Idea from book by Elisa Morgan, “The Beauty of Broken”

Teaching Goal:  Focus on being thankful in both good and challenging times.

Scripture:  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Materials:  Paper

Pencil and color pencils/crayons

  1. Play theme song
  2. Pray
  3. Review last lesson
  4. Lesson and Discussion
  • Words written in bold are when the leader is speaking. Feel free to use your own words.

ACTIVITY: We are going to use our hand to make a Thanksgiving turkey. Show them the example to the right. Trace each person’s hand and complete the turkey with feet, beak, wing, etc.

BEFORE YOU COLOR THE TURKEY. Let’s think of four things we are thankful for this year and write one on each finger. Now you can color your turkey.

After everyone is done coloring the turkey, invite a volunteer to read

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. In this letter, Paul teaches us to be thankful in all circumstances. This means good times and challenging times. Did anyone write on their turkey a difficult time that they are thankful for? Allow time for everyone to share what they wrote.

Let’s flip the turkey over and on the other side of the fingers, let’s write four things that happened this year that we are not thankful for…yet. Loss of a loved one. Sickness. Trouble in school. Etc. Adults: You may want to share a story of a hard time in the life of your family which after a time, turned out to be a blessing. (See “close in prayer” for the conclusion to this activity.)

Display the front part of the turkey this year. Save them for next year at Thanksgiving, and see if we can recognize how God used these bad times for His good purposes.


Thank God for the year we had,

All times, good and bad.

Close in Prayer-  Even though we don’t feel thankful for these parts of our year, let’s say a prayer, trusting that God is in both the good and challenging parts of our lives and asking him to help us be thankful all the time.


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