Lesson 2: Builders Try to Build a Great Tower 04/19/2024
Classroom: My Classroom
Genesis 11:1-9 Leader Guide

Teachers Dig In

 

Dig In to the Bible

  • Read: Genesis 11:1-9
  • In This Passage: Everyone lives in the same area and speaks the same language. They decide to build a great city with a tall tower that will make them famous. God sees their hearts; he confuses their language and then scatters them all over the world. God is the greatest, and we don’t need to be.
  • Bible Point: God is the greatest…
  • Application: …and we don’t need to be.
  • Summary Verse: “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding” (Isaiah 40:28).

 

Dig Deeper

  • You’ll Be Teaching: God is the greatest. This story can be a bit confusing for kids. They’ve been taught to try their best and work well in teams. So why does God get so mad about people working together to do something great? Help kids see that their motivation to become famous was self-focused instead of focused on God’s greatness. We don’t need to try to show everyone we’re the best, because we’re not! God is the greatest, and we can point to him when we do our best work.
  • Think About: What are some things you’re really good at? How can you point to God’s greatness when you do those things?

 

Dig In to Prayer

  • Pray that God would give each of your kids a spirit of humility and that others would see God’s greatness through each child’s accomplishments.

 

Quick Tip

  • As you teach Dig In, prepare for the unexpected! If during an activity things don’t seem to go as planned, enjoy the adventure anyway. Your kids will respect your ability to go with the flow. And you’ll demonstrate that teaching isn’t about your skills…it’s about letting God lead. That’s a great way to point to his greatness.

This Lesson at a Glance

Bible Message

Kids attempt to build towers taller than themselves.

Supplies

  • Bible
  • disposable cups
  • index cards

Music Video

Kids sing songs of praise to God.

Supplies

  • “Shine” (watch or download here)
  • “No, Not One” (watch or download here)
  • “You Are in Charge” (watch or download here)

Jesus Connection

Kids move apart to see how sin separates us from God, then move together to discover how Jesus draws us back to God.

 

Prayer

Kids learn a prayer of confession and squeeze and release their fists to experience God’s freedom and forgiveness.

 

Scripture Skills

Kids participate in small competitions.

Supplies

  • Bibles
  • “Hands-On Bible: Books of the Bible Poster Set” (purchase here)
  • sticky notes (1 per child)

Activity Pages With a Point

Older kids unscramble words; younger kids color a picture of the Bible story.

Supplies

  • “Builders Try to Build a Great Tower” Activity Page (1 per reader) (download here)
  • “Builders Try to Build a Great Tower” Coloring Page (1 per non-reader) (download here)
  • pencils
  • crayons
  • three-hole punch and binders (optional)

Bible Memory

Kids speak and hear the Bible verse through cups.

Supplies

  • disposable cups
  • “Heart of God Bible Verse Posters” (optional) (purchase here)

Easy Prep

  • Tape the Isaiah 40:28 poster on a wall so kids will be able to see it. If you don’t have the posters, you’ll need to write the verse in big letters.

Overtime

Kids compete in a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament.

 

Take-Home

Kids receive a take-home page about the lesson.

Supplies

  • this week’s “Dig In @ Home” handout (1 per child) (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Add your church announcements to the “Dig In @ Home” handout.

*Marked supplies can be reused from Core Bible Discovery

Let's keep kids safe! You can help by using supplies as instructed for only ages 3+, purchasing child-safe items, and being aware of allergy concerns.

Bible Message [10 min]

Builders Try to Build a Great Tower (Genesis 11:1-9)

Supplies

  • Bible
  • disposable cups
  • index cards

Discuss

            Open your Bible to Genesis 11, and show kids the words.

            Say: Today we’ll meet some people in the Bible who wanted to be famous.

            Ask: • If you became famous, what would it most likely be for? Have kids turn to a partner to share. Then ask a few kids to share with everyone.

