The Creation Story
Science Workshop: Caring for Creation
Scripture: Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-3
Memory Verses (NIV):
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.
Genesis 1:31 – God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Summary of Workshop: The children will make a terrarium from plant slips and seedlings so they can practice looking after God’s creation.
Children will learn:
- About God: God made the world as a beautiful, intricate gift to us and to all living things.
- About Jesus: Jesus came to restore us and the whole world to the beautiful, unspoiled state God intended us all to be in.
- About Us: God made us “in his image” and wants us to rule over his creation. What kind of rulers do you think God wants us to be? Good ones who take care of his world.
- About the Bible: “Genesis” means “beginning” and it is the first book in the Bible. It includes many stories, including the creation story.
- Kid-friendly Bibles (to read from and for kids to use)
- Terrarium bowls – bottoms of large plastic milk jugs, or ice cream pails
- Sharpie marker to put their name on the bottom
- Stickers, Washi tape, markers, other things to decorate the outside of the bowls
- Pebbles for the bottom of the bowl
- Potting soil, scoops, newspaper or bins to contain the mess
- Selection of terrarium plants and/or rooted slips, ready to transplant
- examples: basil slips rooted in water, oregano seedlings from garden, polka dot plant slips rooted in soil, aloe vera “babies” from larger plants…
- Spoons to dig holes to put small plants in
- Watering can with water
- Garden gloves
- Optional: small plastic toys to put in the terrariums
- Read the scripture passages and lesson plan.
- Learn the memory verses and write them on the blackboard
- Take slips of garden or house plants about a month before this rotation
- Save or collect 4-litre (1 gallon) plastic milk jugs or ice cream pails
- Cut milk jugs just below handles to make garden bowls
- Set up stations in the classroom: pebble station; dirt and scoop station; plant and spoon station; water station; (optional) toy station
PRESENTATION: Welcome and Introductions: Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. Take attendance.
Ask: Do any of you have a pet? What kinds of things do you do to take care of it? What other things do you have that you need to help take care of? (younger sibling, grandparent, plants, yard…)
Ask: Who takes care of you? What things do they do for you?
Say: We have been learning about the Creation story in the book of Genesis in the Bible. What does Genesis mean? (Beginning) So where in the Bible would you find the book of Genesis?
Review the story: Ask them what job God gave to the people. (looking after the world he made. Note that this includes all parts of nature, but also each other!) Read the story to them and ask the kids to watch for things that God made that need looking after. Have them put up their hands when they notice something, and write it on the board. How can people look after these things? How can you?
Tell them that today they are going to get a small piece of God’s creation to take home and look after. They are going to make a small garden, or terrarium, with living plants. They can add toy animals and decorations to personalize it.
- Hand out the bowls or bottoms of milk jugs. Have them put their names on the bottom of the bowls with Sharpies.
- Put out the bowl decorations (Sharpies, washi tape, stickers, stick-on foam shapes…). The kids can decorate their bowls until it is their turn at the stations.
- Have them go through the stations in order:
- Pebbles about 2 inches (5 cm) high
- Dirt so the bowl is about 1/2 full
- Carefully dig small holes in the dirt and very carefully put in the plant slips. Be extra careful not to damage the roots! Gently push the dirt back around the plants and press it down firmly so the plant will stand up. Add more if needed. Note: Make sure you know how many plants there are and how many each child can have. Remember, they will grow bigger, so it is okay if there is some space around them.
- Water the bowl until the soil is damp but not swimming. If it is too wet, the plants will drown. If the water compacts the soil, add a bit more soil.
- (Optional) Decorate with toys. Have them choose toys in round robin fashion: One by one, choose one toy. After everyone has one, one by one everyone takes one more. Or encourage them to add toys when they go home.
- They can continue to decorate the bowls when they are finished planting the terrarium.
- Tell them that when they take their terrariums home, they will need to keep the plants near a window so the sun can give the light. They should check the soil with their finger before they water them again. The soil needs to be kept moist but not soaked or the plants will drown.
Closing: Tidy up and close in prayer.
(lesson by Sharon Hamilton from Argyle Road Baptist Church, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Copyright 2018)