I have been in charge of the childcare for volunteers' children during River Community Church's Marketplace Vacation Bible School since we started this program in 2011.

We have been working our way through the Old Testament, starting with Creation in 2011. In addition to one year where we spent all five days on Abraham stories, we have had an overview lesson about him several times, so I will include some extra ideas from those lessons.

My lessons have gotten more detailed as the years passed, but I will share all of my Abraham materials here, in case the general ideas from my rough outlines are of use to someone.

I filled our 3 1/2 hours each day with story and activities related to some of the same Abraham stories the "big" (elementary aged) children were studying. Most of the time was spent in centers related to the story and in free play, so it was not truly rotation, but many ideas were gleaned from this site and some ideas listed here could be expanded to full Sunday-school-hour-long lessons for younger children.

Each year we had a different overarching theme for the week. Those are included in the lesson notes below. Some of the activities tie into those as well.


Resources for all lessons are noted here:

  • ASL Browser - with videos of the signs used for the memory verse: https://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/OTHER/308/1
  • I have recently discovered the retellings of Abraham's at Paul Dallgas-Frey's website (BibleStoryGuy). They are wonderful for learning and sharing with preschoolers (and older children, too)! I recommend you take a look at them in addition to the story notes I included below.

 


Summary of our five day Abraham series:

THEME: JESUS: OUR REDEEMER

DAY ONE:   

MAIN STORY: Abram’s call by God and Abram’s worship

God calls Abram from Ur to journey to a new land. Abram travels and builds altars to offer God gifts of thanksgiving - worship.

SCRIPTURE:  Genesis 11-13 (or Gen 12?)

POINT: God loves us and calls us by name.

MEMORY VERSE:  “I have called you by name.”  Isaiah 43:1b

DAY TWO:

MAIN STORY: Abraham intercedes for Lot

Lot and Abraham separate; Abraham offers Lot first choice of land. Lot is taken captive during war and Abraham risks his life to free him. Abraham asks God to spare Lot from Sodom’s doom.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 13, 14, 18, 19

POINT: God loves us and wants us to pray for others.

MEMORY VERSE:  “Pray for each other.”  James 5:16

DAY THREE:

MAIN STORY: Abraham believes God and His promises

Abraham asks God about His promises. God wants Abraham to know He keeps His promises. God makes a covenant with Abraham.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 15  

POINT: God loves us and wants us to love Him.

MEMORY VERSE:  “Believe in the Lord, Jesus.”  Acts 16:31a

DAY FOUR:

MAIN STORY: God helps Abraham follow him

Hospitality shown to three visitors. Isaac’s birth at last.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 18 and 21

POINT: God loves us and helps us make good choices.

MEMORY VERSE:  “Do not forget to do good.”  Hebrews 13:16a

DAY FIVE:

MAIN STORY: Abraham gives God everything

God tested Abraham - to give Isaac as a gift offering. Abraham obeys and God spares Isaac. God provides the ram as a gift offering.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 21:1-8 and Genesis 22

POINT: God wants us to trust Him, always.

MEMORY VERSE:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”  Proverbs 3:5a

Original Post

MAIN STORY: Abram’s call by God and Abram’s worship
God calls Abram from Ur to journey to a new land. Abram travels and builds altars to offer God gifts of thanksgiving - worship.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 11-13 (or Gen 12?)


Theme: Jesus Our Redeemer
Point: God loves us and calls us by name.
Memory Verse: “I have called you by name.” Isaiah 43:1b 


Snack:
Personalized cookies, icing, and milk (Isaiah 43:1)

(VBS volunteers wrote each child's initials with icing on store-bought sugar cookies) 

Supplies:

  • big blocks
  • coloring sheets
  • map of Abram’s travels: http://www.generationword.com/..._imgs/12_gn.12.1.jpg
  • several old road maps
  • markers
  • cars from train table
  • compasses
  • colorful beads
  • letter beads to spell each child's name (we presorted them into a baggie for each name
  • cord to make bracelets
  • white cardstock with memory verse (for each child)
  • crayons 

Arrival Time Centers: 

Action rhyme:
Clap, clap,
Stomp, stomp,
Turn around and hop.
I know God’s love will never stop. [Cross arms over chest on ‘love,’ then shake your head and hold out hand for ‘stop']
Jump, jump,
Clap, clap,
Reach up, bend,
I know God’s love will never end. [Cross arms over chest on ‘love,’ then shake your head for ‘never']
[from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum] 

Art and Play table: [adapted from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
Put several old road maps on a table. Mark beginning and ending points with Xs and invite the children to follow the roads and draw paths between the points. Point out rivers and other things on the maps. 

Talk with the children about how we travel (cars, buses, airplanes, bikes, etc.), and how we make travel plans. 

Have the children drive the cars from the play table on the roads they marked. 

While the children are playing, talk about how the person in today’s Bible story lived a long time ago and did not have a car or truck. Ask how they think he traveled – and carried all his belongings. 

