Jonah
Lesson Set

Summary of all workshops in this Rotation:

--for 1st- 3rd grade:

  • Video: Watch the animated video Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie. Discuss God’s loving kindness as exhibited in this story.
  • Science: Have the students do a science experiment that provides an analogy to illustrate the love of God.
  • Storytelling: Hear the story of Jonah, then have the students help re-tell the story to cement the sequence of events in their minds.

    --for 4th-6th grade
  • Art: Focusing on learning the sequence of the story, create comic strips using thumbprint characters.
  • Puppets: Use handle-bag puppets to enact skits that tell of second chances. Learn about showing compassion.
  • Cooking: Make “Jonah Jelly Turnover Cookies” to give away to a program which feeds lunch to the homeless.

    Scripture Reference: The book of Jonah
    Key Verse: “I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” Jonah 4:2d (NLT)


Rotation Objectives - After completing this Rotation, participants will be able to:

  • Name that the story is found in the Old Testament.
  • For 3rd grade and up: Locate the story of Jonah; identify it as an Old Testament book in the collection known as “Prophets.”
  • Re-tell the story in his/her own words.
  • Define a prophet as a messenger of God.
  • Describe Jonah as a prophet, a reluctant prophet who did not always follow God’s instructions.
  • Discover that this story is a profound illustration of God’s love. (God is compassionate, his love is for everyone, he gives second chances, and no one is beyond redemption.)
  • Conclude that God calls us to lives of compassion and loving kindness to others.

Story Background
Our story starts out with God telling Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh to warn the inhabitants to repent or be destroyed. Jonah shows his reluctant side and rather than going to Nineveh, he runs in the opposite direction. So starts our story, an illustration of how God’s love and grace is for all people.

The characters in our story

  • God: compassionate, loving… you know the rest.
  • The prophet Jonah. The Hebrew word, nabi, which translates to prophet means “one who speaks for” or “one who represents” (Wilke). Most prophets felt an urge to speak their pronouncements, “just as a person must be filled with fear when he hears a lion roar nearby (Amos 3:8)” (Orr). This contrasts with Jonah who this time, was reluctant to spread God’s message. The story of Jonah is also different than the stories of most prophets in the Old Testament. Rather than being a book full of prophetic sayings, the book of Jonah tells of just one prophetic mission, one that is described in one verse found in Jonah 3:4 “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.”
  • The people of Nineveh (pronounced: NIN-uh-vuh). Nineveh was located on the banks of the Tigris River, where present-day Iraq is located. Nineveh was at one time, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians had not yet conquered the Israelites (that would happen later) yet the people of Nineveh were seen as enemies of the people of Israel.
  • The sailors on the ship to Tarshish: Like the Ninevites, they were Gentiles, in other words not Jewish. Their experience with Jonah causes them to worship God.


Why run away from God?
Nineveh was to the east. Instead of heading east, Jonah headed west boarding a boat that was likely bound for Spain. Why did Jonah try to run away from God? “Jonah views the Assyrians as undeserving of God’s mercy. He probably would like to see God destroy them all, for all the hurt they have done to his people. Why should he give them a message that could save them? In Jonah’s mind, they do not deserve God’s mercy.” (McLeod)

From what Jonah says later in the story, we sense that Jonah feared that the people of Nineveh would repent. Jonah knows how God operates. He knew that God was compassionate and loving and always quick to turn from punishment. Jonah was not ready to offer the Ninevites the chance to share in God’s grace. The nation of Israel closely guarded what they viewed as a favored relationship with God. They were forgetting their mission to preach to all people. “Jonah’s attitude is representative of Israel’s reluctance to share God’s love and mercy with others” (iLumina: Jonah: Life Application Notes).

“In Old Testament times, people believed that a god was confined to the territory in which the god’s worshipers lived. So, when Jonah hopped on board a ship heading far away from Israel, he hoped to escape God’s reach. But Jonah soon learned that God is not confined by earthly territory. We cannot hide from God.” (Derden)

Runaway troubles
“When the ship gets out to sea, a violent storm kicks in, terrifying the crew. They begin throwing stuff overboard in an attempt to lighten the load and save the ship. Being superstitious, the try to divine (casting lots) which of them angered the gods enough to cause the deadly storm. Jonah’s name comes up. When confronted, Jonah tells them he is a Hebrew and is running away from the Lord. When asked what they should do, Jonah says to throw him overboard. The crew doesn’t want to do this. How ironic that the non-Hebrews (thinking how Jonah views non-Hebrews) don’t want to kill him and continue to try to row to shore! But eventually, they resort to throwing Jonah in, and the storm suddenly abates.” (McLeod)

The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. (Jonah 1:16)

The Great Fish
A fish swallows Jonah; note that it doesn’t say a whale! This was God’s unique way of saving Jonah from drowning. Jonah spent three days and nights in the fish. He had time to think. Chapter 2 of Jonah contains Jonah’s prayer from inside the fish. This is not a prayer for deliverance but is a prayer of thanksgiving. Jonah realizes that God is giving him a second chance. Sure enough, the fish urps him on to the shore.

Is this story historical?
There is much posturing about whether this story actually happened. What is the likelihood of someone surviving living in a fish for three days? There have been several stories of miraculous deliverances albeit with scarring, from the belly of large fish. Two types of fish capable of swallowing a human being whole are the sperm whale and the whale shark (Constable). Jesus used Jonah’s experience in the fish as an illustration of his death and resurrection (Matthew 12:39-40, Luke 11:29-30). Is this story historical or is it an allegory or a parable? This question is left for your discussion.

Go to Nineveh
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah for a second time, ‘Go to Nineveh and announce the message I give you.’ This time Jonah obeyed. He went to Nineveh and preached that God would destroy that great city in forty days. And amazingly, the Ninevites listened and believed! They responded to Jonah’s message by fasting and wearing sackcloth and ashes as a sign of humility and repentance. Even the king took off his royal robes and dressed in sackcloth! He ordered everyone to stop their wickedness, turn to God and pray for mercy. These outward signs reflected an inward change and a hope for God’s mercy. This is what true repentance means. Repentance is not simply mouthing the words, “I’m sorry.” Rather repentance means making a true turnaround in behavior, a turning away from sin and a whole-hearted turn toward God.” (Derden)

Jonah’s reaction
“God heard the repentant cries of the Ninevites and he had compassion on them. He didn’t destroy them. Now we might think that Jonah would rejoice over the success of his mission. Not so! Instead, Jonah was angry! He told God that this is exactly why he didn’t want to go to Nineveh.” (Derden)

I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. Jonah 4:2d

“Here we see the true condition of Jonah’s heart. He obeyed God outwardly, but his heart still wasn’t in it. In his heart he still resented the enemies of his people. He secretly hoped that they wouldn’t listen to his message so that God would destroy them! After all, it isn’t fair! How can God allow a happy ending for these mean and wicked people? In fact, because of his prejudice and hatred of the Assyrians, Jonah would rather die than see this ending.” (Derden)

Jonah pouts – second chances explained
Jonah went outside the city of Nineveh and sat down to wait and watch. Perhaps he was hoping that God would change his mind? Since it was hot, “God causes a plant to grow besides Jonah that provides him with shade and Jonah is pleased. Then God sends a worm that kills the plant, and Jonah is angry, so angry in fact, that he again wished he were dead” (McLeod). Though Jonah hardly comes across as a hero anywhere in the book, he appears especially selfish, petty, temperamental, and even downright foolish in chap. 4” (Stuart, p. 502).

“God questions Jonah about why he is angry about the plant. God explains that if Jonah can care about the plant so much when he had nothing to do with the plant, then he should understand why God cares about people like the Ninevites, people whom he created and loves (even if they are not Hebrews.) Should God not care for the innocents of Nineveh, who don’t even know what they are doing?” (McLeod)

“God loves all people, even those who sin or are ignorant of God. And as God did not turn his back on Jonah (as he was running away,) God does not turn his back on the people of Nineveh. How easy for us as a group (congregation, family, country) to feel self righteous and insular. We start to feel that only we are deserving of God’s message of love and mercy. Those different from us, those who have hurt us, do not deserve God’s love. The story of Jonah illustrates in a humorous way that God will still love us even when we resist God’s call, and that all are worthy enough to hear the message. (McLeod)


References:

 


 

A Lesson Set written by folks from:
First United Methodist Church
120 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "Jonah: Bible Background." Jan. 2009. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

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

 

Original Post

Jonah

Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Watch the animated video Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie. Discuss God’s loving kindness as exhibited in this story. Total viewing time about 21 minutes. [Note: 1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop.]

For scripture, objectives, and background, see above. 


