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Thankful for our Bodies: Grades 1 to 3

Bobbie Bower

1. Make-A-Body-*Say: Today, we're going to celebrate Thanksgiving by celebrating a gift that God has given us every day-our bodies.

Give each child a sheet of paper. Have each child draw a gingerbread-cookie-type person and then draw arrows from different parts of the body to the outer rim of the paper. From the head, have them write words that describe what they like to learn about. From the hands, things they like to do. From the feet, places they like to go. From the stomach, things they like to eat, and so on.

2. Hopping-Popping Thanks-Read aloud Psalm 139:14. Help the children better understand this verse by using their bodies to express the information on their gingerbread cookie papers. Have children think about kernels of popcorn. As it gets to just the right heat, each kernel bursts open into popcorn, but the kernels don't do it all at the same time. Invite children to burst open with their answers as each part of the body is mentioned.

*Say: We thank God for our minds to think about... Have children jump up at different times and respond. After all the children have popped up and answered, go to the next body part.

3. Body Benders-Have children lie on the floor. Encourage them to imagine what it would be like if their bodies could not bend. Have them do these actions without bending any part of their bodies: get up, walk, talk, run, and sit down. Reread Psalm 139:14 at least four times.

4. Snack-You'll need: For every four children, you'll need a one-quart jar with a tight-fitting lid, 1 3/4 cups milk, and one small package of vanilla instant pudding. You'll also need small cups and spoons.

Directions: Put the milk and instant pudding in the jar and close it tightly. Have children pass the jar around the circle and shake it until it becomes pudding. This usually takes around three to five minutes. Encourage students to think about how they're using their bodies to help each other. Serve the pudding in small cups.

5. Circle of Thanks-Form a circle and have children link arms. Have kids say in unison, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made!" Then have children raise their hands and close in a prayer of thanks for the wonderful bodies God has given us. End with a group amen!

Bobbie Bower is a children's ministry consultant in Kansas.

TEACHER TIP
You may have children with physical disabilities in your class. If you do, be sensitive to their feelings of not having perfect bodies. Help them focus on all the parts of their bodies-internally and externally-that work perfectly. Encourage them to thank God for these parts of their bodies.

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