Book: put out big book: Abraham 

Blocks:
Build an Altar [from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
Build an altar with the blocks. 

Talk about how in today’s story, a man stopped and used rocks to build altars as places to talk to and thank God.
[suggested conversation: Today we will be talking about Abram. In Abram’s time, people built altars out of stones to show God that they loved him. The altars helped them remember the special ways God had helped them. Any time people wanted to thank God for something, they just stopped and built an altar right then and there! Then they knelt by the altar and told God thank you.
We don’t have any stones in our classroom, but we can build an altar out of blocks. When I tell you it’s your turn to put a block on our altar, name something you want to thank God for. You can thank God for a person, a favorite toy, or something God has done for you. I’ll go first.]

Science:
Show the children how a compass works and how the needle always points north.

Talk about how in today’s story, Abram and Sarai did not have a map or a compass to show them where to go, they just followed God. 

Coloring sheets:
Do an on-line search.


Game
Trust the Leader [from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
Have the children line up behind you. Ask the children to gently hold on to the person in front of them. Explain that they will be following you around the room in a follow-the-leader train.
Go around the room once. If time permits, let a few children be the leader.

Then tell the children that you will be leading them around the room in a trust-the-leader train. Ask them to keep holding on to the person in front of them, but this time they should close their eyes. Explain that you will keep your eyes open so you can lead them around the room. (Make sure you allow plenty of room to maneuver around furniture. Remind the children to keep their eyes closed.)
Have the children open their eyes and find a place to sit inside the tent for storytime. 


Storytime:
After the game, gather in the tent. 

Ask:
What was it like to walk around with your eyes closed?
When you had your eyes closed, you didn’t know where I was leading you. Today we are going to hear the story of God telling a man named Abram to follow Him. But Abram did not know where he was going. Abram had to trust God, just as you had to trust me to lead you in our trust-the-leader train. God knew Abram’s name and loved him and called him to follow. God loves us and we can trust Him to know us and to take care of us, too. 

Show the children your Bible and explain that today’s story comes from the very first book in Bible, from the book of Genesis.
Share the story of Abram’s call by God and Abram’s worship. (Below)

Discuss:
Talk about how God called Abram by name.
I wonder how Abram and Sarai felt when they were told to move to a new home?
I wonder how it felt to leave their home and not know where they were going?
I wonder how God took care of Abram and Sarai while they were traveling?
How did Abram and Sarai thank Him?
Talk about how God keeps His promises. Talk about how we can keep our promises this week.

Teach the memory verse:
“I have called you by name.” Isaiah 43:1b

I: Pointing to yourself is a natural gesture for indicating the concept of me, but when referring to God, point up. 

CALLED: One hand taps a single time on the other hand to get the attention of someone. 

YOU: The index finger points straight ahead. This is a natural gesture for indicating a person. 

BY: One A handshape (fist with thumb on outside) passes the other A handshape. 

NAME: The U handshapes (holding up 2 fingers) form an X. An X is sometimes placed on a form or letter to show where signature is to be placed. 


Craft:
name bracelet

Have each child string his name beads onto a cord, along with other colorful beads. 
As the children work, talk with them about their names.
Ask them if they know their full names.
Find out why they were given the names, and what the name means.
Ask, I wonder if God knows your name?
Who did He call by name in today’s story?
Do you think He calls you by name? 
Tell them that God knows the name of every person on earth! He knows every one of our names, and we never have to remind Him. God doesn’t even need to see name tags or bracelets like these. 
Review the memory verse.

Music:
“Sarah Married Abraham” to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Sarah married Abraham,
Abraham, Abraham,
Sarah married Abraham,
they moved across the land

FROM “Abraham and Sarah Rotation Lesson Set from St. Elmo’s Choir”   

“Jesus Loves Me” 

Game:
Camel Cargo [from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
Divide the children into pairs, and assign one child in each pair to be Sarai or Abram, and the other to be the camel. (Tell them that they will all get a chance to be a camel.) 

Explain that when Abram and Sarai traveled, they had camels carry their household goods. 

Show the Abrams and Sarais how to carefully pile a few blocks or nonbreakable toys on their "camel" (their partners) and then lead the camels around the room.

Then let the children switch roles. img_2577

Snack:
Cookies with names.

God knows each of us by name. Reinforce the point as they are eating.
Review the memory verse. 

 

 Additional Learning Centers and Activities:

Art:
footprints (Following)
Trace the children’s bare feet onto white cardstock with memory verse printed on it.

Allow the children to decorate the paper with crayons. 


Sources:
ASL Browser - with videos of the signs used for the memory verse: see first post resources

Group Publishing. Hands-on-Bible Curriculum: Preschool Ages 3 & 4 Fall 2001. 



Abram’s call by God and Abram’s worship
Story

This is the story of God’s Promise to Abram.

A long time ago, a man named Abram lived in the land of Haran. 

