Currently, I teach the third and fourth grade Sunday school class. Since today’s lesson was Noah’s Ark, and I was reasonably certain the kids have heard this one numerous times before, I wondered how I could give the story a refreshing spin. After pondering for several days, I thought up this little game that, I’m happy to tell you, was a big hit. With this being Labor Day weekend, attendance was low, so we combined first & second, and third & fourth grades to make one larger class. This game was perfect because the gap in ages made no difference at all.
- Blue construction paper cut into 26 circles (I cut mine 5 3/16” in diameter, but any size will do. At that size, I was able to get 2 circles per piece of construction paper. I used blue to tie in with the water/flood theme of the story.)
- 25 pictures of pairs of animals (one pair of lions, one pair of raccoons, one pair of giraffes, etc.)
- 1 picture of a dove (preferably holding a branch)
- 26 magnets & 1 white board (or 26 pushpins & 1 bulletin board)
- 1 set of buzzers (see picture below)
- Noah’s Ark questions & answers (download mine here)
Prep. to do beforehand:
Glue pictures of animal pairs, and the dove picture, to one side of each of the construction paper circles. (The magic number is 26 only because I came up with 26 questions about Noah’s Ark.)
- Use a magnet to attach each circle with pictures, face down, to a dry erase board.
- Place two buzzers on a table opposite each other.
- Divide the class into two teams.
To be the first team to find the dove.
One person from each team stands in front of a buzzer with one hand behind their back and the other hand on the table beside the buzzer.
The leader reads a question about Noah’s Ark. The first player to hit their buzzer, answers the question. If the question is answered correctly, that person goes to the board and selects a construction paper circle, turning it over to reveal the picture. If the picture is a pair of animals, the player places the circle back on the board with the magnet, with the picture facing outward, and that turn is over. [If the first person to hit their buzzer answers incorrectly, the other team’s player has the opportunity to answer the question. If they answer correctly, they go the board. If that player also answers incorrectly, two new players (one from each team) take their positions in front of the buzzers and a new question is read.] As long as pictures with animal pairs are turned over, we are still on the ark surrounded by water, and play continues.
Once the circle with the single dove is turned over, it symbolizes the time to leave the ark is nearing, and the game is over. The team who locates the dove wins.
I told the kids they must listen to the story very carefully because we were going to play a game that would require they remember the details of the story. Since this is such a familiar bible lesson, I basically let them tell me the story with me slipping in lesser-known tidbits now and then. I let them guess several of the more difficult facts, such as how old Noah was when the rain began. Six hundred is the answer, but I let them guess for quite a while by giving them “higher” and “lower” clues. This made it more interesting and fun for them, it stretched out our class time for me (since I knew with only twenty-six questions, the game would go quickly), and it made remembering the correct number a little more difficult during game play, but not so difficult that after reinforcing the correct answer with the game they would not be able to remember the correct answer from now on.
I hope you’ll try this game. I think it will end up being one of our favorites!
I splurged on the Lights and Sounds version of the Answer Buzzers because I thought the lights might aide in knowing which one was hit first. I was right. The lights were a big help. Luckily, the first & second grade teacher was also there to help with the rulings and game play. Thanks so much, J.P.!! There is a barnyard animal buzzer version, too. It’s a little cheaper, but it doesn’t light up. The answer buzzers are manufactured by Learning Resources and can be purchased several places online. Here is a link to them on Amazon. There are several types to pick from. I’m certain I will use these buzzers over and over again with a wide range of games, so I think the $25.00 I spent on them was well worth it.
Hope you visit again soon. Have a blessed day!
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