We Worship by Giving Thanks

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 03 - How We Worship

TEXT: Psalm 150:1-6


The students will understand that we worship God by giving thanks and praise to Him. They will be able to name some things for which they are thankful.


Introduction: Show a picture or symbol of Thanksgiving.

Progression of Events:

  1. Thanksgiving is the day set aside by the United States government as a day of thankfulness. Review history of holiday.
  2. We should be thankful every day. Man was created to praise God.
  3. God has given us many material blessings.
  4. We want to be thankful in every circumstance.

Climax: An attitude of thanksgiving is a blessing to ourselves and those with whom we come into contact.

Conclusion: One way we worship God is by offering Him our thanks for His blessings.

Response: Your students will name some things for which we should be thankful, and be able to tell why a thankful spirit is important.


Webster's dictionary defines thanksgiving as "an act of rendering gratitude to God, a prayer expressing one's thanks; or it may be a public acknowledgment, or celebration, of divine goodness and mercies."

Our Thanksgiving Day, when first celebrated, was a celebration of thankfulness to God for His benefits—something more than just an occasion to get together for a special dinner. Governor William Bradford designated a day, July 30, 1623, for the Plymouth colonists, as a Thanksgiving Day for the purpose of prayer, and worship of God, as well as a time of celebration.

On November 26, 1789, President George Washington issued a general proclamation for a day of thanks but it wasn't made a national holiday until President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November to be "a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father."


  • Cut out a wheel and rectangle with V-type opening (see Patterns). Student may either draw pictures or put stickers of things he's thankful for on each of the sections of the wheel. Student writes his name on the blank. Wheel is placed behind front piece, matching X's. A brad is put through X's.
  • Who Should Worship God?
    Fold a piece of construction paper (12" x 7") into four equal sections. Make a cardboard pattern of child (see Patterns). Let children trace this onto their construction paper. Cut out, making sure that the figures touch the folded edge of the paper. When opened, the cutout will be connected like paper dolls. Have children draw in faces, clothes, etc., and then color. Explain that everyone should praise God. We praise God together at church.
  • Help your students make a "Thank You" poster. Cut two rectangles in contrasting colors, one smaller than the other. Paste small rectangle onto larger one. Fill small rectangle with magazine clippings of people and things for which we should be thankful. Print ''THANK YOU GOD, FOR EVERYTHING!" at bottom of large rectangle. Punch hole in top for hanging.
  • Bring a beautifully wrapped present to class. Have something inside such as a package of cookies, candy, etc., to share with each student. Ask your students: What are some ways of saying "Thank you?" Examples: Thank You card (bring one to class), prayer, etc.


  1. When is the best time to thank and praise God?
  2. Name some things for which we should always be thankful.
  3. When God answers our prayers we should always remember to thank and praise Him. Tell of prayers that God has answered for you or someone you know.
  4. Tell of ways we can praise God.
  5. Is it always easy to be thankful? Name a time when you were unthankful.


  • Give each of your children a hug. Tell them, "Saying Thank You to Jesus is like giving Him a hug!"
  • Draw a simple table setting on a sheet of paper for each child. Let them draw in their favorite foods on the plate. Then talk about how important it is to tell Jesus ''Thank You" for their food. Practice saying a simple "Thank You" prayer together.
  • Make Thank You cards for Jesus. Bring construction paper, cutouts, pictures, and stickers. Ask your children what they want to say in their card, and print the words for them. Then post the cards on the bulletin board around the words, "Jesus, We Just Want to Thank You."
  • Talk about different ways of saying "Thank you." A puppy says "Thank you" by wagging its tail. A kitty says, "Thank you" by purring. A bird might sing a special song. We say "Thank You" in our prayers, and also by trying to do what Jesus wants us to do.


Materials needed: turkey made from construction paper, feathers to be added one at a time. Show turkey without feathers, asking what is missing and pointing out that without feathers it does not look quite right. Add a feather for each thing the children say they are thankful for until all the feathers are added. The Bible says, "In every thing give thanks." Christians are not complete either if they don't have a thankful heart.

To show abstract things to be thankful for:
Blow up a balloon—air
Blindfold someone—sight
Show headphones—hearing
Give someone a hug—love

Ask the children to name things we should thank Jesus for. List the items they suggest on the chalkboard in columns by the first letter of the item. Make columns as follows:

T         H         A       N         K          Y     O           U                G              O         D     !

Trees  horse  auto  name  keys   you  orange umbrella   grandpa  ovens  dog etc.

Write the items in the appropriate columns, but do not label the columns until the end of the review. Items that cannot be listed under the above letters should be put into a column at the end (after D). An exclamation point (!) should be put at the head of this column when finishing the review. Have the children read the heading.

Involve some of your students in a skit portraying the cleansing of the ten lepers, with one returning to give thanks. Simple costumes can be made by draping the heads of the ten with scarves, and posting a few obvious spots of adhesive paper, or Band-Aids, on their arms. When they are made clean, have them look under each other's scarves, and then rejoice with each other as they see that the leprosy is gone. (Peel off spots and Band-Aids as their backs are turned to the audience.)

Have a group of your students do a pantomime, with each one depicting a different thing for which we should give thanks. For example: our physical senses, our Bible, our homes and families, food, clothing, etc. Allow the students watching, to guess what is being portrayed.

Make the focus of your review the words, "every thing." To visualize why it is important to be thankful in everything, show the children several objects that are complete except for one thing. (Some examples could be: a flashlight with everything there except the batteries; a clock with everything there except the hands; a lamp with everything there except the light bulb.) Point out that we are told to give thanks in "every thing." If we pick and choose the circumstances and events of our lives for which we will be thankful, we may not function effectively as a Christian.


  • My Church — coloring book, 8 each of 6 pictures, Christian Board of Publication
  • Showing Our Love — Record and songs, 6 songs with resource sheet for each song.
    Full-color flannelgraph sheets to add interest. Gospel Publishing House
  • We Give Thanks — Coloring book, Concordia
  • But I'm Thankful — I Really Am! Jane Belk Moncure (book), Standard Publishing