Jonah and the Great Fish

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and he decided to run from God, and he found a ship that was going to Tarshish.
God sent a strong wind out onto the sea, and the sailors thought the ship was going to be broken apart! Jonah was at the bottom of the ship sleeping.
The captain went to Jonah and said, "Ask God to save us!" Jonah said he was trying to run away from God, but we can't hide from God! Jonah told the sailors to throw him into the sea and the storm would stop.

The men tried to row to the land, but the waves were too rough. They cried to God “Please make us die for this man that isn’t pleasing You.”  So, they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea! Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah.  We are not told what kind of fish. Jonah 1:17
Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah prayed to God while he was in the fish’s belly. He probably did a lot of praying in those three days!  
The Bible tells us that God spoke to the fish, and it spit Jonah out onto dry ground.
God went to Jonah a second time and told him to go to Nineveh to preach the message that God would tell him to speak. What do you think Jonah did this time? He went to Nineveh! He taught the people about God. The people believed God. God saw that they changed their evil ways! 
Notes about the fish God created: What kind? God created a great fish. Jonah 1:17 We don’t know what kind. I looked up 27 versions of this scripture, and all versions translated as great, large, huge, big, etc. fish. Whale is not found in the Old Testament. Jesus mentions Jonah in Matt. 12:40. The translators for the original Greek didn't have a word for 'ketos' [large sea creature]. Another Greek word for fish was 'dahg'. So, in Matthew's account, ASV, CEB, DRA, and KJV translate as whale, but it is not a correct translation. Could be a sea creature, shark or a whale, but God created a specific water 'animal' for Jonah.
 There is a very good article written by Eric Lyons with more info here.
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This is the display I use for Jonah. I toss some shells, pieces of wood, plastic fish & crabs, etc. into the felt water. This is the same boat I use for Paul's shipwreck and Jesus. The fish swallowing Jonah is from Dollar Tree, and so is Jonah. Jonah is a small G.I. Joe and I added cloth to make him dressed like a Bible person. This Jonah is also the Jonah I will use with the printable craft for this lesson.
Jonah Song is written by Christina Barkley and used with permission. These letters were made to use magnets on the back (see next option) and take them on and off for each letter of the song. I will use them for bulletin board lettering instead. You can print them here.
Here are the letters on a half sheet of paper that I think would be better to put magnets on the backs and add and take way as you sing the song. You can print it here.
Here is the size for the song that I like. It is 1/4 of a sheet of paper and this is what I printed for the craft sticks to use with preschool. Each size really has a different use, so it depends on what you prefer. You can print this one here.
When I did this lesson, I used the fish, but I used items I had for the fish to swallow, so I put those type graphics on the last page of the printable, in case you do not want to print them. This is made to look like a plain fish that doesn't resemble any certain type, since God did not tell us what He made it look like.
This is the project I used for the Bible lesson and after all my pinning on Pinterest, I combined several ideas together to make this printable. I wanted to use a container that is pretty available and safe for my granddaughter to use. This is a Parmesan plastic container and is 6" tall and 2 3/4" across the top. This fish pattern is made so you can use it a bit larger or smaller if you need to.
(1) This is what the top of the body will look like once it is printed, cut, and the fins are attached. (2) This is the underneath of the body, so you can see the tabs. You can see, I printed the fin page onto green cardstock. I wanted more color than the white cardstock.
Next, attach the head/jaws. I used glue dots and attached it around the edge. Then, you can just bend the teeth in to make the jaws. Next, the body gets wrapped around the container. I used glue dots on the plastic, and Aleene's Tacky Glue where there was paper glued to paper.
 You can tell by this finished picture; the top fin needs to be centered between the eyes.
Finally, you can attach the back fin. Depending on the size of your container, you might need to trim some excess paper off. When the fin is folded up around the bottom, it should be right in the center of the back.
I cut on each side also, so the paper would lay flat. Just cut and glue as you need to. Once I glued the 2 sides onto the container that are on each side of the tail fin, I pulled up the tail fin and glued it. Then, I cut and glued the rest around to cover and fin and lay pretty flat.
This is how the back of mine looked when finished, top and bottom.
This is the finished look from the side.
This post was featured here! ☺


  1. Hi, found you through True Aim Education link-up.
    We are doing this at the moment. You have some great ideas. Hope to see you soon at

  2. This is a wonderful unity study of Jonah. I hope you'll consider adding it, and many of your posts, to the Look What We Did link up hosted by HammockTracks. I think the readers there would really enjoy this project. -Savannah @ HammockTracks

  3. Hi Deb.
    Love that Ship! Looks like a fun way to teach Jonah. Hopping in from the R16:16 blog hop. :)

  4. Ooh, I like the fish that swallows things. Except the teeth. I know when I was a kid, that might have kind of scared me.

    1. Well, I guess it could scare some, but they can be trimmed down. I have a 18 m and a 3 yr old (grandkids) and it didn't scare them, they just had fun!

  5. How awesome - you put a tin of work into this. Looks great! Thanks for linking up at Family Fun Friday. Sincerely,

  6. Wow this is so creative! I can't wait to try this out with my boys. I would love for you to link up on my Thursday Toddler and Preschool linky party. Hope to see you there!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! And, thanks for the invite... I added Jonah and a butterfly link!

  7. This is being feature at Family Fun Friday this week!

  8. Wow! What a fabulous unit on Jonah! My little girls (ages 2 and 4) would love most of those activities! I would love for you to link up at the Little Disciples Linky Party, where we share ideas for teaching young children about God.

    1. Marla, thanks again for the invite. I wasn't able to leave a comment on your blog for some reason, so I hope you can see the thank you here!

  9. Thanks for stopping by... I appreciate the invite! I added Jonah and God Makes Butterflies.

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