Incorporating dramatic play or hands-on projects into Christian and Jewish lesson plans can deepen children’s understanding and enjoyment of the Bible. Fun activities help children learn and remember scripture, such as the story of God sending Moses to deliver a message to the pharaoh ordering release of enslaved Hebrews. Eventually the recalcitrant pharaoh capitulated, but only after infliction of 10 increasingly severe plagues. Adjust biblical interpretations and the intensity of activities according to the ages and maturity of children.
Moses Confronts Pharaoh
Skits are a fun and effective tool for imparting knowledge. Begin by reading and discussing the biblical story of Moses in Egypt. Assign children roles to play in the story, such as the part of Moses, the pharaoh and Hebrews. Instruct the children to re-enact Moses’ visits to the pharaoh, including the time when Moses and the pharaoh’s magicians turn staffs into snakes. Students can ad lib or develop a script for a short play to perform for friends or family. Children can drape old sheets around themselves for costumes. Make staffs and snakes from cardboard or use rubber snakes as props.
Plagues of Egypt
Briefly describe the 10 plagues: river of blood, frogs, gnats, flies, sickened livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and loss of first born babies. Stress that the Hebrews were spared because they were good people who followed God's instructions. Pass out transparencies or drawing paper and markers. Instruct children to draw a picture of how the plagues disrupted Egypt. For example, a child might draw a home invaded by locusts. Display the illustrated transparencies or tape the finished drawings to the wall and discuss.
Stone Hearted Pharaoh
Explain that the plagues continued because the merciless pharaoh had a hard heart and refused to obey God or grant slaves their freedom. State that Moses had a soft heart because he loved and obeyed God. Supervise the children as they search outside for a smooth rock. Instruct children to paint a heart on their rock. In the center, instruct children to write, “Pharaoh had a heart of stone.” Next, tell the children to apply glue over the outline of the heart, and then add glitter or small cotton balls to make glitzy paperweights.
Let My People Go
Decorating banners is a creative way of reminding children how God rewarded the Hebrews for their faithfulness by arranging their freedom and safe journey to the promised land. Point out that God’s repeated message to the pharaoh was, “Let my people go.” Instruct children to write these words on a banner made from two sheets of construction paper taped together or use long strips cut from butcher paper. Encourage children to decorate their banner with glitter and colorful markers. Find a place to display the beautiful banners.
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Mary Dowd holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master's degree in counseling and student personnel from Minnesota State University, Mankato. In her 20 years of higher education experience, she has taught classes, served as interim dean of students, and worked in many areas of student affairs, including student discipline, career advising, orientation and violence prevention.