Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

1 Samuel 1-7

Story Summary

This story begins with Hannah, Samuel's mother. Hannah was unable to have children, and in Old Testament times, that was like having a curse on you if you were a woman. She was down and out, and very distressed. Whenever she would go to the Lord's house in Shiloh, where she worshipped, she would pray so hard for God to give her a child, Eli the priest thought she was crazy. But God showed favor to Hannah, and allowed her to have a son named Samuel. Hannah knew that it was God who gave her Samuel, so she decided to give Samuel back to the Lord and let him grow up in the Lord's house at Shiloh. So Samuel grew up under Eli, learning to serve the Lord from his earliest days. Hannah and her husband Elkanah visited Samuel each year. They would bring him a special robe that Hannah made as a gift to remember them by. God honored Hannah's sacrifice (giving back to God what he gave to her), and allowed her to have 5 more children.

Now Eli had two sons of his own, but they ended up being wicked. They served with Eli, but they had no regard for the Lord and his sacrifices. They took more meat for themselves than they should have and mistreated those who came to worship by threatening them. Someone came to Eli and warned him that his sons were going to cause the Lord to punish his entire family. Unfortunately, Eli didn't listen and allowed his sons to continue to mistreat the Lord's offering.

One night, Samuel was sleeping and he heard someone call his name. He went over to Eli and said, "Yes, I'm here." Eli was confused because he didn't call Samuel. When it happened again, and a third time, Eli told Samuel that it might just be the Lord speaking to him. So he told Samuel to go back to bed and if it happened again, answer the Lord and ask him to speak. Sure enough, it was the Lord speaking, and Samuel was listening. But the Lord gave Samuel some distressing news about Eli and his family. He told Samuel that Eli's family would be punished for the way they acted in his house of worship. The next morning, Eli asked Samuel if it really was the Lord speaking.  Samuel didn't want to tell Eli about it, but Eli coaxed him to. That was the first time the Lord spoke to Samuel, but it wasn't the last. Samuel began to grow in favor with all of the Israelites

During this time, the Israelites were in battle with the Philistines. During one of the battles with the Philistines, they captured the Ark of the Covenant (anyone remember what that was?) and killed many Israelites, including Eli's sons. When Eli found this out, he fell over in his chair, broke his neck and died. What Samuel had told Eli would happen came true.

Samuel was the last judge of Israel, and the first prophet. In the coming weeks, we're going to learn about some other things that God told Samuel.

What You Will Need

Ark of the Covenant (if you have used this in previous lessons - see Lesson #20)

Video Options

God's Story - Samuel

From Crossroads Kids Club

God Speaks to Samuel

From Saddleback Kids

Resource Sheets

Wake Up Samuel!

Use this with the "Wake Up Samuel!" Reinforcement Activity

Samuel Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts Hannah visiting Samuel at the house of God in Shiloh, where he was living under Eli's care.


1. Warm Up get your kids talking and engaged

Ask the children: What's the best gift you've ever received? What did you do to thank the person who gave you that gift?

Today, we're going to learn about a woman named Hannah who received a very special gift from God. You might be surprised to learn how she thanked God for that gift!

2. Teach the Story teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.

3. Bible Mastery give them basic Bible skills

4. Comprehension Questions make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Why was Hannah so sad?
  • She could not have any children
  • What gift did God give Hannah?
  • He allowed her to have Samuel
  • What did Hannah do in return?
  • She gave him to the Lord, for him to serve in the Lord's house with Eli
  • Why were Eli's sons evil?
  • They stole meat from the people's offerings and mistreated them
  • What did Eli do about them?
  • A whole bunch of nothing
  • When did God speak to Samuel?
  • In the middle of the night, while he was sleeping
  • What did he say to Samuel?
  • That he was going to punish Eli's family because of their disobedience
  • How were Samuel's sons killed?
  • In battle with the Philistines
  • What did the Philistines take that was precious to the Israelites?
  • The ark of the covenant
  • What was the ark of the covenant
  • A box that held the 10 commandments in them
  • How did Eli die?
  • He fell over in his chair when he heard his sons were killed in battle and that the ark had been captured

5. Faith Questions open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer

  • From a very young age, Samuel learned to listen to God's voice and to follow whatever God told him to do.
  • Will you be like Samuel and learn to listen to God speaking to you? And will you be willing to do whatever God wants you to do?

