These free Thanksgiving Bible lessons will help kids understand that God can give them thankful hearts no matter what the circumstances through powerful examples from Scripture. They can also be used as Thanksgiving Sunday School lessons.


One of the biggest challenges for our kids is learning to be thankful. There is such an expectation of immediate gratification that makes it challenging for our children to “feel” grateful. 

So how do we, as Christian parents, counter that attitude of dissatisfaction? In our home, we find that by teaching our children what God’s Word says about particular topics a change takes place in their hearts. 

This change isn’t always instantaneous, but I fully believe that when Jesus Christ gets a hold of our child’s heart and mind that a strong foundation of faith, character, and virtue is cultivated over time. 

Many of the Psalms call on us to “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”. He is the giver of all good things. 

Teaching our children to rely on God for everything: salvation, healing, provision and more is part of the process of growing a thankful heart. 

If you want to nurture an attitude of gratitude in your kids (or your Sunday school students!) these three Thanksgiving Bible lessons will help! 

3 Simple but Powerful Thanksgiving Bible Lessons for Kids

These lessons, which can be used for Sunday School or at home, cover three specific areas:

  • Our need for God’s healing
  • Our need for God’s goodness
  • Our need for salvation through Jesus Christ

What does salvation have to do with the Thanksgiving holiday? Because salvation that is the greatest gift we can be grateful to receive from Jesus!

You can use all three lessons during the Thanksgiving season with your own children, for your Sunday School class, or during children’s church.

The lessons are designed to help your children learn what the Bible says about gratefulness and the amazing things God has done for us by using Bible stories and key passages from the Scriptures.

The fun activities, simple crafts, and object lesson options help little kids understand important biblical truths.

Each Thanksgiving Lesson for Kids contains:

  • A Key passage from the Bible 
  • Extra Verses
  • Discussion questions
  • Digging deeper facts for more conversation
  • Memory Verse
  • Suggested Thanksgiving activities or Bible story craft
  • Song idea

There is also an optional object lesson idea provided for each Bible time. I sourced these ideas from other faith-based bloggers who I trust! Object lessons work best with kids who are kindergarten age and older due to the more complex concepts. 

Depending on the ages of the kids you’re teaching, you can tweak the lesson length or activities for their attention span or how much time you have. 

These lessons are most enjoyed by children from preschool through older elementary (about age 10-11). 

Before you begin, a few suggestions on teaching these Thanksgiving bible lessons:

  • Start by praying and asking the Holy Spirit to give each person a teachable heart. We can read all the Bible verses we want, but a heart that is open to truth is what will make the difference in that child’s faith and understanding of God’s Word. 
  • Encourage kids to learn the memory verse, perhaps giving a small reward to those who come back with the verse memorized the next week (you can do that if you’re teaching your kids at home too!).
  • Don’t be afraid to give the memory verse to the preschoolers as well. Young children can learn longer Bible verses much more easily than we realize! 
  • The month of November is a great time of year to use these Thanksgiving Bible lessons. You could do one each week leading up to Thanksgiving Day, or you can use all three of them during Thanksgiving week if you’re using them at home.

We use the ESV Bible translation in our home and in our children’s ministry at church. Another translation to consider for very young children would be the ICB. For the youngest students, you can also use a Bible storybook.

In our family we use The Story Bible from Concordia Publishing. It stays very close to the original English Standard Version text and has a question, activity and prayer at the end of every story that you can do with your family.

The inclusion of some of the lesser known accounts from the Bible and the absolutely stunning illustrations makes this a favorite of our kids! Find it HERE.

Thanksgiving Bible Lesson #1: God Heals

Lesson Focus: 

Teaching children that we have a great God who can heal us.

Key Bible Passage: Acts 3:1-10

Share the Story: Today, we are going to learn what happens when a man who could not walk begs for money from apostles Peter and John. 

Opening Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of studying the Bible, Your Word. Help us to listen with open ears and open hearts to learn what you have for us today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Read together Acts 3:1-10. 

Peter and John heal the lame man: Pages 425-427 of the Concordia Story Bible

Extra Verses:

  • Psalm 107:19-20 – Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
  • Jeremiah 17:14 – Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why were Peter and John going to the temple?
  2. Why was the man laying at the gate of the temple?
  3. Why didn’t Peter and John just give the man money (alms)?
  4. What did the man do after he was healed?

Digging Deeper: 

Ask your students what their favorite part of the story was and why. Talk with your students about the importance of taking time to pray, just like Peter and John. When Peter and John went to pray, they were in just the right place to share the gospel with the lame man. 

Share with your students how this miracle showed the power of God to heal both the man’s body and his heart. Ask them to share a time that God healed someone.

