Jonah 3-4 Lesson (step 2) A Closer Look

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This lesson continues the process of teaching older elementary students how to study God’s Word for themselves.  The challenge for all people who hear and learn facts from God’s Word is to take what they know and do something about it that transforms their life.  There are those who will hear and receive facts and do nothing resulting in an unchanged life.  Those who hear and obey will live a transformed life that reflects the Lord Jesus.  As students learn to study God’s Word for themselves it is vital that they don’t allow what they learn to remain in their head but transforms their heart.  This lesson was adapted and prepared for older elementary students and can be used as a guide to help you as you prepare for your students.  Click here to see the first lesson in this series or or browse all our lessons from the Book of Jonah.

Bible Story: A Closer Look.  (Jonah 3-4)
Scripture: Jonah, chapters 3 & 4
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Students will continue to practice inductive Bible study methods as they take a closer look at Jonah 3-4.  This method allows them to mark key words and phrases to go deeper into the passage.  This lesson was adapted for older elementary students with varying levels of reading skills.
Supply List:  Copies (Observation sheets) of Jonah 3-4 for each student, colored pencils, pictures for ‘what did you see activity?’ pencil, paper to record observations from their pictures, Markings for key words book mark for each student,
Learning Goal:  Students will discover more details of a passage of Scripture by marking key words and phrases.
Learning Activity #1: As students arrive they can begin to mark their observation sheet of Jonah 3-4.
Learning Activity #2:  Have pictures (I used pictures from Bible stories) for each student (if you have a small class) or groups of students.  Place the picture face down in front of each student/group.  Explain that they were going to have one minute to look at their pictures.  Once their time is up they are going to write down every thing they saw on their picture.  After discussing some of the things they saw ask if they remember how many objects, people they saw in their picture.  Give them one more minute to examine their picture to find more details, how many, what colors, where does this picture take place etc.
Memory Verse:  Psalm 119:130 (NASB) The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Bible Lesson: Step Two-A Closer Look at Jonah 3-4

Pray or choose a volunteer before beginning to study God’s Word.
When we did our ‘what did you see?’ activity the more we observed our pictures the more details we saw.  This is true with inductive Bible study.  When we read God’s Word and look closer we find out more details about what He is showing us.  The closer we look the more we can understand about God and His message to us.
As we look at our Bible passages we are going to mark key words/phrases.  Use your bookmark with examples of how to mark the words as we do this activity together.
(My class has younger students in it so I worked on this activity with the whole class step by step.  If you have a co-teacher or volunteer you can break your class into two groups and have each group work on Jonah 3 or Jonah 4 and mark their observation sheets as a group.)
Key words to mark:  Lord, Jonah, proclaim, believe, king, fast, sackcloth, turn, relent, anger, compassion
Read each verse stopping to instruct which words/key words to mark.  They can use their Bible Marking bookmark.  (The purpose of marking is so the students can look back at the passage and clearly see words and phrases that we will focus on in the next lesson.)
Work through the passage and if time does not allow the students to finish the passages they can use the beginning of the next lesson to complete marking the passage to be ready for the next method to teach them to study God’s Word for themselves.
Have them put their things away and turn their attention to you as you close out the lesson by sharing the Gospel connection.
Gospel Connection:  Repent!
God was going to destroy Nineveh because of their wickedness.  When the Ninevites heard Jonah’s message they repented and God did not punish them.  Every man, woman, boy and girl has sinned against God.  We all have disobeyed His commandments.  The punishment for our sins is to be separated from God forever when we die.  Last time we talked about God’s compassion.  He provided a way to alleviate the punishment for sin by placing our sins on His perfect, sinless Son, Jesus.  Jesus died in our place.  He was buried and rose again on the third day.
Each one of us is a wicked sinner before God.  Today each one of us is hearing a message from God like the Ninevites did.  Without our sins forgiven we “will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9)  If you acknowledge your sin before God and believe in the Lord Jesus and confess with your mouth that He is your Savior all of your sins will be forgiven.  We repent when we turn from our wicked, sinful way and turn to Jesus for forgiveness for our sins.  When we believe in Jesus we no longer face eternal separation from God.  We begin to experience eternal life as a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and will spend eternity with God.
If you have not repented from your sins and turned to Jesus, the Only Way to have forgiveness for you sins and would like to know more about that please talk to me after we close in prayer.
Close in prayer.

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