COMPLETE LESSON SET: Jacob's Dream (Jacob's Ladder)

This is a 4 workshop lesson set, see details in the replies, below:

Art -- Jacob's Ladder Toy

Kitchen -- Sugar-Spiced Nuts to represent the rock, also anointing a rock like Jacob did

Bible Skills and Games -- Jacob's Ladder game, a version of Chutes and Ladders

Video -- focused on giving offerings, as Jacob vows to do

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Summary for teachers:
Jacob’s dream of a stairway (traditional translation: ladder) which angels hurry up and down, between earthly people and God in Heaven hints at God’s active work in the world. God speaks to Jacob in the dream, repeating to him the promises He gave to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham. Wakening from the dream, Jacob vows to worship the Lord as his own God and to tithe to Him. While humans can’t go up the stairway, God promises that “all peoples ... will be blessed ... through your offspring.” One of Jacob’s descendants is Jesus, our Way to Heaven.

[This message was edited by ChristineOC on July 29, 2003 at 10:47 AM.]
 
NOTE: Two slightly different versions of making this toy are available at the following addresses:
http://www.woodcraftarts.com/jacob.htm
FamilyFun

ART WORKSHOP PRESENTATION
SUPPLIES:
Bible(s)
See Jacob’s Ladder Toy materials list, below or on separate directions pages

Start on time!

WELCOME: Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Call the children by name. Use name tags if needed.

ATTENDANCE & OFFERING: Make sure that attendance is recorded and offerings placed in basket.

OPENING PRAYER: (Make it brief and understandable for the age group.)

MEMORY VERSE:
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)

Begin by repeating the memory verse and by having the children repeat memory verse.

BIBLE PASSAGE:
Genesis 28:10-22
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.

Discuss:
• Where did the stairway (which has sometomes been called a ladder go? (Between Earth and Heaven)
• Who was at each end of the stairs? (Jacob at the bottom, God at the top.)
• Who was on the stairs? (Angels.)
• What do you think the angels do when they get to the bottom of the ladder? (Went somewhere on earth.) And what do you think the angels might do on earth? (Help people, give messages from God, etc.)
• What do you think the angels do when they get to Heaven at the top of the stairs? (Worship God, wait for God to give them another message to deliver, etc)
• We are going to make toys today that will remind us of God sending angels to help us.

ART/CRAFT PROJECT: Jacob’s Ladder Toy (See separate directions.)
Materials:
Wood, 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick (See directions)
3/8-inch-wide ribbon (1 1/2 feet of one color and three feet of another for each student), or medium weight binding tape binding tape (available from a sewing shop) (See directions)
18 thumbtacks for each student, or 1/2 inch long-headed brads (See directions)

Prepare ahead:
Cut the wood into blocks. Sand edges smooth. Paint or varnish if desired. (See directions)

Process:
See separate directions.

While they work, discuss the following questions.
Questions:
• Have you ever thought about the angels that God sends out? Have you ever thought one might be near you? Do you think there are any angels here right now? How do you think angels help people these days? What messages do they deliver? (There are no right or wrong answers.)

BACK UP PROJECT: For those done early...
Make extra Jacob’s Ladder toys to donate to the children in Mexico, or to the Presbyterian Women’s Fall Festival fundraiser for missions.

CLOSING:
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: Father God, Thank you for sending your angels to help us.
 
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KITCHEN WORKSHOP PRESENTATION
SUPPLIES:
Bible(s)
See Sugar-Spiced Nuts materials list, below
A “large” stone, at least 6 inches long, (or a smaller rock for each student)
olive oil
(Optional) Pot of soil, sand, or gravel, large enough to hold rock(s) upright

Start on time!

WELCOME: Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Call the children by name. Use name tags if needed.

ATTENDANCE & OFFERING: Make sure that attendance is recorded and offerings placed in basket.

OPENING PRAYER: (Make it brief and understandable for the age group.)

MEMORY VERSE:
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)

Begin by repeating the memory verse and by having the children repeat memory verse.

BIBLE PASSAGE:
Genesis 28:10-22
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.

Discuss:
• What was our memory verse again? (Help the children if they don’t remember. Have everyone repeat it again if they had trouble.)
• Jacob marked the place he was speaking about with a rock. To remind us of this part of the Bible story we will be cooking something that looks like rocks, although they taste a lot better.

