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Welcome to our public Pentecost ~ Acts 1 and 2 ideas and lessons forum. Don't forget to check out the supporting members' "Wind, Fire, Faith!" Pentecost lesson from our Writing Team. The lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all. If you're looking for Ascension lessons and ideas, go to our Jesus After the Resurrection forum.

This topic is for posting your Drama, Puppet, and/or Storytelling Workshop lessons and ideas for teaching the story of Pentecost Acts 1 and Acts 2.

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(Why is Storytelling included with Puppets and Drama? Because many drama ideas scripts can be adapted for use in one or more of these 'presentation' workshops.)

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Pentecost

Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will participate in a noisy creative dramatics celebration of the Spirit in many languages (with optional videotaping) and will consider our call to go out as with the Spirit as missionaries.

Scripture:

Acts 2

Memory Verse:"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8) (NIV)

Objectives for rotation

At the end of the rotation, the students will

  • know where Acts is in the New Testament and know that it is the story of the early church after Jesus' death and resurrection.
  • be able to retell the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
  • begin to understand the role of the Holy Spirit.
  • understand that the Spirt is with us as we are called to share the Good News.
  • find their own answer to Acts 2:37 in response to the coming of the Spirit: "Brothers, what shall we do?"
  • repeat the memory verse.
  • think about how the believers felt when they received the Holy Spirit.
  • know that missionaries go out to other countries to share the Good News.

Teacher preparation:

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study, Sunday. It will be very important for you to attend this study.
  • Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
  • Purchase or request additional supplies.
  • Ask people for more foreign language phrases. You may be surprised at what languages your friends and co-workers know.
  • 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.

Room set-up:
A large clear space will be needed so the "Holy Spirit" can run around the gathered disciples.

Supply List:

  • Bible time costumes
  • red scarves or pieces of lightweight fabric (chiffon works well)
  • world map or globe
  • index cards with "Jesus is alive" in different languages
  • video camera or cellphone, tripod
  • A TV with cables to the camera so you can watch the video
  • Flip chart or white board and writing utensils


Lesson Plan

Opening:

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

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. Use kid-friendly words to give a brief overview of what the children are going to learn and do. Tell the children that Acts is the story of the disciples and others going out into the world to spread the good news. Remind them what Jesus told his followers in our memory verse: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

Dig:

Scripture/Bible Story:
Read the scripture. Because the passage is too long, read Acts 2:1-13 together and then the leader should tell "the rest of the story." (Encourage the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses and reading along.)

Discuss the story:

  • Who were the people in the story? [Disciples (Peter is named), "believers", Holy Spirit, listeners]
  • Where did the story take place? [Jerusalem]
  • I wonder what everyone was saying when they all began speaking in different languages.
  • Teach children to say "Jesus is alive!" in different languages. Find where those languages are spoken on the map or globe.


Ask the children what sorts of things they think that Peter said that would lead 3000 people to be baptized. List the suggestions on the flip chart for later.

How would you feel if you were

  • someone hearing strangers suddenly speaking your language
  • a believer when you saw a tongue of fire on your friend
  • a believer who suddenly spoke unfamiliar languages?


Application:

Drama warm-up exercises:

  • Go around the circle and each person should try to say "Jesus is alive" in a different way (for example: matter of fact, surprised, frightened, as a question, excited, sad, mad, shy, loud). See how many times you can go around the circle before repeating a way of saying the phrase.
  • You are one of the believers gathered together after Jesus died. No one is sure what should be done next. "Suddenly, there is a noise from the sky which sounds like the blowing of a violent wind, and if fills the whole house where we are sitting. Then you see what look like tongues of fire which spread out and come to rest on each person here." (Adapted from Acts 2: 2-3.) Show how you think everyone may have reacted to the loud wind, tongues of fire, and strange languages coming out of their mouths.


