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Introduction to the Ten Commandments

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Praise and Worship Time (10 minutes)

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing songs on Choice

Tell the Bible Story (15 minutes)

1. Prepare to Teach

This week, you will be providing the children with a broad view of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and how Joseph's family ended up in Egypt. As you prepare to teach, skim the following chapters to refresh your memory on some key points in the history of Israel:

    · Genesis 12:1-9 - The Call of Abram

    · Genesis 15:1-21 - God's Covenant with Abram

    · Genesis 21:1-7 - The birth of Isaac

    · Genesis 24 - Isaac and Rebekah

    · Genesis 25 :19-34 -Jacob and Esau

    · Genesis 37 - Joseph

    · Genesis 39-41 - Joseph's rise to power

    · Genesis 46-47 - Jacob's family moves to Egypt

While these stories may be very familiar to you, I encourage you to take the time to skim through and reread these accounts. As you read, ask God for a new or greater understanding of His word.

2. Teach

In your own words, explain to the children a brief history of Israel. Be sure to include the following facts:

    · The nation of Israel began with one man who chose to obey God: Abraham.

    · God called Abraham and asked him to leave his home and go to the land God would show him.

    · In faith, Abraham obeyed; because of Abraham's faith, God promised to make him into a great nation.

    · Abraham and Sarah had one son, Isaac. Isaac and Rebekah and twin sons, Esau and Jacob.

    · Jacob had a bit of a rough start, but in one life changing evening, he wrestled with God.

    · Jacob built an altar at Bethel and called the place El Bethel because that was where God revealed Himself to Jacob.

    · There, God changed Jacob's name to Israel.

    · Jacob had 12 sons which would later become the 12 tribes of Israel.

    · God orchestrated events so that Jacob, his sons and their households would move to Egypt where they grew in population into the nation of Israel (called the Hebrews).

    · While in Egypt, Pharaoh, threatened by their large numbers, enslaved the Hebrew people.

    · The Hebrew people cried out to God for deliverance.

    · God raised one man, Moses, who would lead His people out of Egypt.

    · After some Godly coercion (the ten plagues), Pharaoh let God's people go but later changed his mind and pursued them. God delivered His people from the Egyptians.

    · Thus a new nation was born with God as its leader. God gave the nation of Israel the Ten Commandments which provided the moral law the people were to live by and follow.

As you provide the overview of the nation of Israel, resist the urge to camp on any one topic for very long. It's okay to just offer highlights. We want to provide the children with some background information and some of these highlights may sound familiar to some of the children. The goal here is to give the children a `big picture' view; to provide them with the setting behind why God gave the Hebrew nation the Ten Commandments.

Weekly Challenge (25 minutes)

As this is the introductory week, we'll spend most of the challenge time organizing your team and designing the team flag.

1. Before the Challenge

Determine how many teams you will have. The suggested team size is 8-12 students per team. Gather the supplies needed for the weekly challenge activity.

    Flag Items:

    · 1 piece of heavy weight muslin cloth approximately 2 ft. x 3 ft. per team

    · Assorted colors of construction paper or felt pieces

    · Iron-on transfer paper such as Heat & Bond or similar

    · 1 dowel rod per team (will be used as a flag pole so recommended size is minimum ½ in)

    · Colored bandanas (1 for every 2 children in the team colors you have preselected. There are many to choose from at Hobby Lobby stores or similar. They are also available for order online.) Cut the bandanas in half so that each child receives half that they wear each week to identify which team/house they belong to.

    Challenge Item:

    · 1 blank piece of paper per team

2. Execute the Challenge

    a. Instruct each team to choose a team name from the list below (one of the twelve tribes of Israel) and a team color based on the colors of bandanas you have purchased:

House of Reuben

House of Simeon

House of Benjamin

House of Gad

House of Judah

House of Asher

House of Issachar

House of Zebulun

House of Dan

House of Ephraim

House of Manasseh

House of Naphtali

    b. Design the team flags.

Each team will be given a piece of muslin cloth for your flag. Using the colored construction paper, have the children the words or shapes they would like to see on their flag. Have them pin the construction cutouts on their flag. Instruct the teams they must include the team name somewhere on the flag: House of _____.

Completing the flag should be done at home by an adult team leader. Cut a piece of Heat & Bond (or similar) large enough to fit the construction paper cutouts (of like colors) and iron on to the appropriate color of felt. Using the children's construction paper cutouts as patterns, trace the shape of letter onto the paper side of the Heat & Bond. (Be sure to reverse the image so that after you've cut the image out and turn it right side with the fabric facing out, it will be correct.) Cut the shapes/letters along the lines you traced. Peel off the paper backing and position the image on the flag according to the children's requests. Iron the image in place following the instructions provided with the Heat & Bond product. (See sample flags at end of lessons)

Sew on (or apply using Heat & Bond) a colored bandana to the flag according the color the team chose earlier.

Be sure to leave enough space on the bottom to apply the medals won by the team each week.

    c. List the Ten Commandments.

Give each team a blank piece of paper. On your mark, the teams are to list the Ten Commandments in the correct order. The team that gets the most commandments in the correct order wins. If no team can write them in the correct order, the team that can list the most commandments in any order wins.

    d. Apply the challenge.

Some students/teams may have difficulty listing all Ten Commandments in their correct order. Encourage them by letting them know by the end of this study, this task will be much easier. Not only will they be able to list the commandments, they should be able to explain what they mean and how they are relevant to their lives. Inform the teams they will also be working on memorizing the books of the Bible and some Key Passages. Let them know their memory work at home will be important and necessary for the weekly challenges.

Closing (10 minutes)

1. Award this week's medals based on the week's challenge.

2. Assign this week's memory work:

    Books of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans

    Key Passage: The 10 Commandments - Exodus 20

3. Closing prayer.

4. Closing song of choice

Related Topics: Children, Children's Curriculum, Children's Training Resources