Drama or Puppet Lessons, Ideas, and Activities for Teaching Moses' Birth to Burning Bush in Sunday School

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Moses: Baby to the Burning Bush, ...Moses, Genesis 3, Genesis 4, Midian, Staff of Moses, Let my people go, Pharaoh, Egypt, etc. Bible lessons about Moses -with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc. Use the "Post Reply" button below to post your drama or puppet lessons, ideas, and activities for Moses' Birth to Burning Bush in Sunday School.

 Take me to the lessonsBe sure to check out the Drama and Puppet workshop lessons in the Writing Team's Exodus: Through Water and Wilderness lesson set.




Note: Different churches break up the Exodus Story in different ways. Some of the following Burning Bush lessons/ideas may also cover Moses and the Burning Bush. You may also find Burning Bush lessons/ideas as part of OTHER lessons in other parts of the Exodus forum.

Original Post

Moses and the Burning Bush

Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Acting out the story using a script with a focus on emotions Moses would have gone through. Has suggestions for modifying for non-readers (younger children).

Concepts:

  • We don’t have to be perfect to do God’s work.
  • God gives us the ability to do God’s work.
  • God is with us always.


Scripture Reference:

Exodus 3:1-4:17, with emphasis on Exodus 3:1-15.

Memory Verse:

"I will be with you always, even until the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20b).

 

Lesson Objectives:

  • Children will become familiar with the story of Moses and the burning bush by acting it out.
  • By acting and discussion children will explore Moses’ emotions as he talks to God.
  • The class will understand that God asks us to do God’s work. Even though sometimes we are scared or unsure, God is with us.

Teacher preparation in advance:

  • Read the scripture passages. Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.


Supply List

  • Map or globe
  • Bible
  • Costumes
  • Burning bush
  • White glove
  • walking stick
  • toy snake
  • Container of water/”blood”
  • Sheep costumes if desired


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself.
2. Tell children that they will act out the story of Moses and the burning bush.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Scripture/Bible Story:
1. Have the students use their bibles to locate the scripture (Exodus 3:1-4:17). Make sure that all children are able to locate Exodus. Assist the kids having trouble.

2. Once all children have located the passage, read it together as a group. They may take turns reading or you can read it to them.

3. Discuss the passage. Explain that the Israelites (people from Israel) were forced to be slaves in Egypt. Show these areas on a map or globe. The Egyptians were cruel to the Israelites and at one point even killed all newborn Israelite baby boys. Exodus 2:23-25 is a good description of the Israelite’s unhappiness. Also explain that leprosy is a skin disease which was common and feared.

Application:
1. What emotions did Moses (or would you) feel if he/you.Show me your reaction if you...

…saw a burning bush

…heard God call your name

…God told you that you would be a leader

…saw your walking stick turned into a snake

… suddenly developed leprosy on your hand

…saw water turned into blood

Discuss these emotions with children and act out your emotions and reactions.

2. Ready- Select actors (Moses and God have a lot of dialogue, if desired you can have these roles shared, one child does Moses the first half, the second child does Moses the second half, etc.) Actors: Moses, Moses’ father-in-law, Gershom (Moses’ son), God, Sheep, Aaron. One prop handler would be useful to turn on the bush, etc.

For the younger children, pre-record the lines on audio tape and have them add the actions or a workshop leader could play God (who has the most lines) and assist the children with words when necessary.

3. Set- Scene setup: have actors put on costumes. Set up “burning bush”. Give Moses a cane to use and make sure the prop handler knows how to turn on the bush and has the snake, white glove, and blood/water props ready. God can be behind a sheet curtain or another special place. A microphone to give God’s voice a booming quality would be nice if available.

4. Action: Start action at one end of great hall and progress through the play to the stage (mountain). Have scripts copied for each actor with lines highlighted. Remind children that italicized words in parentheses are stage directions not words to be read out loud. Encourage the children not to worry too much about the words and to take time to add emotion and action into the play.

