Sunday School Lesson

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

John 6:1-15
When Jesus withdrew to a solitary place to be alone with His disciples, a large crowd followed them. As evening approached, the crowd began to get hungry. Andrew, one of Jesus’ disciples, wondered, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” With just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, Jesus fed more than 5000 people and even had 12 basketfuls of leftovers! Use this lesson to lead kids to use their gifts, talents, and possessions to serve Jesus.

Lesson Overview

1

Get Them Curious

Prepare kids for an exciting
learning journey.

Paper Fish Chain

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand1

Cut and decorate a chain of fish to introduce the lesson on Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.

2

Screen Time

Show kids a video on the
Bible story.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand, by Saddleback Kids

3

Make it Stick

Help kids remember the
Bible story.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Skit

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand3

Kids act out Jesus Feeding the Five Thousand.

4

Dig Deeper

Help kids grasp
the big idea.

Cut the Cake Game

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand4

How would you like a cake that never reduces in size no matter how many slices you remove from it?

5

Walk the Talk

Help kids live out
the
big idea.

5 Loaves and 2 Fish Snack

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand5

Kids pack a lunchbox with 5 heart-shaped “loaves” and 2 “fish” to remind them of today’s story.

6

Take it Home

Send kids home with a concrete action plan and fun midweek activities.

What Can I Do?

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Take it Home-01

Help kids use their gifts, talents, and possessions to serve Jesus.

Big Idea

Jesus can feed more than 5,000 people with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

Key Verse

Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many? 
John 6:9

Live it Out

I can use my gifts, talents, and possessions to serve Jesus.

This Sunday School Lesson requires some advance preparation. For a consolidated summary of preparation, supplies and free printables required, please scroll to the bottom of this lesson.

1. Get Them Curious – Paper Fish Chain

Remember to download Paper Fish Chain Printable and prepare all necessary materials in advance.

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain

 

Show kids a sample of the paper fish chain that you have made.

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain 6

Tell kids they will be making their own paper fish chain.

You will need for each child:

  • Paper Fish Chain Printable
  • Scissors
  • Some markers or colored pencils

To make the Paper Fish Chain:
1. Cut out the large rectangle along the black solid lines.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain 1

 

For younger children, cut out a smaller rectangle for a shorter chain.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain 2

 

2. Fold along the gray dashed lines.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain 3

 

3. Cut out the fish along the black dotted lines.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain 4


4. Unfold.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain 5


5. Use markers to draw the fishes’ eyes and decorate the fishes.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain 6

 

Discuss: Can anyone guess the title of today’s Bible story?

 

Say: Let’s watch a video on Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.

 

Pray: Dear God, thank you for our paper fish chain craft! Please help us learn what this craft has to do with today’s lesson and teach us how you want us to live it out! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

2. Screen Time – Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

This is our favorite YouTube video on Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand: https://youtu.be/S6rj9cAJrWE

Before you begin, tell the children to pay attention to the various characters in the story.

3. Make it Stick – Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Skit

For this skit, you will need to provide the following props:

  • Bread: You will need 2 slices of bread per child. Individually pack each slice in a sandwich zip-lock bag.
    Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Bread in Sandwich Bag
    Set aside 5 slices for the young boy’s lunchbox (see below).
    Place the remaining individually packed slices in a large bag, away from everyone’s view but within easy reach.
  • Fish: 1 individually packed Goldfish Snack Crackers per child.
    Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Goldfish Snack Crackers
    Set aside 2 packs for the young boy’s lunchbox.
    Place the remaining packs in another large bag, away from everyone’s view but within easy reach.
  • Young boy’s lunchbox: A lunchbox containing 5 slices of bread, and 2 packs of Goldfish Snack Crackers.
  • 12 empty baskets or bags
  • Optional: Download and print several copies of Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Script.
    (Alternatively, have kids act according to what they remember from the video, or refer to the Bible passage: John 6:1-15.)
    Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Script

Discuss: What Bible story did we just watch?

Show Slide 1 (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide1

 

Discuss: Who are the characters in this story?

Say: Let’s act out today’s story.

Ask for volunteers for the following roles. Everyone else will be part of the large crowd.

  • Narrator
  • Jesus
  • Philip
  • Andrew
  • Other disciples
  • Young boy

Give these volunteers a copy of the script or have them refer to the Bible passage: John 6:1-15.
During the skit, the narrator should provide prompts to guide the large crowd.

Give the lunchbox to the young boy.

Show the disciples where the bags of extra bread and Goldfish Snack Crackers are placed.
These are to be distributed to the crowd after Jesus gives thanks.


When everyone is ready, begin the skit.


After the class has finished acting out the Bible story, thank everyone for their participation.
Collect all the packets of bread and Goldfish snacks (you will redistribute them later for another activity).

4. Dig Deeper – Cut the Cake Game

Explain the game:

  • To begin, one volunteer will be “it”.
  • Everyone else will stand in a circle and gently hold hands.
  • “It” will walk around the outside of the circle and decide where to “cut the cake”. Do this by raising your hand, then gently “cut” a pair of hands.
  • The two players whose hands got “cut” must quickly let go of each other’s hands and run in opposite directions (away from each other) around the outside of the circle.
  • “It” takes their spot and becomes part of the circle, together with the first player who returns to the same spot. The other player becomes “it” for the next round.

