Tuesday, May 19, 2015

OT Hero: Noah

The story of Noah's ark is probably the most iconic children's Bible story. With all the animals, and rainbow, it's especially appealing to illustrate.  I caution you though: don't reduce this catastrophic, historical event to a cute story about a floating zoo. Noah's story is one of radical faith, obedience, judgment, salvation and promise. Be sure to bring out these themes in your lesson. Otherwise Noah's Ark becomes a "fairy tale from Sunday School land," sowing seeds of doubt in the minds of children about the truth and authority of God's Word.

Bible Truth: Noah believes God's promises.
Bible Story: Noah obeyed God, and God kept His promise to Noah.
Bible Study: Genesis 6-9


There are so many ways to tell the story of Noah's Ark.  Here are a few ideas:
  • Read the story from a children's Bible, or tell the story with flannel graph visuals.  Have the kids interact by "sawing" and "hammering" to build the ark; identifying animals that they see in the pictures; making rain; rocking in the ark; and waving their hand above their head to make a rainbow.
  • Use a box, like a shoe box, as an ark, with a door way cut out that can open and close  Act out the story with people and animal figurines.  Let each child put an animal into the ark.
  • Use a larger box that the kids can get inside.  Let them take turns being Noah, and bring stuffed animals to fill the ark.

Regardless of the visuals you use tell the story, be sure to include these important details, which are often left out, or glossed over in children's version of the story.
  • Noah loved God and obeyed God, but the rest of the people in the world did not love God. They disobeyed God.  They were fighting, hurting each other, stealing, and killing each other. God told Noah that He was going to destroy all of their wickedness.
  • Noah built the ark exactly the way that God told him to build it.
  • Noah warned people that God was going to destroy everything, and invited them to come onto the ark with him, but people just laughed at him and thought that he was crazy.
  • Everyone and everything that did not get on the ark with Noah was drowned and destroyed.
  • Noah and his family were saved because they obeyed God.  Raise your hand if you want to obey God like Noah!
  • Remember that the Bible always refers to it as a ark, not as a boat. :)

Also, in any visuals that you use, try your best to convey an accurate representation of the ark.  Compare the two pictures below.  See how the cutesy floating zoo evokes outlandish fantasy, while the other helps children believe that this is an event that really did happen.

Does this look like anything that could hold hundreds of animals and survive a global flood? 
If we want our children to believe that God's Word is true we have to present it as accurate and true.
A picture like this is much more believable and more historically accurate.

sing & play

mr. noah & animal pairs

For this game you will need an animal matching type card game.  I've picked up a couple sets from Target's dollar section, but whatever you have on hand will do. Separate the cards into two sets of animals. Have the children sit down in a circle.  Distribute cards from one set to the children, and hold the other set yourself with the cards face down.  Sing "Mr. Noah Built an Ark" (see the lyrics below),  When you get to the animal naming part of the song, hold up a card from your set of cards to determine the animal.  Tell the children to hold up their card if they have the matching animal.  Give them your card to hold and make an animal pair, and continue singing the song.  You can also have the children stand up and do actions to imitate the animal.  Follow the link below to download the words and actions for the song.


noah's ark collage

I like doing art and craft projects that encourage the children to be creative, which also gives me the opportunity to peek into their little brains, and makes the craft more personal.  This is a very simple craft, with literally no prep, that the kids in my class always love!  You will need:
  • construction paper
  • craft sticks
  • animal stickers or stamps
  • tissue paper squares in a variety of colors
  • glue
I tell the children that I am going to give them wood to build an ark on their paper.  I distribute craft sticks, and have them layout their sticks to design their ark.  When they are finished designing, I put the glue on the sticks.  Then they turn over their sticks to glue them into place.  It is so interesting to see all the different designs that they are able to come up with.

After gluing down the craft sticks they can add animals to their picture, and then tissue paper squares as a rainbow.  This craft really is meant to be their own design, with a collage representation.  When doing this craft a couple years ago, one little boy commented, "I can't believe my teacher is letting me do this!"  He clearly enjoyed the freedom of creating his own piece of artwork.  Here are some samples of the finished product, from children who were all-smiles-proud of their work!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing all these great lessons! They are so helpful in teaching the little ones at church!