1 - God makes the world (Blue whales)

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 1
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 10

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Did you know that the smallest fish in the world is less than one centimetre long? That’s probably smaller than your thumb nail. Such a tiny fish can be found swimming in forest swamps in Indonesia. The largest animal in the world can also be found in water… but this animal needs a deep ocean to swim in. The largest animal is the blue whale. The blue whale can be as long as thirty metres. That’s more than 3,000 times bigger than the smallest fish and if you lined up three buses one behind the other, a blue whale would still be longer. The Bible tells us that God made the whole world. He made the biggest and the smallest creatures.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Gather some leaves, flowers and seeds and arrange them on a tray.
  • Bring in a selection of library books showing a variety of animals and plants or download images from the internet, but be aware of copyright regulations.

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Play a game with sock fish
You will need: at least twenty pairs of socks, hole-reinforcement stickers, masking tape and two buckets or plastic boxes. 

1. Before the session stick a strip of masking tape to the floor.
2. At a distance of approximately two and a half metres from the tape place two buckets. The buckets should be about a metre apart.
3. Divide the socks into two piles; keep the pairs together but make sure they are not attached to one another.
4. Encourage the children to sit in their teams behind the line of tape. Explain that they are in a fish factory making fish! Give a pile of socks to each team. Show the children how to make a pair of socks into a fish shape following the instructions below. Explain that, as fast as they can the children need to make all their pairs of socks into fish. Then, whilst remaining seated they should throw their fish into their bucket. If a fish misses the bucket they must pick it up, sit back down behind the line and try again.

 

How to make sock fish instructions: 

 
 
  1. Take a pair of socks and place one sock on top of the other. 
  2. Holding the socks together turn the ankle part of one sock over until you have made the two socks into a sock bundle.
  3. Wrap a small piece of masking tape around the sock bundle as shown in the picture. The hem of the sock will form the fish's tail.
  4. Place two hole-reinforcement stickers on your sock fish to look like eyes. 

The first team to complete the challenge and successfully throw all their fish into their bucket is the winning team. 

Help the children to reflect on how amazing it is that God made all the different varieties of fish that can be found around the world. You might like to talk briefly about how unlike real fish the sock fish are.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we thank you for your wonderful creation. Thank you for all the magnificent creatures that you have made. Thank you for the tiny fish that swim in swamps and the enormous sea creatures that swim in oceans. 

Father, when we think of your creation - trees growing from tiny seeds and galaxies that go on and on and on, we realise that you are far bigger and far greater than we can ever imagine. 

Father God, thank you for making this beautiful earth and filling it with so many wonderful things. Amen  


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2 - God makes people

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 1-2
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 12

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one. 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Often we think of our birthday as a special day… a special day that’s all about us. But did you know we each share our birthday with over a million people? There are in fact over seven billion people in the world. Every second, four babies are born – which means while reading this, forty tiny babies have just arrived in the world.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • ‘Now I will make human beings,’ speech bubble (see Printables)
  • Cuddly toys or small animal play figures 
  • Pictures of trees from a library book or online (beware of copyright regulations)
  • Gather a selection of leaves, flowers and seeds and place toy people and animal figures among the natural objects

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Show and talk about a selection of photographs
Bring in some photographs of yourself as a baby or a young child to show the children. Talk about how your appearance has changed and what you were doing at the time the photos were taken. Talk about the other people that are in your photographs. Talk briefly with the children about all the millions of people in the world, all with their different memories and experiences. Spend some time explaining that, although there are many millions of people in the world, God loves every single person. He knows everything everybody has ever done and he loves each of us more than we can imagine.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God, thank you for creating people. Thank you for our friends and family. Thank you for the people who help us and care for us, some of whom we hardly know. 

Thank you Father God for people who run our country and work hard so that we can live safely and enjoy our lives. 

Thank you for people who bring changes that make our world a better place. Father we thank you that everybody everywhere is a part of your wonderful creation. Amen. 


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3 & 4 - Tempting fruit & Paradise lost (Fruit sticks)

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 3
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor pages 13 - 14

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Have you ever accidentally spoilt something special? Perhaps you’ve broken a toy, torn a page in a favourite book or accidentally scratched a DVD. Can you remember the sad feeling when you realised what you had done? When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden their friendship with God was spoilt. The wrong thing they had done separated them from God and they could no longer be friends in the way they had once been. Adam and Eve were sad. God was sad. But God had a plan. Disobedience had spoilt his creation but he would put things right. His plan was to send his Son Jesus so that people could be close friends with him once more. 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.

  • ‘Sin word’ graphic (see Printables) 
  • A toy snake 
  • ‘Did God really say…?’ speech bubble (see Printables)
  • An apple 
  • ‘Where are you, Adam?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 -  Play a game with snake shapes
You will need: Snake templates (see Printables) and enough dice for one between three or four children.

1. Before the session print sufficient templates for one between three or four children. Cut out the templates and divide the snakes into eight shapes. Place the shapes in the envelopes - one set in each envelope. 
2. Divide the children into groups of no more than three or four.
3. Give each group a set of snake shapes.
4. Ask the children to keep the head and tail of their snake and place the remaining shapes on the floor in the middle of the room. It doesn’t matter if the shapes get mixed up at this stage.
5. Encourage the children to sit around the room in their groups. Each group needs to be equidistant from the shapes in the middle. Give each group a dice.
6. Explain that the children should take turns throwing their dice then collecting a corresponding shape from the middle of the room.
7. The group needs to place their collected shapes in the correct order between the head and tail of their snake. Each snake should include one of each shape. If a child throws a number that has already been collected the dice should be passed to the next child.
8. The first team to complete their snake is the winning team.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God, thank you that you did not give up on mankind when Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden.

Thank you that all those years ago you had a plan to one day make a way for everybody everywhere to become close friends with you once more.

Father we now know that your plan was to send your Son. Thank you that 2,000 years ago your Son Jesus came to earth. Thank you that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and become close friends with you.  Amen


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3 & 4 - Tempting fruit & Paradise lost

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 3
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, pages 13 - 14

Notes
After reading the story 'Paradise lost', you might want to remind the children that all those years ago God had a plan to put things right. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden their friendship with God was spoilt. The wrong thing they had done separated them from God. The Bible calls the wrong things people do ‘sin’. The sin crept into the lives of Adam and Eve and began to change them. Adam and Eve were sad. God was sad. But God had a plan. Disobedience had spoilt his creation but he would put things right. His plan was to send his Son Jesus to live with people. The Bible teaches that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness and become close friends with him. 

