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Ten Commandments as a Gift

Prepared by: Roger Pannell-Haugen, 1999

PlanningTheme: Exploring the idea that God's commandments may be a gift rather than a burden.

Target Audience: Grade 6–8 Confirmation students


  • To understand the 10 Commandments as a gift from God
  • To understand the 10 Commandments as a gift for our safety and protection.

Time required: 60–90 minutes

  • 10 minutes for introduction
  • 20 minutes for the game
  • remainder to reflect on the experience

Materials or Resources (required or *recommended)

  • Two wastebaskets, a ball, a whistle
  • Bibles

Welcome, Introductions and Greetings:

Ask the students what they know about the 10 Commandments. They will likely speak in terms of prohibitions and things they are unable to do, in negative terms. Then you can begin to talk about what a novel and amazing thing for the people of Israel to have a God that spoke to them.

People around them tried all sorts of things to please their gods and never knew if they were successful —— sacrifice children, dance, etc. You do not want to say too much about the 'gift' aspect yet as it might skew the game.

Introduce the game as a game with a ball, two baskets and a whistle to keep order, operated by the teacher. They are to stop when the whistle blows and follow instructions as they are given. Divide into teams. Throw the ball into the open area and the game begins!


  • A game in an open space with 2 waste baskets and a ball, two teams.
  • Object of game is to put your ball in the other basket.
  • No other instructions.
  • Teacher to blow whistle randomly with arbitrary reasons make with no consistency.
  • Allow game to proceed until life is in danger and tempers are short.


  1. How did you feel during the game?
  2. What seemed unfair?
  3. Were you afraid?
  4. What made you angry?


  1. What expectations/preconceived notions did you enter the game with?
  2. How did you expectations match with others?
  3. How do you know?
  4. What went wrong? Why?
  5. What role did the whistle play?


  1. What did the game need?
  2. How did this experience reflect life?
  3. How is your experience of life reflected in this game?

Where is God in this?
What does the bible say?

  • 10 Commandments (Exodus 20: 1–17)
  • Exodus, Leviticus
  • Pharisees and laws
  • Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22)
  • Why did God give the Ten Commandments? A gift or a burden?

ConclusionYou could replay the game, with rules this time.
Close with prayer.

Permission is granted to reproduce this module for use in ELCIC congregations. Any other use requires copyright permission. Please contact bfast@elcic.ca.

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
© Copyright 2007 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada