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Study Guide

Note: Teachers, this is a long lesson plan.

You might split it in two or use your favorite parts. 

Preparation: 

Read Genesis chapter 1, verses 20-23  and talk about what happens here. (Adults, please use the version you find most accessible to children. I might suggest NLT, ERV or GWT)

 

Introduce the book:

Read pages 4-7

Questions:

  • What day of Creation was it? (The fifth day of creation.)

  • What animals were created? (The sea creatures and the birds of the air)

  • Did you see the birds that looked almost alike? What would it be like if we all looked the same? (Hard to tell people apart. Boring. 'Weird" might be some of the answers.) 

  • Did you know that God gave everyone a gift? What kind of gift do I mean? (A talent, something we're good at, etc.)

You may not know yet what your gift or talent is, but as you grow and get older you will discover something you are naturally good at! You may even have more than one, but you will always have one! Some gifts or talents are easy to see, and some take a while to find, but they are worth waiting for!

  • Does anyone have a guess what their gift might be? (You may have to limit the time to give answers here!)

Read pages 8-9

  • Did you see the bird trying to sing or the bird crashing on page 6?

  • What do you think of the bird trying to sing or the bird crashing? (Landing  and singing were not their gifts but we love that they tried because we can never find our gift if we don't try things!)

  • And what if you and someone fails at something they try? How should the people watching respond? (Maybe clap for their trying, or shout "Good try!", or just give them a thumbs up, because it's wonderful that they tried!

 

Read pages 10-13

  • Do you like campfires?

  • What would a campfire with God be like?

  • What were the squirrels and that rabbit doing? (Making God smile by showing Him their talent to climb and build)

  • How did it say we are to praise God? (To use whatever gift or talent we are given to praise Him)

  • Why was everyone so happy? (Because they knew they had a special place in God's heart and they loved spending time with God.)

  • Did you know that YOU have a special place in God's heart? 

 

God tells us that He knew us before we were born... He planned what we would look like. He planned our gifts. Jeremiah 1: 5 says “Before I made you in your mother’s womb,  I knew you." and Psalm 139 says "You are amazingly and wonderfully made."
He planned everything that makes you... you! God planned it all and He loves and cherishes you. That means He doesn't just love you as a group. He loves each of you individually. You matter to Him so very much!

Now the pages we last read said "something changed" in our story.

Let's read and find out what is was.

Read pages 14-15

  • What happened here? (Let them tell their versions of the story)

  • How many trees and plants could they eat from? (Let them guess: hundreds, millions, we don't know, but all of them except one.)

  • How many trees did God warn them never to eat from? (Just one.)

  • With all those trees to eat from, why did the man and woman disobey God? (Satan convinced them.)

 

Share something like this:

The real reason they disobeyed God is the same reason we disobey today:

We doubt God's goodness and look for something better.

Adam and Eve didn't know what God had was better than anything Satan could offer. Satan tricked them, and he still tries to trick us today, that his way is better than God's. But there is nothing better than God who loves us completely.

As we finished reading the previous pages, we heard that the Songbird tried to sing and there was "something very wrong". Let's read and find out what:

Read pages 16-17

  • What happened to the Songbird's voice? (Her voice changed, etc.)

  • What do you think caused that? (Let them guess)

  • Why do you think The Most High wept? (He knew that the change in their song meant, and although God already knows everything, He was sad to see the result of mankind's choice.)

Read pages 18-19

  • What do you see in the picture? (Let them list things and add things as you see fit.)

  • What did the book say God did with every animal? (Comforted them, explained the changes, prepared each one for new lives)

  • Why did He do that? (Because He loved them all.)

Read pages 20-21

  • Why did all the animals have to suffer because Adam and Eve sinned? (Because our sin doesn't just hurt us. It hurts others too. Give examples if you wish.)

  • Why was the Songbird not to worry about her voice changing? (Because God had a different song for the Songbird and her mate to sing and it was important!)

Read pages 22-25

  • What does God promise the Songbird and us? (He will restore the earth)

  • Why are the doves happy to sing today? (Because they are singing for God.)

  • What did you learn? (enjoy listening to their answers.)

 

Teachers; Thank YOU for sharing God's love consistently with these young souls. It may be the most important act of service you ever do in this life.

Ideas to easily simplify the text for younger children

Most littles do well at the start of the book, so the first few pages you may be able to keep their attention. After that, as most know, is it usually a free-for-all.

My suggestion: Read the book yourself a few times and describe what is happening in the pictures. Just hit the highlights of the story. For example: how God planned each creature perfectly, how each creature was given a gift, and how much He loves us and comforts us when we're sad or lost.

 

Things like tumbling birds and silly squirrels give opportunity to point out some of these ideas. As they grow, you can share more of the story. After all, reading together is special in itself and stories about God sink deep into the heart. So thank you for being an adult who shares this time with a child.

May the Lord Jesus bless you all,
C. Smith

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