by Kimber Bailey Scott
Have pictures of fish, water, boats, nets and anything else that pertains to fishing near the door where the children will see them as they enter. Create the atmosphere. Ask and answer questions about fishing and boats.
Have the children sit in a circle. Pull out a net from your “magic” bag and pretend to be trying to catch fish with it in a bucket. I’m trying to catch something for dinner. What do you think I’m trying to catch? (fish) Let them fell of the net. Then put it and the bucket behind you. Pull out your Bible. Turn to Luke 5:1-9 and place it on your lap.
Some friends of Jesus had been fishing all night on the sea. Over and over they would throw their nets into the water, then bring them up, but their nets were always empty. They couldn’t catch any fish! Show them how to throw a net into the water then pull it in and lift empty hands. Look very sad. Finally the fishermen got tired. They decided to stop fishing and bring their boats back to shore. Ask them to act as if they are tired – yawn, stretch and rub eyes. As the fishermen were washing their nets, they saw their friend, Jesus. Shade your eyes with your hand as if you see Jesus. Jesus sat down in Peter’s boat. Jesus asked Peter to move his boat away from the shore. Then Jesus talked to the people who had gathered on the shore. When Jesus was finished talking to the people, He told Peter to row back out to the deep water and fish some more. Encourage them to row their pretend boats then throw their pretend nets. When Peter did this, the net became so full of fish, he had to ask his friends, James and John, to come and help him! Everyone was amazed at what had happened. The fishermen had never seen so many fish! Jesus can do wonderful things because He is the Son of God!
Let’s show how the fishermen looked when they fished all night and didn’t catch any fish! Sad faces, angry faces and empty hands.
Let’s show how the fishermen felt when they decided to stop fishing. Tired faces, yawns and rubbing eyes.
Wait! I see our friend Jesus! Let’s show how we feel when we see Jesus! Wave, excited and happy faces.
Jesus will help His friends. Let’s show what happened when Jesus helped. Pull in heavy nets, happy faces.
Jesus could do wonderful things because He is the Son of God! That is our memory verse today.
The Bible says, “Jesus is the Son of God” Acts 9:20. Can you say those words with me? Say them louder. Say them softer. Give each one a Bible (or share) & ask each to say, “Jesus is the Son of God.”
Have them stand and sing these words to the tune of Fishers of Men. Listen to the tune here:
Add actions if you wish.
Jesus helped them catch lots of fish
Catch lots of fish, catch lots of fish.
Jesus helped them catch lots of fish.
He’s the Son of God!
Before this activity, place a plastic tarp or drop cloth down. Place the fishbowl where the children can see it easily. Have a bucket half full of water with sponges cut into fish shapes in it. The children will catch a fish with a net or strainer and place it in the empty bucket. Allow them to observe and talk about the fish in the fishbowl. Explain to the children that God made many kinds of fish. God made many pretty fish for us to look at and enjoy. He made others that are good to eat. Thank You, God for making fish. Our Bible story is about a wonderful thing Jesus did. He helped His friends catch lots and lots of fish. Would you like to catch some fish? You can take turns using this net or strainer to catch some of these fish and put them in the empty bucket. Who can tell me what wonderful thing Jesus did for His friends? Yes, He helped them catch lots of fish.
Have a copy of the fishing net page per child and the fish as well. Cut out the fish ahead of time. Talk about the picture as they color it. Ask who is in the boat, what the men are doing, etc. These men don’t have any fish in their nets. When Jesus went out in the boat with the men He helped them catch lots and lots of fish! Jesus could do this because Jesus is the Son of God. Let’s put some fish in the nets. Give the children one or two fish stickers at a time. As you give a child his stickers, help him say the memory verse, “Jesus is the Son of God.”
Have the fish crackers in a large paper grocery bag. Seat the children in single file on the floor or low chairs. Explain that they are going to pretend to fish. Give each child a paper or plastic cup with a handle on it. Let’s pretend we are Jesus’ friends sitting in a boat trying to catch fish. Have the children try to scoop up fish from an empty grocery bag on one side of them. Did you catch any fish in your net? Did you? No fish! Let’s row back to shore. Pretend to row.
Now let’s pretend that Jesus is in the boat with us. He is telling us to put our nets on the other side. Go along the row of children with the bag full of fish. Let each child scoop up some of the fish. Look at all the fish Jesus helped us catch! Jesus could do this because Jesus is the Son of God. Let’s say the memory verse together. Do so. Then let them eat their fish.
Pictures of fish, water, boats, nets and anything else that pertains to fishing
Tape or glue
Copies of coloring page
Paper or plastic cups with handle on them
2 paper grocery bags
Plastic tarp or drop cloth
Fishbowl with real fish
Sponges cut into fish shapes
Small fish nets or strainers from kitchen