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Art Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof

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Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof - The story of the paralytic being brought by four friends and healed by Jesus can be found in three of the four Gospels: Matthew 9:2-8, Mark 2:1-22 and Luke 5:17-26, etc.

Bible lessons and ideas about Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof -with Art, craft, painting, construction, drawing, etc.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Note: if you decide to do one of these Diorama Ideas listed below, you may wish to check out the two video posts about a teaching clip from "The Nazareth Jesus Knew" A Television Series" on real archaeological-connections, describing what the house's roof would actually have been like, interesting stuff.

Shoebox Art/Storytelling Lesson Idea

including cool reflection activity

Originally Posted by Neil MacQueen

We did this story last year in Rotation and had a very successful ART Project.

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Using shoeboxes, the kids made their own story telling kits. They made the house, clothespin people, lame man, his friends, the stretcher. Sticks were glued around a hole cut in the shoebox. The shoebox was laid on its side creating a little theater.

We opened with basic bible study of the story then made the kits and practiced retelling the story.

After the pieces were assembled, we all gathered in pairs to retell the story to our partner.

The kids were encouraged to use their kit to retell the story to a parent or sibling or friend. We closed with a prayer to help us do it and help the person we told the story to want to be close to Jesus.

Lesson thoughts:

There are two miracles in this story:

1. It's a miracle that Jesus can forgive sins! Only God can do that, and having your sins forgiven is the biggest 'healings' a person can ever have.

2. The miracle of the man's friends, who believed in Jesus enough to go the extra effort and risk offending the crowd to help their paralyzed friend.

As a Reflection Activity, have students write as many sins as they can think of on a long long BANDAGE.  Then wrap a student in that bandage so they can't move. Discuss how our sins keep us from living life the right way. Discuss how our sins can "make us fall" (which should be metaphorically obvious if you have wrapped the student's legs together!).  Then ask about "how Jesus heals us by forgiving us".  Begin to unwrap the students. But also take the opportunity to demonstrate that our "healing" doesn't mean we can't re-bandage ourselves, get ourselves in a bind again with our sins. The difference is that God no longer counts our sins against us, and wants to help us live forgiven lives.  This is an important nuance!  Forgiven Bandage

When you're finished, give each student a BANDAID with the words "Forgiven" written on it. Use the application of the bandaid as your closing reflection. (Theologically speaking, God's Grace promotes healing!  What else can? Prayer?)

(This is the basic idea. I trust you will flesh it out!)


Images (1)
  • Forgiven Bandage
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof

Art (Diorama) Workshop

(Note: this lesson plan could also be classified as storytelling or puppets)

Summary of Lesson Activities: 

The children will create a storytelling kit to retell the story to parents, siblings, and friends. In retelling the story to others, the children experience another way to bring people to Christ.

Scripture Reference:

Mark 2:1-12, also Matthew 9:2-8 and Luke 5:17-26

Memory Verse:

“Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” 1 John 3:18 (NLV)

Lesson Objectives for the art workshop 
At the end of the session, the students will be able to

  • Retell the story using a storytelling kit.
  • Understand that telling the stories of Christ is a way to bring people to Jesus.

Teacher preparation in advance: 

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study.
  • Prepare a closing prayer. 
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Learn to retell the story (for hints on learning to tell a story, see Amy Crane's manual on Biblical Storytelling in the IDEA AND LESSON EXCHANGE in the Workshop Design and Teaching Resources section under “Storytelling” )
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model (tm) at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member. 
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. 
  • The bin with supplies is located in the Sunday School classroom area.
  • Make your own storytelling kit to use to tell the Bible story and practice using it to tell the story. Make a simple kit, not too elaborate, because the children will see your kit when you use it to tell the story during class. We usually do not show the children an example of what they are going to make so that they will use their creativity. If your example is too elaborate, some children may feel they cannot “do it right.”
  • Collect shoeboxes (sample letter above). Precut holes/flaps in the boxes. Precut construction paper for mats.

Room set-up:
Set the clothes pins, markers, craft sticks, and 2”x 4” construction paper rectangles for making the story telling kits out on the tables in the art room.

