This lesson contains ideas from the current sunbeam's manual, "I Am Thankful for Fish".
Creation Review: Remind the children of The Creation. You can go through this Creation Story if you'd like. Tell the children you're going to talk about one of the Heavenly Father & Jesus' creations today - Fish. Fish are a part of Heavenly Father's plan for the earth.
Fish Slideshow - Slide 2 & 3. Where do fish live? Have you ever seen a fish? Talk about different kinds of fish, such as goldfish, trout, tuna, sharks, or whatever fish might be familiar to the children in class. Let the children talk about fish they have seen. Discuss the different shapes, colors and sizes of the fish.
Slide 3-10 (Jonah and the Whale). "Hold up the Bible and explain that we can read about fish in the scriptures. Tell the story of Jonah, as found in Jonah 1-3. Explain that Jesus prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah so Jonah would not drown. Jesus had work for Jonah to do." As we went through the slides, we used these Jonah and the Whale Cutouts on our TV screen as a visual way to teach the story (see below). I moved the cut outs around as I told the story - I apologize for the quality of picture.
Slide 11 (Jesus and the Fishermen). Show the Bible again as you tell the story of Simon Peter found in Luke 5:1-11. We talked about how Peter and his friends had been fishing all night and hadn't caught one fish. Jesus comes and teaches them and tells them to go back out on the water and cast their nets. This time, they caught so many fish that their net broke!
Slide 12 (Jesus Feeds 5,000). "Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus create fish and water animals for us to use for food and other purposes. Referring to the Bible again, tell the story found in Matthew 14:15-21." We talked about how there were 5,000 people who came to listen to Jesus teach. Jesus wanted to feed them, but they only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus blessed the bread and everyone was able to be fed and full. That's amazing!
Activity - Tub Fishing. I found a set of real feeling and looking fish in the fishing section at Walmart. They come with magnetic hooks. I placed them in our bathtub with a few drops of blue food coloring and the boys caught them with their magnetic fishing poles (from Lakeshore Learning). I thought this would be a quick activity, but the boys played for about a half hour. They placed their fish on a cookie sheet to "bake" in the oven for our treat.
Treat: We placed our fish in the oven (top left) and while the boys were decorating their graham crackers with frosting my husband switched out the fish to gold fish (top right)! The boys were so surprised and kept asking "how did they do that?!". I love how their fishy scene treat turned out. And to say my boys loved it is an understatement. I happened to find "aqua blue" frosting with fish sprinkles at Albertsons.
Testimony: Express gratitude for fish, the creation, the scriptures and the Savior.