Lesson 1: Moses and the Burning Bush 01/27/2023
Classroom: My Classroom
Exodus 3:1–4:17 Leader Guide for Grades 1 & 2

Teachers Dig In

 

Dig In to the Bible

  • Read: Exodus 3:1–4:17
  • In This Passage: Moses is tending his sheep when he sees a strange sight: a bush that’s on fire but not burning up. When he goes to investigate, he hears God speak to him and sees God give clear signs of who he is. Moses’ encounter makes it clear that God is real.
  • Bible Point: God is real.
  • Summary Verse: “O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens” (Psalm 8:1).

 

Dig Deeper

  • You’ll Be Teaching: God is real. While younger kids are likely to believe whatever you tell them about God, older kids often want proof. They’re used to things they can see, touch, or watch on YouTube. Even if they believe God is real, they may struggle with their inability to verify that truth. Use this lesson to help kids experience God.
  • Think About: What evidence have you seen or experienced that shows you God is real?

 

Dig In to Prayer

  • Ask God to make his presence real in your ministry and to reveal himself to your kids.

 

Quick Tip

  • Today’s point may bring up some doubts, struggles, and questions—especially among older kids. Make sure your space is a safe place for kids to bring those thoughts. Don’t let anyone feel ashamed for struggling with the fact that God is real, but help by pointing kids to Scripture that can address their doubts.

This Lesson at a Glance

Opening

Kids share about a topic related to the lesson.

Supplies

  • Bible

Music Video

Kids sing songs of praise to God.

Supplies

  • “Light of the World” (watch or download here)  

  • “We Can Trust Him (Psalm 33:4)” (watch or download here)  

  • “To God Be the Glory” (watch or download here

Core Bible Discovery

Kids look for evidence that God is real in Exodus 3 and 4.

Supplies

  • Bibles
  • construction paper (various colors)
  • scissors
  • transparent tape

Core Bible at Home

Only available in One Room class format.

 

Talk-About Video

Kids watch a video and discuss the Bible point.

Supplies

  • “Fact or Fiction?” teaching video (watch or download here)

Preschool Puppet Skit

Recommended for preschoolers.

 

Object Lesson

Kids observe how a balloon filled with water won’t burn up.

Supplies

  • balloons (2 for each adult leader)
  • tealights or votive candles (1 for each adult leader)
  • candle lighter
  • small cup
  • water

Easy Prep

  • Inflate half the balloons with air, and tie them off.
  • Fill the other half of the balloons about ¾ full with water, and tie them off.
  • Fill the small cup with water.

Deeper Bible

Kids follow clues to find a friend.

Supplies

  • Bible
  • stuffed dog
  • dog toy
  • several pieces of dry dog food
  • dog leash

Easy Prep

  • Hide the stuffed dog somewhere in the room. Place the dog toy, a few pieces of dog food, and the leash in different parts of the room. They should be visible but not obvious. If you have more than 20 kids, consider dividing into groups and placing clues for each group to find its own stuffed dog.

High-Energy Game

Kids run as snakes and freeze as sticks.

Supplies

  • cones (4 for every 5 or 6 kids)
  • upbeat music (optional)
  • music player (optional)

Easy Prep

  • Set out 1 starting cone and a row of 3 additional cones for each group of 5 or 6 kids.

Low-Energy Game

Kids blow cotton balls around.

Supplies

  • cotton balls
  • tables or plastic tablecloths (1 for every 5 or 6 kids)
  • upbeat music (optional)
  • music player (optional)

Craft

Kids make craft stick puzzles.

Supplies

  • large craft sticks (6 per child)
  • painter’s tape or duct tape (about 4 inches per child)
  • green markers
  • washable green ink pads
  • small plates (1 for every 5 or 6 kids)
  • washable red, orange, and yellow tempera paint
  • plastic forks (1 per child)
  • sandwich-size resealable plastic bags
  • hand cleanser

Easy Prep

  • Make a sample craft to show kids.
  • Put a small amount of red, orange, and yellow paint on each plate.

Life Application Wrap-Up

Kids feel a breeze and pray.

Supplies

  • fan

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.

Opening [5 min]

Welcome

Supplies

  • Bible

Welcome

  • Thank kids for coming.
  • Just for fun, have children shake hands with four friends using the back of their hands.
  • Make announcements.
  • Introduce new kids.
  • Celebrate birthdays by having kids sing a birthday song off-key.
  • Collect the offering.

