Read about Jonah in Jonah 1 and 2.
Ideas for discussion
- Why did the Lord want Jonah to go to Nineveh? (To tell the people there that they were doing evil things.)
- Why did Jonah disobey the Lord and get on a ship going to another place? (Jonah wanted the Assyrians to be destroyed rather than given an opportunity to turn away from evil and be saved.)
- What happened while Jonah was sleeping on the ship? (The Lord sent a tempest or storm that threatened to break up the ship.) How did the sailors find out who brought this danger to them? (By casting lots.)
- How did the sailors respond when Jonah told them to throw him overboard? (They were very reluctant and first tried every other means of saving the ship and their lives.)
- What was the miracle that saved Jonah’s life? (The Lord prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah and safely bring him back to land. The Lord knows what we are going to do and is always ready to help us.)
- Jonah was permitted to run away from the Lord instead of obeying Him. But his disobedience brought serious consequences and put the sailors in danger. When we are spiritually asleep—pictured by Jonah sleeping on the ship—consequences can help us recognize that what we have done is evil.
- Jonah being thrown overboard and spending time in the belly of the great fish pictures being tempted—being torn between doing what is good or persisting in what is evil. Jonah prayed to the Lord for help, and the Lord caused the fish to put Jonah on land. So, we too, should ask the Lord for help in fighting our temptations.
Read more about this story:
- “How the Lord Saved Jonah” by Kurt Horigan Asplundh (ages 4-6)
A retelling of the story for young children with beautiful color illustrations.
- “The Prophet Jonah” (ages 7-14)
The Lord tried to teach Jonah to be merciful and kind when Jonah disobeyed the Lord because of his hatred toward the Assyrians.
Projects and activities for various ages:
- Jonah Swallowed by a Fish (ages 3-6)
Make a fish that can swallow Jonah and use it to re-enact the story.
- Talk About Jonah Picture (ages 3-6)
The story of Jonah shows us that the Lord takes care of us no matter where we are.
- Jonah Story Strip (ages 4-8)
Make a story strip illustrating four parts of story of Jonah.
- Jonah Song by Christine B. Taylor
“Jonah went to Nineveh, he saved the town of Nineveh, the town was not destroyed.”
- Mighty Tempest on the Sea Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Illustration of the storm that almost broke up the ship when Jonah disobeyed the Lord.
- Paper Bag Fish Puppet (ages 3-7)
Use a paper bag to make a large fish to swallow Jonah.
- Casting Lots Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
The sailors cast lots to find out why the storm threatened the ship.
- Jonah Thrown Overboard Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Shows the sailors throwing Jonah overboard, just as he told them to do.
- Jonah and the Stormy Sea by Leon Rhodes (for ages 8-12)
Color the drawings and then follow the directions to make a 3-dimensional picture.
- Jonah in the Great Fish Coloring Page by Marguerite L. Acton
Illustration of Jonah in the great fish, praying to the Lord.
- Story of Jonah Sequencing Cards (ages 7-10)
Cut apart 7 color pictures then sequence them to tell the story of Jonah and the fish.
- Dramatizing the Story of Jonah (for ages 9-14)
The script is adapted from Jonah 1, 2. Use the readers’ theater technique—letting people read their parts aloud with the script in hand while dramatizing the story.
- Children’s Prayers: Hold My Hand
Prayers about the Lord taking care of us just as He took care of Jonah.
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