Note: I wrote the lesson, but I didn't teach it. From what I heard though, this story was new to most of the kids. I don't know if that is because our church tends to focus more on life lessons than the actual bible stories or if this has been ignored in the curriculum because of the whole "cut the baby in half thing." Either way, I think this is a story that should be taught if for no other reason than it is referred to time and again throughout English Literature. Any way... the lesson:
Verse: 1 Kings 3:16-28
As kids come in have them write down one thing to be used for a guessing game later. It can be an object, bible character or story, cartoon, movie, place, classroom object etc. Encourage the kids to think of as many different things a possible. You might want to add some bible things in there as well. As you teach the lesson, have a volunteer go through the papers and make sure that each one has something legible written on it and that it is church appropriate.
Bible Lesson: Explain that during the history of the people of Israel there was a time when God appointed kings to rule over them. See if they know who any of the kings were (Saul, David and Solomon). Each King was known for different things. Saul was a great military leader. David was known for his faith in God and Solomon was known for his wisdom. A story in the bible tells us that when David died and Solomon was to become king God ask Solomon what one gift he would like to have. (Kind of like a free wish). Solomon could have asked for anything, power, money but he asked for wisdom so that he would be able to be a good king for the people of Israel.
Have them read the story from the bible. 1 Kings 3:16-28. (In the kids bible, it referred to the women as prostitutes. I'm not sure what is up with that. I don't remember that ever being part of the story. Anyway for this lesson the teacher just read the story out of her bible which simply said, "two women".)
Discussion: How did Solomon know who the mother of the baby was? Ask if they can think of anyone wise people in our lives today (Parents, Teachers, Ministers, President). Why is it important to have wisdom? (Make good choices, help to make wrong situations right)
Games: The bowl game (Lets see how wise you are!)
Rules: (Like the game Password) Divide into 2 teams. (you might want to have an adult sit by each team to be referee.) Place the bowl of the kids’ suggestions in the middle of the room. Each team will need to pick a representative to go to the bowl for the start of the game. When you say go, the kids at the bowl will each take one piece of paper with a word on it and return to their team. They will then need to describe the word or phrase (with out saying it) to their team. Once the team has guessed the word, another kid will go to the bowl and draw a new word. (Each team is allowed one pass). Every member of the team has to describe a word before anyone is allowed to be the word describer person for a second time. Once the bowl has run out of papers, the team that guessed the most words wins