Summary of Lesson Activities:
The learners will listen to the story of the birth of Moses with an emphasis on the thoughts of the women involved. They will investigate conditions at the time of the story and discuss particular needs of a baby.
- Read the Bible passage.
- Read over the background material included in your teacher packet as you become familiar with the Bible story and the lesson plan.
- Gather the materials.
- Several reference books (see references at end of lesson), including encyclopedias and Bible dictionaries
- world map or globe
- several clipboards with information sheets
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Open with a prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
1. Gather the children in the tent area for the reading of the story. Tell them that as they listen, to listen carefully for clues about the conditions of the environment and about the thoughts and feelings of the characters involved. Read the story of the birth of Moses from volume 3 of the Family Bible Library, contained on pages 16-21. Feel free to show the pictures while reading.
2. Ask some of the following questions to help the children focus on the needs of baby Moses (let them “think out loud” and give you their thoughts on each question; feel free to relate questions to Elizabeth and to you as her mother):
When in the scope of the biblical times did this story take place? (That is, after the Genesis stories of Noah and Abraham, but obviously before the plagues and the crossing of the sea. Refer to the time line on pages 32-33 in Holman Book of Biblical Charts, Maps, and Reconstructions.)
- I wonder how it felt to be Moses’ mother and to put him in a basket in the river, then walk away.
- I wonder how long the baby was in the river.
- I wonder how it must have felt to be Moses’ sister and to be watching from the reeds as the princess discovered him. (This could elicit interesting responses from those who have younger siblings.)
- What must the elements of nature have been like—heat, bugs, animals of prey?
- How big of a basket do you think was needed? (That is, how old might he have been and what size might that have made him? If Elizabeth is in the room, you might compare with her age and size.)
- How could a baby survive this ordeal?
3. If you have a large group, divide into smaller groups of 2 or 3. If you have a small group, let them all work together. Hand out clipboards with the information sheet on them, and pencils. Tell the children they are to use any of the books available to look up some facts surrounding this story. Help them, if needed, in using the contents and index of the books to find articles on this story. The information sheets are provided to prompt them to find out particular information about the world in which this took place. Ask them to record the information they find. (Let them research until about 15 minutes of class is left, or they are done.)
4. When they are done, or time is up, gather them back together to discuss their findings. Let someone report on each of the elements on the information sheet. (If there is more that one group, let each group report what they found.) Refer to the questions in item 2 above to determine possible real conditions for the story.
5. Understanding the conditions under which the story took place, discuss needs of a baby under these conditions. Allow them to relate Moses as a baby to Elizabeth and her needs.
Again ask the question, “How could a baby survive this ordeal?” Let them give you their thoughts. Ask them how much of a hand do they think God had in this story. Remind them that God was active in this story in helping Moses to survive.
Close the class with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Faithful God, thank you for surrounding baby Moses with the love of his mother, his sister, and the princess so that he was able to survive this scary beginning to his life. Help us to remember that you are always surrounding us with love, too. Amen.
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Have them answer the following:
What do you think was the greatest danger baby Moses faced in the river?
- Beers, V. Gilbert. Family Bible Library, volume 3. Nashville, TN: Southwestern Publishing, 1971.
Bowker, John. The Complete Bible Handbook. London, England: DK Publishing, 1998.
- Clare, John D. and Wansbrough. The Bible Alive, London, England: HarperCollins, 1993.
- Hastings, Selena, The Children’s Illustrated Bible. London, England: DK Publishing, 1994.
- Smith, Marsha A. Ellis. Holman Book of Biblical Charts, Maps, and Reconstructions. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1993.
- Terrien, Samuel. The Golden Bible Atlas, New York: Golden Press, 1957.
- The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 6, World Book, Inc., Chicago, IL, 1987.
Information Sheet—The story of baby Moses
1. Where in the world did this story take place? Find it on the world map or globe and be prepared to show it to others.
2. Tell something about the river Nile:
How big is it?
How fast does it flow?
How much water flows? Is it the same always?
What is a delta, and how is it different from the rest of the river?
3. Based on the findings about the Nile, about what time of year do you think this story took place?
4. What was the weather probably like during this story?
5. What were some characteristics of Hebrew life during this period?
6. What were some characteristics of Egyptian life during this period?
7. What was the basket probably made of?
8. What kind of stuff is papyrus? hat kind of stuff is bitumen (tar)?
9. How old do you think Moses was when he was put in the basket?
10. Based on the age of Moses, how big do you think the basket was?
11. Based on the age of Moses, what do you think he needed to survive?
12. How or why do you think Moses survived this ordeal?
A lesson written by Jan Marshall from: Brenthaven Cumberland Pres.
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