- To understand the importance of prayer.
- To state how Hannah showed gratitude
- Thank God for everything he gives us.
- God is listening. There is a purpose in everything that God does even if we don’t see what it is.
Memory Version: “I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.” (Psalm 69:30)
Class 2 Lesson Guide (PDF)
Also see overall downloads on the main retreat page.
Activity 1: Gratitude Game
With this game, each time you pick up a stick you have to name something you are grateful for.
Materials needed: Colored Chopsticks/ Colored plastic straws
This is a homemade version of Pick-up Sticks, with a twist. With this game, each time you pick up a stick you have to name something you are grateful for. Each color represents a different type of thing. It’s a great way to get the kids really thinking in different ways about all that they can be grateful for!
- To play, you hold all of the sticks in your hand and drop them. They will fall randomly and that is great.
- Then each player takes a turn pulling a stick from the pile. If you make any other stick move, you will lose a turn.
- To play it as the Gratitude Game, each color represents a type of thing you are grateful for. These are the recommended categories, but you can modify them if you want:
*You can also play this game with Skittles instead of Sticks*
- Break the kids up into groups of 5-8 and have them sit in a circle.
- Next give each group a pack of Skittles, with the corner cut off.Make the kids pass the Skittles pack around the circle, pushing one Skittle out at a time. When it is their turn to get a Skittle, they have to say something they are thankful for that matched the list from the Gratitude Game Card (see above).
- To make it even more fun, you can do a NO REPEATS rule. That means the longer you play, the harder the kids have think to come up with things they are thankful for.
Activity 2: Thanksgiving Pumpkin!
The objective of this game is to reflect on and visualize by writing what you are thankful for in your life.
Have the group of students sit in a large circle. They can be broken up into two or more groups if it is a large group.
Depending on how many circles you have, sit at the center of the circle with a pumpkin and sharpie pen in hand (1 pumpkin and marker per group circle). Go around the circle and ask each students to list out one thing they are thankful for and write it in a circular direction around the pumpkin. The older kids can come up and write on pumpkin if they so choose. Repeat this until the pumpkin is full of things to be thankful for!
This will serve as a nice activity that incorporates an element of the fall and thanksgiving season, the pumpkin, while also serving as a visual aid for seeing how many things God has given us.
Activity 3: Count Your Blessing
This activity is the perfect way to display all the things you’re grateful for and a wonderful daily reminder to not take for granted the little blessings in life.
Count Your Blessings Tree Activity Kit (download here)
1″ circle punch or scissors
Glue or double-sided tape
Pen or marker
8×10 picture frame (optional)
- First, print off Count Your Blessings Tree.
- Using the 1″ circle punch (or scissors), cut out the circles.
- In each circle, have the student write down all the things they are grateful for!
- Glue/sticks the circles on the tree.
- When they are done, you can place in a picture frame.
Activity 4: The T-H-A-N-K-F-U-L list
Establish a large playing area. Scatter dozens of playground cones or bowls in the playing area. Underneath the cones or bowls place one of the letters from the word, THANKFUL. You will need one letter from the word for each team. For example, if you have five teams, you will need five of each letter. Some of the cones do not need a letter underneath. Teams will need paper, pencil, and the
T-H-A-N-K-F-U-L list, below.
How To Play:
- Divide players into teams. Line the teams up at one end of the playing area.
- At the go the first player from each team runs to find one of the letters from the word, THANKFUL. Players can only look under one cone during their turn.
- If they find a letter they take it back to their team and tag off to the next player in line. If they don’t find a letter, they still return to their team and tag off to the next player.
- Teams need to pay attention so they don’t go back to the same empty cone.
- Play continues like this until the teams find all the letters in the word, THANKFUL.
- Once all the letters are found, teams use the letters to form words to say what they are thankful for and the character of God to whom they are thankful. The first team to find the letters and complete the “Thankful List” wins.
T= I am thankful for t__________________,
because God is t__________________.
H= I am thankful for h__________________,
because God is h__________________.
A= I am thankful for a__________________,
because God is a__________________.
N= I am thankful for n__________________,
because God is n__________________.
K= I am thankful for k__________________,
because God is k__________________.
F= I am thankful for f___________________,
because God is f__________________.
U= I am thankful for u__________________,
because God is u__________________.
L= I am thankful for l___________________,
because God is l__________________.
Object Lesson/Bible Story
Gather the children around you in preparation for story time. After the introduction, read the story about Hannah praying to God right from the Bible. If possible, use a Children’s Bible so it will be easier for the kids to understand.
Our story today takes place a long time ago, even before Jesus was born. It is about a woman named Hannah. She was one of two wives to a man named Elkanah. Hannah was very sad, because she was getting old, and still did not have any children. The other wife, named Peninnah, had both sons and daughters. To make matters even worse, whenever Hannah would go to the temple to worship God, Peninnah would tease her about having no children. It even made Hannah cry. Then one day, she decided to pray.
1 Samuel 1:8-17, 20 (Hannah Prays to God)
Video (For 3-5 year olds)
- What did Hannah want?
- A son.
- Who did she ask for a son?
- Where did Hannah go to ask God for a son?
- The house of the Lord in Shiloh
- Who was watching nearby when Hannah was praying?
- Priest Eli
- What did she name her son?
- What does Samuel mean?
- ‘God has heard’/ ‘Asked of God.’
- What did Hannah promise the Lord, if she had a son?
- She promised to give him to the Lord and have them raised in the Temple.
- Did Hannah do what she promised?
- What can we give to God?
- Answers will vary.
Extra/Related Activity Sheets
- Hidden Pictures: Hannah Praying for a son
- Coded Words: Samuel Served in God’s House
- Jigsaw Puzzle: Samuel Served in God’s House
- Spot the difference: Samuel Served in God’s House
Lead the children in a prayer of thanksgiving. Encourage to pray for each other.