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one. 

2. Starter question - 1 min
What's your favourite kind of fruit? Perhaps you enjoy biting into a crisp green apple or a juicy plum, or maybe you like sweet strawberries or blackberries in a warm pudding.  Fruit is very good for us and we are encouraged to eat some every day. The Bible teaches that in the very beginning when God made the world he gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden to live in. The garden was full of plants and trees and the trees were laden with fresh fruit. Adam and Eve were allowed to eat the fruit freely, however they were not allowed to eat the fruit from every tree.  'Do not eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden,' said God. 'Do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.' 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.

  • ‘Sin word’ graphic (see Printables) 
  • A toy snake 
  • ‘Did God really say…?’ speech bubble (see Printables)
  • An apple 
  • ‘Where are you, Adam?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 -  Fun with fruit
Beware of allergies make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.
You will need: two ripe bananas, a toothpick, two lemons, baking soda, washing-up liquid, a sharp knife*, a measuring spoon, a citrus juicer, a clear plastic cup, two different fruit drinks with varying amounts of sugar (we used orange juice and diluted no added sugar blackcurrant squash),a desert spoon, a see-through plastic cup a spoon and a jug

*Keep knives out of the reach of children

How to make citrus suds:
1. Cut the lemon in half (an adult should do this) and carefully squeeze out the juice using the citrus juicer. 
2. Place one tablespoon of baking soda in the clear cup.
3. Add one teaspoon of washing-up liquid to the baking soda and stir it a little. 
4. Pour the lemon juice into the cup and stir. Watch the citrus suds fizz.

Make sure the children understand that they must not drink the fizzy mixture. You might like to explain to the children that as the acidic lemon juice reacts with the baking soda, carbon dioxide is released which causes the liquid soap to froth and foam. 

How to slice a banana in it's skin:
Before the session prepare the banana by following steps these four steps:
1. Carefully push a toothpick through the skin of the banana and into the fruit inside. You want the toothpick to reach the skin on the other side but don't push it right through. 
2. Gently move the toothpick from side to side - try not to break the toothpick or make the hole in the skin any bigger. As the toothpick moves backwards and forwards you will be slicing the banana inside the skin. 
3. Remove the toothpick and reinsert it five or six centimetres below the first hole. Repeat step two.
4. Keep making holes and slicing the banana with the toothpick until you reach the bottom of the banana. 

During the session peel the banana to show that it is already sliced! Demonstrate how this was done by slicing the second banana in the same way following steps one to four.

How to make a layered fruit drink:
Before the session dilute the squash to a normal concentration. 

 
IMG_20180521_133817165.jpg
 

1. Pour orange juice into the cup until the cup is approximately half full. 
2. Slowly spoon sugar free squash into the cup.
3. The squash should form a layer on top of the orange juice.

Explain that the drinks form layers because the orange juice is more sugary than the squash.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God, thank you that when Adam and Eve disobeyed you in the garden you did not give up on mankind. Thank you that all those years ago you had a plan.

Father we now know that your plan was to send your Son Jesus. Thank you that 2,000 years ago Jesus came to earth to show what you are like, to teach people how to live and to make a way for everybody everywhere to become close friends with you.

Thank you Father God, that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and become close friends with you.  Amen


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5 - The two brothers

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 4
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, pages 15 and 16

Notes
If you have young children in your group you may wish to only tell the story of ‘The Two Brothers’. If you have older children you could also tell the story of ‘The First Murder’; however read the text through first to make sure you are happy with the content. You may prefer to use the phrase ‘Cain hurt Abel so much that he died’ rather than saying ‘Cain killed Abel’.

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
People often spend a long time thinking about the right sort of birthday present to give a close friend. Should they give a big present, a small present, an expensive present or a simple present? Once they've decided, they might carefully wrap the gift and write something kind in a card. But imagine if people didn’t care what they gave – if they just picked up any old thing, wrapped it in crumpled paper and scribbled a name on the front. What would that say about their friendship? How would their friend feel? One day two brothers gave gifts to God – one brother showed God his love and trust in the gift he chose, while the other brother’s gift showed that he did not really love or trust God as his brother did.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Two toy figures to represent Cain and Abel
  • A picture of a lamb and some corn (see Printables), you will also need sticky tac

As you tell the story stick the picture of the corn to the figure representing Cain and the lamb to the figure representing Abel. Stand the figures on a low table or the floor. Move them around at the appropriate parts of the story.   

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web.

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Play a game of matching pictures
You will need: as many teaspoons as there are children in your group, sticky tac, a newspaper, a glue stick, a set of ‘Cain and Abel’ pictures and a set of ‘Lamb and corn’ pictures’ (see Printables).  

1. Before the session print as many ‘Cain and Abel’ and ‘Lamb and corn’ pictures as you have children. Cut out the corn and lamb pictures and use sticky tac to stick them to the back of the teaspoons.
2. Stick the Cain and Abel pictures to sheets of newspaper then cut them out (this will prevent the children seeing through the paper to the image on the other side). 
3. To play the game the children should sit in a circle. Place the spoons in the middle of the circle with their handles facing out. Arrange the spoons so that the corn and lamb pictures alternate. Now remove two spoons - one with a picture of a lamb and one with a picture of some corn.
4. Shuffle the pictures of Cain and Abel then hand them out.
5. When all the children have a picture ask them to place it face down in front of them. Without showing anybody they should slide the picture to the person on their left.  The children should keep sliding the pictures around the group until they have passed on four pictures. As they slide the pictures the children should say out loud: ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘4’.
6. When the fourth picture arrives in front of them the children should quickly pick it up and take a look at it. If their picture is of Cain they should grab a teaspoon with a picture of corn on it; if the picture is of Abel they should grab a teaspoon with a picture of a lamb on it. The children without spoons are out.
7. If you have time to play the game again shuffle the pictures and hand them out once more. 

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God we think about the story of the two brothers, Cain and Abel. We think about Cain who chose a gift in a way that did not please you and we think about Abel who loved and trusted you and gave the best he had.

