Tabitha was a woman who put her faith in Jesus into action by sewing for people in need. Peter raised her from the dead in Acts 9. 

The set below has a "clothing collection" mission workshop. 


People of the Early Church: Tabitha

OVERVIEW of First Pres' Workshops

  • Art workshop: Children will work together to create a simple blanket to donate to a blanket project
  • Drama workshop: Children will act out scenes and emotions from the story.
  • Mission Workshop: Children will collect clothing and prepare it for donation to a local thrift shop.

Scripture:

Acts 9:36-42

Memory Verse:
Deuteronomy 15:11c: Give freely to the poor and needy in your land.

What we are learning in this theme:

  • Tabitha was a woman who put her faith in Jesus into action by sewing for people in need.
  • Following Tabitha’s example, we can help people in need as well.
  • God performed, through Peter, the miracle of raising Tabitha. Because of the miracle, many people in that town came to believe in God (Note: It is important not to tie the miracle to Tabitha’s worth to the community. We don’t want kids associating God’s action with levels of worth or value of good works. The point of the miracle was to be a sign for others to believe, not to reward good works or demonstrate the worth of a person)

A lesson set from First Presbyterian, Nevada MO.

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Original Post

People of the Early Church: Tabitha

Art Workshop


Scripture
:

Acts 9:36-42

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will work together to create a simple blanket to donate to a blanket project (Note: this lesson expands on ideas previously posted at Rotation.org)

Lesson Objectives:

Children will...

  • See and hear the story as Godly Play storytelling
  • Learn about a blanket project
  • Discuss ways they and their families can use their resources to help people in the community, the nation and the world

 


Workshop Preparation:

  • Rehearse Godly Play story
  • With both pieces of fleece safety pinned together, cut fringe all the way around the fabric, about 5 inches deep.
  • Be familiar with www.binkypatrol.org (or look at the print-out of the home-page, attached) so that you can tell the children about how the blanket will be used


Supplies List:

  • 2 1.5-yard pieces of polar fleece
  • Fabric scissors
  • Large safety pins
  • Tabitha story set
  • Security blanket
  • Felt clothing cut-outs
  • One large church cut-out
  • 3 smaller church cut-outs
  • Miniature food items
  • 3x8” white felt “shroud"
  • Small wooden People of God figures (www.godlyplay.com)
  • Brown Underlay (approx 18" x 24")
  • The following disciple figures (paper or wood figures):
    Peter
    Tabitha
    Widows (5)
    Messengers (2)
    Wooden Table (disciple figure size)


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.

Dig:

Scripture Story
Use Godly Play story, below, based on Acts 9:36-42 from the International Children’s Bible

People of the Early Church: Tabitha
By Tanja Rouintree, based on Godly Play storytelling

Show the children the Bible

This story is from the Bible, from the New Testament book called The Acts of the Apostles.

Take a moment to allow the story to form inside you. As you speak, take the underlay and spread it out before you. Begin bringing out the People of God figures—about 6

After Jesus died and God raised him up, and after Jesus was taken up into heaven, the Holy Spirit came and drew people together to form the Church in Jerusalem.

Place the Jerusalem church to the right of center at lower edge. Continue speaking as you set out the rest of the People of God figures around the Jerusalem Church.

In the church there were many miracles. Many people believed in Jesus because of the miracles and because of what Jesus’ followers taught. The Church grew.

Some of the People went out from Jerusalem to other towns.

Move 3 sets of 2 figures to town locations.

Soon there were churches in other towns too.

Take the Peter figure out of the box. Start at the Jerusalem Church. Move Peter away from the Jerusalem church to each of the smaller churches. Leave him at the “Lydda Church.”

Put away the People of God figures

Put away the Jerusalem church and Set out the wooden table diagonally at the upper corner (leader’s edge).

Peter traveled to some of these churches to see how they were doing.

Bring out Tabitha.Put stack of clothing and basket of food beside Tabitha.

In the city of Joppa there was a believer named Tabitha.

… She was always doing good and helping people in need.

Bring out 5 widow figures. Put the clothes on them and give them food.

I wonder why Tabitha helped the people in need…
I wonder what it is like to be in need and to receive help…

While Peter was in a nearby town, Tabitha became sick and died. Her body was washed and put in a room upstairs.

Lay Tabitha down on the “bed” (wooden table). Put the “shroud” over her. Move the widows close to the “bed.”

Take the last two figures (messengers) out of the box. Move the messengers to the Lydda church, where Peter is.

The followers sent two men to Peter. They begged him, “Hurry, please come to us!”

Move Peter to the “Joppa church.”

Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room.

Point to the widows and their clothing.

All the widows (women whose husbands had died) stood around Peter, crying. They showed him the shirts and coats that Tabitha had made when she was still alive.

Peter sent everyone out of the room.

Move the widows and messengers to the lower edge (away from leader).

He kneeled and prayed.

Move Peter to stand by the wooden table.

Then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, stand up!”

Fold back the shroud half way.

She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

Stand Tabitha up.
He gave her his hand and helped her up.

Then he called the [believers] and the widows into the room.

