by Leanne Guenther
Sunday School Teacher's Guide - this is just one possible lesson plan. Visit the Cain and Abel Section for further ideas to supplement this. You can also use the story of Abraham and Sarah, but I'll be pulling that into a lesson later on.
The Cain and Abel story can be a difficult one to teach children as it has a rather harsh ending. But step back a second before teaching it and consider similar current day situations. What child hasn't fought with their brother or sister or friends? What child hasn't been jealous of the attention shown to others?
I've split this message into two separate ones depending on the age level. For the younger children, the message continues the God as our loving creator theme from the first two lessons, this time in the form -- God made families. Make sure you repeat the message many times during the lesson. I'm pretty sure the kids won't finish coloring all of their family puppets during craft time, so you can send the unfinished ones home with them, including a little note that the message this week was "God Made Families".
For the older children, we expand on this message and ask the question "Am I my brother's keeper?". The question is a quotation from Genesis and has two parts. First, SHOULD we be our brother's (sister's) keepers? Second, how are each of us doing at it? Send the "Am I my brother's keeper?" Take Home Sheet home with the children to encourage parents to discuss the message during the week. It includes a poster at the bottom that the children can color and hang on their wall or refrigerator.
Some people like to do craft time first and story time second and some like to switch it around. I like the first option, myself.
Always consider offering Coloring Pages for children who aren't interested in participating in the group activity (or if you get done the group activities very quickly and need something to fill in the spare time). Everyone has a need for "alone time" once in awhile. Also, sending home the coloring pages with the Take Home sheet provides parents with much needed help in reinforcing the lessons. You can make a nice little booklet each week with the take home sheet on top -- I promise that most parents will appreciate the effort!
Receive name tags. Have the children use crayons, markers, yarn and whatever other materials (such as wiggly eyes or buttons) you have available to personalize their name tag.
Sing the Learning our Names song
|15 to 20 minutes||Family Portrait tags, scissors (or adults can precut), crayons, markers, yarn, safety pins or tape.|
Preschool thru Grade 1: Make family puppets. (attach popsicle sticks, drinking straws or unsharpened pencils to turn them into puppets or glue a small piece of coarse sandpaper to the back to turn them into felt board characters).
Grade 2 and 3: Make Family Trees. You can either have the children bring in photos of their immediate family or you can have them just write down the names. Print the detail sheets and let the children fill in what they know. Have them take home the detail sheets so they can "interview" their families about the missing information.
|15 to 30 minutes
depending on your
Preschool thru Grade 1: family puppet templates, glue, crayons, scissors, OPTIONAL: scraps of yarn, fabric, felt, feathers, buttons, glitter, etc to decorate.
Grade 2 and 3: family
tree templates, pencil crayons, glue, scissors, markers,
Bible Story Time:
Preschool and Kindergarten: You can read an abbreviated version of the Garden of Eden story, but I like reading the God made families - action rhyme a number of times for this age group. After the rhyme, ask the children about their families. Ask questions like "Why do you think God made mommies?" (if they have trouble answering, rephrase like "what is special about mommies?")
Grade 1: Read the Children's Version of the Cain and Abel story. (or read from your own store bought children's bible). There are some "today's life" stories included with the children's version. You can choose to read these to the children, but it will extend the time it takes to complete this section. You could print and send them home with the parents.
Grade 2 and 3: it's tough to know when it's the right time to start readings from the Bible, but if the children have been read a children's version of the story in the past, I believe this is a good age to introduce the King James (or your preferred) bible reading.
|10 minutes||Our mini books or Coloring Pages
can be distributed to the children so they are able to
read along. Print the pages, staple them together in order and let
the kids know when to turn the page. The handouts can be taken
home to color in.
the mini books are coming soon!
Preschool thru Grade 1: depending on the time remaining, allow the children to brainstorm about some of the things God did to make members of the families special. (what makes mommy special, big brothers, grandmas, etc)
Grade 2 and 3: depending on the time remaining, allow the children to brainstorm about some of the things they do to "be their friend, brother or sister's keeper?" and some of the things they do when they act jealous (like Cain was to Abel).
All Grades: Thank-you Jesus for my... (you can hand out the words or hang them up somewhere. The verses are very repetitive, so the kids will catch on to them easily)
Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"
|5 to 15 minutes||Brainstorm Board (chalkboard, whiteboard, posterboard,...)
Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"
Printable version of this Teacher's Guide
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