This is a broad category of resources and ideas related to Stewardship, Thanksgiving, etc. If you already have a special story in mind, look it up in our Bible Story Forums. For example, you will find many more stewardship ideas in the Parable of the Talents and Widow's Mite forums.

Thanksgiving Lessons & Ideas

Hi everyone!!
Thanks for all the great lessons on this site. This will be the first year for rotation at our church and I'm SOOOO excited!!! I wanted to start it last summer, but we had no takers, so we let it die a peaceful death. Now we're undergoing a HUGE building project that will leave us with no Sun. School rooms for the entire school we're kind of "forced" to do the rotation method since it's a bit more flexible than traditional Sunday School. I'm THRILLED about that!!! Now people will get a taste for how it works and hopefully will get excited about it as well.

Anyway...wondering if anyone has any great ideas, lessons, suggestions, etc, about rotation workshops for Thanksgiving. Any help would be appreciated!!


Please add your Thanksgiving ideas below......

Original Post

We too are beginning a rotation this fall. We are also doing a Thanksgiving unit.
General ideas:
  Art: We will be doing leaf & veggie prints. Topic thanksgiving for God's creation - nature.
  Music: We will learn to sing & sign, "I will enter his gates with thanksgiving.."
  Drama: We will be doing a "voice over" mime of the indians & pilgrims first meeting.

More thanksgiving ideas moved here to consolidate topic...

posted October 13, 2004

Ok, I am in the process of putting together our Parent's Day Out. Last year we focused on the story of Christmas.. This year we would like to focus on Thanksgiving...

We have already had the story of Jesus and the Lepers (feeding of 5000 is in Novemeber)... Does anyone out their have any ideas what stories would go along with Thanksgiving? I am stumped!

Nancy F
Sunday Kids Club Director
Grace Lutheran Church
Streamwood, IL

posted October 14, 2004

When I think of giving thanks, I think of the Psalms.  Perhaps one of these focuses on a Thanksgiving Psalm.

You could also explore some of the festivals from the Old Testament. There is a nice chart in my NIV study Bible (in Leviticus). Several feast days that seem appropriate to Thanksgiving are First Fruits (Lev. 23), Weeks/Harvest/Pentecost (Lev 23), and Tabernacles/Booths (Lev 23).

posted October 14, 2004

I would also suggest looking at some of the Thanksgiving hymns for ideas; lots of good images can be found in those.

Also, I like using Veggie Tales "Madame Blueberry" with young children when talking about being thankful. Adults often enjoy the humor too.

Jan Snell  

Hilary S.
posted October 15, 2004

We just celebrated Thanksgiving up here in Canada! The preacher for last Sunday focused on the "giving" part of the word. Perhaps you could build a day around this aspect of our Xian life. Jesus is the complete and ultimate example of "giving". I think you could take it in any number of directions: examining biblical characters who give their all (widow's mite, the disciples response to Jesus' call, Jesus responses to money, tithing, outreach at the local, national or international level, contemporary servants of the Lord (famous or within your own community).
Hope this helps.

posted October 21, 2004

several years ago I found the Story of the Five Ears of Corn (Moderator thinks it should have said "Story of the Five Kernels of Corn"). I made up a little insert and found some very, very small plastic bags and put five pieces of corn (which I bought loose at the feed store) in the bags and stapled them to the insert. I don't remember where I found this but if you do a search on the Net it should lead you to it.

Moderator update - found this link to Five Kernels of Corn First Thanksgiving Story https://itsaboutthem.wordpress...-thanksgiving-story/ if this link no longer works try a search using the words "thanksgiving 5 (or five) kernels.

