Scripture: 1 Samuel 17
- Students will learn the story of David defeating Goliath despite their large size difference.
- Students will learn how to use comparative adjectives to communicate comparisons/differences between two things. Students will play a game in which one student describes 2-3 objects using comparatives. Their partner then tries to guess what objects are being compared.
- How can I compare the difference between two things using comparative adjectives?
Materials: a cut out of David and Goliath to visually compare (life-size examples would be best) book of 1 Samuel in Bible, optional chart paper and markers
Procedure: Review the story of David and Goliath, focusing on how unlikely it was for David to defeat him, due to Goliath’s physical superiority. Set the foundation for the lesson by reviewing the definition of an adjective. An adjective is a single word that describes something. For example: big, blue, soft, strong. You may want to choose and object and have students practice describing it. The goal is to do it with one word so that they adjective is isolated.
Once the concept of adjectives is established, have students compare David and Goliath using adjectives. Students may use words like big/small, mean/nice, which are opposites. Then challenge students to describe their differences using the same root word. That might seem strange at first. Explain that you can show that an object or person has more of something by adding “er” at the end. For example, David is strong, but Goliath is stronger. Adding “er” to a word makes it a comparative adjective because you are comparing things. Explain that sometimes you can compare things by adding “er” to the end of the adjective. Other times you add the word “more” before an adjective. You can also use the word “less.” Examples: David is friendlier than Goliath. Goliath is less friendly than David.
Finally, explain that some words are irregular and do not look like the root word. For example: “bad” becomes “worse”.
Look at the details of the story and work together as a class to compare David and Goliath. Use visual representations of David and Goliath to provide a visual. Ideally make them life-size. This will add “wow” factor when kids see how tall Goliath would have been.
Then add King Saul as a subject to compare so the class is comparing David, Goliath and King Saul. If students are ready for the next step, add the idea of a superlative adjective. Example: David is big. Saul is bigger. Goliath is the biggest. You may want to list these on a giant piece of chart paper by making a 3 column chart.
Adjective Comparative Superlative
Big Bigger Biggest
Review: You can compare things by…
1. Adding “er” or “est” (Regular)
a. bigger, taller, meaner, nicer, simpler,
2. Adding the word “more/less” or “most/least”
a. More scared, less faithful, most compassionate, least tired
3. Memorizing the irregular adjectives
a. bad/worse/worst, good/better/best, many/more/most, little/less/least,
Students will then apply these skills by playing a game. Have students work in pairs to compare two or three objects in the room. Without telling their partner, they then describe the items without naming them. Have students try to give enough comparisons that their partner can guess the two or three items they are comparing. Do an example as a whole class first before assigning partners.
- Use comparative adjectives to explain why David defeated Goliath even though no one thought he could do it.
Supplemental Activity: For students that have a good foundation of Bible stories: Have students compare how characters changed through a story.
For example: Compare David before/after becoming king, Moses before/after the burning bush encounter. Saul before/after the road to Damascus.
Have students use comparative adjectives to describe these dynamic characters. Encourage them to think more deeply about how God changes a person and not just the difference between Godly and non-godly people. They can also apply this to their own life by comparing how they were before/ after an event, before a person impacted them, or before they became a Christian.