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A Sunday School teacher from Dallas, Texas sent us this wonderful activity to use in telling the story of Joseph.
Activity: Story of Joseph
(For 3 year olds, but can be adapted for older students)
Purpose: Both Joseph and Daniel experienced the fear of being thrown into a pit or den. We all have “pit” experiences. How did these Bible characters overcome adversity and rise to greater heights?
Black “feely” box (or paper bag that children can reach into without seeing the contents)
Slips of paper (two for each child in your class)
- Prior to Sunday School, write one word on a slip of paper for each student in your class. These words should represent Joseph’s uplifted state of thought as he emerged from the pit. The word list might include: humility, love, trust, and gratitude. Wad each piece of paper into a ball and put it in the box or bag (the “pit”). (The children will be asked to pull out a wadded ball of paper, leaving the flat slips of paper in the box or bag.)
- For each child in your class, write a word on each piece of paper such as: fear, anger, hurt, sadness, revenge, etc. (How do you think Joseph may have felt about his brothers? about his absence from his family? about the experience inside the pit?)
- Give each child a slip of paper with one of the words in #2 and have them “drop” them into the box or bag (the “pit”). Say “_______ went into the pit with Joseph.”
- Have each child reach into the box or bag and bring out a wadded piece of paper. Say “ ________ came out of the pit with Joseph.” Have them open the wadded piece and read/ help them read the word on the paper.
Summary: This was a very quick activity that I used with my 3 year-old class after reading/telling the story of Joseph and the betrayal by his brothers. Although the narrator of the Bible account does not provide a great number of details about Joseph’s state of mind, we know that Joseph was a changed young man after this experience. Although a captive in Egypt, he rose above his challenging circumstances through hard work, humility, intelligence, loyalty, and, above all, an abiding trust in God. The lists of fine qualities that Joseph expressed are numerous. The story of Joseph provides a valuable lesson for all ages in helping us rise above life’s challenges and grow into men and women of God’s creating!