 

Introduce the Lesson

  • Say: Today we’ll learn God is real. We’ll hear a story about a surprising fire God’s friend Moses saw. Let’s begin today by talking about fires we’ve seen.

 

Share

  • Share about a fire you’ve seen that you thought was neat. It might’ve been a fire in a fireplace that made you feel cozy, a fire while you were camping that you roasted marshmallows over, or fire you saw that came out of a firework.
  • In small groups, have kids share about fires they’ve seen.
  • After small groups have discussed, have a few kids share with the whole group what they talked about in their small groups.

 

Summarize

            Open a Bible, and say: Fires can be amazing. The fire Moses saw was the most amazing fire ever because God was there in that fire! Let’s find out more about how God showed Moses he’s real when he showed up in a fire.

            Pray, thanking God that he’s real.

Music Video [10 min]

Light of the World

Supplies

  • “Light of the World” (watch or download here)  

  • “We Can Trust Him (Psalm 33:4)” (watch or download here)  

  • “To God Be the Glory” (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.

Core Bible Discovery [20 min]

Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1–4:17)

Supplies

  • Bibles
  • construction paper (various colors)
  • scissors
  • transparent tape

Discuss Evidence

            Have kids form pairs.

            Say: You have 30 seconds to find as many clues as you can that your partner is real. Ready? Go!

            After 30 seconds, get kids’ attention.

            Ask: • What clues or evidence did you find that your partner is real?

            Say: It’s pretty easy to prove someone standing right here is real. You can see them, touch them, and hear them.

            But today we’re learning that God is real. What evidence is there that that’s true? After all, we can’t see him, hear him, or touch him the way we could with our partners.

            Let’s look at an encounter Moses had with God and search for evidence that God is real.

 

Hear God

            Say: One way you know your partner is real is that you could hear your partner. And we’ll see that Moses heard from God!

            It all started when Moses saw a bush that was on fire…but it wasn’t burning up! As Moses got closer to check it out, this is what he heard.

            Read Exodus 3:4-6.

            Ask: • How does this show that God is real?

            Say: Not only did Moses hear God say his name, plus identify himself as God, but God went on to tell Moses a lot. He told Moses he was going to rescue the people of Israel out of Egypt, where they were slaves. He told Moses he’d give the people of Israel a new place to live with plenty of food. He gave Moses specific instructions on what to do!

            Let’s see what it would be like to hear God speak that clearly.

            Have one partner in each pair close his or her eyes while the other says the first partner’s name and gives a simple command that can be followed with eyes closed. For example, a partner might say, “Omar, clap your hands three times.” After a few commands, partners can switch roles.

            Ask: • How well could you hear your partner?

            • Compare that to how well you hear God.

            Say: Sometimes it can be hard to hear God the same way we hear a human voice. In fact, you may even start to wonder if God is real. But we just saw evidence that God can speak as clearly as your partner spoke to you. Plus, God still speaks today! It might not always be a voice we can hear, but God speaks to us through the Bible, through other people, through what we feel and sense in our hearts, and through his creation. We know God is real because Moses heard him, and we can listen for him today, too.

 

Touch God

            Say: Another sign your partner is real is that you can touch your partner! We can’t touch God, but God did ask Moses to partner with him to do the work of freeing people from slavery. God said this.

            Read Exodus 3:8-10.

            Say: Here’s the thing: Moses didn’t really want to partner with God. The job seemed hard! But God had chosen Moses to be his leader. Moses didn’t get to touch God, but he did get to work with God…and that’s almost the same thing!

            Let’s see how well you can work with your partner.

            Have partners link arms and then work together to gather a Bible, construction paper, scissors, and tape.

            Ask: • What was it like working with your partner?

            • What’s something you think you could partner up with God to do?

            Say: God is real. When you and your partner linked up, you could work together to accomplish something. Even though we can’t touch God, we can work with him to do important work like telling people about Jesus or showing his love. When we do God’s work, we often feel his power working through us!

 

See God

            Say: A third sign your partner is real is that you can see your partner. I’m looking around our room, and I can’t see God. But let’s look for visual evidence of God in Moses’ story. Visual evidence means you can see it.

            Form four leader-led groups. If you have only two leaders including yourself, you and that leader will split your time between two groups each. Assign each group one of the following signs, and have adult or teen leaders read the verses about it. If you have kids who are strong readers, they can read instead of the leaders. Then they’ll work together to use the construction paper, scissors, and tape to create a visual representation of the sign. Let groups be creative, and make sure everyone is involved. Allow about five minutes, and then have groups show off their signs.

