I like to have my kids make an ocean in a bottle. They add a small amount of mineral oil (or baby oil) and colored water (either food coloring or liquid water color) into a bottle. Have them add small shells and rocks. You can also have them draw a small person, which then needs to be laminated. The teacher can then hot glue another small rock or shell to the bottom of the laminated picture and drop the picture in the bottle. Make sure an adult hot-glues the top closed.
Ask the children to make a collage about themselves and all the things they like about themselves and their family using images from magazines. I like the parent magazines because it has a lot of kid-related stuff. Then, you can border the collage by adding all the ways the children feel that they can better themselves as people (in the community, at home, and at school.) This focuses on the positive aspect of the holiday.
We cut out a huge picture of a large fish and sponge painted it as a group project. We hung it in the hallway, cut a hole in the center, and put an acrylic mirror behind the “big fish.” Then, we had the children see themselves in the “belly” and imagine what they would think about inside the fish. The entire school loved it.
While discussing the story of Jonah, find a large box and let the children paint it. They can get inside it, like how Jonah was inside the fish’s stomach.