Cultivating Conversation: 

As Jewish men, Peter and John went to pray at the temple because devout Jews would pray three times each day at specific times. That is why the Bible passage tells us they were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer (the ninth hour). Why do you think Peter and John were still observing Jewish traditions even though they had come to believe in Jesus as the Messiah?

Have older students continue reading Acts 3:11-13 and talk about how Peter and John were able to use the miracle of the lame man walking as a chance to share about Jesus. 

Ask, “What opportunities might there be for you to share Jesus with someone?” Talk about some ideas. 

Activity or Craft:

Walking, Leaping, and Praising Spinner game (download here) – Print on cardstock, cut out and attach to a piece of foam board or cardboard with a thumbtack and big paperclip, leaving a little “wiggle room” so the paperclip can spin.

Let kids take turns spinning the paperclip and then they complete the action that the clip lands on to mimic the Bible story!

Song: 

Peter and John Went to Pray (preschool-2nd grade)

Peter and John Went to Pray (older elementary)

Memory Verse: 

Acts 3:8: “With a leap, he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.”

Optional Object Lesson: 

Peter and John Heal a Lame Man (Let’s Make a Deal)

Prayer: Thank you, God, for healing the lame man. Thank you for using Peter and John to share the gospel. Help me to remember that you heal my heart through Jesus’ saving work on the cross. Amen.

Thanksgiving Bible Lesson #2: God is Good

Lesson Focus: 

Teaching children that God is always good.

Key Bible Passage: Story of Ruth 

Opening Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of studying the Bible, Your Word. Help us to listen with open ears and open hearts to learn what you have for us today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Share the Story: Last time, we learned that God healed the lame man. God did this because of His great love. 

In this story, we will hear about a woman named Ruth who experienced God’s goodness in her life in a different way – when she was in trouble and was going through a very sad time.

Read together the Book of Ruth, focusing specifically on these passages:

  • Ruth 1:1-9, 16-18, 22
  • Ruth 2:1-3, 15-20, 23
  • Ruth 3:1-11, 16-18
  • Ruth 4:1-11, 13-17

Ruth Goes Home with Naomi and A Blessing for Ruth: Pages 158-162 of the Concordia Story Bible

**Teacher Note: At the end of Ruth 4, it talks about Boaz being intimate with Ruth. This might be a conversation you want to have in your living room at home but may not want to tackle in Sunday school! :) If that’s the case, you can simply omit the words from Ruth 4:13, “When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive…”

Extra Verses: 

  • Psalm 107:1 – Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
  • 1 Chronicles 16:34 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever!

Discussion Questions:

  1. What happened to Naomi and Ruth at the beginning of the story?
  2. How did Naomi and Ruth get food? What did Boaz do to help?
  3. How did God show that he was good to Naomi and Ruth? What was the happy ending to their story?
  4. Did you know that Ruth is part of Jesus’ family? She is his great-great-great-great (many greats) grandmother! Who are your grandparents?

Digging Deeper: 

Read the two extra verses above with your students. Talk about how the Bible sometimes says similar things in different places in Scripture. Through the writers, God does this to emphasize how important something is, so we should pay attention when we see this throughout the Bible. 

The phrase “give thanks” is used 72 times in the Old Testament. Gratefulness and recognizing God’s goodness is incredibly important! It is essential for a joyful Christian life.

Cultivating Conversation:

What are some other ways to say “giving thanks”? (Answers might be: rejoice, thank God, thanksgiving, be grateful, etc)

Talk about a time in your life when you experienced God being good to you when He made something good come out of a difficult time. Read Romans 8:28 together. 

The book of Ruth shows us our need for a redeemer, similar to how Ruth needed a “kinsman-redeemer” (Boaz) to rescue her from going hungry and having no home.

Activity or Craft:

Watch the video on the Story of Ruth

Complete Ruth’s Barley Craft (you may need a couple of extra hands to help the little kids!)

Here is an alternative to Ruth’s Barley Craft that works well for younger children or when you have limited time to do a craft.

If you want to use some lesson time to talk about the history of Thanksgiving, Mary’s First Thanksgiving: An Inspirational Story of Gratefulness is a great book for teaching thankfulness in a relatable way to children of all ages.

Song: 

God is so Good (peppier version)

God is so Good (slower version)

Memory Verse: 

“May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” Ruth 2:12

Optional Object Lesson: 

God’s Goodness is Always the Same

Prayer: Thank you, God, for your goodness to me! Thank you for helping Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz to follow you and trust you. Help me to trust you to do good things. Amen.

Check out these Thanksgiving Bible verses for kids

Thanksgiving Bible Lesson #3: God Saves

Lesson Focus: 

Teaching children that we need salvation through Jesus Christ alone.

