Scripture Reference: Genesis 1:14-19
Suggested Emphasis or Theme: God made the sun, moon, and stars.
Before the fourth day there was a type of light but on this day God created the sun to give a bright light that was called day. He also created the stars and moon that we see in the night sky. Because of this there could be seasons and time as we know it today.
We only have to look into the night sky filled with stars to feel the majesty of God. When we know that each of the stars we see can be as big as our own sun it boggles the mind! Scientists believe that the Milky Way is 625,000 billion miles (a million billion kilometres) across. Try putting zeroes on that number!
We have a difficult time comprehending that God created not only our world but also the great universe. Scientists are trying to determine what exactly is in our universe. They are working hard to find other forms of life and ways to encourage life on the moon. Although space exploration does answer numerous questions, many more remain unanswered.
Isn’t it amazing how Earth is just the right distance from the sun so that we receive enough light and heat? If Earth were any closer, the heat would be so extreme that fiery destruction would be inevitable. Isn’t it amazing that Earth and the moon have orbit paths that ensure we do not collide with one another or the sun? Isn’t it amazing that Earth is the only planet that has just the right amount of oxygen for plant and animal life? God did have a plan for our existence. He made a universe that complements each aspect. Who else but a living God could have created such a marvellous masterpiece?
Children in your classes will have been or will be exposed to a number of scientific theories as to how the universe came into existence. The creation of the world cannot be recreated in a scientific experiment. Scientists can only make guesses (theories) about how they think that it all came about. It is interesting and good to want to learn about the creation. It is sad that many scientists ignore the One whose creation they are studying.
- 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:
Bring pictures of the night sky to class. Talk about the different constellations. Ask the children if they have seen any of these. Also talk about the different phases of the moon (full, crescent, etc.) “In today’s lesson we are going to learn about the day when God made the sun, moon, and the stars.
God made all of the plants on the third day of creation. But of course God did not stop on the third day. Who knows one very important thing that all plants need to have to survive? (Let the children answer until they say the sun.) That’s right! If plants do not have sunlight then they will die. On the fourth day of creation God made the sun. Let’s think of as many words as we can that have to do with the sun: (light, bright, burn, heat, warmth, UV rays, sunrise, sunset, dawn, dusk, orbit, gasses, eclipse . . .). Let the children name and discuss as many as possible. God knew that the earth would need the sun to survive.
For the night sky God made the moon and stars. Let’s name as many words as possible about the moon (shine, reflect, eclipse, craters, Apollo flights, gravity, orbit, rocks, full moon, crescent moon . . . ). How about the stars? (Bright, twinkle, suns, planets, distance, gasses . . .)
(For older Children) When God made the sun, moon, and the stars on the fourth day time really began as we know it. When the earth spins one time it is a twenty-four hour “day”. When it orbits (goes around) the sun one time that makes one year. The nine planets that orbit our sun make up our solar system. There are many solar systems in the universe.
Some people say that the sun, moon, stars, and even our earth happened by accident. They do not believe that God created our world. They do not believe God’s word—the bible. Sometimes people try to guess how the world was made. When they think that it may have happened a certain way they call what they think a theory. One theory is that the earth began because of a big explosion (that’s called the “big-bang” theory). Others say that God did not make the earth, things just slowly changed (evolved) on their own by accident (that’s called the theory of evolution).
We know that the word of God is true! We can read Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and John 1:3 “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been mad” and know that God made the sun, moon, stars, and everything else in the universe!
Ways to Tell the Story:
If teaching the story of the creation as a unit over a few weeks or days then repeat the whole creation story each time and follow this by going back and emphasising more details about a particular day. Try using a variety of story telling and visual aid methods. Although there will be a repetition of the creation story, you will be going a little deeper on one day. By the end of Day Seven all of the children will remember the story really well.
Two versions of the same slide show and visual aid are provided below.
Click here to download the slideshow: God Created the World or click here to download the pictures to print: God Created the World. 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.
- What did God create on the fourth day? Sun, moon, and stars.
- What is a theory? A possible explanation or guess about something. A theory has not been proven.
Learning Activities and Crafts:
- Do some science experiments concerning astronomy or the sun.
- Make sun and moon sandwiches by using a slice of cheese and white bread. Put the two together and, using a round cookie cutter, let your students cut out a sun and moon.
- Use silver glitter on black paper to make stars. If available, use glow-in-the-dark paper stars. Click here for printable labels.
- Bring a book about astronomy to class. Learn about some constellations.
- Arrange to go star gazing one night as a class get together.
- Creation Mural: Attach a long strip of paper to the wall and divide it into 7 sections for the days or 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 add star stickers and sun and moon paper cut-outs.
- Songs: Days of Creation, Hippo Song, My God is So Big
- Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
Other Online Resources:
- Colouring page (simple and cartoonish) at http://www.coloring.ws/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.coloring.ws/bible/youngday4.gif
- Colouring page from http://www.coloring.ws/t.asp?b=m&t=http://www.coloring.ws/bible/day4.gif
- 360 degree panorama of northern and southern hemisphere night sky (Thanks David!) at http://skysurvey.org/
- Craft: Paper crafts for pre-schoolers (days 4 and 5) at http://ourcraftsnthings.com/2008/10/creation-days-4-and-5/
- Craft: Make a mobile with sun, moon and stars. Instructions at http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/mobiles/straws/
- Craft: Popsicle stick star at http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Popsicle-Stick-Star.html
- Craft: Paper planetarium at http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Paper-Planetarium.html
- Craft: Sun, moon, and stars collage.
Instructions at http://ourcraftsnthings.com/2008/10/creation-days-4-and-5/
- Songs and crafts for preschoolers at http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2011/03/day-4-of-creation-sun-moon-stars/
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.