This is a preschool lesson to be taught in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. This lesson was written with the intention of following the Thanksgiving lesson about the cornucopia.
Around the Thanksgiving holiday, our thankfulness tends to focus on the good things we have received, namely material possessions. But, God instructs us to be thankful in all circumstances even when we are not experiencing abundance. In this lesson the children will learn how God wants us to be thankful in all circumstances. They will help each other to see ways they can be thankful when life does not go the way they want. Ultimately they will learn how no matter what happens we can always be thankful because we have Jesus.
Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Learning Objective: The children will learn how they can be thankful in all circumstances because they have Jesus.
Target Age: 3 years old-Kindergarten
Time Needed: 15-20 minutes
Materials Needed: None
- “What are some things you are thankful for?” Take input from the children.
- “All of the things you have told me are good things. Are you thankful when things are not good?”
- “Did you know God wants us to have a thankful heart even when things don’t seem to be good?”
- “I am going to read to you a verse about how God wants us to be thankful all the time no matter what.”
- Read aloud the Bible verse 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
- “This verse tells us to be thankful in all circumstances. What does ‘circumstances’ mean?” Take input from the children.
- “It means all the things that happen to us in life. It means when good things are happening to us and when bad things are happening to us.”
- “The verse also tells us to be thankful because it is the will of God. What does the ‘will of God’ mean?” Take input from the children.
- “It means what God wants.”
- “God wants us to be thankful all the time no matter what. Even when we have a bad thing happen to us, He wants us to have a thankful heart. It is best for us to be thankful.”
- “Let’s practice together ways we can be thankful even when bad things happen to us.”
- Choose one child to help you act out the scenario of being at church and one child steals a toy from another child.
- “If I just got a toy stolen from me that is not a good thing. How can I have a thankful heart when a toy gets stolen from me?” Take input from the children.
- “I could be thankful there are adults in the room to help me. I could be thankful there are more toys to play with if one gets taken away from me. I could be thankful there are other children to play with.”
- “What are some bad things that have happened to you?” Take input from the children talking through one scenario at a time.
- After hearing one suggested scenario, “How could name of child be thankful in that circumstance?” Take input from the children to help the child brainstorm ways to have a thankful heart when they experience bad circumstances.
- Example scenarios: falling down and getting hurt, getting in trouble at home, being treated meanly by another child, or being picked on by an older sibling.
- “It is hard to be thankful when bad things happen to us. How do you think we are able to be thankful when things are bad?” Take input from the children.
- “We can be thankful all the time because we have Jesus. No matter if things are good or bad, if we have a lot of good things or if everything is taken away from us, we still have Jesus. Jesus is the reason our hearts can be thankful all the time.”
Need More Ideas? You might enjoy our free Thanksgiving coloring pages or other Thanksgiving craft ideas for children’s ministry.