Daniel and the lions – a story told with pictures

We’ve just finished our Rotation on Daniel and the lions. Show this post to your kids. Can they tell you the story? Discuss the questions too. Enjoy!

The other administrators in King Darius' court, ponder what to do about DanielDaniel seemed to pray a lot; what sort of strength did prayer give him?

Why do you suppose the king’s other administrators were jealous of Daniel?

When have you done something that you’ve been proud of, but it made someone else jealous?

King Darius thinks about a new lawWhat do the other administrators decide will be the only way they can trap Daniel?

How do they persuade the king to accept their idea?

If you were Daniel, how would you have reacted when you heard about the law?

Daniel is caught praying!We knew this would happen! Daniel did too. Why do you suppose he prayed in front of an open window where he was sure to be caught?

Why do you suppose he was willing to risk his life to continue praying to God?

When is a time that you’ve had to stick up for your belief? What happened?

King Darius finds out about what he's done to DanielHow did the king feel when he found out that Daniel would have to be sent to the lions’ den?

Do you suppose some of Daniel’s faith in God had rubbed off on the king? (Read Daniel 6:16)

Daniel is thrown into the den of lionsDo you suppose that in the lions’ den Daniel asked God to get him out, or to get rid of the lions?

But that wasn’t what God did! What happened to the lions?

Does God always answer our prayers in the way we’d like?


God saved Daniel!
God saved Daniel!


Photo credits:
Photos by Evans Koukios. Used by permission.

A Family Dinner “Game”

A way to talk about faith with your kids is to make family dinner a priority.

But don’t just eat. Play games.

That’s right. To extend your time together as a family, add a “game” to the end of your meal. Here’s a game suggestion that ties to our current Rotation on Daniel and the lions. Make the story come alive! Tell the story dramatically, involving everyone at the table. All you need is a Bible.

Find Daniel 6:3-23. (If you want an easy to read version click here.) One person can be the story teller and everyone else… the characters in the story. To make it easy, there doesn’t have to just be one Daniel and one king – everyone can be Daniel and everyone can be the king. And everyone gets to be lions!

Daniel In the Lions

The reader can create voices for the different story characters. How would the bad guys sound? Sort of whispery? (You do this when reading regular books to your kids; why not apply it to reading the Bible.)

For example, in verse 11 it says…
Some of the other royal officials went to where Daniel was staying. They saw him praying and asking God for help.

Ask your family to pretend to be the bad guys. How would they act when they discovered they’d trapped Daniel! Encourage everyone to use their body to tell the story. (The bad guys were probably giving each other high-fives. Yes! We caught him in the act!)

Perhaps she is a lion?
How did Daniel look when he was praying? How did the king react when he heard what he’d done to Daniel? How did the lions look before Daniel was thrown into their den? How did they look when Daniel was among them? (Mouths closed!)

Finish up your “game” with a prayer. (It’s what Daniel probably did.)


Photo credits:
Daniel with lions a photo of a painting by Robert Edward Weaver (c. 1952), is licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
Kid being a lion by Nathan, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 License.

Daniel’s prayers: Giving thanks

Let’s say a law gets passed that says you can’t pray. How would you feel about such a statute? Last week a 4th grader answered this question with…

'Not being able to pray would be like not being able to eat.

I never thought of it like that!

Here’s what Daniel did when he heard about the decree…

'Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10

Daniel was having a bad day, and yet he chose to be thankful.

Always showing gratitude, regardless of your circumstances, isn’t easy. You know what helps: practice.

The best way to practice is to keep a list.

A page from my gratitude listStart a gratitude journal with your family. Talk about what you’d add to your list over the family dinner table.

I’ve been recording thankfuls. Yes I am counting them. I’m going for one thousand, but now that I’ve started, I probably won’t stop.

(Update for Feb. 2017: I’m up to #4,853!)


Here are samples from my gratitude journal:

Skating around the lake541. Sunshine.

549. Riding-in-the-car games.

551. Ice skating on the lake.

557. Chocolate mousse pie.

568. The crunch of boots on snow.

a sunrise is seen through the trees576. Kindhearted health care providers.

581. A flock of robins in February!

588. The frosty sparkle of morning light.


Photo credits:
Photos are from my archives.

Are you facing a den full of lions?

If your kids are like most kids, they will experience good days and not-so-good days. They will have “glads” and they will have “sads.”

Spend time as a family with everyone sharing one glad and one sad for the day. (Don’t try to fix anything, just listen and celebrate and commiserate.)

A lion stuffed toy animal
After the sharing of glads/sads bring up the story of Daniel in the den of lions. In the days of Daniel, being sentenced to be thrown to the lions would count as a not-so-good day. It would have been a major sad!

Daniel got thrown in with a bunch of lions because he broke a law – he openly prayed to God rather than to King Darius. What did Daniel do about his situation?

He trusted God to take care of him.

This is my favorite part of this story… when the king discovers that the lions didn’t harm Daniel…

'Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

Talk with your kids about how our “sads” can be like being “thrown to the lions.”
When that happens, will they remember the story of Daniel?

It’s not easy trusting God. It takes practice.

God is always with us, even when we are in the midst of hardships.


Photo credits:
A stuffed lion by Terry Johnston, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

Workshops for Daniel and the Lions

A lion waits for lunch

Daniel is a long story in the Old Testament so we are focusing on how Daniel’s habit of prayer helped him when he experienced a den full of lions!
Read about our story in Daniel 6:3-23.

Here is where the “Schedule” used to appear — which grades were visiting which workshops over the course of this Rotation. However it was removed as it was sort of out of date. 🙂 Our current schedule of workshops, for whatever Rotation we are currently on, can be found on this page.

For prosperity, here is what we did in each workshop for our Daniel and the Lions Rotation:

  • In the Games Workshop students participated in a quiz game using the life-sized board game and the game wheel. Spinning for your color determines how far along the board game you get to move, if the team correctly answers the question! Questions such as: If Daniel had decided to hide his prayers to God, how do you suppose he would have felt about himself?
  • In the Art Workshop students created mosaics of a story image, using paper “tiles.” A question they discussed: If you were Daniel in the lions’ den, what would you pray for?
  • In the Video Workshop students watched portions of the animated video The Roach Approach: The Mane Event. They enjoyed popcorn (can’t have a movie without popcorn) and explored questions such as: When was the last time you were faced with a den of lions?
  • Daniel is caught praying!In the Photography Workshop students “enacted” various scenes from the story. They “froze” so the scenes could be photographed. A question they faced: How did Daniel trust God?
  • In the Puppets Workshop students used puppets to enact modern-day situations where choices must be made. They discussed questions such as: Daniel was an old man by the time of this story. How important do you think it is that Daniel had years to prepare his faith?
  • In the Cooking Workshop students mix-upped a snack mix of “Lion Chow” – with each ingredient representing a portion of the story. They talked about issues such as: What does it mean to you, to trust God?

Check out the growing list of opportunities to foster faith learning at home using this story.


Photo credits:
A lion waiting for lunch by Peter Harrison, who licensed this photo on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.