Jacob and Esau's Choices (Children's Church Bible lesson)

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This free Children’s Church lesson plan was first written for elementary aged students. It covers the story of the brothers – Jacob and Esau – and the choices that they made. 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: Jacob and Esau’s Choices
Scripture: Genesis 25:24-34, 27:1-26
Target Age Group: Age 7 – 11 (U.S. 1st – 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 the choices of Jacob and Esau by retelling the story using the pictures.
Items Needed:

  • [print_link] this lesson plan
  • Bible: Genesis 25:24-34, 27:1-26. There is a detailed explanation below to help bring out some of the important parts of the story.
  • Drawing materials, puzzles, blocks
  • Suggested pictures to go with the lesson: 2 babies, bow and arrow, stew, money, cane, ear, sheep, bowl, fur, tongue (crossed out), lips, angry face

Worship:  Use Abraham, Sarah and Isaac Songs (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson. You can also browse our resources for worship music.

Teaching Plan: Jacob and Esau’s Choices

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.
Activity Choices: Have multiple activities available for the children to CHOOSE from: drawing, puzzles or blocks.
Abraham, Sarah and Isaac Songs
Bible Lesson Introduction
Find the Story Pictures! Have the children cover their eyes while you hide the story pictures around the room. After you have finished…have the children find them.
Bible Lesson
Have the children open their Bibles to Genesis 25:24-34, 27:1-26. To help them find it, use the following questions. Answers are in italics.

  • What part of the Bible is Genesis in? The Old Testament
  • What book of the Old Testament is Genesis? #1

Tell the story of Esau and Jacob using the pictures. Read the scriptures yourself before class to familiarize yourself with the story…so you’ll be able to be a better storyteller later. Have the children come up to the front of the room to hold up the pictures as you tell the story.
Genesis 25:24-26
• 2 babies picture – Rebekah and Isaac had 2 babies
Genesis 25:27-28
• Bow and arrow picture – Esau was a hunter – Jacob was not
Genesis 25:29-30
• Stew picture – Jacob was making stew
Genesis 25:31-34
• Esau sold his birthrights (inheritance) to Jacob for something to eat
Genesis 27:1-2
• Cane picture – Isaac was old
Genesis 27:3-4
• Bow and arrow picture – Isaac told Esau to go kill a wild animal so he could get the blessing
Genesis 27:5-8
• Ear picture – Rebekah was listening
Genesis 27:9-13
• Sheep picture – Rebekah told Jacob to get a couple of sheep
Genesis 27:14
• Bowl picture– Rebekah made stew for Isaac to trick him
Genesis 27:15-17
• Fur picture– Rebekah put fur on Jacob so he could be hairy like Easu
Genesis 27:18-26
• Tongue (crossed out) picture– Jacob lied to his father, Isaac
Genesis 27:27-32
• Lips picture– Isaac kisses Jacob and blesses him thinking that he’s Esau
Genesis 27:33
• Bow and arrow picture – Esau comes back
Genesis 27:34
• Angry face picture – Esau is mad because Jacob tricked him and his father
Discuss Bible Lesson
Genesis 25:24-34, 27:1-26 Discussion:
In the Bible story today, there were two brothers. What were their names? (allow for responses) Jacob and Esau were brothers who didn’t make very good choices. Jacob was making stew one day while Esau was hunting. Esau got hungry and wanted some of the stew. What was Jacob’s choice? (have the children talk to their neighbor about what happened next – then talk with the group) Jacob decided to ask for Esau’s birthright for a bowl of stew. Did Esau agree? Yes he did—probably not the best choice. He sold his inheritance for a bowl of stew. Then Jacob did something else. Who remembers what it is? (allow for responses) He tricked his father so that he would get the blessing.
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: What would you do?
Split the children into 2 groups: an Esau group and a Jacob group
Have the children answer the questions for their brother.
o What would they have done the same?
o What would they have done differently?
o What are their feelings?
o What choices were good/bad?
Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“One day Jacob was cooking some stew. Esau came in from the open country. He was very hungry.” Genesis 25:29 (NIRV)
Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:
One day: hold up one finger
Jacob was cooking some stew: stir an imaginary spoon in a pot
Esau came in from the open country: wave arms in front of you to show space
He was very hungry: rub hand on stomach
Genesis 25: hold up two fingers and then five finders
29: hold up two fingers and then nine fingers
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: Bible Verse Acting
Split the children into pairs. In each pair, one child is Jacob and the other one is Esau. As the rest of the class says the Bible Verse, the pair acts it out. Make sure that each pair gets to act out as this will give the class multiple times to be able to say the Bible Verse.
Have the children take turns (in groups) to retell the story by using the pictures.

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

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