All About Altars

All About Altars – Teach One Reach OneScripture: Genesis 21-23

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Abraham, God’s Promises and Isaac.
  • Students will learn God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac the son for whom he had waited so long.
  • Students will learn altars were used to make sacrifices to God.
  • Students will participate in an activity to learn more about altars and sacrifices.

Guiding Question: What was an altar and why did God ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on one?

Materials: small rocks and stones, heavy duty cardboard, craft glue

Procedure: Review the story of Abraham, God’s promises to him and Isaac, focusing especially on the story of Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice Isaac. Ask the students what they know about altars. Show them photos of altars and discuss the kinds of sacrifices God normally requested (animals, grain, etc.) Discuss the reasons God may have asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Why do they think God provided a ram instead at the last moment?

Have the students take the stones and build small replica altars. As they are building their altars discuss how God no longer asks us to sacrifice animals and burn them on an altar. Ask students what types of sacrifices God does ask us to make today instead. Encourage them to put their finished altars where they can see them in their room. Tell them to remember everything comes from God and belongs to God every time they see the altar.

Additional Questions:

  • What were the different things God accepted for sacrifices once the Law was given to the people on Mt. Sinai?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research the different types of sacrifices mentioned when the Law was given to Moses. Have them share their findings with others.

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