Scripture: Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-2
Ages: 1st through 3rd grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week while they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Have the children open their Bibles to Genesis 1.
Read the story to the children and have them read along silently. (At this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.) Tell them to pay close attention to what God created on each day. Stop to discuss what you have read.
Another way of sharing this story is with The Word and Song Bible and CD set. This is a beautifully illustrated Bible with an accompanying CD soundtrack narration that really captures their attention.
Genesis 1 (NIV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
- Who created the heaven and the earth? God
- What did it look like at first? formless, empty, dark
- What did God create the first day? light and darkness
- How did He create light? He said, “Let there be light.” He spoke it into existence out of nothing. He made it with his words.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
- What did God do the second day? He separated the water on the land from the water that is in the sky.
- What is the water in the sky? Clouds. Humidity.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
- What did He create on the third day? He gathered the waters into seas and made dry land. Then he made plants and trees on the land.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
- What did He create on the fourth day? The sun, moon, and stars. Day and night.
- Why did He create the sun, moon and stars? (Remember, He had already created light for the trees and plants.) To mark the days, years and sacred times.
- Is it confusing that God created the sun, moon, and stars after He made light already? In Revelations there is a description of the heavenly city. Revelations 21:23 says “ The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” This verse helps us to understand that God was able to make light shine before the sun, moon and stars were created.
- Did God like what He had made so far? Yes. He said that it was “good”.
- Have you ever drawn a picture and then stood back to look at it for a little bit to see if you liked it before you continued to finish it? Can you imagine that God did that too when He was creating the earth and the universe?
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
- What did God create on the fifth day? All the sea creatures and birds.
- What did God tell the sea creatures and birds to do? Be fruitful and increase in number.
- What does it mean to be fruitful and increase in number? Have babies!
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
- What did God create on the sixth day? Animals that live on the land, and mankind.
- How was mankind different than the other creatures? He was made in God’s image.
- What do you think “in his image” means? We look like Him.
- What did God tell mankind to do? Be fruitful and increase in number (have babies). Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over all the animals.
- What did God give man to eat? Plants and fruit.
- What did He give animals to eat? Plants.
- Did God like what he had made after the 6th day? Yes. He said that it was “good”.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
- What did God do on the 7th day? He rested.
- Do you think that that means that He went to sleep? Or that He stopped creating new things and stood back to admire and enjoy what He had made? Psalm 21:3 says ”He who watches over you will not slumber”
- Let’s pray and thank God for making us and such a beautiful creation for us to live in…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
If the weather is nice go outside to play Scripture Jump-rope. The child that jumps through the verse the most times wins.
Share a video of this story:
Watch the youtube video “Creation Calls”. This video is stunning, and the kids will love it.
Share the story “The Story and the Song” and “The Beginning: A Perfect Home” from “The Jesus Story Book Bible” (Make sure that you order the collector’s edition, which has the DVD with the stories animated and narrated. It’s wonderful.)
Older kids will enjoy this video series from Answers in Genesis. Scroll down to “Six Short Days” parts 1 – 5
Younger kids will enjoy this video series from Answers in Genesis. Scroll down to “The Animal Kinds, parts 1-2
Have the children make a book called “In the Very Beginning” by Jill Kemp from Lambs Songs. (Scroll down.)
Have the children make this craft from Auntie’s Bible Lessons.
Here are several craft ideas from Crafting the Word of God.
Share this children’s sermon from Sermons4kids. Don’t forget the activities at the bottom of the page!
This lesson from Free Sunday School Curriculum has some worksheets, a craft and a color page. (It loads slowly, but it is worth the wait.)
Play this game from Children’s Ministry.
Take a nature walk if the weather is nice. Give the children each a plastic bag or a plastic container and lid to collect pretty rocks, leaves, flowers, etc. Talk about how creative God was to think of such beautiful things.
“God of Creation” , “God Made a Great Big World” or “Oh What a Variety” by Mary Rice Hopkins. Get them at itunes.
“Round and Round” from Crossroads Kids’ Club.
If your kids like action songs they may like the Hippo Song from Mission Bible Class.
Sing “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, or “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands”, or “Books of the Old Testament” by Wee Sing. Or sing “This Is My Father’s World” or ”Barnyard Praise” or “I’m So Wonderfully Made” by The Donut Man.
Have the children color a color page related to the story.
Ministry to Children has several coloring pages to illustrate the whole week of creation.
An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Give each child a piece of play dough and have them make an animal. Talk about the difference between “creating” and “making”.
Show the children a real flower and an artificial flower, pointing out that though the artificial flower is pretty, it can’t compare to the beauty of the real flower that God created. You might also give them each a flower to take home as a reminder of God’s handiwork.
Have the children fill out these worksheets from Calvary Curriculum.
Make tiger bookmarks from Answers in Genesis.
Evaluate what the children have learned. When they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.