            Say: Nowadays it seems like just about anyone could suddenly become famous! But that doesn’t mean our goal should be fame. In fact, trying to become famous didn’t work out so well in the Bible! Let’s meet these people who learned God is the greatest…so we don’t need to be.

 

Build Towers

            Say: Let’s see what the people wanted to do to become famous.

            Read Genesis 11:4.

            Set out index cards and cups.

            Say: Okay, let’s give it a try. See if you can use these supplies to build a tower that’s taller than you! You’ll each work on your own. If you’re the first one to finish, you get to make all the rules for the rest of the day!

            Allow a minute or two for kids to build, being sure no one even gets close to completing a tower taller than them. Then say: Wait! Stop!

            When kids have paused their building, say: God didn’t like this idea, and he made the builders stop. Here’s how.

            Read Genesis 11:6-8.

            Say: No more building. Instead, let’s scatter! Have kids move to the edge of the teaching area, away from the towers.

            Ask: • Why did you want to finish your tower?

            • What was wrong with the people wanting to build their tower?

            Say: The people building the tower, called the tower of Babel, forgot that God is the greatest. They wanted everyone to think they were the greatest. They focused on themselves, so God stopped them. We don’t need to try to be the greatest or become famous—or try to make all the rules. We just need to show off how great God is!

            Have kids take down their partial towers and help you collect the building materials.

Music Video [10 min]

Light of the World

Supplies

  • “Shine” (watch or download here)
  • “No, Not One” (watch or download here)
  • “You Are in Charge” (watch or download here)

Tip 

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can choose your own worship songs from our Best Of Dig In Music DVD here.

 

Sing Songs to God

            Sing the three songs in any order.

Jesus Connection [10 min]

Drawn Together

Tip

  • Check out John 12:32 to explore Jesus’ declaration that his death—and resurrection—would draw people to him.

 

Move Apart

            Say: The events at the tower of Babel separated people—they couldn’t understand each other! Let’s think about things that separate us from each other and from a friendship with God.

  • Make a group circle, with everyone facing in.
  • Let kids give high-fives or fist bumps to those standing near them.

 

            Ask: • Call out things you like to do when you’re with friends. Let kids respond.

            Say: Being together with friends is so fun! Spending time with God is awesome, too! But we all do wrong things. Those wrong choices are called sin. Each time I say one, take a big step backward. We do wrong things like telling lies, saying unkind words, bullying, disobeying, choosing not to forgive others, stealing, or putting ourselves first. And sometimes we choose not to do the good things God wants us to do. Pause.

            Hmmm, you’re really far from your friends. Have kids try to give a high-five or fist bump, without moving their feet.

            Ask: • How is this like the way sin hurts our friendship with God?

 

Move Together

            Say: In the Bible, people made a big tower to show how great they were. But God is the greatest! Here’s one way we can see that: Out of God’s great love, he sent Jesus—his very own Son.

            The Bible tells us that Jesus died to take the punishment for all those wrong things I just said—those things that move us away from God and each other. Jesus came to draw people to God—and to himself! As I say something about Jesus, take a giant step forward.

            Jesus offers forgiveness, hope, healing, peace, comfort, forever friendship, and love. Jesus came to bring us back to God—forever! Give someone near you a high-five to celebrate Jesus!

            Ask: • What difference did these things make in our circle?

            • Think of a time you experienced Jesus’ hope, peace, comfort, or friendship in your life. Share your own example, then let kids share with a partner.

            Say: God is the greatest. Out of his great love, he sent his Son, Jesus, to earth. Jesus came to bring people back to God so our friendship with him could grow.

Prayer [5 min]

Prayer of Confession

Confess Together

            Say: God is the greatest! And our great God is happy to talk with us.

            When we pray, we talk with our great God. We can talk with God about anything—even our not-so-great choices. That’s what a prayer of confession is all about.

            To “confess” means to admit we’ve messed up. And since everyone sins and makes wrong choices, it’s good for God’s friends to all pray and confess our sins together. God hears us and forgives us, like a faithful friend.

