Count the Stars with Abraham

Scripture: Genesis 15-17

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Abraham, God’s Promises and Ishmael.
  • Students will learn one of God’s promises to Abraham was that he would have as many descendants as there were stars in the sky.
  • Students will learn God created the stars and placed them in the sky as part of His Creation.
  • Students will participate in an activity to learn some of the basics about stars and constellations.

Guiding Question: What is a star and why do some of them make patterns or constellations?

Materials: telescope (if available) or computer access or star “maps”, black construction paper, star stickers

Procedure: Review the story of Abraham, God’s promises to him and Hagar and Ishmael. Explain to students that one of God’s promises to Abraham is that he would have as many descendants (young children will need to know descendants are child, grandchildren, etc.) as the stars in the sky. God created the stars and placed them in the sky. The stars “testify” to God’s greatness. Besides being beautiful, some stars can help in navigation when someone doesn’t have technology to help them.

Take students outside on a clear night and encourage them to attempt to count the stars. (This is more effective in the countryside away from bright lights.) Let students look through a telescope and see additional stars too faint to see without the telescope. Point out the various constellations. Encourage students to find them on a star map and learn to identify them for the future. Encourage them to remember God’s promises to Abraham every time they see the stars in the sky. (Note: if you cannot have class at night, a trip to an observatory or a computer program can give them an idea of what they can see at night. The full impact will be felt only when looking at the actual night sky. Encourage students to create their own star maps with black construction paper and star stickers. They may wish to make different maps for different seasons of the year in their area, as the constellations shift over the course of the year.

Additional Questions:

  • How can travelers use the stars in the sky to find the correct direction to travel?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research how travelers can use the stars in the sky to help them travel in the correct direction. Have them share their results with others. If the opportunity allows, have the students test the information they researched by trying to use the stars at night to travel. (Please use all possible safety precautions, including having an adult with modern technology and maps “travel” with them to make sure they arrive safely at their destination.)

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