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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Exodus 13:17-15:20

Story Summary

The Hebrews were enslaved by the Egyptians. They appealed to God for deliverance. He heard their appeal and sent Moses to ask Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go. Pharaoh refused and God sent ten plagues to convince Pharaoh. After the Pharaoh realized that God will not stop until the Hebrews were released he let them go.

The shortest road from Goshen to Canaan went through the Philistine country. But God didn't lead them that way. God said, "If they have to go into battle, they might change their minds. They might return to Egypt."

So God led the people toward the Red Sea by taking them on a road through the desert. (Exodus 13: 17-18)

Remember that the reason the Israelites were in Egypt in the first place is because Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers, he saved up grain because he interpreted Pharaoh's dream, his brothers come for food, etc (both you and your students should be very familiar with this story by now!). Joseph still remembered that Egypt wasn't his home, and he didn't want to be buried there. "Moses took the bones of Joseph along with him. Joseph had made the sons of Israel take an oath and make a promise. He had said, 'I'm sure that God will come to help you. When he does, you must carry my bones up from this place with you.'" Exodus 13:19.

After the Hebrews left, Pharaoh changed his mind (again!) and pursued them to the edge of the Red Sea.  God parted the sea long enough for the Hebrews to cross over to the other side. Once they were across God closed the gap in the sea and drowned the pursuing Egyptian army. The Hebrews were free!

By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud. It guided them on their way. At night he led them with a pillar of fire. It gave them light. So they could travel by day or at night. 22 The pillar of cloud didn't leave its place in front of the people during the day. And the pillar of fire didn't leave its place at night. Exodus 13:21

The Israelites had lived in Egypt for 430 years.

Aaron's sister Miriam was a prophet. She took a tambourine in her hand and all the women followed her, playing tambourines and dancing.  Miriam sang to them,

   "Sing to the Lord.
      He is greatly honored.
   He has thrown Pharaoh's horses and their riders
      into the Red Sea." Exodus 15:20-21

What You Will Need

Snack Suggestion
cool whip colored with blue food coloring on two sides of plate. Place a graham cracker in middle for dry ground. Put small bit of icing on bottom of teddy grahams to make them stand on graham cracker

Resource Sheet

The Exodus Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts the parting of the Red Sea as the Israelites escaped from Egypt

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

What is the deepest water or largest body of water you have ever swam in? Were you nervous the first time you did it? Could you touch the bottom?

Today, we're going to learn about how the Israelites escaped from Egypt and got across a large body of water.

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Exodus 13:17-22, Exodus 14:23-31

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Why did God not lead the people through the land of the Philistines? (he did not want them to have to fight, lose heart, and want to turn back)
  • Whose bones did Moses take with him? (Joseph)
  • Why did he take Joseph's bones with him? (Joseph asked that he not be buried in Egypt, but that when God came to help the Israelites leave, that they take his bones back)
  • How did God lead them by day or night? (pillar of fire by night, cloud by day)
  • What did Pharaoh decide to do to the Israelites after they left? (pursue them to get them to come back)
  • What sea did the Israelites need to cross? (Red Sea)
  • What did God do through Moses to the sea? (parted it so the Israelites could go across)
  • When the Egyptians pursued the Israelites into the sea, what happened to their chariots? (they became stuck)
  • When all the Egyptians were in the middle of the sea, what happened to them? (the waters came back and drowned them all)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • God was a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day, protecting the Israelites on their journey out of Egypt.
  • When we give our lives to God and live by his plan, we can know that God will always be with us on our journey.

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. John 3:16

Reinforcement Activities

Cloud in a Bottle

Scripture By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22

Supplies 1 liter bottle, matches, warm water

  • Pour just enough warm water in the bottle to cover the bottom of the container.
  • Light the match and place the match head inside the bottle.
  • Allow the bottle to fill with smoke.
  • Put a cap on the bottle.
  • Squeeze the bottle really hard a few times.
  • When you release the bottle, you should see the cloud form. It may disappear between 'squeezes'.

