Calling of the Fishermen



  1. Students should be able to name all 12 disciples.
  2. Students should be able to tell the story of the miracle of the full nets.
  3. Students should be able to say the word “disciple” and know that Jesus’s disciples were His closest followers.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer. As you finish praying, why not make some fish in nets for the children to eat while reading and discussing? Take some small curly pretzels.  Provide icing colored blue and goldfish snacks. Children can dab some blue icing onto pretzel "net" and stick on the goldfish for a "catch". 


  1. Scripture references: Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20, and Luke 5:1-11. When did Jesus first meet Andrew? (He was a follower of John the Baptist.) Why is Andrew called the “First-called”? Who was Andrew’s brother? (Simon, later named Peter by Jesus) Who were the sons of Zebedee, also brothers? (James and John) What do you think Peter said when he saw all those fish in his net?


  1. Talk a bit about being a disciple. What is a disciple? (a person who follows the teachings of a teacher) Jesus had 12 close disciples, but many followers. What did the fishermen have to do to become Jesus’s disciples? Did they enjoy fishing? How do you think they felt leaving their homes and families? Was it easy being a disciple? We are also Jesus’s disciples. What does Jesus ask us to do? Is it always easy?

Sometimes we are confused by the reference to disciples and apostles. Many of these men were the same. Disciples are students and followers. Apostles are people sent forth to do something – in this case to teach the world about Jesus. Which disciple never became an apostle? (Judas Iscariot)


  1. Begin to list and memorize the 12 disciples: Peter and Andrew, James and John, Matthew, Philip and Nathaniel Bartholomew, Simon the Zealot, James (the Less), (Doubting) Thomas, Judas (or Thaddeus), and Judas Iscariot. Here’s a song that may help, to the tune of  “Old McDonald”:

Peter, Andrew, James, and John, fishermen were they.

Simon Zealot, James the Less, Judas Thaddeus.

With Philip and Nathaniel Bartholomew,

Doubting Thomas and Taxman Matthew,

Judas Iscariot last of all; he the Lord betrayed.


  1. Play a learning game: Concentration. Write the name of each of the 12 disciples twice in random order in rows on the large tablet. Cover each name with a Post-It Note with a number from 1-24. Players take turns guessing two numbers; if the names match, the player continues. If not, the Post-It notes are replaced and the next student tries.



  1. Make Fishers of Men. Cut out about 20 fish for each child. Write the name of a disciple on 12 of them and other names on the rest. Clip a paperclip to each fish. Make a fishing pole with pencil, string, thumbtack, and a piece of magnet for a hook. To play the game, put the fish in a bowl. Catch a fish with the magnet and pull it up. The child should decide whether the name is a disciple or not. Keep the disciples and throw the rest in a pile as discards. Continue until all fish are caught.


  1. Close with prayer.