Supply List:

  • Shoe box for each child with a rectangular-shaped flap cut in one side (the long sides of the rectangle should be slightly longer than a craft stick and the short sides should be 2 inches long)
  • 6 “old fashioned” clothes pins for each child (called “doll clothespins”  or "doll pins" in craft stores)dollPin
  • construction paper
  • yarn or string
  • modeling clay or clothespin doll stands, also available in craft stores
  • optional: chenille stems (cut into short lengths to be arms for the puppets)
  • markers, glue sticks, craft sticks
  • books that show the architecture of the period – Bible story picturebooks or history books (check the public library)
  • Memento (optional): look for stickers or something to share that will remind the children of the story
  • Shepherd Time: plain or lined paper and pens, pencils, markers


Opening-Welcome and Introductions: 
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge.

We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but you may open with prayer if you feel led to do so.

Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today you are going to make a storytelling kit to help you retell the Bible story about Jesus to people you know. Telling others the stories about Jesus is a way that you can bring people to Jesus.

Scripture/Bible Story: 
Before telling the story show the children how to find the passage in the Bible using your Bible. (Do not have the children do this themselves as they usually do during the Bible story time.) Review the organization of the Bible: The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments. Each part is a collection of books. Each book is divided into chapters and verses. Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, they will usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out that the book name is at the top of each page. Tell them that Mark is the second book of the New Testament and it come after Matthew. After they have found Mark tell them to find Mark 2:1-12. Some of the children may confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at the top of every page (in most editions). After showing them how to find the passage, set your Bible aside and tell the story using the story telling kit you made prior to class.

Provide some background on Middle East architecture. Show pictures of buildings and towns. They will see that homes in that part of the world are very different than houses here. Because the climate is mostly dry, people do not have to worry about heavy snow or pools of water on their roofs. The houses are connected side by side and the roofs are almost flat - sometimes they have slight domes in the center. Walls are made of stone and stone steps on the outside of the houses leading up to the roof. A roof is made of a network of wood beams, branches, and mud. These roofs are very strong and when the weather is good, they are used like a deck or patio. To keep the heat out, windows are few, small and high up.” (from Creation Station (art) lesson plan, Kirk of Kildaire)

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Before the children move to the tables, give them instructions for making the stretcher and people. For the stretcher they will use a glue stick to put glue on one side of two craft sticks. Lay the craft sticks parallel to each other about an inch apart with the glue facing up. Lay a 2”x 4” construction paper rectangle down on the sticks with the long sides of the rectangle even with the edge of the craft sticks on each side. The ends of the sticks should be sticking out of the ends of the paper. Set the stretcher aside to dry.

To make the people, the children will use markers to draw facial features and clothes on the people. They will make four friends, one paralytic man, and Jesus.

By the time the children have made their people the stretchers will probably dry so they can tie a string to the each of the four ends of the sticks. The string should be about 12 inches long. 

If time permits the children can use markers to decorate the “walls” of the shoebox house. If not, they can decorate the walls at home. When the stretcher and people are finished, give each child six small balls of modeling clay for the people to “stand in” to hold them upright. (or use the clothespin doll stands if you found them.) 

Talking points while the children are working:

  • Who are the people who brought us to Jesus?
  • How did they bring us to Jesus?
  • Who could we bring to Jesus?
  • What things about this story amazed you?
  • What things about this story confused you?

Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

Divide the children into pairs and have them take turns practicing telling the story to each other using their kits. This is a critical part of this lesson. Please keep an eye on the time and make sure it happens!

Congratulate all on a job well done! Tell them that they should tell the story to at least one more person today so it will be truly “theirs” (that is, they will have learned it by heart).

Review the memory verse.
“Scripture Simon Says”
The teacher is Scripture Simon and begins by giving the first word of the memory verse. The children respond by repeating it. Continue on in this fashion and then insert an incorrect word. The children must remain silent or they must start over. At first, the verse should be displayed for the children to follow, but after a few repetitions, remove the verse from view. The game would sound like this:
Teacher: Let
Class: Let
Teacher: us
Class: us
Teacher: stop
Class: stop
Teacher: loving
Class: (should remain silent)

Shepherd Time: 
On your journal page draw a picture or write the name of the person you are going to use your story telling kit with to tell the story of the Four Faithful Friends. Also draw a picture or write the name of people who have brought you to Jesus.