Father help us to be like Abel, fully trusting in you. Help us to be generous people who love to give to you and the people around us over and over again. Amen. 


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11 - The sky's the limit

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 11
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 22
‘The tall tower’ see Printables

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
 
Are there any tall buildings near your home? A tall building with many floors can sometimes be called a skyscraper. The tallest skyscraper in London is The Shard. It is over three hundred metres high and has seventy-two floors. Inside The Shard there are offices, restaurants and even a hotel. The tallest tower in the world however is over eight hundred metres high. It took six years to build and is made of concrete, steel and glass. It has one hundred and sixty-three floors. 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Pictures from the internet of tall buildings (make sure you comply with copyright regulations).
  • Bricks (either house bricks or toy bricks). Children’s French or Spanish phrase books or a few words translated into three or four languages. 

On the Internet you could find translations for words such as ‘brick’, ‘carry’, ‘lift’, ‘hammer’ to demonstrate the communication problems the builders would have faced.

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 -  Play a game about building
You will need: lots of plastic cups or toy bricks and lively music with the means to play it.

1. Divide your group into two teams.
2. Give an equal number of cups or bricks to each team.
3. Explain to the children that they need to work together to build a tower.
4. Play the music while the children are building.
5. Intermittently stop the music and shout ‘scatter’. When you shout scatter everybody should run to touch the nearest wall. The last person to touch a wall is out.

The teams then continue building. One team will have one less person which will slow down the building of their tower. When everybody is ‘out’ the team with the tallest tower is the winning team. If you only have a few bricks play the music for a short amount of time before shouting ‘scatter’. 

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about the story. We imagine the people working hard to build the tall tower. Father we remember why they chose to start building. We remember that they had selfish thoughts. We remember that  they wanted to be famous and bring glory and attention to themselves. 

Father we think about what the Bible teaches - that you always want what is best for us. We remember that we are precious and loved by you but it is not good for us to try and bring glory to ourselves; it is not good for us to think that we are better than others; it is not good for us to be proud and want to be admired over and over again. 

Father help us to want to do things that bring glory and praise to you. Father, thank you that the Bible teaches that you deserve all the praise and all the glory. Father help us to work along side others to bring glory to you and to always do what is good and right.  Amen


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13 - Lot has first choice

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 13
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 24

Notes
Use the Old Testament flashcards to remind the children of the events leading up to today’s story. Show the children the picture of Abraham as you explain that after people did one bad thing then another God found one person who would listen to Him; his name was Abram. Abram lived in a city called Ur. One day God spoke to Abram: ‘Leave Ur and go to the land I will show you’. Abram, his wife Sarah and Abram’s nephew Lot set off towards the land of Canaan. During Abram’s time of travelling God changed his name to Abraham.

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one and two

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Did you know that we make over a thousand decisions every day? We choose what to have for breakfast… what to wear… what to watch on TV… which book to read before bed. Over and over again we are given choices and we make one decision after another. One day Abraham gave his nephew Lot a choice: ‘Would you like to live to the East or to the West?’… Which way do you think Lot chose to go?

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Toy sheep
  • ‘Families should not argue and shout like this’ speech bubble (see Printables)
  • A compass
  • ‘I’ll go that way’ speech bubble (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy colouring in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Race to the well
You will need ‘Lot and Abraham’s sheep and goats’ (see Printables), scissors, a hula hoop and sticky tac.      

1. Before the session print off enough sheep and goats for at least four sets per child.
2. Cut out the animals and stick them around your teaching space.
3. Place the hoop in the middle of the room and explain that it is a ‘well’.
4. Divide your group into two teams; call one team ‘Lot’s team’ and the other ‘Abraham’s team’.
5. Explain that Lot's team need to collect the animals with the letter 'L'  and Abraham's team need to collect the animals with the letter 'A'.
6. When you shout ‘go’ the children need to run around collecting their sheep and goats and placing them around the edge of the ‘well’.
7. The first team to collect all their animals is the winning team.

Option 3 - East or West?
You will need: masking tape, a list of animal pairs (see Printables), ‘East’ and ‘West’ signs (see Printables) and a spinner or coin (see Printables).     

1. Use a long strip of masking tape to separate your room into two halves.
2. Designate one half be ‘the East’ and the other to be ‘the West’. Label the spaces using the signs.  
3. Ask the children to stand in the middle of the room. 
4.One by one read out the animal pairs.
5. After reading out each pair ask the children which animal they would rather meet. The children who choose an animal beginning with a ‘W’ should go to the ‘West’ and children who choose an animal beginning with an ‘E’ should go to the ‘East’.
6. Spin the spinner or toss the coin to find out which group can remain in the game.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God, we thank you for all we can learn from the life of Abraham. We remember that over and over again he trusted you .

We remember that Abraham acted generously towards his nephew Lot because he knew that whichever path he took you would look after him.

Father God help us to realise how much you love each one of us. Help us to trust you every day. Help us to know that we can be generous with what we have because you have promised to always care for us. Amen



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14 - God's promise

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 15
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 25

Notes
Use the Old Testament flashcards to remind the children of the events leading up to today’s story. Show the children the picture of Abraham as you remind them that after people did one bad thing then another God found one person who would listen to Him; his name was Abram. Abram lived in a city called Ur. One day God spoke to Abram: ‘Leave Ur and go to the land I will show you’. Abram, his wife Sarah and Abram’s nephew Lot set off towards the land of Canaan. After a while Abram and Lot went their separate ways. Lot headed towards the green lush valley of the river Jordan while Abram headed towards the rocky hills in the west. During Abram’s time of travelling God changed his name to Abraham.

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one and two

2. Starter question - 1 min  
How many stars do you think there are in the universe? The answer is ‘billions and billions and billions’. Did you know that the number of stars we can see depends on how much light there is around us? If we are in a city with lots of street lights it’s much harder to see the stars. But in a dark place, perhaps in the countryside, we can see thousands and thousands of stars.  

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • East and West signs (see Printables)
  • Star shapes (see Printables)
  • Images of star constellations from a library book or the internet (beware of copyright regulations)
  • ‘I promise…’ speech bubble (see Printables) 

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Decorating stars
You will need: sticky tac, star shapes (see Printables), stickers, colouring pens and/or felt-tips, gold and silver pens for older children.       

