What are the towers in your life?
That is the question to pose to your students as you teach them about the story of the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis. In this story, the people came together to try to build a tower and a city all on their own. They seek to make a name for themselves rather than rely on God. They said:
“Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth” (Gn 11:4).
They wanted to be all the same, yet God had a different plan. He said:
“If now, while they are one people and all have the same language, they have started to do this, nothing they presume to do will be out of their reach” (Gn 11:6).
So God scattered them all over the earth and confused their speech so that they all spoke different languages. He sought diversity and uniqueness while the people set out to be all the same.
A Tower of Babel Activity
To help your students meditate on this story and apply it to their lives, have them think about the ways in which they have tried to make a name for themselves without asking for God’s help. How have they tried to be cool or popular or respected in a way that people (not God) might like?
Activity: To do this, have them draw a tower of a piece of paper with a number of sections stacked on top of each other. In each section have them write or draw the ways in which they have sought out to make a name for themselves without God’s help.
If you want to use a handout to complete this activity, then you can use this worksheet from The Religion Teacher’s Genesis Worksheets:
Teaching the Tower of Babel Video
In this video I give a summary of the Tower of Babel story and offer a few ways to teach about the story including the one described in this article: