Friday, October 30, 2009

Sunday School on Friday – Jonah and the Whale

jonah and the whale We finally got around to doing another Bible story with actual activities to go with it.  We’ve been reading the stories and talking about them, but I’ve just been completely out of creative ideas to go with any of them.
And, just an FYI, with Advent beginning soon I’ll be preparing for a daily (quick) Bible story with M up to Christmas.  After that we’ll try to get back in the swing of things with a weekly story… my current plan is to start with creation and go from there.  This is what we’ll be doing in Advent too, but after Christmas (or possibly New Year’s) we’ll take more time to do some crafty things on a weekly basis for each story.  Gosh, I hope that makes sense.  My mommy-brain needs some serious sleep. :)
So, last week we talked about Jonah.  Good old Jonah, who is a lot like M in many ways… mainly in the saying “No” way and running the other direction when asked to do something. ;) 
We read two books about whales throughout the week, and the first time we read them I casually mentioned Jonah and his *adventure*.  M was fascinated.  He hadn’t really learned about whales yet, and loved hearing how big some of them can be and that they don’t chew up their food, they just swallow it whole.  Gulp!  For whatever reason, he found this fact astounding.  And Jonah getting spit out?!  Well, you can imagine how cool he thought that was. :) 
imageThe first book was Whales by Gail Gibbons – an excellent book for learning facts about these creatures.
imageThe second book was Baby Beluga, by Raffi.  You have probably heard this song… the book is basically the song with illustrations.  This one was also well-liked. 
Then we read the story of Jonah from our favorite toddler Bible:image
And I just (today) found this flannel board set:imageIf you are interested, click on the picture and it will take you to the site.  The pictures are about halfway down the page.  I’m going to make this for M so he can “do” the story on his flannel board.   Of course I searched high and low for something to make at the time we were actually talking about this story and couldn’t find anything… this would have been (and will be) perfect!
Our craft was so much fun for M.  He LOVED it.  I can’t stress that enough.  I thought it was so simple that I would be lucky to get his cooperation for the whole thing, but he really, really loved it! (I like it when that happens!) 
First, he did some color mixing – periwinkle blue and a tiny amount of yellow to make a sea-green (pretend it’s sea-green, ok?) background.  He painted this onto a piece of white cardstock with a square piece of sponge:jonah and the whale (4)
I found a coloring page here, printed it on cardstock and cut the whale out.  M colored Jonah with a crayon.  Then he mixed white and purple paint and painted the whale and an oval piece of cardstock that I had cut out.jonah and the whale (2)
We let everything dry overnight.  The next day he glued the whale to the sea background, and we attached the oval to the center of the whale with a paper fastener.  This is the whale’s flipper.  I know most whales don’t have flippers right there but this one does.jonah and the whale Matthew asks everyone who enters our house, “Do you wanna see Jonah in the big whale?!?” and he flips up the flipper and there sits Jonah, on his knees praying, just waiting to be spit out. :) 
Jonah did the right thing in the end and did what God asked him to do, but I’m not entirely sure that lesson made it’s way into M’s brain exactly the way I hoped it would.  However, I would say this story definitely made an impression on him, and he really does like it – a lot.  And hopefully, eventually he’ll understand the moral of the story too. :)
Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. Love your ideas! We did a lesson on Jonah a few months ago. A few weeks ago my daughter disobeyed something I told her to do. I told her she didn't obey and I was very disappointed in her. She said, "I disobeyed like Jonah." It was so thrilling to me that she understood the lesson. It was great!

  2. These are great activities. My girls really like to use story characters to retell a story. We used to read a scripture story and make the characters every Sunday but haven't done that in awhile. You have inspired me to do it again!

  3. I love your Jonah ideas! I need to go look up Daniel because that's who we'll be studying next.

  4. We also read and enjoyed these two books during our ocean study in the summer. We did a whale day with paper bag whale craft that Anna enjoyed. Your Jonah craft is pretty nice too, and it's neat that M enjoyed it so much. I love it when it happens.


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