Skip to main content

Reply to "Jonah Lesson Set - State Street UMC, Bristol, VA"

Jonah: The Reluctant Prophet

Games and Bible Skills Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will review the events of the story by playing Jonah Spin. They will also, if time allows, make an origami whale.

For scripture, objectives, and background- see above.

Important Note for Games Workshop Leaders:
The purpose of the games workshop is two-fold: to develop Bible skills and to reinforce that knowledge by having fun with games. The games are not frills and fluff! Playing games helps to cement the knowledge and reinforce the skills you introduce during the Bible lesson. Please do not skimp on the games portion of the lesson! Use the time guidelines above to keep your lesson on track. Remember -- children are spending 4 weeks on this story, so if you can’t cover every single aspect of the story, it’s ok!


Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review background information, teaching tips and lesson materials.
  • Gather necessary supplies.
  • Prepare the game materials – see below
  • Prepare the Prophet Story cards by copying onto cardstock the images from the Blankenbaker book.
  • Review the Music CD. Plan to play the music as the children arrive, play games and during journal time.

Supplies List:

  • Game wheel spinner (instructions for making a game wheel spinner created by Paul Derden for State Street UMC: link)
  • Question list
  • White board and markers to keep score

Time Guidelines:
Welcome and Introductions 10 minutes
Bible Study 15 minutes
Game 20 minutes
Reflection/Closing 5 minutes



Presentation

Opening-Welcome/Introduction:

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure everyone is wearing a nametag. Please include the shepherd in introductions. Give the children a simple one or two-sentence synopsis of what you will be doing during the workshop.

Prayer: Please begin your class with prayer each week. Pray your own or use the prayer printed below.
Dear God, Thank you for this day and for all who are here today. Be with us now as we learn more about your great love for us. Give us open hearts and open minds as we learn and play together. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story. When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session. Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks! Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

Introduce the Story:
We’ve been studying prophets this summer. What is a prophet? (God’s messenger, someone very close to God) Last month we talked about the prophet Elijah. Let’s review some of what we have learned. (Use the Prophet Story Cards to review key events in Elijah’s story:
1. Samuel anoints the first king of Israel.
2. Israel worships idols.
3. Israel is divided into two kingdoms (northern – Israel, southern Judah)
4. Israel has good and bad kings.
5. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel worship idols.
6. Elijah confronts King Ahab.
7. Elijah has a contest on Mt. Carmel.
8. God sends Elisha to help Elijah.

Many years passed. God raised up another prophet for the northern kingdom of Israel. This prophet’s name was Jonah. Now at that time Assyria was a very powerful nation. They had strong armies who tried to take over lands and people. The people of Israel worried that the Assyrian army would take over their land too. The capital city of Assyria was called Ninevah. It was a huge city with great walls surrounding it. The people in Ninevah did not worship the one, true God. So, the people of Israel looked down on the people of Ninevah. They thought they were better than them. They also didn’t like them because the Assyrian army was very cruel. The people of Ninevah were their enemies.

But, God wanted to teach his people a lesson. And so he called a new prophet, named Jonah to show his people that God loves everyone – no matter where they live or what they do. Let’s find out more about the story now.

Bible Study: Grades K-3
Where would we find a story in the Bible that takes place many years before Jesus was born? (Old Testament) Let’s find the story of Jonah in our Bibles now. Help the children locate “Jonah and the Fish,” page 273-276 in the Little Kids’ Adventure Bible. Read or paraphrase the story as the children follow along in their Bibles (or use the attached excerpt from the Children’s Illustrated Bible). Be sure to point out the bold headings. Rising Kindergarteners have just received their Bibles and will need lots of help using them. Have shepherds help them and consider pairing older children with the younger ones. Use the Jonah Story Cards to help tell the story.