Here's an activity for Thanksgiving Cooking:

Activity: "Seeds of Thanks"

You will be making "dirt" (choc pudding with crushed oreo cookies) to plant seeds (candy corn) of thanks.
Supplies: Instant chocolate pudding, Oreo cookies (3 per child),Plastic baggies (1 per child, plastic spoon (1 per child)Popsicle sticks, Milk, 5 candy corn per child,Candy pumpkins
Each child will have a small bowl (with their name on it) and popsicle stick, a sealed baggie with 3 cookies in it to start out with. First have them crush their cookies. Set aside. Pour ½ cup of milk in each bowl. Add ¼ cup of pudding. Have children stir until all lumps are gone. Pour their "dirt" on top. Then ask them each to say some things they are thankful for. Give them a candy corn for each thing they tell you, until they all have 5. You can speed it up and give all 5 at once if you need to, but encourage them to talk! They can then "plant" their "seeds of thanks" in their pudding. Push them in with their fingers. Top off with a candy pumpkin or two if you have enough. Place in the refrigerator to set. Leave them there to chill while you do the reinforcer activity.
Reinforcer activity: (From Childrens' Ministry website)
5 Kernels
Preparation: For each child, you'll need five kernels of candy corn in a sandwich bag tied closed with a fall-colored ribbon. Words printed out on a card for each bag.
The Message: The first winter the pilgrims spent in America was very cold. Some days, all they had was enough for each person to have only five kernels of corn.
When spring came, the pilgrims planted their corn and it grew so they had a lot of food the next year. From that time on at Thanksgiving, the pilgrims each kept five kernels of corn at their plates to remind them of God's provision.

(Give each child a bag of candy corn.) This candy corn reminds us of the meaning of Thanksgiving also. (Hold up each kernel as you read the following.)

  • The first kernel reminds us that God loves us.
  • The second kernel reminds us that God provides for all our needs.
  • The third kernel reminds us of the friends God has given us-just as the American Indians were friends to the pilgrims.
  • The fourth kernel reminds us of all the people God has given us who love us.
  • And the fifth kernel reminds us that God hears our prayers and answers us.

Let's pray. God, thank you for providing for all our needs and for loving us. We love you. Amen.
Have the children take these home to their families.
Time to eat your dirt!!!

Additional posts to tie to this topic...

Posted October 02, 2006

I just finished "writing" our Thanksgiving rotation for the next six weeks! I'm very excited about it. Since our drama section is pretty flexible in what we do, I opted to have the teacher read the book The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs and then help the children carve a pumpkin as it shows in the book! Then I also looked up different ways to say "thank you" in several different languages. I think the children will really like this! Hope that gives some of you another idea!

Posted January 13, 2009

Lesson plans for Thankfulness – Week of November 9th and November 16th

Nov. 9

  • Lighthouse Café: Will put together a cookbook of faithful generation recipes. I will get all families to bring recipe in and this class will put it together. I will later photocopy the whole project and distribute. Book – Rag Coat
  • Mission Possible: Courts of the King games and string web games
  • Holywood: Storytelling – will give story stems and children will act out, write a Thanksgiving blessing – learn Thanksgiving songs – Read book Follow Your Dream
  • Creation Station: Apple Cinnamon Sugar Dip – set a Thanksgiving table. Read Stone Soup.
  • Special Assignments: Thanksgiving Poem Placement. Read Henry’s Song

    Nov. 16
  • Lighthouse Café: Stone Soup – will get the children to bring in soup ingredients
  • Mission Possible: Attitude is Gratitude – presents will be on the floor – they will be empty inside except for colorful strip of paper. Kids must refill box with gifts they have abstract or real written on paper
  • Holywood: Giving Tree – prepared lesson plan
  • Creation Station: Seeds of Thanks project – you will be making dirt – chocolate pudding with crushed oreo cookies – has accompanying lesson plan
  • Special Assignments – Thanksgiving potholder craft

    Books to be used are Stone Soup, Giving Tree, The Rag Coat, Henry’s Song, and I’m Thankful Each Day

I was having a hard time finding Thanksgiving lessons and activities until someone reminded me about the Healing of the Ten Lepers. Thank you!

Last year I also found a great story and skit on this site about the first Thanksgiving and the gift of Squanto the Native American
It is not a Bible story, but is a true story of the first Thanksgiving which was a religious thanks giving.

We decided to UPDATE the story to our time....  who are the gift-givers to us?  Who and what should we offer thanksgiving to God for?


