Joseph and His Brothers – Families (Preschool Bible Lesson)

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Preschoole Bible LessonsThis printable lesson plan is designed to teach preschool aged children about the story of Joseph and his family. It could be used in any setting with children age 2-5 at church, including a preschool Sunday School class or a preschool children’s church class. As always, 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. We also have an elementary version of this Joseph lesson plan.

Bible Story: Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors
Scripture: Genesis 37:3-4, 17-28
Target Age Group: Age 2 – 5 (U.S. preschool ages)
Time: 20 Minutes
Learning Context: Church Preschool Class
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Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate an understanding of the story by acting out the story.

Items Needed:

  • {print_link] this lesson plan
  • Bible, Genesis 37:3-4, 17-28
  • Printable “Joseph and His Brothers” Story Booklet PDF
  • 1 coffee filter per child, watercolors, newspaper, marker to write their names
  • 1 popsicle stick per child, 1” white construction paper circle (for his head), yarn for hair – cut to about 1” in length, marker, glue, tape
  • Paper, crayons
  • Worship
  • Use the “Family Songs” (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.

Teaching Plan: Joseph and his Family

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.
Watercolor Coffee Filter – Cover the table with newspaper and let the children use watercolor paints to paint a coffee filter…let it dry…and it will be used later in the lesson. Make sure that you write each child’s name on their coffee filter so that you will be able to give them their own later.
Worship: Family Songs
Bible Lesson Introduction
Before class starts, draw a happy face on each of the white circles
“Have your parents ever given you anything? (allow for responses) Well, in our Bible story today, Joseph’s father gave him a beautiful robe of many colors. At the beginning of class, you made a beautiful painting with watercolors. We are now going to turn that into Joseph’s colorful robe.”

  • Give each child a popsicle stick and their watercolor coffee filter from the Welcome Activity
  • Help the children poke their popsicle stick through the center of their coffee filter
  • Help the children tape their coffee filter onto their popsicle stick as Joseph’s robe
  • Have the children glue the Bible Verse onto Joseph’s robe
  • Have the children glue Joseph’s head onto the popsicle stick
  • Help the children glue yarn onto Joseph’s head for hair
  • Keep these projects close by as the children will be using them during the Bible Story

Bible Lesson
Read Genesis 37:3-4, 17-28 (NIRV) aloud to the children. There is also a book that you can print out that has the story along with simple pictures to help the children understand what is being read.
Read the verses (story) to the children. If you are using the print out story, point to the pictures as you read the story so that the children can better understand what you are saying.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
17 So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the desert, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the richly ornamented robe he was wearing- 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

Read the verses (story) again, but this time have the children hold up their Joseph project each time they hear the name Joseph
Discuss the Bible Reading
When you are finished reading the story the second time, ask the children the following questions so that you can know they understood it.
“Who was in the story?” Jacob, Joseph and his 11 brothers
“What did Joseph’s father, Jacob, give to him?” A beautiful robe
“Why were Joseph’s brothers mean to him?” They thought their father loved him more
“What did Joseph’s brothers do to him at the end of today’s story?” They sold him

Bible Lesson Craft / Activity

Use the following activities to reinforce the learning goals. If time is short, move on to the evaluation portion of the lesson plan.
Activity: Family Pretending
We have been talking about Joseph and his brothers today? Do any of you have brothers? (allow for responses) What about sisters? (allow for responses) Does anyone have mom or dad? (allow for responses) What about a Grandma or Grandpa? (allow for responses) Let’s see here: brothers, sisters, moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas. If I put these all together, what do I get? (allow for responses) You are absolutely correct! We get a family!
People in our families do different things. Like, my mom loves to bake cookies. Let’s all pretend that we are baking cookies. (do so and encourage the children to follow) What are some things that people in your family like to do? (allow for responses and then pretend to do the actions suggested)”
Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons and he made a richly ornamented robe for him.” Genesis 37:3 (NIV)
Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:
Now Israel loved Joseph: hug yourself
more than any of his other sons: point to imaginary people
and he made a richly ornamented: make sparkling motions with hands
robe for him: act like putting on a robe
Genesis 37: hold up three fingers and then seven fingers
3: hold three fingers up
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 at this age.
Bible Verse Activity: Drawing our Family
Have the children draw a picture of their family.
Have the children act out the story as you tell it.

Need More Preschool Ideas? Then browse our list of preschool Bible lessons or check out some printable Bible coloring sheets.

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