            Let’s pray a prayer of confession now. As I pray, let’s all squeeze our fists really tightly, like we’re holding on to our wrong choices. Demonstrate, cautioning kids not to squeeze too hard. Now let’s close our eyes and talk with God.

            Pray: Our great God, we confess that we’ve disobeyed you. We’ve thought mean thoughts and said unkind words. We’ve done things to hurt people. And we haven’t done things to help people. We haven’t loved you very well, God. We are so sorry. Please forgive us and help us rely on your greatness instead of our own strength.

            Have kids take a deep breath and then let it out as they open their hands to receive God’s forgiveness.

            Pray: Thank you, God. Your forgiveness makes our hearts happy. You’re amazing! Amen.

            Ask: • How did you feel when you released your grip?

            • How is that like or unlike talking with God about our not-so-great choices?

            Say: When we confess our sin, God faithfully forgives us and helps us (1 John 1:9). And that feels good! God is the greatest.

Scripture Skills [10 min]

Who’s the Greatest?

Supplies

  • Bibles
  • “Hands-On Bible: Books of the Bible Poster Set” (purchase here)
  • sticky notes (1 per child)

Tips

  • It may take a while for kids to find the Bible verse. That’s okay! This activity is primarily about building Bible navigation skills.
  • If you have a lot of non-readers, have some picture Bibles on hand for them to flip through as older kids look up verses. They won’t look for anything specific, but they can look at the pictures to practice paging through Bibles.

 

Play Who’s the Greatest?

            Say: Today we’re going to play a little game called Who’s the Greatest? We’ll see who’s the best at jumping and balancing. Let’s get started!

  • Lead kids in the following competitions. If you have a large group, have each adult or teen helper lead a smaller group and rotate through the competitions. It’s okay if you don’t get through all the competitions; be sure to allow time to look up the verse.
    • High jump
      • Give each child a sticky note.
      • Have kids line up along a wall.
      • Encourage kids to jump as high as they can and stick their sticky notes to the wall.
      • See whose sticky note is highest.
    • Long jump
      • Direct kids to spread out in a line.
      • Encourage them to take turns jumping as far as they can.
      • Congratulate the child who jumped the farthest.
    • Balancing act
      • Encourage kids to spread out, at least an arm’s length from a wall, furniture, or another child.
      • On your mark, have kids lift one foot off the ground, balancing on the other foot as long as possible.
      • Congratulate the last child standing.

 

            Say: Some of you are great jumpers and balancers!

            Ask: • How did it feel to compare yourself with others during this competition?

            • How does it feel when you aren’t the greatest at something?

            Say: We often compare ourselves with others to try to be the greatest. Or we wish we were as good as someone else at something. But we don’t have to be great at everything, and we don’t need to compare ourselves with others. God is the greatest, so we don’t have to be.

 

Explore Psalm 71:19

            Say: Today we heard about some people who wanted to be the greatest. They wanted to be even greater than God! But no one can compare with God. Let’s see what the Bible says about how great God is.

            Make sure kids all have Bibles. Younger kids can sit with older kids so they can observe the skills of using their Bibles even before being able to read.

            Say: Our Bible verse is in the book of Psalms, chapter 71, verse 19. Psalms is a collection of songs and poems in the Old Testament. Even though it sounds like it starts with an S, it starts with a silent P. To find Psalms, open your Bible near the middle. Allow time.

  • Point to the book of Psalms on the poster so kids can see the name and what books come before and after it.
  • Mention that the chapter numbers are the big numbers, and help kids find the big 71 in Psalms.
  • Mention that the verse numbers are the small numbers, and help kids find the small 19 in Psalm 71.
  • When everyone has found the verse, ask someone to read Psalm 71:19 aloud.

 

            Ask: • What are some true things about God that aren’t true about anyone else?

            Say: No one can compare with God. That’s okay. God is the greatest, so we don’t have to be!

