SCIENCE, MUSIC, and "OTHER" Workshop Lessons and Ideas for Paul's Conversion

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Science demonstration idea: 

I did this in church when I was presenting the rotation model to the congregation.(See lesson below for detailed use of this idea and an additional demonstration.)

You need three clear glasses. The first is just filled with water mixed with a little iodine to make it yellow.This is Saul, just like us loved God, loved his religion..normal guy. But somewhere along the way, he became what we might call a fanatic. (Start to pour yellow water into second glass which looks empty but has spray starch sprayed into it. It will turn black as you pour and talk.)He decided his religion was the only way. He decided that Christians must go to prison or die, because they didn't believe exactly what he believed.
But then as he was going along the road to Damascus, a light from heaven flashed around him, and Jesus spoke to him. And Saul realized Jesus was the way, (start to pour black water into third cup, which has a couple tablespoons of bleach at the bottom--it will turn clear)and Jesus cleansed his soul. And Paul went on to spend his life spreading the good news of Jesus to others.
It is a great visual experiment...good luck!

Paul's Conversion

Science Workshop

This is pretty long, but this is what I have from the Kid's on the Rock Site. It is not exactly what their's was, because I have written it to use in our Kid's Worship. Brenda
The Story of Hank

Supplies List:

  • 2 large jars w/large mouth top and lids – 1 qt minimum (you need to be able to get your hand inside.
  • 1 white cotton handkerchief
  • 1 Heavy duty spray starch
  • 1 bottle iodine (red) – preferable w/skull and crossbones on front (this adds to presentation)
  • 1 Sodium Sulfite (Photo grade) – Available at any photo shop. It is used in developing film.
  • Table to do presentation on.

Leader Preparation:

  • Mark one of the jar lids “SIN - WORKS”
  • Mark the other jar lid ”FORGIVENESS – JESUS”
  • Approximately 1 hour before presentation, spray the entire handkerchief with starch – both sides, heavy application, Allow the handkerchief to hang and air dry completely.
  • When dry, fold the handkerchief into halves 3 times, making a small square.
  • A few minutes before the presentation, fill both jars ½ full of WARM water. The water must be very warm for the chemicals to work properly.
  • Place 4 heaping tablespoons of Sodium Sulfite into jar marked FORGIVENESS – JESUS.
  • Spray starch for approximately 3 seconds into jar marked SIN – WORKS.
  • Place both jars a few feet apart on the table, with the chemicals out of site. The folded, starched handkerchief and the iodine should be on the table, out of the audience’s vies, yet within your reach.

Lesson Plan

The Story:

Good morning boys and girls! Today I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine. I think you might know someone who has experienced something much like my friend has. Let me introduce you to my friend! Take out your folded handkerchief and hold it by one corner (Keep folded). This is HANK. (pause for response).
Now, HANK was like most boys and girls, he just LOVED going to school. What? You mean you don’t love going to school? Well, anyway, HANK loved to play with his friends every chance he got. He was just like you and me. The only thing is HANK had never heard about Jesus. Can you imagine? Someone who had never heard about Jesus? How could that be? It’s true though. There are people all around us who have never heard about Jesus and all that He has done for us. And by HANK not knowing about Jesus, he didn’t have any way to ever have his sins forgiven.
(Show the bottle of iodine w/skull and crossbones showing) Look at the skull and cross bones on this bottle! WOW! If we were to drink this, we would die – it’s poison! That’s what the Bible tells us about sin – “The wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE.” Romans 10:9 Now, that doesn’t mean that if we do something against God’s law we will die, it means that if we don’t ask God for forgiveness and ask Jesus to live in our lives, we will be separated from God forever.
(Take the lid off the iodine) What kind of things do we do that would be sin? (Let the children give examples. Each time the kids name a sin, turn the bottle of iodine upside down on top of the handkerchief and allow it to soak through several layers. Make sure to do this in each corner and in the middle of the folded hanky.)
That’s a lot of messing up, isn’t it? Boys and girls, this is how we see HANK (show them the hanky, still folded) But remember HANK doesn’t know Jesus, so this (Open hanky entirely) is how God sees HANK.
Well, one boy told HANK, “Hey, no problem! All you have to do is be good and do good things. Then all you sin will go away.” HANK said, “ That’s great. I’ll wash the dishes, and mow the lawn and help old Mr. Brown with his groceries. That ought to be enough to wash the sin away!” So that’s just what he did. (Dip the hanky into the jar labeled SIN – WORKS. The water will turn deep purple and the spots will go away…but now the whole hanky is PURPLE.) Oh no, look what’s happened to HANK now! Nothing washed away, it just all ran together! Now all HANK is, is a filthy rag.
But wait a minute, HANK had another friend, and this friend knew all about JESUS. He told HANK some really great things, like how Jesus is God’s son, and that he came to earth to pay the penalty for our sin. He came to earth and lived, and died, and rose from the dead. He gave us a way to get back to God, and not be separated from him! (Dip the hanky in the other jar – JESUS – FORGIVENESS. Do this several times. As you do this, the stains will come off and the water will remain clear. Show the clean hanky to the kids.)
Jesus came to earth so that he could be our sacrifice, and pay for our sins. If we accept his forgiveness, then we will have the “everlasting life” that the Bible talks about in John 3:16. HANK was amazed at how easy it was! That “Someone” had already forgiven him, all he had to do was accept the forgiveness! He ran home and told his mom and dad and brother and sister, and even went outside and told his friends what he had learned. (Now, go back and dip the hanky into the purple mess. The water will become clear.)
When we tell others about Jesus, then they can be forgiven and free from sin, too!


