Skip to main content


This thread has been collecting "ideas for Joseph" for many years and we invite you to add your great lesson ideas for teaching Joseph.

Add your ideas by clicking REPLY.

But... if you have a complete workshop lesson plan, please add it in the correct Workshop thread in this Joseph forum.

This thread contains some Teacher Background and Resources notes as well.

Gingerbread Family Tree

For the idea of a gingerbread family tree, I thought Jell-o Jiggler people would be a lot of fun, too. Kids could cut them out with cookie cutters and decorate them with whipped cream and red vines. It could be a good oppotrunity to review how the stories in Genesis are connected.

Note: How did the brother's have "spines like jello" when it came to standing up for their brother?

Joseph's Coat

Posted by Lisa M.

We are in the process of making a Joseph's coat of many colors from donated used neckties. The children cut the back seam of the ties, remove any lining and lie them flat. They also trace and cut out double faced interfacing. Then they decide where the fabric should go and an adult irons the ties in place. When all groups are done, a seamstress trims up the rough edges and makes a complete coat -- it's looking very interesting.

Posted by Krista Lovell

Want art to be "the process" instead of the result?
For the story of Joseph we did marbelizing. Mixing the colors and watching the swirls change was a great way to illustrate all the changes in Joseph's life! We swirled for most of the lesson time, then made our prints. Again, the lesson was in the process - not the "finished product".

The process of using shaving cream is described at

Here's another good site

and from it I quote:

  • You can do shaving cream marbling with just about any paints, not just liquid watercolors. We’ve done this with tempera paints, BioColors, food coloring, and acrylics. BioColors and liquid watercolors work especially well, though.
  • Scraping the shaving cream off the paper right away is important. You don’t want to let the shaving cream soak into the paper. It’ll get gunky and stain the paper.


"Boasting Bubbles"
Posted by Julie Grendahl

...we discussed how boastful Joseph was. We created "boasting bubbles" on the tables. Students used straws to blow mounds of shortlived bubbles of what we boast about. A lot of creating with nothing to show for it! The kids loved it!

Moderator adds: here are a couple of websites on making table top bubbles.

"Talesin the Temple Tent"
cdale posted:

We are just completing our Joseph rotation and here is what we did. Our first site (workshop) was the "Tales in the Temple Tent".

On the first rotation Sunday, Bahiti, the Egyptian storyteller, who had been a young girl in Potiphar's house and thus met Joseph and knew his story, invited the children in for a full 45 minute story telling session. I (as Bahiti) had props to go along with the story such as a colored coat, sheaves of grain, wooden star, a plate of grapes we passed around when discussing the butler's dream, etc. It was amazing how well the students stayed focused and loved the telling of the story.

We had 2 sets of rotation, three weeks each. The first set had the children visiting a map making site where they plotted Joseph's journey, a Mattress Factory where they layed on air matresses and talked about dreams, and Potiphar's house of games, where an obstacle course was set up (complete with a pit and some brothers to toss the kids into it) to emphasize all the obstacles Joseph faced.

The second set of sites was Joseph's coat factory where everyone got to make a colored coat, a Big Brother's Bakery where they learned about grain and then baked a treat, and the Pyramid Theatre where they got to act out various scenes from the story.

Each Sunday throughout the rotation the students started in the tent where we quizzed them about last week's lesson and practiced two songs from the Amazing DreamCoat video. Also, we had handouts to go home each week (quiz/coloring/word search) and if the students brought them back they got to pick from a box of prizes (dollar store!). This really kept them involved throughout the week. Next Sunday we are doing a presentation for the congregation and every student will participate and then receive a Certificate for completion of the series. The certificate awards them dreamer status and states: This certificate awarded to "Bethany the Dreamer", etc.

They have learned so much! Last week a three year, when the question of where to locate the story of Joseph in the Bible, called out "Genesis 37"! Hope this helps.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Balanced Mobiles


We made mobiles to tell Joseph's story during our rotation focusing on Joseph forgiving his brothers.

We began by talking about how our lives can get unbalanced when we are mad at others and only by fixing the relationships can we re-balance our lives. (This is a restorative justice concept if you wanted to go into that with the older children).

Each child had a hanger and they hung different objects from it to represent the different parts of the story. Then they had to make their mobile balance at the end. I also printed out the memory verse and they put that on their project as well.

