Upper Elementary

Courage to Speak Truth

Lesson 5 

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Summer 2020

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By: Paula Yingst 

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July 05, 2020

Lesson Focus:

It takes courage to be truthful.

Bible Basis:

Exodus 20:16; John 8:12-47

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will discuss the need for courage as they explore the importance of telling the truth.

Memory Verse:

“Speak the truth to each other.”
—Zechariah 8:16

Step 1:

Students will discuss the need for courage as they explore the importance of telling the truth.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Before class, create a slide that says: When do you need courage? If you are in a physical classroom, write the question on a board.

When it’s time to begin the lesson, take a few minutes to check how the past week went for your students. When everyone has had an opportunity to share, move on to the discussion.

What are some different things for which you need courage? Call on individuals who are willing to share.

Let’s watch a video about a boy who needs courage to face life.
Show the video to your students [3:13]:
Ezra Frech Story: A teen and his family share a story of how he showed courage when overcoming a challenge.

  • What did Ezra have to overcome? (Answers may include learning how to walk, run, and compete as a world-class athlete. He talked about how to overcome and get around a challenge.)
  • Why do you think it took Ezra courage to get around his challenges? (Accept all answers.)
  • It takes courage to do other things. Think about telling the truth. How much courage does it take to tell someone the truth when you know they will be angry? (Encourage discussion about truth telling and possible reactions from the people who may be involved, such as anger and bitterness.)

When you think that someone is not going to like what you say—even if what you are saying is the absolute truth—it takes courage to speak out. Let’s open our Bibles and find out how Jesus handled a situation like that.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Whiteboard and marker
  • Printouts of Truth poster (1 per student; template found here)
  • Colored markers
  • Pencils

Before class, print out a copy of the Truth poster on cardstock for each student. If meeting with students virtually, e-mail the file to students at home and ask them to print it out ahead of the lesson. The template can be found here. Create a slide or Word document of the Zechariah 8:16 memory verse. Underneath the memory verse, write the lesson focus: It takes courage to be truthful. If you are in a classroom, write these on a board.

Share your screen, show the slide, or point to the board.

Today we’ve learned that God wants us to speak truth, and that sometimes doing that takes courage.

  • Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to say something that was not entirely true so that you would not hurt someone’s feelings? How do you think God feels about that? (Answers will vary. Jesus taught that we should love and be kind to one another, but there is no such thing as a “white” lie.)
  • How might you rephrase an answer so as not to hurt someone’s feelings and yet remain truthful? For instance, if someone got a haircut that you didn’t like and asked you what you thought, how might you answer appropriately? (Answers will vary, but help them think of truthful positives they can say that forego negative opinion such as “That looks like it will be nice and cool for the summer” or “That makes you look [older/younger]” or “How fun!” If pressed into giving their opinion, they might say something like, “You know, I don’t think that would look good on me, but I bet you’ll like it.”)
  • When would you say it is most important to speak truth? (Accept all answers and encourage discussion.)
  • When is it hard for you to be courageous about telling the truth? (Allow preteens to share candidly.)

Ask students to get out the TRUTH poster you sent or pass out the TRUTH poster copies. If you are in a virtual setting, show the poster on your screen.

Courage to tell the truth is something we need every day—at the beginning when we first wake up, throughout the busy hours when the pace picks up, in the evening during conversations with parents or interaction with teammates if you are into sports, and at night as you drift off to sleep.

Encourage your students to write things that will remind them or encourage them toward truthfulness. Invite students to color their poster during the week. Urge your students to place the poster somewhere that will remind them to keep on telling the truth.

When class time is finished, close with prayer.

Text or email with students during the week. Check to see how they are doing with telling the truth. If needed, remind them that it takes courage to get around a challenge. They can follow Zechariah 8:16.

Spread the word

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