1. Before the session print and cut out the star shapes.
2. Before you tell the story encourage the children to each decorate one or two stars. If they are using the gold and silver pens show them how they can draw geometric or ornate designs on their stars rather than block colouring.
3. Stick the stars to a wall in your teaching space using the sticky tac.
4. Point to the stars as you reach the relevant part in the story.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God, thank you for your great promise to Abraham that he would one day have a big family and a land of his own.

We remember that, although it appeared impossible, Abraham kept on trusting you; he kept believing that what you said was true.   

Father God, thank you for all your promises to us. Help us to keep on trusting in you. Help us to keep believing that what you say is true.
Thank you that today, because of your promise to Abraham, we too can be a part of your great family. Amen. 


 
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19 - Isaac is born

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 21
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 30

Notes
Use the Old Testament flashcards to remind the children of the events leading up to today’s story. Show the children the picture of Abraham as you remind them that after people did one bad thing then another God found one person who would listen to Him; his name was Abram. Abram lived in a city called Ur. One day God spoke to Abram: ‘Leave Ur and go to the land I will show you’. Abram, his wife Sarah and Abram’s nephew Lot set off towards the land of Canaan. After a while Abram and Lot went their separate ways. Lot headed towards the green lush valley of the river Jordan while Abram headed towards the rocky hills in the west. During Abram’s time of travelling God changed his name to Abraham.  A few weeks ago we heard about God’s great promise to Abraham: ‘You will have a big family and a land of your own’. Today we hear about the birth of Abraham and Sarah’s first child.

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Do you know anybody called Isaac? Perhaps your name is Isaac. Isaac means ‘he laughs’. In some countries babies are named after something their parents have seen or heard around the time of their birth. Today our story is about the birth of Abraham and Sarah’s son. Why do think they named their son Isaac?  

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A doll and a small blanket to wrap it in
  • ‘He laughs’ name badge (see Printables)


If you can get hold of a simple tent or gazebo – put one up in your teaching space and tell the story from inside. Place cushions and blankets on the floor to make it comfortable.

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Try not to smile! 
1. Encourage the children to sit in a circle.
2. Explain that the aim of the game is not to smile.
3. The children must sit in silence looking at one another. They shouldn't speak or touch one another during the game.
4.It shouldn’t take long before children start to smile and giggle. If a child smiles they are out and must sit outside the circle.
5. When children start to leave the circle the other children should shuffle forwards to make the circle slightly smaller.
6. Keep playing the game until one child remains.
7. You could introduce the rule whereby children outside the circle can try and make the remaining players laugh by saying silly things. However they still must not touch the children while they are playing the game.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins    
Father God, thank you that you always keep your promises.

We think about the promise you gave to Abraham, that he would have a big family and a land of his own. We remember that Abraham and Sarah had to wait and wait and wait until they had their first child. We remember that through the difficult times instead of giving up, Abraham grew to trust you more and more and more.

Father God we thank you that you help us to trust you. Thank you for Bible stories like this one that help us to keep on and on believing that what you say is true. Amen. 



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27 - Jacob's dream

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 28
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 39
‘Jacob's dream’ (see Printables)

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min
When you’re tired at the end of a busy day there is nothing better than to rest your head on a nice soft pillow. But just imagine if you didn’t have a pillow. Imagine if the only thing to rest your head on was a cold, hard stone. Do you think you would sleep well with a rock for a pillow? 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A pillow
  • A large stone or small rock
  • A small jar of olive oil
  • ‘I am the God of Abraham...’ speech bubbles (see Printables)
  • ‘If you are with me’ speech bubbles (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Talk about why Jacob poured oil on the stone.
Ask the children why they think Jacob made the stone into a pillar and poured oil on it. Listen to the children’s answers then explain that Jacob wanted to mark the place as special. People who study the Bible think that Jacob made the stone into a pillar so that he would be able to find the place again. Bible scholars also think that Jacob poured oil on the stone to worship God. Many years later Moses poured a special oil on the Tabernacle (the worship tent) to show that it was extremely special to God (Numbers 7:1).

Option 3 - Make climbing angel shadows
You will need: Angel and ladder templates (see Printables), sticky tac, sticky tape, chopsticks and a suitable safe light source such as a torch.

1. Print and cut out the angel templates.
2. Print three or four ladder templates.
3. Trim the ladders top and bottom then join them together to make an extra long ladder.
4. Stick the ladder to the wall using sticky tac.
5. Use a small piece of sticky tape to attach the angel templates to the chopsticks. 
6. Create angel shadows by holding the templates in front of torch-beam as it shines on the ladder then move the templates and the torch up and down so that the angel appears to be climbing up and down the ladder. 

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about Jacob. We remember the great lengths he went to to get the blessing meant for his older brother - Father we realise how important your favour was to him; how he longed to have good things  from you. 

Father we think about Jacob a few days later, lying down in the open air and resting his head on the stone. We remember that as he slept you spoke to him clearly in a dream. Father we thank you that you still speak to people today in surprising ways, at times and in places when they are not expecting to hear from you. Father thank you that even when we are resting or sleeping we can be sure that we will not miss out on what you want to do or say to us. 

Father we remember the comforting words You spoke to Jacob. Thank you that you made it clear that Jacob would be blessed in an even greater way than he had hoped. Father we thank you that the promise to Jacob was about us too - that everybody, everywhere would be blessed through Jacob's family. Thank you that today we know that that promise is about Jesus, that through him everybody everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and become close friends with you.  Amen

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.


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28 - The Trickster tricked

 
 

15 minutes Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 28-29
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, story number 28, page 40 
‘Laban tricks Jacob’ (see Printables)

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min
How old will you be in seven years time? Do you think your life will be different from the way it is now?

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A picture of an ancient well from the internet (beware of copyright regulations)
  • A toy sheep
  • A calendar
  • A piece of net curtain or white voile

When you talk about Leah as the bride, ask for a volunteer and place a couple of layers of voile or net curtain over their head – make sure it is difficult for the children to see their face clearly beneath.

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Play a game about sheep
You will need the sheep templates, pasture sign and well template (see Printables), two or three dice and ‘How to play the sheep game’ instruction sheet (see Printables).

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about the story. We imagine Jacob working hard week after week. We remember how the time went quickly as he worked for Laban, one day expecting to marry his daughter, Rachel. Father help us to be people who happily work for you, enjoying the things you ask us to do and living the way you want us to live. 

