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Taming the Tongue Sunday School Lesson

Taming the Tongue Sunday school Lesson
Check our our FREE Taming the Tongue Sunday School Lesson. Teach kids how important it is to "tame our tongues." Our words can get us into some pretty big trouble, but when we "tame our tongues," we think before we speak. God can help us control what we say and do. Kids will make a choice to not use angry words after hearing this lesson; instead, they'll learn more effective ways to manage their tempers. When we obey God’s instructions in the Bible, we’ll become better at controlling our tongues. If we don’t obey God’s instructions, it’s easy to get caught up in silly arguments and insults. Take a look at the full Angry Words 4-Week Children's Ministry Curriculum series. This lesson is great for every Children's Ministry, Kids Church, and Sunday School!  And, if you like this lesson we have over 100 more free Sunday School Lessons for Kids!

Taming the Tongue Sunday School Lesson:

BOTTOM LINE:

God can help us control what we say and do.

OBJECTIVE:

Kids will make a choice to not use angry words this week; instead, they’ll learn more effective ways to manage their tempers.

KEY PASSAGE:

James 1:19-27, Taming the Tongue

MEMORY VERSE:

“. . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19b, NIV)

SUMMARY:

When we obey God’s instructions in the Bible, we’ll become better at controlling our tongues. If we don’t obey God’s instructions, it’s easy to get caught up in silly arguments and insults.

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

Help us learn to keep our mouths under control so we’ll use them to say kind things instead of mean things.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

MEMORY VERSE

“. . . Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19b, NIV)

Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry. (James 1:19b, NIrV)

LARGE GROUP:

Put the verse on the big screen and read it aloud with the kids.

SMALL GROUP:

Ask the kids what they think James was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

SKIT

PIGS VS. BIRDS, PART 1

ITEMS NEEDED:

2 pig hats (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007AYCXIG)

1 bird hat (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NBGJNS)

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:

1 male, 2 females

CHARACTERS:

Bob, a quick-tempered pig

Jill, his level-headed sister

Katie, their classmate, a bird

(JILL drags BOB onstage and holds onto his arms, trying to calm him down. BOB is furious.)

BOB: Did you hear what that little squawker called me? Didya? Huh?

JILL: She didn’t mean it—

BOB: It’s the worst thing you can say to a pig!

JILL: Well, you didcall her a—

BOB: That’s not the point. Nobodycalls me “Bacon Bits!”

(KATIE comes onstage, almost as angry as BOB. JILL stands between them, keeping them from coming to blows. In the process, they push her around quite a bit.)

KATIE: Back off, Jill. Your brother and I have something to settle.

JILL: So you’re gonna fight about it? Real mature, Katie.

KATIE: Outta the way before you get hurt. Your brother called me a chicken! A chicken!

JILL: What’s so bad about chickens?

KATIE: They can’t fly! They have ugly feathers! People turn them into boneless wings and drumsticks! It’s the worst thing you can say to a bird.

JILL: You called him “Bacon Bits”—

BOB: —And “Pork Chop”—

KATIE: And I meant every word of it!

JILL: But how did this whole thing start? (BOB and KATIE are suddenly very quiet.) Well?

KATIE (embarrassed):Technically . . . it’s possible . . .

BOB (equally embarrassed):She means . . . if you insiston an explanation . . .

KATIE: Bob had this toy pig that squeals if you squeeze his snout. It’s socool . . .

BOB: And Katie was playing with a toy bird that really flies . . .

KATIE: And we both wanted to play with the other’s toy, but . . . we didn’t wanna share ours.

JILL: So let me get this straight: You were both being selfish?

BOB: I wouldn’t put it that way—

JILL: So you started calling each other names.

KATIE: I guess that’s one way to say it—

JILL: And now you’re ready to hit each other, all because of some silly toys that cost about five bucks? (BOB and KATIE shrug sheepishly.) Maybe if you listened to each other and tried to work things out—

BOB: I guess letting Katie use Mr. Squeals isn’t a big deal.

JILL: Instead of calling names.

KATIE: Bob will take good care of Sir Squawks-A-Lot.

JILL: You wouldn’t hate each others’ guts right now! (KATIE and BOB hang their heads.) Bob, is there something you’d like to say to Katie?

BOB: Maybe . . . but she has to apologize first.

KATIE: Why am Ifirst?You’re the one who should be sorry!

JILL (realizing the fight is heating up again, she desperately tries another strategy):Not again

. . . Katie, why don’t you say something kind about Bob? Like, “You have very nice snout”?

KATIE: Something kind? About that big, fat sausage?

BOB: Oh, yeah? You’re still a chicken—anda turkey!