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Video: Jonah - A VeggieTales Movie. Big Idea Productions, 2002.
  • An easel; appropriate marker
  • Pictures of the main characters (see resources)
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors, glue stick, 3x5 cards (11)
  • TV/DVD
  • Hearts cut from red construction paper (one per student, each approx 4” wide)
  • Snack items: popcorn, cups, napkins, water pitcher
  • Storybook: Jonah the Inside Story by Heidi Petach
  • Story paraphrase (see below)
    For 3rd graders:
    • NRSV Bibles
    •  One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
    •  Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen

Before Start of Class:

  • Print out the story paraphrase and cut it into pieces according to the pages indicated. Paste the parts of the story onto 3x5 cards. If desired make a pocket on the back of the book in which to store the cards.
  • In the kitchen, fill a pitcher with ice and water. Gather enough plastic cups – the washable type – to serve water and popcorn.
  •  Pop the popcorn in the microwave for 3 minutes. Pour popcorn into cups. Pour cups of water.
  •  Make sure you know how to use the TV/DVD, especially how to move by chapters and scanning forward and backward within a chapter.
  •  Insert disc 1 into the DVD. Start from the beginning of the video. Choose “Chapters.” Then choose “4 – A Message From the Lord.” Allow it to play for just seven seconds. Hit PAUSE after the narrator says, “This was a memorable day because he showed up.” This is where this video will be started.
  •  On the easel make a “Things to watch for” list. Cut apart the pictures of the characters. Use loops of masking tape to hang the pictures of the three sailors, Jonah, and the worm.
  •  Practice reading the story cards and showing/turning the pages using the storybook. Hold the cards on the back of the book while fully showing the pictures.


Presentation 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the video workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Ask: Who can tell me what the word “compassion” means? (accept a few answers)
Say: Compassion means caring about other people. It means showing loving kindness.
Ask: Have you seen anyone showing compassion this week? What did you see?
[If necessary tell about an experience of compassion that you’ve recently witnessed or experienced.]

Say: Today our Bible story teaches us about how God shows us compassion. It’s a story about someone named Jonah, who was a prophet.
Ask: Who can tell me what a prophet is? (a messenger for God)
Say: A prophet delivers messages from God.
Ask: I wonder what delivering messages has to do with compassion? (accept any replies)
Say: Let’s hear our story to find out.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Say: Jonah lived a very long time before Jesus was born.
Ask: Where do you suppose we would find the story in the Bible, in the Old Testament or the New Testament? (in the Old Testament)

For 3rd grade and up:
Make sure that everyone has a Bible to use. Have them find the book of Jonah in the Table of Contents. Point out how the list of prophets starts with Isaiah. All of the rest of the Bible books in the OT are about prophets - messengers of God.
Show the purple Adventure Bible with tabs…
Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the books in the Bible are further divided into collections. Because Jonah was a prophet, we find the book of Jonah in the collection known as “Prophets.” If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive the tab for the Prophets section of your Bible.
[Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]
Say: This is too long of a story for us to read all of it. Do read this story at home this week. In order to have enough time to watch our video, I’m going to read you what is called a paraphrase; it’s a shortened version of the story from the Bible. I will show you the pictures in this storybook while I read the paraphrase.

For 1st and 2nd graders:
Say: As I read to you this story from the Bible, I will show the pictures from this book.

For all students:
Show the pictures in the book Jonah the Inside Story as you read the cards that are in the pocket on the back of the book. In later weeks of the Rotation, show the pictures in the book and ask the students to tell you the story.

When you are finished reading…
Say: For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us…
The class (hopefully) says: Thanks be to God!

Say: These are the words that are spoken in the worship service after the Bible is read. We say these words in class so that we will be used to saying them when we hear a Bible story read in the worship service. We are thankful to have heard God’s words!

Ask: As I read the story did you hear any times when God was compassionate, and showed loving kindness? (accept any answers)
Pass out the hearts so that everyone has one. Make sure that you take one too.

Say: Let’s watch our video and look for examples of God’s compassion. Every time you see an instance of God showing loving kindness or compassion, raise up your heart.

Refer to the “Things to watch for” poster. Introduce the characters in the story…
Ask: How many of you have every watched a Veggie Tales movie?
So you know that the characters in this movie are all vegetables?
Say: Some of the main characters you’ll see are these three guys who are “the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.” They are telling our story. You’ll also see Jonah…and this character is a worm.

Show the Video:
Have the Shepherd distribute the snack.

Using the DVD, which has been cued (Per the instructions in the “Before Start of Class section" press PLAY.
VIEW scene of about 1 minute.
PAUSE {at 14:54} after Jonah says, “It’s a message of encouragement.” [Try to pause when
the picture is focused on Jonah but before he starts to sing.]

Say: So Jonah is a prophet and in this scene he brings a message of encouragement to the people.
Ask: Does it look like Jonah is enjoying his work as a prophet? (yes)
Say: Let’s see if Jonah always delivers God’s messages.

Using the DVD, choose MENU; Option “5-8” and then choose Chapter 5 – “A Message for Nineveh.”
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes 15 seconds.
PAUSE {at 19:41}after Jonah sings, “We are your chosen people and Nineveh, they’re not!”

Ask: It didn’t look like there was much compassion in Nineveh. Do you suppose that in real life, the problem in Nineveh was that they were hitting each other with fishes?
Say: I think that is something silly that this video has made up. They did tell it right about why Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh; about how that would be like helping his enemies! Now we are going to see some other characters in this video. They are hearing the story of Jonah.

Choose MENU then choose Chapter 6 – “Compassion and Mercy.”
VIEW scene of about 1 minute and 15 seconds.
PAUSE {at 22:38} after the pirate says, “that he was going to help them even
though they didn’t deserve it.”

Say: What that character just said was important. It gives us another clue as to why Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh to give them God’s message: Because Jonah was afraid that God would give the people of Nineveh a second chance. Let’s hear it again.

Use the CONTROLS option to SCAN BACKWARD to the view of the restaurant menu.
VIEW scene of about 24 seconds.
PAUSE at the same point {22:38}.

Ask: Is God known for giving second chances?
I wonder if you’ve ever experienced God giving you a second chance?
Say: I think Jonah will learn that God gives everyone a second chance.

Press PLAY.
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes, 14 seconds.
PAUSE {at 24:52} after the 3 “pirates” are shown on deck (just before they start talking).

Ask: Where is Jonah going? (he wants to go to Tarshish)
Say: Jonah is trying to run away from God! He thinks that by going to “the end of the earth” that he can get away from God! So, Jonah gets on this ship and they head out to sea, and Jonah goes to sleep. While he sleeps a big storm hits.

Choose MENU; Option “9-12” then choose Chapter 11 – “The Storm Hits.”
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes, 12 seconds.
PAUSE {at 35:12} after the captain says, “Loser takes a swim!”

Ask: Remember in the story I read it told how the sailors “drew lots?”
Say: “Drawing lots” was sort of like doing Rock-Paper-Scissors. In our story they were using it to determine who had done something to cause the storm. This video is showing that activity as playing a game of gold fish.
Ask: Who do you suppose is going to lose the game? (Jonah)

Press PLAY.
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes.
[If time is short use CONTROLS to SCAN FORWARD to the end of the game.]
PAUSE {at 37:15} after Jonah says, “I’m afraid the only thing left is to be thrown
into the sea.”

Say: The sailors didn’t want to throw Jonah overboard. They tried to get back to shore, a part which we don’t have time to watch today.

Choose MENU; Option “13-16” then choose Chapter 13 – “Jonah Walks the Plank.”
VIEW scene of about 1 minute, 8 seconds.
PAUSE {at 40:56} after the captain says, “That was easy.”

Pick up a heart and hold it up.
Say: I think that this is a good time to hold our hearts up high.
Ask: Remember how we were going to hold up our hearts when we saw God being compassionate? What just happened that shows an example of God showing loving kindness? (the sailors were saved from the storm)

Press PLAY.
VIEW scene of about 17 seconds.
PAUSE {at 41:13} after the life preserver lands in the water.

Ask: In our Bible story did the sailors try to rescue Jonah? (no)
What happened to Jonah? (a large fish swallowed him)

SCAN FORWARD to the scene where the fish swallows Jonah.
VIEW scene of a few seconds.
PAUSE when the fish starts to go back under water.

Say: It may be hard to think of it, but being swallowed by a fish in a way saved Jonah.
So I think that we should put up our hearts again. [Raise your heart.] God was compassionate because he saved Jonah from drowning.

Ask: How long is Jonah inside the fish? (3 days & 3 nights)
I wonder what Jonah thought about while he was inside the fish?
What did Jonah do while he was in the fish? (prayed)

Choose MENU; Option “17-20” then choose Chapter 17 – “Journey to Nineveh.”
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes, 11 seconds.
[When Jonah lands on the beach put your heart in the air.]
PAUSE {at 54:07} when Jonah is traveling on his camel & the “hills” come into view.

Say: So God had compassion on Jonah and gave him a second chance. This time Jonah went to Nineveh to tell the people to stop acting so mean or God would destroy their city.
Ask: Who remembers from the story what happened?
Say: The people of Nineveh and even the king of Nineveh stopped acting mean! That meant that God did not have to destroy Nineveh.

Put your heart up.
Say: God had compassion for the people of Nineveh. God gave them a second chance.
Ask: How did Jonah feel about that?
Say: Jonah was angry that God didn’t destroy Nineveh. In chapter 4 in the book of Jonah it tells us that Jonah said to God, “I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” Jonah was mad that God didn’t destroy Nineveh. The book of Jonah ends in a sort of a strange way. Let’s see what happened next.

