STORYTELLING or SCIENCE Workshop Lessons and Ideas for the Ten Commandments

Storytelling or Science Lessons, Ideas, and Activities for Teaching The Ten Commandments in Sunday School.

Post your storytelling or science lessons, ideas, and activities for teaching the Ten Commandments in Sunday School. 

The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20, Tablets, Mount Sinai, Wilderness, etc.
 
Bible lessons and ideas about the Ten Commandments -with science experiments, demonstrations, object lessons, magic tricks, presentations, etc.
 
Use the "Post Reply" button to post your storytelling or science Ten Commandments lessons, ideas, and activities for Sunday School.
 
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Bible lesson ideas and resources you've found helpful are also welcome.

Note: Please do not include lessons that are substantially the same as other lessons already posted. Your variations, however, are welcome.


The Ten Commandments- Laws to Love By
Science Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
To construct a working water fountain using a mason jar, straws, and play dough.
Demonstrating the importance of following all the commandments, not just the easy ones.


Leader Preparation:

  • Review ten commandments
  • Read the accompanying Bible study helps.
  • Review the lesson plan in detail. Consider ways to adapt the workshop depending on the age group of participants (see age chart for assistance). 
  • Gather the materials.

Standard instructions for this workshop: 

  • Small class size - 3 to 4 children or the preschool class - all the material for one fountain.
  • Large group need one fountain for every 4 children.

Supplies List:

  • Mason jar and lid 
  • Play dough
  • water
  • medium sized bowl
  • large bowl
  • food coloring


Lesson 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. 

Explain the purpose of this workshop. Use kid friendly words to give a brief overview of what the children are going to learn and do.  

Open with a prayer.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Scripture/Bible Story:
Retell story of Moses getting the ten commandments from God. Explain how it is important to follow all the laws, even the ones that are hard and inconvenient

Application:

  1. Break children down into groups of 4. (Under 1st grade should work as a group with you doing most of the experiment, let them help whenever possible)
  2. For older children, give them all the materials to make fountain and have them attempt the construction without any rules or help. (Skip this step with K-Preschool)
  3. Review rules/laws to making a working water fountain. (Listed on attached sheet)
  4. Construction an almost working fountain. Skip rule 4. (Placing play dough around straws) All the water will drain out of the mason jar into the large bowl, but no water is pulled from the medium bowl.
  5. Construction fountain again, but follow all the rules. For further proof, add yellow food coloring to water in mason jar, and blue food coloring to medium bowl water. When the experiment is finished the water in the large bowl will be green.
  6. If time permits, construct fountain again.

Instructions for constructing the fountain: 

  1. Make two holes in the lid, one in middle, the other closer to rim.
  2. Push a straw through middle hole so about 2 inches show inside lid. Insert the other straw in the rim hole, with only ½ inch inside the lid.
  3. Seal the gaps between the straws with play dough.
  4. Add two inches of water to jar and seal with lid.
  5. Fill medium sized bowl with water.
  6. Invert mason jar, holding it so the middle straw is in the medium bowl and the rim straw is over the large bowl.
  7. If constructed properly the water will be pulled from the medium bowl into the mason jar and finally into the large bowl.

Discussion Points:

  • Where you able to construction the fountain without any rules or help? God gave us the ten Commandments to help us build our lives and give us help when we are in need.
  • Did the fountain work when you didn't follow all the rules? 

Reflection Time:
Try to allow 15 (10 – 20) minutes for shepherds to work with the students at the end of the workshop. There may be specific Journal pages for this workshop that you will need to hand out to the shepherds. Shepherds will go over these with the students. Shepherds will also help the students to write on their Memory Verse & Prayer cards . 


Closing:
Thank the children coming to the workshop and close with this prayer

Thank you God for your laws to help us lead our lives. Amen.


References:

  • 175 Science Experiments to Amuse and Amaze your Friends, Brenda Walpole.

Fountain Rules:

  1. Thou shall make 2 holes in the lid.
  2. Thou shall push one straw into the middle lib hole so 2-3 inches is inside jar.
  3. Thou shall place another straw in the rim hole so only ½ inch is inside the jar.
  4. Thou shall place puddy around both straws.
  5. Thou shall fill the jar with 2-3 inches of water.
  6. Thou shall fill bowl with water
  7. Thou shall invert jar, middle straw in bowl and rim straw into large bowl.
  8. Thou shall help clean up.

