Parents and educators usually try to interest children in learning about the Bible in one of two ways. For older children, adults assign Bible verses to memorize. For smaller children, however, the lessons contained in Scripture are often remembered longer if they appear within a story.
If a child is old enough to read, he or she can use a children’s Bible. But even children who read Scripture on their own need some guidance from an adult. Often the best way to provide it is for the adult to first read or even paraphrase the main verses associated with the Bible story and then literally tell the story.
Here are some of the most popular stories and associated Bible verses for children. You can look them up at this free site and find them in quite a few popular editions of the Bible.
Noah and the Great Flood
Verses: Genesis 6-8
Smaller children will identify with the various types of animals in the story, depending upon the level at which it’s told. Older kids should be able to take away more sophisticated messages.
The Ten Commandments
Verses: Exodus 20-24
Small children can learn who Moses was in Scripture and how the stone tables and Commandments were given to him by listening to the story. School-age kids are old enough to memorize at least some of them. For older children, a discussion of how they apply to family life is appropriate.
David and Goliath
Verses: I Samuel: 17, 18
The story of David slaying the giant Goliath is one of the easier ones to tell. Little ones will be captivated by the good guy/bad guy imagery. For older children, this Scripture is also an opportunity to consider David’s rule and concept of the tribes of Israel.
Verses: Matthew 2, Luke 2
The story of the birth of Jesus appears both the books of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament. Parents or religious teachers will want to pick the more appropriate version for the age of the children. Little ones are enthralled with the story of animals surrounding the manger and a special star in the sky. By around age 10, kids can appreciate the link between John the Baptist serving as a messenger for the coming of his cousin Jesus. Middle- and high-school-age students can study the Roman occupation and the actual messages Jesus delivered.
The Lord’s Prayer
Verses: Matthew 6:9-13
Protestants call it the “Lord’s Prayer,” while Catholics refer to it as the “Our Father.” School-age children can go beyond memorizing it to studying how and when it appeared in Christ’s ministry on earth.
The Good Samaritan
Verses: Luke 10:24-26
This classic story is appropriate for any child old enough to sit still for it. For many, it’s the first formal introduction they receive about how to treat others. Elementary schoolers can appreciate the dynamic of helping someone who’s considered an enemy. Investigating what parables are and why Jesus used them is appropriate for older youngsters.
Jesus and the Little Children
Verses: Matthew 19:13-14
This passage of Scripture is lyrical no matter which version the reader selects. The subject matter largely speaks for itself in terms of Christ encouraging the children to come to him. Older kids can discuss why Jesus’ followers tried to keep the children away from him, why he rebuked them and the meaning this Scripture might have for today.