One day God spoke to Abram. Do you think he was surprised? I think he immediately dropped to his knees when God spoke. And then he looked to the sky to hear what God had to say.Have you ever had God talk to you? Well, let me tell you, it’s something else. Abram felt so special that God would single him out and give him directions. 

God said, “Abram, I have called you by name. Leave your country and your relatives and your father’s house, and go to a land that I will show you.” God told Abram that he would make him a great nation, and bless him and make his name great. 

Then God told Abram to get up off his knees and jump for joy, because through him all the families of the earth would be blessed 

When Abram told his wife Sarai, I wonder if she thought he had lost his mind? They had a nice home. And where did God say they had to go? He didn’t say where! 

But of course, God put it in Sarai's heart to listen to Abram. To know that the Lord of Hosts had great plans for them. That He had called them by name. 

So Abram did what the Lord told him to do. He packed up all the suitcases. Loaded them on his camels. And they started walking. Walking and walking. They would setup their tents. After a while they would go somewhere else. Walking. Walking and walking. It was like a camping trip with lots of people. 

And when Abram came to the land that God had promised him, he gathered rocks to build an altar. Rocks here. Rocks over there. A really HUGE rock from back there. Then he lit a fire on the altar. And then he prayed, saying, “Thank you God!” 

Then Abram and Sarai and Lot and all their sheep, cows, camels, and goats walked to another place and built a new altar. Picking up rocks. Saying thank you. 

Abram and Sarai and their family and their servants and their animals walked and walked and walked and walked! One day they came to a huge tree. There aren’t many trees in the desert, so Abram and his family enjoyed the cool shade. While they rested there, God spoke to Abram again. God promised to give the land around the tree to Abram and his family. Abram built an altar to mark the special place where God talked to him.

Then Abram traveled on until he came to a big hill. He pitched his tent on the hill and looked alll around at the land God had given him. Abram built another altar to thank God for guiding him. Abram was glad to be in the new land. 

Do you think that when Abram and Sarai would talk to each other, they would wonder, “Why doesn’t God tell us where we are going?” 

Do you think then they remembered that when God had said, “Go,” God had also made them a promise?: “Your children’s children’s children’s children will be a great nation. People will remember you for years and years. They will remember you and what you have done. People all over the world will learn to live in God’s way because of you.” 

Abram and Sarai tried very hard to believe God’s promise. I bet it was hard, though, because they didn’t have any children. 

Sometimes it is hard to believe and trust God. But they did!


 adapted from
a rotation lesson plan originally posted by Neil MacQueen and moved by Wormy to rotation.org’s Abraham drama and newsroom lessons and ideas 

Milton, Ralph. The Family Story Bible. Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville, Kentucky, 1996.

 

Attachments

Photos (1)

MAIN STORY: Abraham intercedes for Lot
Lot and Abraham separate; Abraham offers Lot first choice of land. Lot is taken captive during war and Abraham risks his life to free him. Abraham asks God to spare Lot from Sodom’s doom.


Scripture: Genesis 13, 14, 18, 19 

Theme: Jesus our Redeemer
Point: God loves us and wants us to pray for others.
Memory Verse: “Pray for each other.” James 5:16 


SNACK: Saltines, cheese, and punch (Lot’s wife - Genesis 19:26) 

Supplies:

  • large sheet of paper and tape to attach it to the wall
    crayons
  • coloring sheets
  • magnifying glass
  • salt (table salt and kosher salt)
  • paper plates (dark color, if possible)
  • Sandpaper
  • crayons
  • white balloons
  • dowels
  • 2 towels
  • white construction paper 

Arrival Centers: 

Art: prayer wall -

Talk about how God loves us and wants us to pray for others.

Invite children to put prayer requests on a large sheet of paper on the wall. They can draw pictures with crayons or dictate their request to a teacher/helper. (Add to the wall the rest of the week.)

Science:
magnifying glasslook at salt.

Explain that at snacktime we will hear a story about salt.
Also talk about sharing (magnifying glass) and taking turns: What was hard about sharing? How did it make you feel? What did it feel like when someone else shared with you? 


Storytime:
Show the children your Bible and explain that today’s story comes from the Bible, from the book of Genesis.
Share the story of Abram and Lot. (below) 

Discuss:
How did Abram and Lot solve their problem?

How do you think Abram and Lot felt about moving away from each other? 

I wonder if any of you ever get into arguments with your brothers or sisters or friends?

How do you settle those arguments?

I wonder who you can ask for help when you are having trouble getting along with someone? 

How did Abram show he cared for Lot?
Who can we pray for?

Teach the memory verse:
“Pray for each other.” James 5:16 

PRAY: The hands are held in a gesture of prayer. 

FOR: The forefinger moves forward from the side of the forehead. 

EACH OTHER: The two A handshapes (fist with thumb on outside) circle one another to show that they are in close proximity. 

Review the memory verse from yesterday. 


Craft:
Sandpaper drawingsimg_2589
Have the children draw pictures of their families, their homes, or whatever they want on a piece of sandpaper with crayons.
While they work, talk about today’s Bible story: about the land in the img_2596artstory (the sandy desert), about caring for one another, about sharing, and about praying. 