Sharing and Discussion:

1. What does God mean when he talks about a land of milk and honey?

2. Does Moses think he is ready to do what God has asked? Does God think Moses is ready?

Moses doesn’t think he can do it. He asks, “Who am I to go to a king?” and “Suppose no one believes me?” Then Moses says that he is not a good speaker.

God thinks Moses is ready and helps him with encouragement, showing him he can do miracles and finally by letting Moses’ brother come too.

3. Has God ever asked you to do difficult things that you feel unsure of?

Examples of difficult things God asks us to do may be forgiving our enemies, doing the right things all the time etc. We can talk to God like Moses did and he will be with us.

Journal time:
Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals 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.

Prompts for journal writing: Write or draw about the following (or another of your choosing): How do we know God is with us when we are unsure or scared? What abilities do children have to do God’s work?

 

Closing:

Prayer:
Ask for prayer concerns. Lead a prayer. Suggestions include thanking God for giving us the ability to do His work, and for being with us when we are unsure like he was with Moses in the desert. Amen


Moses and the Burning Bush Drama Script

Moses and his son Gershom are taking care of their sheep (feeding, watering, brushing, etc.)

Gershom: Dad, why do the Israelites in Egypt have to work so hard all the time and why does the king always boss them around?

Moses: Well son, the Israelites in Egypt have been slaves of the king for a long time. It is a hard life being a slave.

Gershom: I wish they could be free

Moses: Yes, I do too.

Father-in-Law (walks over to Moses) Hi Moses, will you please take our sheep out to graze, they are running out of grass around here.

Moses: Yes, I think I’ll lead them across the desert to the mountain where it’s green.

Gershom: Bye, Dad.

Father-in-Law: Bye, Moses, Thanks.

Moses waves goodbye, gathers sheep and walks toward “mountain”. Approaches bush. Prop handler turns bush on.

Moses: (holds hand up to eyes, looks into distance at the bush) Hey look over there! What is that? It looks like a bush is burning. It is! How weird! The bush is flaming but it isn’t all burned up; I wonder why?

God: (booming voice) Moses!

Moses: (startled) Here I am.

God: Stay right there. Don’t come closer. Take off your sandals. The ground where you are standing is holy.

Moses kicks off sandals, hides face, trembles.

God: I have seen how my people are being treated badly as slaves in Egypt. I have heard them cry. I want to bring my people out of Egypt into a land rich with milk and honey. Now you go to the king and tell him. You will lead the people out of this country.

Moses: Me? I’m not a very good leader.

God: I will be with you.

Moses: What if I go to my people and tell them the God of your fathers has sent me to you and they ask me, what is his name? What shall I say?

God: Tell them “the Lord, God of your fathers has sent me to you”. Tell the leaders of Israel that I promise to lead them to a new and better land: they will believe you. The king of Egypt won’t let you go unless I force him to, so I will have to make some miracles. Then he’ll get mad and send you away.

Moses: What if no one believes me?

God: Throw down your walking stick.

Moses throws down stick. Prop handler swaps snake for stick. Moses jumps back, screams.

God: pick it up by the tail

Moses picks up snake. Prop handler takes snake, hands Moses the stick.

God: Do that with your stick and they should believe you. Next, put your hand in your shirt.

Moses puts white glove on and brings hand out of shirt, looks at hand and is amazed.

God: See, now you have leprosy. Put your hand in your shirt again.

Moses puts hand in shirt and removes glove, he is amazed.

God: These miracles will help you convince the king but if they don’t work I have one more. See that water from the Nile?

Moses: Yes, here it is.

God: Pour it out and see it turn to blood.

Moses: (turns bottle over, water is red, he is amazed) God, I’m not a good speaker, it makes me nervous to talk to a lot of people.

God: I will give you the ability to speak and I’ll be with you.

Moses: (whines) Please, please, God, let someone else do it.

God: Moses, I’m getting cross with you! Okay, I’ll let your brother Aaron help you. He will speak and you tell him what to say. Look, here he comes now.

Aaron: (waves) Hey Moses, wait for me!

Moses: Hi Aaron, guess what just happened. We have an important job to do and then we’re going to the land of milk and honey.

Moses and Aaron walk off with sheep.


