Miscellaneous Lessons and Ideas for Teaching the Jacob stories, Including Jacob and Esau, and Jacob's Ladder, in Sunday School

Post your miscellaneous Sunday School lessons and ideas for the Jacob stories, including Jacob and Esau, and Jacob's ladder here. 

Jacob and Esau, Genesis 25, Genesis 27, Genesis 28, Isaac blesses Jacob, Jacob's Dream, Stairway to Heaven, Jacob and Laban, Leah, Rachel, Jacob Wrestles, You are welcome to post your Sunday School lesson plans for the Jacob stories. Click "reply" at the end of this thread. 

Take me to the lessons

It includes a fun lesson with a "Magic" trick ...demonstration that illustrates a key point in the Jacob and Esau story.

Jacob's Ladder
Felt Board Activity 

Summary of Lesson Activities:
The following story could also be adapted for use with a "Diaorama" or "DRAMA IN A SHOEBOX" kit that the kids make, then tell the story moving the parts of the kit in/out of the set according to the script. Kids decorate a shoebox interior for the setting of the story and make the props/people/objects out of bits of cloth and pipe cleaners twisted together. 

Scripture References:
Genesis 25:19-34
Genesis 27:1-45
Genesis 28: 10-22

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Bibles
  • Props
  • Costumes


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself. 

Open with a prayer.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
(Scene: General outside scene – hills, trees, tent home, some sheep, Isaac and Rebekah)

Abraham and Sarah wanted a baby for a long time. In their old age – 90 & 100 years old – God gave them a baby. His name was Isaac, which means laughter. Isaac grew up and married a woman named Rebekah. This story is about Isaac and Rebekah’s son.

Isaac and Rebekah also waited a very long time for a child. They prayed constantly that God would give them a child. God answered their prayers by giving them twins! They seemed to be fighting each other inside her. God told Rebekah that two nations will come from the 2 babies. One group would be stronger than the other, and the older would serve the younger.

The first-born son’s name was Esau. (Add baby into Isaac’s arms.) He had red, hairy skin and grew to love hunting, like his father. This was Isaac’s favored son. Jacob was the second-born twin. (Add baby into Rebekah’s arms.) He had smooth skin, was quiet, and liked to stay home. Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite.

Esau was the first-born son and so he had special rights: he would get the birthright. That meant Esau would get twice as much inheritance as Jacob and be the family leader. Jacob had always been jealous of those rights.

When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled hunter. (Remove babies, add grown-up Esau and Jacob.) He loved to be out in the fields. Jacob liked to help Rebekah with her work around the tent. One day after a hunting trip, Esau was starved. (Add Jacob, fire, pot of stew close to the tent. Move Esau over to the area.) He returned to the tent to find Jacob cooking his favorite stew. Jacob gave Esau his food and Esau gave Jacob his birthright.

(Remove Esau, Jacob, fire, pot of stew. Add Isaac – and “old” Isaac, if possible.) Many years passed and Isaac became very old and almost blind. He was ready to pass on the birthright. While Esau was away, Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac into thinking Jacob was his brother. (Put a different set of clothes on Jacob.) Isaac gave Jacob the birthright and blessing.

When Esau found out he was furious. He planned to kill Jacob after his father died. Rebekah heard of Esau’s plan to kill his brother and sent Jacob to live with her brother in Haran.

(Remove Esau, tent, sheep. Add a stone to the scenery.) One night as Jacob was traveling to Haran he found a stone and laid his head on it to sleep for the night. (Move the stone. Lay Jacob down, using the stone as a “pillow”.

As he slept that night he dreamed that there was a ladder resting on the earth and reaching up to heaven. (Add ladder.) He saw angels of God going up and coming down the ladder. (Add angels on the ladder.) Then Jacob saw the Lord standing above the ladder. (Add God over the ladder.)

He said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your grandfather, and your father Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are now sleeping. Your descendants will be as many as the dust of the earth. They will spread west and east, north and south, and all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. I am with you and will protect you everywhere you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you.”

(Remove ladder and angels.) When Jacob woke up in the morning he was afraid. He thought, “Surely this is the house of God and the gate of heaven.” He turned the stone on it’s side like an altar and named it Bethel. He made a promise. He said, “I want Go to be with me and protect me on this journey. I want him to give me food to eat and clothes to wear, so that I will be able to return to my father’s house in peace. If the Lord does these things, He will be my God.

Then Jacob continued on his journey. He felt like a different person because God had told him he was not alone anymore. 


End with a prayer.

A lesson written by Linda Norem and Rachel Haugland.

Original Post

Jacob & Esau

Scrapbook Lesson

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will make a scrapbook of Jacob's life and family.


Scripture Reference:

Genesis 25:19-34, 27:1-45, 28:10-22

Note: This lesson was done in the same format as the Writing Team's lessons - in two parts. Children will visit the workshop twice to highlight both parts of the story.

