Hope: When I'm Afraid

An Outdoor Education Lesson Plan for Children's Ministry

By Melissa L. Morgan

For a video presentation sample of teaching the lessons, see “The Talking Hat Lady.”

Copyright 2015 by Melissa L. Morgan

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except as expressly permitted in the text or by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages (with appropriate credit) in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, or broadcast.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Morgan, Melissa, 1958-

Hope: When I'm Afraid--A Lesson Plan for Teaching Doctrine in Outdoor Education and Children's Ministry: Melissa L. Morgan

1. children 2. self-help 3. parenting

Published in the United States by

Eaglesnesthome.com LLC

P. O. Box 132373

Columbus, OH 43213

Hope: Daily Overview

Lesson One

Remember Our Hope

Lesson Theme: Remember our hope is in Christ.

Bible Story: Matthew 14:22-33: Don't be afraid; Jesus gives hope in life's storms.

Memory Verse: Psalm 46: "Be still and know that I am God."

Lesson Two

Follow Our Shepherd

Lesson Theme: Jesus is our only hope and our good Shepherd.

Bible Story: Matthew 18:10-14

Memory Verse: Psalm 23

Lesson Three

Share Our Hope; Be a Sunbeam!

Lesson Theme: We can share our hope in Christ who saves us when we are lost and afraid.

Bible Story: Jesus' parable of the lost son, Luke 15:11-32.

Memory Verse: John 16:33

Hope: Overall Goals and Objectives

The overall objectives are for students to have fun learning in a non-threatening environment to look to Jesus instead of fear; He is our Shepherd and hope to survive in this world of trial. They will also learn to obey those in authority and follow safety rules such as “stay with your group so you don't get lost!”

The lessons are written for Grade K to 6 developmental level; however, they could also be used with older students who could help the younger. Students will demonstrate their understanding through activities such as making and sharing a Wordless book with another student, finding answers in a scavenger hunt, and acting in skits.

Theme Overview and Lesson Materials

Decorations could be leaves (colored red, gold, green, brown and black) and blue snowflakes made out of felt or colored paper. You could also bring in real tree branches or trim from bushes, and set into umbrella stands. Or put up Christmas trees to simulate a forest. Use The Children's Ministry Resource Bible, “Lesson: The Good Shepherd,” pp. 1310-1311, and “The Parable of the Lost Son,” pp. 1313-1314) to supplement lessons and answer student questions.

Ideas for making trees and leaves are available through Pinterest. Here's one example: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/171559067031519292/. Here's a tutorial on how to make paper snowflakes: http://inmyownstyle.com/2011/12/how-to-make-a-no-sew-snowflake-window-treatment.html. Also see http://www.snowflakesforchristmas.com/Clipart/Clipart.htm.

Optional Incentives

If your students are motivated by incentives and parents approve, reward students with a small piece of maple leaf candy, a snowflake shaped cookie, a pencil or eraser as they complete each lesson or play a game. (Find recipes at Food.com, such as http://www.food.com/recipe/soft-maple-sugar-candy-417151 )

You could plan a small celebration for those students who complete the course objectives. Invite parents and friends to hear what the students have learned, and share leaf and snowflake candies and cookies.

Lesson One: Remember Our Hope

Objectives: 1. Our hope is in Jesus; we should not be afraid.

2. We should obey Jesus and safety rules.
Materials: Decorations for woods such as leaves, branches and paper snowflakes, memory verse visual, small prize incentive, list of review questions, slips of paper with answers for game.

Songs: (See http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/)

Be Not Afraid, A Mighty Fortress is our God, Be Still My Soul, Day By Day

Memory Verse: Psalm 46:10
Bible Story: Matthew 14:22-33


Lost and Afraid Skit

Use puppets or role play. Practice ahead of time; alternately teacher reads script for students to act out silently.

Group of children with teacher are at the doorway of the “woods.”

Lost child (LC): I want to see what's in the woods.

Buddy: NO! We're supposed to stay with our group!

LC: Be right back!

Buddy: I'll go with you.

LC and Buddy wander off to the other side of the room. The rest of the group goes to their seats.

LC and Buddy wander in circles around the room, then both sit down at the front of the room.

LC: We're lost. It is getting dark. I'm hungry and thirsty. It's snowing and I'm cold.

