Free Lesson - Giving Thanks

Opening Prayer

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dear Lord and Father of all, Thank you for today.

Thank you for ways in which you provide for us all.

For Your protection and love we thank you.

Help us to focus our hearts and minds now on what we are about to learn.

Inspire us by Your Holy Spirit as we listen and work.

Guide us by your eternal light as we discover more about the world around us.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

Learn

On October 12th, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. While it is not a religious holiday, it is important to remember who gives us all the good things we have - God. Giving God our thanks is "right and just", as we say at Mass.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever." Psalm 118:1

God loves us so much and, like a good Father, he gives us everything we need. 

Now it's time to watch or read the story of Jesus who helps some people in a special way. Watch to see what these people do.

1:52

Luke 17: 11-19

Click on the book to read the Bible story online or find it in your own Bible.

Think & Discuss

Questions for Young Children
  • What did Jesus tell the ten lepers to do? 

    • To go and show themselves to the priests

  • What happened when the men went on their way? 

    • the men were healed

  • Why did the one man come back to Jesus? 

    • to thank Jesus

  • Is there someone special in your life that you are thankful for? 

    • (maybe parents, grandparents, siblings,
      friends...)

  • How can you show that person you are thankful for him or her? 

    • (tell them, be thoughtful, smile at them, give them a hug, help them...)

  • How do you feel when someone says thank you for something you gave, did, or said?​

  • Why is it important to say thank you to people who help us?

    • (it helps them feel appreciated, they know that we are grateful, it makes them feel good)

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Questions for Older Children
  • What did Jesus do for the ten lepers? 

    • He healed them

  • Why do you think only one man came back to say thank you? 

    • (maybe they forgot or didn't think it was important)

  • Do we sometimes forget to thank people when they help us?

  • Why is it important to have a thankful heart? 

    • when we are thankful / grateful for what we have, we 

  • How often do you remember to thank God for all the blessings he gives you?

  • How do you say thanks to God?

    • (say thank you, count my blessings, recognize that good things come from God, treat others well, take care of our bodies because God created them)

  • Why is it important to have a thankful heart?​

    • when we are thankful / grateful for what we have, we are happier because we realize how blessed we truly are

  • How can being ungrateful take the joy out of blessings?

    • (ex. whining about not getting two scoops of ice cream can steal the joy of having any ice cream at all or being disappointed in a gift you received because it wasn't what you hoped can make you forget this was a gift given out of love)

Understand & Remember

A leper is someone who suffers from a disease called Leprosy. Leprosy causes bumps and sores to form on a person's skin and often causes people to become deformed. Leprosy was such a contagious disease, lepers were forced to live outside the city. They could never see their families or friends again. If someone came too close, they literally were required to chase them away!

During Jesus' time, people thought leprosy was caused by people's sins.  So, if someone had leprosy, it was because he or she had done something wrong.

Jesus gave these ten lepers something no one else could. He gave them back their health, but he also gave them back their lives. Jesus sent them to go show themselves to the priest because the priest had to declare they were clean before they could re-enter society. When Jesus healed them, he restored their health and their lives, but only one man came back to say thank you. The others were too excited to show themselves to the priests, to be declared clean, and get home to see their loved ones. The one leper who said, "Thank you" shows us how important it is to stop what we’re doing and show real gratitude to the people who bless us every day. 

How can we be more thankful to God?  

(2:08)

Be Thankful! Attitude of Gratitude

(2:47)

2020 Gratitude Appreciation Kids Song

(3:47)

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(5:18)

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Colour by number

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Scroll down to nearly the bottom of the page to find instructions for this craft.

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Expressing gratitude fills us with joy! Watch as Sarah and her friends are filled with joy as they name 100 blessings as quickly as they can.

Can you and your family name 100 blessings?

Pray

Dear God, I give You thanks because You are good. Thank You for giving me (name anything you wish). Amen.

 

Dear God, I am tempted to complain about (name an area of dissatisfaction). Please help me to find ways to praise You, even when I am not feeling thankful. Amen.

 

Dear God, please help me to be joyful always and to remember to give You thanks for all things (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19). Amen.

High-five prayer

Praise God for the joy of having five senses with this “high-five prayer.”

Start each sentence yourself, and have your children take turns finishing them.

Dear God, thank You for my eyes. I like to look at ___________.

Thank You for giving me ears. My favourite sound is ___________.

Thank You for creating skin. I really like the feel of ____________.

Thank You for my tongue and the taste of ____________.

Thank You for bad smells that warn me not to touch or taste!

Thank You for good smells, especially ____________.

Amen.

Finish by giving each other high fives.

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Hand Movements for the Thankful Prayer

Here are my suggestions for hand and body movements but feel free to mix it up and make up some of your own.

  • Father: give yourself a hug

  • Up above: raise your hands above your head

  • Thank you: clap your hands

  • For your love: rub your heart with the palm of your right hand

  • I can see: point to your eyes with your pointer fingers

  • And I know: point to your head with your pointer fingers

  • My meals: on rub your tummy with the palms of your hands

  • My warm bed: fold your hands like you are sleeping

  • My friends: point to the other children

  • Old and new: close your hands into this for old and open them for new

  • For your gifts: cup your palms together like you’re holding a present

  • To me: point to yourself with your palms

  • Amen: bow your head and fold your hands

Watch video to see movements for the Thankful Prayer.

OR simply take turns thanking God for his blessings.

Live It Out

Thankfulness Jam

While driving in your car, open up discussion by inviting your kids to tell you what life would be like without a car or a vehicle for transportation. Work together to include your kids’ ideas in a short rhyme of praise. For example, God, thanks for our car; without it we couldn’t go far!

 

Each time you drive somewhere, repeat the jingle and add another verse like this one: God, thanks for our food; not to say thanks would be really rude! This is a fun way to remember to thank God for all the ways He provides for your family.

 

Other things you can praise God for include shoes, food, clothing, pets, stores, water, health, friends, family, freedom and books. See how many verses you can add to your “thankfulness jam” and still remember them!

Thankful Jar  

 

Decorate a jar, then fill it with short notes of gratitude all month. Pick a special time to read the notes together. 

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Create a family gratitude journal

Leave it somewhere where everyone can access it and encourage your family to write in it whenever they are feeling grateful.

When someone complains about something, have them write in the gratitude journal.

Share With Us ...

  • Take a picture of your family doing one of the above-mentioned activities and send it to us

  • Make a list of all the things you are thankful for and send it to us

  • Write your answer to one of the discussion questions and send it to us

  • Do one of the activities in the Understand & Remember section and tell us how you did

  • Make one of the crafts and send us a picture of your version

  • Tell us about your favourite part of this lesson

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