Leader Preparation:

  • Take a Legal size piece of paper and cut it in half long-ways so you have two long sheets. Now fold that in half to make a booklet. You should have 13 sheets (26 pages) in each one. Block out captions, shrink and copy the pictures. (We used The Bible Story Coloring Book by Standard Publishing, copyright 1994. It looks like it is out of print now, but used copies may be available. This book is good because it has many pictures of the story.) Each student gets one whole set of pictures and one whole set of captions.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Booklet made of 13 sheets of paper.
  • Scrapbooking supplies such as adhesive, rubber stamps, decorative paper, stickers, etc.
  • Copies of the “pictures” and captions for each page of the book. 




Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with prayer.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:


Briefly tell or review the story (Part I goes up through where Jacob flees and has his dream—see scripture references in Bible background. Part II picks up with meeting Rachel at the well and ends when Jacob & Esau meet again.)
Have the kids decorate the cover of the scrapbook. Suggest names such as “Family Memories” or “Jacob’s Journey” or something similar. Have them turn it over and put their name on the back cover.
Have them cut out the pictures and the captions and put them on the correct pages. Color pictures if there’s time. If not, tell them to do that later. Read the captions aloud, especially in younger classes. Give them stickers to accent the topics of the pages. Let them draw frames around the pictures. Help them with decorating pages.

Part I - Ask “How is the scrapbook of Jacob and Esau different from a scrapbook that might illustrate your life? How is it the same?” Have kids describe how God had a plan all along. Ask “Do you think Jacob understood God’s plan all along?”
Part II – Review and reflect on Jacob’s life. Ask “Jacob had a full life, didn’t he?” Ask “What plans do you think God has for you?” “Do these plans ever change based on what you do or don’t do?”


Have the children assist with the cleanup and end with a prayer.


My mom said that having us in her tummy was not easy. She said we were always fighting. When we were born, I was holding Esau’s foot. We were different right from the start, he was hairy and I was smooth.

These are my parents, Isaac and Rebekah. They sometimes didn’t agree on how to treat us. Esau and I were so different when we were little.

These are my grandparents, Abraham and Sarah. They thought they’d never have a kid. One day when they were very old, an angel came to visit them and told them they would have a son. That’s when my dad, Isaac, was born.

When we were little boys, I liked to stay around the house, but Esau was usually out hunting.

I love to cook! I should be on Iron Chef Beersheba. Here I am with some stew I made. This is like the stew when Esau sold me his birthright.

Here’s Esau coming home hungry again.

Here’s me getting Esau’s blessing. I had to dress up to trick my old dad, Isaac. I had to get him to think I was Esau so that he’d give me the blessing instead of my older twin brother.

Esau was so MAD! I had to leave and head toward my Uncle Laban’s house. My mom helped me figure out what to do. (This accompanied a picture of just Rebekah).

On the way, I had a wild dream where angels were going up and down a ladder and God promised me the land I was sleeping on and He said I’d have many descendants.

My life has changed forever! I’m in love. I stopped at a well and this beautiful woman named Rachel was getting water. It was love at first sight. I can’t wait to marry her.

My Uncle Laban said I could marry her if I worked for him for seven years. At the wedding, he TRICKED me! (Hmmm, seems like I’ve tricked someone before). I was married to Leah, Rachel’s older sister.

I finally got to marry Rachel after seven more years of work. It was worth it, she is the love of my life.

Well, God said it’s finally time to go home. I’ve worked for Laban for 20 years. He made a deal with me about all the livestock. I’m going back home with all my kids. I wondered if Esau is still mad at me. I thought I'd better send him a present.

On the way back, another angel visited me. We wrestled all night. I think my leg is messed up forever. He changed my name to Israel. I guess God is the most powerful.

My dad was very old, but he was so happy to have all of us back together again.


A lesson written by Joy Marie Zug from: Faith Covenant Church

Farmington Hills, MI


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





Jacob’s Ladder – A God’s Service Idea


Posted by Rachel H. (June 1, 2007)

We are signed up at Bethany Manor Nursing Home to help get the residents to chapel on Sunday morning during this rotation. You will be organizing and directing the kids while they push wheelchairs from their rooms to the chapel – and back to where they need to go after the service.

  • You will need to line up drivers to get the kids from church to Bethany Manor on time. Make sure you have seat belts for everyone (and that they use them!) Also be aware of limitations for small children and airbags/front seat riding.
  • You will need to leave church before the scheduled time of Sunday school. That means you will need to call and talk to the families involved ahead of time to let them know of your plans. (Class lists are in the basement)
  • Return the kids to church (let the families know what time – they don’t all stay for church)
  • Please help the children know that they are doing an important community service in God’s name. They need to respect the residents (even if they look like they can’t understand) and use good manners. 

Thank you!


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