This is a Bible lesson I wrote for our preschool class at church over Joseph and his brothers. Have fun with it and help your kids learn not to be BIG GREEN MONSTERS!!!
A Preschool Lesson on Jealousy
From Genesis 37:1-35
1. Skit: Have an adult all dressed in green hiding in the room. When the kids enter the room, have the adult (green monster) jump out at them. Use the following script to help.
Green Monster: ARRHHH! I am the big green monster! I want your _________ (fill in the blank with something one of the kids in the class has)! Give me your ______________! I must have it!!!
Leader: Oh, no! It looks like we have a big green monster with us today. This big green monster thinks he has to have what someone else wants.
Green Monster: Give it to me!!!! (Reaching for whatever it is)
Leader: We don’t want any Big Green Monsters in our classroom today! You are going to have to stop being a Big Green Monster if you want to stay with us!
Green Monster: I don’t know how to stop being a big green monster! (looking around the room to find another object he wants) Oh wait! I want _________________! Give me that!
Continue having the Big Green Monster pick items he wants that the other kids have.
Leader: Boys and girls, we have a problem. Our Big Green Monster thinks he has to have what everyone else has in order to be happy. He has a problem with JEALOUSY! He is jealous of the things that you all have. We need to help the Big Green Monster learn that he needs to be happy with what HE has and not be jealous of everyone else’s stuff. Can you guys think of things he should be happy with?
Help the kids come up with things that the Big Green Monster has that he should be happy with. For example, “You have a nice shirt”, “You have on good shoes”, “You are healthy today!”, etc. Let the kids say these statements to the Big Green Monster.
Green Monster: You mean, I should be happy with what I have (name some of the things the kids said) and not spend all my time wanting what others have? If I stop being jealous of what other people have, will I stop being a Big Green Monster?
Leader: Yes, you will. Do you think you can be happy with what you have?
Green Monster: Well, I don’t know. I really like your _____________ (name something the leader has).
Leader: Excuse me? Don’t be a Big Green Monster . . .
Green Monster: Oh, that’s right. I like your ______________, but I don’t have to have it. I have lots of things of my own that I should be happy with. I am not going to be a Big Green Monster anymore. Can I stay here with you?
Leader: Yes you can. In fact, today’s lesson might be good for you to hear. We are going to be talking about some people who had a BIG problem with jealousy!
Green Monster: All right! I’m ready! Let’s go!
Say: Jealousy is often called a BIG GREEN MONSTER. We need to learn to not be jealous of what other people have, but instead to be thankful with what we have. Then we won’t be a BIG GREEN MONSTER.
2. Play a game of Monster Tag. One person (a leader) is “it”. This person goes around stomping his feet and acting like a “Monster”. If he touches one of the kids, that kid then becomes a monster and has to do the same thing. The game ends when all the kids are stomping their feet and acting like monsters.
Say: In this game, we all became MONSTERS! It can be fun to pretend to be a monster, but in real life, no one wants to be a monster. Jealousy can make us act like monsters. We need to be happy with what we have and not be jealous of what others have. What are some things that you have that you are happy for? Discuss. Play another round of this game if desired.
3. Play a game of “Monster Boogie”. Turn some music on and, while the music is playing, the kids have to stomp around and act like a monster. As soon as the music stops, the kids should freeze. They have to shout out one thing they are thankful for before the music can start again. Play as long as interest lasts.
Say: In this game, we pretended to be MONSTERS! Jealousy can make us act like monsters. However, when we think of all the things that we have to be thankful for, we can get that monster of jealousy to stay far away. What are some other things we have to be thankful for?
Beforehand, prepare the following props:
a box wrapped in wrapping paper and ribbon with a picture of a colorful coat inside of it
a mason jar
a small action figure, lego mini-figure or marble (that will fit into the mason jar to represent Joseph)
Today’s lesson is about a young man named Joseph and his brothers. Joseph had eleven brothers. Can you count to eleven? Let’s try! (count to eleven with the kids). 10 of the brothers were older than him and 1 was younger.
Good job! Can you imagine having 11 brothers? That’s a lot of kids in one family! Guess what made things even worse . . . their dad, Jacob, had a favorite son! That means he had one son that he treated better than anyone else. Guess what son that was? It was JOSEPH. Jacob treated Joseph better than any of his other sons. He even gave Joseph a special gift. (take out the wrapped gift). What do you think he gave him? Let’s open this present for a hint.
