Tag Archives: Sunday School

Icebreakers for Sunday School

When little children walk into class the opening day of Sunday school, they can play together after five minutes like they’ve known each other five years! No need for icebreakers here. But kids ages eleven and older can spend an hour propping up the walls if icebreakers aren’t provided. Icebreakers can be a lifesaver! Here are our three favorite icebreakers for Sunday school, youth group, or introducing a lot of new people into a class of older students:

The Truth Will Set You Free

Each person in class takes a turn making three statements about him or herself. Two are true, and one isn’t. An example would be, “I play five instruments. I was born in Oklahoma. My mom was a dancer on Broadway.” The group must take guesses as to which is the false statement, and then the person must confess. Encourage students to reveal statements about themselves that will be memorable to others. For example, “I went on six mission trips to Honduras” is more interesting than “I am seventeen,” though all statements are welcome.

Who Am I?

Write on index cards the names of Bible characters or movie or TV stars. Tape one name to each person’s back. The students then have to begin determining the name that is on their back. They can only ask one question to each person. They can’t ask a direct question, such as “What’s the name on my back?” The person they ask should only answer a direct question, such as “Is the name on my back male or female?” or “Is this a person on Nickelodeon?” As people determine the names on their backs, they should sit down and not have to answer any more questions. This will make the overly shy ones get a hustle on, lest they be the last ones standing! Many friendships have formed thanks to this game.

Puzzle Partners

Take sheets of paper and draw a squiggly line down the center that looks like two puzzle pieces fitting nicely together. Don’t do any two alike! Cut them in half, and place them in a pile, one just underneath its mate. Wait until everyone arrives, then give them out in this order! The order will prevent puzzle pieces from being out there that have no mate! If there is an uneven number of people, the teacher can opt to participate. Have participants find the person who has the piece of the puzzle that matches theirs. Then, they inquire about their matching piece partner and write down three things about him or her. When it comes time for introductions, have the matching piece partners introduce each other, rather than having everyone introduce themselves.

All of the icebreakers above have worked quite successfully with kids over the ages of ten. These icebreakers even work on adult groups, so use them freely and have fun!

Genesis Bible Quiz and Answers

Sunday school teachers looking for fun and exciting fill-in activities can always take students back to Genesis. Genesis is the foundation of recorded history for all those in the Judeo, Christian and Muslim faiths. A Genesis Bible Quiz can help keep the beginnings of mankind fresh, enjoyable and relevant to kids.

Here’s an easy Genesis Bible quiz that can reinforce facts that kids should know and can also help teach those facts!  (Answers are provided after each quiz question.)


1. The first life forms mentioned in Genesis were:

A. Adam and Eve

B. God and Jesus

C. Abraham and Moses

D. Sodom and Gomorrah

Answer:  B

God says in 1:26, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,”  and He doesn’t create Adam and Eve until 1:27. Church fathers dating back to Christ’s apostles say the “us/our” references are God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


2. In Genesis 3, the fruit Eve ate that caused her to sin was what type?

A. An apple

B. A fig

C. A pomegranate

D. Unknown

Answer:  D

While it is widely thought that Eve ate an apple, the fruit is not named, and it may even be a fruit that ceased to exist after the Garden disappeared.


3. The first person to commit murder in the Bible was:

A. Adam

B. Cain

C. Esau

D. Methuselah

Answer:  B

Adam helped commit the first sin, but it was not murder. Cain, his son, murdered his brother Abel over jealousy.


4. How long did Adam live?

A. 33 years

B. 100 years

C. 930 years

D. 1000 years

Answer:  C

Genesis 5:5 lists Adam living “930 years, and then he died.”
5. How many sons did Noah have?

A. 3

B. 21

C. 7

D. 9

Answer:  A

Genesis 6:9 first names them:  Shem, Ham, and Japheth.


6. The ark was made out of what kind of wood?

A. Teak

B. Oak

C. Cypress

D. Pine

Answer:  C

Many beautiful boats today are made out of teak wood, as it is least porous and quite water resistant; however, the ark was made out of cypress (Genesis 6:14).


7. After Noah and his family went into the Ark, waters flooded the earth for how many days?

A. 40

B. 100

C. 150

D. 3

Answer:  C

It rained for 40 days and nights, but it is thought that water also gushed from beneath the earth as well as the sky. The last verse in Genesis 7 states that “the waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days” [24].


8. God foiled man’s plans for the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 because:

A. He felt that men would be too smart and use their smarts to stray from Him

B. He felt that men would be too smart and use their smarts to destroy each other

C. He felt that man would be smart enough to compete with Him

D. A and B

Answer:  D

Genesis 11:6-7 shows God saying, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” Man will never compete with God. Frequently God has thwarted man so he wouldn’t injure himself or others or stray from God’s protection.


