Joseph and his brothers and their family problems… what can this mean for us?

A good idea for a New Year’s resolution (or for any time of year!) — include faith conversation with your family. Receive help in this endeavor by subscribing over on the right. Enter your e-mail address to have posts sent directly to your inbox. What could be more important than working on your faith journey together!

When kids experience Workshop Rotation Model Christian education, this means they are learning and having fun at the same time! Scroll down to learn more about the workshops we used for a “Rotation” on the story of Joseph and his brothers.

Joseph's brothers sell him to passing traders on their way to Egypt
Joseph’s brothers sell him to passing traders.

To kick off the new year (it was January) we returned to the Old Testament, and studied the sequel to our Jacob and Esau story from late fall. We heard about Joseph, the 11th (and the favorite) son of Jacob! Read about our story in Genesis 37:1-36, 39:1-5.

We spent two Rotations on the Old Testament account of Joseph. The first Rotation focused mostly on Genesis 37—Joseph, his brothers and the infamous coat. (The second Rotation focused on the story in Egypt.)

Joseph and his brothers is a familiar story of family struggles: favoritism, bragging, sibling rivalry, and brothers gone bad, but this is also the story of God having a greater plan. God’s love knows no boundaries. Things can look pretty bad, but God is never far away. Recalling Joseph’s story can help us get through our own difficult times.

Here is what happened in each workshop

  • Joseph's brothers react to his dreams
    Joseph’s brothers react to his dreams
    In the Drama Workshop students focused on learning the story sequence by hearing about the story characters and their feelings and by enacting the story.
  • In the Cooking Workshop students learned about “crushing” experiences—those that can break us down and can separate us from family and friends. They learned that good can come from what seems like bad and we are never separated from God!
  • In the Video Workshop students watched portions of the animated video Joseph King of Dreams. They compared the video to the Bible story. Did it follow the story correctly?
  • Handle bag puppets in use by kids
    The “brothers” puppet tell their father about finding Jospeh’s coat.
    In the Puppet Workshop students used “handle-bag” puppets to re-tell the story of Joseph and his brothers; how a special coat and strange dreams cause trouble in Joseph’s family.
  • In the Games Workshop students participated in a game that involved answering questions, singing, acting, drawing, and sculpting! A Cranium®/Trivial Pursuit® type of game. In the process of having fun, they were learning about story details.
  • Building "peace houses" for the Joseph story
    Building “peace houses.”
    In the Art Workshop one year students created a backpack clip-on to remind them of the story and it’s message. In another year, we turned Art into Wood working and students created “peace houses” to remind them of creating peace among their family.

Why are we doing different workshops for the different times we’ve taught this story? There are several reasons including:

  • We used the Rotation Model for a lot of years! Stories repeated every six years.
  • Our focus for a Rotation changed (we’ve gained new understanding!)
  • The person who led a special workshop (like wood-working!) wasn’t available to help us out.
  • We know our kids. We know what will, and won’t work with them.
  • We’ve got a new idea! Usually something we gained from!

Explore more Rotation Model goodness! Where many of the lessons described above can be found in their entirety. (And they are free!)

Photo credits…
Copyright photos are from my archives.

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