Drama and Puppet Lessons, Ideas, and Activities for Teaching the Story of Joseph in Sunday School

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Joseph, Egypt, Pharaoh, Joseph's Brothers, Coat of Many Colors, Well, Potiphar, Dreams, etc.
 
Bible lessons about Joseph  -with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc.
 
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Kim Hunter's - Joseph the Dreamer puppet script: 

http://www.huntermarionettes.com/rotation-joseph/

Original Post

Joseph

Drama/Puppet Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will play various parts to learn the story of Joseph.

 

Memory Verses:

Psalm 46:1 and Psalm 9:10


Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read through the script.

Supplies List:

  • Copies of the script.


 

Presentation

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.


Post the two Bible memory verses (Psalm 46:1 and Psalm 9:10); the children should already have their own copies. Repeat these two verses with the class before beginning to teach the lesson.

 

Open with a prayer.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Teach the lesson. If this is the first Sunday of the rotation, most children will either not be at all familiar with the story of Joseph, or will remember parts of it. Children in grades 3 – 6 should be encouraged to open their Bibles to Genesis 37 as you start the lesson. You will need to be prepared, however, to summarize key parts of this long lesson that you have prepared before this class session, and to use them appropriately for the grade level of the children. Some children will be able to read along in the Bible. You might even ask some volunteers to read key sections of the story. If it is past the first Sunday of the rotation, you should first ask the children to tell what they already know of the story, so you will know where they need more teaching or clarification.

The story of Joseph is a wonderful drama. Before you teach, select the children to play the various parts of the drama. Some children may need to play more than one part if there are too few children. As you teach, ask the characters to reflect on how they would FEEL as you describe their part of the story. You will, however, probably need to keep your teaching brief and let the drama do most of the teaching, and then follow it up with discussion. If the time is too short, summarize parts of the drama (perhaps by a narrator) and perform other parts.

 

The Drama: Joseph Goes to Egypt

Characters:

Joseph, Jacob, brothers, stranger, Reuben, Judah, Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife, jail inmates, baker, cupbearer, Pharaoh, servants



SCENE I: Joseph, wearing his “highly decorated robe”, is telling his brothers about his two dreams. Jacob is also listening.
JOSEPH: “I had this dream last night. We were binding grain in the fields, and suddenly my sheaf of grain stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
BROTHERS: “Do you really think we’d bow down to you? Will you actually rule us?”
(The brothers grumble among themselves about Joseph being the favorite, “Daddy’s boy”.)
JOSEPH: “I also had another dream in which the sun, moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
JACOB: “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to you? Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk.”

SCENE II:
JACOB: “Joseph, please go look for your brothers at Shechem. See how they’re doing, and bring word back to me.” (Jacob goes inside their home, offstage.)
JOSEPH: “I’ll leave right away father.”
(Have Joseph appear to walk off stage, then back on, shading his eyes from the sun with his hand and looking around intently as he returns.)
STRANGER: “If you are looking for the ten sons of Jacob, I heard them say they were going on to Dothan; perhaps you’ll find them there.”
(Have Joseph walk off stage and back on again, again looking intently and shading his eyes with his hand.)
JOSEPH: “There they are!”
BROTHERS: “Here comes that dreamer.” “Let’s kill him and throw him in one of these pits and say that a wild animal killed him.” “We’ll see what comes of his dreams!”
REUBEN: “Let’s not kill him. Just throw him into this pit in the desert.”
(As Joseph approaches, the brothers grab him, take his colorful robe off of him, and throw him into the pit. JOSEPH protests, “Let my out! You can’t do this to me!” Then they sit down nearby to eat a picnic lunch.)
JUDAH (looking up and noticing something far off) “I was thinking…wouldn’t it be better to not to kill our own brother. Let’s sell him as a slave instead to that approaching caravan. They’re going to Egypt, so we’ll be rid of him!”
BROTHERS: “Yeah, let’s do that!”
(Brothers pull Joseph from the pit, hand him off stage to the caravan, and return counting out twenty pieces of silver.)
BROTHERS: “We can tell our father that a wild animal killed him when we show him Joseph’s bloody robe.”

SCENE III:
POTIPHAR: “Hello, Joseph! My name’s Potiphar. I’m the captain of the guard, Pharaoh’s bodyguard. You will work in my house and be responsible for my household.”
JOSEPH: “I will be pleased to serve you.”
(Potiphar’s wife peeks around the corner to look at the handsome new slave, Joseph. She grins at him and winks.)
(After Potiphar leaves, have Joseph go off stage, then return as if it’s another day. Potiphar’s wife comes in seeking to attract his interest, but Joseph walks off stage. Potiphar’s wife looks mopey, disappointed that he’s not interested in her. When he returns to the stage with a broom to do the cleaning, she walks up close to him, again trying to get his attention. This time Joseph runs off stage, and Potiphar’s wife is left holding his cloak as she screams that he tried to grab her.)
POTIPHAR’S WIFE: (to Potiphar) “That Hebrew slave you bought, he tried to grab me, and then he ran out. See, here is his cloak!”
POTIPHAR: “Joseph will have to go to the Pharaoh’s prison. Too bad; he was an excellent servant.”

SCENE IV: (Pharaoh’s prison, with Joseph and other prisoners)
(Joseph comes on stage, smiling, carrying a scroll and checking off a list. He’s friendly and peaceful.)
JOSEPH: (speaking to the baker and to Pharaoh’s cupbearer) “Why are your faces so sad today?”
BAKER AND CUPBEARER: “We both had dreams, but there’s no one to interpret them.”
JOSEPH: “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
CUPBEARER: “I saw a three-branched vine in my dream. It budded, blossomed, and produced clusters of grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”
JOSEPH: “The three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do. When all goes well with you, please mention me to Pharaoh so that I may get out of this prison.”
BAKER: “In my dream I had three baskets of bread on my head. In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
JOSEPH: “The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat away your flesh.”
(Servants come in and take the baker and the cupbearer away. The cupbearer is greeted heartily with “Welcome back to Pharaoh’s palace”, but the baker is told, “You will come with us to the gallows!”

SCENE V: (Inside Pharaoh’s palace)
PHARAOH: (rubbing sleep from his eyes, speaking to servants) “I had the most troubling dreams last night! I need my wise men.”
(Do silently: Pharaoh appears to be telling his dream to some men. They make signs of incomprehension, and servants escort them away.)
CUPBEARER: “Excuse me, Pharaoh, but I seem to remember a promise I made long ago. It concerned a man named Joseph, a Hebrew, who could interpret dreams. Everything he told me about my dream came true. Surely he could interpret your dream.”
PHARAOH: “Bring this man to me immediately!”
(Have Joseph appear clean-shaven and well-dressed before Pharaoh.)
PHARAOH: “I’ve heard that you can interpret dreams.”
JOSEPH: “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
PHARAOH: “I dreamed I was standing on the bank of the Nile. Out of the river came seven fat, sleek cows who grazed on the reeds. After them came seven scrawny, ugly, lean cows, and they ate up the seven fat cows. Even so, the lean cows were as scrawny as before. Then I woke up. I had another dream. In this dream there were seven good heads of grain growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted, but they were thin, withered and scorched by the wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. No one else has been able to explain these dreams to me.”
JOSEPH: “God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; they mean the same, seven years of plentiful harvests. The seven lean cows and the seven shriveled heads of grain mean the same; there will be seven years of famine following the seven years of good harvests. Now here is what Pharaoh should do…” (Have Joseph appear to go on talking to Pharaoh about what to do, but just mouth the words, and make it brief, as if you were fading from the scene in a video. Alternatively, if there’s time, have Joseph read Genesis 41:33 – 36)
PHARAOH: “Can we find anyone like this man Joseph in whom is the spirit of God? Joseph, you will be in charge of my palace, and all of my people are to submit to your orders. Only with regarding the throne will I be greater than you.”
(Servants come in and place a fine robe on Joseph, maybe even one like the one he had when he was with his brothers. They put a ring on his finger and a gold chain on his neck, and lead him off stage.)

Discussion questions:

1. What would it feel like to be Joseph and be thrown into the pit? (ANS: You’d be afraid for your life, pleading for mercy, maybe praying. Students may mention other things. The Bible does not mention Joseph wanting to get even with his brothers or being angry and verbally abusing his brothers.)

2. What is it like to be unfairly accused of something you did not do, as Joseph was accused by Potiphar’s wife, and then to be punished? (ANS: Children will have various answers. Point out that Jesus was also unjustly accused of sin, and was punished for OUR sins by death on the cross. His resurrection on the third day is like Joseph’s finally being made next in power to Pharaoh.)

3. What is it like to have a mysterious dream? What are some ways God speaks to us? (ANS: Children will have various answers about dreams. Yes, God speaks to us today through the Bible, through prayer, through our friends and circumstances when not in disagreement with the Bible, and through the “still, small voice” inside.)

Journal: Write about ways God speaks to you and how God has helped you. We can always praise God for who He is, and thank Him. Write a praise and a thanks to God also.

 

Closing:

End with a circle of prayer. Allow each person who wishes to pray to do so as you go around the circle. Remind children to return next week for their next workshop and to try to bring their Bible and a friend.


 

A lesson written by rotation.org member "Learner" from: Silverdale UMC

Silverdale, WA

 

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

 

Posted by member "Bornagain57"

Joseph Skit Scripts

JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERS (GEN. 37:1-11)
NARRATOR: When Jacob’s son Joseph was 17 years old, he took care of the sheep with his brothers. But he was always telling his father all sorts of bad things about his brothers.
JOSEPH: Dad, wait until I tell you what my brothers did today. They were not obeying you.
NARRATOR: Jacob loved Joseph more than he did any of his other sons, because Joseph was born after Jacob was very old. Jacob had given Joseph a fancy coat of many colors to show that he was his favorite son
BROTHER 1: I just hate Joseph, don’t you? Father gave him that beautiful coat. That type of coat is only worn by a rich man’s son. A person wearing that type of coat would not be expected to do any hard work.
JOSEPH: My brothers, let me tell you about my dream. We were out in the field, tying up bundles of wheat. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles gathered around and bowed down to it.
BROTHER 2: Do you really think you are going to be king and rule over us?
BROTHER 3: Now I hate Joseph more than ever because of what he had said about his stupid dream.
ALL BROTHERS: Me, too!
JOSEPH: My father and my brothers, listen to what else I dreamed. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowed down to me.
JACOB: What’s this supposed to mean? Are your mother and I and your brothers all going to come and bow down in front of you?

JOSEPH IS SOLD AND TAKEN TO EGYPT (GEN. 37:12-36)
NARRATOR: One day Joseph’s brothers had taken the sheep to a pasture.
JACOB: Joseph, I want you to go to your brothers and find out how they and the sheep are doing. Then come back and let me know.
BROTHERS: Look, here comes that dreamer! Let’s kill him and throw him into a pit and say that some wild animal ate him. Then we’ll see what happens to his dreams.
REUBEN: “Let’s not kill him or even harm him. Just throw him into a dry well.
NARRATOR: Reuben planned to rescue Joseph later and take him back to his father.
JOSEPH: Hello, my brothers! How are you doing today?
NARRATOR: They pulled off his fancy coat and threw him into a dry well.
JOSEPH: Let me out! Please let me out!
NARRATOR: Then they sat down to eat their lunch. As they sat down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead.
JUDAH: What good will it do us if we kill our brother and hide his body? Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites as a slave and not harm him. After all, he is our brother.
BROTHERS: Sounds good to us.
BROTHERS (TO ISHMAELITES) We have a strong young man we will sell you for 20 pieces of silver. You can make a slave of him.
NARRATOR: So the Ishmaelites bought Joseph and brought him to Egypt.
REUBEN: The boy is gone! What am I going to do?
NARRATOR: Joseph’s brothers killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s fancy coat in its blood.
BROTHERS: Father, we found this! Look at it carefully and see if it belongs to Joseph.
JACOB: It’s my son’s coat! Joseph has been torn to pieces and eaten by some wild animal. I will go to my grave, mourning for my son.

