Introductory Activity – Scrambled Words
Materials: paper, pencils
On large pieces of paper, print these scrambled words: hjoan; nnvieeh; hifs; ogd; wllawos; lelt; eenprt. Scatter the words around the room (on the floor or taped to the wall). Give each kid a piece of paper and a pencil. Tell kids to try and unscramble the words. They can work alone or with friends. After a few minutes, talk about the words. (Jonah, Nineveh, fish, God, swallow, tell, repent) Tell kids that these words will be key words in the Bible story.
Live It Out
Game – Big Fish
Materials: box, scissors or craft knife, table tennis balls
Cut an arch in the box to resemble the open mouth of a big fish. Add details to make your box look like a fish if you choose.
Group the kids into teams. Teams can alternate turns in rolling balls, trying to get them inside the fish’s mouth. When a team rolls a ball into the fish’s mouth, ask a review question. Award points for correct answers. Say the Life Point and talk about God’s love and forgiveness.
Craft – Story Tower
Materials: index cards, markers, scissors
Give each kid several index cards. Guide a kid to print the story title on a card. She can print facts about the story on the other cards. Help the kid cut two slits in the title card, from the bottom up. Then she can slide a card into each slit (perpendicular to the first card) and stand up the cards. She can cut slits in those two cards and slide in other cards to make a story tower. Talk about the story and the Life Point.
Introductory Activity – Spell and Sit
Lead kids to stand in a circle. Tell them to pass the beanbag around the circle, spelling Jonah’s name. The first kid will say the first letter and pass the bean bag; the next kid will say the second letter and pass the bean bag; and so on. The kid who says the last letter of the name will pass the bean bag and sit down. The next kid starts spelling at the beginning again. Continue until only one kid is standing. Say that the kids will hear a story about Jonah today.
Live It Out
Game – Odd Man Out
Materials: chairs, one for every kid but one; Life Point printed on paper squares, one letter per card; bag; music
Mix the letters of the Life Point and put them in a bag. Say the Life Point. Place the chairs in a circle and play a game like musical chairs. Play music while kids walk around the chairs. Stop the music in an unexpected place. All the kids should try to sit down. Ask the kid without a chair to pull a letter from the bag. Place the letter on the wall. Start the music again. Repeat. As more letters added, try to place the letter in the correct position. To maintain interest, remove 1-2 other chairs and ask all children with no chair to pull letters. When the Life Point is complete, talk about God’s ultimate forgiveness for people.
Craft – Life Point Reminder
Materials: white construction paper, thin-line permanent markers, watercolor paints, cups of water, paintbrushes
Talk about the Bible story and say the Life Point. Guide a kid to print the Life Point on a piece of white construction paper. She can add other designs with the markers. She can paint over the design with watercolors. Talk about God’s forgiveness of people as she continues to make her reminder. Suggest she place the reminder in her room or other location to remember that the God loves and forgives people.