Scripture: Genesis 50:15-21, Genesis 37, Genesis 45:4-15
Memory Verse: “Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.” Romans12:21 CEV
1. Children will hear the story of Joseph and his brothers.
2. The themes of jealousy, forgiveness, and reconciliation will be explored.
3. Children will know that God works through us to accomplish his good things.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. This week we will hear the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and tried to hurt him but God protected Joseph for a special reason.
This story and lesson is in three parts. Read (or you may prefer to summarize if in the last weeks of the rotation) each part before the activity. Try to read with passion and add interest. You may choose to dress up in costume.
Section 1. Read Genesis 37
Why do you think Joseph’s brothers were angry? Would you be jealous if your father gave your brother/sister presents and didn’t give you any? How do you think the brothers should have acted? Accept answers.
We are going to play a game about wanting what your neighbor has. I have envelopes with picture of things you might like (money, house, jewelry…). To Play: Have class sit in a circle, include yourself and group leaders. Give the first child an envelope, he/she opens it and shows the item to the group. The next child in the circle has the option of taking the first child’s item or trying for a better one by picking an envelope out of the pile. Keep going around the circle until everyone has a chance to “steal” a prize or pick one from the pile. The catch is that there is one GOTCHA card that gets nothing.
Allow the group to play again if desired.
Wrapping up: Where you ever jealous of your classmates cards or mad that your prize was taken? Explain that jealousy can cause problems for friends and families. God wants us to love one another and not to be jealous of each other.
Section 2. Read or summarize Genesis 45:4-15
What did Joseph do when he saw his brothers again? Joseph says that God sent him here, not his brothers. What does he mean? How did he help his family? Would it be hard for you to be nice to someone who had hurt you? Accept answers
Acting: Divide class into small groups with about 5 in each group. Try to group children that are comfortable with each other. Have a shepherd or workshop leader either with each group or as a roving helper. Have the group make up and act out Joseph’s life within their small groups. Make it fun, provide props (costumes, coins, etc). Allow the children to use the stage if they want. If they want to show their skit to the other groups allow that but do not pressure those that are reluctant.
Parts that can be included in the play (you can write this on a poster board or white board as guides for the class).
Joseph takes care of sheep.
Joseph’s father gives him fancy coat.
Joseph tells about his dream of being king.
His brothers get mad and plot to hurt him.
His brothers rip his coat off and throw him into a well.
They sell him to travelers.
Joseph’s dad grieves.
Joseph becomes king.
A famine comes.
Joseph’s brothers come to the city and are reunited with Joseph.
Joseph says he will give the family food so they don’t starve.
Joseph reminds us that all that has happened was in God’s plan.
Section 3: Read or summarize Genesis 50:15-21
This is where Joseph’s brothers apologize for hurting Joseph and he accepts their apology. Have children get a partner and practice making an apology and accepting an apology.
Show them an example: Apology: “Claire, I’m sorry that I broke the pencil I borrowed from you. I will get you another pencil tomorrow”
Accepting: “I accept your apology. I understand that things break sometimes and you are usually careful so I’m not mad.”
Another option: Older children may prefer to write a short note to God apologizing for something they have done wrong. They can share the notes or keep them private.
At 10:35 a.m. ask the shepherds to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity. Prompts for journal writing: Draw a picture of what you think Joseph’s fancy coat looked like.
At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.
Prayer: (suggestion) Dear God please allow us to be forgiving like you when we are wrong just as Joseph was to his brothers. Allow us to seek forgiveness when we have done wrong like Joseph’s brothers did. Amen
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Put props in the bin on the stage.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study
2. Prepare a closing prayer.
· Costumes, props such as money, the gotcha game (picture, envelopes)
· Curriculum writers notes provided by Lori Houck January 16, 2004
· Downright Upright and 50 Bible Games for Elementary Kids, Abington, 2000.