Help the children locate and review the following Bible notes:

Little Kids’ Adventure Bible:
Life in Bible Times: Jonah’s Trip, page 273
Life in Bible Times: Cargo Ships, page 274

Memory Verse:

Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize one verse. Locate the verse and review with the children at this time. Have children with Bible bookmarks place their red ribbon bookmark here. Children with their own Bibles should highlight the verse with the Bible highlighters. Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles.
“When I was in trouble, I called out to you. And you answered me.” Jonah 2:2 (page 275)

Reflect:

  • What is a prophet? (someone who speaks for God, God’s messenger)
  • What did God tell Jonah to do? (go to Ninevah to preach to the people there)
  • Why did Jonah run away? (he didn’t want to do what God asked)
  • How did Jonah feel about the people of Ninevah? (didn’t like them, they were his enemies)
  • How did God feel about the people of Ninevah? (loved them, wanted to save them)
  • What happened to Jonah? (thrown overboard, swallowed by giant fish)
  • I wonder what Jonah thought about while inside that great fish?
  • What did Jonah do inside the fish? (prayed in thanksgiving to God, promised to obey)
  • What happened after Jonah preached in Ninevah? (people repented, God showed them mercy)
  • How did Jonah feel about that? (angry)
  • What can we learn about God from this story? (God loves everyone, grace, mercy, forgiveness)
  • How do we show forgiveness in our lives?
  • How do we tell others about the good news of God’s grace and love?
  • How can we change our attitude toward others who are different than us or who are not easy to love?


Bible Study: Grades 4-6
Jonah lived about 700 years many years before Jesus was born. Where would we find the story of Jonah in the Bible? (Old Testament) Jonah is one of the minor prophets. This means that his book is a short book of prophecy. Long books of prophecy are called major prophets. Let’s find the story of Jonah in our Bibles now. Help the children locate Jonah in their Bibles. Children with Bible bookmarks can use their green ribbon bookmark to locate the books of prophecy and move forward from there.

This book is too long to be read in its entirety. Paraphrase the scripture using the bold headings to direct the children to the different parts of Jonah’s story. Basically there are four key parts:
1. God calls Jonah; Jonah disobeys.
2. Jonah submits.
3. Jonah completes his mission.
4. Jonah’s motives are contrasted with God’s motives.

Read and discuss the following Bible notes:
NiRV Adventure Bible:
LIfe in Bible Times: Jonah’s Trip, page 1073
Life in Bible Times: Cargo Ships, page 1074
Let’s Live It: Jonah’s Vine, page 1075

Memory Verse:

Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize one verse. Locate the verse and review with the children at this time. Have children with their own Bibles highlight the verse with the Bible highlighters.
“When I was in trouble, I called out to you. And you answered me.” Jonah 2:2

Discussion Questions:

  • What is a prophet? (someone who speaks for God, God’s messenger)
  • What did God tell Jonah to do? (go to Ninevah to preach to the people there)
  • Why did Jonah run away? (he didn’t want to do what God asked)
  • How did Jonah feel about the people of Ninevah? (didn’t like them, they were his enemies)
  • How did God feel about the people of Ninevah? (loved them, wanted to save them)
  • What happened to Jonah? (thrown overboard, swallowed by giant fish)
  • I wonder what Jonah thought about while inside that great fish?
  • What did Jonah do inside the fish? (prayed in thanksgiving to God, promised to obey)
  • What happened after Jonah preached in Ninevah? (people repented, God showed them mercy)
  • How did Jonah feel about that? (angry)
  • What can we learn about God from this story? (God loves everyone, grace, mercy, forgiveness)
  • How do we show forgiveness in our lives?
  • How do we tell others about the good news of God’s grace and love?
  • How can we change our attitude toward others who are different than us or who are not easy to love?

GAME -  Jonah Spin

Supplies:

  • Game wheel spinner (instructions for making a game wheel spinner created by Paul Derden for State Street UMC: link)
  • Question list
  • White board and markers to keep score

Directions:

  1. Divide children into two teams.
  2. Each team will need a Bible.
  3. Team with the youngest person goes first.
  4. Have one person from Team One spin the wheel to determine the amount of points for their question.
  5. Ask a question from the Question List.
  6. IMPORTANT: Teams must confer together before answering. This is more welcoming to visitors and new attendees.
  7. Once the team has decided on the correct answer, the player who spun the wheel gives the answer. If correct, the team is awarded the points from the wheel. If incorrect, the other team has a chance to steal. Play passes to the next team whether the question is answered correctly or incorrectly. Teams may use their Bibles to look up answers!
  8. Continue playing until all questions are answered.
  9. Team with the most points wins.