Music:
Rock-a My Soul (in the bosom of Abraham).

Wee Worship (disc 1, track 8). 

“We Are Glad to Pray Together”

[to the tune of “Have You Ever Seen a Lassie?”, adapted from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
We are glad to pray together,
Together, together.
We are glad to pray together
And give thanks to God.
Thank you for (name),

And (name), and (name).
Oh thank you, dear God, for everyone in our class.
(Repeat until all are named)

“Abram’s in the Desert”

[to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”; can be done as a circle game]
Abram’s in the desert,
Oh Abram’s in the desert.
Heigh-ho the derry-oh,
Abram’s in the desert.

Abram takes Sarai...
Abram takes Lot...
Lot takes the shepherd...
The shepherd takes a sheep...
The sheep stands alone...
[adapted from the Chapel’s Abram preschool notebook] 


“I Will Pray for You Today” 

[to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”]
I will pray for you today;
God hears everything I say.
God loves me,
He loves you, too.
Jesus prayed for his friends, too.
I will pray for you today;
God hears everything I say.
[from the Chapel’s Abram preschool notebook]

Game:
Herding Sheep

[adapted from Surprising Stories from People Jesus Met] 

Let’s practice being Abram’s and Lot’s shepherds.img_2599

First, we need some sheep. Let’s pretend these are sheep. [Put some balloons on the floor.] 

Here is your shepherd’s staff. [Hand each child a dowel.] 

Take your staff and herd your sheep into your field. Here is Abram’s field and here is Lot’s field. [Put 2 towels on the floor.] img_2601

Don’t mix your sheep up with the ones belonging to the other owner!
Hold your staff pointing down so that no one gets poked and the sheep don’t get hurt. Guide them gently! Remember, you need to share the space! 

Talk about:
* Was it easy to get the sheep balloons go where you wanted them to go?
* Did all of the sheep fit into the field?
* Why were Abram’s and Lot’s shepherds arguing?

Snack:
Share the story of Abram’s intercession, Lot, and Sodom and Gomorrah during snacktime:
Talkable Bible Stories. “Abraham Talks to God about Sodom” 


Additional Learning Centers and Activities:
Art:
praying hands - trace and cut out hands and write names of whom children are praying for inside 


Hang stars with names before Wednesday.

Sources: 

Sources:
ASL Browser - with videos of the signs used for the memory verse: see first post resource.

Keefer, Mikal and John Cutshall. Surprising Stories from People Jesus Met. Loveland, Colorado: Group, 1998. 



Abraham and Lot
Story 

Do you remember yesterday’s story? Abram, his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all their servants and animals left a nice, cozy home to travel to — only God knew! God said to do it, so they did. They trusted the Lord. 

Abram and his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot lived in the new land God had given them, and God blessed them. They were rich men. Soon Abram and Lot had so many animals, they were running out of food and water. The shepherds could not find enough grass in water in one place to feed all those animals. Some of their people who took care of the animals began arguing about whose animals could drink first and eat in the best places. 

“Hey! Abram’s animals were here first!!” 

“No way! We always bring Lot’s animals here. You go find another place for Abram’s animals.” 

You don’t ever fight rather than sharing with your brothers or sisters or friends, do you? I didn’t think so. 

Lot went to Abram and asked, “What can we do about this problem? We have too many people and animals living in one place!” 

Abram said, “This is silly. Let’s not fight. We are family. We’ve got this whole land. Surely we can find enough space for all of us to live without fighting. Lot, you choose the part of the land you want for your family and animals and I will keep mine in another part of the land.” 

Lot looked around. He thought the land along the river looked good with all the grass and water, and even a few cities. He looked the other way and saw it looked rough and hilly. There was hardly a patch of grass for the animals to eat! So he said, “I’ll take this place near the Jordan River.” And Lot moved his family and all his animals to the Plain of Jordan. 

Abram could have said “No! You just want the best for yourself!” But he didn’t. He trusted God to provide food and water for his animals. Abraham said, “That’s fine with me. I’ll stay in the land of Canaan and we’ll both have what we need to take care of our families and animals.” 

Abram and Sarai remembered God’s promises to them. And sure enough, God gave Abram just what he needed. But still no baby. 

Lot went and lived near the city of Sodom. Unfortunately, Lot chose the land he wanted because he thought it was the best, but it turned out to be an unsafe choice. Soon afterward, there was war in the land. Four kings and their armies ganged up on the five kings that and their armies who tried to protect the land where Lot lived. The five kings lost, and Lot and his possessions were captured and taken from Sodom. 

One of Lot’s servants escaped and reported everything to Abram. Abram prayed for his nephew Lot’s safety. So God sent Abram to go rescue him. Abram and 318 trained soldiers – children of his servants – attacked the army and chased them away. Lot was saved, along with his family and servants – and all his stuff. The five kings were very grateful, too! 