I tried to find two different things for each part of the story so that each mobile would end up different. I searched all the local craft stores for items that would weigh different amounts.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Layered Soup Jars


We have a Joseph rotation in our future so I've just started looking for some's one that I have in my save folder..layered soup jars, where you take the dry ingredients and place them into wide mouth mason jars carefully so they look like sand art. Thinking that the kids could make 2; one to take home and one that we could give to either our food closet or our shut ins, and I would tie this into the brothers coming to Joseph for food.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Dirt Pudding

Potter's Workshops use to have a free lesson set available for download at their website, (Moderator adds: unfortunately Potter's Workshops closed their site on 1/1/2020) which included a cooking lesson. It's actually "dirt pudding" using crushed Oreos which ties it to the lesson by talking about Joseph's life being "crushed" but through God his life was made into something "good", like the final pudding dessert product. We have used this lesson and the kids not only liked it, they got it! We added an extra step by putting the pudding mix and milk in a large jar and letting the kids take turns shaking it up, saying something that they've felt hurt or jealous about. While the pudding "set" we prayed.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

"Joseph's Coat of Many Colors Treats"


You could use Fruity Pebbles instead of Rice Krispies to make "Fruity Pebbles 'Joseph's Coat of Many Colors' Treats". Each child could be given a piece of wax paper sprayed with cooking spray and about two cups of treat mixture. Spray each child's hands with the cooking spray and instruct the children to shape their treat into a coat on the wax paper. The marshmallow and margarine can be easily melted in the microwave using a big glass mixing bowl--no stove necessary. Hope this helps!

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Dreaming Person

There was something awhile back in Family Fun magazine. Use graham crackers for the bed, a vanilla wafer for the person's head. Have the kids decorate the "dreaming person" - the face, the blanket, etc. You could do colored frosting, sprinkles, all kinds of fun cake decorating items. Kids love to frost and decorate things. You could incorporate dreaming easily into this...

I did this years ago for a sleepover party and put the graham crackers on top of a cake, being the bed.

Moderator adds: here are instructions for making a sleeping bag snack (same idea as above) found at . To the right is a photo showing one we made at a sleepover. I was thinking that for Joseph's dreams you could decorate the sleeping bag (blanket) where we had butterfly sprinkles, the kids could pick one of the dreams and decorate the blanket with that dream scene. Would require you to see if you could find sprinkles to match dreams (examples: stars, sun, moon sprinkles; other idea would be to have those small tubes of icing on hand, in colours like Yellow (corn), white and black (cows), etc. where they would draw the scene with the icing tubes.


Images (1)
  • mceclip0
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Food Art


Hi! If you're talking about "interpretation" ... what about having the kids interpret what they hear in the story via "Food Art". Provide a variety of small snack type foods of various shapes (popcorn, licorice, small square and round crackers, M&M's or Skittles, etc), tell the story pausing at various places to let the kids use the food to create their interpretation of what is happening. Could be abstract or concrete pictures of what they "see". We use construction paper for a "canvas" when we do this. The kids love it.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Posts moved here to consolidate the topic...



Posted by Stephen Johnson from Pecan Grove Church, Greenville, Texas

Get a few sheets of foam posterboard, preferably brown or black. Spraypaint them with a foamy white paint. You don't want to completly cover the surface with white paint but get more of a stone look.

Teach the kids about Hieroglyphics and how the ancient drawings help us understand more about history.

Tell them the story of Joseph using colorful language and emphasizing objects in the story.

Challenge the kids to come up with Hieroglyphic art to depict the story of Joseph. Have them start their work on paper.

Now give them each a toothpick and let them scratch their Hieroglyphics onto the prepared posterboards.

Archeology: Sand Dig 

Posted by Stephen Johnson from Pecan Grove Church, Greenville, Texas

Gather several items to represent spots in the story of Joseph. Be creative here:

Spool of Thread: Used when making the coat of many colors
Toy Handcuffs: Joseph was put in these when thrown into jail
Silver Cup: The one "stolen" from Joseph by his brothers
A ring: The right Joseph wore and used for a seal...

Next you'll get a large container and fill it with sand. Hide all you items at different layers while you fill it.

NOTE: Sand is heavy so don't put all this together until you are in your teaching room. You'll also want to put down a blanket or tarp - as this may get messy!

Spend some time at the beginning of class discussing the science of Archeology. You might find a good childrens book about it so you can show them pictures of a real dig. Discuss how archeologist are careful when unearthing new finds. Discuss some of the findings which support stories in the Bible.

Next tell them a brief overview of the story of Joseph - touching on each part of the story you have an artifact for.