Choose MENU; Option “21-24” then choose Chapter 21 – “Jonah Doesn’t Get It.”
VIEW scene of about 6 minutes.

Raise your heart when the narrator says, “Even now God was compassionate towards Jonah and caused a plant to grow that shaded him from the hot sun.” {Around 1:07:45}

PAUSE {at 1:11:46} after one of the pirates says, “…The question is, what did you learn?”

Say: That is a good question for us.
Ask: What did you learn from this story? (allow all replies – hopefully: that God is compassionate, his love is for everyone, he gives second chances, and no one is beyond redemption, no matter how much they don’t deserve it)

[Note to workshop leader: what to do if kids want to watch more of a video than the lesson calls for? Please don’t give in to their requests, unless you’ve finished the entire lesson and have extra time! Why? These lessons are specifically planned to get across certain teaching points. If you are spending time watching a part of the video that’s not a part of the lesson, you’re taking away from the intended teaching opportunities! What can you say to the kids? We’ll watch more of the video if we have time at the end of class. OR We should plan a family night activity here at church to watch the entire video! Thanks for following this lesson!

Closing:
Say: God loves everyone. God wants to give everyone a second chance, even people we don’t think deserve a second chance. Let’s close in prayer.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, We thank you for the lessons that you teach to us using stories from the Bible. Help us to remember the story of Jonah and to show compassion to others. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

Extra Activities (if you finish early)
Watch chapter 23 – “A Big Musical Number.”


Attachment: Story Paraphrase to read with book:Jonah the Inside Story by Heidi Petach

Jonah the Inside Story by Heidi Petach

page 2-3
God spoke to Jonah. “Jonah, go to the city of Nineveh. Tell them to stop being so mean.”
“I can’t go there!” thought Jonah. The people of Nineveh are bullies.
They have been doing bad things to my people for a long time.
Nineveh was the last place that Jonah wanted to go.

page 4-5
Jonah wanted to hide from God. So he did not obey God! He got on a ship that was headed in the opposite direction from Nineveh.
Then God sent a strong wind that blew the sea into a big storm with huge waves. The ship was in danger of sinking!

page 6-7
The sailors threw the cargo overboard – they thought it might help.
Still the storm blew and the ship rocked.
And Jonah was sound asleep below deck!

page 8-9
The captain woke Jonah. “Why are you asleep? Can’t you see we are about to sink!?”
Now the sailors suspected that someone on board the ship was the reason for the storm. So they drew lots to see who was to blame for their misfortune. Guess who lost! “Why is this happening?” they asked Jonah.

page 10-11
“I am running away from God,” Jonah admitted. “It is my fault you are caught in this storm. Throw me overboard and the storm will stop.”
The sailors didn’t want to throw Jonah overboard. They tried to row back to shore. But the storm got worse.

page 12-13
Finally the sailors cried out, “O Lord, don’t punish us for hurting this man!” And they picked up Jonah and tossed him into the raging sea.
Was this the end of Jonah? Nope. God had a plan to save him – a great big fish swallowed Jonah.

page 14-15
For three days and three nights Jonah lived inside the huge fish. And Jonah prayed.

page 16-17
Then God ordered the fish to spit Jonah upon the beach. Pt-tu-ii. It did.
God asked Jonah again to go to Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed God. He went to the city of Nineveh and he told all the people, “In forty days Nineveh will be destroyed!”

page 18-19
The people of Nineveh listened to Jonah. They were sorry that they had been so mean. They promised to do better. This made God very happy. He was glad that he wouldn’t have to destroy all the people of Nineveh.
But this made Jonah very mad! He didn’t want God to forgive the people of Nineveh. Jonah had wanted to see them destroyed! It was only fair!

page 20-21
Jonah hoped that God would change his mind. He sat down outside the city and waited to see what would happen next. While he waited the sun was making Jonah very hot!
Jonah built himself a tent-like shelter. And God caused a vine to grow up to give Jonah some shade. Jonah was very happy about the shade!

page 22-23
But the next day God sent a hungry worm that ate the vine! This made Jonah angry and he cried out to God, “Why did you let the plant die?!”
Then God told Jonah, “You felt sorry for the plant. But you don’t want me to feel sorry for the people of Nineveh. Shouldn’t I forgive anyone who turns to me, no matter who they are?

Skip page 24.


Resources:

 


A lesson written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 


Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. 
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material 

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "Jonah: Video Workshop." Jan. 09. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

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

Attachments

Photos (1)

Jonah

Science Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Hear the story of Jonah, and then have the students do science experiments that provide an analogy to illustrate the love of God. [Note: 1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop.]

 

For scripture, objectives, and background- see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • The storybook: Jonah, the Inside Story
  • Story paraphrase and 3 x 5 cards (see the video post above)
  • For 3rd graders: Bibles; One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.); Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
  • Baking soda (not baking powder) – one 16 oz box
  • Vinegar – one jug (you will not need more than 3 fl oz per student even if they want to repeat the experiment)
  • 1 spoon (for transferring baking soda into Dixie cups)
  • 2 Dixie cups per student (medium size; not the small cups used in home bathrooms, as the experiment could overflow too small a container)
  • Paper towels/wet sponges in case any spill cleanup is needed
  • A lidded container to pour the vinegar experiment into when completed (or a sink if one is available).
  • Large lemon
  • Nails, screws or wires – one copper and one zinc (each about 2” or 5 cm long)
  • Voltmeter
  • One working battery, any size - to demonstrate voltmeter operation.



Before Start of Class:

  • Familiarize yourself with where Jonah appears on the timeline.
  • Test the experiments to see how they work.
  • Print out the story paraphrase and cut it into pieces according to the pages indicated. Paste the parts of the story onto 3x5 cards. If desired make a pocket on the back of the book in which to store the cards.
  • Place 2 Dixie cups by each child’s place. Spoon about an inch of baking soda into each student’s Dixie cup and have the vinegar nearby (but don’t pour it yet, since it does have some smell to it).


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Science Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Today we are going to head out to the painting of the Bible timeline to look for our story, read the story of Jonah, and then do a couple of fun science experiments. Let’s begin!

Head out to the time line:
Remind students not to touch the art work.

Say: This is what we call a “time line.” It is a way of seeing events that happened as time has passed. There are thousands of years of events pictured here. We can see events are listed on the bottom of the wall along with the dates of their approximate happening. [Point this out.]

Have students find the stories depicting Jesus.

Say: The New Testament portion of our Bible starts with stories of Jesus’ birth. So all of the pictures on this part of the wall (point to the left of the Jesus pictures) depict stories from the Old Testament. That is a big hint on where to find the artist’s drawing of Jonah.
Have the students find the depiction of Jonah.
In later weeks of the Rotation, you may ask what portion of the story the picture depicts (after Jonah was thrown up by the big fish).
Head back to the classroom.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
For 1st and 2nd grades:
Ask: Where would we find a story in the Bible that takes place many years before Jesus was born? (Old Testament)
Say: The Old Testament includes stories about events that happened before Jesus was born. Besides being divided into 2 testaments, the books in the Bible are further divided into collections. We find the book of Jonah in a collection known as “Prophets.”
Ask: What is a prophet?
Say: A prophet is a messenger of God.

For 3rd grade:
Make sure that everyone has a Bible to use. Have them find the book of Jonah in the Table of Contents. Point out how the list of prophets starts with Isaiah. All of the rest of the Bible books in the OT are about prophets - messengers of God.
Show the purple Adventure Bible with tabs…
Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the books in the Bible are further divided into collections. Because Jonah was a prophet, we find the book of Jonah in the collection known as “Prophets.” If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive the tab for the Prophets section of your Bible.
[Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]
Say: This is too long of a story for us to read all of it. Do read this story at home this week. In order to have enough time to do our experiment, I’m going to read you what is called a paraphrase; it’s a shortened version of the story from the Bible. I will show you the pictures in this storybook while I read the paraphrase.

Read them the story on pages 2 – 23 of Jonah, the Inside Story, using the cards in the pocket on the back of the book (which are labeled with the corresponding page numbers) instead of the text in the book. Show the pictures as you read the story. In later weeks of the Rotation, show the pictures and ask students to tell you the story.

Say: Since we have read a Bible story we are going to say what is said in church after the scripture is read. Be ready to say “thanks be to God!” For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us,
The class says: Thanks be to God!

Discussion & Experiments:
Say: First, let’s talk more about the story of Jonah. Let’s think about how God and Jonah behaved toward each other in this story. Let’s talk first about how Jonah treated God.

Ask: How did Jonah behave toward God in the first part of the story, before the sea creature swallowed Jonah? [Accept a number of responses, such as – “he ran away from God”, “he didn’t obey God”]

Ask: And when Jonah was behaving like this, what did God do for Jonah? [Accept a response such as (or supply the response if you don’t get this) “God had a plan to save Jonah – he sent a big fish to swallow him.”]

Say: So God’s behavior to Jonah was loving and kind. He saved Jonah even though Jonah did not listen to God and ran away from him. God gave Jonah a second chance!

Ask: How did Jonah’s behavior toward God change after he was inside the big fish, and after the fish spit him out? [Accept responses such as, “he prayed to God inside the fish”, and “he obeyed God and went to Nineveh”.]

