Sleeping In the Wilderness

Scripture: Genesis 27-28

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will review the story of Jacob’s blessing and dream.
  • Students will learn Jacob had to rest for the night because he could not complete his trip in one day.
  • Students will learn that sleeping outdoors can be uncomfortable or even dangerous without some sort of shelter.
  • Students will learn several ways of creating shelter using found or low cost materials.
  • Students will participate in an activity to practice building shelters with found or low cost materials.

Guiding Question: How can you build a shelter than can protect you from weather, bugs and/or animals while you sleep in the wilderness?

Materials: found objects which could be found in wilderness areas near you – branches, palm fronds, etc., plastic tarps

Procedure: Review the story of Jacob focusing on the idea Jacob needed to stop his journey and get some sleep so he would be strong enough to finish his journey. Discuss how Jacob had to sleep out in the open without any shelter. Ask students what problems could arise if you slept in the wilderness without any type of shelter. Discuss what types of found or inexpensive items could be used to build shelter if you were forced to spend a night in the wilderness. Share with students the various ideas for shelters given in this website (Please note websites change rapidly. At the time of this writing the website contained several shelter ideas. Feel free to use other sources you may have for ideas.) Provide students with some of the materials which could be easily found in your area. Have them work together to create some of the various types of shelters. After building them, discuss with students the possible pros and cons of the various shelters. Which would be the best to use in your general area if needed?

Additional Questions:

  • What additional materials would you need to change a temporary emergency shelter into a more permanent one?

Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students research inexpensive ways of building more permanent shelters. What is the most cost effective, protective shelter you could build in your area?