Multiplying Talents

Scripture: Matt 25:19-30

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the parable of the Talents with emphasis on how God continually resupplies us when we use what he has already provided.
  • Students will practice multiplication as it relates to exponential increase using manipulatives.
  • Students will practice handling and recognizing the currency of their culture.

Guiding Question: How does the amount of an object increase when multiplied?

coins or small objects or pieces of an enjoyable food
chalk or other writing tools

Review the parable of the talents from Matthew 25. If using the NIRV version explain that the equivalencies were measured in talents during Jesus’ time. Give one student a coin such as a penny and a small bag or plate. Another option would be to use pieces of candy or Cheerios instead of coins. Tell the student that they can either keep the coin for themselves, or they can give it away. If they give it away, tell them that they will be given two times as much. Ask the student how many they would get. If the student gives it away, then reward them with 4 new coins. Encourage students to write down the multiplication table so that they see the connection between “two times” and the written form. Grouping the coins makes this easier to visualize. If you are outside, this may be fun to do with chalk. Keep track of how much it multiplies each time and how the number grows. (Note: Try to keep the emphasis off of which student the student choses to give their coin to. Depending on your group, you may want to specify a student’s name that it can be given to in order to prevent “favorites” or hurt feelings.) Next, make the same offer to both students who now have a coin, but offer three times as much to the original student if they chose to share. Continue with the other students. You can also increase to three times and four times as many coins. As more and more students share and receive, emphasize how the love of God spreads rapidly. The one decision made by the first student had a ripple effect. Discuss how everything we have is God-given and we cannot take credit for our resources or abilities on our own. We rely on God.

Additional Questions:

  • What patterns do you see when you get two times as much of an object?
  • What patterns do you see when you get three times as much of an object?
  • What types of resources do you think God gives us besides money?

Supplemental Activity: This activity can be done with coins of differing value to practice multiplying by other numbers as well. Try it with a nickel for math facts such as 5 times 2 etc.

Written by: Savannah Negas

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