Put on Bible time costumes.
Assign parts and act out the story for the video camera. (This will be easier if the camera is stationary and everyone faces the camera when speaking.)
Some suggestions:

  • Begin the drama with someone reading the narration from the Bible (Acts 2:1-7, allowing time for students to ad-lib dialog and sound effects as appropriate).
  • For the coming of the Holy Spirit: a few students can run around the group holding the red fabric high. This will give a feeling of wind and confusion and flames.
  • For the speaking in tongues, give each child a card with a foreign phrase written on it. Have everyone shout as loud as they can at the same time (you may want to establish a quiet signal for when you feel it is time to move on with the action).
  • For Peter's speech, have one of the students speak to the crowd using some of the suggestions from the earlier discussion. (Have the flip chart with key words visible.)
  • Depending on the size of the class, some students can be both the believers who were speaking in tongues and the listeners who were baptized. Or the listeners can be "off screen."
    Watch the video, then discuss other things that can be added to the performance. If time permits, reassign parts and do it again.

Reflection:

Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

  • What were the results of Pentecost? How do these results continue today?
  • Do we have the Holy Spirit with us?
  • What is a witness? How can we "witness to the ends of the earth"?
  • Talk about missionaries, particularly missionaries your congregation may be sponsoring or in contact with. Find where they are on the map or globe.


Review the memory verse. Recite the verse as call and response. The first few times, the teacher says a phrase and then the students echo it. After they are comfortable with it, divide the class in half. One half says one phrase and then the other half says the other phrase. All say the citation together.
But you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses
to the ends of the earth.
(Acts 1:8)

Closing prayer:
Your prayer should include a request for the Holy Spirit to go with each child as he/she carries the Good News to the world this week.

Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Give everyone the parent take-home flyer the first week of the rotation; give it only to children who were absent and have not yet received it the other weeks of the rotation.

Additional Suggestions:
Older children: Ask if anyone knows a foreign language and can say "Jesus is alive" or "Jesus loves you."
Younger Children: Select just a few cards for the speaking in different languages.


Resources

  • Lesson plan by Amy Crane previously posted at rotation.org.

Pentecost: the Coming of the Holy Spirit
Language cards


Phrases in other languages (variations of Jesus loves you, Jesus is alive, or Jesus is risen).
(Note that some languages use a different alphabet or characters, so the phrases are spelled out phonetically.)

Filipino: Bukey ang Jesu Christo.

Greek: Eseus erne Zotanos

Taiwanese: Yah so go wah. (Jesus has risen.)

Russian: Christos gzyork mezdinyanos

Gallic: Jesus cha a gla bretha.

German: Jesus lebt. (Jesus lives.)

Spanish: ¡Jesus está vivo! (Jesus lives.)

Mandarin (Chinese): Yay su ai ni. (Jesus loves you.)

Korean: Yae su nu sa dang da. (Jesus loves you.)


This lesson was written by Amy Crane for River Community Church in Prairieville, Louisiana.

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

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

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Pentecost

Puppets/Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Make “fiery tongue” puppets and do a group performance to reproduce how it might have felt to be there on the day of Pentecost. Lastly, participate in a news report to learn about the Holy Spirit. [Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Distribute Bibles around the seats. Set up the fan to blow on the students.
  • Write the key Bible verse on the easel.
  • Practice reading aloud the paraphrased Bible story (see lesson).


Supplies List:

  • NRSV Bibles
  • Easel; appropriate marker
  • Slips of paper (can be scratch paper); pens or pencils
  • Popsicle sticks (preferably the wider type)
  • Red material for flames cut into about 1 inch strips, 6 - 8 inches long (red streamers, red rip-stop nylon, or red tissue paper), 5 strips per student
  • Staplers (with staples) that works on Popsicle sticks (or a glue gun with glue sticks)
  • Puppets – any type of people puppets (one per student)
  • A fan – preferably one that is loud!
  • Script for news show (see attached) – five copies
  • Scene clapper
  • Pretend microphone



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Puppet Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

[Note: The Shepherd will be quietly taking attendance/doing nametags while you start your lesson.]

Pass out slips of paper and pens and ask everyone to write their first and last name on a slip of paper. Collect these for later.