  • Burning bush: Exodus 3:1-3
  • Snake staff: Exodus 4:1-5
  • Snowy hand: Exodus 4:6-7
  • Bloody water: Exodus 4:8-9

            Say: Wow! God is real! Moses didn’t see God himself (at least not in this Bible story), but he sure saw a lot of miraculous signs that proved God is real!

            You know, I think we see signs around us that God is real, too. I like to call them God Sightings. God Sightings aren’t times we see God like we see a person, but they’re times we see evidence that God is real and at work around us. Share your own example of a way you’ve seen God at work in everyday life. It could be as big as a miraculous event or as simple as a beautiful sunset or a dog’s tail wag.

            Ask: • Tell about a God Sighting you’ve seen.

            Say: When we see these God Sightings—whether they feel big or small—they’re signs that God is real. They’re ways to see God!

            So Moses got to the burning bush where he saw a sign that God is real. Then he heard God and had a whole conversation with him about how to set the Israelites free from slavery. Then God gave him even more visual ways to prove that he’s real. And after that whole experience, Moses went on to partner with God to do something amazing.

            God is the same real God today that he was for Moses. In fact, God told Moses a name that shows God is the same all the time.

            Read Exodus 3:14.

            Ask: • What do you think the name “I Am” means?

            • How does that name show God is real today like he was in Moses’ time?

            Say: “I Am” is a name that shows God is always the same. He just is! So we can pay attention to how God is real as we listen for him, work alongside him, and look for God Sightings.

Core Bible at Home [20 min]

Not available for this age level.

To use this feature, please ask your DIG IN Director to create a One Room classroom. For instructions and tips on creating a classroom for at-home lessons, click here.

Talk-About Video [10 min]

Fact or Fiction?

Supplies

  • “Fact or Fiction?” teaching video (watch or download here)

Tip

  • Don’t have internet in your classroom? That’s okay! You can download the videos before class using the “download” button at the link provided, or purchase DVDs here

 

Discuss and Watch “Fact or Fiction?”

            Say: We’re learning that God is real.

            Ask: • How do you know God is real?

            Say: Let’s watch a video that will test how well you can tell what’s real and what’s not! Let’s play Fact or Fiction?

            Watch “Fact or Fiction?”

            Ask: • Which things sounded really real…but they were fiction?

            • How can you tell the difference between what’s real and what’s made up?

            Say: We may not always be able to tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to silly animal facts, but we can always know God is real. God showed up for Moses in a very real way, and he’s real today, too!

Preschool Puppet Skit [10 min]

Preschool Puppet Skit

Not available for this age level.

Object Lesson [10 min]

Water Wonder

Supplies

  • balloons (2 for each adult leader)
  • tealights or votive candles (1 for each adult leader)
  • candle lighter
  • small cup
  • water

Easy Prep

  • Inflate half the balloons with air, and tie them off.
  • Fill the other half of the balloons about ¾ full with water, and tie them off.
  • Fill the small cup with water.

Tips

  • Use regular party balloons, not water balloons. Water balloons are thinner and may not work as effectively.
  • Have adult and teen leaders keep lighters and candles in their possession the entire time.

 

Watch Heat From a Candle Pop a Balloon

            Say: Today we heard about a way God showed Moses that God is real. God got Moses’ attention by setting a bush on fire, and it was amazing because the bush didn’t burn up! That’s not usually what happens with fire. Let’s take a look at what hot fire can do.

  • Form leader-led groups sitting at tables, and give each leader a balloon inflated with air, a balloon filled with water, and a candle. Have groups adjust how they’re sitting as needed to make sure kids are safely out of reach of the candle.
  • Use the lighter to light each candle.

Ask: • What do you think will happen if we hold balloons over the hot fire of the candles? Why?

  • Coordinate leaders holding their air-filled balloons over their candles so all kids are ready for the sound. They’ll hold the balloons a few inches from the flames until they pop. It won’t take long for the heat from the flame to warm the air in the balloon so it quickly expands, popping the balloon.

 

Watch as Water Keeps a Balloon From Popping

            Say: Wow, the heat from the fire made the balloons pop! Your group has another balloon we’re going to try, but these are a little different.

  • Have leaders hold up their water-filled balloons where their kids can see well and shake the balloons so kids can hear the water moving inside.
  • Invite kids to share in their groups what they think will happen this time when the leader holds the balloon over the candle and why.
  • Have leaders hold the water-filled balloons over and near the candle flames. The balloon can get within about a half inch of the flame but not directly in the flame.
  • After kids can see that the balloons aren’t going to pop or burn up, have leaders hold the balloons in their laps.