 

A lesson written by Catherine from: Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church

Cary, NC


These lessons are copyrighted by the Kirk of Kildaire and may be used for nonprofit purposes only.

 

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

 

Moses and the Burning Bush

Puppet Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Using a modern day puppet skit the children will learn we can all do God's work, anytime, anywhere, any age. No modifications for non-readers.


Concepts:

  • We don’t have to be perfect to do God’s work.
  • God can call us anywhere, anytime, for any reason.


Lesson Objectives:
This workshop will focus on helping children understand that anyone can be called by God to do a job for God. The person who is called may feel completely inadequate for the task, but the Bible story makes it clear that God provides help for the person to complete the task. God clearly and specifically called Moses. Moses tried to deny the call and even begged God to let someone else do the job. But God was firm—God would help Moses and Moses could do the job even though he felt inadequate for it.


Teacher preparation in advance:

  • Read the scripture passages.
  • Make 10 copies of each script.
  • Highlight the scripts so there are two for each part. The extra two copies can be posted behind the stage or used by the workshop leader or shepherd.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, along with meditative music for reflection time.
  • Props/Costumes


 

Presentation

 

Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.


Tell the children that today they will use the puppets to learn more about being called by God to help do God’s work in the world.

 

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Story:
1. This is a very long reading—too long for most children to benefit from hearing the entire story read from the Bible. For the first two weeks of the lesson, a children’s Bible storybook might be helpful for retelling the story. Some possible titles are "The Children's Bible in 365 Stories" or "The Family Story Bible". Another option is to retell the story in your own words.

2. After reading/telling the story—or on the third-fifth weeks of the rotation when the children are already familiar with the story, begin a discussion of it with the following questions.

  • Was Moses expecting to be called by God? —No, he was very surprised. He was just tending his sheep when he discovered the burning bush.
  • How did Moses respond to God’s call? -He was very reluctant to take on this job. He did not feel adequate to speak to Pharaoh and to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Help the children remember or find in their Bibles that Moses tried four different times to tell God that he couldn’t do the job. These are found in Exodus 3:11, 4:1, 4:10 and 4:13.
  •  Did God accept Moses’ reasons for not becoming the leader? —No. Each time Moses told God why he couldn’t do the job, God answered that God would help Moses.

3. Continue the discussion with questions similar to the following:

  • Does God still call people to do jobs? Answers will vary, but suggest that indeed God needs people to help others. God is not present physically, so God calls people to do God’s work in the world.
  • What kind of jobs does God call people to do? —Again answers will vary—but certainly jobs of healing, peacemaking, preaching, encouragement, teaching, sharing kindness, and such should be included.
  • Who does God call to do these jobs? When does God call people to help? Does God call children to help?

For these questions, allow the children to say whatever seems appropriate and do not provide much feedback or your own opinion. Tell them that the puppets today will help give some answers to these questions, too.

Application:
1. Divide the group into two groups of eight. Adjust the groupings for the numbers of children. One part (Mr. Howard/Dad) is very small (one line) and could easily be read by the workshop leader, shepherd or two parts read by one child. Alternately, there is a one-line introduction. The same person who reads the introduction could also read Mr. Howard.

2. Give puppets to four children in each group and give scripts to the other four. Volunteer Moderator assumes that if you have only four children they would read from script and manipulate puppet. If you have more than four children, they could take turns being the voice or the puppet. Tip: I pin the script pages to the curtain for ease of children reading the script and leaving hands free to manipulate the puppet.

3. Allow the children a few minutes to decide who is manipulating which puppet and to read over the script.

4. Have the first group come to the stage to perform their script.

5. Repeat with the second group.

6. After both groups have done the script, ask the class to put the puppets away and sit down for a time of discussion

Wrap-up:
1. It seems the similarities between the play and the Bible story are obvious and should not require much discussion. But if you feel children have not grasped the similarities, spend a few minutes highlighting them.

2. Repeat the earlier questions:

  • Does God call children to help?---Certainly! Children can be very helpful to God.
  • When might God call you to help?---Anytime, anyplace.
  • Will you always feel you are capable of helping?--- No, not necessarily.
  • Will God help you do the job you have been called to do? Certainly—just like God provided help for Bradley, Christopher, and for Moses. God gives us help, too.


