This is the 2nd in a 5-part series on the life and ministry of Moses, including a lesson entirely on the 10 Commandments. This printable lesson plan is designed to teach preschool aged children about the story of Moses and the Desert. 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. Click here to view the index.
Bible Story: Moses and the Desert – Exodus 3:1-8
Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate an understanding of the how God got Moses’ attention by telling the main parts of the story.
Target Age: 2 year olds – 5 year olds
- Bible, Exodus 3:1-8.
- “Moses and the Desert” Booklet PDF file
- 2 large brown paper grocery bags, tape, scissors, markers
- 1 piece of white construction paper per child, red tissue paper, yellow tissue paper, glue, water, bowls, 1 paintbrush (or cotton swab) per child, marker, crayons
- CD player, CD
Use the “Moses Songs” (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.
Teaching Plan: Moses and the Desert
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.
* Make a large “burning bush” with the children…this will be used later in the lesson. Open 2 large brown paper grocery bags and tape them together. Draw an outline of a tree on it. When the children get to class, trace their hands, as leaves, and have them color it.
Worship: Moses Songs
Bible Lesson Introduction
Talk with the children about fire. What do you do when you see fire?
Read Exodus 3:1-8 (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.
Read Exodus 3:1-8 (NIRV) aloud to the children.
1 Moses was taking care of the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. Jethro was the priest of Midian. Moses led the flock to the western side of the desert. He came to Horeb. It was the mountain of God.
2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him from inside a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire. But it didn’t burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I’ll go over and see this strange sight. Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”
4 The Lord saw that Moses had gone over to look. So God spoke to him from inside the bush. He called out, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am,” Moses said.
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals. The place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6 He continued, “I am the God of your father. I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.”
When Moses heard that, he turned his face away. He was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, “I have seen my people suffer in Egypt. I have heard them cry out because of their slave drivers. I am concerned about their suffering.
8 “So I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them up out of that land. I will bring them into a good land. It has a lot of room. It is a land that has plenty of milk and honey.
Read the story again, but this time have the children act out the story (being Moses) using the large “burning bush” from the Welcome Activity.
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?” Moses, God
“What did Moses find on the mountain?” A burning bush
“Who was talking through the bush?” God
“What did God want Moses to do?” Save His people from Egypt
“Do you think that he will follow God?” Yes, he will
Bible Lesson Craft / Activity
Activity: The Burning Bush
• Using the red and yellow tissue paper, cut tear drop patterns making several of each color per child
• Make a mixture of 1 part glue and 1 part water in the bowls
“What did Moses find in our story today? (allow for responses) Right. Moses found a burning bush. Wow! A bush that wasn’t burning! Who was in the bush? (allow for responses) God was in the bush. Today we are going to make our own burning bush to take home. Let’s get started!”
* Give each child a white piece of construction paper and a paintbrush
* Set out bowls containing a mixture of one part glue and one part water
* Have the children place red and yellow tissue flames on the paper at random, overlapping the yellow and red flames
* While the children are doing this, go around and write each child’s name on their paper
* Have the children paint over the flames with the glue mixture using a paintbrush. The overlap of the yellow and red flames should produce orange flames.
* If time allows, let the children use the crayons to color more on their picture
Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
“Moses saw that the bush was on fire. But it didn’t burn up.” Exodus 3:2
Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:
Moses saw: circle fingers around eyes (as though using binoculars)
that the bush: squat down and grow like a bush
was on fire: wiggle fingers as though they were fire
But it didn’t burn up: shake head “no”
Exodus 3: hold 3 fingers up
2: hold 2 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: Following God (a.k.a. Follow the Leader)
“Last week, Moses was a baby and the Pharoah’s daughter found him in the river. Today, we will be learning how Moses followed God. We are going to follow God ourselves today.”
• Play “Follow the leader” with the children, giving different children turns to be the leader.
Have the children tell you the main parts of the story.