How many of you have never heard the story of Jesus and how he died for you before today? Most all of you have probably heard the story lots of times, but have you ever ask Jesus to come into your heart and live? Today is the perfect time to ask him. Let’s talk to him right now! (Prayer – close the lesson as necessary. Use the ABC’s to talk and pray with those who want to accept Jesus today.)
What a great day this is! If you accepted Jesus today, tell someone about it! Remember what happened when HANK shared the good news with his friends? You can have the same effect on your friends and family.

Moderator Adds Missing Resource:

It appears the above story "Hank" was written by Maurice Sweetsur (O.L. #64) and then adapted by Brenda http://objectlessons.blogspot....t-lessons-56-68.html

Could not find a "Kid's on the Rock Site" where she indicated she found the story.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Music Workshops

Jaymie Derden
posted April 15, 2005

Many years ago, Cokesbury did a VBS on Paul -- "Turnabout Paul" and the theme song was called "Sing, Sing, Shout... Turnabout."

A more contemporary idea: "What About the Change" by Steven Curtis Chapman

When we did this rotation, our kids really enjoyed "Sacred Agent Man" a parody of the old TV tune "Secret Agent Man" found on the CD titled "RPM (Righteous Pop Music) Volume 2: TV Bible tunes" -- (Creative Ministry Solutions)

And of course,
"Amazing Grace, ...that saved a wretch like me....was blind but now I see". (See below for detailed lesson plan with Amazing Grace.)

Luanne Payne
posted April 15, 2005

Gospel Light has a song called "God's Amazing Power" and is about Paul, conversion is covered.

The CD I have is called:
Bible Fun Songs, Gospel Light Kids!, Gospel Light, 2000, UPC 6-07135-00503-2. T

I noticed though on Gospel Light website their Kids Time Curriculum has a Reproducible CD with the same song title on it and I would assume it's the same, called:
KidsTime: God's Big Picture Music CD, UPC: 607135.003793 Gospel Light.

posted April 18, 2005

"The Day that Paul Fell Off His Horse" is fun. By Bryan Sirchio on his CD Bugs for Lunch
(you can hear a short sound clip and see the song lyrics.)

do you already have your music selected? RPM (Righteous Pop Music) available from One Way street (? Volume 2 - TV BibleTunes has a song called Paul: Sacred Agent Man (to the tune of Secret Agent Man). It's great! Also I've mentioned the Scripture Rock CD here before -- by Brentwood Kids.


As a musician and composer I like to do creative workshops with music as often as possible.  One such lesson was during our rotation on Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus.    We will hopefully sing this on Children's Sunday.  Here is the lesson:

Paul’s Conversion

Music Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities: 

Will use the song "Amazing Grace", introduced the story of it's composer, John Newton, and Newton's experience as compared to Paul's.  I also invited the students to learn some rap verses to be sung along with the regular song.

Scripture Passage: 

Acts 9:9-22

Supplies List: 

  • bible
  • song lyrics to  “Amazing Grace”
  • rap version of the song “Amazing Grace” (see lesson)
  • computer with an internet connection

Leader Preparation:

  • Familiarize yourself with the Scriptural Passage; bookmark it in your Bible
  • Familiarize yourself with the lesson plan.
  • Make copies of the song “Amazing Grace” or just have the words printed out.
  • Make copies of the rap version of the song “Amazing Grace”
  • Have a computer set up with an internet connection

Lesson Plan


Introduce yourself to the students.  Begin with a prayer using the following one or any of your choosing: 

Dear Jesus, you came into Paul’s life in a dramatic way.  Help us to recognize the dramatic ways you come into our lives and the quieter ways you come into our lives.  Whether big or small, quiet or loud you call us to be made new in you.  Help us to listen and to follow. Amen. 



