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Reply to "ART Workshop Lessons & Ideas about Peter and Cornelius, Peter's Rooftop Vision"

Adventures with Peter: A New Vision

Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will illustrate Peter's dream using the technique of Mexican Yarn Paintings in the style of the Huichol (Wee-chol) Indians (based on an idea from Carol Hulbert, posted here at see end of lesson).

In previous rotations we have studied Peter's denial, his restoration by Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Peter's healing of a lame man at the Temple gate.  This month we will continue our study of Peter's transformation with the story of Peter's vision and his meeting with the Roman Centurion, Cornelius.

Scripture References:

Acts 10  (page 363-364 Little Kids' Adventure Bible)

“The Story of Cornelius” (page 374-376 Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)

"God, A Roman and a Jew," The Picture Bible  (pages 708-710)

Memory Verse:
Acts 10:34

God's love and salvation is for everyone!  God pours out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles!

Bible Background is found in the Bible Background forum.

Objectives and Life Application:

  • Children will locate the story in the Bible.
  • Children will define Acts as a New Testament book of history.
  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will discuss Jewish dietary laws and the implication for the early church.
  • Children will identify Pentecost as the day God's gift of the Holy Spirit came to the Jewish believers.
  • Children will identify Cornelius as a Gentile and a Roman centurion.
  • Children will define:  Gentile, centurion.
  • Children will locate Joppa, Jerusalem and Caesarea on the map.
  • Children will understand that God desires everyone to be saved.
  • Children will understand that salvation comes through belief and trust in Jesus Christ.
  • Children will memorize Acts 10:34.

Preparation and room set-up:

  • Review background information and lesson materials.
  • Gather necessary supplies.
  • Write the memory verse on the board in the room.
  • Place teaching pictures about Peter's life (old SS pics, or search the internet for pictures) and key words/phrases from the lesson on the classroom bulletin board. Suggested words: Gentile, disciple, Centurion, clean/unclean, vision, forgiven, betrayal, fisherman, rock, Cephas, Pentecost, etc.

Important note for Art workshop leaders:

In the Art workshop the Bible story is explored through creative and hands-on experiences.  The children may make something they can take home to help remind them of the monthly theme or they may work together to make something for classroom or church to display.

Lesson Plan

Early Arrival Activity

As children arrive, direct them to the bulletin board where you have placed pictures of the story and words about Peter. Encourage them to recall how the pictures and words relate to what they have learned about Peter.


Welcome the children and take time for introductions. Please include the shepherd in introductions. Tell the children that today they will be learning about an unusual dream that Peter had that changed many things that he believed about God.

Opening Prayer
“Dear Loving, Mighty and Powerful God, Thank you for this day and for the amazing stories in the Bible that teach us about you. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to be with us so that we can understand you better and have your power living inside us!   AMEN”

Important Teacher Notes:

Each workshop begins with the Bible story.  One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy!   If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

Remember that as the rotation progresses, the children will become more familiar with the story.  When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know.  The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion.  You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well.  Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you.  One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session.  Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks!  Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.


We've been studying Peter for several months now. What are some things you remember about Peter?  (option:  take the children to the prepared bulletin board and review some of the pictures and words posted there). Review with the children some of the key events in Peter's story (he was a fisherman, Jesus called him to "fish for people," he was one of the disciples, he was very close to Jesus, Jesus changed his name from Simon to Cephas (Peter) which means "rock," he believed that he would follow Jesus always, but denied him when Jesus was arrested, he met Jesus on the beach after Jesus rose from the dead, he was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he healed a lame man at the Temple Gate).

This month we'll continue to learn how Peter is changed! The Holy Spirit in him continues to grow him and teach him new things about God and the Christian life. Let's read more about it in our Bibles….

Bible Study - Grades 1-3
Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church?  (Acts, New Testament)

Pass out The Picture Bible to each pair of children.  Help them locate page 708.  Read "God, A Roman and a Jew," on pages 708-710 as the children follow along.  (The Picture Bible is written in comic book form.  The pictures should help the children visualize the story.)

Next help the find "The Story of Cornelius" on page 374-376 of the Little Kids' Adventure Bible.  Paraphrase

the story, noting the blue sub-titles.

Bible Study - Grades 4-6
Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story about Peter and the early church?  (Acts, New Testament)

Today’s story is found in the book of Acts.  Acts is the only book of history in the New Testament.