Open the present together (you might want to let kids take turns opening it) and take out the picture of the coat that is inside the box..
Jacob gave Joseph a special gift – it was a very colorful coat. None of the other brothers got this gift. How do you think his big brothers felt about that?
That’s right, his big brothers were JEALOUS! In fact, you could say they turned into BIG GREEN MONSTERS! Can you act like a big green monster right now? Let me see your best monster face! (Give the kids a few minutes to stomp around like big green monsters and make monster faces).
Do you know what his brothers did to Joseph? They really did act like monsters! One day they saw Joseph coming to them and they decided to hurt him! They were even going to KILL him, but one of the brothers talked them out of that. So, they decided that, instead of killing him, they would throw him in a big hole in the ground called a cistern. Can you say “Cistern”? (have kids practice saying “cistern”). When Joseph got close to them, they took him and threw him in this big hole!
(Take the mini-figure or marble and drop it into the mason jar.) How is he going to get out? He is stuck, isn’t he? This was not a good thing at all. Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of Joseph, that they did this mean thing to him! But the story doesn’t end there.
Not long after they threw Joseph in the hole, some people came walking by. These people were traveling to Egypt. The brothers saw the travelers coming and decided to sell Joseph to them. They sold Joseph to these travelers and the travelers took Joseph into Egypt where he became a slave. (show the coins).
Then they took Joseph’s coat and made it look like a wild animal had attacked Joseph. (crinkle up the picture of the coat to make it look really bad) They showed this coat to Jacob, their dad, and made their dad think that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal!
Joseph’s brothers were so jealous that they acted just like BIG GREEN MONSTERS!!! We need to be careful that we don’t let our jealousy turn us into BIG GREEN MONSTERS!
1. Beforehand, make an outline of a coat on a posterboard and cut up several pieces of colored construction paper into strips. Then have the kids write or draw one thing they are thankful for on each construction paper strip. Have them bring their strips up and attach them to the coat, saying a short prayer as they do. (For example: “Thank you, God, for my parents”)
2. Play a review game using the mini-figure and mason jar from before. Set the jar on the floor and have kids stand above and try to drop the mini-figure into the mason jar. Each time they drop the mini-figure, ask them a review question. Here are some review questions you can use:
How many brothers did Joseph have? (11)
What was Joseph’s father’s name? (Jacob)
What special gift did Jacob give to Joseph? (a coat of many colors)
How did Joseph’s brothers feel about this gift? (they were jealous)
What did Joseph’s brothers throw him into? (a cistern)
Who did Joseph’s brothers see walking by? (travelers)
What did Joseph’s brothers do when they saw the travelers? (sold Joseph to them)
How did Joseph’s brothers trick their dad? (they made it look like an animal had killed Joseph)
3. Make a big green monster snack. Give each child a transparent white cup and black sharpie. Help the kids draw scary monster faces on the front of their cups. Then mix some vanilla pudding with green food coloring (the kids would have a lot of fun doing this, so you might want to put vanilla pudding in the cups for them and then add a few drops of green food coloring and let them mix it up). When everyone has green food coloring in their cups . . . almost to the top . . . give them a sealed sandwich bag of chocolate sandwich cookies and help them crunch the cookies up. They can do this however they want! As they are crunching up their cookies, say things like, “Big Green Monsters make big messes! When we are jealous and not thankful for what we have, we can be yucky, just like what the cookies in this bag look like right now!”. When the cookies are crunched up, help the kids spread the cookies on the top of the pudding in their cups. They should now have a big green monster to eat!!!!
4. Make a puppet to represent Joseph and his coat of many colors! Give each kid a brown lunch bag. Let him draw a face on the bag. Then give him lots of pieces of torn up colored construction paper. Let him glue the pieces on the bag to represent the coat of many colors. (You can also choose to have the kids tear the construction paper up themselves. While they are tearing it up, they can talk about things they are sometimes jealous of. See how much being jealous can hurt? Let’s see if we can say something we are thankful for each time we glue one of these pieces on our puppet.) When the puppets are finished, have them use the puppets to retell today’s lesson.
If you enjoy my Bible lessons, you might want to check out some of the Bible studies/curriculum I have written. Click on the links below for more information about each one.