Ask: How many of you have ever seen wind?
Have you actually seen the wind or are you seeing the wind at work? (allow all answers)
Say: Our story today has an amazing thing happen with wind, and with flames.
Ask: Do you suppose that flames could be described as fiery tongues? (allow all answers)

Say: Today we are going to make “fiery tongue” puppets and use them to learn about the Holy Spirit and about a day when the Holy Spirit came to earth, in a dramatic way, a day called Pentecost.

Dig:

Ask: Where in the Bible would we read about something that happened just after Jesus’ resurrection? (in the New Testament)
What are the first four books of the New Testament? (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John)
What do we call those first four books? (the Gospels)
Say: The word Gospel means “good news.” Today we will hear another story about the good news of God’s love and how that good news was spread to lots of people.

Distribute NRSV Bibles. Have everyone find the book of Acts, chapter two. Note that Acts is the first book after the Gospels.

Say: Acts is the only book of History in the New Testament. If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the History section in the New Testament of your Bible. The Old Testament has a section of History books, that’s where we found stories such as David and Goliath.

Say: Our story covers the entire chapter – chapter 2. Let’s review our story by looking at the headings.

Have everyone note the heading above chapter 2: “The Coming of the Holy Spirit.”

Say: The Holy Spirit comes upon the followers of Jesus. It is just 50 days after Jesus has risen.
Have someone read the next heading: “Peter Addresses the Crowd.”

Say: Peter explains to the crowd that gathers, what has happened – about the Holy Spirit.

Have someone read the next heading: “The First Converts.”

Say: Because of what has happened, the coming of the Holy Spirit, we say that this day is the start of the Christian church. In fact we call Pentecost the birthday of the church. Three thousand people became followers of Jesus on that day.

Have everyone find verse 2:38 and ask someone to read it aloud.

Refer to the easel…
Say: The Holy Spirit is a gift from God.
Ask: What is the Holy Spirit? (allow a few answers)
Say: The Holy Spirit is the third part of what we call the Trinity. There is only one God but three equal persons: Father (or Mother), Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. God is not divided into parts. All three are God. It is like water – water can be solid when it is ice, or a vapor, or a liquid, but all three are still water. As you think about that let’s make our puppets that we’ll need to tell our story.

Make “Fiery Tongue” Puppets:
Have someone read Acts 2:3.
Ask: How do you suppose that would have looked? (accept a few answers)

Say: Our story needs “fiery tongue” puppets.
Hand out one Popsicle stick and “fiery tongue” materials to each child. Ask the Shepherd to help them staple or glue the “tongues” onto a stick. [Don’t spend a lot of time doing this.]

As the puppets are made…
Ask: Can we see the Holy Spirit? (no, but we see the work of the Holy Spirit; remind them of the example of the wind)
What sort of work does the Holy Spirit do? (allow all answers)
Do you suppose that the Holy Spirit…

  • Helps us realize that we need God in our lives? Shows us God’s love?
  • Conveys to us a sense of Christ; that Christ is near?
  • Is our friend; helps us to become friends with God and Jesus?
  • Is a counselor, or a coach?
  • Helps people do God’s work?
  • Helps change our hearts, to make us more like Jesus?
  • Comforts us and is always with us?


Say: The Holy Spirit is often called counselor, comforter and friend.

Explain how the puppet skit will work:

  1. Introduce a signal that means, “Stop what you are doing and listen.” (For example, two claps of the scene clapper).
  2. Everyone will operate a regular puppet on one hand as a disciple of Jesus, and wave a tongue puppet as the Holy Spirit with the other hand. Ask them to keep their tongue puppets “silent” for now.
  3. Demonstrate “whispery gibberish.” (Whispery is important so that things don’t get too loud!) Have everyone practice whispery gibberish. After a few seconds give your stopping signal.
  4. Pass out the slips of paper with student’s names on them. (If they receive their own name have them trade.) Ask the students to speak whispery gibberish and occasionally insert the name on the paper. Have them practice this. After 18 seconds give your stopping signal.


Say: You will see the point of the flame puppets and the whispery gibberish and the names as I tell you the story and you act it out. We won’t be on the stage; just stay seated for now.