We think about Jacob's disappointment when he realised that Laban had tricked him. Father we think about times when we have felt disappointed. Help us to respond in a way that is good and right if we feel let down by others. 

Father we remember that although Laban did not keep his promise You did not forget yours. We remember  that you promised to bless Jacob and bring good thing to him. We thank you that Jacob's flocks grew in number and more and more children were added to his family. 

Thank you Father God that you always keep your promises - thank you that you have promised to be with us and to bring good things to our lives. Thank you that we can trust that day after day you will do as you have said. Amen.  

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.


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31 & 32 - Joseph: Trouble at home & Dreams

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 37
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 43 and 44

Notes
Many years after Jacob left the land God had promised his grandfather Abraham, he made the long journey home. By the time he settled back in the Promised Land (the land of Canaan) Jacob had a very large family; his wife Leah had had many children, while his wife Rachel had had two. Altogether Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. 

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min
How many people live in your house? Two? Three? Four? Perhaps you have a big family with more than six people living together in one house. Can you imagine a household of more than sixteen people? Perhaps it would be fun - people coming and going, eating, talking, sharing. Or maybe it would be too busy, too crowded, too noisy... 

3. Telling the story using props - 4 mins

  • A large piece of paper and marker pens or 13 craft lollipop sticks and 12 pictures of men plus one female cut out of a magazine/newspaper (it would be helpful if they were all roughly the same size)
  • Sticky tape
  • ‘The names of Jacob's children and how to display them’ instructions (see Printables)
  • A colourful jacket or blanket

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story Activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Create a multicoloured coat

 
IMG_20170406_153911704.jpg
 

You will need: washable felt-tip pens, enough frames for one per child (see Printables) and a plain white t-shirt or shirt, or a large sheet of white paper with the shape of a coat drawn on it.

Before the session cut out the frames by cutting along the dotted lines.

1. Lay the t-shirt or paper-coat on a low table and encourage the children to gather around.
2. Explain that they are going to decorate the coat with the coloured pens, however each child will create a small pattern which will add to the overall design.
3. You could allow the children to do this free-hand or give each child a paper frame.
4. If using the frames show the children how to lay the frame on top of the fabric/paper and then draw within the square. With older children you could show them how to create a sharp edge to their pattern by making their design extend right to the edge of the frame.

With very young children you may need to remind them that it is not appropriate to draw on clothes unless it is part of a craft activity such as this.   

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about Joseph as a young boy. We remember that he was keen to please his father and make good choices. We also remember that he was not always considerate towards those around him. 

Father help us to not only make good choices but to think about how our behaviour makes others feel. Help us to be kind and considerate. Help us to think carefully about the things we say and remember the feelings of others when we choose what to do.  

Father as we hear more about Joseph over the coming weeks, help us to see that even when things did not go well for him you worked powerfully in and through his life. Father help us to see how you can work powerfully in our lives too. Amen.

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.


 

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33 & 34 - Joseph: Into the Pit & On the road to Egypt

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 37
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 44-46

Notes
Briefly remind the children of the background to the story of Joseph.  Many years after Jacob left the land God had promised his grandfather Abraham, he made the long journey home. By the time he settled back in the Promised Land (the land of Canaan) Jacob had a very large family; his wife Leah had had many children, while his wife Rachel had had two. Altogether Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. 

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Do you help your mum or dad at home? Perhaps you tidy your room, put the dishes away or maybe lay the table. One day Jacob asked his son Joseph to do a job for him. Joseph was eager to help his Dad...  but things did not turn out well for Joseph that day.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Use the 12 brothers visual aid created last week or make another one out of 13 craft lollipop sticks and 12 pictures of male faces plus one female cut out of a magazine/newspaper (it would be helpful if they were all roughly the same size)
  • Sticky tape
  • ‘The names of Jacob's children and how to display them’ instructions (see Printables)
  • A colourful jacket or blanket
  • Perfumes and/or spices in decorative boxes or bags to represent the traders wares  

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - a game about Joseph finding his brothers
You will need: the brightly coloured jacket or blanket and a blindfold.
Briefly explain that when Jacob sent Joseph to speak to his brothers he had difficulty finding them because they had moved their flock of sheep to a different place. Explain that the children are going to play a game about Joseph finding his brothers. In the game ‘Joseph’ will be blindfold although he could see perfectly well in the story.

1. Ask for a volunteer to be Joseph.
2. Encourage ‘Joseph’ to wrap the blanket around themselves or put on the jacket.
3. Ask the remaining children to stand in various places around the room. If you have a large room limit the area that the game will be played in. The remaining children are Joseph's brothers.
4. Now ask Joseph to cover his/her eyes with the blindfold.
5. Ask the brothers to move around the room then stand still. Joseph will now need to tentatively move forward to find his brothers. The brothers can either remain silent or quietly call out Joseph's name or even ‘baa‘ like sheep.
6. Once Joseph has found one of his brothers, either encourage the ‘brother’ to find his remaining siblings or sit at the side of the room while Joseph searches for the rest of his family. If you have time play the game with a different Joseph.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about Joseph growing up. We remember how badly he was treated by his jealous brothers. We imagine Joseph's relief to be pulled up out of the well... only to be sold as a slave to tradesmen.

Father we think about Joseph's journey to Egypt. We remember that each step took him further away from his home. 

Father, we thank you that you were with Joseph during those difficult times; even when he was being treated unkindly and far away from his home you were watching over him. Father help us to remember that you are always with us too. Help us to remember when we face difficult times that you are watching over us and that you love and care for us more than we can imagine. Amen.  

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.



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35 & 37 - Joseph: Slave in charge & The meaning of dreams

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 37-40
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 47 and 49. 

Notes
Between telling the two stories (‘The slave in charge’ and ‘The meaning of dreams’) briefly talk about the events in Potiphar's house. Explain that although Potiphar trusted his new servant and was extremely pleased with his work his wife treated Joseph badly. Briefly explain that Potiphar's wife told lies about Joseph and persuaded her husband to throw him into prison. As you draw to the end of reading ‘The meaning of dreams’ you may prefer to use the following phrases rather than the written text: ‘In three days time you will be punished by the king and you will not survive’ and ‘the King ordered the chief baker to be taken away’.

