5 - The two brothers


15 minute Story planner

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

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. 

Alongside this story, make a craft...

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