This story teaches some important lessons about obeying and trusting God, as well as God saving us (the sailors were saved from the storm, Jonah was saved from drowning by the big fish, the Ninevites were saved). With older students I like to read the story right out of the bible, for younger students you can share the story in your own words or find a good children's version to read.
I thought it would be fun to needle felt a simple Jonah and the Big Fish to use during story time. Here how they turned out.
I made Jonah in a simple to hold basic shape, similar to my Nativity Needle Felt figures.
I made the Big Fish a simple whale/big fish shape. I was at first going to try to needle felt or wet felt it in such a way as Jonah could fit inside, but decided to stick with a simple design.
For the Sunday school craft, I put together a fun little paper craft. I folded a sheet of standard size cardstock in half for the booklet. From my scrapbook paper stash I cut out two strips of water, a simple boat, and a whale/big fish shape with an attached spout that will be used as the lift a flap. I printed out a drawing of Jonah and reduced the size to 50 percent and glued him onto cardstock. Here is the website that I found the printout of Jonah, you could also draw one yourself, or have the kids draw Jonah as well.
http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/material.html#jonah Also you will need sticky backed Velcro strips. I also printed out a title for the cover of the little book.
Here is how it is assembled. Glue down the boat and the water to the top half of the paper, glue down the water to the lower half of the paper. Only attach the whale by the spout, the whale will fold up at the spout for Jonah to go under.
Attach a Velcro strip to the back of Jonah, and then two of the other half of the velcro strips to the boat area and under the whale, be sure to position the strips so that Jonah will hide all of the way under the whale, and stand in the boat at the right spot, as shown.
This way Jonah can stand in the boat.
Then can be removed and "swallowed" by the big fish.
Glue the title on the cover. This is a fun interactive craft that will allow the children to remember and retell the story of Jonah. I look forward to sharing this lesson with my class.
You also might like my Parable of the Lost Coin Craft.
What are some of the lessons you learn from the story of Jonah?