Distribute a regular puppet to everyone. Remind them to treat these puppets gently.
Say: These puppets represent the followers of Jesus on the day of Pentecost.

Read the following; things for you to do are indicated in brackets [].

On the day of Pentecost all of Jesus’ followers were together in one place. They were probably praying, as it was 9 o’clock in the morning and that was a time for morning prayer. [Encourage all to act as if praying] Suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind. [Turn on the fan] The sound filled the house where they were meeting. Then the followers of Jesus saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. [Encourage everyone to move their fiery tongue puppets and have the tongues rest upon their puppets] The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak. [Encourage all to speak gibberish with the names inserted]

[After 15 seconds, raise your voice to talk above the whispery gibberish]
Many religious Jews from every country in the world were visiting Jerusalem for the Pentecost festival. When they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. They were excited and amazed, and said: “Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee?” (For people from Galilee couldn’t know these other languages.) “Why do we hear them speaking our very own languages and telling the wonderful things God has done?” Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, “What does all this mean?” Others made fun of the Lord’s followers and said, “They are all drunk.”

[Allow 15 seconds of acting…]
Give your stop signal. Turn off the fan.

Discussion:
Ask:

  • How did it feel during all of that noise and wind, to hear your name?
  • Did it feel special? Powerful? Spiritual? (allow all answers)
  • Do you suppose that you got a feel for the day of Pentecost – with a whir of different languages yet each foreign Jew being able to hear something in his/her own language (in this case a name) among all the noise?


Report the news:
Ask the children whether they ever watch TV news, or hear it on the radio.

Tell them they are going to help report the news on WFUMC by interviewing about what it was like to be witnesses of Pentecost. Divide the class in half - the first half will do the skit and the other half will be the audience. Rearrange chairs to face the stage. Allow a quick choice of costumes for the actors. Chose one actor to be the news announcer and the rest are interviewees. (Or you can be the news announcer.) If there aren’t enough interviewees they can play more than one role. Repeat the process for the second group.

Reflection:

Say: Let’s say our key Bible verse together: “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:38b) Now I would like you to insert your name into that verse. So say it as “And you, will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Have everyone repeat the verse with his/her name inserted.
Say: This week, remind yourself that you can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.] A suggestion: “Holy One, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who teaches us the truth about God and Jesus and gives us peace and joy. (End with everyone joining in on the Lord’s Prayer.) Amen.”

If you have extra time:
Re-do the skit with the fiery tongue puppets.


Resources:

  • Some content based on previously posted lessons here at Rotation.org.
  • Osborne, Rick and K. Christie Bowler. I Want to Know About the Holy Spirit. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998.


Notes about this workshop:
Becuase we have just 45 minutes, our workshop leader has elected to make the flame puppets ahead of time. This allows more time for discussion during and after the newscast.


Written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert, Carol. "Pentecost: Puppets/Drama Workshop." May 2009. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

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

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Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Pentecost

Moved here from the Help Forum...in response to someone who had asked for ideas about doing a Pentecost program as a part of their worship service (to involve the kids in worship and as something different than doing a Christmas program every year).

Posted by Luanne Payne on Feb. 7, 2013

Just Add Kids Rockin' Rainstick Music Activities Elementary [With CD], by Linda Ray Miller, Abingdon Press, 2002, 9780687030590.  The book is out of print, but you can still find new and used copies online.

This book includes a  “Pentecost Duet” (which is actually talking in two parts, with lines for everyone to say together as well) VERY COOL!  Audience participation ..... and the kids do the sound effects.  Tells the story of Pentecost.  Crowd and kid pleaser!  Note:  I added the special sound effects noted below.