A Sunday School lesson written by Kathy Gruver from: St. Peter's Lutheran Church
Lancaster, OH 

Original Post

The above idea generated a lot of comments.

Here is the summary: 

 

 

ScienceLady

 

A good seal needs to be maintained around the straws. When making the fountain use playdough, clay, or anything that can provide a seal. We put the playdough around both sides of the lid and around the straw. It is hard to maintain the seals. Just give everyone plenty to work with and they'll get the fountain to work.

 


drj1234

 

We got this project to work perfectly every time by using modeling clay, and only on the outside of the lid.

 

We drilled 1/4" holes in plastic mayonaise jar lids, spaced about an inch apart, and used about a large marble worth of modeling clay around each straw. The trick is to put about the same amount of water in the jar as the length of your longest straw, screw the lid on tight so that there is no air leaking around the lid, and make sure the straws are sealed well (if you are seeing bubbles in the jar, your straws are leaking), then tip the jar so that you put the middle straw immediately into the water in the medium bowl. Don't turn the whole contraption upside down and THEN try to get it into the water...turn the middle straw down and right into the water.

 

Hope this helps everybody. We have had a blast with this. Thanks Science lady!

 

We introduced this lesson with a discussion of God's laws in creation--even the first graders came up with the law of Gravity. This set the context for the 10 Commandments as God's gift to set down how humans were made to be in relationship with God and others not as arbitrary rules like a game.

I don't think I did real well explaining how the fountain works. The older elementary and middle school 'got it with creating a vacuum and changing pressure, but I couldn't get it into first grade terms. They didn't seem to care but I did.

Peace,
Lynn C Wood
Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church
Charleston, WV

The Ten Commandments

Science Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will discuss and learn the Ten Commandments, as they perform several different experiments, reinforcing the laws given to us by God.

Scripture Reference:

Deuteronomy 5:1-22.


Leader Preparation:

  • Go over the scripture and background materials.
  • Gather the supplies.

Supplies List:

  • Nice-sized rock
  • penny
  • flat cookie sheet
  • Bible
  • newspaper
  • several cups or bowls
  • a pitcher of water
  • red food coloring
  • pepper and other dark-colored spices
  • and liquid soap
  • Overhead projector
  • two plastic transparency sheets
  • a permanent marker
  • a magnet or magnet wand
  • and iron filings.


Presentation

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introductions:

Begin by welcoming the students to your class. Explain that you will be studying the laws given to us by God, called the Ten Commandments. You will be using 3 different experiments to prove the points that we need laws to guide our lives, and we need to trust God to be our source of guidance.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Ask one or more students to read aloud the scripture from Deuteronomy 5:1-22.

Then say: Let's talk today about laws. Laws are set up for our good. They help protect us. For instance, the law says people can't break into other people's houses. If they do, and if they get caught, they go to jail. Jail is for people who break the law.

We have laws out on the streets. They are for our good. One of these laws is the speed limit, so folks won't drive too fast. Another law on the street is a stop sign. Everyone can't drive through intersections at the same time. There would be accidents.

Do you know there are laws of physics, too? Physics is an area of study in science. It's really cool. One of the laws of physics says that all things have an attraction for each other. This attraction is called gravity.

Experiment #1 Gravity

Now, the biggest thing around here is the earth, so the earth has the most gravity. That's why, when something is let go it falls down, not up. I have a penny and a rock here. If I were to drop them both at the same time onto this cookie sheet, which one do you think would hit first?

What's the best way to find out? Right! Let's drop them. Watch and listen closely. Here goes. What happened? That's right, they hit at the same time.

That's what the law of gravity says: all things are pulled down equally. You can't break that law. (Allow the opportunity for one or more of the students to try this experiment, if desired).