Say: So Jonah did as God asked, and the people of Nineveh listened to Jonah and to God.

Ask: How did Jonah feel about this? What was Jonah’s reaction? [Accept responses such as, “he was mad!”, “he didn’t want the people of Nineveh to be forgiven”].

Ask: And how did God feel about the people of Nineveh listening to him? [Accept responses such as, “God was happy”, and “God wanted to forgive them.”]

Say: So Jonah was mad about something that made God very happy. Despite this, God sent Jonah a vine for shade and spoke kindly to Jonah.

Ask: How would you describe God’s behavior toward Jonah? [Kind, generous, gentle…try to draw out “surprising”, or suggest this word yourself – please do use this word, as we will draw a link between God’s love and the surprising nature of the fizz generated in the first experiment.]

Ask: How would you describe Jonah’s behavior toward God? [Mean, naughty…]

Say: So even though Jonah’s behavior toward God really stunk (please do use “stunk” – we are foreshadowing on the use of vinegar here), God’s behavior toward Jonah was really surprising. please do say “surprising" – he treated Jonah with love and gave him a 2nd chance.

Say: Now we are going to start in on our first experiment!

Pour a small amount of vinegar into each child’s cup (not more than half an inch full).

Say: Today we are working with vinegar and baking soda. Please sprinkle a little baking soda – NOT THE WHOLE CUPFUL – into your vinegar. What happens? [Don’t tell them that it will fizz – let them be surprised.]

[There will be fizz created when the baking soda touches the vinegar, like a lot of carbonation. There will be more fizz if more baking soda is added to the vinegar. Encourage the students to add baking soda, a little at a time, to the vinegar until they no longer see any fizz. Explain that the vinegar is an acid and the baking soda is a base. When they are combined, it releases a gas called carbon dioxide and turns the vinegar into water. The reaction is complete when fizz is no longer being produced.]

During the experiment, discuss how the properties of God and Jonah are like the properties of the baking soda and vinegar, as follows.

Say: We talked before about how Jonah did not act very nice to God, how his behavior really stunk. We also talked about how God acted in a surprising way toward Jonah. Let’s think about Jonah as the vinegar – pretty smelly! And let’s think of God as the baking soda.

Ask: What happened when the baking soda touched the vinegar? [it bubbled/fizzed]

Say: When we act in a way that would turn others away – think of our vinegar - God doesn’t do what we would expect. God acts in a surprising way. Think of our bubbles! God loves us always, even when we don’t act in a way that God finds appealing. When we ask for God to forgive us, God will always forgive us, even when the thing we have done does not smell so good to God. We can smell like a whole case of this vinegar, and God will still love us and forgive us, if we just ask him. It can be hard to believe that God could be this good, but remember that our God doesn’t react the way we expect him to – he is a surprising and loving God!

Ask the students to throw away their vinegar/baking soda mix, down the sink or in the large coffee can.

Show the students the lemon.
Ask: How do lemons taste? [sour]
How could the word “sour” relate to Jonah’s attitude? [could be described as sour]
What do you suppose could be surprising about this lemon?

Show them the voltmeter and explain how it works – it measures electric potential.
Connect the battery to the voltmeter to show how it works.
Say: The voltmeter shows us that we can expect this battery to power something like a flashlight.
Ask: I wonder if this lemon could work like a battery?

Roll the lemon on the table with your palm to get the juices moving inside. “Insert the zinc and copper nails into the fruit so that they are about 2 inches apart. You don’t want them to be touching each other. Avoid puncturing through the end of the fruit.” (Helmenstine) Connect the positive (+) wire from the voltmeter to the copper nail and the negative wire (-) to the zinc nail. Show the students the voltmeter.

Say: The lemon is acting as a weak battery! If we had a lot of lemons we could connect them all together and it would be enough to light a light bulb!
Ask: Was that surprising?
Has God ever surprised you? How?
Say: It actually shouldn’t surprise us but somehow it always does, that God loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for us so that our sins could be forgiven. In our Jonah story God loved to the people of Nineveh and to Jonah, even though they had both acted in a sour manner.

Closing:
Say: Let’s have a time of prayer.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: God, you love us no matter what we have done. You will always give us a second chance, and you will always forgive us if we just ask. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.

If you have extra time:
Play a game of Duck, Duck, Goose except play it a couple of times as “Nineveh, Nineveh, Tarshish” then switch it to “Storm, Storm, Overboard” then as “Big Fish, Big Fish, Pt-tu-ii.” then as “Nineveh, Nineveh, Repent” then as “vine, vine, worm” then finally as “Jonah, Jonah, God loves.”

Go into the puppet workshop to be the audience for the puppet skits.


Resources:


A lesson written by Lynne Pauer for First United Methodist Church

Ann Arbor, MI

Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. 
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Pauer, Lynne. "Jonah: Science Workshop." Jan. 09. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

 

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

 


 

Why are we sending kids out to look at our timeline? Well, we are mighty proud of our time line! It is a work of art! For pictures view the artist's web site (Look under the “Murals” tab and scroll down to click on First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor.)


An after-the-fact note: This workshop needs at least one more science experiment, preferably one that the kids can do. With these two quick(!) experiments the class is out of material at least 15 minutes before the end of class.
The lemon battery thing was written (see resources) to light up a small Christmas light. But the workshop leader couldn't get that to work. (After the fact I found out via this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_battery as to why this doesn't often work.) Research by our workshop leader found that getting lemon batteries to work is tricky. So he brought in the equipment as noted above. So all was not totally lost. We spent our extra class time having the kids go to be the audience for the puppet workshop. (For more info on the lemon battery see: http://hilaroad.com/camp/proje...n/lemon_battery.html )

Jonah

Storytelling Workshop

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh

 


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Hear the story of Jonah, then have the students help re-tell the story to cement the sequence of events in their minds. [Note: 1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop.]

 

For scripture, objectives, and background- see above.

 

 

 


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials

Supplies List:

  • An easel; appropriate marker
  • Masking tape
  • For 3rd graders: Adventure Bibles, one with tabs (Law, History, etc.) and Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
  • A set of enlarged pictures that depict the story (see resources)
  • Story paraphrase: “Runaway Jonah Learns a Lesson” (see next post)
  • A scroll (a place to hide your story cheat-sheet)

Before Start of Class:

  • Study the paraphrase. If possible, learn it so that you can tell the story with dramatic emotions, without looking at a paper. In case you need to look, make any notes to help you remember this story using paper that will fit so it hides in the scroll. (It is ok to tell this story using your own words; just be sure to cover the concepts as outlined in the paraphrase.)
  • Plan how you will hang the pictures on the easel as you tell the story- so that they will fit.
  • Take a look at the individual pictures that depict the story. Notice how the pictures relate to the paraphrase. Create loops of masking tape equal to the number of pictures in the set. Place these loops near the easel.
  • When third graders visit, distribute Bibles around the tent area.


Presentation


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Storytelling Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
[The Shepherd will quietly take attendance/do nametags etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Ask: Has anyone ever given you a second chance? (perhaps a teacher, a parent, etc.)
Why do you suppose you got a second chance? (allow a few responses)

Say: Today we are learning about the story of Jonah. In this story Jonah got a second chance and lots of other people, the people who lived in a city called Nineveh, they also got a second chance.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Ask: What can you tell me about the story of Jonah?
If the students mention a portion of the story for which there is a picture, show them the scene and use a loop of masking tape to attach it to the easel.
[The scenes are numbered on the back. Leave space on the easel to place missing scenes not mentioned by the students.]

Say: Let’s look in the Bible to see if we’ve left anything out of the story.

Ask: Where would we find a story in the Bible that takes place many years before Jesus was born? (Old Testament)
Say: The Old Testament includes stories about events that happened before Jesus was born. Besides being divided into two testaments, the books in the Bible are further divided into collections. We find the book of Jonah in a collection known as “Prophets.”
Ask: What is a prophet?
Say: A prophet is a messenger of God.

For 3rd grade:


Make sure that everyone has an Adventure Bible to use. [Note: Even if kids have told you the entire story, still have them do this exercise to find the story; it’s good practice.]


Have everyone open to the Table of Contents. Point out how the “Prophets collection” starts with Isaiah and includes all the way through Malachi.


Say: All these books (with the exception of Lamentations) are names of prophets - messengers of God. If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive the tab for Prophets. [Show the purple Adventure Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]


Have everyone open to the introductory page about Jonah. [On page 1003.]

Say: In these Bibles, every book starts with an introduction page.
Have everyone look at the 2nd question: “Why was this book written?”
Ask someone to read the answer. (“Jonah shows Israel that God does not punish if people repent and are sorry for their sins.
Have everyone look at the 3rd question: “What do we learn about God in this book?”
Ask someone to read the answer. (“God forgives his disobedient prophet and gives Jonah a second chance. God also forgives the people of Nineveh. God does not punish people who repent.


Ask: God does not punish if people repent. What does “repent” mean?


If kids don’t know, encourage them to turn to the dictionary in the back of the Bibles – on page 1447: “to turn away from sin; to be sorry for what one has done and to promise not to do it again.”


