Scripture: Genesis 6-9 with emphasis on Genesis 6:5-8:22
Memory Verse: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” — Psalm 124:8 (NRSV)
1. Older children will locate the story of Noah in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the story is in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
2. The class will become familiar with the Noah story and play a game to reinforce their knowledge of the events in the story.
3. The class will consider how the story relates to the concepts above.
4. The children will consider how they can be kind, obedient, and faithful like Noah.
Welcome and Introductions: (10:00)
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. Make sure the children are wearing name tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.
2. Open with a brief prayer (optional, as they have just prayed in Great Hall).
3. Explain the purpose of this workshop. Today we’ll play a game to find out how well you know the story of Noah.
1. Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. The shepherds will have extra Bibles. Help the students find Genesis. (The shepherds can go around the room and help if necessary.) Remind them that the Noah story is an ancient story, one of the oldest stories in the Bible, and is in first book, Genesis, which means “beginning.”
2. After they’ve found Genesis, help them find chapter 6, then verse 5. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page. Tell the class that the story of Noah and the flood begins here and continues for several chapters.
3. Tell the class: Some people believe the story of Noah and the Flood is history (it really happened) and some people think it is a story that was told in ancient times. When you get home today, you can ask your parents what they think. Whether it really happened is not as important as what the story teaches us about God. Now you need to pay close attention to the story, because later we’ll play a game to see how much you remember.
4. Tell the story, using your Bible (CEV) or the summary below as a guide. This is a long story, so consider using props or a Bible story book with pictures to help hold the kids’ attention. Be dramatic! Noah's Ark Illustrated, by Peter Spier, has great pictures and is available at most public libraries.
Ideas for reviewing the story in later weeks:
The people on earth had become so cruel and violent that God regretted making the world and decided to destroy all the creatures living on earth. Noah was the only good person who lived right and obeyed God. Noah had a wife; three sons, named Shem, Ham and Japheth; and his sons also had wives.
God said to Noah, Get some good lumber and build a gigantic boat three stories high with a roof. I’m going to send a flood that will destroy everything that breathes. But I promise that you and your family will be kept safe. AND, I want you to bring on the boat two of every kind of animal and bird and reptile, a male and female of each, and bring enough food for all the people and animals on the boat.
Noah did everything God told him to do. After the ark was built, Noah with his wife; his three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth; and his sons' wives went into the ark. They took with them two of every animal on earth.
Seven days later it started to rain. The sky opened like windows, and rain poured down without stopping for 40 days and nights. The water got deeper and deeper until the ark was floating high above the ground. Even the highest mountain peaks were deep beneath the water. All the people and animals on earth were drowned. Only the people and animals on the ark survived the flood.
After the rain finally stopped it took 150 days for the waters to go down enough for the ark to come to rest on a mountain. Noah opened the window of the ark and sent out a raven, and it just flew back and forth over the water. Then Noah sent out a dove, but the dove found no place to stand, and it returned to the ark. Noah waited seven days, and again sent out the dove. This time the dove came back to him with an olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had gone down. Then he waited another seven days and sent out the dove again; and it did not return.
When the waters were dried up, God told Noah, “Now leave the ark. You and the people and animals with you can go live on the earth, have babies, and fill the earth again with people and animals.
Noah built an altar and offered sacrifices to God. (Noah brought seven pairs of some animals on board the ark, but you don’t need to go into this unless the kids ask where he got the animals for the sacrifices.) And God told Noah, “I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who lives after you. I promise never again to cover the earth with a flood.”
This promise is called a covenant. As a sign of this covenant, God said, “The rainbow that I have put in the sky will remind you that I will keep this promise forever.” When we see a rainbow, it reminds us of God's promise to care for creation and to love and care for us.
1. Line the children up into four lines at a table holding the buzzer box (one of the round tables from the main room is good for this). Give the player at the head of each line a buzzer. There are two buzzers for each color, (red, orange, green, purple) and all 8 must be plugged in, but make sure only one buzzer of each color is used.
2. Explain that you will call out a question and players who think they know the answer should press their buzzer. The first to buzz gets to give the answer. (If you don’t know who buzzed first, look for the color with both lights on.) The questions have multiple choice answers. First ask the question and give the kids a chance to answer, then offer the choices if they’re stumped.
3. After each question, the player at the head of each line moves to the end, and the next people in line take a turn. Make sure everybody gets to play.
Grades 1-2: Don’t keep score. Just keep the game moving. First-graders sometimes take a while to master the mechanics of operating the buzzers – they especially get confused about turning off the sound. You can turn the sound off entirely if you prefer.
Grades 3-5: I prefer not to keep score, but if you want to you can do so with the older kids. Each line is a team. Ask the shepherd to keep score on the white board. Award 5 points for a correct answer. No points for a wrong answer; let anyone who knows the correct answer tell it. (You can make up a different scoring system, but keep it simple.)
Tips: Try not to let one knowledgeable or fast-fingered child dominate the game. If one child is answering every question, mix the lines up so that he/she doesn’t play against the same group every time. OR, announce that anybody who answers three questions correctly will be retired as permanent champion (with a big round of applause) to give everybody else a chance to compete. Also, don’t let non-playing team members help the players; this in effect lets the fast kid answer by proxy.
Be sure they know the answer before buzzing. If they are buzzing and then taking too long to think of the answer, use the timer in the supply bin and give 5 seconds to answer after buzzing (this has not been a problem in the past).