Before you begin, explain the safety rules:

  • Gently hold hands. Do not hold on to each other’s hands tightly.
  • When “it” “cuts” a pair of players’ hands, not only must the pair of players let go of each other’s hands, but the other players on their left and right must also let go of their hands immediately.
  • Do not run while holding another player’s hand.

If you are playing with young kids, have them walk around the circle instead of running.
Instead of holding hands, have them touch each other’s hands.

 

You can play for as long as you like.

 

Discuss:

  • Did you enjoy the game?
  • How would you like a cake that never reduces in size no matter how you cut it and how many slices you remove from it?
  • In what way is this like today’s Bible story?

Say: This game reminds us of today’s Bible story: a small boy had a small lunch of five small loaves of bread and two small fish. But it was enough to feed a large crowd of more than 5000 people! Let’s read more about this story.

 

Read John 6:1-3

 

Discuss: After Jesus heard the news that John the Baptist had died, He wanted to go somewhere quiet to be alone with His disciples…

  • Where did Jesus and His disciples go?
  • Why did a large crowd of people follow them?

Read Matthew 14:14

 

Discuss: How did Jesus feel when He saw the large crowd?

 

Say: Jesus had compassion on the people. Instead of sending them away, He healed their sick.

 

Read John 6:5-9

 

Discuss: Did the disciples think they had enough food to feed everyone there? Why or why not?

 

Read John 6:10-13

 

Discuss:

  • What did Jesus do with the five small loaves of bread and two small fish?
  • How many shared the five loaves of bread and the two fish?
  • How much leftover food did they have at the end?
  • What do you think the people learned that day?

Say: Jesus loved the people. Even though Jesus wanted to be alone, He did not send the crowd away. Instead, He had compassion on them. He healed the sick and miraculously fed more than 5000 people with just five loaves of bread and the two fish!

 

Show Slide 2 (Big Idea):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide2

Have everyone read the slide.

5. Walk the Talk – 5 Loaves and 2 Fish Snack

Show kids your sample 5 Loaves and 2 Fish snack.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand 5 LoavesSunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand 2 Fish

Tell kids they will be preparing their own snacks to bring home.

You will need for each child:

  • 1 paper plate
  • 2 slices of bread (from the earlier Make It Stick skit)
  • 1 heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • 2 small zip-lock bags (3″ x 4″) with some bread-spread inside
  • 2 twist ties or pipe cleaners
  • 4 googly eyes

You will also need some transparent sticky tape.

 

To prepare the 5 loaves:

1. Remove the bread from the sandwich bags and place them on the paper plate.

2. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 5 pieces of heart-shaped “loaves”.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand 5 Loaves

 

3. Place the 5 heart-shaped loaves in one sandwich bag. Place all the scraps in the other sandwich bag.

 

To prepare the 2 fish:

1. Give each child 2 small zip-lock bags (3″ x 4″) with some bread spread inside.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand - Fish1Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand - Fish1

 

2. For each bag, fold up in 1 corner to make a pointy tip.
Paste a transparent sticky tape to hold it in place.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand - Fish2

 

3. Gather the center of the bag to shape it into a fish.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand - Fish3

 

4. Secure it using a twist tie.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand - Fish4

 

5. Stick a googly eye on each side.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand - Fish5

 

6. Repeat the above steps to make another fish.

7. Place the 2 fish in the same sandwich bag as the 5 heart-shaped loaves.

 

Tell kids that they will bring these home for their “Take It Home” activities (see the next section).

 

Say: In today’s Bible story, a small boy had five small loaves of bread and two small fish. Something like what we have here.

 

Discuss:

  • Do you think the boy and Jesus’ disciples thought these were enough to feed all the people there?
  • What did Andrew (one of the disciples) say?

 

Show Slide 3 (Key Verse):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide3

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Discuss:

  • Would you have said the same thing if you were there? Why or why not?
  • When the disciples looked at themselves and what the little boy had, what did they see?
  • Instead of looking at themselves, what could they have done?
  • What did Jesus show them that day?

Show Slide 2 again (Big Idea):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide2

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say:

  • In today’s story, the disciples looked at themselves and saw a crowd and only five small loaves of bread and two small fish. They thought it was impossible to try feed so many people with the little that they had. So they wanted to send the people away.
  • But they should have looked to Jesus instead.
  • In the same way, if we look only at ourselves, we may think, “I am only a child. What difference can I make?”
  • But we can look to Jesus instead. Jesus has blessed each of us with different gifts, talents, and possessions. We can use these to serve Jesus. He can do wonders with them!

 

Show Slide 4 (Live it Out):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide4

Have everyone read the slide.

6. Take it Home – What Can I Do?

Say: Let’s recall all that we have learned today. Can you remember the title of today’s Bible Story?

