Jonah & the Whale

“Jonah & the Whale”  Unit: Splash Into Summer

LESSON PURPOSE: The story of Jonah & the Whale teaches us about listening to God's Words and how he is always there to guide us and take care of us.

MATERIALS: Learning props and toys, craft supplies, music

SONG IDEAS: Sailing With our Father,

BOOKS:  Stories about Whales or Jonah & the Whale

AS CHILDREN ARRIVE: Sensory Play (Choose 1)

  • Blue Whale tent- create a giant blue whale using a round table, blue tablecloth, white streamers, 2 white Styrofoam balls + a blue cardboard tail. Let children awe in wonder as they enter the room and play with some ocean type toys inside the big blue whale!

  • Whale & Water beads Sensory Bin- Fill a sensory bin with blue water beads and toy whales. Let children explore.

  • Hide & Seek- Hide fish, blue whale balloons, or blue items around the room and have children find them all.

SCRIPTURE: Choose 1 or 2 to focus on

“Blessed (rather) are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” -Luke 11:28
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act." -Psalm 37:4-5 
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” -Colossians 3:20
"Understand God's words not only with your heart and mind but also with your body and carry them out." -Rev. Moon



Last week we heard the story of "The Miraculous Catch" when Jesus helped his friends catch fish with their net. What is one way you helped someone this week? That makes God happy! Today we are going further and deeper into the big blue Ocean to learn about a big blue whale and the Bible story of Jonah.


  • Whale Balloon- Show children a whale made of a balloon! Ask children what it is? Play a game  trying to keep it up in the air with a blue tablecloth (the ocean).

  • Whales- Show pictures or read a story about Whales Discuss how large and powerful they are. Pretend to be whales.

  • Hide & Seek- Count to 10 and have all the children hide around the classroom. After finding all children and bringing them back to the learning area, explain that today we will hear a story about a man named Jonah who tried to hide from God.


  • FISHY POCKEY- "You put your left fin in, take your left fin out. You put your left fin in and shake it all about. You do the fishy pokey and you turn yourself around, that's what it's all about! Sing again: Put your right gill in. Put your fishy tail in...
  • WHO DID SWALLOW JONAH- "Who did? who did? Who did? Who did? Who did swallow Jo- Jo Jonah (repeat) Whale did, whale, did Whale did, whale did Whale did swallow Jo- Jo- Jonah You do, you do You do, you do You do what the Lord tells you to (Repeat) Whale won't, whale won't Whale won't whale won't Whale won't swallow you too Whale won't swallow you down" printable lyrics
  • WHERE IS JONAH?- Where is Thumbkin "Where is Jonah? Where is Jonah? There he is! There he is! He is in the whale. He is in the whale. Gulp-gulp-spit! Gulp-gulp-spit!

VIDEOS: click on the link: (choose 1 or 2)

READ ALOUD: (Optional) Stories about Whales or Jonah & the Whale

*TEACHING POINT 1: Jonah & the Whale Story

INTRO: Today we are going to learn the story of a man named Jonah and a giant blue whale! 

STORY: Watch, Read a Picture Book or Tell the story using props like these beautiful Jonah & The Whale Print Outs


  • What did God ask Jonah to do?
  • Did Jonah listen to God? No. What did he do instead? He tried to hide by running away and going on a ship.
  • When the storm came up on the boat, what did the sailors do? 
  • What happened when Jonah prayed to God? He realized God wouldn't stop the storm until Jonah did what God had asked him to do. So he asked the Sailors to throw him in the Sea.
  • What caught Jonah? A giant fish, whale!
  • How long did he live inside the whale? 3 days! What do you think it was like in their? What did he do in the whale's belly? He prayed.
  • How did Jonah get out of the whale? God had the whale spit out Jonah to safety!
  • Where did God ask him to go? To Nineveh to tell the people about God and that they should follow God's ways.
  • Did the people of Nineveh embrace Jonah? Yes! They decided to believe in God and God blessed Jonah.
  • What did God say when Jonah felt bad for not listening? God told Jonah that he loves him always.


  • Pin the Tail on the Whale- Play pin the tail together! precut out a large whale and several tails for children, like pin the tail on the donkey.

  • "Whale & Jonahs Game"- Play "sharks & minnows" with 1 person being the whale and everyone else Jonah. Children try to run past the Whale without being tagged.

*Teaching Point 2: Let's Listen to God & our Parents (Optional Extension)

Jonah didn't listen to God and tried to hide from God. 


  • Have you every tried to hide from your parents? Did they find you?
  • How do you feel inside your heart when you don't listen to your parents or make a mistake?
  • How do you feel inside your heart when your parents find you and hug you and forgive you?


We can learn so much from the Bible story Jonah & The Whale. Did you know that God and your parents will always love you, even when you make a mistake? God's love is unconditional. Your parents want the best for you. They want you to be happy and sometimes they guide us or give us rules to follow so that we can live God's way and be happy.


Dear Heavenly Parent, thank you for saving Jonah with a whale, even when he didn't listen to your Word. Thank you for guiding us, always loving us and helping us learn from our mistakes. We want to do our best to listen to you and our parents and make good choices every day. Thank you for your love. Amen. Aju!

CRAFTS: choose 1

  • Blue Whale Hat & Prop- Print and have children color in these cute ocean crowns and whales.

  • Paper Plate Whale- Have children paint paper plates blue with sponges or paint. Once dry, help glue on a precut fin, tail, water spout, a googly eye and draw a mouth with a marker.

  • Cup & Ball- Create a Jonah & the Whale cup & ball game using a blue cup, string, mini balloon, markers, googly eye, construction paper tail. 

  • Whale Clothespin- help children glue a precut blue foam whale shape (cut in half lengthwise) on to a clothespin. Children can color in a print out of Jonah and tape him on the inside of the bottom of the whale. Children will enjoy retelling the story.

  • Origami Whales- With teacher help assist children in step by step folding, draw a face and play with your whales.

  • Connect the Dot Printable- Print worksheets and have children connect the dots counting out loud and color the picture.


Enjoy the lesson! Feel free to submit photos to Love seeing lessons come to life and each community
Leena Vincenz-Gavin