Keeping Cool In The Wilderness

Scripture: Genesis 24

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Isaac and Rebekah.
  • Students will learn Rebekah provided water for the servant and his camels who had a long, hot journey from their home with Abraham.
  • Students will learn how to use found objects to create a cool shelter in the wilderness.
  • Students will participate in an activity experimenting with various materials to find the best ones to use to create a shelter to cool them in the wilderness.

Guiding Question: How does one build a shelter using found items to provide a place to stay cool while in the wilderness?

Materials: dark fabric, light/white fabric, aluminum foil (to represent metal/tin), branches, paper, ground/trowel, thermometers (optional:miniature toy people or dolls)

Procedure: Review the story of Abraham focusing especially when he sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac. Explain how the servant and his camels had a long, hot journey through some wilderness type areas. Discuss with students the need to build a temporary shelter to stay cool and healthy in particularly hot, sunny climates. Show students the found materials. Encourage them to work in pairs and design a miniature shelter they think would keep them the coolest. Take the shelters outdoors if your class isn’t building them there. Place the shelters in direct sunlight. Place a thermometer in the shelter and record the temperature at five minute intervals for a period of time. Which shelters stayed the coolest? (To encourage a variety of ideas, you may want to restrict teams to different items.) Have students discuss the results. Which shelter would be the easiest to make with the things nearby? Which would require the traveler to bring special materials with him? What other observations do your students have?

Additional Questions:

  • How does one build a temporary shelter to protect a traveler in the wilderness from extreme cold?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students repeat the activity creating shelters to protect travelers from extreme cold. The shelters should be small enough to fit into a freezer. Place the shelters in a freezer with a thermometer inside the shelter. Which shelters would have kept a person inside them the warmest in extreme cold? How did they differ from the shelters which kept people cool in extreme heat?