(See below for discussion and activities while nuts are baking.)

COOKING PROJECT: Sugar-Spiced Nuts (from Better Homes and Gardens ‘New Cook Book’)
Ingredients:
1 egg white
1 teaspoon water
(2) 12-ounce cans (5 cups total) mixed nuts
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
something to grease a pan with

15x10x1-inch baking pan
large mixing bowl
whisk or fork for beating egg
small mixing bowl
spoons
waxed paper
zipper bags or other small container, 1 per student

Prepare ahead:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Process:
Grease the baking pan. Set aside.
In the large mixing bowl beat egg white and water until frothy.
Add the nuts and toss to coat.
In the small mixing bowl, combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
Sprinkle over nuts; toss to coat.
Spread nuts in a single layer in the prepared baing pan.
Bake in a 325° oven for 20 minutes.
Cool slightly in pan. Transfer to waxed paper to cool.
Break into clusters. Separate portions for each student. When cool, place in baggies to take home (Eat some now, but encourage them to take some home to share with their families, also to share Jacob’s story).
May store tightly covered up to one week.

While the nuts bake:
Questions:
• From the story, what things do you think Jacob took with him? (Olive oil, any other food?, maybe a walking stick, map or directions) What things did he not have that you would like to have for a long journey -- or even a camp out? (Tent, sleeping bag or blanket, PILLOW -- or at least something soft!, etc)
• Jacob may have been in a hurry to leave after tricking his twin brother, Esau, making Esau angry enough to mutter about killing him. He probably only took whatever their mother quickly wrapped up for him, before telling him to go to her brother’s land. Then he had this incredible dream (or vision) of God telling him that what was promised to his grandfather, Abraham, was also promised to him! Do you think maybe he finally realized that God was true, and loving, and worthy of his worship? Have you ever suddenly realized that something your parents said was true, really was? (Yes/no/maybe ...) Each of us needs to know God.
• Activity: (Please take care to keep all this olive oil away from any flames or burners! Wipe up any spilled oil promptly; use something that cleans grease.) Take the class rock or individual student rocks and stand upright in soil, sand, or gravel in a pot or on the church grounds (take a timer with you or leave an assitant to take out the nuts if needed). First you, then all the students will pour a small amount of olive oil on the rock(s) while saying, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” Then say, “We will have a moment of silent prayer to try to feel the Lord here, in this place.” After that, quietly go back to check on the baking.

CLOSING:
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: Father God, Help us to be aware of you in all the places we go.
 
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BIBLE SKILL & GAMES WORKSHOP PRESENTATION
SUPPLIES:
Bible for all students and teacher(s)
See Jacob’s Ladder game materials list, below
Possibly, activity sheets

Start on time!

WELCOME: Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Call the children by name. Use name tags if needed.

ATTENDANCE & OFFERING: Make sure that attendance is recorded and offerings placed in basket.

OPENING PRAYER: (Make it brief and understandable for the age group.)

MEMORY VERSE:
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)

Begin by repeating the memory verse and by having the children repeat memory verse.

BIBLE PASSAGE:
Genesis 28:10-22
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.

Discuss:
• 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)
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

Rules:
• 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.
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.

CLOSING:
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?
A. Haran
2. Where did Jacob come from?
A. Beersheba
3. What did Jacob name the place where he had the dream?
A. Bethel
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?
A. Heaven
8. Who was on the stairway in the dream?
A. Angels
9. Who was Jacob’s ACTUAL father?
A. Isaac
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?
A. Afraid

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
 
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VIDEO WORKSHOP PRESENTATION
SUPPLIES:
Bible(s)
Video: the church’s Stewardship video
Video: Legacy for Efrain (A video about a charity that the church supports, Heifer International),
Popcorn
Drinks
Napkins
Church Treasurer or other suitable person to talk about use of offerings

PREPARATION:
Set the video(s) at the appropriate place to start either at home or before church. The chime choir may be rehearsing in the room between worship service and the sunday school hour, so please don’t try to set up the video then.
Get the juice cart from the patio before class, as fellowship time winds down.
Pop the popcorn just before class in the kitchen microwave, or have someone do it for you.

Start on time!

WELCOME: Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Call the children by name. Use name tags if needed.