9. From Genesis 12 onward, the Book of Genesis mainly concerns:

A. Four generations of one family

B. Ten sins that men commit frequently

C. Twelve tribes and how they behaved

D.All of the above

Answer:  A

Abraham was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob, who was the father of Joseph, and the rest of Genesis concerns these four generations. Abraham is considered the Father of the Nation of Israel. The ten sins referenced in the Ten Commandments were not introduced until the Book of Exodus (Exodus 20). While the twelve tribes of Israel were born in Genesis, their behavior is not a major issue.


10. Which descendant of Abraham was renamed “Israel?”

A. Lot

B. Isaac

C. Jacob


Answer: C

Jacob, Genesis 32


If your students get at least 8 of the 10 questions correct in this Genesis Bible quiz, they know some important and fundamental facts of our faith! If your students were generally scoring lower than 8, that means they could use a refresher course. As some Sunday school teachers have said: “If the Book of Genesis seems real and relevant to a person, he is on his way to Christian maturity.”

Bible Science Experiment: Ice Cube Trick

Ben Franklin’s Birthday is January 17th!  For science lovers, here’s a way to tie in God’s wondrous creation to the great inventor.  This demonstration will show that everything isn’t always what it seems to be.  We can remind the class that when tempted to do something that is questionable to remember there is always another way. 


  • Tall drinking glass
  • Ice cubes
  • Salt
  • String


Ask the class if anyone thinks it is possible to pick up an ice-cube with only a piece of string.  Of course, that’s impossible.  In this experiment we’ll show how this can be done. 


  1. Place an ice cube in a glass of cold water.
  2. Cut a piece of string about six inches long
  3. Try to pick up the ice-cube by laying the string across the top of it without your hands touching the ice-cube.
  4. Now wet the string and lay it across the ice-cube.
  5. Sprinkle salt on top of the ice-cube and the string.
  6. Wait a few minutes and then try again to pick up the ice-cube with the string.  This time it works.


The salt will have melted the ice slightly and the water will have refrozen around the string making it adhere to the ice.

Teacher’s discussion

Let’s pretend that we are like the ice, God is the string, and the salt is like God’s Word.  When we “sprinkle our lives” with God’s word, it draws us closer to him and he is able to “pick us up.”   But when we sprinkle our lives with bad thoughts and evil deeds we are pulling away from God instead of reaching towards him. The Bible encourages us to draw close to God and allow our hearts and bodies to be cleansed of sin.  Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

Bible Object Lesson – “Flashlights”

In creating New Year’s resolutions, students can learn two important principles:

  • Without God’s light and love to help us see where we’re going, we’re like blind people trying to get somewhere;
  • Reach for high goals, which bring confidence and trust in God’s power.  As Dr. Martin Luther King observes:  “You don’t have to see the whole staircase…just the next step.”    

This lesson will help students realize both principles.

Household Object:   Flashlight


  • Flashlight
  • Bag of candy kisses wrapped in silver or gold, enough for each child to have several


  1. Before class, place 10 candy kisses around the room in various places, mostly in plain sight, but some hidden behind things.
  2. Hide the bag of candy kisses.
  3. Turn out all the lights in the room and close blinds, making it as dark as possible.
  4. Seat students around a table to listen to you, and you sit at the head.


Turn on flashlight so you can read.  This year, I’d like to do some amazing things. 

  1. I’d like to lose all my extra pounds. 
  2. I’d like to be able to run in a marathon, five miles at least! 
  3. I’d like to read a book a week…that’s 52 books. 
  4. I’d like to set a goal to clean my house every week and pick up every night so it never looks messy when company comes. 
  5. I’d like to be available for homework every night so that my kids can get straight A’s. 

 How many of you think I can do all that?  Shine the light around so you can see hands raised.

 Guess what my goals were last year.  Let them guess.

 Actually my goals were pretty much the same last year.  How many of those goals do you think I accomplished?  Let them answer. 

 Think of it:  If I had gotten all these goals last year, why would I be asking for them again this year? 

 I made some headway.   For maybe six weeks I cleaned my house every week.  I lost four pounds, but I gained it back.  This year is different.  This year…

 Shine the light in your smiling face… I’m letting God lead me, rather than simply telling God what I want and waiting for Him to fall into MY plans.

 Reaching your goals and dreams doesn’t happen over night.  When you don’t get them one year, should you give up?  No. 

 Failing at things can be a great opportunity in disguise.  It can bring us closer to God.  Proverbs 16:9 says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

 This year, I’m going to tell God what I want.  But then, I’m going to do my best to determine what he wants.  Does God want me to be a miserable failure?  No.

According to 3 John 1:2, God wants us to prosper and be in good health.   And the truth is that God works for the long-term.  We work for the short term.  I’d like to lose four pounds this week.  God would like me to become the type of person who finds comfort in Him rather than food.  

Which is the better goal?  If I follow God’s plan, will I make my goal, too?  Yes, and in a better way.

I would like to be able to run five miles in two weeks.  God wants to work on my heart, my muscles, my lungs, my mindset, my faith.   He wants to make sure I’m even more focused on my inner qualities than my appearance.  If I follow God’s timing, will I make my own goal, too?  Yes. 

To set New Year’s goals we need patience, trust, and faith in God’s direction.  

