Bible skills and Games Workshop
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will play a version of chutes and ladders.
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
Genesis 28:16 (NIV)
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- (2 copies of the game are available.) Materials for each:
- Game board, in four pieces -- arrange in order on table (or use a Chutes and Ladders game board)
- 4 Angel markers (use an angel clip art, shrink to fit on board, with different color border for each, glued to cardboard)
- 1 six-sided die (number cube)
- Ladder questions cards set
- Heaven question cards set
- Bible for all students and teacher(s)
- Possibly, activity sheets
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Call the children by name. Use name tags if needed.
Open with a prayer.
Begin by repeating the memory verse and by having the children repeat memory verse.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Read or tell the story from your choice of Bibles. Always tell the children where in the Bible the story is found. If the children bring their own Bibles, help them find the story you are reading.
• What places does the Bible story mention? Where did Jacob leave from? (Beersheba.) That was his family’s home, at least for a while. They were nomads, living in tents and moving their herds from place to place.)
• Where was Jacob going to? (Haran.) This was where his mother had come from. He was supposed to find a wife from that area also.
• Where did Jacob sleep one night while he was traveling? (Bethel, which used to be called Luz.)
• Does anybody here know where any of those places are? (Probably NO. Maybe some ‘in Israel’, ‘near Jerusalem’, ...)
• Let’s look at where Jacob was walking. Turn to the very back of your class Bibles. What is there? (Maps) The first map has the title “World of the Patriarchs” at the bottom. The patriarchs are Abraham, his son Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob.
• Everyone put your finger on Beersheba, move north to Bethel, then continue up to Haran. Now try to estimate how far it is from Beersheba to Haran. Use the guide in the lower left corner. They should come up with something like ‘over 300 miles’, or ‘400 miles. Now, how far from Beersheba to Bethel, both of which are in Israel now. (50 miles or 100 kilometers).
• I wondered how long it would take to walk that far so I looked up a few things on the internet:
“At age fourteen Thomas Carlyle set out on foot with a companion to enroll in Edinburgh University, 100 miles away . The walk took five days.” So that is 20 miles each day.
Also, A hiker described some interesting walks they took and made notes like: 15 km, 5 hours. So I figured someone could walk about 25 kilometers in about an 8 hour day.
Jacob had probably walked at least two full days before he used that rock for a pillow and dreamed -- or was given a vision -- of the way to Heaven.
Game: Jacob’s Ladder (similiar to Chutes & Ladders, from C. Doerr)
(2 copies of the game are available.) Materials for each:
Game board, in four pieces -- arrange in order on table (or use a Chutes and Ladders game board)
4 Angel markers (use an angel clip art, shrink to fit on board, with different color border for each, glued to cardboard)
1 six-sided die (number cube)
Ladder questions cards set
Heaven question cards set
• As with Chutes and Ladders. Start all markers off the board, by the “Start” edge. The goal is to move your angel to Heaven (space 100). Choose a player to go first (youngest?). For each turn roll the die and move their marker that number of spaces. Play continues clockwise (to the left).
• If the player ends at the bottom of a ladder (such as rolling 1 on their first turn), then player on their right (who went before them) pulls a Ladder Questions card and asks the question on it. If player answers correctly move the marker to the space at the top of the ladder; if not the marker stays at the bottom; Either way, the player’s turn is over.
• If the player ends at the top of a rainbow stair (or chute), then player on their right (who went before them) pulls a Ladder Questions card and asks the question on it. If player answers correctly leave the marker where it is; if not move the marker to the bottom of the rainbow stairs (chute); Either way, the player’s turn is over.
• To enter Heaven (space 100) and win, the move must be by exact count (if a marker is on space 99 and the roll is 2 or more, the marker can’t be moved!). Ending a turn on space 80 gives a player possible access to the ladder there, if they answer the ladder question correctly. ALSO any player who can reach Heaven on their move must answer a “Get to Heaven” question correctly to win or, if not correct, the marker will be left on space 80 (if they were trying to go up by that ladder) or on space 99 (if they were moving across the top row), ending their turn.