Have the children locate Acts 10 in their Bibles.  Assign volunteers to read the following as the other children follow along in their Bibles:

  • Cornelius Calls for Peter Acts 10:1-8
  • Peter's Vision Acts 10:9-16
  • Acts 10:17-23
  • Peter at Cornelius's House Acts 10:24-29
  • Acts 10:30-33
  • Acts 10:34-43
  • Acts 10:44-48

Review the following Bible note with the children:

Did you Know?  “Why did God send Peter a vision?"  (page 1211)  


  • Why was Peter surprised that God told him to kill and eat the animals in his vision?  (because Jewish food laws forbid eating certain foods)
  • Why did God give Peter this strange vision?  (to show him that he loved everyone and that the gospel message was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews -- explain meaning of Gentile)
  • What is a centurion?  (a Roman soldier in charge of at least 100 men)
  • What happened when Peter went to visit Cornelius?  (he told him about Jesus and the Holy Spirit filled Cornelius and his family)
  • What did Peter do to Cornelius and his family?  (baptized them)
  • What happened later when Peter returned to his Jewish friends?  (they were upset to hear that Peter had stayed with a Gentile)
  • How did Peter and Cornelius both do a brave thing?  (it is hard to be with people who are different, Peter might have been afraid of a Roman soldier, Romans might have made fun of Cornelius for believing in God)
  • What do you think it was like for Peter to adjust his thinking in this way?
  • What did Peter learn about God from this experience?

Memory Verse:
Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time.  

"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism."  Acts 10:34

  • What does it mean to show favoritism?
  • What does it mean that God does not show favoritism?
  • What was the lesson Peter learned from his vision?  (God's plan is for everyone -- not just the Jewish people)

*Note if the topic of circumcision comes up -- explain that this is something Jewish people did to set themselves apart from other people.

Huichol Indian Yarn Paintings

(from an idea from Carol Hulbert, see end of lesson)

Huichol  (Wee-chol) Yarn paintings are a traditional art form of the north central Mexican Huichol Indians. The Huichol Indians use beeswax heated in the sun as "glue" and then create a design with yarns pressed into the beeswax. (we will use glue or double stick tape)


  • Foam core board or very stiff cardboard, 5X7 or larger piece for each child
  • Glue or double stick tape
  • Different colored yarn cut into 12-inch lengths
  • Simple animal patterns such as from children's coloring books
  • Craft sticks
  • Baby wipes
  • Permanent markers.

Advanced Preparations:

  • Print out several copies of Huichol Yarn Paintings to show as examples. An internet search will provide many examples.
  • If using the double stick tape, cover the board with the tape before class.
  • Print out simple animal shapes and cut out for the children to use as patterns.

Option:  Another option is to use collage sticky boards. Have children draw their design on the board, pressing heavily onto the paper surface. Use a craft knife to cut through the paper layer creating puzzle-like sections. Children can remove one paper section at a time and press the yarn onto the sticky surface. Collage sticky boards may be purchased at art stores or online.


  1. Have the children put on paint smocks.
  2. Show them the sample Huichol Yarn Painting pictures. Explain that animals are a frequent theme in their art.
  3. Give each child a piece of foam core board or cardboard. Have them write their names on the back of the board.
  4. Show the animal shape patterns and have children choose one. Children may also choose to draw their own animal shape.
  5. Have children trace around the pattern or draw an animal shape directly onto the cardboard using a permanent marker.
  6. Beginning with the outline of the shape, run a thick, even bead of glue on the line.
  7. Place yarn directly onto the glue, pressing down with a craft stick. Use baby wipes to clean excess glue from craft sticks and hands.
  8. Complete the outline of the shape with glue and yarn.
  9. Continue filling in the shape with more glue and yarn. Different colors can be used if desired.  Traditional Huichol yarn paintings cover the entire board with no blank space. Children may wish to just fill in their animal shape and leave the background clear.
  10. Allow the yarn paintings to dry before taking home.


The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journals and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned.  

Journal Questions:
Grades K-3:  Draw a picture of Peter's dream.

Grades 4-6: Peter must have been very surprised by this vision. Has God ever surprised you?

Closing Prayer:
Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends.   Remind the children of one word or concept from today’s session.  (vision, dream, change, Gentile, centurion, favoritism) are some possibilities.  Ask for prayer requests and pray together.

Help Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away.  Gather all the supplies and put them away.      

A lesson written by Jaymie Derden from:
State Street UMC – G.R.E.A.T. Adventure
Bristol, VA

This lesson created and copyrighted by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, 2009. Permission granted for non-commercial, local church use, provided credit is give to the source.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Above Idea came from CreativeCarol,
(moved here by moderator to consolidate posts)
There is a Mexican Indian art called Huichol Yarn painting. The Huichol Indians used beeswax heated in the sun as a "glue" and then made a design with yarns pressed into the beeswax. Using good old white glue would work.The kids could make animal designs (Huichol yarn painting traditionally had lots of animals). They could even make their animals kind of scary looking and talk about what was Peter afraid of and how he acted even though afraid.
This is a story about accepting others who are "different", who the rulemakers said were not part of our group.
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