Sunday School Lesson

Joseph

Genesis 37 – 45
The story of Joseph has many twists and turns. When Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave, they had no idea that it was part of God’s plan to save their lives (and that of many more)! Through a silly story-telling game and a picture guessing game, kids learn that life can be full of surprises. Use this lesson to teach kids that God has a plan, and we can trust God with our future.

Lesson Overview

1

Get Them Curious

Prepare kids for an exciting
learning journey.

Once Upon an Emoji

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 1

Use this game to illustrate that stories can take many twists and turns and have surprising endings.

2

Screen Time

Show kids a video on the
Bible story.

Joseph

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 2

God’s Story: Joseph, by Crossroads Kids’ Club

3

Make it Stick

Help kids remember the
Bible story.

Order, Order

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 3

Kids arrange Joseph Story Cards in the correct order and re-tell the story of Joseph.

4

Dig Deeper

Help kids grasp
the big idea.

Zoomed-In!

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 4

Play a zoomed-in picture guessing game to help kids learn that we don’t always see the full picture.

5

Walk the Talk

Help kids live out
the
big idea.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 5

Make a spectacular Joseph Emoji Story Flipper.

6

Take it Home

Send kids home with a concrete action plan and fun midweek activities.

How Far Can You See?

Joseph Take it Home-01

Make a pair of binoculars as reminder that we can trust God with our future.

Big Idea

God has a plan for our future.

Key Verse

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Live it Out

We can trust God with our future.

This Sunday School Lesson requires some advance preparation. For a consolidated summary of preparation, supplies and free printables required, please scroll to the bottom of this lesson.

1. Get Them Curious – Once Upon an Emoji

Remember to download, print and cut up the Emoji Story Cards in advance.
(Depending on the number of players and number of rounds you plan to play, you may not need the entire set.)
Emoji Story Cards

Shuffle the cards thoroughly and have everyone sit in a circle.

In this group story-telling game, players take turns to continue the story one sentence at a time.
But players must include a randomly drawn emoji in their sentence.

 

The first player draws an Emoji Story Card and begins the story.
The first sentence must start with “Once upon a time…” and must include the emoji drawn.

The player on the left then draws another Emoji Story Card and adds one sentence to the story.
The sentence added must always include the new emoji drawn.

Carry on drawing Emoji Story Cards and adding to the story until you reach the last player in the circle.
The last player must draw an Emoji Story Card and conclude the story in one final sentence that includes the emoji drawn.
(If your group has fewer than 10 players, you can continue the story for 2 or more rounds before concluding the story.)

Play as many rounds as you like, starting with a different player each round.

 

Discuss:

  • What do you think of the stories that we just made up?
  • (Ask those who began the stories) Did you expect the story to end the way it did?

Say:

  • Our stories have many twists and turns, and had unexpected endings.
  • Do you know of any Bible stories that have surprising endings?

Discuss: Can anyone guess the title of today’s Bible story?

 

Say: Let’s watch a video on Joseph.

 

Pray: Dear God, thank you for the Once Upon an Emoji game! Please help us learn what this game has to do with today’s lesson. Teach us how you want us to live out today’s lesson! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

2. Screen Time – Joseph

This is our favorite YouTube video on Joseph: https://youtu.be/NQ7wLTBnF84

Before you begin, tell the children to pay attention to the sequence of events in the story.

3. Make it Stick – Order, Order 

Remember to download the Joseph Story Cards in advance.
Joseph Story Cards

 

For each child, you will need:

  • 1 copy of Joseph Story Cards
  • Scissors

Discuss: What Bible story did we just watch?

Show Slide 1 (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide1

For older kids, you may like to have them open their Bibles to today’s passage.

 

Say: The story we have just watched covers many years of Joseph’s life. Many things happened in this story. Let’s see if we can recall the order of events that took place.

 

Give each child 1 copy of the Joseph Story Cards and a pair of scissors.
Tell them that the cards are all in the wrong order.

They must cut out the cards and arrange them in the correct order according to the Bible story.

 

When everyone is ready, have everyone hold up the first card.

Ask a volunteer to tell that part of the story.

Do the same for the remaining cards until the children have finished telling all 10 parts of the story.

 

The correct order of the cards:

  1. Joseph was his father’s favorite son. His father gave him a beautiful robe.
  2. Joseph’s brothers hated him. They sold him as a slave.
  3. Joseph was taken to Egypt. He worked for a man named Potiphar.
  4. Joseph was blamed for something he didn’t do. He was put in prison.
  5. God gave Joseph special knowledge about dreams. Joseph told 2 prisoners what their dreams meant.
  6. Pharaoh had a dream. God helped Joseph explain the dream to Pharaoh.
  7. Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
  8. There was a severe famine and Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt to buy food.
  9. Joseph recognized his brothers. He forgave them.
  10. Joseph told his brothers that even though they planned to harm him, it was God who sent him to Egypt to save many lives.
Emoji Bible Stories

4. Dig Deeper – Zoomed-In!

Remember to download the Zoomed-In Puzzles in advance.

