This is a lesson plan intended to be used for Thanksgiving, but you could utilize it at any time of year. It is the account in Luke 17:11-19 of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus, yet only one returned to give thanks. The lesson is designed for children’s church or Sunday School and is intended for preschool children, ages 3-5.
Objectives: To develop students who form a pattern of thankfulness at an early age. To understand that Jesus heals both physical ailments and spiritual conditions of the heart.
Materials: Doctor’s props (mask, band-aids, lab coat, pretend instruments), pre-drawn heart on red, orange, yellow, or brown construction paper with the words, “My Thankful Heart” on the bottom of the page, band-aids, black marker
Memory Verse: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 (NIV)
Preschool Lesson About Thanksgiving
Anticipatory Set: If you have doctor’s props available, use them to generate interest in the lesson. You could put a mask on, take out a band-aid, put on a white lab coat, or hang a pretend stethoscope around your neck. Ask the children the following questions:
Have any of you ever been sick before? Have you been to the Doctor’s office? What sorts of things did the Doctor do there?
Today, we’re going to learn about ten men who were very sick. They had a bad disease called leprosy. It was something that hurt their skin on their hands, feet, nose, throat, and eyes. They had to go to the doctor to be healed! But this Doctor wasn’t a doctor like you or I have ever seen. This was a special Doctor. Let’s learn about Him today!
Bible Lesson: Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)
Teach this lesson through a dramatic interpretation of Scripture. Have the children actively engaged as you read along.
Verse 11: Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. (Have the children march their feet as Jesus is travelling.)
Verse 12: As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. (Count to ten on fingers.) They stood at a distance. (Hold your hand above your eyes like you are looking far away at something.) Tell the students that they had to stand far away from people so that others wouldn’t get sick too!
Verse 13: And called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (No inside voices here! Repeat after me: Jesus, master, have pity on us!) These lepers knew that Jesus could make people well!
Verse 14: When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went (feet marching again), they were cleansed. (Look at skin and say: Wow! All better!) The lepers had great faith that Jesus would heal them. And He did, as they travelled on their way!
Verse 15: One of them (hold up one finger), when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. (Repeat after me: Thank you, Jesus!)
Verse 16: He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him (have the children get on their knees and say: Thank you Jesus. You’ve healed me.) – and he was a Samaritan.
Verse 17: Jesus asked, (arms outstretched, questioning) “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”
Verse 18: “Was no one (shake heads no) found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Do you think that the other nine forgot to say thank you?
Verse 19: Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Have the students stand up, march their feet, and smile.) Jesus healed the man’s skin problem, but He also healed his heart. Because the man believed in Jesus, his sins were forgiven too. Every part of him was made well!
Application: God has given us so many gifts to be thankful for. We can be thankful for Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins. Our hearts can be very sick without Him! We need Jesus to heal our hearts and forgive us! I am thankful that He has the power to do that! We can also be thankful for good health, food to eat, our church, etc! Let’s remember to thank God today, like the one man did in our Bible lesson.
What are you thankful for today?
Bible Lesson Game: “Doctor May I?” (a spin-off of “Mother May I?”)
- Have the children form a horizontal line, facing you.
- The teacher assumes the role of Doctor for this game and backs up to create a good distance.
- Choose a child at the left side of the line to go first. He/she needs to ask, “Dr, may I take ____ (number) giant, regular, or baby steps?” The Dr. responds either, “Yes” or “No.” If yes, the child takes the pre-determined number of steps and says thank you.
- If the child forgets to say thank you, they need to return to the starting line. Play continues with the next child.
- The first one to high-five the Doctor wins.
Art Project: “Thankful Hearts” (Materials: pre-drawn heart on red, orange, yellow, or brown construction paper with the words, “My Thankful Heart” on the bottom of the page, band-aids, black marker)
- Have the students place band-aids on heart outline.
- Inside the heart, invite them to tell you what they are thankful for. Write down their responses.
Preschool Songs About Thankfulness
“10 Healed” (to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”)
As you sing this song, have the children count on their fingers, as the lyrics suggest. Also teach them how to say “thank you” in sign language for the end of the song. (Place fingers near your lips with a flat hand. Move your hand forward and down.)
One healed, two healed, three healed lepers
Four healed, five healed, six healed lepers
Seven healed, eight healed, nine healed lepers
Ten healed lepers but only one said thanks.
“I can be thankful” (to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I can be thankful; yes I can
For my family; for my friends.
God has given so much with His Son
Thank you God for all You’ve done.