JOSEPH GOES TO PRISON (GEN. 39:1-23)
NARRATOR: After Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites, they took Joseph to Egypt and sold him as a slave to Potiphar, the king’s official in charge of the palace guard. Joseph lived in Potiphar’s home.
POTIPHAR: The Lord is helping you to be successful in whatever you do. You will be my personal assistant. You will be in charge of my house and all of my property.
POTIPHAR’S WIFE: You are very handsome. I would like you to come much closer to me.
JOSEPH: My master has placed me in charge of every-thing he owns. No one in my master’s house is more important than I am. The only thing he hasn’t given me is you, and that’s because you are his wife. I won’t sin against God with you.
POTIPHAR’S WIFE: Please, Joseph! I have been asking you every day, and you keep saying no.
JOSEPH: I will not sin against God or against my master with you.
NARRATOR: One day, Joseph went to Potiphar’s house to do his work, and none of the other servants were there. Potiphar’s wife grabbed hold of his coat. Joseph ran out of the house, leaving her hanging onto his coat. Potiphar’s wife kept Joseph’s coat until her husband came home.
POTIPHAR’S WIFE: That Hebrew slave of yours tried to attack me! But when I screamed for help, he left his coat and ran out of the house.
POTIPHAR: Joseph, I trusted you! Now you will go to prison for what you did.
NARRATOR: While Joseph was in prison, the Lord helped him and was good to him. He even made the jailer like Joseph so much that he put him in charge of the other prisoners and of everything that was done in the jail. The jailer did not worry about anything, because the Lord was with Joseph and made him successful in all he did.

JOSEPH TELLS THE MEANING OF THE PRISONERS’ DREAMS (GEN. 40:1-23)
NARRATOR: While Joseph was in prison, both the king’s personal servant and his chief cook made the king angry. So he had them thrown into the same prison with Joseph.
JOSEPH: Why are you so worried today?
SERVANT AND COOK: We each had a dream last night, and there is no one to tell us what they mean.
JOSEPH: God knows the meaning of dreams. Now tell me what you dreamed.
SERVANT: In my dream I saw a vine with three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its grapes became ripe. I held the king’s cup and squeezed the grapes into it, then I gave the cup to the king.
JOSEPH: This is the meaning of your dream. The three branches stand for three days, and in three days the king will pardon you. He will make you his personal servant again, and you will serve him his wine, just as you used to do. But when these good things happen, please don’t forget to tell the king about me, so I can get out of this place. I was kidnapped from the land of tbrews, and here in Egypt I haven’t done anything to deserve being thrown in jail.
COOK: I also had a dream. In it I was carrying three bread-baskets stacked on top of my head. The top basket was full of all kinds of baked things for the king, but birds were eating them.
JOSEPH: This is the meaning of your dream. The three baskets are three days, and in three days the king will have you killed.
NARRATOR: Three days later, while the king was celebrating his birthday with a dinner, he sent for his personal servant and the chief cook. He put the personal servant back in his old job and had the cook put to death. Everything happened just as Joseph had said it would, but the king’s personal servant completely forgot about Joseph.

JOSEPH INTERPRETS THE KING’S DREAMS (GEN. 41:1-36)
NARRATOR: Two years later the king of Egypt had two dreams. The next morning he was upset. So he called in his magicians and wise men and told them what he had dreamed. None of them could tell him what the dreams meant.
KING’S PERSONAL SERVANT: When you were angry with me and your chief cook, you threw us both in jail. One night we both had dreams, and each dream had a different meaning. A young Hebrew servant was there with us at the time. When we told him our dreams, he explained what each of them meant, and everything happened just as he said it would. I got my job back, and the cook was put to death.
NARRATOR: The king sent for Joseph, who was quickly brought out of jail. He shaved, changed his clothes, and went to the king.
THE KING: I had a dream, yet no one can explain what it means. I am told that you can interpret dreams.
JOSEPH: Your Majesty, I can’t do it myself, but God can give a good meaning to your dreams.
THE KING: I dreamed I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river, and they began eating the grass. Next, seven skinny, bony cows came up out of the river. The skinny cows ate the fat ones. I also dreamed that I saw seven full, ripe heads of grain growing on one stalk. Then seven thin, scorched heads of grain came up. These heads of grain swallowed the full ones. I told my dreams to the magicians, but none of them could tell me their meaning.
JOSEPH: Your Majesty, both of your dreams mean the same thing. The seven good cows stand for seven years, and so do the seven good heads of grain. The seven skinny, ugly cows also stand for seven years, as do the seven bad heads of grain. For seven years Egypt will have more than enough grain, but that will be followed by seven years when there won’t be enough. Everywhere in Egypt people will be starv-ing. God has given you two dreams to let you know that he has definitely decided to do this and that he will do it soon. Your Majesty, you should find someone wise and put him in charge of all Egypt. Then appoint some other officials to collect one-fifth of every crop harvested in Egypt during the seven years when there is plenty. Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities until it is needed during the seven years when there won’t be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food.

JOSEPH IS MADE GOVERNOR OVER EGYPT (GEN. 41:37-56)
NARRATOR: The king and his officials liked the plan Joseph gave them for storing the grain during the good years.
KING: God is the one who has shown you these things. No one else is as wise as you are or knows as much as you do. I’m putting you in charge of my palace, and everybody will have to obey you. No one will be over you except me. You are now governor of all Egypt! Here is my royal ring for you to wear and keep. Here are some fine clothes for you to wear and a gold chain for you to wear around your neck. You may ride in a chariot, next to mine.
PEOPLE: Make way for Joseph!
KING: Although I’m king, no one in Egypt is to do anything without your permission.
NARRATOR: Joseph was thirty when the king made him governor, and he went everywhere for the king. For seven years there were big harvests of grain. Joseph collected and stored up the extra grain in the cities of Egypt near the fields where it was harvested. In fact, there was so much grain that they stopped keeping record, because it was like counting the grains of sand along the beach. Egypt’s seven years of plenty came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was not enough food in other countries, but all over Egypt there was plenty. When the famine finally struck Egypt, the people asked the king for food, but he said, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you to do.” The famine became bad everywhere in Egypt, so Joseph opened the storehouses and sold the grain to the Egyptians. People from all over the world came to Egypt, because the famine was severe in their countries.

JOSEPH’S BROTHERS GO TO EGYPT TO BUY GRAIN (GEN. 42:1-3)
JACOB: My sons, I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Now go down and buy some, so we won’t starve to death.
NARRATOR: Ten of Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt to buy grain. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s younger brother Benjamin with them; he was afraid that something might happen to him. Since Joseph was governor of Egypt and in charge of selling grain, his brothers came to him and bowed with their faces to the ground. They did not recognize Joseph, but right away he knew who they were, though he pretended not to know.
JOSEPH: Where do you come from?
BROTHERS: From the land of Canaan. We’ve come here to buy grain.
JOSEPH: You’re spies! You’ve come here to find out where our country is weak.
BROTHERS: No sir, we’re your servants, and we have only come to buy grain. We’re honest men, and we come from the same family—we’re not spies.
JOSEPH: That’s a lie!
BROTHERS: Sir, we come from a family of twelve brothers. The youngest is still with our father in Canaan, and one of our brothers is dead.
JOSEPH: It’s just like I said. You’re spies, and I’m going to find out who you really are. Since I respect God, I’ll give you a chance to save your lives. If you are honest men, one of you must stay here in jail, and the rest of you can take the grain back to your starving families. But you must bring your youngest brother to me. Then I’ll know that you are telling the truth, and you won’t be put to death.
BROTHERS: We’re being punished because of Joseph.
REUBEN: Didn’t I tell you not to harm the boy? But you wouldn’t listen, and now we have to pay the price for killing him.
NARRATOR: They did not know that Joseph could understand them, since he was speaking through an interpreter. Joseph turned away from them and cried, but soon he turned back and spoke to them again. Then he had Simeon tied and taken away while they watched.

JOSEPH’S BROTHERS RETURN TO CANAAN AND BRING BENJAMIN BACK TO EGYPT (GEN. 42:25-38; 43:1-34)
NARRATOR: Joseph gave orders for his brothers’ sacks to be filled with grain, for their money to be put in their sacks, and for them to be given food for their trip home. After all this was done, they loaded the grain on their donkeys and left.
BROTHERS [back in Canaan, speaking to Jacob]: The governor of Egypt was rude and treated us like spies. But we told him, “We’re honest men, not spies. We come from a family of twelve brothers. The youngest is still with our father in Canaan, and the other is dead.” Then he told us, “Leave one of your brothers here with me, while you take the grain to your starving families. But bring your youngest brother to me, so I can be certain that you are honest men and not spies. After that, I’ll let your other brother go free, and you can stay here and trade.”
BROTHERS [while opening their sacks of grain]: Here’s our moneybags!
JACOB: I won’t let Benjamin go down to Egypt with the rest of you. Joseph is already dead, and he is the only son I have left. I am an old man, and if anything happens to him on the way, I’ll die from sorrow, and all of you will be to blame.
NARRATOR: The famine got worse and Jacob’s family had eaten all the grain the brothers brought from Egypt.
JACOB: Go back to Egypt and buy some more grain.
JUDAH: We will only go and buy grain if you let us take Benjamin along! Let Benjamin go with me, and I will promise to bring him back safely.
JACOB: If Benjamin must go with you, take gifts for the governor. Also take along twice the amount of money for the grain, because there must have been some mistake when the money was put back in your sacks.
JOSEPH [TO HIS SERVANTS]: Take these men to my house so they can eat with me at noon. Give them water to wash their feet and take care of their donkeys.
NARRATOR: When Joseph came home, his brothers gave him the gifts they had brought and bowed down to him.
JOSEPH: How are you? What about your elderly father? Is he still alive?
BROTHERS: Your servant our father is still alive and well.
JOSEPH: This must be your youngest brother. God bless you, my son.
NARRATOR: Joseph rushed off to his room and cried because of his love for Benjamin. When he came back, he was served at a table by himself and his brothers were served at another. They were surprised when they were seated in front of him according to their ages, from the oldest to the youngest. They were served food from Joseph’s table, and Benjamin was given five times as much as each of the others.

JOSEPH TELLS HIS BROTHERS WHO HE IS (GEN. 44:1-17, 45:1-28)
JOSEPH: [TO HIS SERVANT]: Fill the men’s grain sacks with as much as they can hold and put their money in the sacks. Also put my silver cup in the sack of the youngest brother. Then go after them.
SERVANT:[TO THE BROTHERS]: My master has been good to you. Why have you stolen his silver cup? You have done a terrible thing!
BROTHERS: We would never do anything like that! If you find that one of us has the cup, then kill him, and the rest of us will become your slaves.
SERVANT: Here it is in Benjamin’s sack! You must come back with me!
JOSEPH: [TO HIS BROTHERS] What have you done? Didn’t you know I could find out?
JUDAH: How can we prove we are innocent? Now all of us are your slaves.
JOSEPH: Only the one who was caught with the cup will become my slave. The rest of you are free to go home.
JUDAH: Our father is a very old man. Benjamin’s brother is dead. I promised my father that I would bring Benjamin safely home. Please let me stay here as your slave and let Benjamin return home with his brothers.
JOSEPH: Everyone except these men leave the room now! [SPEAKING TO HIS BROTHERS] I am Joseph! Is my father still alive? Yes, I am your brother, Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. Don’t worry or blame yourselves for what you did. God is the one who sent me ahead of you to save lives. There has already been a famine for two years, and it will last for five more years. But God sent me on ahead of you to save you in this wonderful way. Now hurry back and tell my father that I am ruler of Egypt. Tell him to come here as quickly as he can. You will all live near me with your families, as well as with your animals and everything else you own. I will take care of you there during the next five years of famine.
KING [TO JOSEPH]: Have your brothers load their donkeys and return to Canaan and bring your father and their families back to Egypt. I will give them the best land in Egypt, and they will eat and enjoy everything that grows on it.
JOSEPH [TO HIS BROTHERS]: Here are new clothes for each of you. Benjamin, I am giving you five new outfits and 300 pieces of silver.
BROTHERS [TO JACOB, THEIR FATHER]: Joseph is still alive and he is the ruler of Egypt! He wants us all to go live with him!
JACOB: I will see my son Joseph before I die!

Joseph

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.


 

Presentation

 

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 _________________________.

Closing:

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 Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Joseph's New Duds

Script for Drama Workshop, Coat of Many Colours Rotation, adapted from the New Standard Revised Version © 2004, LD McKenzie

CAST: narrator, Joseph, lots of brothers, Jacob, man in field, Reuben, caravan of Midianite traders.



Narrator:  Once there was a man named Jacob (although he developed a limp in later life, and some folks now called him Israel).

He had many sons. One of the youngest was Joseph. He was 17 and shepherded the flock with his brothers. But he was particularly special to his dad.

Jacob:  Joseph. Come over here. I have something special for you.

Jos:  Who me?

Jacob:   Yeah, you. Check this out. Ever seen anything like it? [Holds up incredible coat for Jos to see.]