Reflection Time (Journal):
1. For the younger children (first and second graders) ask them to write the following title on their page. “I can help God.” Then ask them to draw a picture of themselves doing something helpful for someone else.

2. For older children ask them to write a list of at least four things they can do to help God. If children are having trouble with this—you could narrow the focus by asking what jobs they could do to be helpful for others at school, at church, or at home.

 

Closing:

Prayer:
Close with a simple prayer about being open to God’s call to help others even when we feel we can’t do much. Thank God for giving us the ability to do the jobs God asks us to do.


Puppet Script: I CAN’T DO IT!

STAGE NOTE: Have the Mrs. Norris puppet and the Bradley and Chris puppets on opposite ends of the stage at the beginning. It should seem as if Bradley and Chris can't see Mrs. Norris.

INTRODUCTION: Mrs. Norris lives alone and is 80 years old. Every morning she takes a walk through her neighborhood. (Workshop leader or shepherd can read this)

MRS NORRIS: (WALKING ALONG LOOKING ALL AROUND) “This is a lovely day for a walk. It’s so good I can get out. I’m really lucky.” (MRS NORRIS SUDDENLY FALLS TO THE GROUND) “Oh, no!!! What have I done? My leg hurts!! I must have tripped. (STARTS TO CRY) I can’t stand on my leg! How can I get home? What will I do? HELP!! HELP!!”

BRADLEY: “Do you hear something, Chris?”

CHRIS: “Yea, sort of. It sounds like someone crying.”

BRADLEY: “Let’s get out of here. We can’t help.”

CHRIS: “Yea, we’re only kids. What if it’s something bad?” (TURNS MOVES IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION FROM MRS. NORRIS)

MRS NORRIS: “HELP! Someone PLEASE help me!”

BRADLEY: “Oh man, I hear it again. We got to get out of here.”

CHRIS: “Oh, I don’t know, Brad. Whoever it is sounds like they really need help.” (PUPPETS STOP MOVING AWAY)

BRADLEY: “I’m afraid to help. What if it’s a stranger?”

CHRIS: “Well, maybe we can knock on somebody’s door and get some help.”

BRADLEY: “I wish I had my Walkman on so I couldn’t hear anything. I don’t like this at all.”

MRS. NORRIS: “HELP! PLEASE!”

CHRIS: “Come on. We've got to see what is going on.” (MOVING QUICKLY TOWARD MRS. NORRIS)

MRS. NORRIS: “Oh, kids, I’m so glad you’re here. I fell and I can’t get up. Help me!”

BRADLEY: “We can’t do anything. You’re a grown-up and we’re kids. This is no job for us. I got to get home. I’m sure my mom is missing me.”

CHRIS: “Ok, listen, Brad, we can’t leave her here. You go home if you want, but how ‘bout telling your mom to get over here right away? I’ll stay here ‘til you get back.”

BRADLEY: (TURNS TO GO--MUMBLES TO HIMSELF) “Doesn’t that lady have a cell phone? Can’t someone else help her? I don’t want to do this.”

CHRIS: (TO MRS NORRIS) “My name is Chris. I’ll sit here while Bradley talks to his parents. I don’t think I should try to help you up. Say, are you cold? Want my jacket? Want to lean back against the tree? That might feel better.”

MRS. NORRIS: “Thank you, Chris. I really want to get up and walk home. I feel so silly sitting here, but my leg really hurts.”

(THEY SIT QUIETLY FOR A FEW MINUTES UNTIL BRADLEY AND HIS DAD COME ALONG)

CHRIS: “Hey, Brad, I knew you’d help in the end. Thanks for bringing your dad.”

MR. HOWARD: “Let’s see if we can get you up. We know the fireman’s carry from Scouts, so if you can’t walk, we can still carry you. You’ll be doing much better when you don’t have to sit under that tree anymore.”

MRS. NORRIS: “Thank you SO much. My prayers were answered!”