Modification for K-3: Reword questions into True False to make the game easier.

Question List:
1. Jonah was a Judge. True or False? (False)
2. What is a prophet? (someone who is close to God, is God’s messenger)
3. The story of Jonah is found where in the Bible? (Old Testament)
4. The book of Jonah is a book of Law. True or False? (False)
5. A minor prophet is a prophet who is less important than a major prophet. True or False? (False)
6. Jonah was a prophet to which kingdom, north or south? (north)
7. What was the northern kingdom called? (Israel)
8. Israel’s kings were all wonderful, godly men. True or False? (false)
9. The main sin the people of Israel had was ____? (idol worship)
10. God called Jonah to go and preach to whom? (the people of Ninevah)
11. Where is Ninevah? Show on the map. (capital of Assyria)
12. What did Jonah do? (ran the opposite direction)
13. Why did Jonah run away? (he didn’t like the people of Assyria, they were enemies)
14. Where did Jonah try to run? (Tarshish – in Spain)
15. What happened while Jonah was on the boat? (storm blew up)
16. What did the sailors do? (they were afraid, they wanted Jonah to pray to his God, they threw him overboard)
17. How did God save Jonah? (he was swallowed by a giant fish)
18. What did Jonah do inside the fish? (he prayed, he thanked God for saving him from drowning)
19. What is our memory verse? (When I was in trouble I called out to you and your answered me. Jonah 2:2)
20. How long was Jonah inside the fish? (three days and nights)
21. What happened then? (the fish spit Jonah out onto dry land)
22. What message did God give Jonah? (go to Ninevah and preach to them about God)
23. What did Jonah do? (he went)
24. The people of Ninevah didn’t listen to Jonah. True or False. (False)
25. What did the people do to show they were truly sorry? (they fasted, they put on sackcloth and ashes, they asked God’s forgiveness)
26. What does repentance mean? (to be truly sorry, to turn away from your sin)
27. Did God destroy Ninevah? (no)
28. Why didn’t God destroy Ninevah? (God loved them, they were sorry for what they had done)
29. How did Jonah feel when God forgave the people of Ninevah? (he was mad because God forgave his enemies, he wanted God to destroy them)
30. What did God do to shade Jonah from the sun? (grew a plant)
31. What happened to the plant the next day? (a worm ate it)
32. What lesson did Jonah learn about God? (God loves everyone, not just the people of Israel, God is merciful and forgiving, God wants us to forgive others too)

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY - Origami Whale

(Instructions found at: https://www.enchantedlearning....rafts/origami/whale/
If time allows, children may make an origami whale to remind them of the story.

Supplies:

  • Origami paper or colored copy paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons
  • Instructions from the origami site

Directions:

  1. See attached instructions for folding the whale.
  2. Children may also cut out a small person shape for Jonah to slide inside the mouth of the whale.

Reflection/Journal Time:
The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. (Note: Journal questions are color-coded for each age group – purple for K-3 and blue for 4-6.) Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:
Grades K-3: God forgave the people of Ninevah. Draw a picture showing how Jonah felt.
Grades 4-6: Jonah was angry because God forgave the people of Ninevah. When is it hard for you to forgive someone?

Clean-up: Encourage the children to help clean up. Put away all game supplies.

Closing:

Gather the children together. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (repentance, forgiveness, trust, obedience, love are some suggestions) Encourage them to come back next week and to bring a friend, especially a friend who does not have a church home. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and close with prayer.


Resources:

The Children’s Illustrated Bible, Selina Hastings, DK Publishing, 1994.

What the Bible is All About for Young Explorers, Frances Blankenbaker, Gospel Light, 1998.


A lesson from State Stree UMC

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Rotation.org Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. All content here is the copyrighted property of its listed author. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content here for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author is referenced. Posting here implies permission for others to use your content for non-commercial purposes. Rotation.org Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service.

Rotation.org is rated 5 stars on Google based on 53 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!
×
×
×
×
×