 

Talk About It

            Say: The second balloons are filled with water, and water can put out fires. Pour some of the water from the cup over a few of the candles so everyone can watch the water extinguish the flames. Leaders can blow out any remaining lit candles. So the water in the balloons protected the balloons from burning up or getting hot and popping from the fire of the candles!

            This gives us a picture of how amazing it must have been for Moses to see a burning bush that wasn’t being burned up by the fire. But it wasn’t water that was keeping the bush from burning up; it was God! And God spoke to Moses through the burning bush, too!

            God used his power to do something amazing to show Moses—and us—that God is real.

Deeper Bible [15 min]

Who’s There?

Supplies

  • Bible
  • stuffed dog
  • dog toy
  • several pieces of dry dog food
  • dog leash

Easy Prep

  • Hide the stuffed dog somewhere in the room. Place the dog toy, a few pieces of dog food, and the leash in different parts of the room. They should be visible but not obvious. If you have more than 20 kids, consider dividing into groups and placing clues for each group to find its own stuffed dog.

Look for Clues

            Say: Today we’re learning that God is real, even if we can’t see him. Speaking of not being able to see God, we have a friend visiting us today, (look around) but I can’t see the friend right now. Let’s look for clues to figure out who it might be.

            Encourage kids to stay seated but look around for something in the room that doesn’t belong. As soon as one child identifies one of your dog objects, regain kids’ attention and point it out.

            Ask: • Who do you think it is? Listen to a few guesses, but don’t tell kids whether their guesses are correct. Just respond with things such as “That’s a good thought,” “Maybe,” or “You might be right.”

            Say: Those are some great guesses. Why don’t you look for more clues to be sure? Allow kids to search for clues again, together as a group. When a child finds a second dog object, invite kids to share what they think it is. Then move on to find the third object..      Say: I’m sure you know it’s some sort of dog now. See if you can find it. Have kids search, and gather everyone when the stuffed dog has been found. Allow time for kids to pass the dog around if they want to see it.

 

Talk About Clues

            Say: We found things that showed us this stuffed dog was here, even before we could see it. The Bible tells us that God put things all around us to show us he’s real, even if we can’t see him. Listen to this. Read aloud Acts 14:17.

            Share some things you’ve seen around you that show you God is real. It may be a beautiful sunset, a bird soaring through the air, or even the kids in your class.

            Ask: • What are some things God made that show you he’s real? Encourage kids to think about things in nature or special people in their lives.

            Say: Even before we saw the stuffed dog, we saw clues in our room that the dog had come to visit. Someday we’ll get to see God in heaven. But today we can see clues all around us that God is real and he’s with us. We just need to look for them. Lead kids to pray and thank God for some of the things they listed.

High-Energy Game [10 min]

Snakes and Sticks

Supplies

  • cones (4 for every 5 or 6 kids)
  • upbeat music (optional)
  • music player (optional)

Easy Prep

  • Set out 1 starting cone and a row of 3 additional cones for each group of 5 or 6 kids.

Tip

  • You can purchase downloadable music and other items to enhance your DIG IN program here

 

Play Snakes and Sticks

            Say: Today we heard that God did something amazing and turned Moses’ stick into a snake. That helped Moses know that God is real! Let’s play a game where we pretend to be sticks and snakes.

  • Form groups of five or six. Help kids line up with their groups behind the starting cones so they’re holding on to the shoulders of the kids in front of them.
  • Once kids are lined up, encourage them to freeze like a stick.
  • Yell: Snake! Lead groups to pretend to be snakes as they weave in and out of their rows of cones. Kids will go around the last cone and weave in and out of the cones back to the starting cone.
  • Periodically yell: Stick! Encourage groups to freeze in place as if their snake has turned back into a stick. Then yell: Snake! Encourage them to run like a snake again.
  • When kids reach the starting cone, the first person in line will run to the back to become the tail of the snake, and the next child in line will become the head. Then they can run through the cones again.
  • If groups become disconnected, encourage them to stop and reconnect their snake before running again.
  • Continue as time allows, alternating between snakes and sticks as kids weave back and forth through the cones.
  • If you’d like, play upbeat music while kids play.

           

Talk About Snakes

            Say: We pretended to be snakes in our game.

            Share about a time you saw a snake. It may have been on a hike, on a nature program on TV, or a friend’s pet.

            Ask: • Tell about a snake you’ve seen. Kids may have seen a snake in the zoo, on a camping trip, or in a picture book.