Afterwards, Lot settled by the city of Sodom – which turned out to be a very wicked city – and a bad deal for him. We’ll talk about that at snacktime.

Attachments

Photos (4)

MAIN STORY: Abraham believes God and His promises.
Abraham asks God about His promises. God wants Abraham to know He keeps His promises. God makes a covenant with Abraham.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 15

THEME: JESUS: OUR REDEEMER
POINT: God loves us and wants us to love Him.
MEMORY VERSE: “Believe in the Lord, Jesus.” Acts 16:31a


SNACK: Bread and white grape juice (Luke 22: 19-20)

ADVANCE PREPARATION: Hang stars (diecut from cardstock) from the ceiling with the names of the children and vbs teachers and everyone’s family members. (Genesis 15:5)

SUPPLIES:

black or dark blue construction paper
star stickers
coloring sheets

clay 
newspaper for table
toothpicks and craft sticks

paper plates

 poker chips


ARRIVAL CENTERS:

Science:img_2609
counting: poker chips – too many to count, like Abram’s children and grandchildren

Coloring sheets: Do an on-line search.


STORYTIME:
Sit outside the tent.
Ask if anyone noticed anything different about the room this morning.

Tell them that today’s story from the first book in the Bible (Genesis) will help them understand the stars hanging from the ceiling. (below)

Discuss:
What did God promise Abram?
I wonder what Abram thought when God promised him a big family?

How did God help Abram remember the promise?
I wonder what Abramham thought about when he looked at the stars?
What do you think about when you look at the stars?

Talk about how God keeps His promises. Talk about how we can keep our promises this week.

Teach the memory verse:
“Believe in the Lord, Jesus.” Acts 16:31a

BELIEVE: The signs THINK (index finger touches the forehead which is the location of the mind) and MARRY (hands clasp together to indicate two people bounding together in marriage) are combined to represent the concept of holding true to one's thought.

 LORD: The sign KING (handshape moves from the chest to the waist while crossing the body; the movement indicates the location of the royal sash worn by kings) is made with a L handshape (form an L with the thumb and index finger).

 JESUS: The middle finger of one hand touches the middle of the palm of the other hand then this action is repeated with the middle finger of the other hand. This action indicates the wounds in Jesus' hands after he was nailed to the cross.

Review the previous memory verses.


CRAFT:
pinch pot -img_2621img_2622

talk about how Abram and family would have used clay pots for cooking, water, storage, and many other things.

MUSIC:
Sing “Father Abraham”

from the Wee Worship CD (disc 3, track 1).

Run through the motions beforehand, and then play and sing the song.

Can you think of any other motions to add?

After singing it through once, talk about the lyrics. What “many sons” did Abraham have?

Why does the song say, “I am one of them and so are you.” Refer to Genesis 15: 1-6, where God promises Abraham many descendants. Talk about what this meant for Abraham to receive this promise and for God to make him the beginning of God’s chosen people.

Sing the song one more time, or twice if they like it.

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

“Jesus Loves Me”

GAME:
Play a game of “Follow the Leader” or “Simon Says” with your kids and talk about how Abraham followed God.

SNACK:

bread - talk about how Jesus is the bread of life.

ADDITIONAL LEARNING CENTERS AND ACTIVITIES:

ART:
Allow the children to cover black paper with star stickers.

Talk about how many stars there are in the sky and about God’s promise to Abram.

Talk about the name change to Abraham, which means “Father of Many.”


SOURCES:
ASL Browser - with videos of the signs used for the memory verse: see first post resources

Bible Quest Publishers. Bible Quesst: A Bible Story Curriculum for All Ages. Grades K-1. Fall 2001. “Abraham and Sarah Laugh.” [night sky story adapted from here]



Abraham Believes God and His promises
STORY

[Sit outside the tent and pretend to be looking at the night sky.]
Who has looked at the stars at night?
Who has tried to count the stars?
I wonder how many stars are in the sky?

The Bible contains many stories of times God made “covenants,” a word which means promises. Sometimes those promises from God were hard to believe. Let me tell you more of our story in Genesis about one of God’s promises.

Do you remember our story? Abram, his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all their servants and animals left a nice, cozy home to travel to — only God knew! God said to do it, so they did. They trusted the Lord. And God blessed them so much, Abram and Lot split up and went in two different directions. But, with God’s help, Abram still watched out for his nephew Lot.

One day God said to Abram, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I will watch over you, and I have a surprise for you.”

Abram asked, “What will you give me? You have already promised us a child, but Sarai and I are old and still do not have one.”

God assured Abram that he and Sarai would have a child. He called Abram to go outside and look up at the night sky. “Do you see the stars? Can you count them? Someday you will have as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren as the number of stars in the sky.”

That was hard to imagine! And yet, somehow, Abram trusted God.

