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Thanksgiving Powered By Docstoc
					Fall 2010 ~ Primary Lesson #8


Lesson Objectives:
       1. The children will learn that as long as we put God first in our lives, we have no
          reason to worry because He will take care of us and all of our needs.
       2. The children will understand that being thankful involves more than just saying
          “thank you”.
       3. The children will explore things that God has done for them in their lives and
          learn the importance of thanking our Heavenly Father no matter what happens
          in our lives.

Memory Verse:               “Give thanks no matter what happens.”
                                         --1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIRV)

Message:             In all things give thanks.

Bible Text:          Matthew 6:25-34, 1 Timothy 6:17, and 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Hook”/Intro Activity:
Do Not Worry Puzzle:
Word Search based on Matthew 6:25-34


“Be Grateful” Object Talk:
        Say to the children: “We all know that it is important to say thank you, but did you know
there are different levels in which we can express our gratitude?
One year for my birthday, I got a box with seven pairs of socks as a gift. (Hold up a pair of
socks and look unhappy.) I was anticipating toys, so I was disappointed when I opened the
brightly wrapped package and found nothing but socks. I mumbled an insincere “thank you” and
quickly moved on to the next gift. The second gift was a toy from my grandparents. (Smile as
you hold up the toy.) Beaming with joy, I enthusiastically said “thank you” and gave each of my
grandparents a hug.
        The next day my Mom said I didn‟t appear to be very happy to get socks, I expressed
that I was in fact disappointed with the gift; everyone knew that real gifts were supposed to be
fun – like toys!”
       “I didn‟t think any more about the socks until Sunday morning when it was time to get
ready for church. All the socks in my dresser were old and worn thin. It was hard to find a pair
of matching socks that did not have a hole in the toes or the heel. It was then that I
remembered that I had received seven new pairs of socks, a set of socks to wear each day of
the week. Real gratitude for the gift my mother gave me swept over me as I realized she gave
me a truly useful gift.
       When I got home from church that day, I made my mom a thank you card and gave her a
big hug. I saw a small tear of joy roll down her cheek as she smiled and said, „You're welcome, I
hope the socks keep your feet warm and dry.‟ I was able touch my mother's heart by being
sincerely thankful for the gift she had given me.”
    - Did you know that God gives us numerous gifts each day?
    - Are we truly grateful for everything God gives us or do we take these gifts for granted,
       mumble an insincere pray of thanks and then quickly move on to other activities?
    - Do our prayers of thankfulness touch God's heart?

Lesson with Discussion Questions:

Introduction: (Tell the children the following.)
       “I want you to pretend that you were living in the United States about 350 years ago. You may
have been living with a group of people known as the Pilgrims. It‟s getting cold outside. Your family is
worried because winter is coming, and food during the winter is hard to find. Your mom can‟t just go to
the grocery store. And you can‟t just open the refrigerator door, because, well, there are no
refrigerators. They haven‟t been invented yet.
       But you and your family have faith in God. That night, you decide to open your Bible to see what
God says about how He will help you during this difficult time.”

Read Matthew 6:25-34 ~ Do Not Worry
        "I tell you, do not worry. Don't worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don't
worry about what you will wear. Isn't there more to life than eating? Aren't there more important things
than clothes?
        "Look at the birds of the air. They don't plant or gather crops. They don't put away crops in
storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren't you worth much more than they are?
        "Can you add even one hour to your life by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? See
how the wild flowers grow. They don't work or make clothing. But here is what I tell you. Not even
Solomon in all of his glory was dressed like one of those flowers.
        "If that is how God dresses the wild grass, won't He dress you even better? After all, the grass
is here only today. Tomorrow it is thrown into the fire. Your faith is so small!
        "So don't worry. Don't say, 'What will we eat?' Or, 'What will we drink?' Or, 'What will we
wear?' People who are ungodly run after all of those things. Your Father who is in heaven knows that you
need them.
        "But put God's kingdom first. Do what He wants you to do. Then all of those things will also be
given to you. "So don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself.”

   1. What things does the Bible tell us not to worry about? (Having something to eat,
      drink, clothes to wear, etc.)
   2. How can we be sure God will provide enough food for us? (Because we are valuable
      to Him, and He says He will take care of us. We need to have faith in His word.)

Read 1 Timothy 6:17 (NIRV)
        “Command the people who are rich in this world not to be proud. Tell them not to put their hope in
riches. Wealth is so uncertain. Command those who are rich to put their hope in God. He richly provides us
with everything to enjoy.”

