Moses: Aaron's Gold Calf

Saturday, October 26, 2013
 Today's lesson is Aaron's Gold Calf. God told the people they were not allowed to have idols. Today's project is a Play Doh gold calf that I made before class for each student, then we smashed them during the lesson and talked about things we could worship as idols today, and God still says "NO!"
Review: We have been talking about Moses and the Israelites leaving Egypt. They are in the wilderness and camped beside Mount Sinai. Last week we talked about Moses going up onto the mountain and God gave Moses the 10 commandments. No one was allowed to look at God. God also gave Moses other rules, not written on the 10 commandment stones. God told Moses what to do for servants, marriage, animals, property, and how to take care if there was violence.  God also told Moses the rules the people had to obey for worship and sacrifices. Moses was on the mountain forty days and nights. (Exodus 24:18)
Lesson: Bible Scripture: Exodus 32, 34:1-4 and vs. 28 While Moses was on Mount Sinai getting the rules, the people were breaking them! Moses had been gone so long on Mount Sinai; the people started worrying what had happened to him. Was Moses even coming back? What are we supposed to do? Since the people thought something happened to their leader Moses, and maybe he wasn't coming back, the people went to Aaron and wanted to make an idol to guide them. Exodus 32:32
They gathered together and brought their gold earrings to Aaron. He melted it all down and used engraving tools to carve a gold calf. They built an altar and worshipped it! After all that God had done to keep them safe!
When Aaron saw the people worshipping the gold calf, he built an altar before it. Aaron proclaimed, "Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord!" The people got up early the next morning and they offered sacrifices on Aaron's altar.
God told Moses to go back down because the people were worshipping the calf that Aaron made. They were corrupt and they forgot that God had brought them out of Egypt and has taken care of them! God was so angry at the people!
When Moses came down from the mountain and was close to the camp, Moses heard the singing and saw the gold calf and the people dancing! Moses was so angry at the people; he threw the 10 commandments tablets down that were in his hands! God was the One that wrote on the tablets, and Moses just broke them! (Exodus 15-16)
Moses took the gold calf that they had made, melted it down in the fire, and ground it into powder. He put it in the water and made the people drink it!
God told Moses to cut another set of tablets like the original set. Moses took the new tablets and went back up onto Mount Sinai for another 40 days. Moses didn't eat or drink the whole time! God wrote the 10 commandments on the new set of tablets. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, the skin of his face 'shone'. The people were afraid to go close to Moses! Moses told the people the rules that God wanted them to follow. (Exodus 34:29-35) *Note: the above visual is not correct. If you use it, Moses was told to cut the new stones and God would write the laws on them (Exodus 34:1)

www.biblefunforkids.comThis gold calf visual is a donkey piñata! I used the pottery plaster from Hobby Lobby and then spray painted it gold. The gold beads are the long Christmas string beads. This idea was also from the Teacher's Workshop
For today's project I purchased enough yellow Play-Doh for each student at Toys R Us for 99 cents each. I decided to use the idea from a Facebook question, and thanks to Linda Hahn Zaveson, we came up with this idea. I found the cow molds on EBay here, or Amazon, and used them instead of molding my own. I had them pre-made before class, and wrapped in plastic so they wouldn't harden. We smashed them during the lesson, and the kids were able to take home the container of Play-Doh.
This is today's cut & glue picture to color. I used gold glitter glue in the glass to look like the gold they had to drink. I print the backgrounds on different color cardstock, and the pictures for the students to cut are on regular paper. Click on the picture to print.
Click here to print the same picture, but is a picture to color (no cutting).
Click on the picture to see all the Moses cut & glue worksheets and pictures to color.
We marked our Moses map for his travels. You can find more information here.
Bible Verse:  Exodus 32:35 
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission.
You can find a very condensed version for the 10 Commandments and Aaron's gold calf  by clicking here. The original idea for today's Play-Doh project can be found here


  1. Thank you for sharing such a thoughtfully planned and detailed lesson. I do not teach Sunday school any longer, but will pass this along to the education folks at my church.
    Bookish Ways in Math and Science

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I really appreciate you passing it to your friends at church! Thank you!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by and thanks for the link up party!

  3. Thanks for the lesson. I teach pre-schoolers and have been hunting for a fun way to teach the golden calf story. They remember so much more when you do hands on. We will definitely make the play doh calf and through it in the "fire"

    1. I appreciate the comment! Thanks for stopping by! Glad you can use the idea!

  4. Hi, my wife teaches the kids at our church in Hungary and I've just read through this page because she had it open on our PC - I really enjoyed it!!! It's a wonderful lesson and I'm really so grateful for how the Lord used Moses in this situation! I've learnt a lot just by re-reading it (in summarised, well-illustrated and very understandable format). Thanks so much!


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