Parting of the Balloons

Scripture Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Exodus 14:21-22

Supplies red balloons, masking tape

  • Divide your students into two groups, but leave 2 students out (one will represent the Israelites, one will represent the Egyptian army)
  • Use masking tape and make 2 lines on the floor, about 10 feet apart (this will represent the Red Sea)
  • Place one group on one side of the sea, and the other group on the other side, with no one in between the 2 lines.
  • Place as many red balloons as you can inside the two lines to represent the Red Sea (figure 2 or 3 per student)
  • Start the game and tell the students to get all of the balloons on either side of the lines.
  • Then have the student representing the Israelites walk through the Red Sea.
  • Have the student representing the Egyptian army walk through, and while he/she is walking through, have the students push the balloons back into the Red Sea.

Make tambourines

Scripture Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.” Exodus 15:20-21

Supplies two paper plates per student, beans or bells, stapler, streamers or ribbon

  • Staple two paper plates together.
  • Add dried beans before you finish stapling. Punch holes around outer edge and add streamers or ribbon as decoration. Use markers or stickers to decorate sides. (you can use paper bowls and add small bells as another option)
  • Miriam led the woman in a celebration to the Lord. They sang and shook tambournines.

Red Sea Pop up cards

Scripture Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Exodus 14:21-22

Supplies 2 sheets of white paper per student, colored pencils or crayons, scissors, tape

  • Fold one sheet of paper in half widthwise.
  • Cut two tabs in the folded side as shown below in the first picture
  • Open the paper
  • Pop out the cut pieces.
  • Have the students color in blue stripes that run along the tabs as shown below in the second picture.
  • Have them draw the Israelites with their camels in between those two lines to represent the Israelites passing in between two walls of water.
  • Tape the second sheet of paper behind the paper they colored to create the outside of a card.
Red Sea Pop up cards Example

Parting of water and pepper

Heads up! This activity would be a good intro to the lesson.

Scripture Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Exodus 14:21-22

Supplies bowl of water, pepper, dish soap

  • Add water to a bowl.
  • Place pepper gently on top of water, so it floats.
  • Stick your finger straight down into the water. Nothing happens.
  • Add a drop of dish soap onto your finger. Place your finger straight into the bowl again.
  • The pepper moves away from the dish soap.

Cloud by Day and Fire by Night craft

Scripture By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22

Supplies Black and white construction paper, red and orange tissue paper, cotton balls.

  • Glue half of a black piece of construction paper onto one half of the white paper.
  • Add cotton balls to the white side, for a cloud
  • Add the verse above the cotton balls- By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud. It guided them on their way. Exodus 13:21
  • Add the red and orange tissue paper to the black side, for fire. Add the verse above the tissue paper fire. - At night he led them with a pillar of fire. It gave them light. Exodus 13:21

Map of Wilderness journey

Scripture Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. Exodus 15:22

Supplies printed map of wilderness journey

  • Show students a map of the journey the Israelites took in the wilderness.
  • You can use the map below, or use a normal map of the Middle East and explain to the students the path the Israelites took.

Glow sticks

Scripture By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22

Supplies orange glow sticks and orange baloons

  • Place orange glo sticks in a balloon.
  • Turn off lights and let kids play!
  • God led the Israelites with fire at night.

Popsicle stick cloud and fire

Scripture By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22

Supplies 2 popsicle sticks per student, card stock, cotton balls, orange glitter or tissue paper, glue

  • Make a cutout of a simple cloud shape and a fire.
  • Glue cotton balls to the cloud.
  • Place glitter or orange tissue paper to fire shape.
  • Attach both to a popsicle stick.

Parting of the Red Sea

Scripture Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. Exodus 14:21-22

Supplies large brown paper, blue (or red) paper, glue, crayons or markers

  • Cut blue (or red) paper in half.
  • Glue along three edges of blue paper and attach to brown paper.
  • Do the same to the other half of blue paper.
  • Glue second blue sheet to other side of brown paper.
  • The blue sheets should almost touch in the middle, leaving just a small bit of brown showing.
  • Cut slits in blue paper along unglued edges.
  • Take a pencil and curl slits back toward side of paper.
  • This should leave a larger brown section showing, with blue curls representing the water and the brown being the dry land.
  • Draw pictures of the Israelites crossing through on dry land.
Parting of the Red Sea Example