Scripture Reference: Genesis 1:1-2:3
Suggested Emphasis or Theme: There was nothing until God began his work of creation.
Memory Verse: “In the beginning God created the sky and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1. ICB)
Special Note to Teachers: You can present the creation story in at least two ways. Choose the one that best suits your situation.
- Here, on this page, you will see the entire story presented in one lesson. This method works well if time is limited or if you would like to tell the story in a more general way.
- Alternatively, present each one of the days of creation as individual lessons. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the separate days for individual lessons. This approach works well if you would like to spend time appreciating more of the detail of what God has made or if you would like to teach a “unit” over a few sessions with time for more hands-on or experience-based learning.
Way to Introduce the Story:
In your own words, say: “Everyone, close your eyes tightly and put your hands over your eyes. Now, what do you see? Nothing. Even though you see nothing when your eyes are closed, you can still hear, smell and feel things. But today, we will learn about a time when there was absolutely nothing. And I mean NOTHING!”
Did you know that a long, long time ago, there was nothing? No trees, no people, no buildings, not even sound or smell? Darkness was everywhere. That is what it was like before God decided to make our world. God created our whole world in six days. He made something different on each of the six days, and then God was finished and rested on the seventh day. But first, let’s go back to the very beginning!
Let’s look at the very first verse in our Bibles. “In the beginning, God created the sky and the earth. The earth was empty and had no form. Darkness covered the ocean, and God’s Spirit was moving over the water.” Genesis 1:1-2 (ICB)
Bible Verses: “Then God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. God saw that the light was good. So he divided the light from the darkness. God named the light’ day’ and the darkness “night.” Evening passed, and morning came. This was the first day.” Genesis 1:3-5 (ICB)
So God spoke, and light appeared. And this was not just sunlight. God had not created the sun yet. Can you make light by simply saying the words, “Let there be light”? No, but God can.
Bible Verses: “Then God said, ‘Let there be something to divide the water in two!’ So God made the air to divide the water in two. Some of the water was above the air, and some of the water was below it. God named the air ‘sky’. Evening passed, and morning came. This was the second day.” Genesis 1:6-8 (ICB)
Water was everywhere. On the second day of creation, God separated the water above the earth from the water upon the earth and then placed the sky between the two. For the first time, the earth would have experienced an atmosphere and things like clouds, wind, waves, and evaporation.
Bible Verses: “Then God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered together so the dry land will appear.’ And it happened. God named the dry land “earth.” He named the water that was gathered together “seas.” God saw that this was good. Then God said, ‘Let the earth produce plants. Some plants will make grain for seeds. Others will make fruit with seeds in it. Every seed will produce more of its own kind of plant.’ And it happened. The earth produced plants. Some plants had grain for seeds. The trees made fruit with seeds in it. Each seed grew its own kind of plant. God saw that all this was good. Evening passed, and morning came. This was the third day.” Genesis 1:9-13 (ICB)
Now there were mountains, valleys, boulders, springs, rivers, waterfalls, caves, beaches, gravel, clay, and sand. And because there were plants, the earth now contained roots, stems, leaves, grass, pollen, bark, vines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more.
Bible Verses: “So God made the two large lights. He made the brighter light to rule the day. He made the smaller light to rule the night. He also made the stars. God put all these in the sky to shine on the earth. They are to rule over the day and over the night. He put them there to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that all these things were good. Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fourth day.” Genesis 1:16-19 (ICB)
With the sun came light, heat and warmth, UV rays, sunrises, sunsets, dawn, dusk, and even eclipses. God knew that the Earth would need the sun to survive.
And then there was the beauty of the night sky for the first time. Sometimes the moon is full and round, and sometimes it is shaped like a crescent. When the moon appears very thin, some people even call it a “toe-nail moon.” Of course, the stars are unique because they are bright and sparkly and even appear to twinkle in the sky.
Bible Verses: “Then God said, ‘Let the water be filled with living things. And let birds fly in the air above the earth.’ So God created the large sea animals. He created every living thing that moves in the sea. The sea is filled with these living things. Each one produces more of its own kind. God also made every bird that flies. And each bird produces more of its own kind. God saw that this was good. God blessed them and said, ‘Have many young ones and grow in number. Fill the water of the seas, and let the birds grow in number on the earth.’ Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fifth day.” Genesis 1:20-23 (ICB)
In the sea are fish, swimming mammals such as whales and dolphins, sponges, jellyfish, clams, oysters, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, starfish, sea lilies, lobsters, worms, snails, and many more. And on this day, God created all sorts of birds to fill the skies. When God created birds, he created feathers, beaks, wings, and claws.
