King Nebuchadnezzar II ruled the neo-Babylonian Empire (now the Middle East) from 605 to 562 B.C.E. He is prominently featured in the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar was responsible for throwing Daniel's friends Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow to his statue. You can use a number of activities to help children learn more about the biblical account of King Nebuchadnezzar.
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Fiery Furnace Play
Put on a sketch or play to help children learn the lesson of obedience to God no matter what by re-enacting the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. The Kids Sunday School website suggests having a host who introduces scenes by paraphrasing passages from the Book of Daniel. Choose children to play the parts of Nebuchadnezzar and the three friends. Conduct the play for the rest of the class.
You can teach the children songs about Nebuchadnezzar. Dovecot Sunday School (see Resources) has a collection of songs about the dream, the first of which is "The Image of the Plain," which describes Nebuchadnezzar's decision to erect a golden statue for everyone to worship. The second song, "Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego," talks about the three friends of Daniel who were punished for not obeying this order. Finally, "What's This I See?" describes Nebuchadnezzar's reaction to the three men's not being burnt in the furnace.
The children can work on a paper craft featuring Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego praying in the fiery furnace after Nebuchadnezzar ordered them punished. DLTK's Growing Together website (see Resources) has a template that you can print out and have the children colour, after which they can cut out the pieces, glue them together and colour flames inside the furnace. You can either do a basic paper craft or a three-dimensional paper craft, depending on the age and ability of the students.
Use the activity sheets at the God's Acres website (see Resources) to help the children learn about King Nebuchadnezzar in greater detail. The sheets tell the story of the king, why he erected the golden idol, what happened when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship it and a lesson to take from it all. It also features word scrambles and illustrations the students can colour with crayons or coloured pencils.
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