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Now we are ten

To encourage a sense of thankfulness in the children.

by Susan McLean

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To encourage a sense of thankfulness in the children.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need an unusual present.


  1. Ask the children about the best present they have ever received.

    Then show your unusual present (I showed a pair of ‘How Clean is Your House’ rubber gloves). After a bit of laughter, say that you must have been very good to receive such an exciting present.
  2. Ask the children how many different ways they say ‘thank you’ for things. Encourage them to come up with, for instance, verbally saying ‘thank you’, text messages, emails, letters. Say that it is important for us to be thankful for all that we have. Jesus tells us this in a story he told.
  3. Ask the children if they have heard of leprosy and what they know about it. Explain that in Bible times there was no cure for the illness and those with the disease were treated as outcasts because other people were afraid of catching it. It causes lack of feeling in things like fingers and toes so they can get hurt without the person realizing it.
  4. Tell the story found in Luke 17.11–19.

    Jesus tells us about ten men who had leprosy. Their friends didn’t talk to them, their family didn’t talk to them. How do the children think they would be feeling? 

    When Jesus came along, they called out to him. Jesus did something amazing – he touched the men, even though they had leprosy! No one did that, in case they caught it too, but Jesus did touch the men.

    Can you guess what happened to the men? They were all healed – they no longer had leprosy. It was a miracle!

    Jesus told them to go to the priests, so that they could be declared healed of leprosy. They must have been jumping all over the place – so excited and happy.

    Later one of the men came back to Jesus and said, ‘Thank you, Jesus’. Jesus looked at him and asked the man if he was the only one of the ten who had been healed. The man said no, they had all been healed. But he was the only one who had come back to say thank you.

    Jesus was delighted with the man for coming back to say thank you.
  5. We should be thankful for all that we have, too. How many different things are we glad that we have? Encourage the children to think about their food, family, friends, clothes, homes, doctors, teachers, etc. We take these things for granted but we should be thankful for them all.
  6. Tell the children that you are going to set them a task for the rest of the day – to think how many times they say ‘thank you’. Then tomorrow come back and tell the rest of their class. Remember to say ‘thank you’ to anyone who does anything for you or gives you anything. Don’t leave it to someone else to say ‘thank you’, like nine of the ten men in the story.

Time for reflection

Reprise the story, emphasizing that out of ten people, only one said ‘thank you’.


Thank you, God, for all that we have.
Thank you for our food, our family, our friends and all that you give us.
We are sorry that sometimes we forget to say thank you.
Help us to always thank other people for the things they do for us,
and to thank you for all that we have.


‘Thank you, Lord’ (Come and Praise, 32)

Publication date: November 2009   (Vol.11 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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