Kids Bible Lesson: Building the Tabernacle

This free Children’s Church lesson plan was first written for elementary aged students. It covers the story of Moses and the people of Israel building the Tabernacle. This material could also be used as the Bible lesson for children’s Sunday school. Be sure to consider your own ministry context and modify it as needed. Please leave any feedback or suggestions for improvement in the comment box at the bottom of this page.

Bible Story:The Building of the Tabernacle Offering
Scripture: Exodus 25-30
Target Age Group: Age 6 – 11 (U.S. Kindergarten – 5th Grade)
Time: 20 Minutes
Learning Context: Children’s Church
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Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate an understanding of giving (offering) by talking with their neighbors about what special gifts they could give to God.

Target Age: Kindergarten – 5th
Items Needed:

  • Bible: Exodus 25-30. There is a detailed explanation below to help bring out some of the important parts of the story.
  • Building blocks
  • Magazines, glue, large piece of paper labeled “Our gifts to God”
  • Picture of tabernacle model (www.ebibleteacher.com)
  • 1 piece of construction paper per child, craft sticks, Bible Verse written on slips of paper, glue, construction paper scraps, marker

Worship: Use Moses Songs (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.

Teaching Plan: The Building of the Tabernacle

Welcome Activity
Welcome activities are things to have out for the children to do as they are arriving for class. These activities will get them engaged as soon as they arrive and will help the transition from their parents.

Building with blocks – allow the children to make buildings with blocks.

Worship: Moses Songs

Bible Lesson Introduction

Have the children work together to build a building with all of the blocks.

Bible Lesson

  • What part of the Bible is Exodus in? The Old Testament
  • What book of the Old Testament is Exodus? #2

Read Exodus 25:1-9 (NIRV) aloud to the children.

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to bring me an offering. You must receive the offering for me from all whose hearts move them to give.
3 “Here are the offerings you must receive from them.
“gold, silver and bronze
4 blue, purple and bright red yarn and fine linen
goat hair
5 ram skins that are dyed red
the hides of sea cows
acacia wood
6 olive oil for the lights
spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet-smelling incense

7 onyx stones and other jewels for the linen apron and chest cloth
8 “Have them make a sacred tent for me. I will live among them. 9 Make the holy tent and everything that belongs to it. Make them exactly like the pattern I will show you.

Discuss Bible Lesson
Pass around the picture of the tabernacle model so that the children will have an idea of what it might have looked like

Skim through Exodus 25:10-30:38

  • These are all of the details given from God on how to build the tabernacle
  • Talk about some of the details
  • Talk about how God gives us detailed directions on what to do and how to do it
  • Remember that the Israelites had never seen, let alone built, a tabernacle before. God had to go step by step with them so that they would get it right. That way, also, they knew that God was in charge and not them!

Bible Lesson Activities
Use the following activities to reinforce the learning goals. If time is short, move on to the evaluation portion of the lesson plan.

Activity: Building a Tabernacle

“In our Bible Story today, the people of Israel built a tabernacle (or a church) so that they had a place to worship God. Let’s build our own.”

  • Give each child a piece of construction paper, Bible Verse and glue
  • Let the children glue their Bible Verse on their paper
  • Make sure that each child writes their name on their paper
  • Have the children glue the craft sticks onto their paper in the shape of a building (each child’s building will look different – encourage their creativity)
  • When their “building” is complete have them tear scraps of construction paper and glue them onto their building

Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“Everyone who wanted to give offerings to the Lord brought them to him.” Exodus 35:21 (NIRV)

Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:

Everyone: point to others in the class
Who wanted to give offerings: put arms straight out as though giving something
To the Lord: point to the ceiling
Brought them to him: put arms straight out as though giving something
Exodus 35: hold 3 fingers on one hand and 5 fingers on the other hand
21: hold 2 fingers on one hand and 1 finger on the other hand

Do this a few times with the children. Make it fun for them to do the motions and say the words. Involving them in active learning is essential for memorization.

Activity: “Our Gifts to God” Class Collage

“In our Bible Verse today, the people brought what they had and gave it to God. We are going to make a class project of things we could give to God.”

  • Lay the large piece of paper on the table or floor
  • Let the children look through the magazines for things they could give to God
  • When they find something, they can rip it out of the magazine and glue it to the large piece of paper

Evaluation: Have the children talk with their neighbors about what special gifts they could give to God.

Need More Ideas? Then browse our list of children’s  Sunday School material or find a children’s church game.


Comments

  1. Lake Murray Church says

    I agree with you. After I read through the lesson I couldn’t help but think how we tend to believe children cannot understand doctrine. So we have to turn important accounts into topical lessons like, “God will help you build whatever you want to build”. It is actually pretty pathetic. I think the Lord wants me to create my own lesson. I was looking for a lesson in which you pointed out, the Tabernacle points to Jesus Christ.

  2. Laura Mawer says

    I love the idea of teaching children that God is real and that as believers in Jesus we are to offer Him good gifts. But I have several concerns about this lesson. 1) God gave specifications on how to build the Tabernacle. It had a specific structure for specific purposes–God’s purposes. The Tabernacle was not a church building. A church building can have any creative design, just like the assignment the lesson gives the children. But to teach the Tabernacle, the project should have children make their own model of the Tabernacle, even if it’s a flat picture made from popsicle sticks. (You could use popsicle sticks glued on a sheet of paper to show the exterior of the T. and toothpicks to show the interior Holy place and inside that the Holy of Holies.) 2) A real lesson of the T. would include teaching children about the elements God required in the T. and what they were used for. The T. was the location God chose as a place for His own presence to meet with the people. It was the place sacrifices were offered. These sacrifices pointed to Jesus’s final sacrifice. When Jesus said “It is finished” He was saying that the sacrificial system that played out at the Tabernacle and later at the Temple (a stationery Tabernacle) was finished through HIs own sacrifice of Himself for our sins. Teaching the Tabernacle apart from its significance to Jesus’s sacrifice for sin severely weakens any lesson. 3) Cutting out pictures from magazines as things to offer God as sacrifices is a good way to keep children busy, but is it really teaching them what it means to make a sacrifice of the heart to God?

  3. Bola Owoade says

    Thanks for your generousity. This is the best children’s church resource website I have come across on the web, it’s really a great blessing.

  4. Mavis says

    I am looking for a place to get good pictures for some of these Bible stories. Do you have any idea where I might get really good pictures?
    Not just coloring pages but pictures to illustrate the Bible stories.

  5. Lisa Jackson says

    I just read over this lesson and I really like it. The children that I teach are between the ages of five and seven and I am sure they will love the lesson and all the activities. I will leave a follow-up comment after I have actually taught the lesson. Thanks for all of your help.

  6. Minister Jessie says

    Ministry to Children
    This is a great lesson plan to be shared with our Church,
    youth gatherings, Sunday School or Bible Study. We often talk
    about children being a gift from God, but I especially like the concept about what gifts are the children giving back to God. I know that we teach them about tithes and offerings, but often times we fail to teach them that God has blessed them with so many gifts and how can they give these gifts back to God and share their special gifts with others; this will be a great lesson learned for our children and adults….. thanks for sharing, God bless you and your ministry.

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