Parable of the Sower

Scripture: Mark 4: 1 – 20 or Matthew 13: 1-23 or pages 392 -393 in the Golden Children’s Bible

Target Age Group:  1st through 6th grade

Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.

Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.

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Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to Matthew 13 or pages 392 – 393 in The Golden Children’s Bible.

(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)

  • Where was Jesus preaching in this story? from a boat off the shore of a lake.
  • What is a parable?  A story with a double meaning.  Everything in the story represents something else.
  • What was the farmer doing?  planting seeds
  • What four places did the seed land?  On the path, on rocky ground, among thorns, in good soil
  • What happened to the seeds that fell on the path?  It was trampled under foot and the birds came and ate them.
  • What happened to the seeds that fell on the rocky ground? The plants came up quickly, but they didn’t have deep roots, so the sun scorched them.
  • What happened to the seeds that fell among thorns? They were choked out and didn’t produce fruit.
  • What happened to the seeds that fell in the good soil? They grew and produced a crop up to 100 times more than the seed that was sown.
  • Who do you think that the farmer really is?  Jesus, preacher, teacher, missionary, etc.
  • What is the seed?  The Word or the Bible
  • What is the seed along the path?  People who don’t really receive the Word into their hearts.
  • What do the birds taking the seed away represent?  Satan destroying people’s faith.
  • What is the seed planted on rocky soil?  People who receive God’s Word with joy, but who have no deep roots.
  • What happens to them?  They fall away from God before very long when things get tough.
  • What is the seed that land among the thorns?  People who receive God’s Word and grow, but then get distracted by the worries and things of the world.
  • What happens to them?  They never produce fruit.
  • What is the seed that is planted in good soil?  People who hear the Word, accept it and produce a big crop.
  • What do you think the crop is?  Leading other people to Christ. A godly life. Fruit of the Spirit.
  • What kind of seed and soil do you think that you are? (Let them think about this.  Do not pressure them to answer if they don’t want to.)
  • How can we make sure that we are seed planted in good soil?  Read and study our Bibles, go to church and Sunday school, spend lots of time in prayer, commit to living for Jesus, don’t hang out with people who pull you away from God, don’t watch TV all the time etc.
  • Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us to be seed that is planted in good soil and productive for Him….

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During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…

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Memorize the verse.

James 1:22  “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

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Share the “Soak It In” object lesson. Or bring some garden tools to class as an object lesson.

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If you have a laptop and internet connection, here are three great videos to help the children visualize the story. Video #1  Video #2   Video #3  Video #4 – part 1 and part 2

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Make a flip chart and use it to tell the story. ( You could also print up these pictures for each child and have them make a collage out of them on a large piece of construction paper.)

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Have the children make bookmarks related to the story. You could have them paste real seeds on the card, then laminate them.

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Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story.  Color page #1   Color page #2   Color page #3   Color page #4   Color Page #5  There are several pages here.

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Sing “I Wanna Be Good Ground” by Bible Story Songs, or “Thy Word” by the Cedarmont Kids, or “The Sower” by the Donut Man. You can get them on i-tunes.  Another good song is “Grow Me Up Like You” by Mary Rice Hopkins.  You can order her music at her web site.

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Fill small pots or styrofoam cups with different types of soil – gravel, sand, and good rich soil – and plant some seeds in them.  Check over the next few weeks what grows and what doesn’t.

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Use this lesson to discuss this story with older children.

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Do this worksheet with older children.

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Serve dirt cake for snack time. Here is the recipe:

Dirt Cake with Worms

  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb. pkg. Oreo cookies
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) tub Cool Whip (can use chocolate)
  • 2 (3 1/2 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla or chocolate pudding
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • gummy worms

Crush Oreos or process in a food processor. Fill the bottom of individual snack cups with 1/3 of the crumbs.  Set aside.

Mix butter, cream cheese and sugar and vanilla together. Set aside.

Combine milk and pudding mix. Fold Cool Whip into the pudding.

Fold together pudding mixture and butter-cream cheese mixture.

Layer this mixture (about 1/3 of it) onto the crumbled cookies in the cups. Then add another layer of cookie crumbs, continuing until all ingredients are used ending with the crumbs on top.

Place gummy worms in the “dirt” as if they are crawling out.

Chill in refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Or serve cupcakes decorated to illustrate the story. Here are two great ideas. Cupcake recipe #1  Cupcake recipe #2

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Evaluate what the children have learned.  While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.

Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.

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