Lesson Title: Bonfire Preschool Lesson Ideas (Luke 5:1-11)
Bible Reference: Luke 5:1-11
Target Age Group: Preschool
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 1 hour
Gospel Connection: As the weather gets colder it’s time to enjoy bonfires. This lesson brings the bonfire to your classroom. You will imagine that you are sitting around a campfire on the beach when Jesus called Simon Peter, James, and John to be disciples. As you sit around a pretend fire, your students will learn what it means to be the light.
Learning Aim: I can be light to others by following Jesus.
Tell The Story
Before the Activity: Make a fake fire. There are many ways to do this so make one however is easiest for you. One idea is to use real sticks and triangles of red and orange paper.
During the Activity: Sit in a circle around the bonfire and tell the story. Pretend that you are on the beach watching Jesus talk to Simon Peter, John, and James.
Say: It’s a beautiful day for a bonfire. The weather is getting colder and the fire is keeping us warm. Today let’s pretend that we are sitting on the beach watching Jesus talk to a few of his new disciples. Simon Peter and his friends had been fishing all night and did not catch any fish from their fishing boat. Let’s see what happens when Jesus talks to them.
Read Luke 5:1-11 from a Children’s Bible or your own Bible:
1 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
After the story, ask:
- What was Simon Peter doing? What was his job? (Fisherman)
- What was Jesus doing? (Teaching people about God)
- What did Jesus tell Simon Peter to do? (Take the boat to deeper water and throw out the net again)
- Did Simon Peter catch a lot a fish when he listened to Jesus? (Yes, so many that he had to get others to help him)
- What did Jesus tell Simon Peter that he was going to be now? (A Fisher of Men)
Say: What an awesome story! Jesus wanted everyone to know that he was the Savior but so many people needed to hear about Jesus that he couldn’t tell everyone on his own. He needed helpers. Jesus asked Simon Peter and his friends James and John to be His helpers. Now, instead of trying to catch fish in a net he would try to gather people and teach them that Jesus was God’s son. Simon Peter was like a fisher of men!
Activity: Go Fishing
Before the Activity: Twist a few pipe cleaners into the shape of fish. Bend the corners of other pipe cleaners up like fishing poles. Place the fish in a large bucket. They are hard to pick up if they are flat against the ground so bend the fishes head up or lean them against the side of the bucket.
During the activity: Let each child make their own fishing pole. Take turns fishing out of the bucket.
Say: Today we are fishing for fish but Simon Peter had to learn how to fish for men. You can be a fisher of men too! While we fish, let’s think of ways that we can tell others about Jesus.
Activity: Glow Stick Ring Toss
Before the Activity: Set up three 2 liters of pop to serve as a poles for the ring toss. Provide each child with a round glow stick.
During the Activity: Dim the lights and try to toss the glow sticks around the pop bottles.
Say: The glow sticks help us see in the dark, but like a bonfire on the beach would have helped the fisherman see while fishing at night. Light goes everywhere and touches everything in it’f path. Sometimes Jesus is called the light because He is very good and His goodness goes everywhere.
Craft: Light Pictures
Before the Activity: Tape a large piece of white paper to the wall. You will need a flashlight.
During the Activity: Use a flashlight to shine light onto the paper. Have the kids put their hands in front of the paper and then use a crayon to trace their shadows.
Say: Jesus is the light. Look at how the light just goes everyone and touches everything. That is like Jesus.
Activity: Fishing With a Net
Before the Activity: Fill a large bucket with water and several fish toys. Provide nets for which the kids to fish.
During the Activity: Let the class take turns using their net to catch the fish.
Say: You all did a great job fishing today! Let’s go back to our bonfire and talk about what we learned.
Before the Activity: Sit around the bonfire again with the class. Use the fish and fishing poles from Go Fishing to pretend cook the fish over the fire. Pass out goldfish to eat as you discuss the lesson.
During the Lesson: Ask each child to share their favorite thing about today’s lesson. Pray together before sending the kids home.