Jonah - Shadow Puppet Patterns

© 2001 Kurt Hunter

For use on a 2 foot by 3 foot shadow screen, we used the following sizes for the puppets.

Big Jonah8 inches tall
Little Jonah (fits in the whale)3 3/4 inches tall
Whale11 inches long
Storm cloud6 inches wide
Child (standing)3 1/2 inches tall
Ship8 1/4 inches tall by 11 inches tall
Sailors3 3/4 inches tall
Woman (standing)7 1/2 inches tall
King (standing)8 1/2 inches tall
Old Man (standing)7 1/4 inches tall

Jonah and the Big Fish

© 2001 Kurt Hunter

Scene 1

Scenery – Nineveh on hill

Puppets – Jonah (facing away from Nineveh)

This is the story of a man named Jonah.  One day, God spoke to Jonah.  “Go to Nineveh and preach to the people.  Tell them to stop the evil they are doing.”  But Jonah didn’t go to Nineveh.  He ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

Scene 2

Scenery – Sea

Puppets – Boat, Jonah, people, clouds, big fish

Jonah ran down to the sea.  He got on a boat and paid his money to be taken far away.  Jonah went into the bottom of the boat and went to sleep.

The boat sailed out onto the sea, but dark clouds filled the sky.   It was a terrible storm.  There was lightning and terrible winds.  It looked like the boat would sink.  All the people on the boat prayed to their gods, but the storm just got worse.

The people found Jonah and woke him up.  “Pray to your god”, the people said.  “I am Hebrew”, said Jonah, “and I worship the God who made the land and sea.  Throw me into the sea and the storm will stop.”

The people were afraid.  They didn’t want to hurt Jonah.  But the storm got worse and worse.  The people prayed to God.  “Please don’t blame us for the death of this man.  You are God and you know what is best.”  They threw Jonah into the sea and immediately the storm stopped.  The sea was calm and the boat sailed away. 

Jonah was sure that he would drown, but God sent a big fish that swallowed Jonah and kept him alive.  Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to God.  “I was in trouble and God saved me.  I will worship only the one true God with great thanksgiving.  I will do what God commands.  Salvation comes from God.”

God spoke to the fish and it spit Jonah onto the seashore.

Scene 3

Scenery – None

Puppets – Jonah, old man, woman, child, king, king’s crown, people praying (king, old man, woman, child)

God spoke again to Jonah.  “Go to Nineveh and preach the message that I will give you.”  Jonah went to Nineveh and he preached to all the people, young and old, men and women.

“In forty days, Nineveh will be destroyed, unless you stop your evil, violent ways and ask God for forgiveness.”  All the people heard Jonah and they believed him.  Even the king, threw off his crown.

The king issued a decree that all the people would turn away from evil, go on a fast and pray to God.  All the people got on their knees and prayed to God.  God heard their prayers and had compassion on them.  God did not destroy Nineveh.

Scene 4

Scenery – Nineveh on the hill, Jonah’s shelter

Puppets – Jonah (that can sit), vine, sun, worm

Jonah left Nineveh and was very mad.  “Why did I come all the way to Nineveh?  I knew that God would forgive the people if they changed their ways and asked for forgiveness.  If you won’t kill them, God, then kill me.  I’m better off dead.”

But God answered, “What do you have to be angry about?”

Jonah sat in a little shelter that he made and watched to see what would happen to Nineveh.

God made a vine grow up over the shelter to shade Jonah.  Jonah was happy with the vine and enjoyed the shade.

But God sent a worm that chewed into the vine.  By the next morning, the vine had withered away.  The hot sun beat down on Jonah.

Jonah was very upset.  But God said, “Why are you upset about this vine?  You didn’t plant it or water it, but you still cared about it.  I have compassion for all of my creation, for all the people of Nineveh and for you.”