On another day, God said to Abram, “Remember the promise I made with you. Always remember it. You will have a son, and then you will become a grandfather with many grandchildren. That is the covenant I made with you. And because of my promise, I am going to change your name from Abram (which means important father) to Abraham (which means father of many). And Sarai will have a different name too. You shall call her Sarah, which means princess. She will be the mother of many people.”

Abraham thought this was funny, for he and Sarah were very old. He was one hundred years old, and Sarah was ninety. Abraham started laughing and asked God, “Can two old people have a child?”

God answered, “Yes, Abraham. You and Sarah will have a son, and I will make a promise with him, too. A covenant that will last forever! Lift up your eyes now, and look northward, southward, eastward, and westward. For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants so plentiful that you can’t even count them – just like the dust on the earth!”

[Sift “dirt” between your fingers]

Just try to count the dust specs! It’s almost impossible! Wow! That’s how many grandkids and great grandkids and so on that Abraham is going to have!

And Abram was very pleased. He smiled. He jumped about joyfully. He high fived his family. He kissed his family. God had promised to make them a great nation!Tomorrow we will talk about what happened next. Do you think that when God makes a promise, you can count on it to come true?

Attachments

Photos (3)

MAIN STORY: God helps Abraham follow him
Hospitality shown to three visitors. Isaac’s birth at last.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 18 and 21

THEME: JESUS: OUR REDEEMER
POINT: God loves us and helps us make good choices.
MEMORY VERSE: “Do not forget to do good.” Hebrews 13:16a


SNACK: Fruit cocktail and lemonade.

SUPPLIES:

coloring sheets

 big blocks

 baby dolls, blankets, bottles, other baby care stuff

 tube socks (one for each child) – child-sized okay.
Polyfill stuffing
string or rubber bands
Permanent markers (red and black)

Bible Quest Fall 2001 CD [recording of people laughing]
CD player

play doh
cutters and rolling pin


ARRIVAL:
Add prayers to the prayer wall.

ARRIVAL CENTERS:
Kitchen/housekeeping:

take care of baby dolls

Coloring sheets:  Do an online search.


STORYTIME:
Show the children your Bible and explain that today’s story comes from the Bible, from the book of Genesis.
Share the story of The Visitors and Baby Isaac. (Below)

Why do you think Sarah laughed when the visitors said she would have a baby?

How do you think Abraham and Sarah felt when Baby Isaac was born?
Baby Isaac was a great surprise for Abraham and Sarah. Tell me about a time you got a good surprise that made you happy.
Sarah and Abraham welcomed their guests. They did a good thing. How can we do good?

Teach the memory verse:
“Do not forget to do good.” Hebrews 13:16a

DO NOT The hands are crossed and then move outward forcefully as if indicating that something should stop.

 FORGET The hand wipes off the forehead to indicate that whatever was there is now gone (forgotten).

 DO The bent 5 handshapes (both hands with all five fingers out, but bent) move back and forth to the sides of the body.

 GOOD The hand moves forth from the mouth to the other hand (something has been tasted and judged as being good; it is therefore offered to others).

Review the previous memory verses.


CRAFT:
make baby Isaac dolls. [from Bible Quest.]
Give each child a tube sock and instruct the children to fill the socks half-full with stuffing.

After the sock is half stuffed, tie a string (or use a rubber band) around the sock to keep the stuffing in.

Tie another string more loosely around the sock about one-third of the way from the toe end – this will form the head at the toe of the sock.

Let the children use the permanent markers (supervise them carefully!) to add eyes and a mouth.

Pull the sock cuff back up over the body to serve as Isaac’s blanket.

Be sure to write each child’s name inside the cuff so they can take their own babies home.

While the children are working, discuss ways we care for babies and ways Abraham and Sarah probably cared for baby Isaac.

Also, review the story.

MUSIC:
“Jesus Loves Me”

“Never-ending Love”

[to the tune of “This Old Man;” from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
God loves me,
Yes, it’s true.
And I love God, yes I do!
I know God’s love will never, never end!
God is my forever friend.

GAME:
Laughing Game [adapted from Bible Quest.]
Put on the CD from Bible Quest, track 11.
What do you hear? [recording of laughter]
Why might these people be laughing?

 People usually laugh when they see or hear something funny.

Did Abraham and Sarah see or hear something funny to them?

What was it?

 People also laugh when they are happy.

Were Abraham and Sarah happy about something?

Are there any good things that make you laugh?

People sometimes laugh when others are laughing.

Do you think others joined in with Sarah’s laughing when Isaac was born?

 Let’s all think of some things that God has given us that make us so happy, we want to laugh.
Now, let’s laugh together!

ADDITIONAL LEARNING CENTERS AND ACTIVITIES:

ART:
Encourage the children to play with play doh. Make sure they are sharing cookie cutters and other supplies (practice making good choices and doing good).

img_2635  img_2638 img_2639


SOURCES:
ASL Browser - with videos of the signs used for the memory verse: see first post resources

Group Publishing. Hands-on-Bible Curriculum: Preschool Ages 3 & 4 Fall 2001.