Did you know that there are laws in the Bible, too? Just like the speed limit, and gravity, these laws are there and aren't to be broken. As we read from Deuteronomy 5, the Old Testament of the Bible is filled with different laws. When Jesus came, he taught that all those laws could be summed up in two laws: love God with all your heart and love other people as much as you love yourself. Remember the "Great Commandment you studied in September here in Sunday school? If we love God and we love other people, we will be obeying God's laws. God made the law of gravity, and it can't be broken, but God doesn't make us obey his laws. We don't have to do what the Bible tells us, but he wants us to choose to love him and obey him because he loves us and knows what is best for us.

Experiment #2 - Water Surface Tension Experiement

Now let's switch gears a little bit and try a different kind of experiment. How many of you know a bit about the story of Moses, and how he was called to lead God's people out of Egypt? (Responses) Let me tell you about the great trust that Moses had in God, and how that trust helped to set the people of Israel free from slavery in Egypt. Read aloud for the students the scripture found in Exodus 14:1-31. Then have your students gather around the newspaper and say: The Israelites really needed a safe way to cross the Red Sea. They couldn't do it without God's help.

  • Pour water into one of the cups, and add red food coloring to the water. Then sprinkle pepper on top of the water.
  • Let the students try to use their fingers or their breath to make a clear area in the bowl.
  • After the children try several techniques, say: The Israelites needed God's help, and it looked like we need some help, too. Put a small drop of liquid soap on each child's finger, and have the children touch the water again.

 Ask:

  • What happened when you put your soapy finger in the water?
  • How did it feel when the pepper spread away?
  • How do you think the Israelites felt when the Red Sea parted for them?


Fill other bowls with water, and let kids try the same experiment with other spices.

Ask:

  • Do you always get the same results?
  • Why do the spices move away from your finger when it has soap on it and not when it's clean?

Say: Water molecules are very attracted to each other, and they create a strong bond with each other. The spices we put in the bowls floated on top of the water's bond. Soap weakens the water molecules' bond with each other; when the bond is weakened, the spices move with the water. The soap in this experiment is kind of like God's power when he parted the Red Sea. God can do anything; we just need to trust him.

Read aloud Exodus 14:31, and ask:

  • How did the Israelites respond when God parted the Red Sea?
  • Do you think God will be there to help you if you need help?
  • What is something God could help you do?
  • How can you get help from God during this next week?

Say: When you see God's power displayed in the world around you, it can help you to know that you can trust God with everything in your life and he will take care of you.

Experiment #3: Transparency Magnet Maze

Now let's try one more experiment. (Have one student read Psalm 16:11), then say: It isn't always easy to know what to do, but God has promised always to show us the right way to go. This experiment is a fun way to help us see that God can guide us through every day!

Have the students gather around the overhead projector. Place one transparency sheet on the overhead projector, and draw a straight pathway and a simple maze design on the transparency sheet with the permanent marker. Then sprinkle a few iron filings onto the sheet. Lay another plastic transparency sheet on top, and turn on the overhead projector light.
Say: Watch! I can guide these iron filings through the maze. Demonstrate how to do this, drawing the magnet through the maze along the top transparency sheet. Ask:

  • What is happening?
  • Why are the iron filings moving?

Say: I am using a magnet to move the iron filings. Magnets attract or are attracted to other metals such as iron, steel nickel, and cobalt. Magnetism is such a strong force that it can even work through such materials such as plastic.
Just like this maze zigs and zags, sometimes you may feel like your life doesn't have a very clear direction.

Ask:

  • Can you think of a time that it seemed like your life was zigging or zagging? Explain.


Now move the iron filings to the straight path, and use the magnet to move them along in a straight line. Say: Other times, you may feel like your traveling on a straight path.

Ask:

  • Can you think of a time your life felt like a straight, easy path? Explain.


Say: Just as the magnet moved the iron filings down the maze and down the straight path, God is working in our lives no matter what. Whether you feel like your life is a maze or an easy path, you can know that God, like the magnet, will guide you always.

Closing:

Let's close with a prayer….

Dear God, we are thankful that you have given us rules to live by so that we know what you want us to do. Help us to always be able to ask for forgiveness when we don't obey. Help us to remember your laws and to obey them. And all God's children said…AMEN!


 

A lesson from Augustana Lutheran Church
St. James, MN

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

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