Show Slide 1 again (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide1

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: Can you remember today’s big idea?

Show Slide 2 again (Big Idea):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide2

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: Can you remember today’s key verse?

Show Slide 3 again (Key Verse): 
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide3

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: How can we live out today’s lesson?

Show Slide 4 again (Live it Out): 
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide4

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Discuss:

  • What are some things that Jesus has blessed you with?
  • What are some of your talents?
  • How can you use your gifts, talents and possessions to serve Jesus?

Say:

  • In today’s Bible story, when the disciples looked at the large crowd and the little boy’s small lunch, they thought they didn’t have enough.
  • But Jesus showed them it was more than enough!
  • In the same way, when we look at ourselves, we may think that we can’t do much. But if we simply use them to serve Jesus to the best of our ability, Jesus can do mighty wonders with them!

Give each child a copy of Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Take it Home Handout.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Take it Home-01  Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Take it Home-02

 

Say:

  • Let’s write down your personal response to God in the Live it Out section on the first page. Then spend some time on your own talking to God about these things.
  • The other pages are for you to do at home. Tell me next week about what you did at home!

Distribute the packets of Goldfish snacks from the earlier Make It Stick skit.
Tell kids that they can share this with their family and friends as they brainstorm what to do with their bag of bread scraps.

 

Give everyone some time to write down their Live it Out action plan before ending the lesson with this closing prayer:

Pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for today’s Bible lesson on Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand. When the disciples looked at the large crowd and the little boy’s small lunch, they thought they didn’t have enough. But thank you for showing us that you can do mighty wonders with the little boy’s small lunch! In the same way, we know that you can do mighty wonders with our gifts, talents, and possessions. Please help us to use them to serve you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Lesson Preparation and Supplies

Here’s a summary of all the preparation, supplies and free printables required for this lesson.

1

Get Them Curious

Prepare kids for an exciting
learning journey.

Paper Fish Chain

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand1

Cut and decorate a chain of fish to introduce the lesson on Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.

Download Paper Fish Chain Printable. Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Paper Fish Chain

 

Make 1 paper fish chain in advance. (Follow the instructions in “Get Them Curious” section above.)
You will need to show kids your sample craft.

You will need for each child:

  • Paper Fish Chain Printable
  • Scissors
  • Some markers or colored pencils

2

Screen Time

Show kids a video on the
Bible story.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand, by Saddleback Kids

Ensure that you can play this YouTube video:
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand, by Saddleback Kids
(Video URL: https://youtu.be/S6rj9cAJrWE)

3

Make it Stick

Help kids remember the
Bible story.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Skit

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand3

Kids act out Jesus Feeding the Five Thousand.

For this skit, you will need to provide the following props:

  • Bread: You will need 2 slices of bread per child. Individually pack each slice in a sandwich zip-lock bag.
    Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Bread in Sandwich Bag
    Set aside 5 slices for the young boy’s lunchbox (see below).
    Place the remaining individually packed slices in a large bag, away from everyone’s view but within easy reach.
  • Fish: 1 individually packed Goldfish Snack Crackers per child.
    Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Goldfish Snack Crackers
    Set aside 2 packs for the young boy’s lunchbox.
    Place the remaining packs in another large bag, away from everyone’s view but within easy reach.
  • Young boy’s lunchbox: A lunchbox containing 5 slices of bread, and 2 packs of Goldfish Snack Crackers.
  • 12 empty baskets or bags
  • Optional: Download and print several copies of Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Script.
    (Alternatively, have kids act according to what they remember from the video, or refer to the Bible passage: John 6:1-15.)
    Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Script

Download Slide 1 (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide1

4

Dig Deeper

Help kids grasp
the big idea
.

Cut the Cake Game

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand4

How would you like a cake that never reduces in size no matter how many slices you remove from it?

Download Slide 2 (Big Idea):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide2

5

Walk the Talk

Help kids live out
the big idea
.

5 Loaves and 2 Fish Snack

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand5

Kids pack a lunchbox with 5 heart-shaped “loaves” and 2 “fish” to remind them of today’s story.

Prepare 1 sample 5 Loaves and 2 Fish snack in advance.

(Follow the instructions in “Walk the Talk” section above.)
You will need to show kids your sample snack.
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand 5 LoavesSunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand 2 Fish

You will need for each child:

  • 1 paper plate
  • 2 slices of bread (from the earlier Make It Stick skit)
  • 1 heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • 2 small zip-lock bags (3″ x 4″) with some bread-spread inside
  • 2 twist ties or pipe cleaners
  • 4 googly eyes

You will also need some transparent sticky tape.

 

Download Slide 3 (Key Verse):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide3

 

Download Slide 4 (Live It Out):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Slide4

6

Take it Home

Send kids home with a concrete action plan and fun midweek activities.

What Can I Do?

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Take it Home-01

Help kids use their gifts, talents, and possessions to serve Jesus.

Download Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Take it Home Handout.
You will need to print 1 copy for each child.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Take it Home-01

 

It would be good to tell parents about the Take it Home Handout. Encourage them to do the suggested family activity with their child.

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