The Golden Calf

Scripture: Exodus 32: 1 – 26 and vs. 30 – 34

Target Age Group:  1st through 6th grade

Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.

Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.


Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to Exodus 32 or pages 144- 149 in The Golden Children’s Bible.

(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)


  • Do you remember what the people promised in the last lesson?  They said, “All that the Lord has spoken, we will do.”
  • But, now what did the people ask Aaron to do? To make them an idol.
  • Why did they ask him to do this?  Moses was gone so long that they didn’t think that he was coming back.  They were impatient.
  • Have you ever been impatient with God?
  • What can happen when we don’t wait patiently for Him? We get off track and sin.
  • What did Aaron ask the people to bring to him?  Their gold jewelry.
  • What did he do with it? He made it into a golden calf.
  • What did they do the next day?  They sacrificed to the calf and threw a party.
  • When God saw what they had done, what did He want to do?  He wanted to destroy the Israelites.
  • Did Moses say, “Yes, Lord, go and destroy the people.”?  No.  He pleaded with God to remember his promise to make them into a great nation and to give them the promised land.
  • Did God change his mind? Yes.
  • When Moses came down the mountain and saw what the people were doing, what did he do?  He got angry and threw down the tablets and they broke.  He took the calf, melted it in the fire, and ground it into powder, which he put in the water and made the people drink it.
  • What excuse did Aaron give for what he had done?  He said that the people asked him to make a god, and that when he threw the gold into the fire a calf came out! That was a lie, wasn’t it.
  • What did Moses do the next day?  He went up to ask God for forgiveness for the people, or to blot him out of his book.
  • Did God let Moses take the responsibility for the people’s sin? No.  God said that the people who sinned would be blotted out of the book.
  • Who do we know was able to take the responsibility for our sins?  Jesus!
  • What about our sin?  Do you think that God will punish us for our sin? Yes, unless we trust in Jesus to take our punishment for us.


During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…


Memorize the verse.

“For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”  Matthew 4:10


Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story.  Color page #1  An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles.  The pages are reproducible.


Share this object lesson from children’s ministry vault.


Bring pictures from magazines that we might be tempted to make into idols.  Have the children make a collage with the pictures.  Then put a circle with a slash through it over each picture.  Put the Bible verse at the top or bottom of the page.


Make golden jewelry and use them to act out the story.


Have the children fill out these worksheets from Calvary Chapel,  or these from Kids Club for Jesus.


Read the story “The Good-Luck Charm” from Keys for Kids.


Show the children this slideshow from the Garden of Praise. Or create your own slideshow using your i movie program.


Here is another lesson plan from sunday school sources.


Sing “Love the Lord Your God” or “Ten Commandments” by Mary Rice Hopkins from the Dancing in the Desert album.  Or sing “The Ten Commandment Boogie” by the Go Fish Guys.


Evaluate what the children have learned.  While 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.

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