Move the widows and messengers back to the “upper room.”

He showed them Tabitha; she was alive!

People everywhere in Joppa learned about this, and many believed in the Lord.

I wonder…

  • Remember that you do not have to use all the “I wonder” statements—gauge your use of these discussion starters according to your students’ needs.
  • Remember that silence is an appropriate response to an “I wonder” statement and to allow silent time for children to wonder with you before answering.
  • Feel free to wonder out loud with the children, but resist the impulse to give the “right” answers. We are all in conversation with scripture. Sometimes the answer is the conversation.


See article on "I wonder" statements at the end of this lesson set.

I wonder how her friends felt when Tabitha got sick and died…
I wonder how Peter felt when he saw Tabitha’s friends crying …
I wonder what Peter was thinking about when he saw Tabitha dead…
I wonder what Peter prayed in the room with Tabitha …
I wonder what it was like to see that God made Tabitha alive again…
I wonder if an ordinary person can make a dead person live again…
I wonder how miracles show God’s power…
I wonder how miracles help us believe in God…

Activity (application):

  • Show children the security blanket. Ask if any of them have a special soft “blankie” or stuffed animal. Discuss how these items help us to feel safe and comfortable.
  • Tell the children that we can make something to help people like Tabitha did. Talk about how sometimes children end up without homes. (No need to bring up removing children from their homes due to abuse. Most children will probably relate better to accidents or storms destroying their homes.)
  • Tell the children about the blanket project and how the blanket they will make will be used. Some people collect hand made blankets to give to children who have lost everything. The blankets help them to feel safe and comfortable.
  • Spread the pieces of fleece on the floor together (these pieces should already be pinned together).
  • Show children how to tie the fringes together (holding the two layers together, tie one simple knot on each fringe), starting at a corner.
  • Help younger children who may not know how to tie yet.
  • While the kids are working, ask questions to stimulate discussion on things we can all do to help people (not just poor, but also victims of disasters, crime or abuse)
  • If younger children get bored, you can have the shepherd do the memory verse activity with them or some other activities provided.
  • Send the blanket to: Binkie Patrol,PO Box 1468, Laguna Beach, CA 92652-1468



Reflection:

Imagine the child who is going to get the blanket you helped to make. How do they feel when they receive it?

Closing Prayer


References:
Various Rotation.org lessons, and
Stewart, Sonja M and Berryman, Jerome W., Young Children and Worship. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville. 1989.
www.godlyplay.com


A lesson from First Presbyterian
Nevada, MO

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

People of the Early Church: Tabitha

Drama Workshop


Scripture
:

Acts 9:36-42

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will act out scenes and emotions from the story.

Lesson Objectives:

Children will...

  • Explore the emotions that might have been present in the characters of the story
  • Experiment with portraying those emotions
  • Discuss how a miracle demonstrates God’s power

Workshop Preparation:

  • Be familiar with the Bible story and lesson plan.
  • Gather suggested materials and props


Supplies:

  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Children’s Bible
  • Simple props that might aid the children in acting out the scenes, such as costumes, clothing, cushions, etc.

 



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Open with a prayer.

Prepare the children for the story:

This story is from the Bible, from the New Testament book called The Acts of the Apostles.

After Jesus died and God raised him up, and after Jesus was taken up into heaven, the Holy Spirit came and drew people together to form the Church in Jerusalem. In the church there were many miracles. Many people believed in Jesus because of the miracles and because of what Jesus’ followers taught. The Church grew. Soon there were churches in other towns too. Peter traveled to some of these churches to see how they were doing.

Dig:

Read Acts 9:36-42

I wonder…

  • Remember that you do not have to use all the “I wonder” statements—gauge your use of these discussion starters according to your students’ needs.
  • Remember that silence is an appropriate response to an “I wonder” statement and to allow silent time for children to wonder with you before answering.
  • Feel free to wonder out loud with the children, but resist the impulse to give the “right” answers. We are all in conversation with scripture. Sometimes the answer is the conversation.


See article on "I wonder" statements at the end of this lesson set.

I wonder how her friends felt when Tabitha got sick and died…
I wonder how Peter felt when he saw Tabitha’s friends crying …
I wonder what Peter was thinking about when he saw Tabitha dead…
I wonder what Peter prayed in the room with Tabitha …
I wonder what it was like to see that God made Tabitha alive again…
I wonder if an ordinary person can make a dead person live again…
I wonder how miracles show God’s power…
I wonder how miracles help us believe in God…

Activity (application):

  • (3-4 minutes) Guide the children to “brainstorm” possible emotions the characters might have experienced in the story, with particular attention on the emotions important to the raising of Tabitha. Re-read a sentence or two of the story, as needed. Give the children time to think and respond. Write responses on the chart paper.

  • (2 minutes) Talk about ways to portray the emotions. Have children give some examples.
    (2 minutes) Divide the story into 3-4 main scenes. Discuss how to act out the scenes using the emotions. They may act out the scenes, with particular emphasis on portraying the emotions; their acting is not limited to emotions only.