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min
Can you remember what you did last week? Did you go to school? Did you play sport or visit a friend? Each week we usually do things we enjoy, however we might also have to do things we don't like doing at all. Joseph's life was full of good times and bad times - one day everything seemed to be going fine but before he knew it his life had taken another turn for the worse.  

3. Telling the story using props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle and taste the food used in this activity.

  • A small bag of copper coins
  • A plastic wine glass
  • A bunch of red grapes
  • A basket of bread or pastries

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - A game about Joseph working hard as a slave
You will need: a stopwatch, two tea towels, two aprons, two cloth dusters, two feather dusters, two paper plates, two sets of plastic cups, forks, knives, spoons and paper napkins, two hardback books, two pens, two pencils, two notepads, (optional - six paper clips, 12 clothes pegs and a bottle of washing up liquid).

This game is a little like ‘buckaroo’. The aim is to load-up ‘Joseph’ with as many items as possible that he might need for serving in the house of Potiphar. Joseph must be careful not to drop any of the items! Before the session divide the items into two equal piles. 

1. Divide the group into two teams and ask for a volunteer from each.
2. Explain that the volunteers are to be ‘Josephs’. The Josephs must stand still for the duration of the game with their hands, separated and upturned in front of them.
3. Explain that the remaining team members must place/balance the items on  their Joseph as quickly as they can.
4. Set the stopwatch to 60 (or 90) seconds and when the group understands the aim of the game, shout ‘go’.
5. The winning team is the group whose Joseph is holding/wearing the most items when the time is up. 

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about Joseph arriving in Egypt. We remember that he had been sent away by his brothers and was now far, far, far away from home. 

Father we think about Joseph working hard in Potiphar's house and Potiphar growing to trust him more and more. Father help us to be people who work hard; help us to do the work that is asked of us in school and to be people who can be relied upon and trusted to do as well as we possibly can. 

Father we remember that Joseph was badly treated by Potiphar's wife. We remember that he was thrown into prison for something he had not done. Father when we feel we have been unfairly treated help us to respond in a good and right way. 

Father we thank you that you have promised to never leave us on our own. Help us to trust and believe that you are always with us and you are able to work in our lives both during the good times and the tough times. Amen.  

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.



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38 & 39 - Joseph: The prisoner and the king & The new prime minister

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 41
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor pages 50 - 52  

Notes
Summarise the story so far. Many years after Jacob left the land God had promised his grandfather Abraham, he made the long journey home. By the time he settled back in the Promised Land (the land of Canaan) Jacob had a very large family; his wife Leah had had many children, while his wife Rachel had had two. Altogether Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. Joseph was Jacob's favourite son. Because of the love Jacob showed Joseph, his brothers hated him and sent him away to Egypt. In Egypt Joseph worked hard. He was given a good job in Potiphar's household. But Potiphar's wife treated him unfairly and after a while she persuaded her husband to put Joseph in prison. 

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min
Have you ever forgotten to do something? Perhaps you've forgotten to take your P.E. kit to school or finish a piece of homework? Sometimes we forget to do small things, other times we forget to do things that are really important. While Joseph was in prison he helped the King's steward. ‘Remember me when you are back in the palace,’ said Joseph to the steward. ‘Don't forget to tell the King about me!’ But did the steward remember?

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle and taste the food used in this activities.

  • A flannel and a bar of soap
  • ‘I cannot do so’ speech bubble (see Printables) 
  • ‘7+7’ textbox (see Printables)
  • Bags of unpopped popcorn, uncooked lentils or rice

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - A game about collecting grain
You will need: a blanket, two or three bags of unpopped popcorn, uncooked lentils or rice (to represent grain), two big plastic bowls, two little plastic bowls, two tea towels and two teaspoons or wooden spoons. 

1. Divide the corn/lentils between the two big bowls and divide the group into two teams.
2. Place the blanket on the floor.
3. Encourage the children to line-up in their teams a couple of metres away from the blanket.
4. Ask for a volunteer from each team. The volunteers should sit cross legged on the blanket facing their team.
5. Give the volunteers a tea towel, a large bowl of lentils and a small bowl each. Each volunteer should spread the tea towel over their legs and place a large bowl in their lap. The volunteers should hold the smaller bowls on their head.
6. Give the volunteers a spoon.
7. When you shout ‘go’ the volunteers should carefully scoop the lentils from the large bowl into the small bowl on their heads.
8. Allow the volunteers to do this for around 15 seconds before you shout ‘change’. When you shout change the next children in the lines should swap places with the volunteers and immediately begin scooping more lentils from the big bowls into the little bowls.
9. When all the children have had a go or a team has run out of lentils end the game and announce which team has collected the most lentils in their small bowl. If you have time repeat the game.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about Joseph waiting to be released from prison. We imagine him hoping each day that the king would set him free. Father God when we are waiting, help us to be patient like Joseph. 

Father we think about Joseph's reply to the king: ‘I can't, but God can’. Help us to remember that although there are many, many, many things we cannot do - nothing is impossible for you. Father help us to trust you to bring about the things that are good and right for us.

Father we think about Joseph listening to what you said and then passing on the meaning of the King's dream. Father God please help Christians everywhere to be people that listen carefully to what you are saying and to pass on to others what you want them to hear. 

Father we think about the important job Joseph had in Egypt, collecting and storing the grain for the whole country. Father when we look back over Joseph's story we see that he learnt to plan carefully and work hard while he served in Potiphar's house. Father help us to trust that you will use all that we have learnt and all of our experiences to do the things you want us to do.  Amen

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.



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40 & 41 - Joseph: Food in Egypt & Benjamin's journey

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 42-43
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor pages 53 and 54

Notes
Summarise the story so far. Many years after Jacob left the land God had promised his grandfather Abraham, he made the long journey back home. By the time he settled back in the Promised Land (the land of Canaan) Jacob had a very large family; his wife Leah had had many children, while his wife Rachel had had two. Altogether Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. Joseph was Jacob's favourite son. Because of the love Jacob showed Joseph, his brothers hated him and sent him away to Egypt. In Egypt Joseph worked hard. He was given a good job in Potiphar's household. But Potiphar's wife treated him unfairly and after a while she persuaded her husband to put Joseph in prison. While he was in prison Joseph was called to the palace, there he told the king the meaning of his dream. A little while later Joseph was put in charge of a plan to save the Egyptians from famine.

