How we dramatized the Jonah story each week
I can offer how we tried to explain Jonah's story in order of occurrence during our Gathering Time.
Pictures attached below!
The first week when the children enter, it is very dim. We show a short video we found on youtube of the scripture being read from Jonah up until the time he is thrown overboard. A spotlight then comes on to the corner of the room where we have created a "belly" (a sheet on a hoop" and Jonah begins to speak from inside the belly of the whale. He explains his running from God etc.
The next week when the children enter, Jonah is laying face down on a beach at the front of the room (completely still). It's funny to watch them as they realize a man is laying at the front of the room. We stick a sardine soaked rag in his pocket so they see how bad he smells. He rouses and tells them his story. ( This last time we did it, our character had stashed a can of silly string behind him and kept telling them how bad the fish smelled and that he felt like he was going to throw up. He would cough, they would shrink back, and the next time he coughed he shot silly string into the crowd. ) This week was also sing the "I think I'm going to throw up" song.
The third week, Jonah enters and tells about marching through Ninevah despite his reservations. He invites three children to come sit on black circles in front of the room and wrap themselves in burlap and chooses one of the adults to sit in a king's chair. He tells them of the people's repentance and sprinkles them with ashes (baby powder). There is some interaction with the king also.
The fourth week, we have a large vine hanging with a bright spotlight on it. Jonah tells them of his anger about the Ninevites being spared. We also reference Elijah's despair and the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard as we have recently done these units.