Zoomed In Puzzle

Show the puzzles one at a time and have the children guess the picture.

Discuss:

  • Did you get all the pictures correct?
  • Is it always easy to guess the pictures? Why or why not?
  • In today’s Bible story, what did Joseph’s brothers do to him?
  • Why did the brothers do that?
  • How would Joseph have felt at that time?

Say: We have watched the video about what happened to Joseph in Egypt. Let’s read a short passage about what Joseph said to his brothers towards the end of the story.

Read Genesis 45:4-5 and 50:20

Discuss:

  • From these verses, was Joseph still angry with his brothers for selling him as a slave to Egypt? Why or why not?
  • According to Joseph, what was the real reason that he was sold as a slave to Egypt?
  • Did Joseph and his brothers know this from the beginning?
  • According to Genesis 45:5, who sent Joseph to Egypt?

Say:

  • In our zoomed-in picture guessing game, sometimes we can’t guess the picture until we see the zoomed-out picture.
  • In today’s story, it was many years later before Joseph and his brothers discovered that it was part of God’s plan for Joseph to be sold as a slave to Egypt!

Discuss: What can we learn from the story of Joseph? Was it by chance that Joseph ended up in Egypt?

Say:

  • It was not by chance that Joseph was sold as a slave to Egypt.
  • What happened to Joseph was part of God’s plan.
  • God sent Joseph to Egypt to save many lives.

Show Slide 2 (Big Idea): 
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide2

Have everyone read the slide.

5. Walk the Talk – Joseph Emoji Story Flipper

Remember to download the Joseph Emoji Story Flipper Printable in advance.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper

 

Show Slide 3 (Guess the Emoji Bible Story): 
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide3

Have everyone guess the Emoji Bible Story.

 

Show kids a sample of the Joseph Emoji Story Flipper that you have made.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper8

 

Tell kids they will be making their own spectacular Joseph Emoji Story Flipper.

 

You will need for each child:

  • 1 copy of Joseph Emoji Story Flipper Printable
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Here’s how to make the Joseph Emoji Story Flipper:

1. Cut out all the pieces along the black solid lines.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper1

 

2. Fold along ALL the grey dashed lines. Press down firmly to make distinct crease lines.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper2

Then unfold all.

 

3. Apply a little glue in the grey-shaded section. Carefully paste the 5 cards in the spaces indicated.
(It is important that you paste them in the correct order.)

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper3

 

4. Turn over and fold down Flap A.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper4

 

5. Apply a little glue and paste down the opposite flap.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper5

 

6. Fold the top portion down.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper6

 

7. Turn over and fold down Flap B.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper7

Apply a little glue on Flap B and paste down the opposite flap.

Your Joseph Emoji Story Flipper is now ready to use!

Loosely hold the 2 sides near the bottom. Use your other hand to gently pull the bottom tab downwards.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper8


Your Joseph Emoji Story Flipper should flip open to reveal the 6 different emojis.

Your Flipper may feel stiff the first time you use it, but it should get easier to flip the more you play with it.

 

Say:

  • Today, we learned that what happened to Joseph was part of God’s plan.
  • I hope you had fun making your Joseph Emoji Story Flipper! You can use it to play Guess the Emoji Story” game with your friends and tell them about what you learned today.
  • Let’s continue to learn more about the story of Joseph.

Read Genesis 39:1-2 and Genesis 39:20-21

 

Discuss: When Joseph was taken to Egypt as a slave, what did God do for him?

 

Say:

  • God was with Joseph the whole time in Egypt!
  • God took good care of Joseph!
  • God gave Joseph success in everything he did.

Read Genesis 41:15-16

 

Discuss: How did Joseph know the meaning of Pharaoh’s dreams?

 

Read Genesis 41:38-43

 

Discuss: What happened after Joseph told Pharaoh the meaning of his dreams?

 

Say: Throughout Joseph’s time in Egypt, God was with him. Even Pharaoh knew this! That was why Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt!

 

Discuss: God had a plan for Joseph. What about us? Do you think God also has a plan for each one of us?

 

Show Slide 4 (Key Verse): 
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide4

Have everyone read the slide.

Discuss:

  • What does this verse say about God’s plans for us? What do you think those plans are?
  • How does this make you feel?

Say:

  • The Bible tells us that God loves us, and He has a plan for our future!
  • No matter what happens to us here on earth, for those of us who have put our trust in Jesus, we know that God is watching over us and we can talk to Him anytime!
  • God has given us the Holy Spirit to live inside, us to lead and guide us in everything we do.
  • More importantly, God calls us His children and we can be with Him forever!

Show Slide 5 (Live it Out): 
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide5

Have everyone read the slide.

