This lesson is shared as Ministry-To-Children’s contribution to Blog Action Day 2010. The goal of the event is to encourage bloggers worldwide to post about the same issue on the same day on their blogs, sparking discussion about a topic of global importance. Today, we are participating in the discussion about the 2010 theme, Water, through the sharing of this lesson.
These lesson ideas would work for Sunday School or Children’s Church. It was written by Nicole VanderMeulen, Children’s Ministry Coordinator at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Renton, Washington.
Bible Passage: Genesis 1:6-10
Bible Story Title: God Creates Water
Target Age Group: children age 3-12
Target Time Frame:30 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Children’s Church or Sunday School
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Children will explore God’s gift of water (and how we might preserve and share it!) through Bible stories.
Explanation: Water is a key element found in many stories throughout the Bible, from Noah’s ark and the baptism of Jesus to the woman at the well and Moses parting the Red Sea. Many church denominations use water to celebrate the sacrament of baptism and many Christians see water as a symbol of cleansing, redemption, and forgiveness. It was a gift God gave us through his creation and it is crucial to the survival of every living thing, yet almost a billion people on our planet are without access to clean, safe water. Rather than provide one stand alone lesson in regard to water, below you will find many water related learning activities. Use all of them, or pick and choose what works for you!
Items You May Need:
- Non break-able containers
- Reusable Water Bottles
- Permanent Markers, Paints, Stickers, Decals, etc.
- Bowls and Towels
- Baby Doll
- Rubber Duckies
- Baptismal Font or Pool
- You may also enjoy our coloring pages about creation.
Caring for and Sharing the Gift:
- Share Genesis 1:6-10. Discuss: If God gave us the gift of water and said it was good, how would he want us to take care of that gift? Brainstorm ways to save water (like shutting off the water when you brush your teeth, only running the washing machine or dishwasher when they are really full, washing your car on top of the grass, watering plants with used dishwater, fixing leaks, or taking a short shower instead of a bath).
- Reinforce the idea of saving water by playing a water relay game. Divide into two teams. Fill a clean open-topped non-breakable container with water for each team; be sure the containers are the exact same size and filled to the brim with water (do not fill to the top for preschoolers). Set a start and finish point. At a signal, the first runner heads for the finish line, walks over the line, turns around and heads back to his or her team, and passes the container to the next person in line. At the end of the race, the team with the most water still in the container is the winner.
- Explore global water facts or other lesson activities found at http://water.org/learn-about-the-water-crisis/lessonplan/.
- Collect or fundraise money to help people who don’t have clean, safe drinking water. Give to charity: water through the Blog Action Day fundraising page or any organization that gives the gift of water.Pro
- Provide each child with a reusable water bottle to decorate with permanent markers, paints, stickers, decals or other art supplies. Discuss what a gift it is to have easy, inexpensive access to clean, safe drinking water. Talk about how not using bottled water creates less waste.
Water and the Bible:
- Read Bible stories about water. Here are a few and you may be able to think of more! Creation (Genesis 1:6-10), Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6-9), Moses and the Red Sea (Exodus 14), Jonah and the Big Fish (Jonah), Jesus is Baptized (Matthew 3 or Luke 3), Jesus Walks on Water (Mark 6:45-56), Woman at the Well (John 4), Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet (John 13:1-17), and many more….
- Look for similarities and differences between stories that talk about water in the Bible. Lead children to see how water often involves a miracle, cleansing, forgiveness, or redemption.
- Invite the children to create and share a picture of a story from the Bible that includes water.
- Play Charades or Pictionary using stories about water from the Bible.
Water and Ritual:
- Teach your students about how water is used in ritual or sacrament at your church. For example, if you practice infant baptism, you may want to demonstrate how it is done and read the words from the baptismal worship service, while you demonstrate with a bowl of water and a baby doll. If your congregation provides baptismal gifts (a candle, napkin, certificate, etc.), share and explain these items with students. Invite your Pastor to speak with children about baptism and possibly even provide a tour of your worship space, focusing on the baptismal font or pool.
- Remind kids that they are a child of God, washed clean of their sins. Use a bowl of water and invite each child to dip their finger and use the water to place a cross on their forehead, or talk about how we clean ourselves compared to how God cleans us. You could even give each child a washcloth, rubber ducky, or other token to remind them about how God washes our sins away.
- Wash each others’ feet! Provide pitchers of water, bowls, and clean towels for the foot washing. Share the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet found in John 13. Talk about foot washing as a sign of humility and service.