Scripture: Genesis 1, with emphasis on verses 20-31.
Memory Verse/Key Verse: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. -- Psalm 136:1 (CEV)
· God created the world good.
· God wants us to care for God's creation.
The children will:
1. Locate the story of Creation in their Bibles (older children). Younger children will learn that the story is in Genesis.
2. Play a game that helps them explore the diversity of the world.
3. Play a game that illustrates the importance of each species and their interdependence.
4. Play a game that teaches environmental problems and solutions.
5. Consider ways in which they can take care of God’s creation.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
2. Open with a brief prayer
1. Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. The shepherds will bring extra Bibles. Help the students to find the book of Genesis. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.)
2. Begin with this statement: “Some people believe that the Creation story in the Bible is a history that tells us exactly how God made the world. Some people believe that it’s not history but a story that shows how ancient people understood their world. Whether it’s history or not, the Creation story in the Bible teaches us some important things about God and humans and the world, and that’s what we’ll be learning about today.”
3. Summarize Gen. 1: 1-19. The Creation story says that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. God made light and darkness. God made the sky, and separated the water from the land. God made the sun and the stars, and made day and night, and seasons of the year. And everything that God made was good.
Read Gen. 1:20-31 out loud
from the CEV. With older children, you might let the kids take turns reading.
Emphasize: God made the world and all its creatures good. After verses
God told the humans to rule over the fish and the birds and every animal. Does that mean humans can do whatever they want, and mistreat the animals or disregard their needs? A good ruler does not abuse those who don’t have power, but takes care of them.
God provided fruits and grains and other plants to be food for everything else that breathes – for all the animals. If humans are to rule the other creatures, what does that say about our responsibility for their food supply? People are responsible for taking care of the plants and the animals of the world. God wants us to take care of God’s creation.
Creation Scavenger Hunt
“Now, we’re going to explore Creation!”
Break the children into two teams (or more, depending on how many shepherds are available to help supervise). Give each team a copy of the scavenger list (see end of lesson plan). See which teams can find the most items on the list in 10 minutes – emphasize that they will not have time to find everything. They should mark items off the list as they find them. The teams might want to divide into several smaller groups and give each group part of the list. Tell them what time they MUST be back in the room.
You can shorten the list if you like, depending on the age and number of children in the group. Also, feel free to substitute your own ideas for items on the list.
Consider also making this a sock hike. Give the kids old socks to put on over their shoes. After the scavenger hunt, have them look at the things stuck to their socks. Where did those items come from? Did they see them while they were outside?
When the kids return, briefly discuss the wide variety of plants, animals, and non-living natural things that can be found in just 10 minutes on our church property, even though the land is largely devoted to building, parking lot, and grass. Imagine the variety that abounds worldwide!
The Web of Life
(If you think this game is too hard for the younger children, substitute Hawk, Swallow, Mosquito from the Rainy Day Options below.)
· Skein of yarn
· Index cards labeled with parts of a food chain. Attach lengths of yarn to the cards to fit around the students' necks. Examples might be:
* The sun (1 card), plants (8 cards), insects (6 cards), spider (3 cards), song bird (2 cards), hawk (1 card)
* The sun (1 card), plants (8 cards), water snails (6 cards), crayfish (4 cards), little fish (3 cards), turtle (2 cards), alligator (1 card).
You can adjust the number of cards according to the number of students, but make sure there are more plants and small critters than larger animals, and more herbivores than carnivores.
1. Students stand in a circle. Pass out one card to each student.
2. Ask which card would represent what all life needs to grow (the sun). Hand the end of the yarn to the "sun" cardholder.
3. What would be next in the chain? The students with "plant" cards each take a section of the yarn. The "sun" person should still hold tight to the beginning end of the yarn. The yarn will slowly be unwound to form a web of yarn. Continue through the list in the same manner until everyone is holding a section of yarn.
4. What would happen if one of the life forms were removed from the environment? Start removing things from their created environment. If something will not survive with another thing, another critter must be taken out of the web.
