I Am Thankful for Fish
To help each child feel gratitude to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for fish and water animals.
- “Fishing pole”—a stick with a string tied to it and a paper clip, piece of tape, or magnet attached to the end of the string.
- Lunch bag
- Fish and bread on the string
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
I am going to tell you are really cool story! Do you think it would be possible to feed 5,000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and two small fish? 5,000 is a lot of people! I only have 4 boys and I don’t think I could feed them with that small amount of food.
Jesus was by the Sea of Galilee. There were 5,000 people there to listen to Him teach. It was dinner time but no one brought anything to eat. Jesus’ disciples wanted Jesus to send the people to the nearest village to buy food. Jesus instead told the disciples to see if anyone had brought food with them. The disciples found a boy who had food. Let’s look inside his bag and see what he had to eat.
The boy had five loaves of bread and two small fish.
The disciples gave the food to the people. There was more than enough for everyone.
What did Jesus do when the people were hungry?
What did Jesus feed the people?
Five Little Fishes
Have five children stand in front of the class, each holding a paper fish.
Five little fishes were swimming in the brook.
One swam away to a secret nook (one child “swims” back to his or her seat).
Little fishes, little fishes, happy at play,
Little fishes, little fishes, swim all day.
Sing another verse with four fish, then three, then two. One child swims away each verse. When only one child remains, use the following verse:
One little fishie was swimming in the brook;
He [or she] swam away to a secret nook.
Little fishie, little fishie, happy at play,
Little fishie, little fishie, swim all day.
Heavenly Father asked Jesus Christ to create fish and other water animals
We have been talking about when Jesus created the earth
for us. Everything on the earth was created according to Heavenly Father’s plan. Do you remember what Jesus created on the first day?
On the first day Jesus made the light. He called it day. He made the dark. He called it night.
Do you remember what Jesus created on the second day?
The second day Jesus divided the water. Some water was on the earth. Some water was in the clouds in the sky.
What did Jesus make on the third day?
Jesus made the grass and the trees and all the plants grow. Heavenly Father and Jesus wanted to make the earth beautiful with trees, plants, and flowers.
What did Jesus create on the fourth day?
The fourth day Jesus made the sun. He made the moon and the stars.
Today we are talking about the fifth day.
On the fifth day Jesus put fish in the water. Today we are going to talk about the fish. Fish are a part of Heavenly Father’s plan for the earth. Heavenly Father had Jesus create fish and water animals for us to use for food
and other purposes.
Have you ever seen a fish? Let the children talk about fish they have seen. Talk about different kinds of fish, such as goldfish, trout, tuna, sharks, or whatever fish might be familiar to the children in the class.
What other animals live in water besides fish? Talk about frogs and turtles and where they live. Also talk about whales, crabs, seals, and other water animals.
Some water animals live in the ocean, some in lakes, and some in rivers.
A long time ago there was a man named Jonah
. Heavenly Father wanted Jonah to be a missionary to a group evil people that lived in a place called Nineveh.
Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh! So instead of going to Nineveh and listening to God, Jonah ran away. He ran to the sea and found a Sea Captain
who was willing to take him far far away from Nineveh.
Jonah went to the bottom of the ship and fell asleep; he was tired from all the running. Jonah wasn’t on the ship very long before a horrible storm started crashing into the ship. The sea captain woke up Jonah and said, “How can you be asleep? Get up and start praying!”
Jonah knew that the storm was his fault. The Lord was angry with him and had caused the storm. He told them that the Lord wanted him to do something that he did not want to do. Do you remember what the Lord wanted him to do? Jonah told the sailors to throw him overboard and the storm would end. The sailors did not want to throw him over board; they decided that they would try rowing the boat to land. This did not work. The storm just got worse. Finally, they knew they had no choice. They threw Jonah over board.
Do you know what happened next? Yep, the storm immediately calmed and the water became perfectly still, not even a little ripple. The men in the boat realized the Jonah’s God was the true God.
As the Captain and his crew looked out of the calm sea, they saw a huge fish
come and swallow Jonah up! God sent the huge fish so Jonah would not drown in the sea. Jonah was in the fish’s belly for three days.
What do you think it would be like in a fish’s belly? It would probably be really gross! It would be dark because there are no windows in a fish’s belly and then the smell! It would be really gross and probably really scary. Jonah had no idea how long he would be in the fish’s belly.
What would you do if you were trapped in a fish’s belly? What do you think that Jonah did while he was in the fish? Jonah asked the Lord to forgive him for running away. He also thanked the Lord for not letting him drown.
On the third day the Lord answered Jonah’s prayers. The Lord answered Jonah’s prayers and the huge fish threw Jonah up and on to dry land. Jonah was so happy to be out of the fish!
To show the Lord that he was truly sorry and that he had repented, Jonah headed to Nineveh. Jonah told the people of Nineveh all about him running away, the storm and the huge fish.
Who sent the big fish to swallow Jonah?
What did Jonah do when the fish swallowed him?
What did Jonah do when he got out of the fish?
Did the people believe Jonah and repent?
Some fish are very large, like the fish that swallowed Jonah, and some are very small and can even live in a bowl.
Help the children do the following finger play:
My darling little goldfish hasn’t any toes (touch toes).
He swims around without a sound and bumps his hungry nose (point to nose).
He can’t get out to play with me, nor I get in to swim (make swimming motions).
And when I say, “Come out and play,”
He seems to say, “Come in” (motion “come in” with hand).
Peter was a fisherman. He and his brother Andrew had a successful fishing business.
They were partners with
James and John, who were also brothers. They had been fishing all night, but their nets came up empty—not even one fish. That morning Peter, Andrew, James, and John returned from catching nothing, no fish at all! They were on the shore of Galilee cleaning and repairing their nets.
Jesus Christ was teaching a crowd of people who had followed Him there.
Jesus stepped into Peter’s boat and asked him to push out from the shore. Jesus continued to teach the people from the boat.
After His sermon was finished, He told Peter to launch out into the deep and cast his net that it might be filled. Peter told Jesus it was useless there were no fish. They had been fishing all night without even a nibble. But he and Andrew obeyed Jesus and lowered the net into the water. When they pulled it up, it was filled with fish!
In fact, it was so full that Peter had to ask James and John for help so that the boat wouldn’t sink. There were so many fish it filled both boats!
They knew that Jesus Christ had made this happen.
Why did Jesus get into Simon Peter’s ship?
What did Jesus tell Simon Peter to do?
What did Simon Peter catch in his net?
Tie string or yarn to a stick or dowel rod to make a fishing pole. Tie a strong magnet on the end. Put a paperclip on each fish. Show the class the fishing pole you have prepared, and invite one of the children to come up and fish. Let each child have a turn fishing.
After every child has had a turn fishing let them color the fish and take it home to show their families.
Let the children talk about times they have been fishing or have eaten fish.
Express your appreciation for fish and water animals.
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