This is meant to be a time of reflection and introspection. Writing about faith helps clarify lessons. In addition to the suggested activity, children may draw pictures relating to today’s scripture or memory verse, list highlights of the day’s activities, or rephrase the memory verse. The journal pages will be saved and given to the children at the end of the school year.

You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, games. See the Workshop Leader’s Background Notes and for ideas.

Before noon, ask the students stop journaling for a moment and sit quietly for prayer so that they can leave when their parents arrive. Then allow them to finish journaling.

Thank God for the people who have brought these children to Jesus and ask God to give them good recall of the story to tell to others so that they can bring people to Jesus.

Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas:

Older children: 
Consider having them add chenille-stem arms to the clothespin puppets.

Younger Children: 

  • For classes composed primarily of pre-readers, show the children how to find the passage in the Bible (for example, “To find the Gospels, open the Bible in the middle and then open the second half in the middle - you should end up in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Our passage is in Mark." and then have them do it. After everyone has found the passage, have them close their Bibles and listen while you read.
  • Children in this age group will have a variety of abilities with small motor skills. Be ready to help before someone gets frustrated. Congratulate effort, not results.
  • Leave off the string for lowering the mat. They can just pretend there are ropes (this will eliminate tangled string frustrations). You will probably want to do this for all but the very oldest group.
  • Instead of having them retell the story to partners, divide the class into groups so that you have one adult for each group to “moderate” the retellings. Ask each child in the group to retell the story using his or her kit. Or if no one wants to tell to the group, lead the entire small group in a simultaneous retelling and demonstration of the story (do this several times if no one wants to solo).

Resources and Credits

  • Kosmachuk, Joan Dower; Hide God’s Word in Young Hearts; Standard Publishing, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1990.
  • From an idea posted by Neil MacQueen
  • From an idea posted at by member Catherine, Kirk of Kildaire.
  • Books that show Middle Eastern Architecture: these and more are available at the library.
  • Tubb, Jonathan N. Biblelands. New York: Knopf, 1991. (Page 6 has small picture of village near Hebron)
  • Great People of the Bible and How they Lived. Pleasantville, NY: Readers Digest, 1974. (Page 306 shows an excellent rendering of a small village of clustered houses with people on rooftops.)


This lesson was written by Jamie Senyard for River Community Church
Prairieville, Louisiana. 

Copyright 2003 Jamie Senyard. Posted by Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


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  • dollPin
Last edited by Amy Crane

My students really enjoyed making the diorama.  Without a visual I had some trouble with how to make the pallet suspended.  A student creatively figured a way and we copied her.  We used the regular clothespins because it stood better.  Used a glue gun to stand up the people  I found a stretcher in the church and the kids loved carrying someone in it.  Next Sunday we will do the memorization lesson and talk more about what we did last week. 

Here are photos of the dioramas:


Photos added by a volunteer moderator, send your pix from a lesson to contact.rotationATgmailDOTcom.
I like how the folks at Eastwood Baptist Church showed the bits of the roof on the floor!


Images (2)
  • image1
  • image2
Last edited by CreativeCarol

Art / Storytelling using Lego Idea

We are doing this as the Art Station; and doing the Art Station concept of building houses ... instead of cardboard boxes, we have a Lego Station and will use Legos to tell the story.

Lego Workshop - Man Let Down through the Roof

Kathy, loved your above idea to adapt the above Art/Diorama/Storytelling Workshop to incorporate Lego - building the house and then having the kids retell the story. You could also video tape each retelling with a camera or on your phone.DSC03201

Using the above lesson we opened with a retelling of the story using a wooden bible time house (pictured on right), which was built by someone in our church years ago. For figures I used two Paramedics with stretcher (from "Playmobil Paramedics with Soccer Player" item # 9826), the other three figures are from Tales of Glory Galilee Boat Set.

Then the kids built their own Faith Through the Roof Scenes with Lego.

Our kids loved this workshop.

