Use this preteen Sunday school lesson for Thanksgiving to help kids be thankful for the bodies God gave them.
1. Body Graffiti-*Say: Today, we’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving by celebrating a gift that God has given us every day-our bodies.
Write the letters T-H-A-N-K-S on separate sheets of paper. Have children think of parts of their bodies (both internal and external) that begin with each letter and write those words by the appropriate letter. Remind kids to keep their body part selections clean. Bring the group together and read the graffiti. Then write the words to Psalm 139:14 on a large sheet of newsprint or a chalkboard. Have children take turns reading the verse four times.
2. Body Exchange-Form pairs. Give each child a 3X5 card. Have each person write one body part from the graffiti board on his or her card. The object of the game is to see how many cards can be exchanged within five minutes. On “go,” children say, “If I didn’t have a (body part on the card), I’d need you to ( ) for me.” For example, kids may say “If I didn’t have eyes, I’d need you to see for me.” Then have them trade cards and find new partners. When finished, have them sit down and tell which body parts they’re most thankful for and why.
3. Show Me-Form four groups. Have each group take a section of Psalm 139:14. Have each group mime its section in sequence until the entire group can say the verse from memory.
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. Thankful Prayers-Have children think about how they were helped during this class because of the way someone else used his or her body. Then have children thank those people for using God’s gift of their bodies for service. Have each child tell how he or she can pass the same kind of blessing on to someone else.
Close in prayer, thanking God for the gift of healthy bodies.
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.
Also check out these 22 Thanksgiving ideas for Sunday school!