Key Bible Passage: John 10:1-18

Share the Story: Do you remember the story of Ruth? She saw God’s goodness to her when she and her mother-in-law Naomi had to leave their home and find a new home. God gave her land and a family. Jesus was one of her descendants. 

Today, we are going to learn more about Jesus and one of the ways that He is described in Scripture, as the Good Shepherd.

Opening Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of studying the Bible, Your Word. Help us to listen with open ears and open hearts to learn what you have for us today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Read together from John 10:1-18.

The Good Shepherd: Pages 367-269 in the Concordia Story Bible

Extra Verses: 

  • Psalm 23:1-2 – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
  • Psalm 28:9 – Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some of the things a shepherd does for his sheep? (protects them, leads them back home, makes sure they are not in danger, steers them in the right direction, feeds them, provides shelter for them)
  2. In what ways is Jesus a good shepherd to us?
  3. What does Jesus say He will do in John 10:17-18?

Digging Deeper: 

Read the two extra verses above with your students. Talk about what it means to be restored and led by Jesus. 

Restored means that we have been brought back, cured or returned. We are separated from God because of our sin (Romans 3:23). 

If you talk to a sheep farmer, they will tell you that sheep wander off the path quite often. They try to leave the pasture and then get lost. They can’t find their way back. They need a shepherd to lead them and bring them safely home. 

Much like sheep wander, we have wandered away from God and strayed off the path of righteousness. We need to be restored! 

Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection is what was necessary for us to be “brought back” or “returned” to God. This is an amazing gospel message for us-–it gives us peace and hope!

When we allow Jesus to lead us, we go the right path. Psalm 100 says “we are his people, the sheep of his pasture ”. Jesus protects His people because He loves them deeply and only wants the best for them. He wants this for you!

Cultivating Conversation:

In Jesus’ day, the religious leaders were not always very kind. That is why Jesus is talking to the Pharisees in the beginning of the passage about their behavior. He says that religious leaders should not be deceiving people under their care. That if they do not care for their people, that they are like strangers to them (verse 5 and 8) and so the people of God will not follow them.

He contrasts this with who HE is, the shepherd of the sheep. The one who calls His people by name and leads them in truth. 

He explains what a good shepherd is:

  • One who cares for his sheep
  • One who lays down his life for his sheep
  • One who calls and leads his sheep
  • One who gives his sheep a full and meaningful life

Jesus also knows His people by name. Some shepherds in the Scottish Highlands not only called their individual sheep by name, but claimed that an individual sheep would recognize and respond to its own name.

In this same way, Jesus knows who you are in a very personal way. He wants to have a personal connection with you as your Savior and your King. He wants to be your Shepherd, leading and guiding you along narrow and dangerous paths. He wants to comfort you and bring you safely back to where you belong: in fellowship (relationship) with Him. 

Ask: What are some ways you have seen Jesus care for you and know what you need in a personal way?

Activity or Craft:

The Perfect Gift

Wrap up a present (can be real or just a box) in wrapping paper and show it as you tell a brief story:

Pretend that you wanted to find the perfect gift for someone you love, maybe your mom or dad or sibling. You searched and searched until you found a present that you were sure they would be so excited about. It was very expensive, so you had to sell everything you owned, every toy and book and thing in your room to buy it. 

You put the gift in a box and you wrapped it up. 

When the day came, you handed the gift to the person you love. You couldn’t wait for them to receive it!

Did the person you love do anything to deserve that gift? Or did they simply receive the wonderful present because you wanted to show how much you loved them? (The answer is YES!)

In the same way you gave up everything you owned to give the best gift to your loved one, God gave up everything to give you the PERFECT gift–His Son, Jesus. 

Jesus gave His life up for us so we could be with Him in heaven someday and receive the gift of salvation. We do not deserve this perfect gift, but God gives it to us because He loves us more than anything!

That is why Ephesians 2:8 tells us that “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God….”

Song: 

The Baa Baa Song (little kids song)

The Good Shepherd (all ages)

Memory Verse: 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10

Optional Object Lesson: 

The Gospel Cross

Prayer: Thank you, God, for your perfect gift! Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross for me and rising again so I can be saved! Forgive me for sinning against you and others. Thank you for your grace and love for me. Help me to trust in you each day. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

I hope these Thanksgiving devotions have been helpful to you, whether they are used at home or in Sunday School!

Thanksgiving Bible Lessons PDF Download

If you want to use these lessons, you can either refer to the blog post for reference each time OR you can download the lessons with all the links to the various activities as well as the spinner game print out and basket craft instructions so you have them at your fingertips!

Purchase the Thanksgiving Bible Lessons: God is So Good digital download (in PDF form, so you can access it instantly) in The Purposeful Mom shop or click on the image below!

Thanksgiving Bible lessons for kids

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