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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24, 25 & 26 - Jacob's bargain, Jacob's trick & Esau's return

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 25–27
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories, pages 36–38
‘Jacob and the blessing’ (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
What do you like to eat for lunch? Some people like nothing better than a big bowl of steaming soup. Imagine you had a big pot of soup in front of you right now. Imagine the amazing smell and the bubbling as you stirred it round and round. What would you add to make it even more delicious? Tomatoes? Herbs? Mushrooms?

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. Make sure the children do not eat the lentils.

  • Sticks

  • Large pan

  • Wooden spoon

  • Lentils in an unopened packet

  • A man’s shirt

  • Furry material

  • A bowl

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 -A game about finding ‘Esau’
Encourage the children to stand in a circle. Choose someone to be ‘Isaac’ and ask them to sit down in the middle of the circle. Carefully blindfold them. Once ‘Isaac’ is blindfolded, encourage everybody to take five steps to their left and sit down. The circle should have rotated in a clockwise direction and ‘Isaac’ should no-longer know who is sitting where. ‘Isaac’ will then point to somebody in the circle. That person will say ‘I am Esau’ in a silly voice. ‘Isaac’ will try to guess who he has pointed to. If ‘Isaac’ is right he gets another go, if he is wrong the person he pointed to becomes ‘Isaac’ and he joins the other children in the circle.


5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  

Father God, we remember that Esau felt so hungry that he gave away his birthright. Even when we don't feel like it please help us to do the right thing.

We pray for organisations in this country and around the world that feed hungry people. We ask that you help them as they give out food day after day. We pray that you send rain to countries with dry fields and fresh water to places where there is none. 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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30 - Jacob meets Esau again

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 32–33
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories, page 42.
‘Jacob and Esau become friends’ (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 do you become friends with someone? Perhaps you chat with them for a while or help them to do something they couldn’t do on their own.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A map of Jacob’s journey (you will find maps online but be aware of copyright)

  • ‘550 animals’ (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 -A game about listening for animal sounds
Tell the story using the props listed above then play a game of ‘animal sounds’.
You will need ‘animal sounds’ textboxes (see Printables) and enough blindfolds for everyone.
Before the session print sufficient animal sounds textboxes for your group. If you have between four and seven children in your group play the game with only two animal sounds; if you have more than seven, use all four animal sounds. Cut out the appropriate textboxes you need for the game. Divide the animal sounds among the children giving one textbox to each child. Ask the children not to show anybody else their textbox. Make sure the children know what noise they need to make. Encourage the children to put on their blindfolds then to start making their animal sound. The children should listen out for others making their animal noise then move towards them. Once all the animals are grouped together the children can remove their blindfolds.

Option 3 - For a quieter activity…
print or photocopy sufficient ‘story activity sheets’ for one per child (see Printables). Tell the story using props then help the children to complete their sheet.


5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  

Father we remember that Jacob bravely went to meet Esau unsure if his brother was still angry with him. Thank you Father that Jacob prayed for your protection then trusted you would take care of him and his family.

Father help us to be people that love peace and work hard to settle disagreements. Help us to trust that you will look after us when we face difficult situations.

Father we think about Esau who was able to forgive. Father help us to forgive even when it feels hard to do. Amen.


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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.



Alongside this story, make the craft...

 
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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.



Alongside this story, make the craft...

 
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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.



Alongside this story, make the craft...

 
 
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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.



Alongside this story, make the craft...

 
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