Buddy: Okay, let's stay calm. We shouldn't have gone away from our group. We should have listened and obeyed the rules. For now, let's think about what we need to do.

LC: We don't have anything! We don't have a flashlight. We don't have food. We don't have our sleeping bags. I'm scared. I give up! I'm just going to sit here.

Buddy: Don't give up! Get up! Did you forget something?

LC: What?

Buddy: We forgot the most important thing we need to survive—our hope! Get up before you freeze! Help me make a shelter with these leaves and branches! Don't worry—Jesus will save us. Our parents will find us soon.

Memory Verse: Psalm 46:10: "...Be still and know that I am God."

Say the verse together as a class at least ten times, each time omitting an extra word or two until the class can say the verse without help.

Read the Bible Story: Matthew 14:22-33.

Tell the students that being still means to listen to God. God speaks to us in His Word, the Bible. We can listen to God by reading and obeying His Word. We also need to listen to those in authority over us, and obey safety rules. When people don't listen to God they give up on hope and lose the will to survive. When you are afraid, keep calm and don't give up. Remember to call out to Jesus for help. Keep you eyes on Jesus.

Jesus cares about you. He is our hope. He can provide for our needs when we are in trouble. If you are cold, sick, hungry or tired He will be with you.


Sing the song together:

Be Not Afraid

Be not afraid, ’tis I, ’tis I,

Though the storm rages wild;

In thy sore need I’m passing by,

Off’ring to help thee, hear thy cry—

Be of good cheer, My child.”


Be not afraid, ’tis I,

Be not afraid, ’tis I”;

Though wild winds blowing,

My bark o’erflowing,

God rules in earth and sky:

Be not afraid, ’tis I,

Be not afraid, ’tis I”;

The storm can’t harm my trusting soul,

For Jesus walks the waves that roll;

His voice I hear, which calms my fear,

“ ’Tis I, be not afraid.”

Be not afraid, ’mid pressing foes,

Jesus is watching near;

He all thy deepest sorrow knows,

Walked every step thy pathway goes;

Trust Him, then; do not fear.

Be not afraid, He knows thy heart,

And He doth care for thee;

Of all thy grief He shares a part,

Stands by thy side, He’ll not depart,

If thou wilt faithful be.

Be not afraid, O helpless one,

Trust in His boundless grace;

Say from the heart, “Thy will be done,

Finish the work Thou hast begun,

Bring me to see Thy face.”-- http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Be_Not_Afraid/

Other songs: A Mighty Fortress is our God, Be Still My Soul, Day by Day

Scavenger Hunt Review

Have a scavenger hunt. Give each child the list of questions. Hide slips of paper with answers separately around the room. Make sure there are enough slips of paper for each child to find all the answers. If a child finds an answer that he already has found he may trade it with another student. You may give the first student to complete all the questions a small prize. Ensure that each child is able to find the answer to each question.

Scavenger Hunt Questions:

What did Jesus tell the disciples? (It is I; be not afraid.) Where Do We Find Hope? (Jesus) What happens when we take our eyes off of Jesus, and lose hope? (We sink.) What happens when we call out to Jesus? (He saves us.)


Students will be able to complete the Review with at least 80% accuracy.

Lesson Two: Follow our Shepherd

Objectives: 1. Jesus is our Good Shepherd who is willing to help us.

2. We should obey and follow our Good Shepherd.
Materials: Decorations for woods such as leaves, branches and paper snowflakes, marker board and marker, computer and projector to show video of Coloring Song, small prize incentive

Songs: (See http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/)

Memory Verse: Psalm 23
Bible Story: Matthew 18:10-14


Object Lesson: Write the word “hypothermia” on the board. Using a large pan or bowl filled with ice water, allow volunteers to put their hand in the water and describe what they experience. (Be cautious to not allow this for more than a minute, and ensure that children are healthy enough to be chilled.) Remind the children that if they were out in the snow without shelter they might not survive due to hypothermia. Hypothermia means your body temperature is too cold. Hypothermia is a serious medical emergency. Call 911!

People who have hypothermia can get sleepy and confused. Cover body parts--including fingers, toes, ears and nose--to prevent freezing. Frozen body parts is called frost bite.

