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Bible Land

Treat the families in your church and community to multisensory environments that feature Joseph, Ruth, and Joshua.


JOSEPH: THE COMEBACK KID

Joseph is a great example of someone whose life seemed out of control, but in the end, he learned that God is always in control. Use this environment to tell the amazing story of Joseph's life.

Deep Pit-Cover your room walls and ceiling with dark brown paper. Smear mud all over the walls for a musty, smelly effect. Tape plastic insects, snakes, and spiders to the walls of the pit.

Make your entryway look like the opening to a pit. Paint fake rocks around the doorway. Drape a brown curtain across the bottom half of your entryway. Place a stepladder on each side of the curtain so people have to climb up and over the curtain to enter the "pit." Turn off the lights in the room before people enter. Play insect sound effects in the background.

You can download sound effects at www.sounddogs.com. There are several free audio programs available for Windows (Winamp) and Mac (iTunes, QuickTime player) that you can use for playback of your sound files. None of these applications provides the ability to edit sound files directly, but most can loop songs or sounds through the use of simple programming buttons.

The Rescue-Turn on the lights and choose people in the audience to bring the story to life with Joseph, your storyteller. You'll need Jacob, 11 brothers (or fewer if necessary), slave traders, and Pharaoh. Even though these roles are male, girls can also fill them.
Have the people for each scene stand against different walls as though they're frozen -- wall 1: Jacob; wall 2: 11 brothers; wall 3: slave traders; and wall 4: Pharaoh. Instruct the actors not to come to life until you get to their scene. Once the scene is over, they must freeze again.

Retell the Bible story using the "It's the Pits" drama.

• Multicolored Tapestry-Determine the size of your finished tapestry. Then construct a simple frame of 1¥2 wood strips in those dimensions. Nail small finishing nails halfway into the wood and 1 inch apart on the top crossbar of the frame and across the bottom of the frame. Tie twine to the first nail on the bottom crossbar. Keeping the twine taut, loop it over the first nail on the top and again on the first nail on the bottom. Then create a zigzag pattern by looping the twine around the second nail at the top, then around the second nail at the bottom, then around the third nail at the top, and so on. At the end, loop the twine around the last nail at the bottom, and then tie the twine off at the last nail at the top.
Cut many strips of various colored ribbons approximately 4 inches longer than the width of your frame. Have kids and parents take turns weaving strips of ribbon in and out of the twine all the way across the frame, always alternating the pattern of the previously woven ribbon.

Using your fingers, push the ribbons together to make the tapestry tighter. Using the excess 2 inches of ribbon on either side of the frame, tie the first and second ribbons together, then the third and fourth, and so on to keep the tapestry from unraveling. Once the frame is entirely filled, clip the looped ends of twine and tie each pair of strings into a tight knot. (Contributed by RoseAnne Sather.)

• It's the Pits-Give each actor a copy of this script. Instruct the actors to freeze in position when Joseph is not at their wall. Joseph does all of the speaking and main actions.
(Stands by the wall with Jacob, who "comes to life.") Hi, I'm Joseph, and I want to tell you my story. I was always my dad's favorite kid -- even my brothers knew it. (Jacob and Joseph give each other high fives.) My father gave me a beautiful coat of many colors to wear because he liked me best. (Jacob puts a coat on Joseph.) Of course, my 11 brothers were so jealous! (Points to brothers, and Jacob freezes.)

(Walks to the wall with the brothers.) Hey, yo, brothers! How's it going? (Brothers come to life.) Of course, since I was so special, my brothers loved me too -- not! (Brothers push him around.) My brothers didn't like me at all. They pushed me around all the time.
(Joseph steps out from the crowd of brothers while they plot in the background.) I went to see them one day as they were watching the sheep, and I wore this great coat. My brothers ripped my coat off my back. (They rip it off.) They put animal's blood on it to convince my dad that I was dead. And they threw me in a pit. (They push him to the other wall and then they freeze.)

(The slave trader catches him.) But then they had pity on me, I guess, and sold me instead to slave traders. This slave trader took me to Egypt. (Slave trader walks with him to Pharaoh's wall.) I thought I was a goner, but God was faithful. (Slave trader freezes.)
(Pharaoh comes to life and stands proudly.) God told me in Pharaoh's dream that all the land was going to run out of food. Pharaoh was the king of Egypt, and he put me in charge of all the food. (Pharaoh shakes hands with Joseph and then freezes.)

(Joseph steps to the center of the room.) I saw my brothers years after they threw me in the pit. And I forgave them. (All the brothers kneel at Joseph's feet.) Because even though my brothers meant to do evil to me, God worked it out for good so that many people's lives could be saved. I learned that God is always in control of our lives.

For More
• Play the Joseph -- King of Dreams video (www.amazon.com).
• Provide a salt map or a wall map of Joseph's travels.
• Create a "pit" out of a refrigerator box. One at a time, lower kids into the pit and then pull them out.

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