Feeding of the 5,000

Scripture: Mark 6: 30-44, John 6: 1-12, Matthew 14:13 – 21, Luke 9:10 – 17 or pages 402 – 403 of The Golden Children’s Bible

Target Age Group:  1st through 6th grade

Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.

Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.

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Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to Mark 6 or page 402 in The Golden Children’s Bible.

So many people were following Jesus and the disciples that they were finding it hard to find time to eat or rest.  So, they got in a boat to get away to a quiet place. This is where the story begins… 

(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)

  • Did Jesus and the disciples end up in a quiet place where they could get away from the crowds and rest? No.  The people figured out where they were going and they ran ahead and got there before they did.
  • How many people were there? 5,000
  • Does anybody have any idea how many people 5,000 is?  To help them visualize how many 5,000 people would be, show them the people page   from this web site lesson.  Explain that there are 250 faces on the page.  Post it on the wall.  Then add another page, and another etc. until you have 20 total pages, which equals 5,000 faces.
  • Did Jesus tell them to go away so that He could have some time alone? No.  He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
  • What did He do instead?  He started to teach them
  • What did the disciples suggest to Jesus that He should do?  Send the people away to the surrounding villages to get something to eat.
  • What was Jesus’ answer to them?  “You give them something to eat.”
  • Can you imagine being asked to feed that many people?  How do you think that the disciples felt? Overwhelmed.
  • What was their answer to Jesus? “Should we go and buy them 200 penny worth of bread?”  That would take more than half a years’ wages!
  • Jesus told them to go and find out how much food they had there.  How much did they find? Five loaves and two fish.
  • What did Jesus do then?  He gave thanks to God, then he broke the bread and fish into pieces and had the disciples pass it out to the people.
  • Did everyone get just a crumb?  No.  Everyone got enough to be satisfied. And there were 12 baskets left over!
  • How do you think the little boy who gave up his loaves and fish felt?  Happy to have helped Jesus.
  • Jesus took care of their needs, didn’t He?  Do you think that Jesus cares about your needs, too? Yes He does.  We can come to Him with any need that we have.
  • Have you ever felt like God was asking you to do things that are impossible? Let the kids give examples.
  • What does this story teach us about doing the impossible for God?  If we give what we have – even if it is only a little – God will take it and He’ll do the rest.
  • Let’s pray and thank God for providing for our needs. And let’s ask the Lord to help us to step out in faith with what little we have, trusting that He will accomplish more than we can imagine possible with it…

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During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…

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Memorize the verse.

John 6:35  I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.  

Use this cut and scramble activity from Childrens’ Chapel to help them learn it. Page #1  Page #2

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If you have a laptop and internet connection show this music video of the song “Five Loaves and Two Fishes” by Corrinne May.

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Sing the song “5,000 Folks” by Bible Story Songs, “Little is Much” by Mary Rice Hopkins, or “One Basket” by the Donut Man.  Or sing “Little Bit of Love” by Mary Rice Hopkins.  These songs are available on i-tunes.

Here is a Feeding of the 5,000 version of “Little is Much”

Jesus was preaching to  5,000 one day

Soon the disciples said, “Lord, send them away.”

“Five loaves and two fish is all that there is to eat.”

Jesus blessed the snack and it became a feast.

Little is much when He lives in your heart.

Little is much when you know who you are.

Little is much when He lives in your heart.

Little is much.

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Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story. Color page #1  Color page #2   Color page #3   Color page #4   Color page #5   Color page #6  color page #7  An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles.  The pages are reproducible.

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Do a crossword puzzle or a word search featuring this story.

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Make this bread and fish mobile from the New Church Vineyard.

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Bring a picnic basket with snacks inside and have a picnic for snack time.  (You might start the class time with one of these  object lessons from sermons4kids.  Lesson #1  Lesson #2

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Evaluate what the children have learned.  While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.

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Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.

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