Last time, our Lost Child (LC) and Buddy lost in the snowy woods. They were scared, cold and hungry. Did Buddy give up? (No!) What did Buddy tell LC? (We need hope to survive.) Where is hope? (Jesus.) Jesus helped LC and Buddy by providing leaves and branches so they could make a shelter from the cold.

Today we will learn a memory verse to remind us that Jesus is a loving Shepherd who is willing to help us. We should follow Jesus, our Good Shepherd.

Memory Verse: Psalm 23

Sit in a circle with the children and let the children take turns acting out each line of the verse as the teacher reads it aloud.

A Psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Just as Buddy and LC were lost in the cold, snowy woods, all of us are as lost sheep without Christ. Jesus told us our Father in heaven is willing to help us when we are lost.

Read the Bible Story: Matthew 18:10-14 (NIV):

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”


Sing the song from Timeless Truths, “The Lord is My Shepherd”

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;

He makes me down to lie

In pastures green; He leadeth me

The quiet waters by.

My soul He doth restore again,

And me to walk doth make

Within the paths of righteousness,

E’en for His own name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,

Yet will I fear no ill;

For Thou art with me, and Thy rod

And staff my comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnished me

In presence of my foes;

My head Thou dost with oil anoint,

And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life

Shall surely follow me;

And in God’s house forevermore,

My dwelling place shall be.-- http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Lord_Is_My_Shepherd/

Sing "The Coloring Song" by Petra

Red is the color of the blood that flowed

Down the face of Someone Who loved us so

He's the perfect man, He's the Lord's own son,

He's the Lamb of God, He's the only one

That can give us life, that can make us grow,

That can make the love between us flow.

Blue is the color of a heart so cold

It will not bend when the story's told

Of the love of God for a sinful race

Of the blood that flowed down Jesus face

That can give us life, that can make us grow

That can keep our hearts from growing cold.

Gold is the color of the morning sun

That shines so freely an every one

It's the sun above that keeps us warm

It's the Son of love that calms the storm

That can give us life that can make us grow,

That can turn our mornings into gold.

Brown is the color of the autumn leaves

When the winter comes to the barren trees

There is birth, there is death, there is a plan

And there's just one God, and there's just one man

That can give us life, that can make us grow

That can make our sins as white as snow

That can give us life, that can make us grow

That can turn our mornings into gold.

That can give us life, that can make us grow

That can keep our hearts from growing cold.

That can give us life, that can make us grow

That can make the love between us flow.--https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s6012RghSQ

Also sing: How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace.

Object Lesson

Remind the students that we are like lost sheep. Jesus is our Shepherd, who takes care of us no matter what happens. He is our hope! We should follow and obey Him!

Show a red leaf, a blue “snow flake,” a gold leaf, and a brown leaf. Ask the students to tell you how each item can remind them of God's plan to save us wandering sheep. (For instance, the brown leaf reminds us that in life we will face storms and even death, but Jesus will be with us to “turn our mornings into gold.”)

Evaluation: Divide students up into groups of three or four. (Divide randomly by having students count off “1, 2, 3, 4...and then calling each group by its number.) Have students take turns using the leaves and blue paper “snow flakes” on the floor to tell the story of “The Coloring Song” to one another. Ensure that students perform the evaluation with at least 75 % accuracy.

Lesson Three: Share Our Hope; Be a Sunbeam!

Objectives: 1. Jesus is our hope to save us when we are lost and afraid.

2. We can share our hope in the Good Shepherd with others.
Materials: Decorations for woods such as leaves, branches and paper snowflakes, pipe cleaners, hole punch, memory verse visual, small prize incentive, The Children's Ministry Resource Bible, “Lesson: The Good Shepherd,” pp. 1310-1311, and “The Parable of the Lost Son,” pp. 1313-1314)

Songs: (See http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/)

Memory Verse: John 16:33
Bible Story: Luke 15:11-32


Share and discuss the information from the Visual (see below, at the end of the Three Part Lessons):

Rule of Threes, http://preppingtosurvive.com/2011/03/22/the-rule-of-three/)

Object Lesson:

Remember that when our campers were lost in the snowy woods, Lost Child began to panic and lose hope...He thought he would never be found...He gave up. Remind the students that Lost Child and Buddy should have obeyed those in authority and stayed with their group. However, sometimes in this world bad things will happen, even when we obey. Tell them that Jesus is always our hope, no matter what happens. Share the Wordless book at the front of The Children's Ministry Resource Bible (use sample dialogue in xxvii).

