April 17– May 15, 2005

Good News



Scripture:  Book of Jonah


Memory Verse: “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15 NSRV


Offering: Haven House which provides a multitude of programs that have helped thousands of young people and their families overcome problems and become productive members of the community.



  • Even if we don’t understand God’s purpose, we should still obey. 
  • God has power over all of nature.
  • Jonah was a reluctant prophet and had trouble accepting God’s mercy and love for his enemies.
  • God wants everyone to turn to God and know God.



1.     Students will learn from the Bible that it is easier to obey than to disobey.

2.     God has a plan and his plan always works out the way he intends – we must learn to be patient.

3.     Learn more about forgiveness and how important it is for all of us to forgive and/or ask for forgiveness.

4.     Make a “forgiveness” bracelet. 



Welcome and Introductions:

1.   Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.

2.   Explain that today’s lesson on Jonah’s life will focus on how we need to follow his lessons and learn to ask for forgiveness. 

3.   Have them to stand and recite the memory verse – you may want to have it posted on the wall for the ones who have not memorized it yet.  (If you want to reward the children who have memorized it please provide a sticker or treat.)

4.   Lead the children in an opening prayer. 


Scripture/Bible Story:

Read Jonah’s Prayer Jonah 2: 1-10 – You can read or have the children volunteer to read verses. 



  1. Let them know they will be making stoplight bracelets as you tell the story of Jonah. 
  2. Review the story several times – practice out loud so you will be a super storyteller!
  3. Have the beads, yarn and stoplight near by as you begin the story.  You will need black yarn cut into 10 inch lengths to make a bracelet for each child.  You will need colored beads – red, yellow and green for the children.
  4. Begin by asking the children as they are seated in a circle, to share a story or experience about times they were forgiven or said “I’m sorry” to someone? Encourage the older children to share how it felt when they apologized to others.
  5. You say: We all do and say things that we need God’s forgiveness.  God is willing to forgive us if we do three important things.  In today’s Bible story about Jonah, we will learn what those three things are. I want you to listen as we hear the story and make stoplight bracelets to remind us of God’s forgiveness. 
  6. Use the story Jonah’s Stoplight and directions provided at the end of lesson plan.


Reflection Time:

Pass out the journal pages. If you need guiding questions there are a few provided. 


Younger children -   How would you react if someone took your favorite toy?  How would you react if you heard a neighborhood friend use language that is not appropriate in your house?  How do you ask for forgiveness?


Older children – What would you do if someone cheated off of your paper at school?  How would you react to someone if they hit you on the school bus?  How did you forgive a friend recently? 


At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.



Prayer: Suggestion for the closing prayer.  Dear God, we know that each day we do wrong.  Please forgive us.  Help us to pay attention to what is right and to listen to others who want to help us.  We thank you for loving us and forgiving us when we ask.  Amen.


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.     Review the story and practice so you are familiar with the story and be a super storyteller.

3.     Create a poster containing the memory verse. 

4.     Make the parts of the Jonah stop light.  

5.     Create the 10 inch length yarn bracelets for the children using the supplies provided.

6.     Prepare an opening prayer for your lesson.


Supply List

Ø     Journal Pages

Ø     Yarn and beads

Ø     Stop light components: black poster board, red, yellow and green poster board circles.

Ø     Memory Verse posted



Lori Houck, Kirk Faith Quest Bible Study Leader    

Kids –Tell ‘em Bible Stories – Susan Lingo Standard Publishing Cincinnati, Ohio 1999


Jonah’s Stoplight


God spoke to Jonah.  God told Jonah to got the city of Nineveh and warn the people that they were doing all kinds of evil things that were not pleasing to Him.  Did Jonah obey God?  NO – Jonah ran away – trying to hide from God.  He ran and hid in a dark place on a boat.  [Tape the black poster board to the wall and hand each child a piece of black yarn or cord.] Jonah tried to hide from God, but God always knows where we are.  The boat set sail.  During the night God sent a terrible storm and the boat began to toss back and forth scaring the sailors.  The sailors were afraid and so was Jonah.  Jonah began to think that he had caused this trouble for the sailors – so he told them what he had done and that they should throw him over board.  The sailors did not want to kill Jonah but they were afraid of the storm and of dying so – KERSPLASH! They threw Jonah over the railing into the raging sea.  As he began to sink to the bottom of the dark sea, a huge fish swallowed him whole! 

There was Jonah alone in the belly of a fish. He was afraid.  He knew he was going to die.  [Stop and add the RED light to the stop sign and have each child to add a red bead to their yarn.] Jonah knew he had done something wrong and he knew he had disobeyed God.  He felt sorry for himself.  Jonah knew he had to ask God for help and forgiveness.  He prayed to God to forgive him.  [Stop and add the YELLOW light and have the children to add a yellow bead to the yarn bracelet.] Jonah prayed for three days and nights.  Even though Jonah thought he was alone in this huge fish, God was with him and heard his prayers.  God forgave Jonah.  God made this fish spit Jonah up on shore.  When Jonah’s feet hit the sand he jumped up and ran to Nineveh to do what God had told him to do!

[Stop and add the GREEN light to the stoplight and the children should add a green bead to the yarn bracelet.] Jonah learned that when we need forgiveness we first must stop and admit we have made a mistake and/or done something wrong. [Point to the red light.] Once we admit we are wrong, we yield to God and or pause for a time of prayer to ask forgiveness. [Point to the yellow light.] And finally, we go and do what we know is right and what God wants us to do!  [Point to the green light.]


Have the children to take a few more beads and add them to their bracelet, creating their own design.  You may need the Shepard’s to assist you as you assist the children and help tie the bracelets on their arm. 


Once all the bracelets are completed ask:

How did Jonah ask for God’s forgiveness?

What did Jonah do after God forgave him?

What do we need to do besides say “I’m sorry” to God?

How does God’s forgiveness show his love for us? 

Then distribute the journal pages.