This lesson is to encourage pre-teen to teenage kids to find the treasures in the Bible for themselves. It involves the use of concordances, bibles, encyclopedias, and will require the design of a game board that looks like a treasure map.
Start the class off in Matthew 13: 44-45, and discuss how the Kingdom of God is like a treasure, and that we can use the Bible to find treasures that God wants us to have.
For the first activity, we bring a group of encyclopedias into the middle of the room. Break the group into teams of two or three. Give each of the teams an index card with a specific subject on it. i.e. names of different animals, names of different countries, names of different states. (Make sure that you check in the encyclopedias to make sure that the words you are giving them to look up are in there.) Give them a list of questions that they need to find the answers to about the subject that you give them. (If your using a grouping of animals you can ask: “What does your animal like to eat?”, “Where does your animal live?”.) Give the teams 5-10 minutes to look up the answers in the encyclopedias. When the time is up ask the group questions about what they learned that they didn’t know before the activity.
Discuss with the group the purpose of concordances, and how they can be used, like the encyclopedia, to find out where to get information in the Bible about a subject. Have a map designed large enough so that all the kids can see the different places. You can name the places after biblical events, with a treasure chest at the end. Design questions that will make them look up the answers in the concordances. (i.e. How many times is the word “Christian” found in the bible? What scripture(s) talk about loving your enemies? What is the only book in the Bible that does not have the word/name God in it?) Divide the class into reasonably sized teams. Each team gets their own concordance. Read a question, and the first team to have the correct answer gets to move to the next place on the “treasure map” closer to the treasure at the end.
This activity was a huge success in our preteen class. They learned that there was more in the Bible than they knew about, and that they were capable of finding these things if they looked for them.