TOWER OF BABEL: All Workshop lessons and ideas <here>

Tower of Babel Lessons and Ideas

Post your Tower of Babel lesson plans and ideas and lesson plans for all workshops here in this discussion.

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More ideas...

Art:

  • We had the older kids make "bricks" out of Sculpey clay at the beginning. After the bricks were baked and cooled, we had the kids write: "Put God First" on them and take them home as a reminder. While the "bricks" baked, we did other activities including the "babbling" idea from the Chidlren's ministry site you mentioned.  Posted by Jaymie Derden on March 02, 2004
  • We'll be covering the Tower of Babel as part of one of our summer rotations. I like the idea of Jenga blocks and having them build without being able to communicate - hadn't thought of that.

    Have any of you used the nooduls (not sure how you spell it, but it's not the "right" way) from craft stores? They're sort of like styrofoam peanuts and they stick together if you dampen them (they also dissolve if they get too wet - the kids love them). I'd thought about letting the kids build a tower with those or maybe trying to make some type of mud bricks. So many fun things to choose from ...  Posted by LeighD 2004
  • have kids make Dioramas of scene.
  • For the craft workshop the children will cut out pictures from magazines that represent things that keep them from putting God first.The pictures will be glued onto shoe boxes and used to build a "Tower of Babble" that can easily be knocked down. We will have printouts of the Lord's Prayer that we will then use to cover over the pictures on the boxes and permanently connect the boxes together, signifying the strength of our tower/ now altar, built in praise of God.  Posted by sweetcarol 2006

  • CLAY TOWER OR RELIEF MAP

    Have children create a tower from clay. Use pictures from an atlas for help. Or make a relief map of a particular country. Posted by Julie Burton 2006

Construction:

  • The younger children built towers out of big boxes.  Posted by Jaymie Derden on March 02, 2004

 

Cooking:

  • Then everyone made their own edible towers of Babel using vanilla wafers as the base and mini-marshmallows and icing. They had a good time trying to see how tall their towers could get. (And eating them!)
    Posted by Jaymie Derden on March 02, 2004
  • We had fun with a three-way cookie recipe. We started out with the basic dough and then added different combinations (according to the recipe) to come up with different varieties. Although, right now I can't remember how we made it tie in ).
    While they were baking, the teacher I was working with had the kids line up by size and then had them "cover" the space available in different ways--scrunched together to spread out--and then talked about how we could "cover more area" for God if we weren't all scrunched together. It really went a lot better than I'm describing....
    Posted by Beth B on July 07, 2003
  • As for cooking, the only thing that came to mind right away was Charoseth, an apple dish served in Seders to symbolize the mortar used in the bricks while the Israelits were in slavery.  Posted by Julie Burton

 

Games:

  • have teams try to build the highest tower, starting in English, then gradually change to jibberish. Or, you could see if your local library has tapes (video or audio) in other languages. Borrow several tape players; play all the tapes at once. How does that sound? Do you think it sounded something like that when God confused the languages?  Posted by Julie burton on February 24, 2004
  • JENGA BLOCKS

     I've also got a pretty good piece for the games workshop. Start with building a tower from Jenga blocks. The kids must work together to build it as tall as possible without it falling over. Next have them create a "babel" language of their own. When they are comfortable with that they can try building the tower again using the babel language. Discussion questions can center on how hard it is to build when you can't understand others-how did it feel? How can you work together to bridge the communication gaps?

  • HUMAN PYRAMID

    Used a lot of the ideas posted here. Kids enjoyed the story. Not a story covered in previous lessons when we followed other traditional formats. Had the kids make a human pyramid. Required working together to achieve. Can't make it real high. Posted by Phelpsfamily 2004

Music:

  • if your hymnal has global hymns in it, pick a familiar one that has more than one language with it. Do the English words first, then try to sing in the other language.  This passage has also been linked to Pentecost, when all the people could understand what was being said in their own languages.  Posted by Julie burton on February 24, 2004
  • Learn a song in another language. (Your hymnal should have some simple tunes. "Cantad El Senor" is an easy one.)Posted by Julie Burton 2006
  • I'd probably do something with CDs. Having at least 3 playing at the same time and have the kids try to figure out the words to the song. That way they get an idea as to the confusion.  Otherwise, I would find a CD with a different language (one the students would not know) Ex: Greek, Hebrew, ... Play that and ask the students what is being said.  I'd then go into the story and remind them of the confusion they experience. Talk about the feelings.  In the end I'd probably have the develop a language or secret code.  Posted by Wendy in Roch on June 28, 2003
  •  Teach them Jesus Loves Me in Spanish (or another language) and sign language.  Posted by Phelpsfamily 2004

  • I remember that the beginning of the play Godspell has the group singing "Babble, Babble ... until John the Baptist calls them to prepare the Way of the Lord. You may want to see if a movie version does the same.  Posted by Pam K 2006

  • We are definitely going to use the idea about the Godspell Prologue song "Babble, babble". The challenge now is coming up with lyrics that reflect the lives of our children, so that they really understand the message here. If time allows we also plan to teach the Lord's Prayer in sign language.  Posted by sweetcarol 2006


Video:

  • rent a video in another language. (Some of the VeggieTales are available in Spanish). Discuss how difficult it was to watch a video they couldn't understand.  Posted by Julie burton on February 24, 2004


Journaling:

  • building the tower "to the heavens" was an exercise in vanity. Have they ever tried to do something to build themselves up, but not for the glory of God? How does it feel to be somplace and not understand the language? (This would be a good place to talk about immigrants in your area - how are they welcomed?)  Posted by Julie burton on February 24, 2004


Children's Sermon:

  •  I did a children's sermon one time comparing the Statue of Liberty with the Tower of Babel. All around me were people speaking different languages. It was beautiful, but very confusing!  Posted by Julie burton on February 24, 2004

 


Other:

 

Invite someone who speaks another language to class:

  • Do you have any foreign exchange students who attend your church or local high school? We had a student from Switzerland come and talk in her home language. I had her read the story from her Bible she brought with her. The kids were amazed to hear and see a Bible written in a different language. They asked lots of questions and she answered them in Swiss and English. It was a great lesson.  Posted by jenny on February 25, 2004
  • Fortunately for me, one of my Board members knows several different languages. He is teaching the kids "polite" phrases in different languages and one of the hymns to sing in front of the congregation one morning. He's also got a Spanish woman coming in to talk about Cinco de Mayo.