Jos.:  Oh my gosh. Dad. That is incredible. You shouldn't have.

Jake:  It was nothing.

Jos:  No really. You shouldn’t have. None of the other shepherds will be wearing one. It's so long, and those sleeves. It’ll be really hard to keep up with the sheep in that thing. And those wild colours. It'll be the dickens to keep clean. I don't know. It's just not done.

Jake:  I insist. You're just special is all. One of the last of my babies. Really, you must.

Jos:  Oh, all right.

Narr:  So Joseph started parading around the house in his fancy-schmancy coat. It really was too much. His brothers thought he looked like a clown. To tell the truth, Joseph did too. Then to make matters worse, Joseph started having these dreams. And telling everybody all about them. The family was not impressed.

Jos:  Ahem. Attention. Attention. Gather round. I have a dream to tell everyone about.

Brothers: Oh, for Pete's sake. Do we really have to listen to this?

Jos:  Yes. Listen to this dream I dreamed. There we were, binding sheaves of wheat in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood straight up. Then your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to it. Isn't that wild?

One of brothers: I'm really starting to hate this guy...

Jos[on soapbox again, in another corner of room]:  Ahem. Attention. Attention. Gather round. I have another dream to relate.

Brothers:  For crying out loud. Not again.

Jos:  Yes. I have had another dream. This time the sun, the moon and the eleven stars were bowing down to me.

Jake:  Uh, Joseph. Don't you think you're getting a little carried away?

Jos:  Da-ad. What can I do? That's really how the dream went.

Narr:  Some time after this, Jacob sent Joseph out to do some more shepherding with his brothers. Joseph likely had his head in the clouds, and he got lost. Luckily a stranger set him straight.

Stranger:  Hulloo there. What are you looking for?

Jos:  My brothers. They're probably with a bunch of sheep.

Stranger:  Now that you mention it, I did see that motley crew. They went thataway.

Jos:  Thanks!

Narr:  Since Joseph was wearing his gaudy coat which was definitely not suitable for shepherding, his brothers saw him coming a mile away.

Bros:  Let's throw him in this here pit.

Reuben:  Good idea. Just don't hurt him.

Narr:  So when Joseph caught up to his brothers, they took his coat away and stuck him down in one of the nearby pits meant for collecting rainwater. And Joseph couldn't get out.

Bros. [watching caravan of passing traders on their way to Egypt]  Hey. You thinking what I'm thinking. Right on. Let's sell him! Hey. Guys. Wanna buy a new slave? Cheap!

Traders:  Sure. Where is he?

Bros:  Down in this pit.

Traders [looking down then reaching in to get Joseph]: Up you get, buddy. You're coming with us. Here's the cash, fellas. [tossing some coins]

Bros:  Thanks. Bon voyage!

Narr:  In a rocket science revelation, Joseph's brothers were suddenly struck by the realization that perhaps their dad would be mad at them for selling their brother into slavery. So they devised this clever plan.

Reuben:  Listen up guys. I have a plan. We've got Joseph's annoying coat here. Let's rub some of this here goat's blood on it. Then we'll tell dad that a wild animal got Joseph, yeah, that's it, yeah.

Other brother:  All right.. that's a good plan.. go for it.. we hear ya...

Reuben [sniffing an onion to get some tears going]  Dad! Oh boo hoo. Dad! You won’t believe what has happened...

Jacob:  Oh my poor son. This is so terrible...

Narr:  Meanwhile when they got to Egypt, the Midianite traders sold Joseph to one of Pharaoh's high officers — the captain of the guard...what happened next is a whole other story!


THE END

Joseph

Drama/Puppet Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will act as characters in the story.

 

Memory Verses:

Ephesians 4:32 and Romans 8:28


Leader Preparations:

  • Read over the scripts.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Props/Costumes
  • Copies of the scripts.


 

Presentation

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introductions:
Welcome the children and their guide(s) to the workshop, introduce yourself, and open in prayer. Please try to start on time and end on time, and focus your attention on the children.

Post the two Bible memory verses, (Ephesians 4:32 and Romans 8:28); the children should already have their own copies. Repeat these two verses with the class before beginning to teach the lesson.

 

Open with a prayer.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Teach the lesson. If this is the first Sunday of the rotation, most children will either not be at all familiar with the story of Joseph, or will remember parts of it. Children in grades 3 – 6 should be encouraged to open their Bibles to Genesis 41 as you start the lesson. You will need to be prepared, however, to summarize key parts of this long lesson you have prepared before this class session, and to use them appropriately for the grade level of the children. Some children will be able to read along in the Bible. If it is past the first Sunday of the rotation, you should first ask the children to tell what they already know of the story, so you will know where they need more teaching or clarification. Since you will use the story in the drama, you may need to decide how much of it you really need to teach before the drama.

Due to the number of characters in this story, it is necessary to choose only a few of the key characters for the story. We can also choose to only narrate some scenes, and to have the children act the key scenes, scenes that will seem dramatic and memorable to them.

CHARACTERS & PROPS
The following characters are essential: a narrator who can read well (possibly one of the teachers), Joseph, Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, “other brothers”, and Joseph’s servant. You will probably want to provide the following props: Joseph’s silver cup, grain sacks for the brothers, a table (possibly with legs folded up, set flat on the floor), a jail, dishes, pillows or chairs, and costumes. For the change of scenes, have an actor hold up a sign that defines the scene, such as, “Joseph’s Palace”, “Joseph’s House” or “On the Road”. The scenes in Jacob’s House will be done by narration only.


JOSEPH’S REUNION

Scene I: Jacob’s House
Do this by narration only (Genesis 41:57; 42:1 - 4).
“All the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world. When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, ‘Why do you just keep looking at each other? Go down to Egypt and buy grain for us, so that we may live and not die.’”
“Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went to buy grain from Egypt, but Jacob did not send Benjamin, because he might be harmed.”

Scene II: Joseph’s Palace (Genesis 42:6 – 25)
(The ten brothers arrive at Joseph’s Palace. They walk in and bow down before Joseph, who is seated on a throne. The expression on Joseph’s face shows that he knows these are his ten brothers, but he says nothing at first.)

JOSEPH: (speaking harshly) “Where are you from?”
BROTHERS: “From the land of Canaan…we’ve come to buy grain.”
JOSEPH: (harshly) “You are spies!”
BROTHERS: “No, we’ve come to buy food. We were twelve brothers, the sons of one man. We are honest men, not spies. We have one other brother who remains with our father in Canaan, and one brother is no more.”
JOSEPH: “You are spies! You will be tested. As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. Send one of you back to get him, and the rest of you I will keep in prison! (speaking to his servant) “Put these men in prison for three days!”
SERVANT: (The servant escorts the ten brothers to the prison. Have someone hold up a sign that reads, “3 days later”.
JOSEPH: (Speaking to the brothers who are again in his palace) “Do this, and you will live, for I fear God. I will keep one brother here in prison while the rest of you take grain back to your starving households. If you’re honest and if you value your lives, you will bring your youngest brother to me soon!”
BROTHERS: (Speaking among themselves, unaware that Joseph can understand) “We are being punished because of our brother, Joseph. Remember how he cried for help when he was in the pit?”
JOSEPH: (He turns away from them, covering his face with his hands, as if in tears, then gives orders to his servant.) “Fill their bags with grain, and put each man’s money back into his sack. Put the one named Simeon back in prison.”
SERVANT: (He does as Joseph has ordered, first putting SIMEON in jail, and then filling the sacks.)


Scene III: On the road (Genesis 42:27, 28)
BROTHER 1: “Look, my money is here in my sack!”
BROTHER 2: “What is this God has done to us!”
Scene IV: Jacob’s House (Do by narration only) (Genesis 42:29 – 43:14)
NARRATOR: “The brothers returned to Jacob’s house in the land of Canaan while Simeon remained imprisoned in Egypt. They told Jacob about the harsh man who treated them as spies in Egypt, and told how they were required to return to him with their brother, Benjamin, so that they could obtain grain again and so that Simeon could be freed. For a long time, Jacob refused to send them back to Egypt. Finally, when everyone was very needy of more grain, their brother Judah promised his father Jacob that his life would guarantee Benjamin’s safety. Jacob agreed to let them return to Egypt with twice the money for payment and gifts of balm, spices, nuts and honey. Jacob trusted God for their safe return.


Scene V: Joseph’s House (Genesis 43:16 – 44:2)
(The brothers arrive at Joseph’s house with their gifts and empty grain bags.)
JOSEPH: (Speaking to his servant) “Get lunch ready, and I will return at noon to eat with these men at my house.”
BROTHERS: (Speaking to the servant) “Please, sir, on our trip home we each found our money returned in our sacks. We have returned it, and also brought more to buy grain again.”
SERVANT: “It’s all right; I received your money. Your God has provided the treasure in your sacks.”
(The servant takes the brothers to Joseph’s House and seats them around the table from youngest to eldest, as Joseph had instructed him. He also brings Simeon out of prison and to the table. The brothers get ready to present gifts to Joseph. When Joseph arrives, they all bow before him and present their gifts.)
JOSEPH: “How are you? How is your aged father? Is he still alive?”
BROTHERS: “Our father is alive and well.” (The brothers bow again.)
JOSEPH: “Is this your youngest brother?” (Speaking to Benjamin) “God be gracious to you, my son.”
(Joseph hurries out of the room, covering his face, weeping at the sight of Benjamin, his own younger brother.)
JOSEPH: (Returning to the room, speaking to the servant) “Serve the food now.” (Joseph sits by himself at another table because the Egyptians would not sit with foreigners, and he was not ready to reveal his identity to his brothers yet. The servant brings Benjamin five times as much food as the others.)
(Speaking to the servant again, where the brothers can’t hear him) “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the top of his sack. Put my special silver cup in the top of the youngest one’s sack.”
SERVANT: (Outside where the brothers can’t see him, he fills their sacks and puts their money in the top, and puts Joseph’s silver cup in the top of Benjamin’s sack.)


Scene VI: On the road again (Genesis 44:3 – 13)
(The brothers are traveling with their donkeys and their sacks full of grain. Joseph’s servant approaches them.)
SERVANT: “Why have you repaid good with evil? You have taking my master’s special silver cup!”
BROTHERS: “No way! We even brought back the silver we found in our sacks the last time. Why would we steal his cup? If you find it on any of us, that one shall die, and the rest of us will be your master’s slaves!”
SERVANT: “O.K. Whoever has the cup will be my master’s slave; the rest of you will go free.”
(The servant inspects each man’s sack, from the eldest to the youngest. The cup is found Benjamin’s sack. The brothers turn around and start back to the city.)
Scene VII: Joseph’s House (Genesis 44:14 – 45:10)
(The brothers come to Joseph’s house looking very upset. They throw themselves at Joseph’s feet.)
JOSEPH: “What is this thing you have done?
JUDAH: “How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered our guilt. We are all now your slaves.”
JOSEPH: “No, only the man in whose sack the cup was found shall be my slave. The rest of you may return to your father in peace.”
JUDAH: “If he isn’t with us when we return to our father, our father will go in sorrow to the grave! I guaranteed the boy’s safety to our father; let me be your slave, and let the boy and others return to our father.”
JOSEPH: (He motions for his servants to leave, and comes closer to the brothers. Then he begins to weep very loudly. The servants hear him, but do not come in. Then Joseph speaks to his brothers.) “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?”
BROTHERS: (The brothers now look terrified.)
JOSEPH: “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. Don’t be distressed or angry with yourselves; it was to save lives that God sent me on ahead of you. It was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me a ruler of Egypt. Now hurry back to your father and tell him I am alive, and that God has made me a ruler in Egypt. Return with your father, your wives and families, and you will live in the land of Goshen and be near me where I will provide for you.”

Scene VIII: Jacob’s House (Genesis 45:16 – 46:4)
NARRATOR: Joseph’s brothers, including Benjamin, the youngest, returned to their father Jacob’s house with many gifts and plenty of food for their families. They loaded up the carts Pharaoh had provided for their move back to the land of Goshen in Egypt with their families. Before they went, Jacob called upon the LORD. He wanted to be certain that the move to Egypt was truly in God’s will. God answered Jacob, saying, “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.” In fact, Jacob lived seventeen more years in Egypt; he lived to be 147 years old. All Jacob’s sons stayed in Egypt and raised their families there. The descendents of Jacob would not return to the land of Canaan for four hundred years, when Moses would lead them out. It was all part of God’s plan.

