To open our Books of the Old Testament lessons, our first study was done on the first book— Genesis! While this is just one book included in the Books of the Law, it covers so much Bible history that I thought it deserved its own lesson and activities. In our Genesis lesson, we broke the book down into 8 parts: Creation, Adam & Eve, The Flood, Babel, Abraham & Isaac, Sodom & Gomorrah, Jacob/Israel, and Joseph. Since it is the very first book and the foundation on which the rest of the Bible was built, I wanted them to get an in-depth look at the stories and purpose of Genesis. For this reason, we spent 2 weeks studying the people involved and other facts about the book and I created a board game to help them review the information that we covered.
Before we studied each specific part of Genesis, we took time to learn the facts about the book. Each child was provided a facts sheet about Genesis, and our whiteboard for this lesson looked like this (minus the hangman battle from the Genesis Game.) The kids were not required to memorize the facts. Instead, they were told to absorb as much as they could because they MIGHT appear in our game later. This sparked their interest because my kids love some competition. You could make timeline signs (ex. 2000 years later…) and have the children act the stories out or even have them draw their own timelines. Do what will work for your kids. My current group is stimulated by interactive lessons and competition, so that is what we do.
Once we took the time to learn about the book of Genesis, itself, we began to break the stories down into parts:Most of the children will have heard about the stories in our Genesis lesson, so I chose to hold up corresponding images and allow the class to guess which story they belonged to. If they couldn’t guess it, I would begin reading scriptures from that specific part of the book. Here is a list of some of the scriptures that I had selected as my backup plan:
- Creation- Genesis 1:1, 1:26, and 2:18
- Flood- Genesis 6:7, 9:16
- Abraham- Genesis 12:3, 22:16-17
- Jacob- Genesis 28:12, 32:28
- Joseph- Genesis 37:8, 37:19-20, 50:20
If you have a few who have never heard the Genesis lesson stories, it is fun to ask the other children to summarize the story for them. This helps break up the “lecture” time so that the new information is less overwhelming, and it gives the other kids a more enjoyable review time!
The Genesis Game
Finally, it was time to allow the kids to interact with the lesson! First, I split them into teams and had each team put the pictures in chronological order. Once I saw they could do that, I brought out The Genesis Game! While my kids had a general understanding of the stories involved, I believe this lesson helped to tie them all together and reveal their Biblical purpose a little better.
Remember, I did not cover all of this information in one week. It is a lot of information for little brains to absorb at once. For our instruction time, I discussed the facts the first week and the stories the second week. We also played The Genesis Game with the time that we had left over. See our next post to discover more about The Genesis Game.