Thankful for the Animals and Plants

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 15 - Thankful for God's Creation

TEXT: Genesis 1:9-13, 20-25


The students will be able to describe how God created the plants and animals, and will see that He made them for us to enjoy.


Introduction: Bring a live animal (a bird, hamster, goldfish, or something of this sort) to class this week. Allow the children to watch it move about. Discuss the things that make it unique from other animals. Talk about the infinite variety of living things, even within the animal families.

  1. On the third day of creation, God gathered the dry ground together to form land.
  2. He commanded the earth to bring forth plant life, with seed in itself to reproduce after its kind.
  3. On the fifth and sixth days, God created living things to inhabit the earth—sea life, fowls, and animals.

Climax: Try to imagine what our world would be like without plants and animals. We could not exist!

Conclusion: God created an awe-inspiring variety of animals and plants for our use and enjoyment. We must remember to thank Him for all of these.

Response: Your students will be able to tell how God created the plant and animal kingdoms, and give some reasons why we should be thankful for them.


God created plant and animal life for man's need and his pleasure. The infinite variety and beauty, the complexity and detail all speak of God's love and concern for mankind.

Throughout Scripture God is said to be the Creator of all and thus deserving of our worship. In Psalm 104 the writer recounts the various aspects of God's creation and is thus inspired to give praise and thanks (verse 33). Why should men worship a creation of their own hands or some part of nature when it is possible to worship the One who created and sustains the entire universe? See Nehemiah 9:6, Psalm 104, and Isaiah 40:12-28.

God's astonishing power is seen in even the smallest parts of His Creation. The elm tree produces in its lifetime approximately 1,584,000,000 seeds, and each of these tiny seeds has the power within it to reproduce the same number.

Each bird, animal, etc., was made after its own species and remains the same until this day. Although different members of the same species can be interbred, making a different variety, yet an orange cannot be made from an apple, a cat from a dog—or a man from an ape!

God's timing was perfect. He created the grass, fruits, herbs, and other plants in abundance before creating other forms of life that would need them for food.


  • Prepare enough of the popsicle-stick puppets of plants and animals so that each child has at least two (see Patterns). Attach a popsicle stick to the back of each puppet. As the children hold up their puppets have them tell the name of each and then say 'Thank You, God for . . .. "
  • The pattern given for the previous activity can also be run off on a single sheet of paper and given to the children to color.
  • This is a good lesson for showing pictures. There are usually many pictures available to the teachers. Good sources are animal calendars and also packets of pictures from school supply stores. All children like to name the animals and imitate their sounds.
  • Give each child a copy of the Nature Walk activity (see Patterns). Have them start at the top of the page and as they "walk" along the path tell them to circle the correct name of each animal or plant they see.
  • Copy a complete set of the plant and animal dot-to-dot cards for each child (see Patterns). Copy them onto four different colors of paper and cut them apart so there are eight separate cards in each set. Let the children connect the dots to discover one of God's creations. Comment on each creation and why we can be thankful for it.
  • Make animal napkin rings with your class (see Patterns). Trace the animal shapes onto colored posterboard. You or the students can cut out the shapes. Cuta 1½" hole in the center of each shape. Or omit the hole and paste the shape onto a ring made from a 5"x1" strip of construction or other heavy paper. Glue the ends together. Then the students can take them home. Whenever they use them they will be reminded that God made the animals.


  1. How did God create the plants and animals?
  2. How many different plants did God make?
  3. What do you get when you plant a tomato seed? A bean seed? a sunflower seed? Why do you get a tomato from a tomato seed, a bean from a bean seed, and a sunflower from a sunflower seed? Why is this important?
  4. Name some plants. Children often think of plants as just the house plants around their homes. Help them to realize that plants are also trees, bushes, grasses, grains, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
  5. Little boys and girls do a lot of things with plants. Name some of these things (climb trees, pick flowers for Mom, etc.).
  6. Why did God create the plants first?
  7. Talk about how God even provides for (takes care of) the animals by making plants—trees for birds, shrubs for baby rabbits, jungles for monkeys, etc.
  8. Where did God get the different patterns for all the animals?
  9. How would you like to visit the zoo if all the animals looked alike?
  10. Why are some animals tame and some wild?
  11. What is your favorite animal? Why do you think God made that animal?
  12. Think about a world without animals and plants. What would it look like? Would you like it?
  13. How can we show God that we are thankful for the plants and animals He created?


  • Give the children animal crackers as their treat. Have the children tell the name of that animal before they eat each cracker. They would probably even enjoy telling you what sound that animal makes.
  • Bring miniature replicas of animals and plants to class. Playskool, Fisher-Price, and Legos are good sources. Help the children to talk about some of the animals they are especially thankful for. Impress upon the children how beautiful the flowers are and how yummy the food is that God made.
  • Bring simple stencils cut from cardboard, of flower and animal shapes (see Patterns). Let children trace around these and color them while you talk about how God created all of these things for us.
  • Make animal and flower masks for the children (see Patterns). Let them wear them as you talk about each one. God made the animals and flowers and they are all special. Or mount the cut-out shapes on sticks and give each one to a child to hold.


Tell your group that you have brought the ingredients to mix a cake. Talk about how good the cake is going to taste and how much you will enjoy it. Then, as you take out the various ingredients, put up a big poster illustrating where each ingredient came from: flour–wheat field; egg—chicken; sugar—cane field; butter—cow, etc. Talk about how God created all of these things for us.

Bring a variety of stuffed animals and let the children hold them while you talk about how God made animals. If possible, you may also wish to bring something alive to class: goldfish, bird, kitten, or puppy. A beautiful house plant, especially one that is blooming, could represent growing things. Another way to feature this aspect of God's creation would be a basket of fresh fruit for the children to share when the review is over.

Review the creation lessons with the flannel board and finger play activity (see Patterns). Greatly enlarge the patterns and color them to make them exciting.


  • God's Fall Gifts
  • God's Spring Gifts
  • God's Summer Gifts
  • God's Winter Gifts — above by Gail Linam, Broadman Press
  • I am . . . a Tree — by B. and J. Marxhausen, Concordia
  • God's Plan for Seeds
  • God's Plan for Plants
  • God's Plan for Insects
  • God's Plan for Birds
  • God's Plan for Animals — above by Judy Hull Moore, Gospel Publishing House
  • God Made Kittens — Happy Day Book, No. 3636, Standard Publishing
  • God Made Puppies — Happy Day Book, No. 3635, Standard Publishing
  • How God Gives Us Apples — Happy Day Book, No. 3627, Standard Publishing