   1. What is wrong with putting your hope in wealth or money? (It's uncertain, or
      temporary. Only God can give us everything we need.)
   2. Why do you think God wants to give us the things we need? (Answers will
      vary….Discuss together.)

Read 1 Thessalonians 5: 18 (NIRV)
“Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank Him because you believe in Christ Jesus.”

   1. What kinds of things can you be thankful for? (Discuss – allow the children to
      either make their own list or make one together. Pictures are great too!)
   2. What kind of circumstances may make it difficult to be thankful? (Think about
      the Pilgrims, and all they had to endure for example.
   3. What does this verse tell us about when we should be thankful? (We should
      always be thankful to God, in any circumstance or situation because it is God's will
      for us)

Activity Ideas:
      “Be Thankful” Craft:
              You will need: light green cardstock, tempera paint (assorted colors, paper plates,
       sponges (see link above for sponge shapes), word pages (see link above), smocks or old
       shorts, crayons/colored markers, glue sticks, scissors (optional).
              Before class, print enough Word Pages with the phrase "Don't worry, be thankful," and
       the Bible verse so each child will have one copy of each. Cut sponges into petal shapes, and a circle
       for the center of the flower. Prepare a place for painting, using drop cloths, towels for cleanup,
              You will have the children color the phrase "Don't worry, be thankful," then cut it
       out and glue onto the top of their green card stock. Then cut out and paste the verse at
       the very bottom of the green card stock.
              Then have each child put on a paint shirt and go to the place prepared for
       painting. Make sure each plate has only one color. Tell the kids that the sponges must
       stay on the plate they came from. They will stamp the center of the flower first, in the

    middle of their green cardstock. Then they will pick the color they want their flower to
    be and stamp the petals onto the cardstock around the flower's center. After the flower
    is dry, they can write on the petals the things for which they are thankful.
            You can also make a field of flowers to place on a table, the classroom floor, or
    the wall. Have each child make more than one flower, and label each flower with only one
    thing they are thankful for. Then put the flowers in the designated area to see how God
    has clothed the field in such splendor.
            If working with paint is too difficult for younger children, cut the flower center
    and petals out of construction paper. Then the children can glue them onto the
    cardstock. It will be just as pretty, but without the adventure and the mess.
            Remember to keep the conversation going during the craft time. You can refer to
    Matthew 6:25-34 from today‟s lesson. God takes care of us in such wonderful ways. We
    sometimes forget about all the beauty and majesty that He has prepared for us. Take
    time to see all that God has given us for our enjoyment. We have a God who cares for the
    little things. We need to remember that He cares about us and that He will take care of
    our every need.
   God’s Many Blessings:
            For this activity, you will need a water glass (about 2 1/2” in diameter), a pitcher of water,
    a spoon, some cheerios ®, and 10 to 20 marbles or large coins for blessings.
            You will need to practice this a few times before the class. During class, ask a volunteer
    to pour water into the empty glass, and to make it as full as possible. Then you will float a
    Cheerio and watch it move to the side of the glass. Then you will drop blessings (objects)
    into the glass of water one by one until the water swells over the top, but stop before it
    runs over. Then you will float another Cheerio, and it will stay in the center of the glass.
    (This works because of surface tension. When the water is first poured in, the surface
    of the water is shaped like a flattened "u" and the Cheerio wants to go the highest place
    it can find which is toward the side of the glass. After adding the blessings, the surface
    of the water is shaped like a flattened "n". Now the highest place is in the center.) As
    you do this activity with the children say the following:
            In Psalm 23:5-6 King David said his cup was overflowing, not just full but more than
    full. Why does God give us so many blessings? Is it so we can be happy? (Yes) Is it so we
    can be safe and comfortable? (Yes) It is also so we can do great things for Him.
           Let me show you what I mean. Here I have an empty glass, and a pitcher of water. I
    need a volunteer to pour the water carefully into the glass, as full as possible. (The child
    will fill the glass, but will normally stop before it begins to overflow - some coaching may
    be needed.) We now have a glass that looks full. Now, can we make this Cheerio float in
    the center of the glass? Let's try. (Drop the Cheerio onto the surface and watch as it
    moves to the edge of the glass.) Look, it goes to the edge of the glass.
        What would happen if we add blessings? Let's pretend these marbles are blessings.
    (Add marbles one by one and as you do, give an example of a blessing. Watch as the water
    rises over the brim and stop before it pours over the edge.)

