Jonah 1-2 Lesson (step 1) Big Picture Jonah

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This lesson was created for my class of newly promoted 4th & 5th graders.  I adapted this lesson from the Discipleland curriculum provided by our church that is geared for older students.  The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students how to study the Bible for themselves.  This lesson teaches them to look at the big picture of Jonah 1 and 2. This is only a guide and can be adapted and used for your ministry needs.
Click here to see the follow-up lesson for the following week or browse all our lessons from the Book of Jonah.

Bible Story: The Big Picture of Jonah 1-2
Scripture: Jonah, chapters 1 & 2
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Printouts of Jonah 1-2 (I copied and pasted the passages from an online Bible and removed any titles that may have been added) creating an observation sheet to use for this lesson and the remaining ones on Jonah 1-2, printout of the chart that has title, key people, key places, key event and big idea, pencils/pens,
Learning Goal: Students will learn to practice the method of looking at an overview of a passage of Scripture to begin the process of going deeper into their study of God’s Word.
Learning Activity #1: While students are waiting for others to arrive they can work on a Jonah word puzzle.
Memory Verse: Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Memory Verse Activity:  Allow students to create hand motions to this Bible verse.  After reciting it several times begin to erase words from the verse until the verse is no longer on the board.

Bible Lesson:  The Big Picture Jonah 1-2

Begin by praying with the students and asking God to help as we study His Word.
Read Jonah 1-2 together aloud (Since my class is younger and their reading skills vary I read Jonah 1-2 and instructed them to follow along with me.).
Work through the chart working on Jonah chapter 1 first and then continue with chapter 2.  Allow students to share who they think the key characters, places, event and big idea as you work through each topic.  Encourage their responses so they will continue to share with the group what they see in the passage. (To help me to be prepared with this process I filled out the sheet for myself.  As I led the students through the items it was very exciting to hear their answers to what they felt the Big Idea was! For Jonah 2 a 4th grade girl said, “Jonah prays to his LORD”  That was so encouraging to hear her say on her own!)
After we worked through these topics I closed out the lesson with the Gospel connection that follows:
Gospel Connection:
We just used the method of looking at the big picture or overview, to study Jonah 1-2.  We looked at the big picture of the two chapters.  Learning and practicing how to study the Bible each one of us will be challenged to spend more time in our personal lives studying Scripture.
In our overview we see Jonah’s disobedience and his repentance.  All people sin and are responsible for the choices they make.  Every one of us has disobeyed God.  Disobedience is sin.  Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.  Romans 3:11 tells us that there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. The consequence for sin is separation from God.  The wages of sin is death(Romans 6:23a) If people stay in this state of sinfulness and do nothing about it they live a life on this earth without a relationship with God that brings joy and peace and when they die they will spend eternity in a place called hell.  “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) God so loves men, women, boys and girls that He sent His Son Jesus as a gift.  Jesus’ gift to all of us is that “He (Jesus) who knew no sin became sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) In simple terms, the punishment I deserved for my sins was transferred onto the perfect Son of God.  He died in my place, was buried and rose again on the third day.  When I choose to believe by faith that Jesus is my Savior I receive the Gift of eternal life and all my sin has been washed clean by His precious blood.
Today in our group there may be some who have received the gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus and some who are still separated from God because they have not received the gift.
Whichever group we are in we are all responsible for the choices we make.  If a believer sins it doesn’t affect their eternal destination.  Jesus died for all our past, present and future sins.  When a believer sins it does affect the peace and joy that comes from a close relationship with God and keeps him/her from being on the right path that God intends for them.  When a believer sins his/her response should be to confess their sin immediately to God and repent (turn away).  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Unbelievers who sin will be punished for all their sins one day if they never place their faith in the Lord Jesus.  The good news is that if you are in the unbeliever group today, you have an opportunity to repent and believe in Jesus.
When we close in prayer think about which group you are in today.  If you are a believer and God brought to your mind disobedience in your life take this time to confess it and turn from it. No matter what group you are in always remember that after we close in prayer ask questions if you need further understanding of what we talked about today.
Close in prayer.

The Big Picture Chart

Jonah 1

Jonah 2

Key People
Key Places
Key Event
Big Idea

Memory Verse: Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

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