(Day 6- Animals)
Bible Verses: Then [on the sixth day] God said, “Let the earth be filled with animals. And let each produce more of its own kind. Let there be tame animals and small crawling animals and wild animals. And let each produce more of its kind.” And it happened.
So God made the wild animals, the tame animals, and all the small crawling animals in such a way that they could reproduce more of their own kind. God saw that this was good. Genesis 1:24-25 (ICB)
Think of all the animals that live on the ground (wild animals and tame animals): amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and even some birds that do not fly. God is amazing because every single kind of animal was his idea and his creation.
(Day 6- People)
Bible Verses: Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image and likeness. And let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the tame animals, over all the earth and over all the small crawling animals on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-27 (ICB)
Then the Lord God took dust from the ground and formed man from it. The Lord breathed the breath of life into the man’s nose. And the man became a living person. Genesis 2:7 (ICB)
On the same day, God made the animals, he then made a man. The man was called “Adam.” Adam was different from the animals because when God breathed life into Adam, God made him to be a living person. As a living person, Adam could think, love and worship. Adam could make choices. Adam could talk to God. Adam was a unique creation. Adam was a representation of God to the rest of creation. God brought all the animals before Adam and gave him the honour of naming them. But Adam knew that he was different from the animals. God did not want Adam to be lonely.
Bible Verses: “So the Lord God caused the man to sleep very deeply. While the man was asleep, God took one of the ribs from the man’s body. Then God closed the man’s skin at the place where he took the rib. The Lord God used the rib from the man to make a woman. Then the Lord brought the woman to the man.” Genesis 2:21-22 (ICB)
Adam was so happy when he woke up and saw the woman. Now he was not alone. He called the woman “Eve.” The creation of humankind was now complete. Adam and Eve were beautiful and pure. They experienced no shame or need to cover up with clothes.
Bible Verses: “So the sky, the earth and all that filled them were finished. By the seventh day, God finished the work he had been doing. So on the seventh day, he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day. He made it holy because on that day he rested. He rested from all the work he had done in creating the world.” Genesis 2:1-3 (ICB)
God did not rest because he was tired. God rested because he had finished! On the seventh day, God rested and thought about his work. God wants us to rest too. He wants us to take time to rest and think about him and his creation.
Ways to Tell the Story:
You can tell this story 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 emotion.
Visual Aids that Cover All Seven Days of Creation
If teaching the story of the creation as a unit over a few weeks or days, repeat the whole creation story each time and follow this up by going back to emphasise a particular day.
Repetition is good but try using a variety of storytelling and visual aid methods to keep children interested. Although the creation story will be repeated, you will go into more detail about one particular day. Once you have repeated this approach a few times, the children will remember the creation account well.
Each teacher is unique, so only use the illustrations that best relate to how YOU tell 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.
- What is the first verse in the Bible?
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the sky and the earth.” (ICB)
- Be able to name various things God created on each day of creation.
- Creation Song
- Hippo Song
- My God is So Big
- He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands Song
- Refer to the Song Page on this website for more options.
Learning Activities and Crafts:
- Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
- Search online or in the library for “earth day” activities. Many will be easy to adapt to “God Created Our World” activities.
- Name something that God created. Ask the children to hold up their fingers for the corresponding day of creation. For example, God created horses. Children hold up six fingers to show God created horses on the sixth day of creation.
- Print these Days of Creation Numbers and have children decorate with items relating to the days of creation.
- Print bookmarks, trading cards or timelines (printable pages).
Visit the Teaching Ideas page for additional activities and crafts.
Other Online Resources:
- Colouring pages for each creation day (DLTK)
- Colouring page with text (Ministry Spark)
- Crafts and songs for pre-schoolers (I Can Teach My Child)
- Craft: Creation Craft for toddlers (Toddler Activities)
- Worksheet: Creation Worksheets (Bible Works)
- Game: Creation Game (SupplyMe)
- Printable: God Made the World Song with (Bible Fun for Kids)
- Other: Teaching the Evidence of Creation to Children (Institute for Creation Research)
- Other: Creation topics for kids (Kids Answers)
- Other: Answers for Genesis story (Kids Answers)
Individual Days of Creation:
(Click on the individual days. Each number is an additional lesson)
Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.