Scripture: Genesis 6-9 with emphasis on Genesis 6:13-22
Memory Verse: Psalm 124:8 “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
1. God communicates with people.
2. God wants us to be kind, obedient and faithful like Noah.
Objectives: Children will learn that God talked to Noah and continues to communicate with people. Children will understand that Noah was obedient to God even when he didn’t have any evidence that what God said would really happen. The children will recognize that Noah is an example to us of obedience to God. The children will become familiar with the puppets, how to manipulate them and how to store them.
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you. Begin with a brief prayer asking God to help us be obedient.
2. Explain the puppet workshop. The children will use puppets to learn more about Bible stories and how those stories are important to us in our life. Today we will focus on Noah and his obedience to God.
3. Test for Knowledge. Ask younger children whether the story of Noah is found in the Old or New Testament, or for first graders, a simpler question might be whether it is found earlier in the Bible or later. For older children ask which Testament and also which book of the Bible it is in. Remind them this is one of our earliest stories of God and is therefore in the first book of the Bible.
4. Tell or review the Noah story from the Bible (attached summary). In the first weeks of the rotation you will need to tell more of the story. In the middle to last weeks, children will have heard the story in other workshops, and it may be that only a review is necessary. During the review, you can focus on the following aspects—Noah built the ark before it ever rained, he built the ark just because God told him to do so, Noah followed all God’s instructions including what size to build the ark and how many animals to include. End the review when you feel that the children have a solid recall of the story and of who Noah was. If a child asks a question you cannot answer, you can say that it’s a great question, and then you can hold up your Bible and say that the Bible is such a big book that sometimes it’s hard to remember everything in it. Then you can either ask a shepherd to see whether they can find an answer during the class by looking in the Bible, or you can tell the child that you will get an answer from someone at the Kirk and tell their shepherd so they can tell them by next week. (Note: Because of the recent tsunami, a natural disaster, some children may question whether God is still keeping his promise, but the promise that God made was that he would never again destroy all life. Many people survived the tsunami, and only a small part of the world was affected, so God is still keeping his promise.)
5. Distribute the Puppets. Tell the children that they will each receive a puppet. With your guidance they will spend a few minutes learning to move their puppet in ways that will help the audience understand what the puppet is doing. Pass out the puppets. It does not matter which puppet goes to which child.
6. Work in groups of two. After children have received a puppet, tell them to work in groups of two. If there is an odd number, a group of three will be fine. (NOTE: You may want to assess how experienced the children are with puppets. If this is an older class, you can minimize this puppet practice session. If it is a younger class and less experienced with the Praising Puppet workshop, or if you sense that there are a lot of visitors or infrequent attendees, you can do this entire practice session.) You are going to suggest that their puppets show certain actions or emotions. Have one of the pair do the action or emotion that you suggest and the other person will watch. The “watcher” may make suggestions such as, “make bigger movements with the puppet” “do not turn the puppet’s head so much” etc.
After one person of the pair has had a turn, trade parts and let the other person try. As a leader, you will need to tell children when to switch parts and when to listen to the next instruction from you for what motion they should demonstrate.
Ask one child of each pair to show the following actions or emotions using their puppets. “Show how your puppet looks when it is speaking quietly” (move mouth of puppet with small movements, head rather quiet). “Show how your puppet looks when it is speaking loudly” (move mouth wide open and show some head movement as well). “Show what your puppet does when it is listening” (no motion at all, turned toward the speaker). “Show how your puppet might have helped build the ark” (move puppets arms or hands as if it were hammering, lifting, carrying, etc., something for the ark).
Tell the children that since they have had a little practice with their puppet you will do something a little more complicated now.
7. Perform a short play. Keep the children in pairs and ask them to choose which one of their puppets will be “James” and which will be “Sam” for a short play. This play will be similar to the story of Noah in the Bible, but will be in a modern setting. (See attached play.)
Younger Children (1st and 2nd grade): Ask the Shepherd from the group to read one part while you read the other and tell the children to act it out.
Older Children (3rd-5th grade): Hand out scripts and let the students read and act out their own parts in their groups.
Following the play, ask questions similar to these. “How was this puppet story like the Bible story of Noah?” “How was this story different?” “What kind of person was Sam?” “How were Sam and Noah similar?” “How did Sam know what God wanted him to do?” “Do you think God can communicate with us like he communicated with Sam and Noah?” Continue the discussion until it seems the children have an understanding of God’s communication with Noah and Noah’s obedience.
If time permits, you can repeat this section letting pairs/groups switch parts. Or, ask several children to come forward to the stage and act out the play as you or they read it, or choose two children to read the play while one pair or all the children act it out.
8. Make-up a situation. (time permitting) Now ask each pair of children to make-up a situation where someone is being obedient to what they know they should do just as Sam and Noah did. Have their puppets act out the situation. Examples: not stealing candy at the grocery even if a friend did, not cheating on a test, telling the truth when they have done something wrong, etc.
9. Tidy-up! When it is 10:35, ask the children to return the puppets to their storage location and to sit back down quietly.
Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal pages. Ask younger children to draw a picture of Noah or Sam doing something related to this story—listening to God, working on their building, etc. Ask older children to copy the sentence: “Noah obeyed God” and then to write any words, thoughts, pictures, ideas they have related to this.
Prayer: End with a simple prayer thanking God for the example of Noah in the Bible. Also ask God to help us do what God wants in our lives just as Noah did what God wanted him to do.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask the children for help with any clean-up needed. The Shepherd should collect the name tags.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Pray: Ask God to give you clarity of this scripture and words to teach His children this lesson. Ask for time management.
2. Preview the scripture passages.
3. Attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible.
4. Prepare opening and closing prayers or plan to use the ones included.
5. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
6. Make 10-12 copies of the script.
Extra copies of the play as needed
SAM: “Did you know I spend time with God each day?”
JAMES: “Yes, you’ve mentioned it before. But what do you do exactly?”
SAM: “I read the Bible, then I pray for a little while and then I sit quietly.”
JAMES: “Why do you do the sitting quietly part? That seems like a waste of time.”
SAM: “I sit quietly to see whether I hear a message from God.”
JAMES: “A message from God?! That’s crazy! Do you get a little written message in a bottle?!”
SAM: “No, but sometimes I get a very clear idea in my mind. When that happens, I am sure it is what God wants me to do. You know what that message was today?”
JAMES: “What? Go live in a cave?”
SAM: “No, God said my construction company should build new apartments for 300 people.”
JAMES: “That’s dumb. Our town doesn’t need any more apartments.”
SAM: “I know, but God said there would be lots of people moving here that would need apartments.”
JAMES: “Yeah, right. And what happens when no one wants to move here?”
SAM: “Well, I don’t know, but I am very sure the company needs to start on the apartments soon.”
EIGHT MONTHS LATER
JAMES: “Sam, how is the apartment building going? Are you still working on that crazy project?”
SAM: “We have the outside all finished and we are finishing the inside painting and floors. It should be done in about three weeks.”
JAMES: “I still think it is a crazy project! Who is going to live there?”
SAM: “I still don’t know, but I do know that God wanted this built, so we’re working on it.”
ONE MONTH LATER. NEWSPAPER HEADLINES READ “HURRICANE GEORGE LEAVES 300 FAMILIES HOMELESS”
JAMES: “Sam, Sam, did you see the headlines in the paper today? There are 300 families whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane George.”
SAM: “That’s it! That’s it! God wanted me to build the apartments for those families. Now they will have somewhere to live. Quick James, let’s tell the mayor and the newspaper so the families can start moving in soon.”
Based on Genesis 6-9 CEV
The LORD was pleased with Noah, and this is the story about him. Noah was the only person who lived right and obeyed God. He had three sons.*
God knew that everyone else on the earth was terribly mean. So he told Noah to get some good lumber and build a boat, and God gave exact instructions about how the boat was to be made. God said, “A flood will destroy everything that breathes! Nothing will be left alive. But I promise that you, your wife, your sons, and your daughters-in-law will be kept safe in the boat. Bring into the boat with you a male and a female of every kind of animal and bird, as well as a male and a female of every reptile. Do this so there will always be animals and birds on the earth. I don't want them to be destroyed. Store up enough food both for yourself and for them.”
Noah did everything exactly as the LORD told him to do.
Before the rain started, the LORD told Noah:
Seven days from now a rain will start that will last for forty days and nights. Noah, his wife, his sons, and his daughters-in-law all went into the boat to escape the flood. Noah obeyed God and took all the animals as God had told him. Seven days later (just as God had promised) a flood began to cover the earth. Rain poured down for forty days and nights (just as God had promised.)
The boat started floating high above the ground. Finally, the mighty flood was so deep that even the highest mountain peaks were almost twenty-five feet below the surface of the water. Not a bird, animal, reptile, or human was left alive anywhere on earth.
God did not forget about Noah and the animals with him in the boat. So God made a wind blow, and the water started going down. God closed up the sky, and the rain stopped. For 150 the water slowly went down. Then the boat came to rest somewhere in the Ararat mountains.
Noah wanted to find out whether the water had gone down, so he sent out a bird three different times to see whether they was any place to land, but the birds always flew back to the boat. On the fourth try, a dove returned holding in its beak a green leaf from an olive tree. Noah knew that the water was finally going down. After some time, when the ground was finally dry, God said to Noah, "You, your wife, your sons, and your daughters-in-law may now leave the boat. Let out the birds, animals, and reptiles, so they can have babies and live all over the earth."
Noah built a place to praise God and then he worshipped God. This pleased God, and God said: “Never again will this happen. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat; winter and summer, day and night.”
God said to Noah and his sons: “I am giving you my blessing. Have a lot of children and grandchildren, so people will live everywhere on this earth.”
Again, God said to Noah and his sons:
“I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood. The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.”
Noah and his sons came out of the boat. All people on earth are descendants of Noah's three sons.
*Shem, Ham, and Japheth—if anyone asks.