Say:  After Jesus was crucified and then rose from the dead there were many things that happened to the Disciples.  Jesus showed himself to them and told them to continue his work.  So the Disciples started the Christian Church.  Our story comes from the book in the Bible called “ACTS”. 

Ask:  Does anyone have a guess as to what that means?  (It’s about the Acts of the Apostles—what happened to them and what they did.) 

Say: Our story this month is about a man who tried to kill these early Christians.  His name was Saul.  Let’s read the story from the Bible to see what happened to Saul.

Read Acts 9:9-22

Discussion about Paul

Ask:  What happened to Saul?  Can you give me two words—two adjectives--to describe Paul before  he had this experience with the blinding light?  Can you give me two words that describe him while he is having  this encounter with Jesus?  Can you give me two words that describe Paul after his encounter  with Jesus?  (Have the students give you adjectives that describe Paul rather than words that “describe” what happened or that retell the story.  Some possibilities might be:  BEFORE he was mean, a religious fanatic, Jewish, Murderous, hated Christians, a guard/soldier.  DURING:  scared, curious, helpless, powerless, blinded AFTER:  Christian, powerful speaker, new sight, new name, changed, etc. 


Say:  Paul had what we call a “Conversion” experience.

Ask:  Who knows what that means?

Say:  A Conversion experience is what happens when somebody comes to a point, stops, and then changes because of what stopped them.  Paul was angry and zealous.  That means that he was really extreme in his beliefs and actions, especially about his religion. Paul hated these new Christians who threatened the state religion: Judaism.  His hate of them led him to be murderous.  He met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  After that he was a completely different person.  He even goes by a different version of his name!

Say:  A lot of Christians have had a conversion experience.  Some Christians have always known Jesus , like Mary did.  The Disciples heard Jesus calling them to leave their fishing nets and become fishers of men.  They left their nets and walked with Jesus.  Their lives were completely changed.  But here comes Saul who has to be knocked down on the ground before he can hear Jesus! There are lots of different ways we can come to know Jesus . 

The song “Amazing Grace”.

Pass out the lyrics to the song “Amazing Grace”.

Ask:  Do any of you know the song “Amazing Grace”? 

Sing the first verse together as much as the students know it. 

Ask:  Who do you think that song was written about?  (They may not know, they may say Paul)

Say:  The song sounds like it was written about Paul, doesn’t it?  Especially the part that says “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”  It’s not about Paul, though.  

Tell John Newton’s story:

John Newton wrote the song “Amazing Grace.”  John Newton was a sea captain. He was a mean, unhappy person. The ships he sailed carried slaves to sell. Once when John Newton was at sea, a really terrible storm came up.  He was terrified.  He might have felt the way the disciples felt when the storm came up on the Sea of Galilea.  (Ask if they remember the story of Jesus calming the sea).  

John Newton thought he would die—that’s how bad the storm was.  John Newton didn’t have Jesus in human form on his ship to stop the storm as the disciples had.  But he did the next best thing.  He prayed to Jesus to be saved.  When the storm was over he was still alive, but he was a changed man. 

You see, he discovered something called God 's grace - the free gift of Jesus’ love and mercy that God gives even though we don't deserve it. That grace is amazing! And that is the title of the hymn that John Newton wrote.

Ask: Do you remember that I told you John Newton brought slaves on his ship?

Say:  John Newton was so changed by his experience of God's love that he stopped sailing slave ships. He not only turned his back on the slave trade, but he worked with law makers to end the slave trade! 

Paul’s Story:

Say:  John Newton’s story is similar to Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus.  But there are a lot of differences. 

Ask:  Was Paul scared for his life before Jesus spoke to him? (No)

Say: Paul wasn’t scared.  It was the Christians who were scared of Paul.

Ask:  Paul was a very powerful man, wasn’t he?  Remember the words we chose to describe him?(Recall the words “mean, angry, hated Christians, soldier, etc.) Did Paul think he needed Jesus? (No) Do you think Jesus needed Paul? (Tricky question. He certainly seemed to believe that he could use Paul in very important ways.  And He did.)