If there is plenty of time, they can play again, or they may want to play for second, etc.
After they play, discuss the following questions.
• Who was on the stairs or ladder to heaven in the Bible story and in the game? (Angels.)
• What did you notice about the Get to Heaven questions? (You may need to ask them some more of these questions if they only had one of them.) (The answer for all of them is Jesus.)
• Why do you think that is? (Jesus is the only way that we, humans, can get to Heaven.)
Back up Activity: For those done early...
If they tire of the game, use one of the activity sheets.
1. Summarize discussion and what children have learned.
2. Go over the memory verses again.
3. Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends.
4. Offer an age-appropriate prayer and/or involve children in the prayer.
Prayer suggestion: Jesus, Thank you for the love you showed by making a way for us to Heaven. We love you.
Ladder Questions (Copy onto index cards, shuffle before playing)
NOTE: These are all based on the NIV.
1. Where was Jacob going to?
2. Where did Jacob come from?
3. What did Jacob name the place where he had the dream?
4. What does Bethel mean?
A. House of God (this is from the footnote to verse 19)
5. What did Jacob use for a pillow one night during his journey?
A. A rock
6. Who talked to Jacob in his dream?
A. The LORD or God
7. Where did the dream stairway lead up to?
8. Who was on the stairway in the dream?
9. Who was Jacob’s ACTUAL father?
10. What did God say that he would give to Jacob?
A. The land on which he was lying.
11. What will Jacob’s descendants be like?
A. The dust of the earth.
12. Who will be blessed through Jacob?
A. All peoples on earth or everyone
13. Who was with Jacob?
A. The LORD or God
14. How did Jacob feel when he woke up from the dream?
NOTE: make at least three of the memory verse question, #15)
15. Say the memory verse, including address.
A. When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." Genesis 28:16
16. Say two of the three ways that Jacob described the place where he dreamed.
A. Awesome; the house of God; the gate of heaven.
17. In the morning, what are the two things Jacob did with the stone he had slept on?
A. Set it up (as a pillar); poured oil on it.
18. What are the two important things that Jacob vowed (or promised) to God?
A. The LORD will be his God; he will give God a tenth of all that God gives him.
19. What two kinds of things did Jacob expect God to give him on his journey?
A. Food and clothes
20. Where does Jacob expect that God will bring him back to?
A. His (Jacob’s) father’s house
21. Which directions will Jacob’s descendants spread out to?
A. West, east, north, and south (in any order)
22. What were the angels on the stariway doing?
A. Ascending and descending (going up and down)
23.. Where was the bottom of the stairway?
A. On earth
24. How does God identify himself to Jacob? (Who does he say that He is?)
A. The LORD, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac.
25. Who was above the stairway in the dream?
A. The LORD or God
Heaven Questions (Copy onto index cards, shuffle before playing)
Note: the answer to all these questions is Jesus, and can be found in the cited verses, sometimes backwards a few verses to see who is saying it.
1. Whose yoke should we take on ourselves? Matt 11:29
2. Who is God’s Son, with whom he is well pleased? Matt 17:5, Luke 3:22
3. Who said he will be with us always? Matt 28:20
4. Who did Peter call the Christ? Mark 8:29, Luke 9:20
5. Who healed lepers by touching them? Luke 5:13
6. Who called himself the “Son of Man”? Mark 14:62, Luke 9:44
7. Who came to serve? Luke 22:27
8. Who is the “bread of life? John 6:35
9. Who is the “light of the world”? John 8:12
10. Who is the good shepard? John 10:11
11. Who is the “resurrection and the life”? John 11:25
12. Who has gone to prepare a place for us in his Father’s house? John 14:2
13. Who is “the way”? John 14:6
14. Who is “the truth”? John 14:6
15. Who is the “true vine”? John 15:1
A lesson written by rotation.org member ChristineOC.
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.