JILL: Guys! Let’s try to be slow to anger—

BOB and KATIE (in unison): Stay outta this, Jill!

(BOB and KATIE exit, still arguing. JILL throws up her hands in frustration and follows them offstage.)

 

OBJECT LESSON

ITEM NEEDED:

Handheld mirror

Blindfold

We’re talking this week about using our mouths wisely. How many of you know you should use your mouth to say kinds things, instead of mean things? (Every hand will probably go up.)Everybody knows that, right? The problem is, we don’t always do it.

In today’s Bible lesson, there’s a word picture about knowing what we shoulddo, but not doing it. Can I have a volunteer to help me demonstrate?

(Choose a volunteer who’s wearing an elaborate outfit. The student is about to describe what he/she is wearing without looking, and you don’t want to make it an easy task.)

That’s a really nice outfit you’re wearing, [Volunteer’s Name].I’m going to give you ten seconds to look in the mirror and admire your fabulous clothes. Get ready . . . get set . . . GO! (Hand the mirror to your volunteer. Time the student for ten seconds, then take the mirror away.)Time’s up! You need to totally stop looking at your outfit, and to make sure you do, we’re giving you a blindfold. (Quickly blindfold your volunteer. Make sure he or she isn’t peeking.)Now, here’s your challenge: I’m going to ask you some questions about your outfit.

(Ask your volunteer several questions about what he or she is wearing. Make the questions hard! The illustration works best if the student gets some answers wrong. When you finish asking questions, remove the volunteer’s blindfold and reward him or her with a round of applause.)

Answering questions about your clothes is harder than it looks—even when you’ve just looked in the mirror! James says the same thing happens with us when we learn what the Bible says about using our mouths. We shouldsay kind things, because we just talked about it in church. We shouldcontrol our tempers, because it’s what God wants us to do. But sometimes, before we’re even out the door, we forget what we learned. Maybe you’ll argue with your brother in the church hallway, or insult someone right in Sunday School. Why? Because you got so angry that you forgot what God wants you to do!

Today, let’s make sure we aren’t like our volunteer with the mirror who forgot what he was wearing. Don’t just listen to our lesson about controlling your mouth, and then forget about it. Instead, walk out of church today and live what you learned. Use kind words instead of angry ones all week long!

 

LARGE GROUP GAME

QUICK TO LISTEN

ITEM NEEDED:

Blindfold

INSTRUCTIONS:

Choose one volunteer and blindfold him. Ask the other students who are watching to be completely silent. Now, hold the volunteer’s elbow and guide him around the room, giving clear and calm verbal directions when necessary to help him avoid obstacles. Give your volunteer a round of applause once he has successfully navigated the room.

Choose another volunteer to be blindfolded. This time, allow that volunteer to suggest a friend he trusts to guide him through the room. (Older students are a better choice for this activity.) See if they can successfully avoid the obstacles and complete the task.

VARIATION:

Use the stopwatch function on your cell phone to time the pairs of students as they navigate the room. See who can complete the task fastest.

WHAT’S THE POINT?

Today’s Bible story tells us that we should be “quick to listen” but “slow to speak.” That’s exactly what our blindfolded volunteers had to do if they wanted to make their way across the room. They had to listen to directions and not interrupt, or they probably would have tripped over something! Listening kept them safe.

When we start to get angry in real life, we can use the same advice. We should listen carefully to what the other person is saying, instead of interrupting. That will help us control our tongues, because listening keeps us safe from losing our tempers.

 

LARGE GROUP LESSON

BOTTOM LINE:

God can help us control what we say and do.

OBJECTIVE:

Kids will make a choice to not use angry words this week; instead, they’ll learn more effective ways to manage their tempers.

KEY PASSAGE:

James 1:19-27, Taming the Tongue

INTRODUCTION

Imagine that tomorrow you walk into school and find out that everything has changed—in a good way! Your first clue is when Mom drops you off in the car rider line. You have to walk past the meanest teacher at your school, the one who usually yells at any kid unlucky enough to cross her path. But today, she gives you a huge smile and says, “Have a wonderful day!”

When you get to your classroom, you realize thatit’s not just a teacher who’s different. You know the bully who likes to insult people and push them around when the teacher’s not looking? He walks towards your desk, and you’re afraid he’s going to start a fight. But instead, he says, “Your drawing in art class yesterday was really good! I think you’re a talented artist.”

In P. E. class, the teacher says you’re playing kickball. There’s this one girl who always argues if things don’t go her way. She’ll claim she wasn’t out even when she clearlygot tagged by the ball. Today, you get her out at first base, and you brace yourself for a fight. But she just says, “Good catch. Maybe I’ll get on base next time,” and walks back over to her team.

