Note to parent or teacher: This lesson plan on Joshua (can be broken into shorter readings) highlights the following lesson objectives, “Learn of more of the lives of the great men and women of the Bible. Learn of historical characters who displayed great courage in the face of fear or seemingly insurmountable odds.” (Christian Life and Faith: Witnessing and Missionary Training: Great Men and Women of God-2a; Character Building: Values and Virtues: Courage-2c)
Have an impromptu discussion on what your children know of Joshua’s life. Point out the events that led up to the time when Joshua became leader of the Israelites (i.e., the Israelites had been enslaved by the Egyptians, God anointed Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses appointed Joshua to be the next leader, etc.)Also, point out that the people who lived in the land of Canaan at the time were worshippers of Baal, Moloch, and other idols which involved many evil practices.
Look at this map to show the route Joshua and the people of Israel took as recorded in the book of Joshua. Explain that Canaan is now modern-day Israel. Look up Israel on a map.
Listen to “An Audio Bible Adventure: A New Leader and His Undercover Agents”(runtime: 7 min), a retelling of Deuteronomy 34 and Joshua 1 and 2.Highlight how this story shows God is faithful to keep His promises. He had promised His people a homeland, and they were now entering to possess it. However, it wasn't handed to them without effort on their part; God required that they do their part in order to gain what He had given them. And when Israel did so—God was with them, helping them supernaturally and miraculously to claim the land God had promised to their forefather, Abraham.
Listen to“An Audio Bible Adventure: Highway Through the River and a Most Unconventional War”(runtime: 9 min), a retelling of Joshua 3, 4, 5, and 6.Discuss how we are oftenprone to equate greatness with bigness and numbers with power, whereas none of this is necessarily true when it comes to God’s power. God doesn't go for bigness after the manner of this world. He's seldom for the strong, but almost always for the weak. (Look up Isaiah 55:8 and 1Corinthians 1:27.)
Read “The Wall of Jericho Did Fall!” Scientists confirm this famous Bible story.
Listen to “An Audio Bible Adventure: The Hoax of the Moldy Bread and the Day the Sun Stood Still”(runtime: 10 min), a retelling of Joshua 9 and 10.
Take the “Hero of the Month Quiz: Joshua.”
Here are some other links to Joshua’s story retold for children:
- “Joshua Leads the Children of Israel”: a point-by-point retelling of the recorded events in Joshua’s life. [Note: good for older audiences.]
- “Joshua Takes Charge”: retold in story format, with illustrations. [Note: good for younger audiences.]
- “Jericho”: retold in story format, with a couple of illustrations. [Note: good for younger audiences.]
- “Joshua and the Crumbling, Tumbling Walls of Jericho”: retold, with a related devotional and Bible verses at the end.[Note: good for older audiences.]
Note: If you do a verse-by-verse reading of the book of Joshua, you could divide the reading into several sittings, reading one or two chapters at each sitting. The following are key events from the book of Joshua:
- God speaks to Joshua, and Joshua takes command: Joshua 1
- Joshua sends spies to Jericho and they are saved by Rahab: Joshua 2
- The Jordan River dries up to allow the Israelites to cross on dry land: Joshua 3
- The Israelites build a memorial to commemorate God’s providence: Joshua 4
- The captain of the Lord’s army visits Joshua: Joshua 5
- God gives Joshua a battle plan, Joshua carries it out, and the walls of Jericho fall down after seven days: Joshua 6
- God stops time so that Joshua and the Israelites can fight during daylight: Joshua 10:11–1 4
- Joshua chapters 7 to 12 continue the story of Joshua’s conquering of Canaan, chapters 13 to 21 detail his division of the land, and chapters 22 to 24 describe the tribes’ commitment to staying in Canaan.
- Note: The story of Joshua and Caleb scouting out the land of Canaan is found in Numbers 13 and 14, and will be touched on in an upcoming lesson plan on Caleb.
Here’s a crossword on the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho.
Here’s an activity page maze around the walls of Jericho.
Video: Books of the Bible: Joshua.
If you have other suggestions of supplemental material, or additional activities in teaching this topic, please share your ideas and tips by commenting below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Contributed by My Wonder Studio staff.
Copyright © 2012 The Family International