Making a "Thaumatrope" of Jonah and the Great Fish
Here's a quick "how to"...
Tip: Attach a rubberband instead of a string. See instructions in lesson below.
The story of Jonah
That God loves us even when we turn away from Him
God never turns away from us.
Jonah stayed in the whale for 3 days like Jesus stayed in the tomb for 3 days.
How to make a THAUMATROPE (pronounced thomma - trope) a simple animation device which the kids will create to make Jonah appear as if he is in the fish.
A Thaumatrope is a disk or card with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to combine into a single image due to persistence of vision. They were popular craft toys in the Victorian era.
Read the scripture passage and Bible background
Familiarize yourself with the lesson and how to do the project
Gather the materials.
ARCH Book, Jonah and the Very Big Fish
Rubber bands – 2 for each student
5 inch white cardboard circles (poster board) one for each student – (borrow a “circle cutter’ from a scrap booker)
Pictures of Jonah and Great Fish (pre-made for kids to cut out and color)
Markers/crayons to color the pictures
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome the children and the shepherd as they arrive. SAY: We are continuing with the theme, “Come Join the Circle,” and the character that is going to join our circle this month is Jonah. Have any of you heard of Jonah? (Allow time for a few comments.) Let’s begin with a word of prayer.
Dear God, we ask that you be with us today as we learn about Jonah and how he learns to be obedient to what God asks of him. Help us to be obedient Christians, also. And all God’s children say, AMEN. Ask them if they know what “obedient” means. (To do what is asked of them by God, parents, teachers, etc.)
Read Story: “Jonah and the Very Big Fish” ARCH Book by Sarah Fletcher
I think the story ends rather abruptly so you could take a few minutes to talk about how God used the plant to show Job that he should have been happy that God decided to be merciful to the people that lived in Nenevah. Job felt bad about a plant dieing when he should have felt bad that the people were going to be killed if they didn’t repent. Also, compare the 3 days Jonah spent in the belly of the big fish to the 3 days Jesus spent in the tomb before he rose again. Also, point out that even when Jonah was being disobedient, God saw to it that the fish saved Jonah when the sailors threw him overboard into the ocean.
Activity: Making a Thaumatrope of Jonah and the Great Fish
Color the pictures of Jonah and the fish. On a circle of white poster board, glue a picture of the great fish on one side. On the other side, glue the drawing of Jonah in the center. (It should be done upside down.) Next, make 2 holes opposite each other on the white circle with a small paper punch. Attach one rubber band on each side of the cardboard circle. (Two total)
How to make the Thaumatrope:
Hold the 2 rubber bands – one in each hand. Turn the circle round and round until the rubber bands are twisted tight. (Need a partner.) Let go of the circle and gently pull the rubber band in opposite directions. (This will set the circle spinning.) Look closely at the circle, as it is moving. Jonah appears inside the fish.
Jonah Thaumatrope How-to:
Supplies: Rubber bands, 5 inch white cardboard circles (Poster board)(borrow a “circle cutter” from a scrapbooker), Pictures (pre-made for kids to use or trace) – Jonah – Great fish, Markers/crayons to color the pictures, Glue
Thaumatrope (Pronounced thomma – trope) is a simple animation device.
How to make the Thaumatrope:
by Linda Norem – Elim Lutheran Church – Randall, IA
On a circle of white poster board, trace the “whale” shape (Or glue a picture of the great fish) on one side.
On the other side, glue the black and white drawing of Jonah in the center. (It should be done upside-down.)
Next, make two holes opposite each other on the white circle with a small paper punch.
Attach one rubber band on each side of the cardboard circle – (Two total)
How to work the Thaumatrope:
Hold the two rubber bands – one in each hand.
Turn the circle round and a round until the rubber bands are twisted tight.
Let go of the circle and gently pull the rubber band in opposite directions. (This will set the circle spinning)
Look closely at the circle as it is moving. Jonah appears inside the fish. (You can also put Jonah on one side and the Ninevites on the other – one on the right and the other on the left. When spun, Jonah appears with the Ninevites)
Add blue ocean waves on one side.
Color Jonah’s clothes or beard.
The Greek meaning of Thaumatrope is “Thauma” - wonder and “trope e” - to turn.
Do you think Jonah “turned in wonder” when God had him swallowed by the great fish? How did the Ninevites “turn in wonder” when they heard God’s word from Jonah? Have we ever “turned in wonder” when God has called us?
You can find directions for more Thaumatropes by using an Internet search for “thaumatrope”.
Option: Add blue ocean waves on one side.
For Older Children: What other two images might appear as one? Jonah mad in Nineveh town? Wormy eating planting falling?
Journal Activity: Have the children draw a picture of Jonah inside the great fish. We never do read that it is a whale in the Bible, but it is all right to assume that it might have been.
Closing Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember to always be obedient to your Word. We thank you for being so loving, patient and kind like our Bible verse says. We ask for your forgiveness when we forget to be good. And all God’s children say, AMEN.
Prayer Movement Suggestion:
Which "two sides" could we offer to God in prayer? The negative, the positive, the heart-felt, the disinterested. In prayer we TURN to God. What if WE are one half of the picture, and JESUS is the other half of the THRAUMATROPE? We are to become like him.
“Jonah and the Very Big Fish” by Sarah Fletcher, ARCH Books, Concordia Publishing House, 1998. ISBN 0-570-07541-6
Editor notes: Edmonton Second Baptist found this idea on Pinterest, where are many other Jonah craft projects.
Unfortunately, the original craft article was posted on the examiner site which was shut down in 2016 and all articles appear to have been deleted.
Suggestions on how to make this Jonah craft from looking atabove photo:
Supplies: 3 paper plates, blue soap liquid, zippered sandwich bag, permanent markers, scissors, ribbon, hole punch, tape/glue or stapler.
On first paper plate draw tail and two fins, cut out.
On zippered sandwich bag using markers draw Jonah on one side.
On second paper plate cut hole in center. On this plate draw mouth and eye and glue or tape on fin.
On third paper plate, draw mouth and eye to match second plate.
Start by pouring a small amount of blue soap liquid into zippered sandwich bag, enough to fill with a thin layer when bag closed and laid flat (test out and add more blue soap liquid as needed). You want to be able to see Jonah through the bag, but have it look like he is surrounded by water). When you have the right amount of blue soap liquid, zipper bag shut then tape top of bag securely to avoid bag possibly opening.
Tape bag onto back of second paper plate (one with hole) make sure Jonah is looking out at your through water.
Hole punch both plate two and three, so that when they are attached a ribbon can be put through them.
Attach plate two and three together with glue, tape or stapler.
Place ribbon though holes, tie. Ready for hanging.
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