Discussion/journal questions:

1. Have you ever had to move from your home to a new place?
2. What good or bad things did God bring into your life because of your move? If you haven’t moved, is there some other event or events in your life that have brought about change?
3. Has anyone ever stood up in your defense when you were accused of wrong? Tell about it.
4. Jesus took the punishment for all your sins when He was crucified on the cross. Have you asked Him to forgive your sins and to take control of in your life?

 

Closing:

 

End with a circle of prayer. Be sure all who wish to pray get a turn. Remind children to return next week for their next workshop, and to bring their Bibles and a friend.


 

A lesson written by Gail Smith from: Silverdale UMC

Silverdale, WA

 

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

 

Joseph and His Brothers

Puppet Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
The children will dig deeper into the story to understand better Joseph and his father and his brothers’ feelings and motivations by using an object theatre puppet show to re-enact the story.

Scripture:
Genesis 37, 39

Memory Verse:
Deuteronomy 7:9

Additional objectives for the Puppet Workshop
At the end of the session, the students will

  • have considered the feelings which may have motivated actions in the story of Joseph and his brothers.
  • have considered how jealousy can separate us from family and friends.

Teacher preparation in advance:

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study, ...
  • Practice reading the script with feeling.
  • Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Learn the memory verse and learn the sign language to go with it (attached).
  • Confer with the Shepherd on age level adjustments needed each week (those included in the lesson plan and your own). Consider the “Stretchers” you can use, especially with the youngest children.
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model (tm) at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
  • The bin with supplies is located in the Sunday School room. Purchase or request additional supplies from -- by January 24.
  • Read about Object Theatre in Puppets, Kids, and Christian Education, especially pages 16-17, 57-58.


Room set-up:
You will need a table for the objects and a table for the “puppet stage.”

Supply List:

  • Picturebook or children’s Bible version of the story. (Use your favorite children’s picture Bible, see the list in the Teachers’ Background or check the public library.)
  • Household objects for Object Theatre: raid the junk drawer and use your imagination. Some ideas to get you started: spoons (wooden, plastic, stainless), plastic knives, cups, pencils, stapler, eraser, tools (hammers, screwdrivers, pliers), keys, batteries, salt and pepper shakers, a piece of colorful fabric, flashlight, bucket, shovel, blocks, cardboard or plastic stars, sticks, cottonballs, small baskets, plastic bottles, spools, dolls’ baby bottle, piece of burlap, ... (Make sure there are several things that you have at least 10 of that can be the brothers.)
  • Flipchart or whiteboard and appropriate markers.
  • Strong rope for tug-of-war warm-up activity.
  • Memento: smile face or emotion stickers.
  • Shepherd Time: blank plain and lined paper for older children; copies of attached form for younger.


Presentation: 

Opening- Welcome and Introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing name-tags.

We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but open with prayer if you feel led to do so.

Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today we are going to look at the story of Joseph and his brothers and then re-create it in a new and unusual way. 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Scripture/Bible Story:
Ask the children what they know about Joseph. If it is one of the earlier weeks in the rotation or many of the children are not familiar with the story, read the story of Joseph and his coat first from a picture book or picture Bible such as The Lion Storyteller Bible.

Read the scripture: Genesis 37: 2-11. [Help the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses. Remind them that ‘Genesis’ means ‘beginning’ and it is the first book in the Bible and includes the story of Creation, Noah’s Ark, Abraham, his son Isaac, his grandson Jacob and his great-grandson Joseph, about whom we are studying this rotation. It is in the Old Testament.] [We restate information about Bible organization in each workshop to be sensitive to visitors and new children in the class who may not have any knowledge of the Bible. We never want a child to feel like they do not belong because they do not know this information before they come to class.]

After reading the scripture, ask:

  • What do you think is important in this story?
  • Who are the main characters we will want to include in a puppet show? [List them on a flipchart as the children name them. If they miss some people, don’t worry -- you’ll be adding them later.

Warm-up exercises: Theater Simulation Games: (if time permits)
(adapted from 26 Ways to Use Drama in Teaching the Bible)

Conflict Tug-of-War:
This game will help the students literally feel the tension between Joseph and his brothers.
Choose two children who are about the same size — one represents Joseph and the other represents a brother. Have the two children play a game of tug-of-war and try to pull the other over a center line.
Let several pairs try this (as time permits) and then discuss:
∙ Did this help you relate to the feelings of tension between Joseph and his brothers?
∙ What caused that tension in the Bible story?

Silent Scream:
This game helps the students identify with the fear and horror Joseph felt.
Ask, “How do you think Joseph reacted to being thrown in the pit? Do you think he called his brothers to help him?” [Accept possible answers.]
“When his brothers did not help, maybe he screamed.”
Have the children scream without making a sound. Encourage them to use their entire bodies, not just their faces.
While they are doing this, say, “Scream out loud!” The sound should be deafening and they should dramatically feel the reality of Joseph’s fear. [This scream should be brief. Please be considerate of the other classes. Blink the lights if necessary to bring the class back under control.]

Application:
Object Theatre:

Ask, “What is a puppet?”
Accept all answers and then explain, “You have a lot of good ideas. Technically, a puppet is any inanimate (not alive) object that you, the puppeteer, animate — that is, you bring it to life by how you move and manipulate it.”
Pick up a spoon and show how you can make it walk along the tabletop, stop and talk to a screwdriver, and then get angry.

Show the children the collection of objects. Give them a few moments to pick up some and experiment with making them move, talk, hug, be happy, be sad, etc. These puppets have no moving parts, so actions and feelings are conveyed by how fast the objects are moving; how they move (glide, hop, jerk, ...); if they are upright, leaning or lying down; and so on.

Have the children sit down. Leave the objects spread out on the table so they can look at them. Tell the children to listen carefully as you read the script. Say:

  • Check the flipchart as I read to see if there are any missing characters.
  • You will need to decide what characteristics each person in the story has and how those can be symbolized by the objects we have. 
  • For example, think about the 12 brothers — do we have enough information in this story to have them be different objects, or should they all be the same? 
  • [older children only] Also, consider how the dreams can be made to look dreamy. [Perhaps turn off the overhead light and use the flashlight? or maybe everyone can hum ‘dream music’ in the background.]


After you have read the script, add any missing characters to the flipchart list. [You may need to prompt the children, or just add them for the youngest children.]

Tell the children, “You will be doing the casting for our puppet production. That is, you will be deciding how to use the objects on the table to tell the story. You have to agree on which objects to use for each of the characters in the story. You may also use some objects as props and pieces of scenery, but since the puppets do not have hands, we won’t worry about small props like the money the traders used to pay for Joseph. If you work together well, we will have time to do this more than once and you can try different objects in different parts.”

Go through the list on the flipchart and have the children decide which object will be each character and who will be manipulating it. Children can and may need to manipulate more than one character, especially the ten older brothers who will act mostly as a group. Remind the children to put the objects back on the table when they are not being used in a scene and that those not acting in the current scene should sit down and be the audience.

Act out the story:
Read the attached script. The narrator needs to watch the action and pause when appropriate to allow for acting out and improvising the story. The children may add dialog.

If time permits, discuss what can be improved or which objects/characters should be switched, and then do it again. (Trade parts if the children wish to do so.)

Reflect:
Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

  • I wonder why the brothers were angry with Joseph?  
  • Have you ever felt angry at someone because they seemed to be the favorite (of either a parent or teacher)? Can you tell us about it? 
  • How did the brothers feel when Joseph told them about his dream? Do you think Joseph cared about his brothers’ feelings? Do you think he knew how they felt? 
  • Have you ever felt that someone else was your mom or dad’s favorite? How did that make you feel?  
  • What are some things we should never do, no matter how angry we are? [Talk about aggression as an inappropriate way to express anger or jealousy.] 
  • What are some appropriate ways to deal with anger? What good methods have you discovered? 
  • How can God help?



Review the memory verse. Teach the children the memory verse using American Sign language (see attached instructions).

By 11:45 a.m. ask the Shepherd to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker to paste in their journal or wear home as a reminder of the story -- maybe smiley or feeling stickers.

Shepherd Time:
Older children:
Think of a time you were jealous of your brother or sister. (If there are children with no brothers and sisters, suggest they think about a time they were jealous of a friend at school, in scouts, on the soccer team, etc. or maybe even a parent who went to Disney World for a conference while he/she stayed home.)

Write about or illustrate one of the following:

  • What should I do if I feel hurt and jealous of my brother or sister or friend?
  • What should I do if I think my brother or sister or friend is jealous or angry at me?

Be as specific as possible. Rather than just write “pray,” maybe you would write “ask God to help me be kind, even if my brother can go to the game and I cannot.”


Younger children:
[adapted from Bible Quest, Fall 2000]
Work with the group to make a list of feelings and different actions to go with the feelings. Write them on the flipchart. (For example, happy: clap hands, angry: cross arms, excited: jump.) Make sure bad feelings such as angry and jealous are included.

Then have the children stand and say, “When we are (feeling) , we (action), and God loves us still.” Go through the list a few times and have the group do the action for each.

After a few rounds, give them the handout and help them copy one feeling/action from the flipchart. If time permits, they can illustrate or decorate the sheet.

This is meant to be a time of reflection and introspection. Writing about faith helps clarify lessons. In addition to the suggested activity, children may draw pictures relating to today’s scripture or memory verse, list highlights of the day’s activities, or rephrase the memory verse. The journal pages will be saved and given to the children at the end of the school year.

You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, games. See the Teachers’ Background Notes and rotation.org for ideas.


Before noon, ask the students to stop journaling for a moment and sit quietly for prayer so they can leave when their parents arrive. Allow them to finish journaling afterwards. 

Closing: 

End with a prayer:
Help the children pray for God to help them with family and friend problems.

Tidy and Dismissal:

  • Ask children to help tidy the room. Give any specific instructions for clearing the workshop room.
  • Collect the journal pages before they leave. Make sure their names and the date are on them.
  • Give everyone the parent take-home flyer the first week of the rotation; give it only to children who were absent and have not yet received it the other weeks of the rotation.

Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in the activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas, in addition to those included in the lesson plan:

Big Classes:

  • Divide the class into three groups: one group will act out the beginning, the second will act out the dreams and Joseph’s telling about the dreams, and the third can do the final portion. Those not “on stage” should sit down and be the audience. Remind them that the audience is important for feedback and encouragement and they should use the same quiet courtesy that they expect when it is their turn to be “on stage.”


Older Children:

  • If someone is a VERY good reader and does not want to do the puppets, let him or her read the narrator’s part.


Younger Children:

  • Leave out the dream part of the script, at least for the first run-through. If interest and time permits, go back and do object theatre for the dreams and Joseph telling his family about the dreams.
  • Consider having a smaller collection of objects for them to use for casting the puppet show.
  • For classes composed primarily of pre-readers, show the children how to find the passage in the Bible and then have them do it. After everyone has found the passage, have them close their Bibles and set them aside to listen while you read.

Resources

  • American Sign Language Browser: http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm
  • Costello, Elaine. Religious Signing. New York: Bantam Books, 1986.
  • Hartman, Bob. The Lion Storyteller Bible. Colorado Springs: Lion Publishing, 1995.
  • Hunter, Kurt. Puppets, Kids, and Christian Education. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2001. (Sample plans and info at http://www.huntermarionettes.com/rotation-model/ .)
  • Huntly, Alyson, editor. Bible Quest:
    Fall 2000, Multi-Age (K-8) Leader’s Guide. Session 4: “The Favorite Son Becomes a Slave.” Cleveland: Bible Quest Publishers, 2000.
  • Richards, Larry. Talkable Bible Stories. Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1995. (Source for some of the discussion questions and Shepherd Time for older children.)
  • Riekehof, Lottie L. Talk to the Deaf. Springfield, Missouri: Gospel Publishing House, 1963.
  • Smith, Judy Gattis. 26 Ways to Use Drama in Teaching the Bible. Nashville: Abingdon, 1988.
  • Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Joseph and His Brothers

Memory Verse Sign Language

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands.” (NLT)

UNDERSTAND (KNOW) The fingertips touch the forehead to indicate that knowledge is in the brain.

LORD The sign KING is made with a L handshape. (Move your hand from the chest to the waist while crossing the body. The movement indicates the location of the royal sash worn by kings.)

GOD The open right hand is raised to the heavens and then downward in a sign of respect.

INDEED (TRULY) The forefinger is upright and moves straight forward from the mouth.

GOD The open right hand is raised to the heavens and then downward in a sign of respect.

FAITHFUL (FAITH) The signs THINK and HOLD are combined. THINK: The index finger touches the forehead which is the location of the mind. HOLD: The hands hold (grip) something.