You’re completely astonished. It’s like everybody has decided not to use a single mean or angry word today! You don’t know what made the change, but you really like it.

Let’s be honest: This isn’t likely to happen at your school—or any school—tomorrow. But isn’t it a cool picture of what life couldbe like? It’s what might happen if everybody at your school, all at the same time, decided to obey what the Bible says about taming the tongue. Let’s read about tongue-taming in the book of James.

READ JAMES 1:19-27

MAIN POINT

We all know we should keep our mouths under control. We know that arguments are a bad idea, and listening to others is a good idea. We understand that insulting people is mean and encouraging them is nice. Still, we don’t always say the things we should. Why not?

Well, James gives us the biggest reason in verse 20: “. . . Anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” In other words, when you’re mad, it’s hard to stop your mouth from raging out of control.

On the other hand, when you follow James’ advice in the verse right before that—“Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry”—you’ll have a much better chance of keeping your tongue in check.

DRIVE IT HOME

Here are some ideas to make your mouth do what it should.

  • When you feel angry, take three deep breaths. That will make you “slow to speak,” just like the Bible says.
  • Then hear what the other person’s saying instead of interrupting to argue. That will make you “quick to listen.”
  • Say a really quick prayer—something simple like, “God, please help me calm down.” That will help make you “slow to become angry.”

(If time permits, you might have one or two students come up front and role-play these principles. You portray the role of their antagonist—say, a little sister who’s calling them names. See if they can use the ideas here to calm themselves down.)

Let’s take this tongue-taming thing one step further. We’ve talked about not using mean words when we’re angry, but what if we took the time to say goodthings more often, even when we don’t have to?

Right now, I want you to turn to the person next to you. Look at that person’s face, clothes, hair—and think of a genuine compliment. “Genuine” means “real,” so make sure you mean what you say. Maybe that person has pretty blue eyes—tell him so. Go ahead! Encourage the person next to you with a compliment right now.

Now, turn to someone else sitting near you and give that person a compliment too! It can be about something on the outside (like his eyes or shirt), orsomething on the inside (like he is a good friend or a really hard worker).

This week, your challenge is to keep your mouth under control. If you get angry, take three deep breaths and try to really listen to the other person. Say a quick prayer in your head: “God, please help me calm down.” Hopefully, that will make you, “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”

But don’t just keep your mouth from saying bad stuff—put some good stuff in it too! Look for ways to encourage the people around you.

CLOSE WITH A SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Help us learn to keep our mouths under control so we’ll use them to say kind things instead of mean things.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (K-2ND)

ICEBREAKER

What’s one nice thing that someone has said to you in the past week?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY

James 1:19b

Ask the kids what they think James was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

SMALL GROUP GAME/ ACTIVITY

Ask for a volunteer who is good at complimenting people. Have your volunteer choose a friend. The volunteer’s job is to give his or her friend as many compliments as possible in thirty seconds. If time permits, choose another volunteer, and see if he or she can come up with even more compliments.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Read James 1:19-27

What does it look like when someone is “quick to listen”?

How about “slow to speak”?

What about “slow to become angry”?

After we listento what the Bible says about controlling our mouths, what’s the next step?

Let’s say you walk out of Sunday School today and immediately get in an argument. What did James say you’re like?

SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Help us use our mouths to encourage people this week, not to argue with them or say mean things.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (3RD-5TH)

ICEBREAKER

What’s one nice thing that someone has said to you in the past week?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY

James 1:19b

Ask the kids what they think James was trying to say when he wrote these words. Then ask them how this verse is connected to today’s story.

SMALL GROUP GAME/ ACTIVITY

Ask for a volunteer who is good at complimenting people. Have your volunteer choose a friend. The volunteer’s job is to give his or her friend as many compliments as possible in thirty seconds. If time permits, choose another volunteer, and see if he or she can come up with even more compliments.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Read James 1:19-27

What does it look like when someone is “quick to listen”?

How about “slow to speak”?

What about “slow to become angry”?

After we listen to what the Bible says about controlling our mouths, what’s the next step?

Let’s say you walk out of Sunday School today and immediately get in an argument. What did James say you’re like?

SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Help us use our mouths to encourage people this week, not to argue with them or say mean things.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

For your convenience, you can also download the entire PDF version of this Taming the Tongue Sunday SchoolLesson (just click the link). 

Here's a video from ShareFaith Kids that you might find helpful to go along with your Sunday School Lesson on Taming the Tongue.

Take a look at the links below for other ideas for teaching a Taming the Tongue Sunday School Lesson: 

Taming the Tongue Sunday School Lesson for children 

Bible Crafts and Learning Games About Controlling the Tongue 

'How to Train Your Tongue' Childrens Lesson on James • MinistryArk