God created all life, including sea turtles
An art based Sunday school lesson
As a Sunday School teacher, artist and art educator, I try to come up with creative and meaningful lessons for my class that combine art, God and the kids imagination. This lesson is one that I taught to my class of 12, ages 4 -13, and the lesson sparked a lot of thoughtful discussion. We drew a sea turtle, step by step, and the scripture I used for the lesson was from the Bible: Genesis Chapter 1 verse 20:
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Then God said, "Let the water swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."
The lesson takes about a 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the age of your kids and what medium you use. For my class we used printer paper, pencils, crayons and marking pens.
Starting your childrens bible study lesson
The first thing we always do in class is pray, so after prayer I gave the kids their paper, pencil and eraser. I had them write the scripture down on their paper and then we started our "brainstorming" session. The first thing we talked about was how God created all of us, including all the animals in the sea and on the land. Then I had the kids name off all the animals and "creatures of the sea" that they could think of. This question was a real icebreaker because regardless of age, all kids can answer this question.
Most kids also love animals so this served as the catalyst for them to start thinking about the world around them - and the world that God has created. This was also a great conversation starter because along with this question I asked the kids about animals that some of us don't like - like spiders, snakes and sharks. We learned that God created all of them the way they are for a reason - and that they all have a purpose (this is a good time to tell the kids that they too have a purpose in life, just like all the animals do)
During this opening time and discussion, I let the kids know they would be drawing a sea turtle (If you are going to teach this lesson, most kids love turtles so they will probably be pretty excited by this time)
A good lesson about being a good earth steward
If you are going to use this as a lesson in your class, here are some more questions that you can ask your class:
- Since God created all the animals, who is responsible for them? Do we have a responsibility to the animals that are here on earth? (this is a great time to talk about being good stewards of the earth and all the animals that live here)
- Bring up the fact that there are 7 species of sea turtles, and that 6 of them are endangered. Ask them if they know what that means and then discuss.
- Talk about climate change as one of the reasons many animals are being endangered. Ask kids if they know what global warming and climate change means. Talk about our responsibilities to God creations and how we can be better stewards of the earth and its inhabitants (recycle, don't pollute, save water, save gas, etc.) Let kids know they can make a difference. This is very important - our kids not only need to learn about God but also how that relates to be being responsible global citizens and caring about others.
- How does God feel about animals going extinct?
- What things can we do to take better care of our world, its people and the animals in it?
The art lesson: a sea turtle
In the childrens bible class, I used an art lesson from one that I had created for my weekly art students. I made some slight adjustments for the Sunday school class. For the full step by step drawing lesson you can use this hub as your guide:
Instead of drawing the complete inner design of the turtle, I had the kids make 3 to 5 big shapes on their turtles backs and erase the guidelines on their paper.
After the basic turtle shape was drawn, we went back into another brainstorming session. This time we talked about God and what character attributes He has. The questions I asked were:
- What do you think of when you think of God? Who is He? (I wrote their answers down on the board) The kids really enjoyed this question and had lots of interesting answers.
Most kids will give 2-3 word descriptions of God. Ask them what one very important word describes God and see if they can guess (LOVE) If they can't guess, give them a clue or hint that it starts with the letter L.
After writing down the word LOVE and all the other descriptors of God, have the kids write down the name of the verse they learned (Genesis 1:20) in one of the shapes on the turtles back. Then have them write the word LOVE in another one.
With the rest of their shapes let them write whatever descriptors they have of God or they can take some off of the board. If they don't have room on their turtle they can make rocks at the bottom under their turtle and add the text there. Or they can put the words in bubbles in the water with their turtle.
A finished "God Genesis Sea Turtle"
Now it's time to color!
The final part of the lesson is to let them color their turtle and its surroundings with color crayons and/or marking pens. They can also add seaweed, rocks, waves and smaller fish if they want. This is the time to just let them have fun, think about being creative and giving them time to think about what they just learned. I like to have my kids use their imagination so I encourage them at this point to use whatever colors they want to use in their turtle. After all, our God is a very creative and colorful person Himself!
I hope you enjoyed the lesson and if you have any ideas or would like to add a comment please do so under this hub. For more art lessons please subscribe to my RSS feed or fan me to be notified when I publish a new lesson.