Scripture Reference: Genesis 1:9-13
Suggested Emphasis or Theme: God created land and plants.
Memory Verse: “All things were made through him. Nothing was made without him.” John 1:3, ICB
On the third day of creation, God separated land and sea. He caused the dry land to appear. God also created vegetation on the third day. The creation must have begun to take on beauty and majesty. The creation of our world was done in an orderly fashion leading up to its completion. God was building a beautiful, healthy place that would eventually be ready for humanity.
Have you ever thought about what the appearance of dry land would have involved? Mountains, valleys, boulders, springs, rivers, waterfalls, caves, beaches, gravel, clay, sand. The list goes on and on. Every time we take a step, we can remember the power of an awesome God.
With the formation of land, the water could now begin the cycles of evaporation and condensation.
Not only was the creation of plants miraculous. It is a wonderful miracle of God that each living plant was created in such a way that it could reproduce itself through seeds, pollination, etc. Think of all of the things associated with vegetation: roots, stems, leaves, grass, pollen, bark, vines, seaweed, fruits, vegetables, flowers, oxygen, etc. Think of the smells and colours that existed by the end of the third day.
There is often discussion as to whether or not the seven days of creation were literal days, as we know, twenty-four-hour days. One thought from the third day is that plants need the sun to survive. How many hours could they have survived until the sun was created on day four?
What else does the Bible have to say about land?
- Our hearts are the soil in which the word of God is planted. (Luke 8:4–15)
- God is strong like a rock (Psalm 18:2)
- The church is built on a rock-solid truth “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 16:16-18)
- Hearing the words of Jesus and obeying them is like a wise man who builds his house on a rock instead of a foolish man who builds his house on sand. (Matthew 7:24-27)
What else does the Bible have to say about plants and vegetation?
- Plants fade, but God’s Word lasts forever (Isaiah 40:8)
- Delighting in God’s Word is like being strong like the biggest tree (Psalms 1:1-3)
- Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches (John 15:5)
- The Spirit is like a tree that produces fruit (Galatians 5:22-23)
Way to Introduce the Story:
Bring a collection of rocks, seeds, fruit, soil, wood, etc., to class today. Display these for the students. “Who knows what all of these have in common? All of these things were first created on the third day. Who remembers what was created on the first and second day?”
God made dry land on the third day. The land had very high mountains, rolling hills, flat plains, and valleys. Every part of the dry land was beautiful. How many of you are glad God made dry land?
God wasn’t done yet. He knew this beautiful land needed water. So God made sure the water was in all of the right places. He made big oceans and small lakes. He made small, gently flowing streams and big, powerful waterfalls.
Then God looked around at the world He had made. He could see the blue sky filled with delicate white clouds. He could see the dry land that stretched out a long way and then rose into high jagged mountains or dropped away into soft, pleasant valleys. He could also see the water flowing lazily across the flat, dry land and rushing wildly down from the high mountains or just stretching out in giant pools called lakes and oceans. God was very pleased with what He had made. Everything was good. But do you think God was finished with this world He was making? Oh, no, He wasn’t!
That same day God decided to fill the dry land with plants. So He made lots and lots of wonderful plants. He made grass to cover the flat open land and the deep valleys. He also made grass to grow on the mountains. God also made many kinds of flowers and bushes and trees and made them grow all over the world. Some of these plants were beautiful to look at. And some of them grew delicious fruits and vegetables to eat.
God still wasn’t done. He had another wonderful plan. He gave all of these plants the ability to make seeds and made it possible for the seeds from each plant to grow into a brand-new plant, just like the one that made that seed. And plants are still growing today, just as God planned it in the beginning.
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.
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.
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 story each time and follow this by going back and emphasising more details about a particular day. Try using a variety of storytelling and visual aid methods. Although there will be a repetition of the creation story, you will be going a little deeper on this particular day, “Day 3”. By the end of Day 7, all the children will remember the story well.
- What did God create on the third day? Land and plants
- Quote John 1:3. “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”
- Creation Song (Emphasis on Day Three Part)
- Hippo Song
- My God is So Big Song
- Got the Whole World in His Hands Song
- Refer to the Song Page on this website for more options.
Learning Activities and Crafts:
- Do some science experiments concerning land and plants.
- A good snack might be raw fruits and vegetables.
- Go on a walk to collect soil samples and plant cuttings. Bring them back to class and make a display of God’s creation.
- Take a walk outside. Before going out, work with your class to draw up a list of land and plant items (brown leaf, sand, rock, clay, green stem, etc.) that you will search for. Divide children into two teams to see if each team can find every item on the list.
- Plant a fast-growing plant (grass or beans are good) and check on them next class time.
- Play the guessing game. A volunteer says something such as, “I’m thinking of something God made; it’s tall and has leaves.” The child who guesses the answer (tree, in this case) may describe the next object.
- Memorise today’s memory verse. Click here for ideas to help children memorise scripture.
- Make a collage of land and plant items.
- Place leaves (and other flat items) under pieces of paper and then gently rub a crayon over the paper so that the leaf design will appear on the paper.
- Use different coloured soil to glue on paper and make a “sand painting”. You could do the same with different types of seeds. One idea is to write the word “God” or “Creation” using glue. Apply the soil like glitter so that some soil sticks to the glue to form the word while the rest of the soil can be shaken off.
- Cut fruits or vegetables in half and dip them in paint. Use these to “stamp” papers.
- Creation Mural: Attach a long strip of paper to the wall and divide it into seven sections for the days of creation. As the children study each day of creation, glue items or paint pictures onto the corresponding section of the mural, for today’s lesson, glue seeds, leaves, and small rocks on the mural paper.
- Print bookmarks, trading cards or timelines (printable pages).
Visit the Teaching Ideas page for additional activities and crafts.
Other Online Resources:
- Craft: Paper leaf wreath craft (Enchanted Learning)
- Craft: Pressing plants paper craft for pre-schoolers (Our Crafts ~N~ Things)
- Craft: Instructions for origami flowers (Origami Club)
- Craft: How to make tissue paper flowers (Very Well Family)
- Craft: Songs and crafts for pre-schoolers (I Can Teach My Child)
- Craft: Lesson plan using plant life cycle & crafts (Bible Fun For Kids)
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.