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Reply to "DRAMA & PUPPET WORKSHOPS: Lessons and Ideas for Joseph's Story"


Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:
In this workshop, the learners will act out different parts of the story, using their own shadows to communicate the story.

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the bible story and background materials.
  • Gather the supplies.
  • Read over the lesson and know how to use the camera.

Supplies List:

  • White sheet
  • overhead projector
  • video camera (charged up)
  • Bibles and Bible story books
  • chair
  • bags (can use garbage bags)
  • bucket (to pour grain)
  • Joseph’s cup (can make one by using large plastic butter tub for top, large plastic soft drink cup for bottom, bolt or glue bottom to bottom and paint silver)
  • CD player
  • CD of background music.




Opening-Welcome and introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week--some may not know you. Wear your name tag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs.


Open with a prayer.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Lesson Plan:

1. Read the story from the Bible or from the Children’s Bible (stories 35-43). Tell the children that they will be acting out these stories with their shadows.

2. Discuss the stories using the following questions:

  • Have you ever wished you could change something you had done, and perhaps do it all over another way? Do you think Joseph’s brothers ever thought about having sold Joseph as a slave?
  • What feelings do you believe Joseph had for his brothers when he first saw them?
  • How would you feel if you were Joseph?
  • Why do you think Joseph didn’t reveal himself immediately?
  • How do you think Benjamin felt when he was held in Egypt? Do you think this was fair of Joseph to do? Why do you think Joseph did what he did? (Why do you think he framed Benjamin?)
  • How was Joseph able to forgive his brothers? Do you think Jacob was able to forgive Joseph’s brothers?
  • Has there been a time in your life you have had to forgive someone in your family? Share with the group. Was it difficult to do? Why did you do it/ did you not do it?

3. Review the breakdown of stories (you may use the different stories from the Children’s Bible to do this) and ask the children which story they would like to perform.

4. Have the children act between the overhead projector (the light source) and the sheet (the screen). For the younger children you (or the shepherd) may wish to read the story as they act. For the older children you may wish to play some background music as they act. Encourage them to be silent as they act.

5. Videotape (or allow the shepherd to video) the shadow play.

If there is time, watch the video on the camera playback. Have the children review their performance. Around 10:15 you should wrap things up for journal writing. If there is still time, have the children act out a different story from today’s reading.

Journal Time:
Fill in the blanks:
Today we acted out the story of _______________________ and I learned _________________________.


Assemble the children in a circle holding hands. Together say a prayer of confession. Have each child ask God to forgive something related to their family in the following format:
“Dear God forgive my family for _______________.” At the end offer the following prayer: “Thank you God for the forgiveness you have given to each of us when we ask. We are blessed to receive such a wonderful gift. Through Christ Jesus. Amen.”

Since you are in a circle holding hands, you might want to end with a group hug--put your arms around each other and on the count of three take one giant step into the middle of the circle.

Adjustments for younger/older children:
For youth, extend the discussion in the closing session to talk about who our family really is. Youth are at a time in their lives when they are preparing to leave their immediate family and enter the larger family of God. How does that magnify the question of forgiveness? How can we embrace family we do not know? As Christians, how does this story inform how we are to be in the world? What can this story teach us as we prepare to enter the unknown?


A lesson written by Jan Marshall from: Brenthaven Cumberland Pres.

Brentwood, TN


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


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