Say:  God knew He could use Paul.  He knew what Paul was like.  The very things that made Paul a good soldier in Jerusalem would make him a good soldier for Jesus.  Paul was mean and all those other things we said but he was also determined, strong, intelligent, etc. But Paul wasn’t listening to Jesus.  So Jesus had to get his attention.

Ask:  What does the scripture tell us Jesus did? (He appeared as a bright light and He said to Paul “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He put scales of mud on Paul’s eyes so that Paul was blinded.) 

Act It Out:  (Especially Useful with Sprouts - K-2nd grade)  

Have half of the students get down on their knees.  Have the other half of the students stand over them and be tall, menacing, and strong.  Then have the students switch roles.  

Ask:  Which part did you like better: kneeling on the ground with someone standing over you threatening to hurt you? Or standing tall and strong? 

Say: Jesus had to shake Paul up so he appeared to him in a way that would change Paul from being this big, strong, powerful man who thought he knew everything to a man who was on his knees depending on people to help him.  Before Paul could know Jesus he had to be knocked down—not just physically but also spiritually.  Paul had to become humble. And when Paul saw how powerful God was he began to listen to Him.  He allowed Jesus into his life and became a new person.  Paul experienced God’s Amazing Grace. 

Sprouts (K-2nd grade):  Teach them the song.  If there is time watch the youtube video.

Rhema Marvane, 7 yr old Gospel singer (4 min 53 seconds) 

Buds/Blooms (Jr/Sr High): Teach them the regular song.  Teach them some of the rap verses. Here are a couple I think they might particularly like but you can let them choose whichever they want to learn. 

Amazing grace that fills my heart and turns my life around

You shake my bones you melt my stones you turn my lost to found


Amazing grace is grace amazed to see the change in me,

My friends will see a brand new me

Flip flops my mind, new truths I find

The Son in me the world will see


 If there is time they can watch a youtube video.

Harlem Gospel Choir 3:23


Saplings (3rd-6th grade):  Teach them the regular song.  Teach them some of the rap verses. Here are a couple I think they might particularly like but you can let them choose whichever they want to learn.  

You changed my heart and flipped a switch so light now fills the space

Electric shocks zap from my socks up through my spine sparks make me shine

Your fire lights up my face.


Amazing grace that fills my heart and turns my life around

You shake my bones you melt my stones you turn my lost to found


Amazing grace is grace amazed to see the change in me,

My friends will see a brand new me

Flip flops my mind, new truths I find the Son in me the world will see.


If there is time they can watch a youtube video.

Judy Collins with the boys choir of Harlem (5 minutes 7 seconds)


Harlem Gospel Choir 3:23


Other rap verses:

Amazing grace is God’s sweet love that flows over my soul

No longer parched, no longer starved, no longer pieced but whole


Amazing grace, amazing grace to save you sought me out

On knees, in pray’r, my spirit bare there’s no more room for doubt



A lesson by member Cat Blue

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

During our rotation on Paul's Conversion on the road to Damascus we did a Science workshop.  In this workshop we used a demonstration that I borrowed from another post on this website.  But I also used another demonstration I found on facebook.  The combination of these two demonstrations was amazing to our students.

Paul’s Conversion

Science Workshop

Scripture Passage:

Acts 9:9-22

Summary of Lesson Activities:

In this lesson the class will be introduced to the book in the Bible called “Acts”.  They will learn that this I the 5th book in the New Testament.  They will learn about Paul’s conversion experience on the road to Damascus. They will witness the enormity of the change Paul underwent by watching two scientific demonstrations.

Leader Preparation:

  • Familiarize yourself with the Scriptural Passage; bookmark it in your Bible
  • Familiarize yourself with the lesson plan.
  • Collect all the materials needed for your demonstrations:  3 clear glasses, iodine, spray starch, bleach, food coloring (green, red, blue, yellow), shallow dish/plate, small amount of whole milk, dishwashing detergent like Dawn
  • Prepare for the demonstrations in each of the 3 classes as described in the lesson

Lesson Plan:


Introduce yourself to the students.  Begin with a prayer: (either the following or any) 

Dear Jesus, when you showed yourself to Saul you changed him.  You didn’t just change his life but you changed who he was from the inside out.  We pray that you will come into our lives and make us more like you.  Amen. 

Say:  After Jesus was crucified and then rose from the dead there were many things that happened to the Disciples. They continued to serve Jesus by starting the Christian Church.  The people who killed Jesus wanted to kill the Disciples, too.  Saul was one of them.  We can read about Saul in the book of the Bible called “Acts”.

