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


15 minute Story planner

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

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.

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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