Everyone knows that fishermen are likely to exaggerate the size of their latest catch, but how many fish can brag of catching a man (aside from the one in Geico's cheesy 2015 commercial)? There is no exaggeration in the size of the fish that swallowed Jonah, and there is a lot of truth in this story to swallow as well. The message in this book lends itself to drama too, a great plus for your tactile/kinesthetic learners.
- a large sheet in the middle of the floor (this will be your boat)
- a ticket booth (a card table will do)
- play money (for purchasing tickets)
- signs with arrows for on wall (Tarshish this way & Nineveh this way)
- straws (long ones, and several shorter ones of varying lengths)
- a pup tent turned into the fish
- Ticket seller
- passengers including Jonah (your students)
- crew (can be kids or adult helpers)
- Kids go to ticket booth and purchase a ticket to Tarshish.
- They get on the sheet which represents the boat.
- Students go to sleep in boat.
- Someone turns out the lights and the crew start yelling and screaming pretending they are in a storm. (Spray water from spray bottles for added effect.)
- Finally, the captain calls all the kids to get up. He holds out the straws and everyone draws one to see whose fault it is that they are in this storm. Whoever draws the shortest straw will become Jonah.
- Jonah can deliver his lines right out of the Bible.
- The crew "throws" him overboard.
- Then the class can proceed to the giant fish and at least Jonah can enter into his belly. (We let several go in at one time.)
- The teacher proceeds to tell what happened to Jonah while he was in the fish, and then the fish can vomit the kids up on the shores leading to Nineveh.
We ended the drama here, but of course Jonah preached God's message to Nineveh and had a 100% success rate. You can build a bean pole plant and let Jonah have his pity party because he wanted Nineveh destroyed - or you can just dwell on the teachings found in the first two chapters of Jonah.