Oh Brother!

Scripture: Genesis 25-26

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Jacob and Esau.
  • Students will learn Jacob and Esau had relationship problems.
  • Students will learn God wants us to be kind and loving to our siblings.
  • Students will participate in an activity allowing them to practice scenarios involving sibling issues.

Guiding Question: How does God want us to treat our siblings (and friends)?

Materials: index cards, pens

Procedure: Review the story of Jacob and Esau. Discuss how from the very beginning Jacob and Esau seemed to have problems treating each other with kindness, respect and love. Ask the students for their best tips for getting along with siblings. (Please note:There may be several students who do not have siblings. Remind them God often gives us friends to be our substitute for family members we do not have. Encourage them to answer the questions, but thinking about their best friend instead.) Ask the students if they can think of any Bible verses or stories that tell us how God would want us to treat our siblings and friends. If they are having trouble thinking of any, you may want to remind them of a few (Ex: Pater and Andrew – Andrew ran and told Peter about Jesus so his brother could know about the Messiah too). Give each student an index card. Have them write down either a real life scenario or a likely one in which they have had or are having issues with siblings or friends. Collect the cars. (For a small class, you may want to prepare a few cards yourself.) Divide the class into teams. Each team is given the same scenario and has two minuets to come up with the best solution. Each team acts out their solution. The “judge” decides which team had the best solution. Encourage students to be creative and include the biblical principles you have discussed. Continue giving scenarios to the teams. After the game is over, encourage students to take some of these solutions and try them the next time they have these issues.

Additional Questions:

  • What are the “rules” of conflict resolution?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research conflict resolution strategies. Encourage them to take the principles they learn and rewrite them in language easy enough for young children to understand. Have them develop skits or videos to illustrate each of the principles and share them with their own class and a group of younger students.