Create your own script.
What could you do if you don’t have access to the book, Creative Clothesline Characters? (It’s out of print, but still available for sale online. Eventually this will probably not be true.) You can create your own script, using the “Mystery Containers” idea and crediting the book with the inspiration for this lesson.
I would begin by reading several translations of Genesis 1-2:4. If you use a kid-friendly translation (I would choose The Message in this case), this can be the basis for your actual script. You can copy and paste it from an online source like Bible Gateway. Then you can edit it as suits your group. (You might also want to consult some Bible storybooks to see how they deal with the “dome” that separates the waters above from the waters below. Some explain more clearly than others.) Then you’re ready to interrupt the script at the beginning of each day to use your “Mystery Containers.”
Distribute Mystery Containers: When you distribute the “Mystery Containers” to your students, take into account the number of items in each container so each student can handle at least one object. The containers described in the Materials Needed list a total of 15 items. Adjust your containers or your assignments so that each student can handle at least one item.
Here’s how I would draft a sample script:
God didn’t use hands or machines to create the universe. God only used God’s breath, God’s Word. God simply spoke, and all the things in the universe were created, one day at a time. As I tell the amazing story of creation, I will stop and ask you to reveal the contents of your “Mystery Containers” so you can experience a bit of this amazing creation.
[Tell your students they will have one minute to examine the contents in their “Mystery Container” so they will be ready to display the key element of each day of creation. They should keep their objects secret from the other groups. If there’s only one object in a container, give the container to one student.
Days 1, 2, 7 1 item each = 3 students
Days 3 and 4 4 items each = 8 students
Days 5 and 6 2 items each = 4 students]
In the very beginning before there was anything at all, there was NOTHING. Close your eyes to picture what NOTHING might look and feel. It was a deep, black, watery darkness, with no shapes, no sounds. NOTHING, but God’s Spirit.
[Tell Day 1 to reveal God’s first creation. Day 1 takes the flashlight out of the bag.] God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared. [Tell Day 1 to turn on their light.] God created not just a little light like this flashlight, but ALL the LIGHT that is light. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark Night. It was evening, it was morning—Day 1. [Tell Day 1 to place their flashlight in the pan.]
[Tell Day 2 to reveal God’s second creation. Day 2 takes the ziplock bag full of air out of the bag.] God spoke: “Sky! In the middle of the waters; separate water from water!” God made sky. He separated the water under sky from the water above sky. And there it was: he named sky the Heavens; it was evening, it was morning—Day 2. [Tell Day 2 to place their piece of sky in the pan.]
[Tell Day 3 group to reveal God’s third creation. Day 3 takes the jar of water, bag of sand and soil, flower or leaves, apple out of their bag.] God spoke: “Separate! Water-beneath-Heaven, gather into one place; Land, appear!” And there it was. God named the land Earth. He named the pooled water Ocean. God saw that it was good. God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants, every sort of fruit-bearing tree.” And there it was. Earth produced green seed-bearing plants, all varieties, and fruit-bearing trees of all sorts. God saw that it was good. It was evening, it was morning—Day 3. [Tell Day 3 group to place their water, earth, green plant and fruit in the pan.]
[Tell Day 4 group to reveal God’s fourth creation. Day 4 takes the sun, moon, stars and planets out of their bag.] God spoke: “Lights! Come out! Shine in Heaven’s sky! Separate Day from Night. Mark seasons and days and years, Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.” And there it was. God made two big lights, the larger to take charge of Day, the smaller to be in charge of Night; and he made the stars. God placed them in the heavenly sky to light up Earth and oversee Day and Night, to separate light and dark. God saw that it was good. It was evening, it was morning—Day 4. [Tell Day 4 group to place their lights, one by one, in the pan.]
[Tell Day 5 group to reveal God’s fifth creation. Day 5 takes the toy fish and the toy bird out of their bag.] God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life! Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!” God created the huge whales, all the swarm of life in the waters, and every kind and species of flying birds. God saw that it was good. God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean! Birds, reproduce on Earth!” It was evening, it was morning—Day 5. [Tell Day 5 group to place the fish and bird in the pan.]
[Tell Day 6 group to reveal God’s sixth creation. Day 6 takes the plastic animals and the mirror out of their bag.] God spoke: “Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind: cattle and reptiles and wild animals—all kinds.” And there it was: wild animals of every kind. God saw that it was good. God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature. So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.” God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: “Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth. And there it was. God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good! It was evening, it was morning—Day 6. [Tell Day 6 group to place the plastic animals and the mirror in the pan.]
[Tell Day 7 to reveal God’s seventh creation. day 7 takes the small pillow out of the bag.] By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day, he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done. [Tell Day 7 to put the pillow in the pan.]
This is the story of how it all started, of how God spoke Heaven and Earth into being, and there it was!