 Bible Quest Publishers. Bible Quesst: A Bible Story Curriculum for All Ages. Ages 3-4. Fall 2000. “God Gave Abraham and Sarah a Baby.”

 Bible Quest Publishers. Bible Quesst: A Bible Story Curriculum for All Ages. Grades K-1. Fall 2001. “Abraham and Sarah Laugh.”



Guests and a Baby, Too!
STORY

Do you remember Abraham and Sarah? What did God promise to them?

One, God said to Abram, “Remember the promise I made with you. Always remember it. You will have a son, and then you will become a grandfather with many grandchildren. That is the covenant I made with you. And because of my promise, I am going to change your name from Abram [which means important father] to Abraham [which means father of many].

And Sarai will have a different name too. You shall call her Sarah, which means princess. She will be the mother of many people.”

Abraham thought this was funny, for he and Sarah were very old. He was one hundred years old, and Sarah was ninety. Abraham started laughing and asked God, “Can two old people have a child?”

God answered, “Yes, Abraham. You and Sarah will have a son, and I will make a promise with him, too. A covenant that will last forever!”

Sometime later, they had three visitors. Sarah and Abraham did a good thing; they welcomed the strangers and fed them and treated them kindly. One messenger said, “Sarah will have a baby next year.”

Sarah was listening to the conversation from inside a tent. Sarah thought this was funny. Sarah thought, “I am much too old to have a baby.” She began to giggle. And then she laughed out loud.

And the messenger of God asked, “Sarah, why do you laugh?”

“I didn’t laugh.”

But the messenger continued, “Sarah, is anything too hard for God? Trust God’s promise. You will have a son. God will do what He has promised!

Then one day it happened. Sarah was pregnant! Even though she was very old, she had a baby. A baby boy - their first star! They gave their baby a special name. They called him Isaac, which means “laughter.”

God’ promise was coming true after all. Sarah and Abraham knew this as they smiled at the little baby in their arms. They would have many many grandchildren! Over the years, Abraham’s family grew and grew and grew. A great nation was formed. And Abraham’s descendants became too many to count. Just like the dust of the earth, or the stars in the sky, or the grains of sand on the beach.

And it all began with one tiny baby. Isn’t God awesome? We’re so lucky to have him watching over us. And because He loves us so much, we love Him back, and want to do the right thing. We want to do good, just like Abraham and Sarah did.

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MAIN STORY: Abraham gives God everything.

God tested Abraham - to give Isaac as a gift offering. Abraham obeys and God spares Isaac. God provides the ram as a gift offering.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 21:1-8 and Genesis 22

THEME: JESUS: OUR REDEEMER

POINT: God wants us to trust Him, always.
MEMORY VERSE: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Proverbs 3:5a


SNACK: Grapes and apple juice

SUPPLIES:

coloring sheets

 sand
coffee filter
magnifying glass

 paper plates
cotton balls
googly eyes
glue
black construction paper (cut out per template)


ARRIVAL:

Add prayers to the wall.

ARRIVAL CENTERS:

Science:

Remind the students of Genesis 22:17. Put a small amount of sand on a coffee filter. Look at it with a magnifying glass. Can you count every grain of sand on the coffee filter? How about inside the jar?

Coloring sheets:  Do an online search.


STORYTIME:

Show the children your Bible and explain that today’s story comes from the Bible, from the book of Genesis.
Share the story of “Abraham Doesn’t Understand”. [From The Family Story Bible. by Ralph Milton]

Discuss:
Did Abraham trust God?
Do you think he was afraid?
What did Abraham do?
What did God do?
When can we trust God?

 Teach the memory verse:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Proverbs 3:5a

 TRUST The hands close tightly around something to show that a person has a good hold on it.

 LORD The sign KING (handshape moves from the chest to the waist while crossing the body; the movement indicates the location of the royal sash worn by kings) is made with a L handshape (form an L with the thumb and index finger).

 ALL The hand moves in a circle and then ends up in the palm of the other hand to show that everything (all) is included.

 HEART The middle finger taps the chest over the area of the heart.

 Review the previous memory verses.


CRAFT:
Paper plate sheepimg_2654

http://www.kraftykid.com/lamb-paper-plate-craft

Talk about altars, sacrifices, sheep, the ram Abraham found, Jesus (God’s perfect lamb)

MUSIC:
“Trust in Him”
[to the tune of “London Bridge”]
God wants us to trust in Him,
Trust in Him, trust in Him.
God wants us to trust in Him
Every day.
[from Chapel’s Abram preschool notebook]

“Jesus Loves Me”

GAME:
God Will Lead Us [to the tune of “London Bridge” -from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
God will lead us as we go,
As we go,
As we go.
God will lead us as we go,
He loves us so!
(Play this like London Bridge, with two people facing each other and forming the bridge, and the rest of the children walking under the bridge. On the last line, gently catch the child under the bridge in a hug. Repeat until everyone is caught and has a chance to be the bridge.)