6. Memory Verse hide God's Word in their heart

Nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37

Reinforcement Activities

Listen and Guess

Scripture And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant hears." 1 Samuel 3:10
Supplies paper bag with items familiar to students
  • Place multiple objects that are familiar to children in a paper bag, so students cannot see them.
  • (penny, crayon, spoon, etc)
  • Have children turn so they are facing away a table.
  • Drop each item on the table, one at a time, and have students guess what the items is.
  • Use items with varying levels of loudness.

Samuel! Samuel! Game

Scripture 1 Samuel 3:4-10
  • Gather students together.
  • Choose one student to be the guesser.
  • Have the guesser turn away from the other students.
  • Point to a student to be call out Samuel! Samuel! in a disguised voice.
  • Have other students move around and mix up, while the guesser is still not looking (so the guesser can not determine who spoke by the direction it came from.
  • Have the guesser turn around and try to guess who said "Samuel! Samuel!"
  • Choose another guesser and play again.

Telephone Game

Scripture The Lord came and stood there. He called out, just as he had done the other times. He said, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel replied, "Speak. I'm listening." 1 Samuel 3:10
Supplies tin cans, long cotton string
  • Take two tin cans and hammer a nail through the bottom of each can to make a hole.
  • Thread one end of cotton string through each hole and knot it, so that it won't slip through.
  • Samuel had to answer God before He spoke to him.
  • Teach your students their Bible verse by speaking to each of them through the tin can telephone.
  • Call their name and require them to answer you before you begin telling them the verse.
  • Speak into one can, while your students take turns listening through the other can.
  • Make sure you review the verse together at the end of the activity to make sure all the students remember the verse.

Wake up Samuel!

Scripture Samuel was lying down in the Lord's house. That's where the ark of God was kept. The lamp of God was still burning. The Lord called out to Samuel. 1 Samuel 3:3-4
  • Give each student "Wake Up Samuel!" Resource Sheet printed on brown card stock or allow them to color the bed brown..
  • Cut a slit on the dotted line.
  • Cut out the bed along the outer edge.
  • Fold each flap down to create legs.
  • Draw a picture of Samuel in the rectangle provided on left of the resource sheet.
  • Tape a popsicle stick to the back of Samuel's head.
  • Place Samuel on the bed and place popsicle stick through the slit.
  • Tape or glue the bottom of Samuel to the bottom of the bed.
  • Students can make Samuel sit up in bed when he hears God's voice!

Samuel, Samuel, Wake up!

Scripture The Lord came and stood there. He called out, just as he had done the other times. He said, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel replied, "Speak. I'm listening." 1 Samuel 3:10
Supplies blanket or sheet, balloon with face draw in marker
  • Spread sheet or blanket out on the floor.
  • Have students sit around the blanket.
  • Place balloon on the blanket.
  • Have students hold on to blanket and wave arms to make samuel wake up.
  • As they wave their arms have them call "Samuel, Samuel!"

Make a Scrapbook

Scripture 1 Samuel 1,3
Supplies paper, markers (and magazine cutouts, if desired), construction paper, staples
  • Fold several sheets of white paper in half.
  • Fold one piece of construction paper in half.
  • Staple over white paper to make a book.
  • Draw pictures or cut pictures from magazines to make a scrapbook of Samuel's life.
  • Write captions under pictures.
  • Example: a picture of Hannah when she was expecting her baby. Samuel as a baby, Samuel in the temple with Eli, Hannah bringing a robe to Samuel, Samuel in bed listening to God speak.