Tsunami Troubles

Scripture: Joshua 1-4

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn God keeps His promises – even if it takes years to do it.
  • Students will learn God wants us to obey Him – even in the seemingly little things.
  • Students will learn God sometimes uses who we would consider unlikely people to do His work
  • Students will learn the science behind tsunamis.

Guiding Question: Why is it important to follow God’s commands?

Materials: 4″ deep baking dish, water, wood blocks

Procedure: Review the story of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River with the Ark of the Covenant. Focus on God’s miracle and the importance of the 12 stones that served as a memorial for the event. Discuss with the students about why all of those people chose to obey God even though they had questions, concerns and maybe even some doubts? Why is it important for us to obey God’s commands even when they don’t make sense to us? Explain that God knows what is best for us and will always keep his promises. We have to have enough faith and trust in Him to obey Him even when it is difficult or does not seem like a big deal. God rewards those who are faithful to Him and loves to show His people the goodness that comes from obeying Him.

Introduce the activity. Explain that they are going to make a wall of water and learn the science behind a tsunami. Get a shallow 4″ deep baking pan and fill with water. Take two rectangular blocks of wood and place under water. Move them rapidly towards and apart from each other. Have the students notice waves as it pushes water from center out to sides. See if you can do it fast enough to keep center dry and water all to sides. Note: this is an outdoor activity as water splashes out of pan. Explain why water disappears and then creates huge wave that destroys after an earthquake (blocks moving represent earthquake). Tell students these are only in the ocean so for God to do it in the Jordan River and continue to hold water back until everyone crossed was a miracle.

Additional Questions: How can students learn about how tsunamis have affected the world in the past?

Supplemental Activity: Have students research famous tsunami events and recreate or model how the tsunami occured and the effects. 

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