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Moses in the Basket

To tell the story of the birth of Moses as a way of thinking about caring for other people

by Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To use the story of the birth of Moses as a way of thinking about caring for other people.

Preparation and materials

  • Read through the story in advance.


  1. Explain that you are going to tell an old story from the Bible about the early years of one of the great figures of the Jewish faith - Moses. Explain that there are words that you will say in today's story that require a reaction from the children. Run through the following:
    Pharaoh (Trumpet noise: 'toot toot' or fanfare)
    Baby (Crying)
    Pharaoh's daughter (Trumpet noise, aah)
    Put to death (Aagh!)
    Slaves (Work harder!)
    River (Splash, splash)
    Home (Shhh) - because the baby had to be kept secret at home

  2. Tell the story:

    Pharaoh was a strong king. He didn't like the people of Israel, who were living in Egypt, and he ruled that they should be Slaves. They were forced to make bricks that were used to build the pyramids, and houses for the people of Egypt.

    Pharaoh also ruled that all Baby boys born to the people of Israel should be Put to death, so that the numbers of the people of Israel would become fewer and fewer until there were only women left.

    One particular man and woman had a Baby boy, and they decided to hide him at Home. But once the Baby was a few months old, he became too big, and the parents decided to trust God to care for him.

    They made a basket, and lined it with waterproof tar and clay. The Baby's sister took the Baby to the River Nile, and placed the basket in the rushes that grew at the edge of the River. Then she waited and watched.

    A little while later, Pharaoh's daughter came down to the River to bathe. She heard the Baby crying, and her maid found the basket and took the Baby out.

    Pharaoh's daughter didn't have any children, so she decided to keep this one. The Baby's sister came up and offered to find a nanny to care for the Baby. She ran Home and arranged for her mother to come and look after the Baby!

    Pharaoh's daughter called the Baby Moses. That means, 'I drew him out of the water.'

  3. You could run through the story again, in order to improve the performance of the chorus - and to enjoy it! You could also add actions to the chorus words.

Time for reflection

Continue the choral interjections with this reflection. Explain that there is one extra join-in word at the end, when everyone says 'Amen', meaning 'so be it' or 'I agree'.

Moses couldn't live at Home
Because Pharaoh was so mean.
Keeping the people of Israel as Slaves
And saying 'I will Put to death all Baby boys.'
So when he was a Baby
Pharaoh's daughter found him in the River
And Baby Moses had a new Home.

Help me to be like Baby Moses' parents
and like Pharaoh's daughter,
trying to help and care for other people.
Help me not to be mean and nasty like Pharaoh.


'The Lord's my shepherd' (Come and Praise, 56)

Publication date: October 2002   (Vol.4 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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