5. As the chain collapses, end with a discussion: What does this tell us about the importance of each living thing in the environment? When one plant or animal can’t survive, it affects other creatures. Most animals have more than one source of food, but if too many of an animal’s food sources disappear, the animal will disappear also. What does this tell us about human activities that kill off certain plants or animals, or destroy their habitat?
Source: Minnetonka Public Schools, http://www.minnetonka.k12.mn.us/science/tools/earthmonth.html#web
The Match Game
Pass out index cards on which you have written either an environmental problem or a solution. See list at end of lesson plan, and add your own ideas. Tell the children to figure out whether their card has a problem or a solution. Then have them go around the room and find the person with their card’s match. Some problems can have more than one solution.
Discussion: All the environmental problems on the cards are caused by things people do and the way we live. We need to look for solutions to the problems we cause.
Rainy Day Options
If weather does not permit the scavenger hunt, substitute one of these games:
Hawk, Swallow, Mosquito
“Do you know how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors? Let’s try Hawk, Swallow, Mosquito instead.”
Divide the children into pairs. “Everybody tap your fist on your palm for the counts of 1 and 2. On the count of 3, change your fist to any one of the following”:
· index finger for the hawk's hooked beak
· index finger and thumb straight out for the swallow's open mouth
· straight index finger for the mosquito' stabbing mouthparts
Who wins each round? Hawk catches swallow, swallow swallows mosquito, mosquito bites hawk.
Discussion is similar to the Web of Life discussion: In God’s creation, every animal has a role to play and they are interconnected and depend on each other. What would happen if all the swallows disappeared? The hawks would lose a source of food. What if all the hawks disappeared? All the mosquitoes? Even though we might think we’d like to see the mosquitoes go extinct, if it happened we would probably realize that they provided some benefits we weren’t aware of.
Source: National Wildlife Federation, Ranger Rick’s Kids Zone, http://www.nwf.org/rangerrick/summerfun/index2.html
This is played with two teams. Have a box and a garbage pail for each team. Bring in a pile of clean garbage and recyclable items. Set up this pile in between each team. The boxes and garbage pails are about 6 feet away. On the word GO, the kids run up grab an item, run and throw it in the proper disposal container, and run back to their team to tag the next runner. If they get it wrong they have to go back and get another item.
For older kids, consider having separate boxes for categories of recyclables so they have to sort paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum cans, steel cans, etc.
Source: Mrs. Bee’s Busy Classroom: http://dcrafts.com/earth2.htm
Trash or Treasure
Fill a large cardboard box, (reused, of course; decorated if you like), with items that are routinely trashed, such as wire hangers, gallon milk jugs, paper, six-pack rings, detergent bottles, bottle caps, and cereal boxes.
Begin with a demonstration. Draw an item from the box or can and tell a new way that the item can be used. Example: A wire hanger can be made into a mobile, a long hook for grabbing hard-to-reach items, or a wire sculpture. Some dry cleaners will also let you return the hangers to be reused. You can also reuse them at home to hang lightweight clothes.
Grades 3-5: Divide the kids into groups of 3 or 4. Hand out paper that has already been used on one side (trash cans in the church office are a possible source) and pencils (shepherds can supply). Have each group draw an item. Set the timer (in the supply bin) and give them two minutes to write down as many uses as they can think of for the item.
Grades 1-2: Have shepherds do the writing for the kids. Or just brainstorm as a class.
Discuss the 3 R’s of Trash: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. All of them help to save natural resources and keep trash out of landfills. We reduce trash by not buying disposable items, over packaged products, and things we don’t need. In this game, we practiced finding new uses for things that we otherwise would have thrown away, or that we might have bought new materials for instead. Recycling (for example, making new paper out of old paper, or making new metal products out of old cans) also saves natural resources and landfill space. It consumes less energy and causes less pollution than starting with new materials from the environment.
Source: Mina E. Harris, Texas A & M University. Clean Texas 2000. <http://www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/admin/topdoc/gi/235/chapter2.html#4>
This game would use bingo boards with pictures of animals, plants, water, and other natural things, and “environmental” words such as “recycle,” “pollution,” etc. The game leader would call out clues and the kids would figure out the correct picture or word to cover on their boards. I have not taken time to work up the game and make the boards since I didn’t know if it would be played, but I’ll be happy to do so if you know you want to use it. Give me as much notice as possible – can’t do it in a few minutes on a rainy Sunday morning! – Robin Morris
Recite the Bible memory verse learned in the Great Hall. “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” -- Psalm 136:1
Remind the children that God made the world good and wants us to take care of God’s creation.
Pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. (Tip: Fill in the “workshop” blanks ahead of time; otherwise, the children will spend the entire journal time spelling out “Antioch Arcade.”) Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the workshop.
Have the children trace one of their hands on the page, then write at the top of the page: God’s Creation is in Our Hands. (Write it on the white board for them.) Tell them to list some things they can do this week to take care of the world (pick up litter, collect recyclables, feed birds, plant a tree, ride bike instead of driving, etc.).
Prayer: Ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer. Go around the room and let each child name something they are thankful that God made. (It might be helpful to have them pass an object around so that whoever is holding the object knows it is their turn.) End with, “Thank you, God, for creating all these good things. Help us to take care of your good creation. Amen.”
Tidy and Dismissal: Have the children help tidy up before they leave.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read Genesis 1-2 and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare a closing prayer.
3. Write the scripture verse on the white board or display it in the room some other way.
4. Prepare game materials.
Dry-erase marker (in supply bin)
Lists for scavenger hunt
Old socks (optional)
Skein of yarn
Index cards prepared for Web of Life
Index cards prepared for Match Game
Trash, recyclables, and containers for Recycling Relay (optional)
Trash, used paper, container, and timer (in supply bin) for Trash or Treasure (optional)
Creation Scavenger Hunt
(No manmade objects!)
Other mammal ____
Other insect ____
Granddaddy longlegs ____
Animal nest ____
Spider web ____
Something living on a tree trunk ____
Animal that's camouflaged ____
Animal tracks ____
Egg case of a spider or insect ____
Animal part (bone, skin, feather, etc.) ____
Possible food for an animal ____
Plant with thorns ____
Plant that's been munched on ____
Five different-shaped leaves ____
Tree with rough bark ____
Tree with smooth bark ____
Smooth rock ____
Rough rock ____
White rock ____
Something bird might use in nest ____
Something very smooth ____
Something prickly ____
Something wet ____
Something each color of rainbow:
Indigo (a purple blue) ____
Something that is moving fast ____
Something hard ____
Something that floats ____
Something pointy ____
Something with cracks ____
Something noisy ____
Something with strong smell ____
Something a deer could eat ____
Something a bird could eat ____
Something slippery ____
Something soft ____
Something cold ____
Something short ____
Something hot ____
Non-living thing that never was alive ____
A sound from a living thing ____
Something under a rock ____
Something on a piece of wood ____
National Wildlife Federation, Ranger Rick’s Kids Zone. <http://www.nwf.org/rangerrick/summerfun/index2.html>
Mrs. Bee’s Busy Classroom. <http://dcrafts.com/earth.htm>
Suggested problems and solutions (some problems have more than one solution)
Garbage takes up too much space in landfills.
Reuse things instead of throwing them away.
Recycle your trash.
Don’t buy disposable products or over packaged products.
Buy recycled products.
Water supplies are running low.
Grow plants that don’t have to be watered.
Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth.
Producing electricity pollutes the air or produces radioactive waste.
Set your thermostat a few degrees colder in the winter and warmer in summer.
Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Automobiles pollute the air.
Ride your bike.
Take the bus.
Plan to do a lot of errands in a single trip.
Forests are being destroyed all over the world.
Roadsides are trashy.
Pick up litter; never throw it.