Activity Pages With a Point [10 min]

Mixed-Up Language

Supplies

  • “Builders Try to Build a Great Tower” Activity Page (1 per reader) (download here)
  • “Builders Try to Build a Great Tower” Coloring Page (1 per non-reader) (download here)
  • pencils
  • crayons
  • three-hole punch and binders (optional)

Tip

 

Older Kids: Do an Activity Page

            Say: When the builders of the tower of Babel tried to be the greatest, God confused their languages. Can you un-confuse these words?

            Distribute the activity pages and pencils. Have kids try to read the words aloud without unscrambling them. Then kids will unscramble the words.

            Ask: • What was it like trying to understand these words before you unscrambled them?

            • What do you think it would be like to try to work with people who all spoke different languages?

            Say: Maybe this puzzle was a little confusing to understand. The builders definitely were too confused to keep working! But that’s okay. God is the greatest, so we don’t need to be. We can use our words clearly to point out God’s greatness!

            Answers: TOWER, BUILD, FAMOUS, BRICKS, CITY, WORLD

 

Younger Kids: Color a Coloring Page

            Distribute the coloring pages and crayons. Say: The people building the tower of Babel in the Bible had to learn that God is the greatest. They didn’t need to be the greatest! That’s why God made them speak different languages so it was too hard to keep building. Let’s color that picture, but stop before you finish coloring!

            Allow time for kids to color but not quite finish.

            When kids finish coloring, three-hole-punch their pages and put them into binders, if desired.

Bible Memory [10 min]

Have You Never Heard?

Supplies

  • disposable cups
  • “Heart of God Bible Verse Posters” (optional) (purchase here)

Easy Prep

  • Tape the Isaiah 40:28 poster on a wall so kids will be able to see it. If you don’t have the posters, you’ll need to write the verse in big letters.

Speak Up in a Cup

            Say: Today we discovered how God split up the builders by making them speak different languages so they couldn’t understand each other. But do you want to know something cool? The Bible is now written in hundreds of different languages so that everyone around the world can understand it! Let’s learn a Bible verse.

            In Isaiah 40:28, it says: “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.”

            That’s a long verse, so let’s focus on the questions at the beginning: “Have you never heard? Have you never understood?” Let’s see how well you can hear and understand our verse when we change our voices.

  • Give each child a cup.
  • Have kids read the verse from the poster, speaking into the cups so they distort their voices.
  • Preschoolers can be paired with readers so they can repeat each line after their partners. If you have a lot of non-readers, simply read the verse one phrase at a time for kids to repeat into their cups.
  • Kids will repeat the verse several times, each holding the cup at a different distance to see how it changes their voices.
  • Kids can also experiment with speaking loudly versus whispering, twisting the cup, and any other ideas they have.

 

Talk About It

            Ask: • What changes did you notice in your voice depending on how you held the cup?

            • Did any changes make it hard to hear or understand you? Explain.

            • Why is it hard to understand someone who speaks a different language?

            Say: Even though different languages can make it hard to understand other people, God speaks to everyone. We can hear and understand that when we see his creation and how he never grows weak or weary. We can see God’s greatness all around us! No matter how you say it, God is the greatest!

Overtime [10 min]

I Am So Not the Greatest!

Declare Your Losses

            Say: The people building the tower of Babel forgot that God is the greatest…and we don’t need to be. Let’s play a game where we’ll celebrate when we’re not the greatest.

  • Have kids find partners.
  • Review the rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors. (Paper covers rock, rock crushes scissors, scissors cut paper.)
  • Pairs play three rounds of the game. Older partners can keep track of who wins each round.
  • Whichever partner loses at least two of the rounds will loudly announce, “I am so not the greatest!”
  • Let the game keep going with new pairs as long as needed to fill time until parents begin to arrive.

Take-Home [0 min]

Dig In @ Home

Supplies

  • this week’s “Dig In @ Home” handout (1 per child) (download here)

Easy Prep

  • Add your church announcements to the “Dig In @ Home” handout.

           Distribute a copy of the “Dig In @ Home” handout to kids as they leave, or email it to parents during the week.