1. Setting the scene - 2mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min
Have you ever been really, really, really hungry? So hungry that your tummy has started to rumble and all you could think about was food, food, food? After seven years of good harvests the crops in Egypt began to fail. The Egyptians were now hungry. Joseph began to hand out the grain he had put by in the storehouses - but soon it was not only the Egyptians that needed food, after a while people from the countries near by came in search of something to eat too.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in these activities

  • The 12 brothers from week 1 (see Printables - ‘The names of Jacob's children and how to display them’ instructions)
  • Bags of unpopped popcorn, uncooked lentils or rice
  • Small bags of copper coins

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Talk about foods from around the world.
You will need: a selection of store cupboard ingredients and/or fresh produce from around the world. These do not have to be exotic items as many common items are grown or packaged in different countries.

1. Before the session write down on small slips of paper where the items are from.
2. During the session set the children a challenge to try and guess where the items are from or simply place the slips next to the items as you talk about the countries they were grown or packaged in.
3. Spend some time discussing why different countries produce different types of food.
4. Talk about people needing to buy food from Egypt at the time of Joseph as there wasn't enough food in the surrounding countries.
5. Finally talk about what might have happened if Joseph hadn't told the king the meaning of his dream. With older children you could talk about the consequences of the brothers sending Joseph to Egypt and how this meant that one day their family would have enough food to eat. 

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about the difference Joseph made to the lives of people living in Egypt. We think about how his meeting with the steward and baker led him to stand before the King of Egypt.  We think about how you revealed the meaning of the King's dream to him so that Egypt could prepare for famine. We think about how hard he worked in Potiphar's household - preparing him for managing the plan that would one day feed thousands of people. 

Father we thank you that you have wonderful plans for each one of our lives. Father help us to remember that even when things seem to be going wrong you can turn everything around for good. Father help us to trust you in all that we do. 

Father God we thank you for all the people that have obediently lived your way and how their lives have made a difference to our lives today. Father help us to be people that long to make a difference to the people around us. Amen. 

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.



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42 & 43 - Joseph: The missing cup & Family reunion

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 44-46
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 55 and 56

Notes
Summarise the story so far. Many years after Jacob left the land God had promised his grandfather Abraham, he made the long journey back home. By the time he settled back in the Promised Land (the land of Canaan) Jacob had a very large family; his wife Leah had had many children, while his wife Rachel had had two. Altogether Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. Joseph was Jacob's favourite son. Because of the love Jacob showed Joseph, his brothers hated him and sent him away to Egypt. In Egypt Joseph worked hard. He was given a good job in Potiphar's household. But Potiphar's wife treated him unfairly and after a while she persuaded her husband to put Joseph in prison. While he was in prison Joseph was called to the palace there he told the king the meaning of his dream. A little while later Joseph was put in charge of a plan to save the Egyptians from famine. Then, one day the famine reached Canaan and Joseph's brothers arrived in Egypt to buy grain. With sacks full they set off back to join their father, however they were in for a big surprise!

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min
Do you have a precious ornament in your house? Perhaps a beautiful picture frame or a handsome clock? Joseph's home in Egypt was full of precious ornaments and expensive treasures. Among his valuable belongings was a silver cup. The cup was kept in a safe place. However when Joseph's brothers were about to leave Egypt, Joseph spoke to his servant and gave him this order: ‘Place my precious silver cup in the sack of grain belonging to Benjamin.’ 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle and taste the food used in this activity

  • The 12 brothers from week 1 (see Printables - ‘The names of Jacob's children and how to display them’ instructions) 
  • Bags of unpopped popcorn, uncooked lentils or rice
  • Money bags of copper coins
  • A trophy cup or a plastic cup covered in silver foil

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 -  Play hunt the cup.
You will need: a plastic cup covered in foil. 

1. Ask one or two volunteers to stand outside the room (make sure your arrangements comply with your child protection policy).
2. Meanwhile ask one of the children left in the room to hide the cup.
3. The volunteer/s should then return to the room and try and find the hidden cup. 

Option 3 -  Play a game with a cup and some coins
You will need: masking tape, the copper coins and the plastic cup covered in foil. 

1. Place a strip of masking tape on the floor and encourage the children to sit behind it.
2. Place the cup about a metre away from the tape.
3. Encourage the children to take turns rolling coins towards the cup. The child whose coin is closest to the cup at the end of the game is the winner. 

Instead of rolling the coins, the children could flick them and see if they can get them into the cup. 

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about how shocked Joseph's brothers must have felt when they realised he was the Governor of Egypt. We imagine their relief when they realised they had been forgiven for the cruel things they had done. Father please help us to be like Joseph and forgive those who are unkind to us or treat us unfairly. Help us not to hold grudges but to see people as you see them. 

Father we thank you that you were always at work in Joseph's life. Father help us to be aware of all that you have done and are doing, not only in our lives but the lives of those around us. Father help us not to think over and over again about the difficult times we have faced, but to look forward to all the wonderful things you have planned for our futures.  Amen

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.



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48 - God calls Moses

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Exodus 3–4
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 62
‘Moses and the bush’ see Printables.

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to four

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Did you know that every type of plant and every kind of flower has a name? Some plants have really long names like Acer palmatum dissectum 'purpurea'. Often a name describes a plant and some plants have more than one name. There is a bush that gardeners love: it has branches with long woody strips that look a bit like wings; it is called a winged spindle bush. The same plant is also given another name. Around October time the leaves of the winged spindle bush change colour. They turn from green to a bright red. The leaves are so red that some people think the bush looks as if it's on fire and they call it the burning bush plant. However if you looked closely you wouldn’t see any flames, just red leaves and woody branches.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A thick branch with lots of twigs attached
  • Strips of red, yellow and orange crepe paper
  • Another long thick stick 

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Tell the story with props and actions
Sit the children in a circle. As you talk about the burning bush place the branch in the middle and cover it in strips of crepe paper. As you talk about Moses wanting to have a closer look encourage the children to slowly shuffle forward but then quickly tell them to stop. Describe God calling to Moses, and telling him to take off his shoes. Ask the children to remove their shoes. Then as you talk about Moses being scared ask the children to kneel and cover their faces. Tell the rest of the story with the children remaining in the circle.