Reflection Time: (10:30)
Gather the class in a circle and discuss:
The Bible says that Noah was the only good person who lived right and obeyed God. I wonder what kinds of things Noah did to show that he obeyed God? Accept all reasonable answers, but note that the Bible says the people had become cruel and violent, so perhaps by contrast, Noah was kind and gentle.
At the beginning of the story, God makes a promise to Noah. What is it? To keep him and his family safe from the flood. Did God keep that promise? Yes. God always keeps a promise.
I wonder why Noah built an altar immediately after leaving the ark? To offer sacrifices to God — maybe to thank God for being saved from the flood.
At the end of the story, God makes another promise. What is it? Never to flood the earth and destroy all the people and animals again. God created the world, and God takes care of all creation.
God’s promise was to Noah and everyone who lived after him — that means us. God’s covenant with Noah is a covenant with us, too. Our part of the covenant is to love and obey God. I wonder how can we show we love God? Accept all reasonable answers, but include being kind, faithful, and obedient like Noah.
Let’s say our memory verse again: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento to paste on their journal page as a reminder of the workshop. Read the prompt out loud and offer suggestions if needed. If they don’t know how to spell a word, write it on the white board. Those who finish early can turn the page over and do the activity on the back.
Ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly.
Close with a brief prayer. Suggestion:
Lord thank you for your love and care for the world and everything in it. Help us to be kind and faithful and obedient like Noah. Amen
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help collect pencils, Bibles, etc. When the room is tidy, dismiss the class.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare opening and closing prayers.
3. Room set-up (must wait until after
4. Display the scripture verse in the room.
5. BUZZERS: Practice using the buzzer box and be sure you understand how it works.
Pencils (in supply bin; the shepherds also have pencils)
Dry-erase marker (in supply bin)
Optional: Props or pictures for storytelling.
“Noah and the
Questions for Game
Why was God unhappy with the people living in the world?
They worshiped idols.
They were cruel and violent.
They were cowardly and weak.
Why did God choose to save Noah from the flood?
Noah lived right and obeyed God.
Noah was a good carpenter and could build a sturdy ark.
Noah was a brave and mighty warrior.
Who besides Noah did God decide to save from the flood?
Noah’s parents, his brothers and his brothers’ wives.
Noah’s family and his best friend’s family.
Noah’s wife, his sons, and his sons’ wives.
What were the names of Noah’s sons?
Shem, Ham, and Jacob
Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Sean, Ham, and Japheth.
What was Noah’s wife’s name?
Mrs. Noah (The Bible doesn’t tell her name.)
What did God tell Noah to do to escape the flood?
Take your family to the top of the highest mountain.
Get some good lumber and build a huge boat.
Teach everybody in your family how to swim.
What kinds of animals did God tell Noah to bring onto the boat?
A male and a female of every kind of animal and bird and reptile.
A male and female of every animal that lives on land or in the sea.
A male and female of every animal that eats plants.
What else did God tell Noah to bring on board?
Some books and games to pass the time.
Food for all the animals and people.
Extra lumber in case the ark needed repairs.
How long did it rain without stopping?
Forty days and nights.
After the rain stopped and the water went down, where did the boat come to rest?
On a mountain.
On the beach.
In Noah’s yard.
What was the first bird that Noah sent out?
What happened when Noah sent out the raven?
It came back with an olive branch.
It just kept flying around.
It didn’t come back.
After the raven, Noah sent out a dove three times. What happened the first time?
It came back with a worm in its beak.
The dove could not find a place to land. So it flew back to the boat.
It just kept flying around.
What happened the second time Noah sent out a dove?
It returned with a green leaf from an olive tree.
It just kept flying around.
It returned with a stalk of wheat.
What happened the third time Noah sent out the dove?
It just kept flying around.
It couldn’t land, so it returned to the boat.
It did not return.
When the earth was completely dry. What did God say the people and animals should do?
Clean up the mess on the boat, and get out of there.
Go live on the earth, have babies, and fill up the world with people and animals again.
Use lumber from the boat to build a fire and offer sacrifices.
When Noah left the boat, what did he do?
He went home and took a long, long, nap.
He had a big party to celebrate.
He built an altar and offered sacrifices to God.
What did God promise?
Never again to cover the earth with a flood.
Never again to punish people on earth.
Never again to tell Noah what to do.
What was the sign of God’s promise?
Answers to “Noah Numbers” Journal Activity
3 (sons) Gen. 6:10
300 (cubits, length of boat, about 450 feet) Gen. 6: 15
50 (cubits, width of boat, about 75 feet) Gen. 6:15
30 (cubits, height of boat, about 45 feet) Gen. 6:15
2 (of each kind of animal) Gen. 6:19 and elsewhere
40 (days and nights it rained) Gen. 7: 4 or 7:12 or 7:17, possibly elsewhere
7 (days until rain starts, Gen. 7: 4 *** or days before sending the dove out again, Gen.8:10 and 8:12 ***or 7 pairs of animals to sacrifice, Gen. 7:2)
600 (age of Noah when the flood began) Gen. 7:11
150 (days the water covered the earth, Gen. 7: 24 **** number of days later water began to go down, Gen. 8: 3)
601 (age of Noah when he when he left the ark following the flood) Gen. 8:13
saved on the