Now hand out tools. You can use plastic spoons, toothbrushes, whatever you have that will work. Let the kids work one at a time removing the sand and putting it in another container until they find an artifact. When they find something have them switch to the toothbrush and carefully remove it.

As each artifact is removed - tell them more details of the story. Use the artifact to show them how it would have been used.

2005 is our first rotation year - and this was one of their favorite activities so far.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Making the Coat


A local production of "Joseph and the Technical-Colored DreamCoat" was done here a few years ago. The "coat of many colors" was made from old neckties, and it was stunning! Perhaps for art you could give them a coat pattern, then have them use different colored papers or fabric pieces to decorate it with.

Or, for art, divide the children into groups. Give them a different piece of a robe pattern (one group gets a sleeve, another group gets one side of the robe, etc). These pieces could be felt, or other plain fabric. Give children colored pieces of felt, fabric, sequins, etc. Don't tell them what their piece is - just tell them to decorate it however they wish. When they are finished, bring all the pieces together and pin on a bulletin board or attach to the wall. I did this at a workshop a few years ago and it was beautiful (and fun!) This could also be done on a banner.

Julie Burton

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Wormy's Thoughts


Wormy wonders out loud about the connection between JOSEPH's Cloak of Many Colors, and Harry Potter's Invisible Cloak that gave him the power of invisibility, and Superman's Cape.

Wormy wonders if Joseph had wished his father's favoritism was "less visible" and that maybe he could have disappeared when his brothers meant him harm.

Wormy wonders what WE would like to be able to put on to tell others TO WHOM WE BELONG, but also to warn others "who favors us".

Wormy notes that Elijah put his mantle/cloak on young Elisha (2Kings2). It was a symbol of authority. Elisha used it to strike the Jordan and make the waters part after Elijah was gone.

No wonder Joseph's brothers were jealous.

Why is our first impulse jealousy instead of thanksgiving?

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Editor's note: The following post was moved here during renovation of this forum.
It contains member Amy Crane's Teacher's Background, and her thoughts on Alternatives to "Journaling" for this Rotation.

Joseph in Egypt

Background Info

Scripture Reference:

Genesis 40:1 - 47:12

Memory Verse:

Romans 8:28 “And 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.” (NLT)

Objectives for the rotation - At the end of the rotation, the students will:

  • be able to locate Genesis and identify it as the first book in the Bible and the place where the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph can be found.
  • Retell the story of how God save Joseph through Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams and how Joseph is reconciled with his brothers and reunited with his father.
  • Understand how God can use a deed intended for evil to fulfill his promise and purpose.
  • Know that God is sovereign over all, evil and good.
  • Be able to repeat the memory verse.


Background: Things to think about-

This rotation builds on our previous Rotation: “Joseph and His Brothers.”

Take some time to read the entire Joseph story in the Bible, Genesis 37, 39-50.

Some things to look at and think about as you read the Scripture:

  • This rotation’s story resolves Joseph’s dreams from the last rotation. In chapter 41, he is appointed ruler over Egypt. And in 42-44 he is ruling over his brothers and father. Final resolution comes with his revealing his identity in chapter 45. All have bowed down before him.
  • In chapter 37, Joseph’s dreams are a gift from God.
  • Dreams are prominent in ancient literature. Egyptians loved dreams and their interpretations. Dream interpretation was crucial role. Some were “skilled” in this, such as Pharaoh’s magicians.
  • God alone knows the future. Dreams can truly be interpreted only by one to whom God reveals His secrets. Joseph recognized — and acknowledged — his ability to interpret dreams as a gift from God.
  • The cup-bearer and baker’s dreams were not important to Joseph and to God’s story except to demonstrate that God is with Joseph and that Joseph has been given the ability to interpret dreams.
  • Joseph, with God’s help, not only interprets Pharaoh’s dreams but also shares a plan to deal with the events foretold in the dreams. God’s purpose is not to notify Pharaoh of the coming disaster but to use Joseph to save His people and keep His Covenant.
  • Pharaoh chooses the one whom God has already chosen.
  • Note that Joseph gets an Egyptian name and wife and probably adopts Egyptian dress as well. So it is not surprising that his brothers do not recognize him. But Joseph does not also adopt the Egyptian gods.
  • The brothers generally act as a group. They are mostly undifferentiated except for Judah.
  • The brothers are trapped by their deception of their father (chapter 37). They see what happens to them in chapter 43 as God’s punishment. (42: 21, 28) Almost 20 years later, they are still burdened by guilt. Jacob accuses them of taking Simeon and Joseph from him (42:36), further increasing their feelings of being punished for what they did to Joseph long ago.
  • The brothers assumed Joseph did not understand them since he was using an interpreter. So he hears them confess their sins (the first step to reconciliation) in 42:23-24.
  • Jacob finally sends Benjamin to Egypt. He trust’s God’s (“El Shaddai") mercy. He has more faith than his sons. But his faith is imperfect. (“And if I must bear the anguish of their deaths, then so be it.” 43:14b) He does not send them back empty-handed. They have twice as much money and some of the best products of the land, as well as Benjamin.
  • On their second trip to Egypt, Joseph again tests the brothers’ sincerity. (chapter 44) He gives them an “out” — he tells them all are free to return to their father except for Benjamin. They had already once abandoned a favored son. Joseph wants to see if they will take the opportunity to save their own skins and leave this younger favored brother.
  • Judah’s moving speech in chapter 44 makes it obvious to Joseph that his brothers have changed their ways and their feelings.
  • Joseph’s key speech, which ties in to our memory verse, is found in 45:5b-8. Here Joseph explains God’s sovereign purpose. If not before, Joseph now realizes how he is part of God’s purpose.
  • Joseph provides for his family, but actually, it is God who has provided.
  • Note how this story parallels the Gospel: the son who was thought to be dead is alive! Only by the power of God is he alive.
  • Note that it is Judah that steps forward in 44:18-34 and eloquently offers himself in place of Benjamin. Note that it is Judah that receives Jacob’s blessing in 49:8-12. Note in Jesus’ genealogy (Matthew 1:3 and Luke 3:34) that Jesus is descended from Judah.
  • God uses man’s sin throughout the story:
  • the brothers hatred and jealousy of Joseph,
  • Potiphar’s wife’s seduction attempt.
  • Through these sins it becomes clear:
  • man’s evil designs cannot thwart God’s plans,
  • Joseph was tested and did not fail (he was proven and purified),
  • man is convicted of guilt and needs forgiveness.


Rethinking Shepherd Time for "Joseph in Egypt"

It seems to me that journaling has become more of a labor lately than a period of introspection. Therefore, I am suggesting that you consider a few alternatives. (Note that Shepherd Time is important and you should still have time with your group the last 10-15 minutes of our hour.)

For any Workshop:
Talk with the group about the good and bad things in their lives. Most don’t have enough distance to see all things working together for good in their lives yet, but most can answer these questions: “What is the best thing that happened to you this week? What is the worst?” Do not require everyone to answer, but before taking any responses, allow a few moments for them to think about the week and then take volunteers. You may want to do good things and then bad things (younger) or good and/or bad together (older). After all who want a chance to talk have responded, pray for the group, for God to work through the good and bad things (named and unnamed, for God knows what is in our hearts) in the coming week.

For the Art Workshop:
The discussion questions look good in the Shepherd Time lesson plan, but instead of having the children write about a time they were sorry, ask for volunteers to talk about things that have happened that they have had to forgive. You may also want to talk about times they have hurt others and need to be forgiven and how it feels when someone does (or does not) forgive you. Spend some time praying for named and unnamed situations.

For the Movie Workshop:
Again, the preliminary discussion questions look good. But instead of having the children write about gifts, talk about them. Especially for younger children, you may need to name some gifts and talk about how they can be used rather than talking about a specific child’s specific gifts. Close with a prayer of thanksgiving for the gifts God has given each of us and asking for God to use us to help others. I also have a word search that talks about gifts that can be used if time permits.

For the Games Workshop:
This would be a good workshop for the first suggestion (“For any workshop")

For the Drama Workshop:
I have a handout that shows scenes from Joseph’s life. Give each child a copy and put each child with a partner (older) or divide them into two groups, one with the Workshop Leader and one with the Shepherd (younger). Have the children take turns retelling about Joseph’s life, using the pictures as reminders of what happened next. Have them take the sheets home and encourage them to tell a parent or one other person the story of Joseph’s life.

I hope these suggestions are helpful.



Material written by Amy Crane for River Community Church

Prairieville, LA


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by CreativeCarol

Add Reply

Post Your Question, Comment, Idea, or Resource Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. All content here is the copyrighted property of its listed author. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content here for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author is referenced. Posting here implies permission for others to use your content for non-commercial purposes. Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service. is rated 5 stars on Google based on 53 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!
Link copied to your clipboard.