Meet an Amazing Animal in the Story of Jonah (Preschool and Elementary Lesson)

This free grab-and-go lesson brings the story of Jonah to life. Help children learn how God used an animal and Jonah to accomplish his purpose.
2 min read

Today, we’re looking at the story of Jonah and how to bring it to life for kids.

Meet an Amazing Animal series banner

Welcome to the “Meet an Amazing Animal” series.

God has done some remarkable things through his furry, fuzzy, and funny creations. A talking donkey? A fish carrying around a tax payment in its mouth? A rooster reminder that brought a grown man to his knees?

In this series we’re exploring how God has used animals to make himself and his purposes known. Get all twelve free lessons.

You’ll help your kids experience powerful transformation as they link Bible truths they need with the animals they love.

Let’s get started!


Bible Story: Jonah (Jonah 1:1—2:6; 3:1–3)

Animal: A Great Fish

Lesson Theme: God Gives Us Second Chances

Activity: SPOON-ARAMA


[icon name=”clock”] Time: about 5 minutes

[icon name=”list-alt”] Supplies: spoons (1 per child)

Ask kids to line up side by side along one wall and to each practice balancing their spoons on one finger. When they’ve each found that sweet spot, explain that they’ll all walk to the opposite wall, touch it, and then turn around and come back—all without dropping their spoons.

If a spoon should drop, it’s okay for the person to stop, pick it up, and then continue.

Have kids run the event three times: once as described above, then while walking backward, and then while on hands and knees (well, hand and knees).

Crank up the excitement by doing a play-by-play as kids participate. Speak in an excited-sportscaster voice and encourage kids along the way.

After the game has ended, sit with kids and talk about the following:

  • How helpful was it to have a second, third, or fourth chance? Why?
  • Tell about some other time you were given a second chance.

Tell an age-appropriate story from your life first to get the ball rolling and to model what you’re looking for from the kids.

Honor kids’ stories by listening carefully and thanking kids for sharing.

SAY: I’m grateful for second chances I’ve been given, but someone who was even more grateful was Jonah. Let’s talk about him now.

Teaching Time

Share the story of Jonah from Jonah 1:1—2:6; 3:1–3. Use the following questions to guide discussion.

  • Why do you think God gave Jonah a second chance instead of just sending someone else?
  • What’s a time in your life when you needed forgiveness?
  • How many second chances do you give someone who hurts you, before you give up on that person?
  • Do you think there’s a limit as to how many second chances God gives us? Why do you answer as you do?

Love these lesson ideas? Get 13 lessons filled with activity and teaching ideas in 13 Very Amazing Animals and How God Used Them.

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  Updated on April 19, 2021

About the Author

  • Mikal Keefer has published more than 25 books and is a frequent contributor to Group Publishing curriculum. Mikal is an active children’s ministry volunteer in his local church in Loveland, Colorado. Mikal, who is married and the father of two children, loves teaching kids—especially his grandkids—the truth of God’s story in fun and engaging ways!

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