Lego Faith Through the Roof aLego Faith Through the Roof 4 MarleeLego Faith through the Roof bLego Faith Through the Roof fFaith Through the Roof dLego Faith through the Roof c

Where to purchase Lego Stretchers

You can purchase new or used "Lego Stretchers" (in white or green) from

I ordered several Lego Stretchers so all the kids would have one to use.

Through the Roof using Lego




Here is a picture of the stretcher, I set one up being carried by the four friends. 





Once on the here's how to find and order them:

  • In Search box enter -  4714 (this is the part number).
  • List will come up, look under Parts - click on the item #4714.
  • Scroll down to bottom of page where it says 25/page - change to 200/page (nothing will happen yet).
  • Scroll up to Sort-lowest price - and change to -Highest Qty.
    It will now list sellers with their stock on hand.
  • Scroll down until you find someone located near you (cheaper for shipping), with the Qty you need.
    Note: some sellers have a minimum buy $ amount, some none (all prices in U.S. funds).

They are inexpensive so buy several so each child (or group) can retell the story.

Check out's Lego, Diorama, and "Story Table" forum for more details, tips, and resources on these types of workshops.


Images (8)
  • Through the Roof using Lego
  • Lego Faith Through the Roof 4 Marlee
  • Lego Faith Through the Roof a
  • Lego Faith through the Roof b
  • Faith Through the Roof d
  • Lego Faith through the Roof c
  • Lego Faith Through the Roof f
  • DSC03201
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Our children really enjoyed the diorama art lesson. We glued the people onto small popsicle sticks instead of clothespins. I also found the coloring sheets for the background of the box on Pinterest.



Images (3)
  • man1
  • man2
  • man3
Last edited by CreativeCarol

I have just purchased the lego stretchers Luanne and some lego off Ebay. Thank you so much for the link and the instructions - that's quite a tricky site to get your head around. I will take pictures and let you all know how it goes - can't wait!


Last edited by Luanne Payne

Clay Art/Storytelling Lesson Plan

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Using clay, the kids make their own story telling play sets . Students were divided up between those who made the house, and those who used clay to sculpt Jesus, the lame man, his friends, and the crowd. A stretcher made of fabric, small dowel rods and yarn is pre-made to help tell the story.

Open with basic bible study of the story then make a clay re-enactment scene for the students to use as they gather to retell the story as a group.

Supply List:

  • Block of self-drying clay
  • Clay face molds & sculpting tools
  • Small dowel rods
  • Yarn
  • Burlap or cloth for mat
  • Cardboard and scissors
  • Computer/TV/ video “On Location The House of Peter”

Scripture/Bible Story

Help students locate Mark 2:1-12 in their Bibles.

Show students a diagram of first century homes in the Galilee.  Talk about the size of house, how it is constructed and why it would be difficult to fit a large crowd of people inside.  Use this link for "First Century Israelite House"

Watch the short YouTube video: "On Location The House of Peter" It identifies the house as Peter's and gives a short retelling of the Bible story from Mark 2:1-12.

Then retell the story again, hitting the high points that students may have missed while watching the video.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Divide the children up into groups: those who will build Peter’s house out  of clay and those who will sculpt, Jesus and the other characters in the story out of clay.  Students may need to use cardboard to make the roof to make it strong enough.  Cut a hole in the cardboard and then plaster a layer of clay on top

To make the people, use clay to sculpt bodies.  Impress heads into clay face molds to create faces for figurines.

After the students have completed their projects let the kids retell the story using the clay house and figurines.

Talking points while the children are working:

  • Why did the paralytic (crippled) man’s friends bring him to Jesus?
  • What stood in the way of them getting their friend to Jesus?
  • Why do you think they tore a hole in the roof of Peter’s house?  What would you have done?
  • How do you think Peter felt when the roof of his house was first broken through? How do you think Peter felt after Jesus healed the lame man?
  • Why do you think the people were so amazed by Jesus’ miracle?
  • What barriers do you think keep people from feeling that they can meet Jesus today?
  • Who brought you to meet Jesus?  How did they bring you to meet him?
  • Who could we bring to Jesus?

clay house

Four friends clay art1

Reflection:  Use "Forgiven" Band aid reflection from lesson plan printed above for closing life application activity.  Close with prayer.


Images (2)
  • clay house
  • Four friends clay art
Last edited by Ron Shifley

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