Blessings Mix 

Bugles: Shaped like a cornucopia or Horn of Plenty, a symbol of our nation's abundance. 

Pretzels: Arms folded in prayer, a freedom sought by those who founded our country. 

Candy corn: Sacrifices of the Pilgrims' first winter. Food was so scarce that settlers survived on just a few kernels of corn a day. 

Nuts or seeds: Promise of a a future harvest, one we will reap only if seeds are planted and tended with diligence. 

Dried fruits: Harvest gifts of our bountiful land. 

M&Ms: Memories of those who came before us to guide us to a blessed future. 

Hershey's Kiss: The love of family and friends that sweetens our lives.

original post by Dianesf

Charlie Brown

We are doing special rotations for Thanksgiving Sunday and will be showing the movie "This is America Charlie Brown - The Mayflower Voyagers" as our movie rotation. It is full of historical facts and inspiring faith in God, and will remind our kids of our rich heritage.It is 24 minutes long. We will also be using the "seeds of thanks" and "blessings mix" posted here as our cooking rotation. 



2016 - Moderator notes this video can be found under Special Features (extras) on the DVD - "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Remastered Deluxe Edition", 883929006489.

Thoughts and a craft idea for

1. Horn of Plenty, aka, "Cornucopia"

2. Making a Cornucopia with a  "Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow" never ending ribbon.

Important Background to Share

Cornu meaning "horn" and Copia meaning "plenty" in Latin (Roman). The tradition of the "horn of plenty" comes from the Greeks and is found in one of their myths. As the story goes, Hercules broke the horn off of a god he was battling who had transformed himself into a ram. After the battle he gave it to his defeated enemy as a peace-offering gift which never ran out.  The symbol found its way into Israel and was found in various forms on coins and tombs.  According to the Bible, ritual horns were also used as signals to begin holy days, as warnings, and to make announcements from heaven.

In the USA, we use the "Cornucopia" image at Thanksgiving to symbolize "abundance." We seem to have lost its original meaning of "never running out" and peace-offering.  (In the craft suggestion below, that's why I'm adding the "never ending ribbon" to the project.)

Related ancient traditions include the use of "drinking horns," to toast or pledge loyalty with. These various traditions are not unlike the use of the ritual "cup of blessing" used at Passover, which Christ used at the Last Supper. Christ's gift in this sacrament never runs out.

I'm reminded of a similar "cornucopia at the well" when Jesus says to the woman, "whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  A peace-offering indeed.

Cornucopia Craft Project 

Here's a cornucopia made using colored foam sheets which are better than construction paper because they look more substantial, and won't tear or fade.   It can serve as a Thanksgiving centerpiece and family devotional.


Tips  A teacher with a hot glue gun dispensing dabs of glue to fix items on the cornucopia will speed up the process and make the foam adhere much faster than white glue.

Tip: Add a blank "fruit or two" on the cornucopia that kids can invite parents to fill in at the table.

How to add a "never ending ribbon of blessing" to the cornucopia

The addition of a ribbon loop that can be pulled from the cornucopia helps reinforce the corncupia's original "never-ending" meaning. In addition to the typical things kids are thankful for (pets, grandmas, etc), it becomes a place to record things of Godly importance.

How to:  On a 12-16" ribbon, students write a scripture verse and series of "things God never runs out of" (Love, forgiveness, salvation, help,)  Then they cut a slot in the "mouth" of the cornucopia and slide the ribbon in it. STAPLE the ends of the ribbon together to form a loop. The "endless" ribbon can now be pulled as if it is coming out of the cornucopia -revealing the blessings which continue to flow.  Add the phrase, "Praise God from Whom All Blessing Flow" (from the Doxology).

Tip: Allow students to select a thanksgiving verse. Here's a collection of them at (there are many such collections online). Print the verses and let kids pick one to put on their cornucopia or ribbon.  For non-readers, write the line from the Doxology.


Photos (1)

Here is a cute idea for a Thanksgiving/gratitude lesson, especially with younger children:

How to make it here:

A great project to use for a jumping off point for a conversation about what we are thankful for!



Photos (1)

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