Ask: Do you suppose that this message from God is applicable to us today? (allow all responses)
Say: It’s amazing isn’t it, that God forgives us; God gives us second chances! That is great news!

For all students:
Say: Listen carefully as I tell you the story of Jonah from the Bible. Then you will be helping me to re-tell the story.

Using the paraphrase, tell the story. As you come to the portion of the story with a picture, refer to it on the wall or hang it up if it’s missing, using loops of masking tape.

Discussion:
Say: I need your help in re-telling this story. I would like for you to become such good storytellers that you can go out and tell other people this story. First, we need to make sure that we understand what happened in our story. Let’s run through it but let’s add some voices and a little bit of action to our story telling.

Ask: How would God’s voice sound?
How about Jonah’s voice?

Using the voice of the various characters, re-run through the story. Intersperse this with your normal voice, which asks these questions…

Ask: What did God tell Jonah to do? (go to Nineveh to preach to the people there)
Say: First God said, [in a booming, God sort of voice, or whatever way the kids suggested] “Go to Nineveh. Tell the people to give up their evil ways.”

Ask: Why did Jonah run away? (he didn’t want to do what God asked)
Say: So Jonah said, [in the voice suggested by the students, perhaps squeaky?] “Nineveh! No way!”

Ask: How did Jonah feel about the people of Nineveh? (didn’t like them, were his enemies)
Say: Jonah was saying to himself, [in your Jonah voice] “The people of Nineveh are my enemies. No way will I share God’s message with them!”

Ask: How did God feel about the people of Nineveh? (God loved them & wanted a 2nd chance for them)
What happened to Jonah when he ran away? (storm, thrown overboard, swallowed by giant fish)
Say: A huge storm came over the boat that Jonah was on. [Make motions as though on a ship caught in a storm.] Jonah was thrown overboard. [Say with a pirate’s accent: “ahoy, maties, man overboard”] And was swallowed by a huge fish! [Open arms as though the mouth of a large fish.]

Ask: How many days was Jonah inside the fish? (3)
I wonder what Jonah thought about while inside that great fish? (Jonah prayed to God)
Then what happened? (fish spit Jonah up, God spoke to him again, went to Nineveh)

Note: You can add voices and motions to these answers if desired. 
Ask: What happened after Jonah preached in Nineveh? (people repented)
Say: The people of Nineveh changed their ways. [in a pleading, I’m sorry sort of voice] “Oh Lord. Forgive me. I’m sorry.”

Ask: Did God change his mind about Nineveh? (yes)
Say: God said, [in a God voice] “I am happy to see that the people of Nineveh have changed. I will forgive them. I will not destroy their city.”

Ask: How did Jonah feel about this? (he was mad)
Say: Jonah said, [in a mad, Jonah voice, stamping your foot] “They don’t deserve to be forgiven! Oh God, isn’t this just like how I knew you would act! You are always so loving and so willing to forgive anyone! Since what I predicted isn’t going to happen, since you’ve decided not to destroy Nineveh, I’d rather be dead than alive.”

Ask: How would you feel if someone whom you feel didn’t deserve it, got a second chance? (allow all answers)
Has this ever happened to you? Tell us about it.
Then what happened? (Jonah went & sat down outside the city)
Say: Jonah said, [in a mad Jonah voice] “I’m just going to sit down here outside of the city and watch. Maybe God will change his mind again and destroy the place after all.”

Ask: Then what happened? (God makes a vine grow)
Say: It was hot sitting in the sun! God made a vine to grow. [Pantomime a vine growing up to shade you. Smile pleasantly.] Jonah was very pleased with the vine.

Ask: What happened the next day? (a worm ate the vine)
Say: God sent a worm to eat the vine and Jonah’s shade was withered. And Jonah complained even louder, [in a really mad Jonah voice] “Oh, I’m stuck in the sun again. My shade has died! It is better for me to die than to live.”

Ask: How did God respond? (accept all answers)
Say: [in a God voice] “What right do you have to be angry?” [in a Jonah voice] “I am angry enough to die!” God responded in a strange way. God asked Jonah a question.
[in a God voice] “You did not plant that vine or take care of it, yet you’re concerned about it. Now in the city of Nineveh there are more than 120 thousand people who cannot tell right from wrong — not to mention all the animals! Don't you think I should care about them?” The End.

Ask: Isn’t that a strange way to end the story – by asking a question? How do you suppose Jonah answered? (accept a few replies)

Ask: What can we learn about God from this story? (God loves/forgives everyone)
Do you suppose that Jonah “got” this lesson? (accept all answers)
What do you suppose Jonah did next?
How can we show people around us that we forgive them? (give them a second chance)

Say: Jonah didn’t like the people of Nineveh. He didn’t think that they should be forgiven.
Ask: Is there someone that you don’t want to be forgiven?

Say: God wanted Jonah to understand that instead of being disappointed that a vine died, that he should be happy that a city filled with people and animals had been saved. God loves everyone; even people we don’t think deserve his love.

Re-tell the story:
Say: Now help me to tell the story again. This time let’s add more movement to our telling. Everyone should do what I do and repeat after me.

Run through the story again. This time, add more motion and have everyone follow along with what you are doing. For example, when Jonah runs away, “run” out of the tent to one side of the room. When Jonah goes to Nineveh, march over to the other side of the room. When Jonah goes to sit on a hill outside the city, go to the other side of the room and sit down. Get the kids involved in helping to tell the story. Ask: What comes next? or what did Jonah say? Re-run through the parts as told above leaving out the normal voice questions unless necessary.

If time allows retell it again this time asking the kids to lead the storytelling.

Closing:
Gather everyone sitting in the tent area.
Say: You did an awesome job telling the story. Let’s close in prayer.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for the stories that Jesus learned, that we can learn them too. Thank you for lessons you have about how loving and kind you are. Help us to remember to ask for forgiveness and to know that you will forgive us. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”

If you have extra time:
Run through the story another time.

 


Resources:

 

G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team at State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA.

“Jonah The Reluctant Prophet: Art Workshop.” 2005. Web

The NIV Adventure Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz, 2000.

 

Scenes of the story are from: http://www.christart.com/christianbooks/read/4764/4

 


 

A lesson written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

 

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "Jonah: Storytelling Workshop." Jan. 09. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

 

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

 

Attachments

Photos (1)

Jonah Story Paraphrase

Runaway Jonah Learns a Lesson


The numbers in brackets correspond to pictures which can be found at http://www.christart.com/christianbooks/read/4764/4

[4]  God spoke to Jonah: “Go to Nineveh. Warn them that I am angry at the way they’ve been acting.” But Jonah did not listen. Well, actually, Jonah listened, but he did not want to obey. “Nineveh!? No way.” Jonah had a problem with going to Nineveh. First, the people of Nineveh were not Israelites. They were not the chosen people of God. Why should he, a prophet of God, carry God’s word to them? Besides, the people of Nineveh were enemies of the people of Israel! Jonah decided to go as far away from Nineveh as possible - to Tarshish in Spain. “That should be far enough away,” Jonah thought.

 

[5]  Jonah paid for passage on a boat and set off for Spain.

 

[7]  But God sent a strong wind and a storm. The storm was so bad; the ship was in danger of sinking. The terrified sailors called out to their gods for help. They threw the cargo overboard to lessen the danger. Still the storm blew.

 

[8]  The sailors drew lots to see who was to blame for their misfortune. Drawing lots was like drawing straws or rolling dice. Jonah lost!

 

[9]  Meanwhile, Jonah was sound asleep below deck. 

 

[10]  The captain woke Jonah. “Why are you asleep? Can’t you see we are about to sink!? Pray to your god for help!” “Why is this happening?” the sailors asked Jonah. Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew. I worship the God who made the land and sea. I am a prophet of the Lord. And I am running away from God. Throw me into the sea. It is my fault you are caught in this storm. Once you have thrown me into the sea, I know the sea will calm down.”

 

[6]  The sailors did not want to hurt Jonah. So they tried to get back to shore. But it didn’t help. The storm raged on. The sailors cried out, “O Lord, don’t punish us for taking this man’s life!”

 

[12]  And they picked up Jonah and tossed him into the raging sea. At once, the sea was calm. The sailors rejoiced. They got down on their knees and promised to serve the one true God.

 

[14]  Meanwhile, the Lord commanded a large fish to swallow Jonah.

 

[15]  For three days and three nights Jonah was inside that fish. While in the fish, Jonah prayed to God.

 

[16]  Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah upon the beach. Pt-tu-ii. It did. Once again the Lord spoke to Jonah. “Go to Nineveh. Proclaim the message I have given you.”

 

[17]  So Jonah went to Nineveh. Jonah warned the people, “Nineveh will be destroyed!” 

 

[19]  The king issued a statement: “Stop being bad!” And the people stopped! God saw what they did. So he changed his mind and did not punish them.

 

[20]  Jonah was still hanging around town. And Jonah was UNHAPPY. “Lord, didn’t I say this is just what you would do!? I know you are loving and forgiving; Always ready to change your mind and not punish. Now, let me die. Since what I predicted isn’t going to happen, I’d rather be dead than alive.” God answered, “What right do you have to be angry?”

