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(WT) Jacob & Esau ~ Computer Writing Team

Jacob and Esau

Computer Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activity 


This lesson plan walks students through most of the Jacob story using the Awesome Bible Stories interactive software, In addition, this lesson plan is one of two in the Writing Team set that also focuses on the story of Jacob's wrestling match with God in Genesis 32 — a story rich with life application. 

Importantly, prior to wrestling with God, Jacob prays to God for help in preparation for meeting Esau, thus those scriptures are included in this lesson (though not in the software). After seeking God's help, Jacob wrestles with God and receives confirmation of the blessing he previously received in his Genesis 28 encounter when he dreamed of the stairway to heaven. Yet in Genesis 32, Jacob's encounter with God is more personal and contains a wonderful life application for how we understand our relationship with God — we struggle with a mysterious presence as if in the dark, we try to grasp God, we think we have God in hand, but God gets the last word. God confirms his promise to Jacob, and bestows on Jacob (and thus all of us) a new name, "Israel — he who wrestles with God."

Note: Awesome Bible Stories is now available free-of-charge to the supporting members of Learn more and download the software!


Genesis 32: 3-12  Jacob prepares and prays prior to meeting Esau

Genesis 32: 22-31 Jacob wrestles with God, is blessed, and is struck in the hip 

Objectives for the Rotation 

See Bible Background

Objectives for this particular workshop

  • Students will be able to recount all the key episodes in the Jacob and Esau story.
  • Students will think of themselves as "Israel" too — those who call upon and encounter a mysterious God, seek his blessing, and wrestle with what it means to believe in God and be his child.



  • Read Bible Background, scripture and lesson.
  • Preview the software and play the wrestling game.
  • Make copies of the worksheet.

Materials List 

  • Bibles
  • Software: Awesome Bibles Stories (Sunday Software)
  • copies of the worksheet attached at the end of this lesson at
  • Whiteboard (appropriate marker)

Lesson Plan 

Welcome your students and introduce what they'll be studying and doing in today's Computer workshop. As you tell them the following steps, write the steps on the board so they won't be so anxious about "when" they are going to get to each software option in the software. This will also help your helpers know what to expect.

  • Tell them that Awesome Bible Stories is the opening Bible study for today.
  • Tell them that they will work their way through the Jacob and Esau story, answering several questions found on the printable worksheet attached to this lesson at (This is the same worksheet provided at Sunday Software's website for use with Awesome Bible Stories. Used with permission.)
  • Then tell them that you'll be taking a brief break from the computers to hear a Bible story, then return for a game, quiz, and fun reflection activity at the computer.

Instructions for the teacher and lesson plan steps 

1.  Have students play through the animated story on the software and answer/discuss the questions on the worksheet as you go. (The worksheets can be done: a) with the teaching helpers at each computer; or b) students working independently, then reconvening as a class to discuss their answers.) Feel free to follow-up on each worksheet question with additional insights and questions.

The software breaks the story into four episodes:

(1) Jacob and Esau are Born, Esau sells his birthright.
(2) Jacob, Laban, Rachel and Leah.      
(3) Jacob wrestles with the angel. 
(4) Jacob reconciles with Esau.

2. Once all children have played through the animated story have them gather away from the computers (or turn away from computer and face you) and then read to them in dramatic fashion the story of Jacob and God's wrestling match

Genesis 32: 3-12  Jacob prepares and prays prior to meeting Esau

Genesis 32: 22-31 Jacob wrestles with God, is blessed, and is struck in the hip

and make the following points:

  • Jacob's encounter with God happened after he sought God's help. How do you seek God's help?
  • At first, it is not clear who is wrestling with Jacob. A man? Sometimes that's how it feels when God is present. You find it hard to believe that God wants to be with you, and is the one making you struggle with decisions you are trying to make (such as, how to approach Esau).
  • God doesn't mind wrestling with Jacob or with us. He knows we have questions and doubts. That's what the name "Isra-el" means in the Hebrew language. God calls us "the people who wrestle with God ("El").  What things do you find are hard to do as much as God wants? Pick one: forgive someone who has done you wrong, love people who don't like you, admit when you're wrong, say your sorry.
  • The funny thing is that Jacob thinks he has pinned God. How does God let him know who the boss is?


jacob-game3. Return to the computers and play the Jake & the Midnight Angel game. It has story questions in-between rounds that will act as a review.

Note: The worksheet reverses the order of when to play the wrestling game and then the Gabby reflection activity. Here we're doing the wrestling game BEFORE the reflection activity. Your students will probably want to keep playing the game, so, if needed, promise them they can return at the end of class.

4.  Conclude with the Gabby Talker reflection activity: learning and practicing the words of apology and reconciliation.  See the suggestions on the worksheet. If you have several computers, assign different "apology" tasks to each worksheet.

This activity "practices" the language of reconciliation — making peace with others. Give students at their computers 3 minutes to construct a talking Gabby reflection, then have the class travel to each computer to hear each apology played out-loud. You might consider having students construct:

  The apology Jacob should have made to Esau.
  The apology Esau should have made to Jacob.

  The apology we should make to God for being difficult, deceitful, and greedy children.


For non-readers:  Make sure you have helpers at each computer, or consider projecting the software to them and leading them through it as a group. The wrestling game should be easy enough for them, but they will need the words in the reflection activity read to them.

For those short on time: Skip lesson step 2. The wrestling story is briefly told in step 1's interactive story on the CD.


Written by: Neil MacQueen and the Writing Team

Printed from
Graphics and worksheet used with permission.



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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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