David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Upper Elementary

Everything from Nothing

Lesson 1 


Fall 2021


By: RLD Editorial Team 


September 05, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

God created with power.

Bible Basis:

Genesis 1:1-5, 14-19 Jeremiah 10:12

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • 2 large sheets of white paper or poster board
  • Tape
  • Boxes with lids (2)
  • Art supplies (crayons, markers, stickers, glue stick, scissors, colored paper, etc.)
  • Stopwatch or timer

Summary & Links:

Students will consider the idea of creating something from nothing through an artistic activity.

Memory Verse:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
—Psalm 19:1

Step 1:

Students will consider the idea of creating something from nothing through an artistic activity.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 large sheets of white paper or poster board
  • Tape
  • Boxes with lids (2)
  • Art supplies (crayons, markers, stickers, glue stick, scissors, colored paper, etc.)
  • Stopwatch or timer

Prior to the start of class, tape two large pieces of white paper or poster board in the front of the classroom. Prepare two design boxes; place one in front of each piece of paper:

Box #1:
Write “Design Box A” on one side of the box
Fill with various art supplies—the more, the better!
Close box securely

Box #2:
Write “Design Box B” on one side of box
Leave box empty
Close box securely

Place both boxes in the front of the room where they can be visible to students, but do not allow them to be opened.

Begin class by telling students that you have a creative challenge for them; ask for two volunteers to be artists for this challenge. Explain that this isn’t a competition to see who is the better artist or to see who can create a better picture. It’s simply a challenge to see how these two artists use the box of materials provided to create a picture. Instruct the rest of your class to be encouraging and positive as the two artists work.

Tell Artist #1 they have three minutes to create a picture of the solar system using only the materials inside of Design Box #1. The students watching may offer suggestions to Artist #1 of what to add to their picture, but no one else can do any of the work and only the materials inside of Design Box #1 can be used. Encourage creativity from the student creating the picture and from the students watching; the more excited the students get during the time volunteer #1 works, the better.

When the timer is set, allow Artist #1 to open the box and begin working.

When time is up or Artist #1 is finished, have them explain what they created, and what materials from the box they used. Ask for positive feedback from the students about Artist #1’s picture, the creativity used with the materials from the box, and the various details that Artist #1 included.

Now tell Artist #2 that their task is the same—they need to create a picture of the solar system in three minutes using the materials inside of Design Box B. The class may offer ideas and suggestions, but the work must be done by Artist #2 using only what they find inside the box. Prior to allowing Artist #2 to open their box, do your best to build up the anticipation and excitement for what might be inside.

Start the timer and allow Artist #2 to open Design Box #2. They will quickly see that there is nothing inside the box for them to use to create their picture. Have them show the empty box to the class; encourage students to offer any ideas or suggestions for how Artist #2 might create their picture. As ideas are offered, remind students that only the materials inside the box can be used to create the picture. Ultimately, the students should realize that Artist #2 is unable to create a picture.

As a group, discuss the process of each of your volunteers:

  • How was Artist #1 able to create their picture? Did their design box offer them a lot of options to create their picture? Did they seem to struggle with the challenge? When Artist #1 finished, did their picture show a lot of creativity? Did the picture show that Artist #1 used a lot of the materials from inside their design box? (Answers will vary based on student observations; students should realize that the various materials inside Design Box #1 made completing the picture possible for Artist #1.)
  • Why was Artist #2 unable to create a picture? Was anyone from the class able to offer a suggestion to Artist #2 that allowed them to complete the challenge? If anyone else from the class had been chosen to be Artist #2, would they have been able to draw the picture? (Answers will vary, but the discussion should result in students understanding that because of the empty box, it was impossible for Artist #2 to create their picture.)

Creating a picture is pretty easy when you have all kinds of materials.  We could have filled Design Box #1 with even more materials—paint, stamps, stencils, glitter—that Artist #1 could have added to their picture.  But for Artist #2, creating a picture was impossible because there was nothing inside the box.

It would take power so much greater than anything that we can understand to create a picture using the emptiness from inside Design Box #2. When God created the heavens and the earth, He showed that power in an awesome and amazing way! Let’s take a look at how God created everything from nothing.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Yellow copy paper 8 ½ in x 8 ½ in (at least 1 per student)
  • Scissors
  • Pens/pencils

Prior to the start of class, use these links to learn how to create a three-dimensional paper star. The first link provides verbal instructions along with visual steps; the second video provides visual steps only. You may want to show the second video to your students, pausing between each step as they follow along. Preparing a sample ahead of time is always helpful.

Simple 3D Paper Stars [2:37]

How to make simple & easy paper stars | DIY Paper Craft Ideas, Videos & Tutorials [4:05]

We learned today that God is so powerful, He created the heavens and the earth from nothing. It’s a reality that is immensely difficult for us to fully understand, and yet we can still be in awe of the amazing power of our Creator. 

In school, you’ve probably learned a lot about the earth and our solar system; your science, social studies, and geography classes have most likely taught you all kinds of information about these parts of God’s creation. When we talk about God creating the heavens and the earth, it’s easy to minimize the full extent of what God created after He separated the light from the dark.

Isn’t God amazing! To think that He created the earth that we live on, the sun, moon, and stars that we see every day, the solar system and Milky Way galaxy, and then so much more past that—it’s hard to wrap our minds around it! 

All of God’s creation shows His power—a beautiful sunset, an erupting volcano, the waves in the ocean, and a mountain covered in snow. Everywhere we look, we can see His power. The video we just watched gave us a better idea of how vast the heavens are that God created, and we can be certain that He placed thousands of stars in the sky in order to show us His power in the night.

Distribute yellow paper squares and scissors.

Using the steps from this video link, teach students how to make a three-dimensional star. The video can be played while students work; be sure to stop after each step and make sure to work through the process slowly, ensuring that all students have completed each step before moving to the next. Encourage students who easily grasp the various folds to help struggling students.

How to make simple & easy paper stars | DIY Paper Craft Ideas, Videos & Tutorials [4:05]

After completing the stars, have your preteens write “God created with POWER” and the memory verse reference (Psalm 19:1) on the back of their star. Encourage them to hang it in their room or school locker as a reminder of our powerful Creator God.

It can be easy for us to take for granted all God did in creating our world. We see His creation all around us every single day, but we don’t take the time to be in awe of the power of God. This star can be a simple reminder of what we learned today. As you head into a new week, be sure that you take the time each day to pause and think about the power we can see in God’s creation. On your way to school, when you are outside during recess or lunch, after school during sports practice, or as you play and ride your bike, look for examples of God’s amazing power. At night, when you see the stars, thank God for His creation, for His ability to create something from nothing, and for His creative power. 

Close in prayer: God, Your power is awesome! Only You could take nothing and make something from it, and only You could create our beautiful earth and our vast, endless universe. Thank You for the gift of this earth and the way you filled it with reminders of Your power. We don’t want to take Your creation for granted; give us hearts that are thankful for all You created and all You’ve given us. Help us to see Your power wherever we go. In Jesus name, amen.

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