ATTENDANCE & OFFERING: Make sure that attendance is recorded and offerings placed in basket. (NOTE: Since the focus of this workshop will be on offerings, you may want to pass the basket later in the hour.)

OPENING PRAYER: (Make it brief and understandable for the age group.)

MEMORY VERSE:
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)

Begin by repeating the memory verse and by having the children repeat memory verse.

BIBLE PASSAGE:
Genesis 28:10-22
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.

Discuss:
• Let’s look at the last few verses again (Read, or have a student read, verse 20) Do you think that Jacob at this time had any doubt that God would be watching over him? (Let them answer.)
• The “Perfect tense” expresses a completed action. Sometimes in Hebrew, future events are conceived so vividly and so realistically that they are regarded as having virtually taken place and are described by the “perfect tense”. This is used in promises, threats and language of contracts. (Source: Hebrew definitions in Online Bible program) This is the sense of the verbs that Jacob uses to describe the actions that he expects (he knows) God will do.
• Jacob’s vows for what he will do are in the “imperfect tense” which means they are things he will do in the future and may continue doing repeatedly, such as his vow to tithe (give ten percent). Also, he says he will tithe twice to emphasize it, like saying “really”.
• Jacob promised to give some of everything that he would ever have to God. Do we do something similiar? (‘We’ give an offering every week in church and in sunday school.)
• Who do you think should give an offering? (All the church members, Christians, ...etc) Should it be only grown-ups? (No, children can give too, out of their allowances and from gifts, they can give a portion to God.)

• What happens to our offerings? We have the Treasurer of our church here today and he (or she) can tell you what the offerings are used for. (Introduce the Treasurer. He/She can briefly tell them how the money they donate helps sunday school, VBS, deacons, etc. and will introduce the Stewardship video. He/She can take questions after the video. Ask the treasurer to be prepared to tell the class how much the sunday school offering added up to in the past year, or what the total so far this year is.)
• Suggested activity for the Treasurer: Ask for a volunteer. Ask the volunteer to lift a table all by him/herself. Let some others try also. Very hard, maybe impossible, for one person to do. Let two volunteers work together. It's a lot of work for two to do it. Now have the whole class lift a table (or two, or all the tables in the room, depending on the size of your class). It's easy if everyone works together, just like our offerings. You may feel like you only have a tiny bit to give, that it won't make a difference. That's true for everyone in the church; no one person or family can give enough to run this church and all the good work we do. But if everyone gives, all the work of the church can be done.

Show Video: Stewardship Video (approx. 10 min.)

• Any questions for our Treasurer?

• Some of our offerings are given to help people who live near here and some go to help people who are far away. Some people give part of tehir offerings to their church and part to a good charity organization that helps people. The next video is about a charity that our church encourages our members to give to, because it makes a difference in the lives of people around the world who really need our help. Helping poor people is like helping Jesus.

Show Video: Charity Video: Legacy for Efrain (20 min)

Questions:
• How do you like to give your own money to God? Have you ever given money to a charity? Have you ever put an offering of your own money into the basket at church or sunday school? (Ask for shows of hands if you get silence.)
• Do you think God would be happy if you gave evena little bit, sometimes? (Yes, God would be happy with anything they could give.)
• Does God need your money? (God gives you everything. God makes everything. He doesn’t need our money, but he would like our hearts to be open and loving and willing to give.)


CLOSING:
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: Dear Jesus, help us to be loving and giving like you.

[This message was edited by ChristineOC on August 10, 2003 at 06:55 PM.]
 
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Here is a nice set of directions with pictures for making a Jacob's ladder toy. The kids at our church loved this project. Jacob's Ladder

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Editor's Note Re Making Jacob's Ladder Toy:

Look up on WIKI, YOUTUBE or several craft or woodworking sites for pictures, videos, instruction.
 
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Thanks for posting, great ideas. I have another recipe that would work to look like rocks. I have some kids that are allergic to nuts so I had to come up with something els. Enjoy!
Irish Potato Candy (can look like rocks)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut (optional, my kids did not wnat to add this)
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon.
Beat the butter and cream chees tof=gether until smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar; beat until smooth. If you add the coconut, now is the time to add it. Roll into balls or rock shapes and roll in the cinnamon. Place onto cookie sheet and chill to set.
 
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