 

Resource Books:

  • Forget-Me-Not Bible Story Activities, Group, (ISBN: 1559456337) if anyone else is looking for Tower of Babel ideas. The have directions for brick making, the words to Jesus loves Me in Spanish, and a lot more.  Posted by Debby on February 25, 2004
Original Post

Drama Lesson Idea:

 

The drama part should be fairly easy to do. Have children read the story through first, then divide into parts: the people, God, The Divine Council.

 

The people would act very boastful and proud of their huge tower that was reaching into the heavens.

 

The God and Divine Council parts would act confused: "What is this tiny thing down there?" God and the Council could do a conference where they decide how to handle this situation (ala Star Trek's Captain Picard and the crew in the Ready Room). If you don't have access to anyone who knows foreign languages, have the children make up gibberish sounds and try to talk to each other.

 

Reflection questions could include topics on boasting, pride, turning away from God; ask how it felt when they couldn't understand each other - frustrating, confusing, etc.

Discussion could also include how people from other countries feel when they come to America - do they understand our language? How do we treat them? Help them or ignore them?

 

Posted by Julia Burton

 



 

Shadow Puppet Play

 

Our puppet group did a very simple shadow puppet skit on this subject. I'm thinking you could use it for puppets or storytelling.

 

As the leader read the story from one of the children's/youth bibles the kids placed the appropriate shadows on the screen.

 

Shadow puppets are a great source for storytelling. We make ours from black posterboard and tape them to a thin dowel rod. Shadow puppets and shadow puppet theaters are cheap and easy to make. Some times after reading the story to the children I have let them make their own shadows to go along with the story!  Posted by Ronda Welander 2004

Storytelling Idea- Children's Sermon

 

Several years ago I went to New York. As we flew in, I was looking for the Statue of Liberty. I finally saw a speck, and realized that was it. From the ground it looks huge! (In this story, the people wanted to build a tower up to God. As they built this "huge" tower, God looked down and said, "What is that little thing there?")

As I sat at the base of the Statue, I was fascinated at all the people, some in native dress. The different languages swirled around me. (God came down, and confused the languages). One of the tourists handed me a camera, smiled and pointed to the rest of their group. It was clear no one spoke English! I smiled back, took the camera and took 2 pictures of them. (Even in the confusion of languages, we still found a way to communicate).

Read a portion of this story in another language (if there is someone in your congregation who is bilingual). How does it sound? Did you understand it? How do you think the people working on the tower felt when the language was suddenly confused?

Listen to a CD of different languages; find the countries on a map.

There is an interesting contrast to this story and the Pentecost story. In the Babel story no one could understand the languages; in Pentecost they could.

 

Posted by Julie Burton

 



 

Storytelling- Godly Play

  • In the Godly Play series Jerome Berryman pairs up the Tower of Bable story with the Pentecost story. The Tower of Babel was the Old Testament lesson for Pentecost Sunday years ago. You may want to look around under Pentecost or check out Berryman's "Complete Guide to Godly Play" volume 4.  Posted by Pam K 2006
  • How to create your own Godly Play Kit, includes Story.  Done using clothespeg people, wooden blocks, small map, container for storage - really nicely done with pictures by Lisa at Country Road
    http://ourcountryroad.blogspot...lling-box-godly.html  Added by Luanne 2014

 

Tower of Babel Movie Lesson Idea

Supplies:

  • Bibles
  • Jenga blocks (several sets)
  • dvd: Ted & Company's Creation, Chaos & Covenant: Stories from Genesis, ISBN 978-0-9676822-3-5, (available from amazon as well as from Ted and Company)

preview clip of video:


Open with prayer

Read The Jesus Storybook Bible ”A Giant Staircase to Heaven “ pages 48-55.

Read the Scripture: Genesis 11: 1-9

Another way (sort of silly) to tell the story. Show the "Tower of Babel" from  Creation, Chaos, and Covenant (Ted and Company) (9:16 long)

[For fun while discussing the story and video, divide the class into groups and build towers/play Jenga]

Discussion questions:

  1. Why did God stop the building?
  2. What was wrong with the people saying nothing was impossible for them?
  3. Who has been in a really tall building?
  4. What is different about our modern skyscrapers?
  5. What was wrong with the construction worker wanting to be part of something big, something eternal”?
  6. What monuments and towers have you built in your life?

 
Close with prayer

(Edited to add preview clip of video)

DVD - “The Tower of Babel and The Day of Pentecost” (New Superbook Series)Superbook Tower of Babble DVD

Chris and Joy struggle to communicate with a new student in their school who just moved from India. Suddenly Superbook takes Chris, Joy and Gizmo back in time when God created multiple languages on two different occasions - at the Tower of Babel and on the day of Pentecost. 

Lesson:  “Working together you can accomplish great things”.  (Animated - approx. 28 mins)

See Rotation.org reviews of the "New Superbook" DVD Series for more details on this series link.

Luanne

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