to make a diorama but our favorite method is to use marshmallow peeps, like this! This could easily be an activity that spans several days or weeks.
  • Present a play. You can make this as easy or as extravagant as you wish. On the easy end: together, choose a story and read it. Then gather props, assign roles and act out the story, making up dialogue as you go. Don’t resist the urge to make it funny and fun! On the extravagant end:  choose a story, assign roles (you may need to create additional characters to accommodate the number of people in your family or group) and together write a script. Create costumes and props, rehearse together and then perform it for family and friends or record it for your family/group to watch later.
  • Secret Samaritan. You’ve heard of Secret Santa; this is the same idea using the Samaritan woman at the well as inspiration. Identify someone who needs your help and then think of a way to help them – secretly! – and do it. Or, have the family/group draw names and do a secret nice thing for that person.

Other ideas for object lessons and activities

Thanks to Mary at Mission Bible Class for some of these ideas.

  • Write thank you notes to women who serve in your church.
  • Brainstorm things that women do to serve the Lord and serve in church and list them on the board.
  • Make a collage of famous women today known for their leadership, knowledge, bravery, compassion, etc. Use pictures from magazines and newspapers or printed from the internet. Explain that just as there are well-known women today, there were women long ago in the Bible who are also well known.
  • Invite a woman to describe the work she does for the Lord to a class of children. Older children could interview these women.
  • Make cards with the names (or pictures) of each of the Bible women. Include a short description of the woman or story. Take turns drawing cards and reading the description out loud while others guess who they are.  You could include other “characters” from the stories too (Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses’s mother, Haman, rich people at the temple).
  • Play “Pictionary”. Use the cards in the previous activity. One person selects a card and then has one minute to draw a scene that allows the others to guess who the woman is.
  • Play a word game. Choose a key word that relates to the story and then list related words that begin with each letter. For example, for the Deborah story: List leadership qualities that begin with the letters L E A D E R (for example: Listens; Empathizes; Accepts responsibility; Directs; etc.)

Reference

MissionBibleClass.org – one of the best resources for children’s Bible lessons we’ve found
Planning a class
Teaching ideas – arts, games, active learning ideas, memory verse ideas, visual aids, ways to tell a story
womeninthescriptures.com

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