GOD The open right hand is raised to the heavens and then downward in a sign of respect.

KEEPS One of the signs for HOLD is made with K hand shapes (two fingers on each hand out).

COVENANT** The right hand takes an idea from the head and places it alongside another idea to indicated that they are the same. Formation: Move the extended right index finger from pointing to the right side of the forehead, palm facing in, down and forward to beside the left extended index finger pointing forward in front of the chest, palm down. Same sign for AGREE, AGREEMENT

THOUSAND The fingertips of one hand touch the palm of the other hand. This sign can be done with an M handshape to represent the Roman letter for the numeral one thousand.

GENERATIONS* Both open hands, palms facing back, come down from the right shoulder in a rolling motion.

CONSTANTLY (CONSTANT) The thumb of one A handshape is pressed against the thumb of the other A handshape. The repeated forward motion shows that something is ongoing or constant.

LOVES The hands hug something over the heart to indicate the concept of love.

THOSE The sign THIS is repeated as the hand moves to the side. THIS: the index finger points at something which represents this.

LOVE The hands hug something over the heart to indicate the concept of love.

HIM The pronouns he, she, and it are indicated in signs by pointing to the side or pointing directly to the person or object being referred to. (Point up when ‘him’ is God.)

OBEY The hands are pulled down in a gesture of obedience. (Start with fist near eyes and end with open hands palm up about waist level.)

COMMANDS The forefinger takes a request (order) from the mouth and sends it forth.

Most of these signs are from the American Sign Language Browser: http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm. You can see the signs demonstrated there.
* From Talk to the Deaf by Lottie Riekehof.
** From Religious Signing by Elaine Costello.


Joseph and His Brothers

Puppet Narrator's Script

(adapted from Genesis 37 & 39:2, the New Living Translation)
Copyright 2003 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.

[Narrator should pause as appropriate to allow students to act out the story with their puppets and improvise dialog.]


This is a story about Jacob’s family.
[Each puppet should bow as he is introduced.]
This is Jacob, the son of Isaac and Rebekah, the grandson of Abraham and Sarah.
Jacob had four wives and 12 sons (and also one daughter, Dinah, but she isn’t in this story).
These are the sons of Leah:
Reuben (the oldest),
Simeon,
Levi,
Judah,
Issachar, and
Zebulun.
The sons of Bilhah:
Dan
and Naphtali.
The sons of Zilpah:
Gad
and Asher.
And the sons of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel:
Joseph and
Benjamin.

This story takes place when Joseph is seventeen years old. Joseph helped his ten older half-brothers tend his father’s flocks of sheep. (Benjamin did not help, because he was the baby of the family and too young.) Joseph reported to his father the bad things his brothers did. You could say he was a tattletale.

Now Jacob loved Joseph more than all of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age of his beloved wife Rachel. So one day he gave Joseph a special gift — a beautiful robe. It was colorful. It was extravagant. It was not the usual sort of thing that shepherds wear. Joseph wore it everywhere.

Joseph’s brothers hated him because they saw that their father Jacob liked Joseph the best. They did n’t have fancy coats. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.

[Consider leaving out the following section with the youngest children so they don’t get restless.]

One night, Joseph had a dream. He told his brothers about it the minute he woke up the next day.
“Wake up! Listen!” Joseph announced. “I dreamed we were out in the field tying up bundles of grain. My bundle stood up, and then all of your bundles gathered around my bundle and bowed low before it! Isn’t that amazing?”

This dream caused Joseph’s brothers to hate him even more. “So, you are going to be our king, are you?” They taunted him. They were mean. They hated Joseph.

Then, Joseph had another dream, and he told his brothers about it, too. “Hey, everyone, listen to this dream! The sun, the moon and eleven stars bowed low before ME!”

His father heard about this dream, too. Jacob rebuked him, “What do you mean? Will your mother, your brothers, and I actually come and bow before YOU?” But while Joseph’s brothers were jealous, Jacob gave the dream some thought and wondered what it meant.

[resume reading script for younger children here]

Soon after this, Joseph’s older brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks 60 miles away in Shechem. When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Go to Shechem to see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along. Then come back and bring me word.”

“I’m ready to go,” said Joseph. He traveled to Shechem from his home in the valley of Hebron.

When he arrived in Shechem, a man noticed him wandering around the countryside in his fine coat. “What are you looking for?” the man asked.

“For my brothers and my father’s flocks. My father Jacob sent me to check on them and report back. Have you seen them?”

“Yes,” said the man. “But they are no longer here. I heard them say they were traveling about 8 miles further up the road from here to Dothan.”

So Joseph traveled on up the road to Dothan to find his brothers.

Joseph’s brothers saw him coming in the distance. They recognized him by the fine coat he was wearing. “Here comes the dreamer! Come on, let’s kill him and throw his body into a deep pit. We can tell Father that a wild animal has eaten him. Then we’ll see what becomes of all his dreams.” [evil laughter]

But Jacob’s oldest son Reuben came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him. Why should we shed his blood? He is our brother, after all. Let’s just throw him alive into a pit and let him die there. That way, he’ll die by starving to death, and we won’t even have to touch him.” (In truth, Reuben was planning to secretly help Joseph escape, and then he would bring Joseph back to his father and earn his father’s pleasure.)

So when Joseph arrived, his brothers pulled off his beautiful robe and threw him into an empty pit. As they were sitting down to eat, they saw a caravan of camels and traders in the distance.

Judah said to the others, “What do we gain by killing our brother? That would just give us a guilty conscience. Let’s sell Joseph to those traders. Then we won’t be responsible at all for his death. After all, he is our brother!”

His brothers agreed. So they pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver. The traders took him to Egypt.

Joseph’s brothers killed a goat and dipped the beautiful robe in blood. They took the stained robe to their father and asked him to identify it. “We found this in the field, sir. It’s Joseph’s, isn’t it?”

Jacob recognized it at once. “Yes, it is my son’s robe. A wild animal has attacked and eaten him. Surely Joseph has been torn into pieces!”

Then Jacob tore his clothes and put on sackcloth to show he was in great despair. He mourned like this for many days. His family tried to comfort him, but it was no use. “I will die mourning for my son,” he would say, and then begin to weep.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, the traders sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.

And the LORD was with Joseph in Egypt and blessed him greatly as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.


A lesson written by Amy Crane from: River Community Church
Prairieville, LA

Copyright 2003 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included. 

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

Joseph in Egypt

Drama Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will experience the story of Joseph while traveling from station to station. They will become part of the story in this active, personalized drama. (Adapted from Crazy Clothesline Characters.)

Scripture Reference:

Genesis 40:1 - 47:12

Memory Verse:

Romans 8:28

Additional objectives for the Drama Workshop
At the end of the session, the students will

  • encounter one of the many reversal stories of the Bible.

Teacher preparation in advance:

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study, ....
  • Become comfortable enough with the script to refer to it minimally as you travel through the stations.
  • FIELD TEST NOTE: Okay, I admit it. This lesson plan/script is way too long -- even when I talked fast!  I suggest you VERY briefly summarize the beginning scenes that are a review of the first Joseph rotation (up through his being sold into Egypt). Then, if you talk fast you should be able to get through the rest of the script. I am leaving the entire script here in case someone wants to use the first half for the Joe Part I drama workshop.
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Consider the age level adjustments needed each week (those included in the lesson plan and your own). Confer with the Shepherd on “Stretchers” to use, especially with the youngest children.
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model (tm) at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know how and where to set up the “scenes.”


Room set-up:
Take a look at your space and the script that follows and then set up stations. Some suggestions:

  • Station 1: Pasture — spread a green blanket or sheet. This should be in the center of the room so people sitting there can be the audience for things happening at other places. Grass and stars should be handy.
  • Station 2: Tent — a large piece of fabric draped over something or hung from the ceiling or a curtain rod will do. (It does not have to be big enough for everyone to get inside.) Streamers, tape and robe should be ready in this area.
  • Station 3: Pit — large paper circle on the floor. Should be next to the pasture (station 1).
  • Station 4: Egypt — hang a picture of a pyramid, a camel and a palm tree on the wall.
  • Station 5: Jail — have several chairs or a piece of fencing blocking off a corner of the room.
  • Station 6: Pharaoh’s palace — cover a chair with a fancy piece of cloth next to “Egypt” (station 4).


Supply List

  • Bible times costumes
  • green blanket or sheet
  • robe or large shirt
  • several colors of crepe paper streamers
  • masking tape
  • stole for Jacob
  • some sort of tent (a large piece of fabric hung from the ceiling or a curtain rod)
  • stalk of grass or wheat for each child (fresh or made from posterboard); cardboard stars for each child
  • large paper circle (big enough for adult to stand in this pit)
  • bag of “coins” (something that clinks)
  • several large Egyptian scenery pictures on butcher paper (such as a pyramid, a palm tree, a camel)
  • broom
  • fluffy pink boa or fake looking woman’s wig
  • piece of fencing or lattice or several chairs
  • chef’s hat
  • tray with plastic wine glass
  • small coins or play money
  • small cups for each child
  • unpopped popcorn in a large bowl
  • box with empty lunch bags standing open in it
  • large colorful piece of cloth or other decorations to make a chair look more like a throne
  • Egyptian sort of headdresses for Potiphar and Joseph (see Paper Hat Tricks) and a crown and cape for Pharaoh
  • some sort of hats for magicians
  • cows: clipart: http://www.sundayschoolresourc...oringpage3cattle.htm
  • costume jewelry — ring or necklace for Joseph when put in charge of Egypt
  • fancy cup (plastic)
  • Scripture/dialog cards (at end of lesson) with parts highlighted
  • road map
  • Memento: star stickers
  • Shepherd Time: paper with memory verse


Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing name-tags.

We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but open with prayer if you feel led to do so.

Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today, we are going on a journey from Canaan to Egypt with Joseph and also with his brothers. We will review the story from the last rotation and then you will find out what finally happened to Joseph and his family.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Scripture/Bible Story:
This is a long story, so let’s review the first part from the last rotation. What do you remember about Joseph and his brothers? [Briefly review with the children Joseph’s dreams, the coat from his father, and his brother’s jealousy. Talk about how he was sold into slavery and ended up in Egypt. Prompt them as necessary. If they give details of the second half of the story, that’s okay, but don’t spend too much time on this review.]

Very good! It’s a long and involved story, and we’ll be reviewing the whole thing in more detail in just a moment. But for those of you who have been waiting patiently, I want you to hear how the story ends. Let’s open our Bibles to the book of Genesis. [Help the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses. Remind them that ‘Genesis’ means ‘beginning’ and it is the first book in the Bible and includes the story of Creation, Noah’s Ark, Abraham, his son Isaac, his grandson Jacob and his great-grandson Joseph, about whom we are studying this rotation. It is in the Old Testament. NOTE: We restate information about Bible organization in each workshop to be sensitive to visitors and new children in the class who may not have any knowledge of the Bible. We never want a child to feel like they do not belong because they do not know this information before they come to class.]
Read the scripture: Genesis 45: 1-18. [Younger: Genesis 45: 1-11.]

Does it sound like this story ends happily ever after?
Yes, it does. At least for now. Stay tuned, and we’ll talk about that in the next rotation. But on to this rotation’s story!
[NOTE: the next rotation I was referring to was the Israelite's escape from slavery in Egypt.]



Application:

We are going to travel back in time, so first we need to put on our Bible times clothes. [Help everyone choose and put on a costume.]

Also, you need to remember our important drama workshop rule: use your imagination and pretend! Ready to have fun with the story?

Now we are going to see and relive Joseph’s story. Sometimes you will be the actors and sometimes you will just sit and watch and listen. I will pick you for different parts and we will be trading parts as we go along so that more than one person can be Joseph (but maybe not everyone). You will have more chance of being chosen if you are sitting quietly and attentively.

[Read and act through the following attached script. Movement suggestions are in [brackets]. The class should travel as a group and stay close together. Most often those not actively participating in a scene can sit in the “pasture” and watch.]

 


Reflect:
Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

[Hold up a road map.] Who knows what this is? What is it used for? [Allow brief responses.]
When you go on a trip with your parents, do they study the map, especially if it is somewhere none of you have ever been before? What would happen if your family just got in the car for vacation and said, “Let’s start driving. I know Aunt Suzie lives somewhere in Arizona”? It probably wouldn’t work, would it?

We just went on a journey with Joseph. There were some good things on that journey and some bad things. Joseph didn’t know where he was going, but he trusted God to get him safely through it all. God knows all the wonderful things He has planned for our lives. He can see the way he has planned for us to get to where He wants us. He sees all the bumps in the roads — the ones we see after we have bumped over them!

