Bible Stories: Moses and the Burning Bush - Sunday School Lesson Plan for Elementary Grade Students
Bible stories – Moses and the burning bush, for example – are excellent ways to present abstract concepts like God speaks to us and protects us (Exodus 3: 8) in a way children can understand easily.
Bible Stories: Moses and the Burning Bush
Children learn by sensory exploration in contrast to adults who learn via written or visual symbols. They need clues to help them make the connection between biblical concepts and their current reality.
Bible stories, crafts and other activities allow them to experiment and learn by using as many of their five senses as possible.
This lesson is for elementary students who read and write with minimal adult help. It takes about 45 minutes to present and requires no special supplies or skills.
Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush is rich with biblical truths; however, to keep this lesson age appropriate, it is best to focus on these simple Bible truths:
- God is all-powerful – even fire has to obey God.
- God speaks to us in many different ways.
Before beginning the story, remember that while this is a perennially favorite story with children of all ages, it can be hard for a child to understand how a bush (or any object) could burn without be destroyed.
Spend a few minutes explaining that:
- God is the master of everything—wind, fire, sea, and so forth—and invite the class to ask questions.
- The key concept is human restrictions do not bind God; He can create a fire that burns but does not consume.
Bible Craft Connection
Too often in Sunday school or children’s ministry classes, the child’s natural creativity and expression is stifled by preprinted coloring sheets and crafts. Letting them own the art and creation process is another innovative way to encourage deeper learning and longer retention of Bible stories like Moses and the burning bush.
Provide art media like markers, colored pencils and crayons and drawing paper. Invite the students to draw a picture about the story, and encourage them to share why they chose that particular part of the story. Use the pictures to decorate the classroom and then send them home at the end of the class as a reminder of the story.
Use fun, interesting facts like the ones below to help kids understand the Bible story in terms of their everyday life:
- Moses had a job just like your parents do. His job was taking care of sheep, and he was called a shepherd.
- Moses had a family just like you. His mother and father were Jochebed and Amram,1 and he had a brother and a sister. Miriam was his sister and Aaron was his brother.
- In Bible times, the Hebrews belonged to tribes. Moses was from the tribe of Levi. Furthermore, everyone’s name had a meaning; Moses means ‘drawn from the water.’2
- Moses was an author. Most Bible experts believe he wrote the first five books of the Bible. 3
Teacher’s note: If you can find the meaning of each student’s name, this would be a fun way to make a connection to the story.
Have the students locate the story of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3:1 – 10 (help those that may be struggling to find it.) Let them take turns reading the verses aloud. This teaches them that the story is real, not made up, and shows them where it is found in scripture.
Use these suggested discussion questions:
- What curious thing did Moses see? (He saw an angel in a burning bush.)
- How did God get Moses’ attention? (He called his name.)
- How did God identify Himself? (I am the God of thy father, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and Jacob.)
- What did Moses do when God spoke to him and why? (He hid his face; he was afraid.)
If you prefer, allow the kids to ask each other questions about the scriptures they read. This encourages them to think for themselves and dig deeper in understanding.
Bible Stories: Moses and the Burning Bush Verse
Piggyback songs are one of the fastest, easiest ways to teach children scripture. These songs use a tune that is familiar to them so the only thing to learn is the words. Try this song with your class to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”:
- Moses said, I will now turn aside, now turn aside, now turn aside.
- To see this great sight why the bush is not burned, the bush is not burned today
The actual scripture is Exodus 3: 3: And Moses said, “I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” While it needs a little tweaking to make it fit, the meaning of the scripture is not changed.
In this lesson based on Bible stories: Moses and the burning bush, elementary students discovered that God is all-powerful. They sang a song to help them memorize a Bible verse and created a story-related art project.
Sunday School and Children's Ministry Resources
Crafts, games, songs, worksheets and activities are more that just a way to keep kids entertained during Sunday school and children's church services.
These teaching tools provide valuable links back to Bible concepts and truths that have been presented in previous lessons and children's sermons. Children learn best from multi-sensory experiences and planned, spaced repetition of materials presented in different ways.
References and Sources
1 – Exodus 6:20, KJV
2 – Exodus 2: 10, KJV
3 – The Book of the Bible, Mark Littleton
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, KING JAMES VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Author’s own experience as a Christian educator and lay children’s minister.
© 2011 Donna Cosmato