Teaching Concept: Children learn that God wants them to glorify him not themselves.
Early Arrivals Activity
1. Greetings in Other Languages - As your children enter the room greet them in another language. Ask them if they know how to say hello in another language.
2. Talk About Artist's Representations of the Tower of Babel - Before class print out several pictures of the tower of Babel from the Internet. Show your children the pictures of towers and talk about how different artists have different ideas of what the tower looked like.
3. Practice Pig Latin - Learn how to speak in Pig Latin and say the Bible verse in Pig Latin.
Preparation: Print out a picture of the Tower of Babel painted by Pieter Bruegel
Everyone knows the story of Noah's ark and how God destroyed every living thing on earth with a flood because the people where so wicked. The only ones God saved were Noah and his three sons and their wives and the animals that were on the ark. When they came out of the ark, God promised them that he would never flood the whole earth again. He blessed them and told them to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." (Genesis 9:1) And that is exactly what they did -- they multiplied.
At that time everyone spoke the same language because they were all related to each other. Did you ever wonder why people today speak in different languages? We are all descendents of Noah, so how did people start speaking different languages? Do you think they just decided one day that they didn't like their own languages so they made up new ones? No, that would be silly.
The Bible tells us why there are so many different languages in the world today. It happened like this: As the population began to multiply, the people started moving eastward so they would have more room for their families. Soon they came to a great plain or level ground. They thought this would be a great place t to live.
They worked together to make bricks from the clay to build their houses. Then they had a great idea! They thought, "Why not build a great tower out of the bricks? We could make a tower that reaches all the way to the heavens. We could make a name for ourselves. We will be famous for our great tower. People will see it for miles around. Everyone will hear about it and want to come and see our great tower."
They all worked together day after day making bricks, and cementing them together to make a great tower. It took a lot of planning, a lot of work and lot of time, but they didn't care because they knew that when they were finally finished everyone would see how great they were. (Show your children the picture of the Tower of Babel.)
The Bible tells us that one day God came down from heaven and saw what all the people were doing. He was very sad and angry. They weren't building this tower for him. They were building it to make themselves look good. They weren't thinking about God and what he wanted them to do, they were just thinking about themselves, and how they could make themselves happy.
God decided to stop them right then and there and teach them a lesson. He could have knocked down their tower, but he didn't. Instead he changed their languages. All of a sudden they started speaking in other languages. Now you know how difficult it is to talk to someone who doesn't speak your language. Just think how difficult it would be to build a tower when everyone spoke a different language. It was so difficult that they stopped building the tower, and the people started moving away forming their own settlements and eventually forming countries. And that is why we have so many different languages today.
Father, help us to glorify you in everything we do. We know that you made us and that we could do nothing without you. Amen.
1. Knock Down the Tower Bible Verse Review - Before class collect at least nine boxes. Write a word from the Bible verse on the side of each box. The first word of the Bible verse should be on the biggest box. (If you don't have boxes, you can use blocks or something similar.) Review the Bible verse with the children having them place the blocks one on top of each other in order until you have build a tower.) Let the children take turns saying the Bible verse and then throwing a bean bag at the boxes to knock of the tower. Experiment before class to find a bean bag that is not too heavy or too light. You don't want them to knock over the tower on the first throw, but you want don't want the bean bag to be too light that it doesn't move the boxes. Keep playing until your children get tired of the game.
2. Take Down the Tower Review Game - Before class build two towers from blocks that are exactly the same out. Make up questions before class relating to the lesson and lessons that you have taught previously. In class divide your children up into teams and take turns asking them questions. If a team member answers a question correctly, he or she gets to remove a block from his or her team's tower. The team who removes all the blocks first wins.
3. Saying Hello - Before class print out the stick puppets and glue them to craft sticks. Hold up one puppet at a time and tell the children what nationality the puppet is and how that puppet would say hello. Have your children sit in a circle. Hand one puppet to the child on your right and say hello in the language of the puppet. Hand another puppet to the child you your left and say hello in that language. Keep handing children to your left and right puppets and saying hello. The children should also pass the puppet in the direction they are given them and say hello in that language. Puppets will be going around the circle in both directions.
Konichiwa (koh-Nee-chee-wah) - Japanese
Ya at eeh (YAH-AHT-AY ) Navajo
Hola (OH-la) - Spanish
Shalom - Hebrew
Howdy Partner - Western United States
Aloha - Hawaiian
4. Find Your Mates - Before class write "hello" in different languages on pieces of paper. Make matching pieces of paper. To play, give each child a piece of paper. Tell your children not to let any of the other children see their paper. On the word go, your children should try to find another person in their class that "speaks the same language" by saying hello to everyone in the class in the language written on their piece of paper. You can find more ways to say hello on this web site - http://www.ipl.org/div/hello/.
5. Make Up Your Own Word - Tell your children that there are 2800 known languages in the world. Today they have learned how to say hello in several different languages. Tell them to pretend that they are at the Tower of Babel and all of the sudden they start to speak another language. They know what they are saying, but no one else does. Tell them to make up a word for hello. When all your children have thought up a new word have them share it with the class. Write the words, phonetically, on the board and then have the children read them all.
6. Talk About Different Languages - Ask your children how they think the world would be different today if we all spoke the same language.
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