Memory Verse:

Write the memory verse on the board. Say it together. Then erase a word at a time, saying it together, until all students can say the verse alone.

...In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV) John 16:33

Read the Bible Story: Jesus' parable of the lost son, Luke 15:11-32.

Discuss how Jesus is the Good Shepherd who wants to save us from sin.

Review and Thinking activity: Ask the students to think about the differences between the colors in “The Coloring Song” and the Wordless book. Write the names of the songs at the top of the marker board, and write the colors under the songs using appropriate colored marker pens. As you discuss the Clean page, illustrate this by putting a piece of clean white paper over the Dark page. Lead a discussion about same and different in the book and song.

The Coloring Song”

Red reminds us of the blood of Jesus; that although Jesus is a Shepherd, He is also the lamb who died to save us from our sins. The color

Blue is included to illustrate a cold heart that doesn't listen to the Salvation message of hope.

Gold reminds of of sunlight, that warms us in the morning and “calms the storm.”

Brown reminds us that there is birth and death, but Jesus gives us life and makes us grow.

The Wordless Book”

Gold reminds us of heaven and who God is—holy and loving Creator. Gold can also remind us of a sunbeam. Jesus is our sunbeam, our hope!

Dark page could be either black or brown. In our book, the dark page is black. It reminds of of sin and separation from God.

Red page in our book reminds us of the perfect Son of God who gave His blood to take the

punishment for our sins.

Clean page in the book is to remind us to turn from sin and trust Christ by faith alone. It shows that we are forgiven—made clean—in Christ.

Green page in the book reminds us of growing things, like leaves in the spring. We grow when we pray, read and obey God's Word (the Bible), go to church and witness. Be a sunbeam for Jesus!

Be sensitive to any students who may have questions, or who may be ready to accept Christ as Savior and Lord. Remind students that Jesus gives us hope. We can share this hope with others who are lost and afraid. Find more information to help children with questions about salvation in The Children's Ministry Resource Bible, “Lesson: The Good Shepherd,” pp. 1310-1311, and “The Parable of the Lost Son,” pp. 1313-1314).


Share the song from Timeless Truths, I'll Be a Sunbeam!

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,

To shine for Him each day;

In every way try to please Him,

At home, at school, at play.


A sunbeam, a sunbeam,

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam;

A sunbeam, a sunbeam,

I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.

Jesus wants me to be loving,

And kind to all I see;

Showing how pleasant and happy,

His little one can be.

I will ask Jesus to help me

To keep my heart from sin;

Ever reflecting His goodness,

And always shine for Him.

I’ll be a sunbeam for Jesus,

I can if I but try;

Serving Him moment by moment,

Then live for Him on high.”--http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Ill_Be_a_Sunbeam

Other songs: Help Somebody Today, Jesus Bids Us Shine and Open the Door for the Children, http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Open_the_Door_for_the_Children/lofi/ .

Review Game:

Break students up into groups as in previous lesson. Write the number of each group on the board as a team. There are two parts to the game. The game is finished when all teams are finished making their books.. The team which finishes first receives a prize or extra privilege. (Suggestions: a piece of maple candy, a small leaf shaped cookie, a leaf shaped bead.)

Students will work in teams to gather up leaves hidden about the room, and put them in order according to the Wordless book using pipe cleaners. (If you wish to make the “Leaf books” more durable, laminate or cover them in plastic. Use hole punches to make it easier to string them together.) Each student should make their own book, and students are encouraged to help each other to make books and explain the books to other teams. The teacher should carefully monitor to ensure that books are made correctly.

Bonus Verses:

Hebrews 1:14 shows us that all believers have angels to minister to (help) them: “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (NIV)

Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NIV): This is what the Lord says: “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Lesson and Unit Evaluation:

Divide students up into teams of two (each from a separate team—for instance, team 1 with 2 and team 3 with 4.) Each student will share their Wordless leaf book with at least one person from another team and ask that person to sign their name to their book. Then they will switch, and the other student will share and ask the student to switch. The student will be able to complete the review activity with at least 75% accuracy. In this case, that means that the student can adequately explain at least three out of the four pages in their Wordless leaf book. The teacher should ensure that students express the lesson objectives.