But even though we don’t know exactly where we are going or know how we are going to get there, God has given us a “map” to help us find the way. [Hold up a Bible.]

I pray that this “map” becomes part of your gear as you travel through life, on smooth and bumpy roads. Knowing what the Bible says, including stories such as Joseph’s and verses such as our memory verse, and keeping that knowledge in your heart will help you choose the right “roads” as you journey though life.

Review the memory verse.
The memory verse review was included in the script. If time permits, ask for volunteers to say it by themselves.

By 11:45 a.m. ask the Shepherd to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.

 


Shepherd Time:
Lots of things happened to Joseph, didn’t they? Some of them were good, and some were bad.

What does our memory verse tell us?

That’s right, that ALL things work together for good. If we made a simple map or timeline of Joseph’s life, it might look like this. [Hold up one of the handouts with a simple timeline for Joseph drawn (born, mother died, present from Jacob, ....]

 

See how I put smileys next to some of the things on the timeline and frownies next to the others?

Why would that be?

Take one of these forms (page with memory verse) and make a map of your own life so far. Include things like when or where you were born, starting school, getting a pet hamster, your dog dying, moving to a new house, winning a ball game, and passing the LEAP test. Put smileys next to the good things and frownies next to the hard things. If you wish you may draw little pictures to illustrate it.


[This is meant to be a time of reflection and introspection. Writing about faith helps clarify lessons. In addition to the suggested activity, children may draw pictures relating to today’s scripture or memory verse, list highlights of the day’s activities, or rephrase the memory verse. The journal pages will be saved and given to the children at the end of the school year.]

[You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, games.]


Before class time is up, ask the students to stop journaling for a moment and sit quietly for prayer so they can leave when their parents arrive. Allow them to finish journaling afterwards.

 


Closing:

 

Prayer:
Gracious Father, Thank you for watching over us and taking everything that happens in our lives, both the good things and the bad things, and working them into something good. Help us to have faith in you as Joseph did, even in the hard times. Amen.


Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas, in addition to those included in the lesson plan:

Older children:

  • one of the children can be Joseph, or they can take turns. Prompt them when needed and let them read the dialog cards. Teacher would be the narrator.


Younger Children:

  • For classes composed primarily of pre-readers, show the children how to find the passage in the Bible and then have them do it. After everyone has found the passage, have them close their Bibles and listen while you read.
  • The Shepherd should help those chosen for parts read their dialog cards. Plus, the scenes with longer and more complex dialog should be narrated.

 

Resources:


Diebel, Anne. Hat Patterns to Help Teach Bible Stories. Paper Hat Tricks, 1994. Print.
Mader, Carol. Crazy Clothesline Characters. Littleton, Colorado: Group Publishing, 2000.

Print. 

(This lesson is adapted from “Joseph: Imagination Stations,” pages 23-27.)

"Live the Adventure: Discovering God Is Everything I Need: Promiseland Summer Event."

Willow Creek Association, 1999. Lesson 8: “God Is My Planner.” (Inspiration for reflection and Shepherd time.)



Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.



Joseph in Egypt Drama Workshop Script
(adapted from Crazy Clothesline Characters and Genesis, New Living Translation)


Scene 1: (at Station 1, the pasture):
To start with, I’m Joseph and you are his brothers.
Joseph, his 11 brothers and his father Jacob lived a long time ago — after Abraham but before Moses and well before Jesus. Joseph’s brothers were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher — who were all older than him — and Benjamin, who was younger.
Our father Jacob likes me the best, and everyone knows it. You often grumble about it. [Encourage everyone to grumble.]
One day, when I was seventeen years old, one or more of my brothers did something he should not have done. The Bible doesn’t say what it was. Maybe he killed one of the sheep he was supposed to be watching and roasted it for dinner. Maybe several brothers got in a big fight. Any other suggestions? [Accept all ideas, briefly.] Maybe. The Bible doesn’t say. All it says is that I reported some of the bad things my brothers were doing. So I left my brothers to go to Jacob’s tent.
[Ask for a volunteer to be Jacob and another to be Joseph and give them copies of Dialog Card #1 with their parts highlighted. Have ‘Jacob’ stand in the tent. The tent should be nearby, so just Joseph and Jacob go to tent while the “brothers” stay in the pasture and watch this scene.]

Scene 2: (at Station 2, Jacob’s tent):
Dialog Card #1:
Joseph: Father, Father, I have something to tell you!!
Jacob: Yes Joseph, my dear son, what is it?
Joseph: Guess what my brothers have done, they have done a bad thing! [Whisper in Jacob’s ear.]
Jacob: WHAT! Have those boys come here right this instant!
Joseph: [Turn and wave the “brothers” to come over.] Oh, brothers, come here.
Jacob: [Shake finger at brothers.] You bad boys! Just for that, you will go to bed without dinner.
[Encourage the brothers to whine and grumble again.]


Scene 3: (back at Station 1, the pasture)
Later, back in the pasture, how do you think the brothers felt about Joseph? [encourage responses.]
What are some things they might have said? [I hate him! That tattletale! He thinks he’s so perfect!]

Scene 4 (at Station 2, Jacob’s tent):
I need someone to be Jacob. The rest of you are going to be craftsmen and make a colorful coat. [Have the Shepherd help the children tape pieces of streamer on the coat as ‘Joseph’ and ‘Jacob’ talk, using dialog card #2.]
Dialog Card #2:
Jacob: I want to give my dear son Joseph a present. I know, a coat! Craftsmen, make a colorful coat for my dear son Joseph! A coat like no other.
Jacob: [craftsmen finish coat and hand it to Jacob] Thank you. [Direct craftsmen back to ‘pasture.’]
Joseph, come here!
Joseph: Yes, father.
Jacob: Joseph, because you are my favorite son, I am giving you this special gift.
Joseph: Gee, thanks Dad! I’ve never seen such a colorful coat before! [hug]
Brothers: [in pasture — grumble and complain]


Scene 5: (Station 1, pasture)
Time passes.
One day the brothers are sitting in the pasture when Joseph comes up --- wearing his robe, of course.
[Give each child a long piece of grass so they can act out the dream. Pick out a new Joseph or Leader can be Joseph again.]
“Brothers, guess what! Listen to this dream I had. We were out in the field, tying our grain into bundles. My bundle stood up and then all of your bundles gathered around it and bowed low before my bundle. Can you believe it?”
[Have children throw down their grass and say “We’ll NEVER bow down to you!” Brothers grumble and pout.]

Another morning the brothers and their father Jacob [have someone stand up to be Jacob] are in the pasture, when Joseph comes running up.
[Give each child a paper star and Jacob gets a sun so they can act out the dream.]
“Brothers, guess what! Listen to this dream I had. I dreamed the sun, moon, and eleven stars gathered around me and bowed low before me. Can you believe it?”
[Have children throw down their stars and say “We’ll NEVER bow down to you!” Brothers grumble and pout. Jacob just shakes head.]
And Joseph’s father Jacob thought to himself, “Maybe God does have a plan for Joseph.”


Scene 6: (Pasture next to station 3, the pit)
One day, Joseph’s brothers are with the sheep in far-off fields. Jacob sent Joseph to check on them. (Remember, Joseph’s the family tattletale.) Joseph’s brothers see him coming in the distance. They recognize him by the fine coat he is wearing. “Here comes the dreamer! Come on, let’s kill him and throw his body into a deep pit. We can tell Father that a wild animal has eaten him. Then we’ll see what becomes of all his dreams.” [evil laughter]

But Jacob’s oldest son Reuben comes to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him. Why should we shed his blood? He is our brother, after all. Let’s just throw him alive into a pit and let him die there. That way, he’ll die by starving to death, and we won’t even have to touch him.” (In truth, Reuben is planning to secretly help Joseph escape, and then he can bring Joseph back to his father and earn his father’s pleasure.)

So when Joseph arrives, his brothers don’t even say hello. They just pull off his beautiful robe and throw him into an empty pit. [Allow children to take off your robe and push you onto the paper circle.]

“Help! Let me out!” Joseph cried. But they just sit down to eat their lunch.
“Look,” said Judah. “I see a caravan of camels and traders in the distance. What do we gain by killing our brother? Let’s sell Joseph to those traders. Then we won’t be responsible at all for his death. After all, he is our brother!”

His brothers agree.
[Pick one child to be the trader and give him a bag of coins. Allow the others to pull you ‘out’ of the well and let the trader give the brothers the money and lead you off to Egypt.] So they pull Joseph out of the pit and sell him for twenty pieces of silver. The traders take him to Egypt.

The brothers wonder, “What are we going to say to father?” [Any ideas?]
And that’s exactly what they do. They kill a goat and dip the robe in its blood and take it to their father. Come on. Let’s see what happens.


Scene 7: (Station 2, Jacob’s tent)
[Pick one child to be Jacob]
Dialog card #3:
Brother: We found this in the field, sir. It’s Joseph’s, isn’t it?
Jacob: Yes, it is my son’s robe. A wild animal has attacked and eaten him. Surely Joseph has been torn into pieces! I will die mourning for my son.

Then Jacob tears his clothes and puts on sackcloth to show he was in great despair. He mourns like this for many days. His family tries to comfort him, but it is no use. “I will die mourning for my son,” he would say, and then begin to weep.
[Have children sit in pasture again, facing Egypt.]

Scene 8: (Station 4: Egypt)
As Joseph is being taken to Egypt, questions race through his mind. Where am I going? Why were my brothers so mean? Will I ever see my father again? Why is God letting this happen to me? Does God really have a plan?
Joseph sees many strange and different things in Egypt. He sees pyramids, big cities, and people wearing different clothes and strange haircuts. He can’t understand a word that anyone says.
He is sold to a rich man named Potiphar, who works for Pharaoh. [Pick a child to be Potiphar, give him an Egyptian headdress, and have him give Joseph a broom.] Joseph is now a slave. Questions still run through his mind. Why is God letting this happen to me? Does God really have a plan?
Joseph works hard and does a good job. The LORD is with Joseph and blesses him greatly. Potiphar sees this.

Dialog Card #4:
Potiphar: [to audience] This young man Joseph, he is working really hard and doing a good job. But not only that, everything he does is successful. I think his God must be with him. He’s a good sort of man to have around!
Potiphar: [to Joseph] Young man, come here.
Joseph: Yes sir?
Potiphar: Joseph, I’m very pleased with the work you and your God are doing. I am promoting you to be in charge of all of my house and all of my business. [Give Joseph ‘Egyptian’ hat.] Wear this as a sign of your power.
Joseph: WOW! Thank you sir!
Potiphar: Keep up the good work. Now I don’t have to worry about anything except to decide what I want to eat every day!

Joseph continues to work hard.
Now, Joseph is a very handsome and well-built young man. About this time, Potiphar’s wife notices Joseph.

Dialog Card #5:
Potiphar’s wife: [wearing cheap wig or boa, flirtatiously] Oh, Joseph!
Joseph: Yes, ma’am?
Potiphar’s wife: Joseph, give me a kiss.
Joseph: Oh, no ma’am, I couldn’t do that. My master trusts me with everything! How could I ever do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God!
Potiphar’s wife: Just one little kiss. I won’t tell!
Joseph: No! [as he turns to run, she grabs his hat]
Potiphar’s wife: Help! Help!
Potiphar: [runs in] Why dear, whatever is the matter?
Potiphar’s wife: This man — this slave! He tried to attack me, but I screamed. He tried to run away and I grabbed his hat.


Scene 8: (station 5 — jail)
Of course, when he heard his wife’s story, Potiphar is furious! He takes Joseph and throws him into prison where the Pharaoh’s prisoners are kept.
But do you know what?
The LORD is with Joseph there, too, and He grants Joseph favor with the chief jailer. Before long, the jailer puts Joseph in charge of the other prisoners and all that happens in the prison. Now the chief jailer doesn’t have to worry about anything except to decide what he wants to eat every day! The LORD is with Joseph, making everything run smoothly and successfully.

Time passes. One day, the Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer [give a child the cup and tray] and the chief baker [give another child a baker’s hat] offend him. Pharaoh is so angry with them that he puts them in the prison where Joseph is.
One night the chief cup-bearer and the chief baker have dreams. The next morning, Joseph noticed the dejected look on each of their faces.