 

[21]  Jonah did not reply. He marched off to a hill outside the city. He made a shelter and sat down. “I’ll just sit here and wait to see what happens to Nineveh.”  

 

[23]  God made a vine to grow. It gave Jonah more shelter from the hot, hot sun. Jonah was pleased with the vine.

 

[24]  The next day, God sent a worm to eat the vine so that it wilted and died. Jonah was stuck in the hot sun! He complained, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

 

[25]  The Lord replied, “What right do you have to be angry?” Jonah answered, “I have every right to be angry! Angry enough to die!” God’s response to Jonah was in the form of a question: “That vine grew up in one night and died the next. You did not plant it or take care of it, but yet you’re concerned about it. Now in the city of Nineveh there are more than 120 thousand people who cannot tell right from wrong — not to mention all the animals! Don't you think I should care about them?”

 

The End.

 


 

Resources:

 

Crane, Amy. “Jonah Puppet Lesson Plan: Runaway Jonah.” 2001.

Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. “Jonah – Antioch Arcade.”

2005. Web.  


 

Written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 


If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "Runaway Jonah Learns a Lesson." Jan. 09. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

 

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

 

Jonah

Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Teaching method: Focusing on learning the sequence of the story, create comic strips that tell the story using thumbprints. (Modeled after the book Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book.) [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

 

For scripture, objectives, and background- see above.

 


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • The book Ed Emberley’s Great Thumbprint Drawing Book
  • An easel; appropriate marker
  • A set of pictures that depict the story (see resources)
  • Masking tape
  • Enlarged fingerprints (three copies)
  • “Today’s English Version – Good News” Bibles
  • Story paraphrase: “Runaway Jonah Learns a Lesson” (see previous post above)
  • Comic Strip Basics (see resources)
  • Comics Examples (see resources) several copies to share among students
  • Paper – Bristol board & sheets of scratch paper (one sheet of each per student)
  • Pencils, Colored Pencils, Pens or fine-point markers
  • Rulers
  • Washable ink pads (at least one for every 2 students)
  • Wet wipes


Before Start of Class: fingerprints depict moses plagues

  • Use a copier to enlarge the pictures that depict the story. (Make them large enough to be seen by all the students in the room.)
  • Distribute Bibles around the seats at the table.
  • Write the key Bible verse on the easel. Flip to the next page and hang the fingerprints on the easel paper. Embellish these fingerprints to show how arms & legs & facial expressions can be added. (Refer to Ed Emberley’s book.)

For example: make one fingerprint walking and looking over his shoulder. Add a thought bubble to this fingerprint, saying: “Nineveh! No way!” Over the second fingerprint draw a speech bubble, saying: “Repent or else!” Have this fingerprint be holding his hands up and shouting. Make the third fingerprint be sitting. Add a dark cloud over its head & give it an appropriate facial expression – to demonstrate how Jonah may have been feeling at the end of the story. (Refer to “Comic Strip Basis” – see resources.) Flip the easel paper back to the key verse page. 

Note: the photo at the right shows fingerprints our Art Workshop leader embellished when we used this technique for the story of Moses, Plagues & Passover.

  • Take a look at the individual pictures that depict the story. Notice how the pictures relate to the paraphrase. Create loops of masking tape equal to the number of pictures in the set. Place these loops near where they will be displayed (suggested: a long blank wall).


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Art Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Ask: Has anyone ever given you a second chance? (perhaps a teacher, a parent, etc.)
Why do you suppose you got a second chance? (allow a few responses)

Say: Today we are learning about the story of Jonah. In this story Jonah got a second chance and lots of other people, the people who lived in a city called Nineveh, they also got a second chance.
Ask: What can you tell me about the story of Jonah?

If the students mention a portion of the story for which there is a picture, show them the scene and use a loop of masking tape to attach it to the wall.
[The scenes are numbered. Leave space on the wall to place missing scenes not mentioned by the students.]

Say: These pictures sort of look like they were part of a comic strip. Today we are going to be creating comic strips that tell the story of Jonah. We’ll have a special way to create our comics. Let’s look in the Bible to see if we’ve left anything out of the story.

[Note: Even if kids have told you the entire story have them find the story; it’s good practice.]

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Ask: Where would we find a story in the Bible that takes place many years before Jesus was born? (Old Testament)
Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the books in the Bible are further divided into collections. We find the book of Jonah in the collection known as “Prophets.”

Ask: What is a prophet?
Say: A prophet was a messenger of God.

Make sure that everyone has a “Today’s English Version – Good News” Bible to use.
Have everyone open to the Table of Contents. Point out how the “Prophets collection” starts with Isaiah and includes all the way through Malachi. All these books (with the exception of Lamentations) are names of prophets - messengers of God.

Have everyone find Jonah, chapter 1, in the Bible.
Refer to the heading by chapter 1: “ Jonah Disobeys the Lord.”

Ask: How did Jonah disobey God?
[In the first week kids might not know – just say that they’ll find out when you tell them the story.]
Say: Even prophets, God’s messengers, sometimes didn’t always obey God. Jonah is called a “reluctant” prophet because he was averse to going to Nineveh, an enemy of Israel.

Using the paraphrase, tell the story. As you come to the portion of the story with a picture, refer to it on the wall or hang it up if it’s missing, using loops of masking tape.

After reading "While in the fish, Jonah prayed to God" … have everyone find Jonah chapter 2 and look at the heading: “Jonah’s Prayer.”

Ask: What do you suppose you’d pray for if you were Jonah? (allow a few answers)

Encourage everyone to read Jonah’s prayer at home this week.

Say: Let’s see what happens next. The third heading in our Bible is Jonah Goes to Nineveh.

 

Continue with the paraphrase, pausing after reading: “I’ll just sit here and wait to see what happens to Nineveh.”

Say: The final act in the story is Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion.


Read the rest of the paraphrase.


Start the art project:
Say: Today we will be making comic strips that tell the story of Jonah.

Say: Comic strips tell a story where the focus is on the pictures. Usually, there are very few words. [Show examples of comic strips. Refer to examples or use local newspaper.]

Ask: What are some components that you may want to use in your comic strip? (thought or speech bubbles, action and emotion). [Refer to comic strip basics.]
Can you find these components in the examples we just looked at?

Say: See how each scene is drawn in one box or frame. Note when the artist used a thought bubble. Notice how different actions and emotions are illustrated.

Say: We are going to use a special technique today to create your comic strip. Anyone can do it! It only takes your thumb!

[Show them the 2nd page on the easel. Point out how movement and expression can be added to thumbprints. Point out speech bubbles and thought bubbles and sour expressions! Show them how easy it is to draw emotion referring to page 9 in Ed Emberley’s Great Thumbprint Drawing Book. Pages 15-16 show how to draw action. Pages 31-34 show how to group thumbprints to create different scenes and comic strip characters.]

Say: Here’s the process we’re going to use today. Think about the story I read and the different scenes depicted on the wall. Decide how many frames you will draw and what will happen in each one. If you’re drawing 4 frames, divide your scratch paper into four quarters. Quickly sketch with pencil what happens in each frame. This will be your plan for making your thumbprint comic strip.

[Provide each student with a sheet of scratch paper and pencil. Encourage them to sketch quickly—not adding too much detail to their plans—so they have enough time to embellish their final comic strip. When they have their plans complete, provide them with the ink pads, wet wipes and Bristol board.]

Say: Now that your plans are sketched out you can begin adding the thumbprints to the Bristol Board paper. Apply your thumb to an ink pad and press it on your Bristol board. Make all the thumbprints first before adding detail so the print can dry. Wipe off your thumb when changing colors to keep from mixing colors on the ink pad.

Say: Once your thumbprints are complete and dry, you can add faces, arms, legs and action to your thumbprints using the colored pencils, pens and fine point markers. If they are not quite dry, add your frame titles, thought and speech bubbles before you add detail to the prints themselves.

Discussion: (while the kids are working)
Say: The key bible verse for this story is: “I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” Jonah 4:2d

Ask: How do we know God is gracious and compassionate? (it might be an example from the story or a personal anecdote)

Ask: Who in the story received God’s unfailing love? (Jonah when he was saved from the fish and got a second chance to go to Nineveh; the sailors in the storm; the Ninevites from destruction; Jonah when God gave him a vine to protect him from the sun)

Ask: What do you think Jonah was thinking when he was swallowed by the fish? Was he feeling punished and trapped in the fish? Or was he grateful that he didn’t drown and for the protection the fish provided?

Say: We learn in the story of Jonah, that Jonah prayed a prayer of thanksgiving that he was saved from the depths of the water. His gratefulness led him to go to Nineveh to deliver God’s message when the fish spit him out on dry land.

Ask: How did the Ninevites repent of their wicked ways? (they declared a fast, put on sackcloth, gave up their evil ways and violence and prayed to God)

Ask: What happened to the Ninevites when they repented? (God did not punish them by destroying their city)

Ask: How can we repent? (turn away from the thing that is hurting our relationship with God (sin) , to be sorry for what one has done and to promise not to do it again)

Say: Jonah is the only book in the Bible that ends with a question.
Ask: Why did God ask Jonah “Should I not be concerned about that great city (Nineveh)? (Jonah was angry about the compassion God showed the people of Nineveh)

Say: When God took the vine away from Jonah, he learned that God gives second chances to anyone who repents and has compassion for all people and all of His creation. Isn’t it reassuring to know that God’s love knows no bounds and there is enough for all of us!

