In the last lesson, God called Moses to go to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. After he and his brother Aaron spoke with Pharaoh, he refused to let the people go. In fact he made the people work harder by making them find their own straw to make bricks. This is where today’s story begins…
Scripture: Exodus 7: 6 – 25, 8:1 – 30, 9: 11 – 35, 10: 1- 29 or pages 108 – 117 in the Children’s Golden Bible
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome: Prepare lots of origami frogs and spread them out all over the table, chairs, floor etc. so that as the children enter the room they are greeted with a plague of frogs. This will generate a lot of excitement and interest in the story. (Make sure that you gather them up again until after story time so that they listen to the story.)
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Have the children open their Bibles to Exodus 7 or pages 108 – 117 in The Golden Children’s Bible. (This story is long, so for small children you might abridge it, or read a shortened version such as this one from Sharon Whittaker.)
(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.)
- What was the first plague? Moses struck the Nile with his staff and the Nile turned into blood. (Talk about how the fish would have died and how it all would have smelled, and how desperate they would have been for fresh water to drink.)
- What was the second plague? frogs (Talk about what a nuisance that would have been.)
- What was the third plague? Moses struck the dust with his staff and the dust became gnats.
- What did the magicians say about the gnats? “This is the finger of God.”
- What wast the third plague? Flies
- What was the fourth plague? The livestock (farm animals) would get sick and die.
- What was the fifth plague? Moses took soot and threw it into the air – then all the people got boils on their skin.
- What was the 6th plague? Thunder, lightening and hail that destroyed everything, including the crops.
- What did the Egyptian people say before the 7th plague? “How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the LORD their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”
- Did Pharaoh listen to the people? No.
- What was the 7th plague? Locusts that ate all the fruits and anything green.
- What was the 8th plague? Darkness for 3 days.
- Have you ever been in pitch darkness that you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face? That would have been terrible, wouldn’t it.
- We’re going to save the 10th plague for next week, but does anybody know what that one was? The firstborn son would die that night unless there was the blood of a lamb smeared on the doorpost.
- Why did God bring these ten plagues? The Egyptians had many gods, so God wanted them to understand that He was the one and only God. Exodus 7:5 says “And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
- Have you ever gone through a very hard time or a tragedy and wondered why God allowed that? Do you think that God might have had a reason for allowing you or someone you are close to to go through that hard time? Maybe He just wanted you to know that He is God and that He is in control – not you.
- What things do you think that He might be asking you to do today? Treat my brothers and sisters with kindness, help my mom and dad, do my best in school, believe in Him, trust in Him, etc.
- If God asks you to do something, do you think that you should do it right away? Yes!
- Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us to do whatever He asks us to do and to trust Him in every situation…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Exodus 7:5 “And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
Have the children act out the story with this cute play from Faith Quest.
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 This site has some good color pages. Here is a color book featuring this story. An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Play the Plagues File Folder Game from The Catholic Blogger. When I do a file folder game in the classroom, I make enough file folders for two children to share each folder. That way everyone can see and reach the board easily. I also give each pair a dice. This keeps the game moving along quickly. Kids love these games and are quick to learn the details of the story when they play them. Have a prize for the winner, but also a prize for each contestant when playing with younger children.
Here are some great craft ideas from Bible Story Hour.
This is a cute craft from a “Creative Jewish Mom”. For a whole classroom of kids you might make the templates smaller and use popsicle sticks instead of dowels. This craft is similar. You might use the 10 plagues printable from 1+1+1=1. Here are also some game cards. (Take note that the Jewish 10 plagues are slightly different than the 10 plagues in the Christian Bible.)
Scroll down at this site to make The Ten Plagues Booklet
There are some good ideas for discussion at this site.
There are several ideas at the Catholic Toolbox.
Scroll down at this site for some games related to this story.
Sing “Plagues” by Mary Rice Hopkins from the Dancing in the Desert album.
For snack serve cherry Kool-aid to symbolize the Nile River and big pretzel sticks to represent Moses’ staff.
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.