Feeding the 5000



  1. Students should identify these as 2 similar miracles of Jesus.
  2. Students should know the little boy shared 5 loaves and 2 fishes.
  3. Students should know that Jesus fed 5000 and 4000 men (plus more women and children) after blessing the food.

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Scripture References: Luke 9: 11-17, John 6: 2-14, Mark 6: 32-46, Mark 8:1-9, Matthew 14: 13-23, 15:32-39.  There are actually 2 separate but similar stories here. Before reading, write 2 headings on your blackboard or large tablet – “First” and “Second”. After reading, have the students compare and contrast the two miracles and summarize their findings in the two columns. Why were so many people there? They must have been hungry. What did the disciples want to do? What did Jesus feed them? Where did He get the food? What did Jesus do with it? How many were fed? (Note for the students that only men were counted. Why?) What was left over? Was this a miracle? Why or why not?


  1. Discuss giving: Did the little boy have to share his food? Why did he share? No one forced him to share his food – he wanted to. Jesus teaches us to share food with others. Do you bring lunch or snack to school? What if someone asks for something especially delicious from you? Will you share? Are there other ways we can share besides food? Brainstorm and write them down.


  1. Play a learning game: Honesty Pays. Divide into 2 teams and line up. Give each player (randomly) a card with a fact about one of the two miracles:

Jesus blessed the food                         Jesus blessed the food

5000 men                                            4000 men

5 loaves and 2 fish                              7 loaves and some small fish

12 baskets leftovers                            7 baskets leftovers

little boy shared                                 

Philip counted the money

Tell the students that their fact may be about the first miracle, the second, or both. But, tell them that Jesus wants them to be honest about their knowledge. The first member of Team 1 reveals his answer. The teacher will ask, “Do you know which miracle your fact belongs to?” If the student answers, “yes”, Team 2 has the right to challenge the student. If they do not challenge, Team 1 gets the point. If they challenge and he knows the fact, Team 1 gets the point. But, if they challenge and he does not know the fact, Team 2 gets the point. If the student answers “no”, Team 2 has the chance to give the correct answer and get the point. Play then passes to the first member of Team 2, with Team 1 having the right to challenge.

  1. Add to your time line as usual: one or both miracles?
  2. Close with the Lord’s Prayer: Give us this day our daily bread.