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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Mark 4:35-41

Story Summary

(This story can also be found in Luke 8:22-25 and Matthew 8:23-27)

This is a short story, and no summary is needed. Here are some highlights and context:

  • Take note that this story happens after a day of much preaching.
  • This story happens on the Sea of Galilee, which is known for having sudden storms crop up with violent winds.

This miracle demonstrates 2 things:

  1. Jesus has power over nature
  2. Jesus cared for his disciples

What You Will Need

Supplies
A canoe or row-boat to teach from, a New Testament Bible map to show where the Sea of Galilee is located

Resource Sheet

Jesus Calms the Storm Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts Jesus sleeping on the boat before he calmed the storm

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

Have you ever been on a boat out in water? Where was it? Was it raining or thundering when you were on the boat?

Today, we're going to learn about a time when Jesus and his disciples were on a boat in the Sea of Galilee and a furious storm popped up! How do you think the disciples felt?

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

If you have access to one, teach from a canoe or row-boat (something you can fit into your classroom).

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or read directly from the Bible.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Mark 4:35-41

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Where did this story take place? (the Sea of Galilee)
  • Where were Jesus and the disciples going? (across the Sea, to the other side)
  • What happened as they were on the water at night? (a great storm arose, and water started splashing into the boat)
  • What was Jesus doing as this happened? (he was sleeping in the stern, or the rear of the boat)
  • What did the disciples do next? (they woke up Jesus and asked him, "don't you care about us"?)
  • What did Jesus do in response? (he asked them why they had little faith, and called out to the storm and told it to be quiet)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • In this story, the disciples were afraid of the storm that had suddenly appeared as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus calmed the storm and asked his disciples to have more faith.
  • What are you afraid of? How can Jesus help you?

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done. Ephesians 4:32

Reinforcement Activities

Act out the story

Scripture Mark 4:35-41

Supplies canoe or row-boat, spray bottles with water

  • Have the students act out the story.
  • You will need one student to be Jesus, several students to be disciples and several students to be the storm.
  • Use a canoe or row-boat and spray bottles (for the storm) for effect.

Juice Box Boats

Heads up! Need to collect juice boxes ahead of time or serve for snack, prior to the activity.

Scripture They left the crowd behind. And they took him along in a boat, just as he was. There were also other boats with him. A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. Mark 4:36-37

Supplies empty juice boxes, skewers, card stock, tape, crayons, tub of water, straws

  • Cut card stock into triangles to make sails.
  • Decorate both sides of skewers.
  • Tape triangle to skewers.
  • Stick skewer through juice box.
  • Place in water.
  • Blow water through straws to creat waves.

Origami Boat Races

Scripture They left the crowd behind. And they took him along in a boat, just as he was. There were also other boats with him. A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. Mark 4:36-37

Supplies paper, straws, long tubs of water, water

  • Make boats.
  • Place boats in water.
  • Blow through straws to race!

Make Lightning

Scripture A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. Mark 4:37

Supplies aluminum pie pan, piece of wool, tack, pencil with eraser, styrofoam plate

  • Push tack through bottom of aluminum pie plate, in center.
  • Push pencil eraser onto tack. This will be how you hold the aluminum pan.
  • Rub a piece of wool quickly on the styrofoam plate, for about 2 minutes
  • Drop aluminum pan onto styrofoam plate, without touching the pan.
  • Slowly move your finger toward the aluminum pan.
  • You should be able to feel (as see, if dark) the lightning.

Storm in a Bottle

Scripture A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. Jesus was in the back, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up. They said, “Teacher! Don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:37-38

Supplies water bottles, water, oil, blue food coloring, glitter, tape

  • Fill bottle with water, leaving about an inch from the top.
  • Add blue food coloring and glitter
  • Add a few drops of vegetable oil.
  • Tape the bottle closed.
  • Add sea stickers, if desired

Sleep Tag

Scripture Jesus was in the back, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up. They said, “Teacher! Don’t you care if we drown?” Mark 4:38

Supplies Large play space

  • Divide into two teams: Jesus and the disciples.
  • Choose one (or more) people to be "It"
  • If a disciple is tagged, they are out of the game.
  • If someone from the Jesus team is tagged, they must go to sleep.
  • The disciples must wake up the people from the Jesus team (by tagging them), without getting themselves tagged first by "It".
  • The purpose of the game is for "It" to tag all of the disciples out and get everyone from the Jesus team to sleep.

Jesus Calms the Storm Paper Craft

Scripture Mark 4:35-41

Supplies Paper, markers or crayons, scissors, posickle sticks

  • Color the entire bottom of the paper with crayon or blue water colors to make the sea.
  • On the left side, make dark storm clouds and rain.
  • One the right side, draw a sunset.
  • Cut dotted line slit above water line.
  • Glue or tape boat to popsicle stick.
  • Glue Bible verse strip over appropriate side of paper. ( “Teacher! Don’t you care if we drown?” and “Quiet! Be still!”)
  • Slide boat through slit, Can move from storm side to calm side.

Human thunderstorm

Heads up! This works best with a large group.

Scripture A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. Mark 4:37

  • Have everyone in the room do the actions at the same time. If you have a really large group, have them begin the next action in waves. Someone at the front can lead them in the actions and when to change.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Snap your fingers.
  • Clap your hands together (not at the same rhythm).
  • Slap your hands on your legs.
  • Stomp your feet.
  • Slap your hands on your legs and stomp your feet.
  • Stomp your feet.
  • Slap our hands on your legs
  • Clap your hands together.
  • Snap your fingers.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Quiet