Option 3 - Play a game using story-actions
Explain to the children that you are going to call out phrases from the story. Every time they hear a phrase they need to do an action. Teach them the following phrases and actions: ‘Burning bush’ – wave arms about like flames; ‘Let my people go!’ – shout ‘No’ and stamp foot; ‘Shhh, God’s speaking to Moses’ – curl up on the floor and hide face; ‘Holy ground’ – shoes off and stand still; ‘Off to Egypt’ – shoes on and walk on the spot.

To play the game call out the phrases in a random order. The children need to respond with the appropriate ‘action’. As the children get better at remembering the actions, call out the phrases more quickly.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father we remember your promise to be with Moses, to work in him and through him to do the job you had called him to do. Father please help us to remember that you are always with us, comforting, helping and guiding us. 

Father we remember that Moses made excuses when you spoke to him in the desert. Please help us to live your way even when it feels like a tough thing to do. Amen.



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50 & 53 - Frogs, flies and hail... Goodbye!

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Exodus 7-10;12
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor pages 64, 65 and 67
‘Plagues in Egypt’ see Printables.

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to four

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Do you like biscuits? Imagine you had a huge tin of mouth watering biscuits. Then one day, when you were really hungry, you lifted the lid and peered inside. But instead of seeing rows of delicious biscuits you saw a big, fat, green frog staring right back at you.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A toy frog and a biscuit tin
  • A toy crown
  • A long stick to represent Moses’ and Aaron’s staff
  • Illustrations of the plagues from a Children's Picture Bible

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Frogs and flies game
You will need: The flies and frogs pictures (see Printables), scissors, glue sticks, lively music and the means to play it (if possible use ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov).

Before the session print sufficient fly and frog pictures for approximately six of each per child (you may need a few more if you have a small group). Cut out the pictures and stick the fly pictures to the back of the frog pictures.

1. Divide your group into two equal teams. One team is ‘the frogs’ the other team ‘the flies’.
2. Place the glued pictures in the middle of the floor – make sure the frogs are uppermost on half the pictures and the flies are uppermost on the rest.
3. Explain that ‘the frogs’ need to try and turn the fly pictures over so that the frogs are uppermost while ‘the flies’ need to try and turn the frog pictures over so that the flies are uppermost.
4. While the children are running around turning over the pieces of paper, play the lively music.
5. After two or three minutes, stop the music and count how many flies and frogs are uppermost. The team with the most pictures showing is the winning team. If you have time play the game again. You could make the game slightly harder by allowing players to use only one hand.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about this story. We imagine the chaos and devastation as each plague struck Egypt... the frogs, the flies and the hail. We think about Moses' visiting the palace over and over again, asking Pharaoh to let your people go, and each time Pharaoh's stubborn answer: ‘No’. 

Father help us not to be like Pharaoh with his hard heart, determined to get his own way. Instead help us to be people who are willing to do what pleases you. Help us to listen to good advice and trust that you will always show us what is the good and right thing to do.  

Father, thank you that today we can be sure you will not send plagues and storms. Thank you that instead we can be certain that, because Jesus lived, died and rose again, everybody, everywhere can now know the comfort that you showed the Israelites in the midsts of difficulties. 

Father we thank you for your great love and your protection in the midst of trouble. Amen.

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.



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53 - Goodbye!

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Exodus 12
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 67

Notes
Use the Old Testament flashcards to remind the children of the events leading up to today’s story. Show the children the picture of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph as you explain that Abraham had a son called Isaac, Isaac had a son called Jacob and Jacob had a son called Joseph. Remind the children that Joseph was taken to Egypt and for many years Abraham’s family (the Israelites) worked as slaves for the Egyptians. But one day God sent Moses to bring His people out of slavery. Moses would lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. At first the Egyptian King said ‘no – the Israelites cannot leave’. But then disaster after disaster plagued the Egyptians.

Make sure you are happy with the story in the Children's Bible before reading it aloud to the children in your group. You might like to condense the second paragraph to 'Finally the most dreadful thing happened. It happened just as God said it would. In the middle of the night all the oldest boys in the Egyptian families died.The Israelites' sons were spared' .

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to four

2. Starter question - 1 min  
How do runners get ready for a race? Put on their running shoes? Do some warm-up exercises? Line up behind the start-line? When the Israelites were about to leave Egypt they needed to be ready. Again and again Pharaoh the Egyptian King had said ‘no!’ to the Israelites leaving his country. But one night the Egyptians faced a new disaster – this time surely Pharaoh would let God’s people go! 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A coat or a large piece of fabric to represent an outdoor cloak
  • A pair of shoes
  • ‘Don’t stay in my country another day!’ speech bubble (see Printables)
  • A mixing bowl and tea towel
  • Necklaces and bracelets (inexpensive jewellery would be ideal) 

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Getting ready to go.
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.

You will need: a stopwatch, a bowl, a slice of bread, a serviette, a cloth bag, scarves, two wooden spoons, a saucepan, a teddy bear, a bucket, paper fish (see Printables) and a small bowl of paper circles made with a hole punch. 

1. Before the session place the paper fish in the bucket and put the bucket at one end of your room.
2. Next to the bucket place the bowl of paper circles.
3. In various places around your room place the following items: the bread, the scarves, a saucepan, two wooden spoons and a teddy bear.     
4. Encourage a volunteer to stand in the middle of the room.
5. Give the volunteer the bowl, the serviette and the bag.
6. Ask the volunteer to remove their shoes.
7. Explain that as fast as they can the volunteer should perform the following tasks: wrap the bread in a serviette and put it in the bowl, put the scarves in the bag, collect two spoons and a saucepan, collect the teddy bear, feed the fish (sprinkle a few paper circles in the bucket!) and put on their shoes.     
8. Encourage the children to take it in turns to perform all six of the tasks. The child who performs the six tasks in the shortest time is the winner.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God, we think about the night the Israelites left Egypt. We think about the sadness that swept across Egypt as family after family lost what was so precious to them. Father, please help us to be kind and caring when we hear terrible news of suffering around the world.       
Father we also think of the great happiness of that night too. We think of the Israelites leaving behind a life of slavery. We think about the excitement as families picked up their belongings and followed Moses out of Egypt.

Father God we now know the Israelites were about to experience your great love and comfort as they made their way towards the Promised Land. Father help us to understand more about your love and kindness as we learn about the Israelites. Amen



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