  • Use all the children at once or divide them into two groups.

  • (1 minute each scene) Begin to act out each scene, as the story is read again (one of the children could be the reader). Children can all simply portray an emotion or mood, or they can each play different parts, or you may combine emotion and parts (…or you can do it one way first & go back & do it the other way).

  • (1-3 minutes) Pause between scenes to regroup, set up, or discuss what is going on.

    Possible discussion starters after acting session or between scenes:
I wonder how it felt to play Peter/a widow/Tabitha
I wonder how you felt when you saw __________ act out (emotion)
I wonder if there are other ways to act out these scenes
I wonder when you have a ___________ feeling
I wonder what it would be like to know someone whom God had made alive again (it would be okay to discuss modern-day resuscitations if it comes up)

 

I wonder how the story of God raising Tabitha helps us believe in God



Reflection:

What was your favorite part of the story? What part did you play? How did you feel?

Close with a prayer.


This is an original lesson written for Faith Village at First Presbyterian Church, copyright 2006. May not be reproduced for sale. Permission granted to copy and distribute for local church use only, provided copyright information is clearly printed on the lesson.

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

People of the Early Church: Tabitha

Mission Workshop


Scripture
:

Acts 9:36-42

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will collect clothing and prepare it for donation to a local thrift shop.

Lesson Objectives:

Children will...

  • Learn about basic needs
  • Discuss situations in which people might find themselves in need
  • Participate in preparing a donation for a local thrift shop, which helps people in need.

Workshop Preparation:

  • Promote the event in the newsletter, bulletin and announcements at least one month ahead. See examples at the end of the lesson.
  • Put a box outside the sanctuary 2-3 Sundays before the date of this workshop
  • Invite other Sunday school classes to help with the workshop


Supplies:

  • Boxes
  • Cleaning supplies (rags, old toothbrushes, mild cleaning solutions)
  • Newsprint for packing
  • Children’s Bible

 



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Open with a prayer.

Prepare the children for the story:
This story is from the Bible, from the New Testament book called The Acts of the Apostles.

After Jesus died and God raised him up, and after Jesus was taken up into heaven, the Holy Spirit came and drew people together to form the Church in Jerusalem. In the church there were many miracles. Many people believed in Jesus because of the miracles and because of what Jesus’ followers taught. The Church grew. Soon there were churches in other towns too. Peter traveled to some of these churches to see how they were doing.

Read Acts 9:36-42

I wonder…

  • Remember that you do not have to use all the “I wonder” statements—gauge your use of these discussion starters according to your students’ needs.
  • Remember that silence is an appropriate response to an “I wonder” statement and to allow silent time for children to wonder with you before answering.
  • Feel free to wonder out loud with the children, but resist the impulse to give the “right” answers. We are all in conversation with scripture. Sometimes the answer is the conversation.


I wonder how her friends felt when Tabitha got sick and died…
I wonder how Peter felt when he saw Tabitha’s friends crying …
I wonder what Peter was thinking about when he saw Tabitha dead…
I wonder what Peter prayed in the room with Tabitha …
I wonder what it was like to see that God made Tabitha alive again…
I wonder if an ordinary person can make a dead person live again…
I wonder how miracles show God’s power…
I wonder how miracles help us believe in God…

Activity (application):
Sorting clothes for a local thrift shop

  • Begin by discussing basic needs with the children—food, water, shelter, clothing, and medical care.
  • Help children differentiate between basic needs for survival and the things we need to do our work (for kids that’s playing and learning).
  • Things that are simply luxury items (computer games, expensive clothes, cars, etc) need to be identified as such—fun, but we can live and work without them.
  • Tell the children about the thrift shop (eg: people donate items to the store, the store sells them at very low prices—which helps people who do not have very much money, and the shelter for victims of domestic violence uses the money).
  • Talk about circumstances in which people might find themselves in need. Examples would be hurricanes, tornados, crime, fire, accidents, death in the family, or loss of work, in addition to domestic violence. See what kids can come up with on their own, with only a little prodding.
  • Tell the children that Tabitha set a good example for us in helping people in need. She helped people who didn’t have enough money—especially women whose husbands had died and had no way of taking care of themselves.
  • Avoid the label “poor people.” Instead use the phrase “people who are in need” or “people who find themselves in need.” Any of us may at some time find ourselves in need (from disasters or other situations), and we want to avoid segregating a segment of our society by using a label.
  • Tell the children how the people of the church are helping the thrift shop by donating clothes and other items.
  • The children (and others) will help prepare the donation by sorting and folding the clothing. If there are other items, those may be cleaned if needed and carefully packed. We could just load it up and donate it, but these are gifts we want to present with love. So we give things neatly folded, clean, and cared for, because we care about the dignity of those who will receive it.
  • The following week, take the donation to the thrift shop.


Reflection:

Trace around your hand. How do your hands help others?

Close with a prayer.


This is an original lesson written for Faith Village at First Presbyterian Church, copyright 2006. May not be reproduced for sale. Permission granted to copy and distribute for local church use only, provided copyright information is clearly printed on the lesson.

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

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