Say:

  • When we obey God, even when bad things happen to us (like what happened to Joseph), we can be confident that God is still with us.
  • We can talk to God in prayer. He will hear us!
  • We must keep on trusting and obeying Him.
  • God has a plan, and we can trust Him with our future!

6. Take it Home – How Far Can You See?

Say: Let’s recall all that we have learned today. Can you remember the title of today’s Bible Story?

Show Slide 1 again (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide1

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: Can you remember today’s big idea?

Show Slide 2 again (Big Idea):
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide2

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: Can you remember today’s key verse?

Show Slide 4 again (Key Verse): 
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide4

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: How can we live out today’s lesson?

Show Slide 5 again (Live it Out): 
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide5

Have everyone read the slide.

Discuss:

  • Have you ever had any good or bad surprises? Tell us more.
  • Have you ever thought of what you want to be when you grow up? Tell us more.
  • How do you plan to achieve this? Tell us more.

Say:

  • Some of us have our own hopes, wishes, and plans for our future. That’s good!
  • And I’m sure all of us wish for good things to happen in our lives.
  • But just like in the story of Joseph, things may not go according to our plans.
  • We must always remember that God always with us even when things don’t go well. We can talk to God in prayer, and we must keep on trusting and obeying Him.
  • God has a plan and we can trust Him with our future!

Give each child a copy of the Joseph Take it Home Handout.

Joseph Take it Home-01  Joseph Take it Home-02

 

Say:

  • I want you to spend a few minutes thinking about this coming week. Are you looking forward to something this week? Are you worried about something? What are some things you plan to do this week?
  • Write these down and talk to God about your coming week.
  • Tell God that even if things don’t go well or according to your plans, you will still trust that He has a plan for your future!
  • Let’s fill in the Live it Out section on the first page. The other pages are for you to do at home. Tell me next week about what you did at home!

 

Give everyone some time to write down their Live it Out action plan before ending the lesson with this closing prayer:

Pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for today’s Bible lesson on Joseph. Thank you that you had a plan for Joseph and his family, and that you took care of them. We know that sometimes bad things happen and we don’t understand why. But we know that you love us, and you have a plan for our future! Please help us to always trust you with our future. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Spot It

Lesson Preparation and Supplies

Here’s a summary of all the preparation, supplies and free printables required for this lesson.

1

Get Them Curious

Prepare kids for an exciting
learning journey.

Once Upon an Emoji

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 1

Use this game to illustrate that stories can take many twists and turns and have surprising endings.

Download, print and cut up the Emoji Story Cards.
(Depending on the number of players and number of rounds you plan to play, you may not need the entire set.)
Emoji Story Cards

Shuffle the cards thoroughly.

2

Screen Time

Show kids a video on the
Bible story.

Joseph

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 2

God’s Story: Joseph, by Crossroads Kids’ Club

Ensure that you can play this YouTube video:
God’s Story: Joseph, by Crossroads Kids’ Club
(Video URL: https://youtu.be/NQ7wLTBnF84)

3

Make it Stick

Help kids remember the
Bible story.

Order, Order

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 3

Kids arrange Joseph Story Cards in the correct order and re-tell the story of Joseph.

Download the Joseph Story Cards.
Joseph Story Cards

For each child, you will need:

  • 1 copy of Joseph Story Cards
  • Scissors

Download Slide 1 (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide1

4

Dig Deeper

Help kids grasp
the big idea.

Zoomed-In!

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 4

Play a zoomed-in picture guessing game to help kids learn that we don’t always see the full picture.

Download the Zoomed-In Puzzles.

Zoomed In Puzzle

 

Download Slide 2 (Big Idea):
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide2

5

Walk the Talk

Help kids live out
the big idea
.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper

Sunday School Lesson - Joseph 5

Make a spectacular Joseph Emoji Story Flipper.

Download Slide 3 (Guess the Emoji Bible Story):
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide3

 

Download the Joseph Emoji Story Flipper Printable.

Joseph Emoji Story Flipper

 

Make 1 Joseph Emoji Story Flipper in advance.
(Follow the instructions in “Walk the Talk” section above.)
You will need to show your Joseph Emoji Story Flipper to the children as a sample.

 

You will need for each child:

  • 1 copy of Joseph Emoji Story Flipper Printable
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Download Slide 4 (Key Verse):
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide4

 

Download Slide 5 (Live It Out):
Sunday School Lesson - Joseph Slide5

6

Take it Home

Send kids home with a concrete action plan and fun midweek activities.

How Far Can You See?

Joseph Take it Home-01

Make a pair of binoculars as reminder that we can trust God with our future.

Download the Joseph Take it Home Handout. You will need to print 1 copy for each child.
Joseph Take it Home-01

 

It would be good to tell parents about the Take it Home Handout. Encourage them to do the suggested family activity with their child.

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