SNACK:
Grapes - talk about grapes - grape juice - wine -> communion/last supper/sacrifice for sins


SOURCES:
ASL Browser - with videos of the signs used for the memory verse: see first post resources

 Bible Quest Publishers. Bible Quesst: A Bible Story Curriculum for All Ages. Ages 3-4. Fall 2000. “God Gave Abraham and Sarah a Baby.”

Bible Quest Publishers. Bible Quesst: A Bible Story Curriculum for All Ages. Grades K-1. Fall 2001. “Abraham and Sarah Laugh.

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I am sharing my teaching notes from another year here as we did Abraham several years, hoping the general ideas from my rough outlines are of use to someone.


JESUS: THE LIVING WORD
PRESCHOOL VBS LESSON PLAN

MAIN STORY: A Covenant and a Promise (Abram)

THEME: Jesus is called the Living Word
VERSE: In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God. (John 1:1a)

SNACK: Rainbow wafers and milk (Genesis 9:13)

SUPPLIES:

  • stars with children’s and teachers’ names (and parents’ and siblings’) 
  • fishing line
  • paperclips
  • ladder – for hanging the stars before class
  • jar
  • sand
  • coffee filter
  • magnifying glass
  • people floor puzzle
  • Abraham library books
  • Jewelry  craft:
    • cord with nail cross tied on
    • beads
    • bowls to hold beads
  • black construction paper
  • lots and lots of star stickers
  • Wee Worship 123 Favorite Bible Songsp7290009
  • CD player


Before arrival, hang LOTS of stars from the ceiling and allow the children to wonder about them and encourage them to find their names before story time.

 


LEARNING CENTERS:

Book: a variety of library books with the Creation and Noah stories (and Abraham too, if possible).
looking at grains of sand
Puzzle: people floor puzzle

Science: Remind the students of Genesis 22:17. Put a small amount of sand on a coffee filter. Look at it with a magnifying glass. Can you count every grain of sand on the coffee filter? How about inside the jar

Coloring sheets, there are many available online, do a search.

STORYTIME:

Ask if anyone noticed anything different about the room this morning. Tell them that today’s story from the first book in the Bible (Genesis) will help them understand the stars.
Read: “Abraham” from Pray and Play Bible (also in a big book - toddlers room)

Discuss:
I wonder how Abram and Sarai felt when they were told to move to a new home?
I wonder how it felt to leave their home and not know where they were going?
I wonder what Abram thought when God promised him a big family?
I wonder what Abram thought about when he looked at the stars?
What do you think about when you look at the stars?

Talk about how God keeps His promises. Talk about how we can keep our promises this week.

Teach the memory verse.
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God. “ (John 1:1a)

BEGINNING The index finger twists between the fingers of the other hand to indicate the turning of a key in an ignition switch.

WAS The hand moves over the shoulder.

WORD The fingertips of the forefinger and thumb (the G handshape) tap the extended forefinger of the other hand.

WORD The fingertips of the forefinger and thumb (the G handshape) tap the extended forefinger of the other hand.

WAS The hand moves over the shoulder.

WITH The A handshapes (fist with thumb out) come together.

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

MUSIC:

Sing “Father Abraham” from the Wee Worship CD (disc 3, track 1).

Run through the motions beforehand, and then play and sing the song. Can you think of any other motions to add? After singing it through once, talk about the lyrics. What “many sons” did Abraham have? Why does the song say, “I am one of them and so are you.” Refer to Genesis 15: 1-6, where God promises Abraham many descendants. Talk about what this meant for Abraham to receive this promise and for God to make him the beginning of God’s chosen people. Sing the song one more time, or twice if they like it.

“Sarah Married Abraham” to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Sarah married Abraham, Abraham, Abraham,Sarah married Abraham, they moved across the land

FROM “Abraham and Sarah Lesson Set from St. Elmo’s Choir. rotation.org

Rock-a My Soul (in the bosom of Abraham). Wee Worship (disc 1, track 8).

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

GAME:
Play a game of “Follow the Leader” or “Simon Says” with your kids and talk about how Abraham followed God.

CRAFT: Make a necklace with a cross and beads.  Talk about how Jesus died to save us all. (Nails were wired together before class, and a loop was left on the back for the string to go through.)

stringing beads and nail crossnail-cross necklace

SNACK: Rainbow wafers and milk (Genesis 9:13). Remember the story of Noah and God’s promise that the rainbow reminds us of. Review today’s story of Abram and the promise God made to him. Tell the children that Jesus, the Word, was there at the beginning, and is still with us today, and that we are promised eternal life if we put our faith in him. Review the memory verse.

ADDITIONAL LEARNING CENTERS AND ACTIVITIES:stars in the sky art
ART:

Allow the children to cover black paper with star stickers. Talk about how many stars there are in the sky and about God’s promise to Abram.

 


SOURCES:

Explanations of the signs used for the memory verse: ASL Browser - with videos of the signs used for the memory verse: see first post resources

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