Scripture Reference: Genesis 11:1-9
Story Overview: When Noah and his family left the ark, God commanded them to spread out over the whole earth and repopulate it. Instead, in their pride, they gathered in one place and began to build a tower. The Lord confused and stopped their plans by causing everyone to speak different languages. Once again people began to move away and spread all over the earth.
Suggested Emphasis or Theme: We should not have an unhealthy pride.
|Background Study||Way to Introduce the Story||The Story|
|Review Questions||Craft and Activity Ideas||Other Online Resources|
During the flood, all of the people on the earth died. The only people that lived were Noah and his wife, his three sons, and their wives. After the flood people had to begin all over again. Noah’s sons had large families and there were soon many people on the earth again. People began to forget that God had told them to move to different places so that there would be people all over the earth. Instead of spreading around, people began to move to an area of Babylonia called Shinar. They built buildings for their new city. They baked bricks for the buildings. They all stayed in their new city. They decided to disobey God’s command to populate the whole earth. The people worked together so well to build a city that they decided to build a tower. They did not build the tower to bring glory to God. They wanted to build the tower to become famous. They wanted their tower to reach way up into the sky. They wanted people to like their tower so much that they would all want to live in their town. The people had a bad kind of pride—the kind of pride that makes you think only about yourself and not about God. The work on the tower went really well because everyone spoke the same language and could understand each other perfectly. The people had a lot of pride in their work and felt like they had done it all on their own. They did not even say “thank-you” to God for any part of it. The Lord came down from heaven to see the tower. He knew that the people would just keep building higher and higher. If He didn’t do something, they would just keep thinking about how good they were and never stop to think about Him. To make the people stop building, the Lord confused the people’s languages. They could no longer understand each other. When someone talked it just sounded like strange noises or “babbling.” It became impossible to work together on the tower. Everyone just got mixed up. The people stopped working together. The town became known as “Babel” because of all of the different languages. The different language groups moved away from each other and away from the city. Now the people were obeying what God had told them to do. Once again they spread over the earth.
- What happened before this story?
- What happens after this story?
- List of all Bible stories and themes on this website.
Way to Introduce the Story:
As the children arrive, have blocks or legos available. Guide the students in building a tower as tall as they can. Older children might want to play a round or two of “Jenga” or build a house of cards. “Today we are going to read about a time when some people decided to build the tallest tower that had ever been built.”
Ways to Tell the Story:
This story can be told using a variety of methods. Always remain true to the facts found in the Bible but help children connect to its meaning by using drama, visual aids, voice inflection, student interaction and/or emotion.
Click here for visual aids and story-telling methods.
Click here to download these illustrations and slideshow. Be selective. Each teacher is unique so only use the illustrations that best relate to the way YOU are telling the story in THIS lesson. Too many illustrations can be confusing so eliminate any that cover other stories or details you do not wish to emphasise in this lesson.
- Did God want Noah’s sons and their descendants to live in one place? No
- Why did the people of Babel begin building a tall tower? To make a tower so good that they would be famous and so that everyone would want to live in one place—their city.
- How did God stop the people from building the tower? He caused them to speak different languages.
- Why was the city called “Babel”? Because the different languages sounded like babbling.
- What does a good kind of pride cause us to think about? God (and what He has done for us)
- What does a bad kind of pride cause us to think about? Only ourselves and how we are better than others
Craft and Activity Ideas:
- Make a poster depicting Proverbs 16:18.
- Brainstorm things people might say when they brag about something.
- Ask someone who speaks a different language to come to class and give the children simple instructions on how to do something (example: “children, take a pencil and paper and write your name on the paper”, or “open your bible to Genesis chapter 11”). Discuss how difficult it would be to build a tower when everyone spoke different languages.
- Cut rectangles from coloured paper to represent bricks. Use the paper bricks to “build” two towers. One of paper bricks on which are written godly attributes (humility, love, unselfishness, etc.). The bricks for the other tower should have ungodly traits written on them (pride, hate, selfishness, swearing, etc.) Discuss which tower God would want us to build.
- Snack: Build a tower our of square biscuits/cookies or crackers. “Glue” pieces together with peanut butter or icing.
- Look up and discuss scriptures concerning pride: Psalms 17:10; 138:6; Proverbs 13:10; 16:5, 18; 28:25; Acts 12:21-24; James 4:4-6, 10.
- Sing “Humble Yourselves in the Sight of the Lord”
- Contrast “Healthy Pride” and “Unhealthy Pride” using this Drawing Contrasts for an Application Activity idea.
- Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
- Find other ideas on the Pinterest Board “Tower of Babel”
Other Online Resources:
- Colouring page and puzzle worksheets at http://calvarycurriculum.org/pdf/Curriculum/Original/Curriculum/CURR010.PDF
- Wordsearch puzzle at http://www.christiananswers.net/kids/wrdsrch3.html
- Worksheets: There are a number of Old Testament worksheets on the following link. Just scroll down to “The Tower of Babel”. The link is http://www.squidoo.com/bible-worksheets-OT#module110252211
- Craft: Directions for building a tower with crackers at http://www.dltk-bible.com/recipes/craftysnacks.htm