My notes on doing the “Pentecost Duet”:

  • I put the text on overheads and split the congregation down the middle.
  • I explained to the congregation what we were doing and how to do it by testing a few lines with them until they got the hang of it.  Then we did it start to finish.
  • The kids were spread out in the choir loft and in the balcony.  They did the sound special wind and fire effects (see below).
  • Another time for an intergenerational service, the congregation was split into several smaller groups and traveled to different Pentecost workshops where the kids where the teachers. The picture below shows them using the Whistling Tubes for the wind.
  • What we used for wind and fire:
    • WIND – Buy “Whistling Tubes” or also Hampton UC, ON Canada Pentecostcalled “Sound Tubes” – when you whirl it over your head it makes a whistling sound, different speeds make the pitch lower or higher.   Was very effective when we used them.  The photo to the left showing them in action at our church.
    • FIRE - kids made fire by cutting streamers into 5” lengths – two lengths each of orange, yellow, and red.  Attach them to the end of a large tongue depressor, that has white glue brushed onto one end. Use additional glue to attached each coloured piece to one or the other sides of tongue depressor, then finish by wrapping clear tape around/over the streamer part that has been glued, so they will hold up well (for all the shaking). These they shook over their heads for fire.  Makes a nice fire burning rustling sound. You can see one in the above photo the kids had made.
  • The kids all had a fire in one hand and the wind in their other hand. I had a predetermined signal for them to stop and start each time (by simple raising and then lowering my arm – (Left- Wind / Right- Fire / UP - GO  / DOWN -STOP ) by watching me as they could not all see the overhead on the wall of the script.
  • You'll need someone to run the overheads as there are four pages.

On March 17, 2013 Neil MacQueen added...

How about a skit themed on sailboats, ...setting your sail to catch God's wind.
Great visual possibilities. Church as boat etc.

I created a song for kids in our Faith Through the Roof CD titled "We'll Follow the Son (Set Sail)" that has an evangelistic tone. Its Free, easy to sing, for the guitar, and contemporary sounding. I even have the instrumental backing track if you wanted that. The song tune was written on a sailboat and feels like you're bounding.
Faith Through The Roof software is free to Supporting Members of Rotation.org. Learn more here.
We'll Follow the Son (Set Sail)
(chords: D, Dsus, G, A)

Verse 1
The Captain is calling, young women, young men climb aboard. A new wind is blowing, set sail! for the distant shore.

Refrain:
And we will ride the waves together, while we are still young, we'll follow the son.

Verse 2
Bring others to know him, seek justice, do mercy and love. Remember you life is a gift from high up above.

Refrain:
And we will ride the waves together, while we are still young, we'll follow the son.

Bridge:
The captain is calling, there's work to be done.
With friends and for strangers the kingdom is to come!

Verse 3
The Captain is calling, young women, young men climb aboard.
A new wind is blowing, set sail for the distant shore.

Refrain:
And we will ride the waves together, while we are still young, we'll follow the son (x2)

Add your Pentecost Lessons and Ideas for Drama, Puppets or Storytelling...

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  • Hampton UC, ON Canada Pentecost
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Pentecost Shadow Puppet Drama

Check out this clever video from Dan Stevers on YouTube which depicts the story of Pentecost using Shadow puppets. I like the way the light and fire is included.  Use this to inspire your own shadow puppet recreation of the story.

Learn more about setting up a Shadow Puppet stage here at rotation.org.

Here are two ideas to create that Pentecost "flame effect" without lighting something on fire!

1. Position a small flash light behind your hand and point it at the screen so that your hand looks like it is holding the ball of light.

2. Tape strips of tissue paper to a glove or to your stick puppets and then position a fan below it and blowing upward  to create a flame-effect.

Luanne adds a third idea:

3. I purchased two of these orange lights, made by Gemmy called "Fire & Ice Projection Lightshow" or "Lightshow Fire and Ice Spotlight," for our Fiery Furnace Storytelling with the thought they'd also be great for Pentecost. Works great in a dark room on a white ceiling, creates flickering dancing flames.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

This is a script for a "Pentecost Pageant" that we are doing on-line this year. We gave each child one stanza of the poem to read. It is in the form of a poem based on "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and would be easily adapted for a skit, storytelling or in-service presentation.

"Fifty Days After Passover" by Meghan Adrian - Permission to use for any Sunday school, online or in-person

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