Bible lesson that shows kids the real meaning of
1. Ahoy, Mate-Create a Mayflower boat by
turning a table in your room upside down. Have kids crowd onto
Once kids are on the "Mayflower", pass around a Bible and have
kids take turns reading the verses from Numbers 33 until the entire chapter is read.
Ask: How would it feel to have to ride on a boat like this for one
day? one week? several months?
Say: "A long time ago, the Pilgrims had to ride in
boats and endure crowded conditions to get to America. They were
coming to America so they could worship Christ the way they wanted,
rather than the way the Church of England said they had to. The
Pilgrims had been through political and religious persecution, a
long and difficult boat trip, an unknown land and weather, and
getting to know new people."
2. Land, Ho!-Have kids get off the boat. Form
two groups. Assign one group to be the "similarities" group and the
other group to be the "differences" group. Have groups each reread
Numbers 33 and note the similarities or
differences between the Israelites' journey and the Pilgrims'
journey. Encourage kids to imagine what the conditions would've
been like for the Israelites and the Pilgrims. Have kids report
Ask: "What difficult things do you have to deal with in
your life? How are your problems like or unlike the Pilgrims'
Say: "On the first Thanksgiving, what did the Pilgrims
have to be thankful for? What things has God given us that the
Pilgrims never had? What do you have to be thankful for this year
4. Joy for the Journey-(Supplies: A clean,
empty baby food jar for each child; paper, scissors, paint pens,
fine-tipped markers, and joke books.) Read aloud Proverbs 15:15.
Ask: Who are some people you know who are going through a difficult
journey in life, such as people who are sick, hurting, lonely, or
struggling? We're going to make Joy Jars for these people to help
them have happy hearts.
Have kids decorate their jars with paint pens. Then have them
search for and write jokes on paper slips, using markers. Kids can
fill their jars with the jokes. Encourage kids to deliver their
jars to someone who's experiencing a tough time and needs God's joy
at Thanksgiving time.
Allergy Alert: Some children have food allergies that can be
dangerous. Know your children, and consult with parents about
allergies their children may have.
5. Snack-Food for Thought: You'll need: Plain
popped corn, salt, butter-flavored salt, sugar, cinnamon, Parmesan
cheese, and bowls.
Directions: Give each child a bowl of plain
popcorn. Tell children that the American Indians and Pilgrims ate
corn in many different ways, such as corn-on-the-cob, soup, bread,
and even popcorn! Have children put their choice of seasoning on
their popcorn, or eat it plain.
Thanksgiving lesson for GRADES
Kenn Gorman is a children's minister in Wenatchee,
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