The New Testament Bible story about Jesus feeding 5,000 men with two tiny fish and five small loaves of bread makes excellent Sunday school lesson plans and activities. The story teaches Jesus’ control over nature, compassion, and provision. These Sunday school materials can be used as presented here, or customized to suit a specialized children’s ministry curriculum.
Sunday School Lesson Plans – Fishes Loaves
Teaching these Sunday school materials takes 30 to 60 minutes. By the end of the Bible lesson, children’s ministry classes understand miracles and connect them with Jesus. They learn the story, make a craft, and sing a Bible scripture.
This lesson extends previous Sunday school materials and lessons in the children’s ministry curriculum about miracles and God’s sovereignty over nature. Here is a list of Sunday school materials needed to teach this children’s ministry lesson.
Miracle of the Fish and Loaves – Materials
The following materials will be required for this activity:
- Bible or copy of Bible text from John 6:5-13
- Picnic basket
- 2 cooked fish sticks
- 5 bread sticks
- One package of goldfish snack crackers
- One package of miniature bread sticks
Before children’s ministry class, prepare the Sunday school materials by filling the bottom of the basket with several handfuls of goldfish snack crackers and bread sticks. Cover these with a napkin and place five small bread sticks and two fish sticks on top.
Materials for the Bible Craft include:
- Modeling clay – white, brown, and green colors
- Construction paper cut-outs of loaves of bread
- Strips of paper inscribed with John 6:48 – “I am the bread of life”.
Sunday School Lesson Plans – Teaching the Story
Spread the blanket on the floor and invite the children’s ministry class to a picnic. Tell them how Jesus taught the people and provided food. Tell the story of the miracle of the fish and loaves in your own words.
Here are suggestions for using the Sunday school materials as visual aids for engaging a children’s ministry class. Incorporate discussion questions into the Bible lesson to encourage class participation.
Show the two fish sticks and small bread sticks. Ask: “Would this be enough to feed all of us?”
At the end of the lesson, ask the children’s ministry class: “What did Jesus do with the fish and loaves before He gave it to the disciples?” (He blessed the food.)
Raise the basket and ask the children bow their heads. Pray this prayer: “Dear Jesus, You made everything – even fish and bread. Just as you blessed the food at your picnic, bless our snack today. Amen.”
Remove the fish sticks, bread sticks, and napkin to reveal the snack underneath. Pass the basket and let the children help themselves. While the children’s ministry class eats, ask discussion questions like:
- How many baskets of bread and fish were leftover?
- Was anyone still hungry?
- How many men did Jesus feed?
- How many people were at the picnic beside the men?
Following the discussion, the instructor can give the children the cut-out bread loaf shapes and let them decorate them. Help them use the glue sticks to glue the memory verse to the bread. Send the Sunday school materials home as a reminder of the scripture and story.
Sunday School Lesson’s Music Activity
Teach the scripture verse found in John 6:48 by singing these words to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”: “I am the bread of life, follow me, and follow me.”
Rehearse it a few times and then let the children play “Follow the Leader” while singing.
A Tactile Activity for the Bible Lesson
Let the children make baskets, fish, and loaves with the modeling clay. Encourage them to break their fish and loaves into small pieces and share with each other. Interject some discussion questions like:
- Where did the disciples get food?
- What was in the boy’s lunch?
- Why did the boy give his lunch to the disciples?
Using Sunday school lesson plans is a good way to teach children’s ministry classes. Sunday school materials and lesson plans helps the teachers stay on track and cover all the key points of Bible lessons.