This lesson reviews the Creation story and focuses on God’s creation of animals and his wish for humans to care for them. It will help children to think about animals from a God-centered perspective. This lesson would work for Children’s Sunday School or Children’s Church. Estimated lesson length is 45-60 minutes.
The use of this material on or near October 4 in honor of World Animal Day and the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, would be especially appropriate.
By contributing writer, Nicole VanderMeulen, Children’s Ministry Coordinator at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Renton, Washington.
Through the exploration of the Creation Bible story, children will review the idea that God made everything and learn that God charged humans with caring for all of his creatures, plus explore practical ways to respond to his command.
Target Age Group: Children age 3-12 years
Bible Story: Genesis 1:1-31 Creation
Explanation: This lesson was designed to precede a pet blessing service. Inviting your entire congregation and community to bring their pets to the church lawn or parking lot to learn a bit about their pets’ training, dietery needs, and then be blessed can be a fun and meaningful ministry. Your event could include short worship, animal themed music, treats, pet and owner pictures, and much more. Be creative! Talk to your pastor to learn more about your dog’s dietary needs or click here to research wording for the actually blessing of pets.
- PRINT this lesson plan
- Recipe Ingredients
- Cookie Cutters
- Optional: God made the animals coloring sheet
Introduction Activity: As the children arrive and get settled, invite them to draw or color a picture of their favorite animal. Allow the children to share their animals and pictures, then ask them to think of one thing they could do to help take care of their favorite animal. Share ideas. Say, “Today’s lesson is about caring for God’s creation, especially animals. Keep thinking and listening and you will discover even more ways to care for God’s creatures.”
Bible Story: Supply the children with a sheet of paper and have markers or crayons available. You may also want to provide stickers (sun, moon, stars, flowers, animals, fish, etc.) Read the Creation story from Genesis 1:1-31. Explain that as you describe God’s creation, you would like the children to make their own picture of creation. When reading, pause after each day, and encourage the children to add what you just described to their picture (water/light/plants/etc.). Discussion questions following the reading may include: What did God make? What is your favorite thing God made? What do you think is the most important thing God made? What did God say at the end of each day? What did God give to the humans? What do you think God meant by “rule” over the animals and all living things?
Game: Play animal charades. Have one child act out an animal (without making any noise!) as the other children guess what creature is being portrayed. Play as many rounds as time allows. Activities with animal noises are also very appropriate and fun for young children. Let one child make an animal noise, as the rest guess the animal.
Activity: Work together with the children to make and bake dog biscuits. These could be distributed at a pet blessing, handed out after worship, or taken home to give to their own dogs. Here is one simple recipe idea. Using bone shaped cookie cutters also makes for a fun and cute final product. Discuss how this activity is helping us to take care of some of God’s animals.
Speaker: This lesson provides the perfect opportunity for a knowledgeable professional from your congregation or community to participate in your children’s ministry by sharing what they know about caring for animals. Invite a farmer, veterinarian, humane society volunteer, animal control officer, or other animal related professional to speak and answer questions during your lesson. If you are unable to find a volunteer speaker, consider researching animal care and sharing what you find out with your students. Possible topics could include: How to Pet a Dog or Finding a Lost Pet.
Conclusion: Finish with a short discussion brainstorming some reasons WHY it might be important to take care of God’s creation (God asked us to. It will make creation last longer. If we care for living things, they can help us). If time allows, it is fun to ask the children to share what kind of animal they would create if they had God’s power to make anything.
Prayer: Consider using a “repeat after me prayer”. Pause between every few words, allowing the children to echo what you have said. Dear God/Thank you/for everything/you made for us,/especially the animals./Help us/to take good care/of all of your gifts. /Amen.
You might also like our series of Bible lessons about creation.