           Examples of blessings: The clean air we breathe, food to make us full, a loving God,
       people who care for us, a place to worship God, good friends, rain to keep things green,
       good health, teachers to teach us, ice cream and other yummy treats.
           Because God gives us so many blessings, our cup is more than full. Let's see what
       happens now. (Drop another Cheerio into the cup.) Look! Now it stays right in the center.
       We can also do amazing things for God because of the blessings he gives us, like sharing
       Jesus with our friends, or singing in a choir, or helping to teach Sunday school. Not only
       can these be blessings to us, but they can also be some of the many blessings God gives
       to others. Let's thank God today for His many blessings especially as we get ready to
       celebrate Thanksgiving.
      Thanksgiving Basket Craft:
               You will need: one paper plate for each child, colored construction paper (8X11),
       basket instructions (see website above), stapler, scotch tape, and food pictures (see
       website above or cut out your own from magazines).
               Before class gather all the supplies needed so each child can make their own
       basket, and print out several copies of the instructions. Next, print out one copy for each
       child of the food pictures. Using medium card stock will work well.
           Give the children a paper plate and have them fashion a basket using the instructions.
       They may decorate or color their basket as desired. Then have them cut out their food
       pieces and tape them inside their basket.
           Say to the children: “A long time ago, a group of people called Pilgrims trusted God
       that they would have enough food for everyone, especially during the long winters. During
       harvest time, they would gather large amounts of food from the field. There were
       pumpkins, corn, peas, fruits like strawberries, grapes, blueberries and all kinds of nuts.
       They gathered them all, along with some meat and stored them up for the winter. It was
       not easy work for the Pilgrims, but they knew that if they worked hard, and kept their
       faith in God, everything would be okay.”
           “God is a wonderful God and He cares for us very much. God provides everything we
       need to live, even all the many different and delicious kinds of food we eat.” Look up
       together in the Bible Acts 14:17 and read it together: "He has shown kindness by
       giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty
       of food and fills your hearts with joy." --Acts 14:17
           “The pilgrims must have been very grateful to God for keeping them fed during the
       cold winters long ago. But God is the same today. He knows what we need, and will provide
       for us. All we need to do is trust Him, work hard and then enjoy His blessings.”

Application to Real Life:
        Talk with the children about the pilgrims again. They must have been so thankful that
God kept them fed and warm in the cold winters a very long time ago. They had lots of things
going on that could have made them be angry with God. It was so cold outside. Maybe they
didn‟t have enough food. But they were still thankful and took time to “give thanks” to God no
matter what was happening around them. God today is still the same God. He wants us to be

happy and He gives us many things to enjoy each day. There are 4 ways to show God if we are
truly thankful for what He has provided for us:
        1. How we look.
        2. The way we act.
        3. What we say to others.
        4. The way we feel inside.
The same thing is true if we do not appreciate God‟s blessings in our lives and if we do not
thanks Him. It is also easy for others to see by:
        1. How we look.
        2. The way we act.
        3. What we say to others.
        4. The way we feel inside.
Talk with the children about both scenarios. Practice the “how we look” and “what we say” parts.
Talk about the “how we act” in both of the scenarios. Remind the children that we need God‟s
blessings in our lives, and this starts with a thankful heart. We always want to
“Give thanks no matter what happens.” --1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIRV) (Memory Verse for this
lesson.) And we must remember to put God first in our lives so that we never have to worry
about anything. God will take care of us too.

Sample Journal Questions: (Choose One)
   -   Write a letter of thanks to God. Talk to Him in your letter, and tell Him what lives in
       your heart as you prepare for Thanksgiving.
   -   Is it always easy to be thankful in your heart for what you have or something you
       received? Why do you think it is important to have a thankful heart? Write about it.

Homework Ideas:
   -   Read at home with a grown up: The Cloud and the Fire (Numbers 9:15-23).
   -   Learn the memory verse:
                                    “Follow what you heard from me…”
                                                   --2 Timothy 1:13 (NIRV)
   -   Work on memorizing commandment #_____.
   -   (Optional for 6-8 year olds) Color the Cloud and the Fire coloring sheet as your parents
       read you the Sunday School Lesson. Return your coloring page for a sticker.
   -   Make a list of all the people or things that you follow. (A picture collage would work too.)
       Bring it to class to share.

                          Name: _________________________

The Clouds and the Fire

              “Follow what you heard from me…”
                   --2 Timothy 1:13 (NIRV)