Closing:
Say: Let’s close with prayer.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: Our Heavenly Father, the story of Jonah taught us that your love is unfailing and abundant for all. Bless those who were mentioned in prayer requests today. Help us to show your love to others even when we feel they may not deserve it. We pray together the words our Lord taught us to say: Our Father who art in heaven… Amen.

If you have extra time:
Encourage students to embellish their cartoons with color using colored pencils—maybe add background detail and color. Have students swap finished cartoons and share with others in the room.

 


Resources:

 

“Comic Strip Basics.” 2007 (see note below).

Emberley, Ed.Ed Emberley’s Great Thumbprint Drawing Book. Boston: Little Brown, 1977.

Hanson, Jan. “Wilderness Wanderings: Art Lesson.” 2004. (a lesson that uses this art idea.)

Wood, Lynn C. “Art Methods for Story Sequencing.” Rotation.org. 24 May 2004. (original

idea for this lesson)

 

 

Scenes of the story are from: http://www.christart.com/christianbooks/read/4764/4 (Refer to this post to see which pictures were used.)

 

Fingerprints created by doing a Google image search and enlarging them using a copier.

 

 


 

A lesson written by Barbara Hoffman and Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
120 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

 

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hoffman, Barbara and Carol Hulbert. "Jonah: Art Workshop." Jan. 09. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

 

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

 


Note: It has been brought to my attention that the link to the "Comic Strip Basics" no longer works, so this link has been removed.

What was this? It was a graphic that showed how comics could be constructed - it showed and described the purpose of a speech bubble, a thought bubble, a light bulb, a sound effect (like BAM from Batman comics!), and what one can do to illustrate a grumpy mood (like Charles Shultz used in his Peanuts comic strips. Sorry but this is a copyright document so I can not share it.

 

Attachments

Photos (1)

Jonah

Puppets Workshop
 
Summary of Lesson Activities:

Use handle-bag puppets to tell the story of Jonah. Then use the puppets to enact modern-day skits and develop a way for the characters to show compassion. [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

 

For scripture, objectives, and background- see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials

Supplies List:

  • Easel; appropriate marker
  • NRSV Bibles; One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
  • Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
  • A map that shows Nineveh
  • Three handle-bag puppets, a cardboard fish on a paint stick, a worm puppet
  • The puppet stage
  • Scripts – three copies of Act 1; four copies of Act 2; one copy of modern-day skits
  • Props: a long piece of blue fabric; bean bags (5); straws (at least 3); some greenery
  • Scene clapper
  • Tape or thumb tacks? – Something to use to secure the scripts to the back of the puppet stage
  • Highlighter marker (1)
  • Scissors (1)


Before Start of Class:

  • Distribute NRSV Bibles on the seats.
  • Write the key Bible verse on the easel. Also write the word “Compassion.”
  • Highlight the scripts for each character for the Jonah scripts.
  • Figure out how to attach a script to the back of the puppet stage. (So that one person can operate the two sailor puppets.)
  • Cut apart the modern-day skits (or fold the paper so that just one skit shows at a time).


Presentation


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Refer to the easel.
Ask: Who can tell me what the word “compassion” means? (accept a few answers)
Say: Compassion means caring about other people. It means showing loving kindness.
Ask: Have you seen anyone showing compassion this week? What did you see?
[If necessary tell about an experience of compassion that you’ve recently witnessed or experienced.]

Say: Today our Bible story teaches us about how God shows compassion. It’s a story about someone named Jonah, who was a prophet.
Ask: Who can tell me what a prophet is? (a messenger for God)
Say: A prophet delivers messages from God.
Ask: I wonder what delivering messages has to do with compassion? (accept any replies)
Say: Let’s explore our story to find out. Listen for any instances where you see compassion in our story.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Ask: If I told you that Jonah lived a very long time before Jesus was born, where would we find the story in the Bible? (in the Old Testament)

Make sure that everyone has an NRSV Bible to use. Have them open to the Table of Contents. Point out how the list of books in the Old Testament starting with Isaiah, and all the way through Malachi (with the exception of Lamentations), are names of prophets - messengers of God.

Say: If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive the tab for Prophets.
[Show the purple Adventure Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]
Have them find the book of Jonah, chapter one.
Ask a student to read the heading at chapter one: “Jonah Tries to Run Away from God.”

Ask: I wonder why he was trying to run away from God?
Say: God had told Jonah to do something but it was something that Jonah didn’t want to do. That is why we often call Jonah “a reluctant prophet.” Let’s hear what God asked Jonah to do.

Have three students read Jonah 1, verses 2, 3, and 4.

Ask: Why do you suppose that Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh?
[In the first week kids might not know.]
Say: The people of Nineveh had been mean to Jonah’s people. Helping the people of Nineveh would be like helping your enemies. Jonah, being a prophet who worked with God, must have known that there was the possibility that God might have compassion on the people of Nineveh! Jonah did not like that idea.

Show the map. Point out where Jonah would have lived and where Nineveh was. Point out how Tarshish was probably way over in Spain (off the map).
Say: Jonah thought that if he got far enough away from his homeland that he’d be too far away for God to know where he was.
Ask: Do you suppose that is a silly idea? (yes – God is always with us)

Let’s act out the next part of our story using puppets.

Explain how to use the puppets:
Show the students one of the handle-bag puppets.
Say: We can have lots of fun with these puppets but we need to treat them gently. Like all church property, we will be respectful and careful in our use of the puppets.

Show the kids how the “bag” or body, slips off the rod or handle. Show them how you hold the rod with one hand. Now slip the handle through the top of the bag. Show them how one hand is on the handle and the other hand is in the far corner of the bag – it becomes the “hand” of the puppet. Demonstrate how the puppet can wave, cover their puppet mouth to cough, and pick up something. Have the puppet pick up a beanbag.

Enact the story using puppets:
Assign one student to be Jonah and the big fish, two students to control the waves, and one student to operate two “sailor” puppets. Pass out scripts. Point out how the text in italics is stage directions. Attach the sailor’s script to the back of the puppet stage.
Have them enact “Act 1” of the Jonah script while you read the part of the narrator.

Ask: Have you heard any acts of compassion in this story yet? (accept a few answers)
What about Jonah saying that the sailors should throw him overboard?

Say: Jonah was willing to sacrifice his own life so that the sailors could be saved. It is kind of interesting that Jonah would have compassion on the sailors but not on the people of Nineveh.
Ask: Do you suppose God showed compassion because he saved Jonah from drowning?
Say: It may be hard to think of it, but being swallowed by a fish in a way saved Jonah.
After Jonah got out of the fish, once again God told him to go to Nineveh. This time, Jonah went to Nineveh and warned the people.

Ask: Did the people of Nineveh believe Jonah’s message? (yes, they did)

Say: Let’s see how Jonah reacted.

Assign a different student to be Jonah and one to be both the plant and the worm (without any speaking part) and one to be God. You may choose to have a student be the narrator.
Have them enact “Act 2” of the Jonah script.

Discussion:
Ask: Have you heard any more acts of compassion in this story? (God forgiving the people of Nineveh, God providing shade for Jonah)
What about God providing a lesson for Jonah to learn?
What does this story teach us about God? (allow all answers)

Refer to the key Bible verse printed on the easel.
Say: This is what Jonah told God, after God had decided not to harm the Ninevites.
God loves everyone. God is willing to forgive anyone who asks for forgiveness. God does not punish if people repent.
Ask: What does “repent” mean? (to feel regret, to be sorry for what one has done & to promise not to do it again)
Say: God gives people second chances. God is a compassionate God.
Ask: How about us, do we show compassion in our lives towards other people?
Always?
How about towards others who are different that us, or who aren’t easy to love?

Say: Let’s use the puppets to act out some skits that tell modern-day stories. Let’s see if these skits show compassion.

Enact skits using puppets:
Pick students who haven’t had a chance to use the puppets to perform the modern-day skits. Each skit requires two puppets.

Run through a skit. Ask students if any compassion was shown in the skit. Discuss how the ending could change to show compassion in the situation described. If desired, have the students act out the new ending. Do as many skits as there is time for.

Closing:
Say: God loves everyone. God wants to give everyone a second chance, even people we don’t think deserve a second chance. Let’s close in prayer.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, We thank you for the lessons that you teach to us using stories from the Bible. Help us to remember the story of Jonah and to show compassion to others. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

If you have extra time:
Have the students re-enact the Jonah story adding in the other parts not in the scripts.


Resources:

  • G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team at State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. “Jonah The Reluctant Prophet: Art Workshop.” 2005. http://rotation.infopop.cc/eve...6088121/m/9511076891
  • Hunter, Kurt. Puppets, Kids, and Christian Education. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2001.