 

A lesson written by Catherine from: Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church

Cary, NC   

 

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

 

Moses and the Burning Bush
Drama or Puppet Workshop Script
 
Originally posted by LDM:
ON HOLY GROUND
(The story of Moses & the burning bush)

Summary of Lesson Activities:
A fun "Goofy" Burning Bush Script.

Script for the Drama Workshop, Burning Bush Rotation © November 2006, LD McKenzie (adapted from the New Revised Standard Version)

CAST:
  • Sheena the Sheep (who is the narrator)
  • Moses
  • Sherman
  • Sheldon (Sheep)
  • Sharena (Sheep)
  • Burning Bush
  • other sheep
PROPS:
  • Tunic costumes
  • shepherd's staff
  • sandals
  • sheep ears
  • burning bush screen to read behind. Or hairband with orange construction paper flames attached. Or a red/orange tunic/cape/ wrap or shawl.

****************
Script:

Narrator (Sheena the sheep):
You will all remember my friend Moses.

[Other actors mime out this flashback part of the narrative.]
Once he lived like a prince in the palace in Egypt. He was the adopted son of the Pharaoh’s daughter.

But things got a little, er, woolly while he was there. So that’s how he ended up here, tending sheep.

He did well for himself. Married a nice girl from Midian named Zipporah, and they have a couple of boys. The boys are okay. They play a little rough, but that’s boys for you.

Well, one day something incredible happened while we were out on the mountaintop with Moses. My friends Sheldon, Sherman and Sharena and I, and the other sheep were all there.

Then all of a sudden all we saw was this huge flash of light.

Moses: Whoa! What on earth is that?

Sherman: Looks like a fire, boss.

Sheldon: Looks more like a tree with flames for leaves, if you ask me.

Sharena: Well it sure is pretty. And it’s handy – this way Moses won’t have to start a fire to warm his shepherd’s pie.

Moses: [Squinting] Yeah, guys, but I’ve never seen anything like this. The fire just keeps going. The tree isn’t burning up. Think I should take a closer look?

Sherman: I don’t know, boss, could be risky.

Sheldon: I would if I were you. What have you got to lose. It’s neat!

Sharena: On the one hand, it could be dangerous. On the other hand, it could be exciting.

Moses: Okay, well just a few steps closer couldn’t hurt.

Bush: Moses! Moses!

Moses: [falls backward on the ground in shock] That’s my name. Don’t wear it out.

Bush: Don’t come any closer. And take off your sandals, for goodness sake. You are standing on holy ground, man.

[Moses kicks shoes off, embarrassed.]

Bush: I know you’re thinking it, so I’ll tell you…. I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

Moses:[throwing arm across his eyes to shield from light] Holy smokes.

God: I have seen how bad the situation is for my people in Egypt. Slaving away for the Egyptians, building bricks day and night. I am going to lead them to a better place, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am going to send YOU to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.

Moses: [in shock] MMMMMM...me????

Sherman: [whispering] Sounds risky. Tell him you’re busy.

Sheldon: Chicken.

Sharena: On the one hand, it’s a big scary job. On the other hand, someone’s got to do it. Looks like the scary bush has picked you.

Moses: [aside to sheep] Let me handle this… Ahem. Well, thanks God. But why me.

Bush: I will be with you.

Moses: That’s nice. Okay, so I go to the Israelites and say, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you.” Then what if they say, “Yeah, right, sure. What's his name?” What am I supposed to tell them?

Bush: Tell them my name is “I AM WHO I AM.” Tell them, “I AM has sent me to you.”

Moses: [pushes deep breath out] You make it sound pretty easy. Of course, there’s the small matter of the Pharaoh and his army for starters….

Sherman: You gotta do it.

Sheldon: He’s right, you do.

Sharena. No two ways about it. You’re the one. You’ve gotta do it.

Moses: [to bush] Can I bring my advisors?!

THE END


Other neat ideas in this lesson set include: arts/pinlight suncatchers or holy ground flip flops; kitchen/Burning bush chili; computer/Exodus adventures. Click here for more detail.
 
 

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