            Say: God showed Moses that he’s real by turning a regular old stick into a snake. That’s amazing! God shows us he’s real, too. We can see God is real when we see a beautiful sunset or a really cool animal he made. We also know God is real when he helps us if we’re afraid or sick. There are things all around us to show us God is real. We just have to look for them.

Low-Energy Game [10 min]

Wind Power

Supplies

  • cotton balls
  • tables or plastic tablecloths (1 for every 5 or 6 kids)
  • upbeat music (optional)
  • music player (optional)

Tip

  • You can purchase downloadable music and other items to enhance your DIG IN program here.

 

Use the Wind

            Say: Today we’re learning that God is real. When we see something, it’s easy to believe it’s real. But there are things, like God, that we can’t see even though they’re real, too. Let’s think about that some more with a game.

  • Form groups of five or six. Direct each group to a table or plastic tablecloth, and spread a large pile of cotton balls in front of them.
  • On your cue, encourage kids to work with their group to blow all their cotton balls off the table.
  • As kids play point out that the cotton balls are moving without even being touched.
  • After all the cotton balls have been blown off the table, encourage kids to gather them and return them to their original place.
  • Continue playing as time allows, expressing wonder at the movement of the cotton balls.
  • If you’d like, play upbeat music while kids play.

           

Talk About the Wind

            Say: You used your breath to move the cotton balls. We can’t see your breath, but we know it’s there because we see what it does. We can’t see God either, but God is real. We can see things God does all around us, like helping us get better when we’re sick or making a beautiful sunset. That’s how we know God is real.

Craft [20 min]

Burning Bush Puzzle

Supplies

  • large craft sticks (6 per child)
  • painter’s tape or duct tape (about 4 inches per child)
  • green markers
  • washable green ink pads
  • small plates (1 for every 5 or 6 kids)
  • washable red, orange, and yellow tempera paint
  • plastic forks (1 per child)
  • sandwich-size resealable plastic bags
  • hand cleanser

Easy Prep

  • Make a sample craft to show kids.
  • Put a small amount of red, orange, and yellow paint on each plate.

 

Make Puzzles

            Say: Today we heard that God made a bush that was on fire but not burning up! Seeing the bush helped Moses know that God is real. Let’s make something to remind us of the amazing things God can do.

  • Give each child six craft sticks and a 4-inch piece of tape. Help kids lay their craft sticks side by side on the tape to create one solid surface.
  • Encourage kids to use green markers to draw some grass along the bottom of the craft sticks.
  • Ask adult and teen helpers to assist kids in using ink pads to put a green handprint in the center of their craft sticks while kids are drawing the grass. Have kids clean their hands.
  • Set the plates of paint in front of kids, and give each child a fork. Show kids how to use the fork to add fire to their handprint bushes. Encourage kids to put the paint on thinly so it will dry quickly.

 

Assemble Puzzles

            Say: Even though the bush Moses saw was on fire, it didn’t burn up. That’s amazing!

            Share about something amazing you’ve seen. Maybe you were amazed at the sight of your newborn baby, the view from a mountain you’ve climbed, or the way God answered a prayer.

            Ask: • Tell about something amazing you’ve seen. Kids may share about seeing an elephant at the zoo, their cousin do a cool trick on his bicycle, or a special toy.

            Say: Those are amazing things. But God does the most amazing things. He makes beautiful flowers, interesting animals, and all our wonderful friends. These things help us know that God is real.

            Your puzzle can help you remember to look for amazing things God does every day, and it would be fun to share with a younger friend. This week, look for a younger friend and use the puzzle to share how you know God is real as your friend puts together your puzzle Help kids remove the tape from the backs of their craft stick puzzles and work to reassemble the pictures on the sticks. Give each child a resealable plastic bag to put the puzzle in when heading home.

Life Application Wrap-Up [5 min]

Feel the Wind

Supplies

  • fan

Feel a Fan

            Say: Today we learned that God is real. Even though we can’t see God, we can feel his friendship in our hearts. Turn on the fan, and allow a moment for kids to feel it. It’s kind of like wind—we can’t see it, but we know it’s there because we can feel it.

 

Pray

            Leaving the fan on, say: We know the wind is real, and we know God is real even though we can’t see him with our eyes. We can talk to him, and we can feel his love and friendship in our hearts. Lead kids to hug themselves as you thank God that he shows you he’s real, and then close in prayer.

            Say: I’m so happy you came to church today to find out God is real and he loves you so much! Please come back again to learn more about our loving God.

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.