Use this lesson outline to teach elementary students about the Tower of Babel and how God is the only one worthy of our worship.
Editor’s Note: This lesson was adapted from Tru Curriculm, TruStory (3rd & 4th Grade Classroom Edition).
Children develop relationships with their leaders and one another through simple activities and conversation starters.
Opening Activity: Block Questions
Invite your class to get to know each other by answering questions.
On a piece of paper, write or type icebreaker questions in boxes the size of a building block’s side or smaller. Cut apart the questions and tape one question to each block.
CONNECT QUESTION: Welcome and greet children. Open your time by asking this question: Who do you show honor and respect to?
Gather the class in a circle and lay out the blocks in the middle.
Choose one child to begin, and have him pick up a block and read and answer the question on the block. He’ll then place the block on the ground in the middle of the circle.
Then, the next child will pick up a block and read and answer that question. When she finishes, she’ll place her block on top of the first.
Continue around the circle until all of the blocks are stacked and each child has answered a question.
Children experience and learn more about God through memorizing Scripture, storytelling from The Big God Story, prayer, and discussion.
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. Isaiah 40:28
Game: Stack the Verse
Write the words of the Remember Verse on index cards and tape one card to each block. Break up the words like this: The Lord /is the/everlasting God,/the Creator/of the ends/of the earth./He will not/grow tired/or weary,/and his understanding/no one/can fathom.
Have the kids recite the Remember Verse together a few times. Then, lay out the blocks with the words from the Remember Verse on them on the floor. Have children work together to stack the blocks in the correct order, beginning with the first phrase on the bottom.
Time the children to see how long it takes to correctly stack the verse. When they’re finished, break down the tower and have kids restack it again and try to get a faster time.
Bible Passage: Genesis 11—12, 15
God created people to be in relationship with Him and with one another.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world and separated people from God, who is perfect. So, God promised to send a Redeemer to restore our relationship with Him.
Who is the Redeemer? Invite responses. That’s right—it’s Jesus! Now, let’s pray together. Lead the kids in a Prayer of Release to pause, be still, and ask the Holy Spirit to quiet their hearts and minds.
Have your kids open their Bibles to Genesis 11, and encourage them to follow along.
After sin entered the world, people continued to make bad choices. The people of the world had been created to worship God. Why? Invite responses. Because God is worthy of worship.
Do you think the people worshipped God with their lives? Invite responses. No—the people continued to disobey Him. They made and worshipped false gods, or pretend gods.
Who is the only One worthy of worship? Invite responses. That’s right—God. Not only did people continue to worship false gods, but they also became very prideful. They wanted the whole world to know about them.
At that time in The Big God Story, everyone in the world spoke the same language. The people decided that instead of worshipping God, they wanted all of the glory for themselves.
Do people deserve glory and worship? Invite responses. No—only God is worthy of worship. Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 11:4 aloud.
The people decided to build a city called Babel and a great tower that reached to the heavens. Ask a volunteer to write “Tower” on a paper slip and tape it to the wall above the first slip to begin to create a new row.
Do you think the people were building the tower to be closer to God or to worship Him? Invite responses. Nope. The people were building the tower to worship themselves.
Who is worthy of worship? Invite responses. Only God! God saw what the people were doing, and He knew how to stop this foolish behavior. Ask a volunteer to read verse 7 aloud.
God confused the language of the people. Suddenly, the people were speaking different languages, and they couldn’t understand one another!
Can you imagine talking with someone and then, all of a sudden, you both start speaking in different languages and you can’t understand each other? Ask a volunteer to read verses 8–9 aloud.
God scattered the people all over the earth and stopped the building of the tower. God had originally created people to worship Him and to be in community together.
God didn’t stop loving people because of the tower in Babel. God kept going with His plan to send a Redeemer to fix our relationship with Him.
As part of His plan, God decided to use the family of a man named Abram. Abram lived in the land of Ur with his wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot.
One day, God spoke to Abram and gave him a new plan for his life. Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 12:1–3 aloud.
God told Abram to go to a new land where God would bless the whole world through Abram and his family. God kept reminding Abram of this promise by making a special covenant with him.
A covenant is a very special promise, and when God makes a promise, He keeps it!
God was going to start a new nation of people—a nation to worship Him. Why? Invite responses. Because God is worthy of worship!
Abram obeyed God. He took his family and moved to the land of Canaan, which God had promised to him. What country did Canaan later become? Invite the kids to respond. Yes, Israel.
Abram was the beginning of the Israelite people whom we read about all throughout The Big God Story.
Ask a volunteer to read verse 7 aloud. An altar was made with a pile of stones.
Abram built the altar as a way to worship God and to remember all He had done. Abram knew that only God was worthy of worship. He trusted that God had an amazing plan.
In Genesis 17, God changed Abram’s name to “Abraham,” which means “father of many.” He also changed Sarai’s name to “Sarah.” Let your kids know that Abram and Sarai are also known as Abraham and Sarah in The Big God Story.
God chose to use Abram—whose name God later changed to Abraham—and his family in a wonderful way. Through Abram’s family, God brought Jesus, the Redeemer, who saved us from our sins.
God planned for Abram’s family, the Israelites, to be a community of people. In a loving community, the people love each other and show others what it means to love God.
And through the Israelites, Jesus came to the world and showed us God’s redeeming love. God is worthy of our worship! Share with the kids some of your favorite ways to worship God.
Children reflect on what the Holy Spirit is teaching them and respond to God through creative activities and games.
Activity: Altar of Worship
In this time, kids write down ways they can worship God and then place their responses at the foot of an altar as an act of praise.
Create an altar by draping a blanket or sheet over a table.
God is the one and only true God, and He’s worthy of all of our worship. He created us to worship Him.
Why is God worthy of our worship? Invite responses. We can worship God together in many ways, and we have so many reasons to worship Him.
Worshipping God isn’t something that happens just at church; it can happen every single day of our lives.
Invite your kids to spend some time in silence pondering what it looks like to worship God in their daily lives. What are some of the ways they can worship Him every day? What would they like to worship God for today?
When they’re ready, invite kids to take an index card and write down what God may be speaking to them. When they’re finished, have them put their cards at the foot of the altar as an act of worship. Then, invite children to worship God in any way they choose—standing, kneeling, singing, etc.
Optional Activity: Spaghetti Structures
Invite your class to work together without talking to build a tall structure using marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti noodles.
The people we heard about today tried to make a name for themselves by building a tower with stairs to heaven. Because they desired to worship false gods and not the one true God, God scattered the people all over the world and gave them different languages to speak.
Divide your class into groups of three to four kids. Give each group the allotted supplies and have them work together to try to build the largest structure they can—without talking to one another!
The group with the tallest structure wins. When children finish making marshmallow and spaghetti structures, ask:
How were you able to communicate with your teammates without talking to one another? How did it feel to not be able to communicate using words? How do you think the people at Babel felt when they couldn’t communicate with each other?
Third and fourth graders show increased ability and coordination in their fine motor skills. This fun activity is a great way to challenge your kids with their developing skills.
Children receive a blessing from their leaders and sometimes one another. A blessing can be a prayer of commission, a portion of Scripture, or words to encourage and guide.
Gather the children together and read the blessing from Revelation 4:11:
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.
Today as you bless the children, teach them hand motions to go along with the words of the verse.
When children finish the hand motions, have them stand together with their palms open as you bless them.
May you know that God alone is worthy to receive all glory, honor, power, and worship. May this truth be a part of everything you do this week.