 

A lesson written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. 
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

 

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "Jonah: Puppet Workshop." Jan. 09. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

 

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

 

Jonah

Cooking Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Make “Jonah’s Jelly Turnover Cookies” to be donated to a program which makes lunches for the homeless. Discuss how Jonah had to turnover to a new way of thinking – that God calls us to be compassionate. [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]

 

For scripture, objectives, and background- see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Parchment paper
  • One large cookie sheet
  • A small sieve
  • Forks - one per child; Spoons – 2
  • Latex gloves used when preparing food- size small
  • Hairnets
  • Plastic (washable) cups with 3” diameter opening (one per student)
  • Bowls – one cereal-sized
  • Jelly –note: for Food Safe Rules this can’t be Jam
  • Cookie dough
  • Aprons
  • Flour
  • Rolling pins
  • Purple Adventure Bibles
  • Powdered sugar
  • Zipper-style sandwich bags (to package cookies)
  • A few zipper-style gallon sized bags (to store baked cookies)



Before Start of Class:

  • Prepare the cookie dough a head of time – it needs to be chill before using.
  • Prepare the kitchen according to the “Food Safe” rules including washing one metal
    table with bleach & water solution. Anything to be used which has not been through the dishwasher needs to be washed in bleach solution (for example: the rolling pins).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Turn on vent fan (switch is to right of refrigerator).
  • Cover one cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator 15 minutes prior to using.
  • Put some of the jelly into the bowl – not much is needed.


 

 

Presentation

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

 

Gather everyone around the tables in the Social Hall. Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Cooking Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Ask: Have you ever been asked to do something by your parents that you didn’t want to do? What did you do to avoid doing the thing asked of you?

Say: The person in our Bible story today was asked by God to deliver a message and he ran away to avoid delivering the message.

Ask: Has anyone heard of Jonah?
Say: Jonah was a messenger of God, a prophet. God asked Jonah to deliver a message to the Ninevites (pronounced Nin-a-vites), people who were enemies of Israel. Jonah is called a reluctant prophet because he boarded a ship headed in the opposite direction to avoid delivering God’s message to the people of Nineveh (pronounced Nin-a-va).

Say: Today in the cooking workshop, we are going to make turnover cookies.
Ask: When you hear the word “turnover” what comes to mind? (cookies with jelly)
Is there another definition that comes to mind?

Say: One of the definitions that the Merriam Webster dictionary gives for turnover is “a turning from one side, place or direction to it’s opposite, a shift, a reversal”.

I would like you to keep the word “turnover” in your mind. Think about how it applies to our Bible story. The cookies you are making today will be added to sack lunches that will be distributed to homeless persons on Saturday morning. While the cookies are baking, we’ll hear in our story about how Jonah felt God’s unfailing love when he got a second chance to tell the Ninevites about God’s forgiveness and compassion. He also learned that God’s compassion is for all people: Israelite and foreigner, rich and poor. We are called to share God’s love with all. We are acting on this commandment today by preparing these cookies for people who have no homes and rely on others for their meals. Let’s go bake and share God’s love!

 

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:

 

Say: Part of the safe food handling practices that the church is required to follow when making food for the homeless is that our hands are well washed and gloved, and our hair is covered.

Put a hairnet or a hat on yourself then show kids the proper way to wash their hands by washing yours – have them soap up while saying the alphabet. Have kids put on a hairnet or a hat and then wash their hands. While kids are waiting to wash have them put on aprons. After washing give the kids gloves to wear.

Say: This morning, your caring preparation of these cookies will touch someone’s life and show them that God cares for them.

Steps to make Jonah’s Jelly Turnover Cookies:

1. Apply flour to work surface.
2. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick.
3. Cut out circles using a plastic cup as a cutter.
4. Place one teaspoon of jelly in the center of each cookie. (You and the shepherd can do.)
5. Fold over into a half circle shape.
6. Press edges together with a fork.
7. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

During cookie assembly, tell the students more about the program that makes and distributes lunches to the homeless.

 

Back to the Social Hall – Discussion:

 

Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the books in the Bible are further divided into collections. We find the book of Jonah in the collection known as “Prophets.”
Ask: What did prophets do? (delivered messages from God)
I wonder what message Jonah received from God?
I wonder who was to receive this message?

Make sure that everyone has an Adventure Bible to use.

Ask: Where would we find a story in the Bible that takes place many years before Jesus was born? (Old Testament).

Have everyone find Jonah in the Bible.
[Suggestion: use the Table of Contents.]

Have everyone open to the introductory page about Jonah. [On page 1003.]

Say: In these Bibles, every book starts with an introduction page.

Have everyone look at the 2nd question: “Why was this book written?”
Ask someone to read the answer. (“Jonah shows Israel that God does not punish if people repent and are sorry for their sins.")

Ask: God does not punish if people repent. What does “repent” mean?
If kids don’t know, encourage them to turn to the dictionary in the back of the purple Bibles – on page 1447: “to turn away from sin; to be sorry for what one has done and to promise not to do it again.”
Say: The Book of Jonah is too long to read today in class. Let’s read together parts of the story that tell us about Jonah and what he learned. Remember to think about turnovers.

Have students take turns reading these verses (or in later weeks of the Rotation ask kids to tell you the story based on the headings in the Bible).

Jonah Flees From the Lord
Ch. 1: 1-4, 11-12, 15-17 (in verse 1: Amittai pronounced uh-MIH-tai)

 

Tell students that chapter 2 is Jonah’s Prayer.

 

Jonah Goes to Nineveh
Ch. 3:3-5, 10

 

Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion
Ch. 4:1-2, 6-8, 10-11

Say: So we just made turnover cookies, and I’d asked you to think about how the word “turnover” applied to our story. We defined turnover as meaning turning in the opposite direction, a shift, or a reversal.

Ask:

  • How did that definition of turnover apply to Jonah? (after being in the fish, he went in the opposite direction toward Nineveh; he changed his mind about telling the Ninevites about repentance and God’s love; he turned over control to God instead of running away)
  • What kind of turnover did the Ninevites experience after Jonah delivered God’s message? (they repented; they fasted and prayed for forgiveness; they stopped their evil ways and began worshiping God.)
  • Did anyone else experience a “turnover” in this story? (the sailors turned to God after they saw that the storm had abruptly ended; God turned over his decision to destroy Nineveh)


Say: Listen to these words that Jonah says to God after God forgave the Ninevites: “I knew that you were a gracious and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.”
Ask: How does this apply to the people of Nineveh?
How does it apply to Jonah?
How do you feel when something good happens to someone who isn’t nice?
Do you feel angry or upset?

Say: Jonah felt that way. Jonah had told the people of Nineveh that God would destroy their city because of their evil ways. The people repented and God did not destroy Nineveh. God wanted Jonah to understand His compassion for the Gentiles, so he provided the vine and took it away to help Jonah see God’s love for His creation. Jonah appreciated the shade the vine provided and was upset when it withered. God pointed out to Jonah that he grieved the loss of the vine which he had not planted, watered nor tended. God used this situation to show Jonah how much more God grieves for this creation including the people and animals of Nineveh.

Ask: How do you think the homeless people who receive the cookies you made know that God is gracious and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love?
Who can you think of that could benefit from hearing Jonah’s story and how God is gracious and compassionate and filled with unfailing love?

Back into the kitchen: (if time allows)

 

After the fact note: We did not have time to do this with our 45 minute class length.
Have the students go back into the kitchen. Wash your hands and glove them. Have the kids watch as you dust the cookies with powdered sugar using a small sieve to apply the sugar. Package the cookies into zipper-style sandwich bags (2 cookies per bag). [Note: If there is a lot of time left over it would be nice to have the kids do this step but they would need to re- wash and re-glove with new gloves.] The cookies will be frozen for future use in homeless folks lunches. Package the individual bags into larger gallon-sized bags and place them in the freezer.

 


Closing:

 

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, we know from the story of Jonah that you care about all of your creation including those special prayer requests made today. Help us to show compassion and love to those who we feel may not deserve it. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”

 

 


Attachment: Recipe - Jonah's Jelly Turnover Cookies
This recipe for turnover cookies is made with your favorite jam, jelly, or preserves, as filling in a cream cheese pastry. We are using jelly because it has a longer shelf life since we are giving these cookies away.

8 oz cream cheese (the lower fat Neufatel cheese worked), softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Cream the cream cheese and the butter together.
Blend in the flour and salt and vanilla.
Chill dough overnight.
[Note: this recipe made about 40 cookies using a 3" cookie cutter.]

Roll out on a floured surface ¼ inch thick and cut out circles with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Place one teaspoon of preserves or jam in the center of each cookie. (It is a good idea to show the students how much one teaspoon really is and then let them use the eating spoons to measure jam. Fold over and press edges together with a fork. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. When cookies are done, dust with powdered sugar using a small sieve to apply the powdered sugar to the cookies. Allow to cool before eating. (Which of course will be definitely happening in our case since the kids won’t be eating them!)




Resources: 

  • The NIV Adventure Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz, 2000.
  • Halley, Henry H. Halley’s Bible Handbook. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1961.

 


A lesson written by Barbara Hoffman and Carol Hulbert from:
First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.
 

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

 

 

 

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