I love object lessons for teaching kids. Here is a science experiment for making a homemade lava lamp to help you in teaching the story of Moses and the burning bush. Also provided is a teaching picture and Bible story summary available to download here.
Before the Activity:
o What are some things that are very hot?
o What reminds you of fire?
o Today we are going to learn a story about how God spoke to Moses through a bush that was on fire but not burning up.
o Clear plastic bottle
o Vegetable oil
o Food color
o Alka Seltzer®
o Plastic funnel
o Fill the plastic bottle ¼ full with water using the plastic funnel.
o Fill the bottle almost to the top with oil.
o Allow the oil and water to separate.
o Add quite a bit of food color (use orange or red).
o Break the Alka Seltzer tablets into smaller pieces. Drop one or two into the water and watch the results. When the bubbling stops, you can add more tablets.
o Oil and water don’t mix very well. The food color dropped to the bottom of the water, and the Alka Seltzer created carbon dioxide bubbles. Each of the bubbles carried some of the colored water, with them up on their trip. When the bubbles popped, the water dropped back through the oil.
Bible Story Connection:
o God Spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:1–4:17)
o Connection Point: This activity reminds us of a lava lamp. We know that lava is very hot, and that reminds us of fire. God spoke to Moses through a burning bush. The bush was on fire but not burning up, just like this activity looks like lava, but is not really hot. [This activity could be modified for use with other stones in the Bible that use fire.]
After the Story/Activity:
o Is the “lava” in the lamp really hot? Why?
o Was the burning bush really on fire? Why or why not?
o In life, sometimes things can look real even if they aren’t, like this lava. In the Bible, though, we know that it is all real. The Bible tells that the bush was on fire, but it wasn’t burning up. The bush was really on fire.
o Is this bottle hot? Do you think the burning bush was hot?
Jeff Land loves Life! That’s pretty great, because his job here at Lifeway is the Team Leader for Bible Studies for Life: Kids. Jeff loves his life which is so blessed by his amazing wife, Abbey, and their four sons, Reed, Nash, Will, and Tuck. A natural encourager and fun-lover, look for Jeff’s posts about teacher appreciation and game ideas. When not serving at work, Jeff serves 2nd graders at his church, First Baptist Church, Joelton, TN.