There are 10 pieces of candy hidden around this room.  Don’t anyone get up yet. 

Turn off the flashlight.

Who wants to try to find them all in the dark? 

Turn on the flashlight.

Why bust around in the dark, when we have the Light of the World to help us? 

We can set huge goals this year, so long as we are led by the Light.  Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase.  You only have to see the next step…”

Shine the light on the floor where you are sure there is a candy kiss. 

Let’s use the light of God to help us throughout this coming year.  Let’s use the light now to find all the treasures and think of them like dreams for the New Year…

Let the students take the flashlight and use it to find the 10 pieces of candy.  The light will reflect off the foil to help “illuminate” them.  Tell students not to eat the kisses, but to bring it all back to the table. 

Once everyone is seated…

Who would like to share the candy they found with those who found less?  You may get some takers, but not many. 

Isaiah 30:18 says, “The LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”

Here’s the greatest thing about God.  When we follow Him, he gives us a LOT more than what we asked for…if we wait patiently for Him. 

Take out the rest of the bag of candy kisses.  Turn on the overhead lights, and pass out so that everyone has the same amount. 

Serve with juice as a snack or snack supplement. 

Teen Bible Study Ideas

The most exciting Teen Bible study ideas come directly from the newspaper or news reports.  It’s probably best that they do, because these stories are at the top of the teenager’s list of concerns and deal with issues they are facing every day.  

Teenagers still have one foot in their childhood and one in adulthood, and since most have spent three fourths of their lives in school, they’ve had enough.  If they can find a way to avoid another class, they’ll jump at the chance and there will be no one to attend the Bible study.  Before you start looking for teen Bible study ideas, you must accomplish three things:

  • Grab the teenager’s attention.
  • Hold their attention. 
  • Make them want to come back for the next session.  

How do you grab a teenager’s attention.  

There is one crucial difference between an adult audience and a teenage one.  Adults are willing to give a speaker a chance, but if you let a teenager think for one minute that this is another lesson, you will lose him before you start.  The first rule for teenagers is to avoid, at all costs, a classroom atmosphere.

Instead of chairs in a row and the speaker at the front of the room, use a round table with a seat for the discussion leader among the students.   Have sodas available, and a snack to which they can help themselves.  If you have a portable microwave that you could bring into the room to pop popcorn, you have won one battle.  Who ever heard of a classroom that smelled like a movie theater? If you don’t have a portable microwave, a bag of popcorn from the supermarket is better than nothing.  

Open with an icebreaker


teen bible study
Try using an icebreaker to get your teen bible study started

An icebreaker is a trick that most public speakers use to win an audience. It consists of an antidote or a story that will make the audience laugh, and if it pokes fun at the speaker, you’ve won them, and that’s exactly what you want.  

Make them want to come back next week. 

You can’t make teenagers do anything, but you can make them want to do something, and this is where your preparation and presentation become paramount.  The secret, strange as it may seem, is not to lecture and to speak as little as possible.  The magic formula is to let the teenagers do the talking.  Ask questions.  Their answers  will reveal the facts far better than any lecture.

How do you choose topics for a teen Bible study?  

If it’s been in the news, it’s a hot topic, and bullies and bullying have certainly made the news.   There are even commercials that stress the importance of kindness and passing it on. 

Going online and google-ing the heading, News articles about bullies in schools, will bring up ten pages of examples ranging from the Fox News report on March 29, 2010: Nine Charged in Bullying of Massachusetts Teen Who Killed Herself, to the CBS news report on April 4, 2010, Bullying: Do Schools Need a New approach?

Other great teen issues include how to abstain from drugs, drinking and sex. “Just say no” and other mottos don’t really cut it.  Cite examples of kids who don’t succumb in tough situations, and details of the means with which they did it.  As with any great lesson, greatness lies in the details.  Those subjects alone could take up a couple of seasons, but there’s also modesty, the value of planning ahead (they notoriously don’t), getting to know Jesus as a Person and not a religion, the hazards of gossip.  Finally, as most teens love a great suspense tail, theirs is a great age to introduce the apocalyptic books and how they may relate to today’s events. 

How do we tie topics into a Bible Study?

This is where the teacher’s preparation is crucial.  Scriptures and parables that lead the teenagers into a discussion related to the subject will make or break your Bible Study, so have a generous supply of these tools at your fingertips. 

Bringing in scripture always sows seeds.  It also makes the Bible a relevant and powerful book as opposed to an archaic, dusty old book that their parents read.  There  are so many great web sites including Biblios.com and Bible Gateway to lead teachers to great scriptures.  If a teacher simply types “[issue] scriptures,” such as “teenage drinking scriptures,” you often come up with a host of worthy articles to scour.

If a problem in your area made the local news, but not the national, be sure to include it in your study.  Teenagers, while taking that final step to adulthood, need guidance more than ever.  They are still young, impressionable and inexperienced, so your discussions along with Biblical reinforcement can play a leading role  while they are choosing the direction of their lives.  Be sure to include such a topic in your Teen Bible Study Ideas.