Dialog Card #6:
Joseph: Why do you look so worried today?
Cup-bearer: We both had dreams last night,
Baker: but there is no one here to tell us what they mean.
Joseph: Interpreting dreams is God’s business. Tell me what you saw.
Cup-bearer: In my dream, I saw a vine in front of me. It had three branches that began to blossom and soon there were ripe grapes. I was holding Pharaoh’s wine cup in my hand, so I took the grapes and squeezed the juice into it. Then I placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.
Joseph: I know what your dream means. The three branches mean three days. In three days Pharaoh will take you out of prison and return you to your job as Chief cup-bearer. Please, have some pity on me when you are back in his favor. Ask him to let me out of here. Tell him I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in jail, but I did nothing to deserve it.
Baker: Hey, that’s great! Tell me what my dream means. In my dream there were three baskets of pastries on my head. In the top basket were all kinds of good things for the Pharaoh, but the birds came and ate them.
Joseph: Oh. . . Um . . . . I’ll tell you what it means. . . The three baskets mean three days. Three days from now the Pharaoh will cut of your head and put your body on a pole and the birds will come and eat it.

And in three days, on the Pharaoh’s birthday, he sends for his chief cup-bearer and his chief baker. They are brought to him from prison. He restores the cup-bearer to his former position. And he sentences the baker to be beheaded and his body to be impaled on a pole. Both just as Joseph had predicted.
But the cup-bearer promptly forgets about Joseph.


Scene 9: (Station 6 -- Pharaoh’s palace)
Two more years pass. Joseph remains in jail, working hard and doing a good job for the chief jailer. And God is with him and blesses all he does.
Then, one night, Pharaoh has not one, but two strange dreams. First thing the next morning, he calls for his magicians and wise men. [choose children to be Pharaoh and magicians; cup bearer should also be nearby]

Dialog Card #7:
Pharaoh: Wise Men! Magicians! Come here at once.
Wise men: Yes sir?
Pharaoh: I had some dreams. Tell me what they mean.
In the first dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. Seven fat, healthy cows came up out of the river and began eating grass. Then seven ugly skinny cows came up out of the river. And the thin ugly cows ate the fat healthy ones! And they were still ugly and skinny! And then I woke up.
Wise men: Uh huh. Uh huh. Go on.
Pharaoh: I went back to sleep and dreamed again. This time I saw seven well-formed heads of grain on one stalk. Suddenly, seven more heads of grain appeared on the stalk, but they were shriveled and withered. And the thin heads ate the fat heads! And then I woke up.
Tell me, what do these dreams mean?
Wise men: [make up stories]
Pharaoh: those don’t sound quite right. I don’t think you really know what my dreams mean!
Wise men: Um, no.....
Cup-bearer: Today I am reminded of my failure. Some time ago, you were angry with me and the chief baker. One night when we were in jail, we each had a dream. We told our dreams to a young Hebrew man. He told us what each of our dreams meant. Everything happened just as he said it would! I was restored to my job, and the chief baker was beheaded and impaled on a pole.
Pharaoh: What are you waiting for! Bring this man here at once!
[Joseph is brought in]
Pharaoh: I had two dreams last night and none of these “wise men” can tell me what they mean. But I have heard you can interpret dreams.
Joseph: It is beyond my power to interpret dreams. But God will tell you what it means.
Pharaoh: In the first dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. Seven fat, healthy cows came up out of the river and began eating grass. Then seven ugly skinny cows came up out of the river. And the thin ugly cows ate the fat healthy ones! And they were still ugly and skinny! And then I woke up.
I went back to sleep and dreamed again. This time I saw seven well-formed heads of grain on one stalk. Suddenly, seven more heads of grain appeared on the stalk, but they were shriveled and withered. And the thin heads ate the fat heads! And then I woke up.
Tell me, what do these dreams mean?
Joseph: Both dreams mean the same thing. God is telling you what He is about to do. The seven fat cows and the seven fat heads of grain both represent seven good years. The seven thin cows and the seven withered heads of grain represent seven years of famine. God has shown you what He is about to do. There will be seven years of prosperity in Egypt and then seven terrible years of famine. And having the dream twice means the matter is decreed by God and that He will make these events happen very soon.
My suggestion is that you find the wisest man in Egypt and put him in charge of a program to collect and store food and grain during the seven good years. Then there will be enough to eat in the seven hard years that follow. Otherwise, disaster will strike the land and all the people will die.
Pharaoh: Whom shall I appoint? Hmmm. My wise men don’t seem particularly wise today. . . . Joseph! Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, you are the wisest man in the land. I appoint you to direct the project. You will manage my home and organize my people. Only I will be higher in rank than you. This is a sign of your authority. [put an Egyptian hat and a necklace or ring on Joseph.]

Joseph is thirty years old when he enters the service of Pharaoh. He is second in command of all of Egypt. Now the Pharaoh doesn’t have to worry about anything except to decide what he wants to eat every day!
God truly has amazing plans for those who trust and obey Him. [Have Joseph sit in the throne.]
For seven years the crops were good and the people brought grain to the storehouses. [Have each child take a small cup and scoop some popcorn from the bowl and pour it into one of the lunchbags in the box in front of Joseph’s throne.]

At last, the seven good years come to an end. Then seven years of famine begin. There is no rain. Crops die. People are hungry. But not for long. Pharaoh tells the people to go to Joseph. And Joseph opens the storehouses and people come not only from all over Egypt but also from surrounding lands to buy grain from Joseph, for the famine is severe throughout the world.


Scene 10: (Station 2 — Jacob’s tent)
Meanwhile, back in Canaan, there is a famine there too. Jacob calls his sons to him.
Dialog card #8:
Jacob: Sons! Come here! Why are you standing around looking at one another? I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down and buy some for us before we all starve to death.
Sons: Yes, sir!
Jacob: Wait. Benjamin, you stay here with me. Your older brother Joseph has died and you are all I have left to remind me of your mother, my dear wife Rachel.


Scene 11: (Station 6: palace)
Since Joseph is governor of all of Egypt, it is to him his brothers came to buy grain. They bow before him. He recognizes them, but they do not recognize him.
What could Joseph do to his brothers? [let children respond] He could send them away without food. He could have them killed for what they did to him. But, he didn’t.
But he did want to test them. He accused them of being spies. They said they were just brothers — 12, but one had died and one stayed home with their dad.
He finally agrees to let them go — all but one who would stay in jail until they bring back their youngest brother to prove they were telling the truth. So one brother, Simeon, is put in jail. [pick one child and have him put in the ‘jail’] The others pay for their grain and are given sacks of grain. (But Joseph had ordered that their money secretly be put back into their sacks of grain.) [Have someone take the money and drop it into the bags.]

Scene 12: (Station 2: Jacob’s tent)
The nine brothers return home. They tell their father everything.
Dialog Card #9:
Brothers: [Each brother can speak a line in turn]
The man who is ruler spoke very roughly to us!
He thought we were spies!
We told him we are twelve honest brothers, one of whom has died.
So he said we had to prove we were honest.
We had to leave Simeon there, in jail.
We were allowed to take our grain.
But we have to take our youngest brother back.
That will prove what we say about being brothers is true.
Then he will release Simeon.
Jacob: You have deprived me of my children! Joseph has disappeared. Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin too! Everything is going against me!

Then they dumped out their grain for their father. Everyone was horrified to find the money in the grain sacks!
Jacob does not let them return to Egypt with Benjamin so Simeon can be released. [Wave to Simeon, still in ‘jail.’]
But, eventually they ate all the grain that the brothers had bought in Egypt.
Finally, Jacob is convinced to let them return to Egypt — with Benjamin. They also take twice the money they need in order to pay again for the grain they bought on the first trip as well as many valuable gifts.


Scene 13: (Station 6 — palace)
The brothers hurry to Egypt. There they present themselves to Joseph.
He releases Simeon from jail and invites them all to join him for lunch. He tells them not to worry about the money in their grain sacks the first time — “We collected your money. Your God must have put that money there.”
Joseph again secretly orders that the brothers’ money be put into their grain sacks. [Have someone do this.] He also orders that his beautiful drinking cup be put into Benjamin’s bag.
The brothers are on their way home when Joseph’s household manager catches up with them.
Dialog Card #10:
Manager: Stop! Someone has repaid my master’s hospitality by stealing his silver drinking cup! Such a wicked thing you have done!
Brothers:
No way!
What kind of people do you think we are?
Didn’t we bring back the money we found in our sacks?
If you find the cup with any of us, let that one die.
All the rest of us will be your master’s slaves forever.
Manager: Okay, I’ll check your bags. But only the one who stole it will be a slave. The rest of you may go free. [check each bag — check Benjamin’s last]
Manager: Here it is! This Benjamin must remain here as a slave. The rest of you may leave. [lead Benjamin back to Joseph. The other brothers follow.]
Joseph: What were you trying to do? Did you not think a man such as I would discover who stole from me and punish him?
Judah: Oh, my lord, what can we say? How can we prove we are innocent? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves.
Joseph: No. Only the thief must stay. The rest of you go home to your father.
Judah: My lord, be patient, let me speak. I cannot go back to my father without this boy. This is the only remaining son of his favorite wife. When he sees the boy is not with us, our father will die. We will be responsible. Please lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy.
Joseph: I can bear it no longer! I am Joseph!
[brothers look terrified!]
Joseph: I am Joseph, your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it. He sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. For this famine will last five more years. God has sent me here to keep you and your families alive so you will become a great nation. Hurry! Return to my father and tell him. All of you bring your children and grandchildren and flocks and herds and all that you have. Come here and live in Egypt with me. I will take care of you. For “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Brothers: [hold up a sign with the memory verse, if necessary, and have each brother separately repeat this verse]
“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

So Jacob and all of his family come to live in Egypt. The Pharaoh gives them the best territory in the land of Egypt, the land of Goshen The people of Jacob, also called Israel, settle in Egypt. And before long, they begin to prosper there. They all said, [hold up sign, if necessary] “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

In spite of all the bad things, God had a good plan for Joseph. And God has a good plan for each of you, too!


Joseph in Egypt Drama Workshop Script Scripture/Dialog Cards


Dialog Card #1:
Joseph: Father, Father, I have something to tell you!!
Jacob: Yes Joseph, my dear son, what is it?
Joseph: Guess what my brothers have done, they have done a bad thing! [Whisper in Jacob’s ear.]
Jacob: WHAT! Have those boys come here right this instant!
Joseph: [Turn and wave the “brothers” to come over.] Oh, brothers, come here.
Jacob: [Shake finger at brothers.] You bad boys! Just for that, you will go to bed without dinner.
[Encourage the brothers to whine and grumble again.]

Dialog Card #2:
Jacob: I want to give my dear son Joseph a present. I know, a coat! Craftsmen, make a colorful coat for my dear son Joseph!
Jacob: [craftsmen finish coat and hand it to Jacob] Thank you. [Direct craftsmen back to ‘pasture.’]
Joseph, come here!
Joseph: Yes, father.
Jacob: Joseph, because you are my favorite son, I am giving you this special gift.
Joseph: Gee, thanks Dad! [hug]
Brothers: [in pasture — grumble and complain]

Dialog Card #3:
Brother: We found this in the field, sir. It’s Joseph’s, isn’t it?
Jacob: Yes, it is my son’s robe. A wild animal has attacked and eaten him. Surely Joseph has been torn into pieces! I will die mourning for my son.

Dialog Card #4:
Potiphar: [to audience] This young man Joseph, he is working really hard and doing a good job. But not only that, everything he does is successful. I think his God must be with him. He’s a good sort of man to have around!
Potiphar: [to Joseph] Young man, come here.
Joseph: Yes sir?
Potiphar: Joseph, I’m very pleased with the work you and your God are doing. I am promoting you to be in charge of all of my house and all of my business. [Give Joseph ‘Egyptian’ hat.] Wear this as a sign of your power.
Joseph: WOW! Thank you sir!
Potiphar: Keep up the good work. Now I don’t have to worry about anything except to decide what I want to eat every day!

Dialog Card #5:
Potiphar’s wife: [wearing cheap wig or boa, flirtatiously] Oh, Joseph!
Joseph: Yes, ma’am?
Potiphar’s wife: Joseph, give me a kiss.
Joseph: Oh, no ma’am, I couldn’t do that. My master trusts me with everything! How could I ever do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God!
Potiphar’s wife: Just one little kiss. I won’t tell!
Joseph: No! [as he turns to run, she grabs his hat]
Potiphar’s wife: Help! Help!
Potiphar: [runs in] Why dear, whatever is the matter?
Potiphar’s wife: This man — this slave! He tried to attack me, but I screamed. He tried to run away and I grabbed his hat.

