Scripture: Exodus 7-10
- Students will learn how to use more specific and expressive vocabulary to replace overused, generic words.
- Students will learn the definition of synonyms and how to use them.
- Students will review the amazing acts of God that showed His superiority of Egypt’s false gods.
How can we use more specific and expressive language to make what we say more interesting?
What did God do in Egypt that demonstrated His awesome power over everything on heaven and Earth?
Materials: envelopes, index cards, writing utensils, timer
Procedure: Review the story of the Ten Plagues, focusing on how God showed amazing power over nature and Egypt’s false gods while still protecting the Israelites. Discuss how generic words like “good”, or “big” do not seem adequate for describing God’s power.
Have students try to come up with increasingly more grandiose vocabulary words to describe God (such as great, awesome, omniscient). Tell them to come up with words that will “wow” and impress someone. Then divide students into groups of 2-4. Give each group an envelope with a word on the front. The envelopes should have several blank index cards inside. The words chosen should be basic words such as good, walk, said etc. The group has 1-2 minutes to come up with a better word than is on the front of the envelope. When the timer goes off, the envelope is passed to the next group. Students read the generic word and the other words inside the envelope. Then they try to add their own “wow word.” Continue until each group has had all of the envelopes. At the end, read through the words in the envelopes. You can even assign teacher judges to pick the best word to decide a winner.
Tell students that words that have very similar meanings are called “synonyms.” They can remember this because the term sounds kind of like the word “similar.” In the conclusion, relate how the Ten Plagues is a fantastic story that requires more than just every day, boring words to tell about it. They should try to use specific and descriptive words in their own writing and storytelling.
- How did the fact that the Israelites were spared from the plagues further demonstrate God’s power?
- How do specific words make stories more interesting?
- What words do you think are boring/overused?
- What are you favorite big vocabulary words?
- Have students write a short story. Then encourage them to go through and circle boring words to replace. After replacing them, reread the story and compare the two.
- Have students research other stories in the Bible where God showed superiority over other false gods. How did the Israelites and the other culture react? (ex. Altar to Baal, etc.)
Written by: Savannah Negas