Dialog Card #6:
Joseph: Why do you look so worried today?
Cup-bearer: We both had dreams last night,
Baker: but there is no one here to tell us what they mean.
Joseph: Interpreting dreams is God’s business. Tell me what you saw.
Cup-bearer: In my dream, I saw a vine in front of me. It had three branches that began to blossom and soon there were ripe grapes. I was holding Pharaoh’s wine cup in my hand, so I took the grapes and squeezed the juice into it. Then I placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.
Joseph: I know what your dream means. The three branches mean three days. In three days Pharaoh will take you out of prison and return you to your job as Chief cup-bearer. Please have some pity on me when you are back in his favor. Ask him to let me out of here. Tell him I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in jail, but I did nothing to deserve it.
Baker: Hey, that’s great! Tell me what my dream means. In my dream there were three baskets of pastries on my head. In the top basket were all kinds of good things for the Pharaoh, but the birds came and ate them.
Joseph: Oh. . . I’ll tell you what it means. . . The three baskets mean three days. Three days from now the Pharaoh will cut of your head and put your body on a pole and the birds will come and eat it.


Dialog Card #7:
Pharaoh: Wise Men! Magicians! Come here at once.
Wise men: Yes sir?
Pharaoh: I had some dreams. Tell me what they mean.
In the first dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. Seven fat, healthy cows came up out of the river and began eating grass. Then seven ugly skinny cows came up out of the river. And the thin ugly cows ate the fat healthy ones! And they were still ugly and skinny! And then I woke up.
Wise men: Uh huh. Uh huh. Go on.
Pharaoh: I went back to sleep and dreamed again. This time I saw seven well-formed heads of grain on one stalk. Suddenly, seven more heads of grain appeared on the stalk, but they were shriveled and withered. And the thin heads ate the fat heads! And then I woke up.
Tell me, what do these dreams mean?
Wise men: [make up stories]
Pharaoh: those don’t sound quite right. I don’t think you really know what my dreams mean!
Wise men: Um, no.....
Cup-bearer: Today I am reminded of my failure. Some time ago, you were angry with me and the chief baker. One night when we were in jail, we each had a dream. We told our dreams to a young Hebrew man. He told us what each of our dreams meant. Everything happened just as he said it would! I was restored to my job, and the chief baker was beheaded and impaled on a pole.
Pharaoh: What are you waiting for! Bring this man here at once!
[Joseph is brought in]
Pharaoh: I had two dreams last night and none of these “wise men” can tell me what they mean. But I have heard you can interpret dreams.
Joseph: It is beyond my power to interpret dreams. But God will tell you what it means.
Pharaoh: In the first dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. Seven fat, healthy cows came up out of the river and began eating grass. Then seven ugly skinny cows came up out of the river. And the thin ugly cows ate the fat healthy ones! And they were still ugly and skinny! And then I woke up.
I went back to sleep and dreamed again. This time I saw seven well-formed heads of grain on one stalk. Suddenly, seven more heads of grain appeared on the stalk, but they were shriveled and withered. And the thin heads ate the fat heads! And then I woke up.
Tell me, what do these dreams mean?
Joseph: Both dreams mean the same thing. God is telling you what He is about to do. The seven fat cows and the seven fat heads of grain both represent seven good years. The seven thin cows and the seven withered heads of grain represent seven years of famine. God has shown you what He is about to do. There will be seven years of prosperity in Egypt and then seven terrible years of famine. And having the dream twice means the matter is decreed by God and that He will make these events happen very soon.
My suggestion is that you find the wisest man in Egypt and put him in charge of a program to collect and store food and grain during the seven good years. Then there will be enough to eat in the seven hard years that follow. Otherwise, disaster will strike the land and all the people will die.
Pharaoh: Whom shall I appoint? Hmmm. My wise men don’t seem particularly wise today. . . . Joseph! Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, you are the wisest man in the land. I appoint you to direct the project. You will manage my home and organize my people. Only I will be higher in rank than you. This is a sign of your authority. [put an Egyptian hat and a necklace or ring on Joseph.]

Dialog card #8:
Jacob: Sons! Come here! Why are you standing around looking at one another? I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down and buy some for us before we all starve to death.
Sons: Yes, sir!
Jacob: Wait. Benjamin, you stay here with me. Your older brother Joseph has died and you are all I have left to remind me of your mother, my dear wife Rachel.

Dialog Card #9:
Brothers: [Each brother can speak a line in turn]
The man who is ruler spoke very roughly to us!
He thought we were spies!
We told him we are twelve honest brothers, one of whom has died.
So he said we had to prove we were honest.
We had to leave Simeon there, in jail.
We were allowed to take our grain.
But we have to take our youngest brother back.
That will prove what we say about being brothers is true.
Then he will release Simeon.

Jacob: You have deprived me of my children! Joseph has disappeared. Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin too! Everything is going against me!

Dialog Card #10:
Manager: Stop! Someone has repaid my master’s hospitality by stealing his silver drinking cup! Such a wicked thing you have done!
Brothers:
No way!
What kind of people do you think we are?
Didn’t we bring back the money we found in our sacks?
If you find the cup with any of us, let that one die.
All the rest of us will be your master’s slaves forever.
Manager: Okay, I’ll check your bags. But only the one who stole it will be a slave. The rest of you may go free. [check each bag — check Benjamin’s last]
Manager: Here it is! This Benjamin must remain here as a slave. The rest of you may leave. [lead Benjamin back to Joseph. The other brothers follow.]

Joseph: What were you trying to do? Did you not think a man such as I would discover who stole from me and punish him?
Judah: Oh, my lord, what can we say? How can we prove we are innocent? God is punishing us for our sins. My lord, we have all returned to be your slaves.
Joseph: No. Only the thief must stay. The rest of you go home to your father.
Judah: My lord, be patient, let me speak. I cannot go back to my father without this boy. This is the only remaining son of his favorite wife. When he sees the boy is not with us, our father will die. We will be responsible. Please lord, let me stay here as a slave instead of the boy.

Joseph: I can bear it no longer! I am Joseph!
[brothers look terrified!]
Joseph: I am Joseph, your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it. He sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. For this famine will last five more years. God has sent me here to keep you and your families alive so you will become a great nation.
Hurry! Return to my father and tell him. All of you bring your children and grandchildren and flocks and herds and all that you have. Come here and live in Egypt with me. I will take care of you. For “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Brothers: [hold up a sign with the memory verse, if necessary, and have each brother separately repeat this verse]
“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

 


 

This lesson was written by Amy Crane for

River Community Church, Prairieville, Louisiana. 

 

 

Copyright 2003 Amy Crane.

Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.

Printed from https://www.rotation.org

 

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

 

 

Joseph's Journey Stations (Drama) Workshop

Photo's Below include Summary of Lesson Activities: 

We adapted Amy's lesson above by doing the following:

In our case, I told Joseph's story and as we traveled through the stations I would pick children to be the characters in each story and to act out the actions as I told the stories (character props were simple head pieces and/or dream props).  I did not have the children read any scripts.  And there is a lot to get through so the teacher needs to know the story well, so they can run with it, so you can get it all done in time. 

Note:  I would normally have done this in our large open room, but that morning it was set-up for a congregational meeting and a potluck - so found myself setting up in our hallway area outside our classrooms.  As we only had a small group, it worked out fine, but for a large group you would need more space to move around. 

I had taken my camera, but as usually once you get into the lesson your too busy and forget about trying to take pictures of the kids in action - so the kids posed afterwards for a couple of pictures before I had to dash off for the congregational meeting.  So later in the day I took some photos of the station set-ups before I took everything down.

6 Stations of Joseph's Journey were set-up and traveled through by the children. 

  1. Jacob's Tent & Colored Coat
  2. The Pasture & Joseph's Dreams
  3. The Pit (Well) & Slave Traders
  4. Egypt - Potiphars' House
  5. Pharaoh's Prison / Baker & Cup Bearer Dreams
  6. Egypt - Pharaoh's Palace, Dreams, and Grainery

 

Stations View

Joseph Stations XXJoseph Stations ZZ

Station 1: Jacob's Tent & Joseph's Coloured Coat

Jacob's Tent - used a kid's pop-up play tent.
Making Joseph's Coat ActInteractive Storytelling Josephs Coat Kids Createivity:
On the floor I laid a white bathrobe (from our costumes cupboard) and gave each child several *colored strips and they transformed Joseph's plain coat into Joseph's amazing coloured coat—simply by laying their coloured pieces randomly on the coat. It looked pretty cool when they were done as pictured and we can redo this activity year after year.

*The coloured strips I used were from the doorway curtain to our movie theater seen in the photo under Station 6 below. The curtain is no longer available from "Ikea", called a "Vitaminer Drape Room Curtain Divider Rainbow". It was too long for our doorway so theses are the pieces I'd cut off.

To adapt this idea you could simply cut out narrow 1" x 10" strips of paper in several different bright colors.  If you don't have a white bathrobe, simply cut out a coat shape from white or brown paper.

Station 2: The Pasture & Joseph's Dreams
Joseph Stations ZZ

Pasture: green blanket and large stuffed sheep.

Jacob dream props:   Glow in the dark: stars, sun & moon. Plastic wheat. (All from a dollar store).

 Interactive Storytelling Josephs Dream 2

 

 

 

 

 

Station 3: The Pit (Well) & Slave Traders

 

Joseph's Pit (Well)

I racked my brains on how to make an interactive well  (one the kids could get inside) and had a God inspired moment and came up with the design pictured below.  It also stores FLAT!

Attached to this lesson:  DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING PIT (Well) see pdf file at end of this lesson.

 Interactive Storytelling Pit 1Interactive Storytelling Pit 2

 Interactive Storytelling Pit 3Interactive Storytelling Pit 4

 Joseph being led away by Slave Traders

Interactive Storytelling Slave Traders Buy Jospeh

Camel: 

I didn't make him, and do not know who did, so here's the best description I can give of how he looks to be put together. Interactive Storytelling Slave Traders Camel

1) The base is an old skateboard - so the camel can be pulled. 
2) Th
e camel's body was cut out of two pieces of cardboard.  Along the bottom of the camel there is extra area left to create a square (see photo) part of this square area is unseen as it is folded and runs (the width) of the skateboard (both sides of the camel).
3) There is a 2x4, the length of the skateboard, that has been laid on top of the two pieces of folded cardboard and screwed down through the cardboard into the top of the skateboard. 
4) To hold the camel upright, there are also two pieces of 2x4, okne between each leg - vertical, these are attached to the 2x4 on top of the skateboard.
5) He has been glued (glun gun assuming) along the edge from his tail area, up and around his head and part way down his neck.
6) On both sides he's been spray painted brown and then, his features were highlighted with blank paint: hoofs, eyes, ears, mouth, nostrils.  He's missing his tail.  A red cord around neck.  Hanging over camel's hump is a money pouch for the slave traders to buy Joseph from his brothers.

Station 4: Egypt-Potiphars's Home

Joseph Stations TT

Station 5: Pharaoh's Prison / Baker & Cup Bearer Dreams

Pharoahs-PrisonMoving%20Wardrobe%20boxCovering Jail with Rock Wall

We made our prison from a used "Wardrobe Moving Box" we had on hand (a fridge box would work as well). I cut open one corner, so I could lay it flat, then on the outside I glued on corrugated rock wall paper from Group Publishing.  I cut the "rock wall" paper into four sections so there would be a gap along each corner edge, to allow it to fold easily for storing when not in use (folds flat to an approx. 5"-6" thickness).  The white window was cut from a sheet of Polystyrene we had and I cut up dowel rods and inserted for bars. Glued the whole thing on, but it didn't hold so my plan is to bolt it on at the four corners with bolts and nuts.

Cupbearer and Bakers Dream Props

Dream props:
Baker (kid's play chef hat, bread basket with toy pieces of bread, and a raven finger puppet.
Cupbearer: gold plastic tray, plastic grapes and wine glass. 
Other: Toy cuffs and metal keys on a ring for added fun.

Station 6: Pharaoh's Palace, Dreams, and Grainery

Joseph Stations UU

Grainery - bottle of unpopped corn, lunch bags opened, cups for pouring.


 Resources:

  • River Community Church, Joseph in Egypt Drama Lesson by Amy Crane (above)
  • Crazy Clothesline Characters, by Carol Mader, Group, 2001, 9780764421402.  (Out of Print - copies new and used can still be found on-line).  Page 23-27 Imagination Stations (Joseph)

 

A lesson by Luanne Payne, Hampton U.C.
Hampton, ON

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