Ask:  Does anyone know why this book of the Bible is called “Acts”?  (It’s about the Acts of the Apostles—what happened to them and what they did.)

Ask:  What are the first four books of the New Testament? (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).  What do we call these books?  (The Gospels).  Do you remember what’s special about these books? (They were written by the people who actually knew Jesus during Jesus’ life.) 

Ask:  If the book of Acts tells us about the lives of the first Christians where do you think it comes in the Bible? (Right after the Gospels.)  

[If they have a hard time figuring it out you can ask them subsequent questions:  Is it in the Old Testament? (No) Is it in the New Testament?  (Yes).  Could it be the first book? (No) How about the second, third or fourth? (No) Could it be the fifth book? (Yes)]

Say:  So the first 5 books of the New Testament are (have them say it with you) Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts. 

Saul's Story

Say: Let’s read the story from the Bible to see what happened to Saul.

Read: Acts 9:9-22  (Teacher Note:  Because of pre-readers in the Sprouts group please read aloud to them rather than having them read out loud.  Thank you.)

Ask:  On the road to Damascus (which was a town) Saul was changed, wasn’t he? What happened to Saul that changed him?  (He met Jesus in a bright light and heard Jesus talk to him.) Saul was so arrogant (egotistical, conceited, full of himself—the opposite of “humble" that God had to knock him down to the ground to get his attention, didn’t he?

Say: Saul was one kind of person before he had this encounter with Jesus and then a completely different person afterwards.


Say:  I am going to do some things that demonstrate this change in Saul. 

Demonstration #1 

Materials Needed: 

  • 3 clear glasses
  • Iodine
  • Spray starch
  • Bleach
  • Tap water

Advance Preparation: 
In one glass have water mixed with iodine so the water looks yellow.  Have the interior of the second glass sprayed with spray starch.  In the bottom of the third glass have a small amount of bleach. 

Say: This first glass represents Saul.  Saul is just like us.  He loved God. His religion was very important to him.  But somewhere along the line Saul became what we might call a fanatic.  He became very extreme about his religion and believed that the Jewish religion was the only true or right religion.  (Start to pour the yellow water in the second glass that looks empty but has the spray starch in it.)

Say:  Saul decided his religion was the only way.  He decided that Christians must go to prison or die because they didn’t believe what he believed.  He actually got permission from priests and rabbis to go on a hunt for Christians. 

Ask:  As he was traveling on the road to Damascus what happened to Saul? (A light from heaven flashed around him and he heard Jesus speak to him.  When the light went away he was blind.)

Say: When Saul could see again he not only saw the world around him in a new way but he saw this Jesus, whom he had persecuted, in a new way. (Start to pour black water into the third cup, which has a couple tablespoons of bleach at the bottom--it will turn clear)

Say: Jesus cleansed his soul. Saul was completely different.  He was a new creation.  He started going by the Roman version of his name, which was Paul, and instead of trying to kill Christians he became one.  Paul went on to spend his life spreading the good news of Jesus to others.

Say:  I want to do another demonstration.  This one uses milk and food coloring. (Have the students gather around the plate so they can all see.

(Please do not let the students have contact with any of the materials.  This is a demonstration.)


Demonstration #2 

 To see a demonstration of this go to:  <


  • Milk (whole or 2%)
  • Shallow dish or  plate (so the kids can easily see what happens)
  • Food coloring (red, yellow, green, blue)
  • Dish-washing soap (Dawn brand works well)

Demonstration Procedure

  1. Pour enough milk in the dinner plate to completely cover the bottom to the depth of about 1/4 inch. Allow the milk to settle.  
  2. Say:  This milk represents Saul.  This food coloring represents thoughts and feelings that Paul had.  They are different colors because we have lots of different feelings and thoughts.  The yellow color might represent Saul’s thoughts that his religion was the best religion.  (Add two drops of yellow food coloring). 
  3. Say: The red food color might represent the anger of Saul—anger that the people who called themselves “Christian” were creating problems for the government and the Jewish religion.  (Add two drops of red food coloring). 
  4. Say: The blue might represent Saul’s loyalty to Rome, his country and his religion. (Add two drops of blue food coloring.)
  5. Say: The green might represent Saul’s self-esteem.  He was content with who was, felt good about himself, and was at peace with himself. (Add two drops of green food coloring.)
  6. Say:  So this is Saul riding along on his merry way to kill the Christians.  Then Jesus appears to him!  Saul falls to the ground and hears Jesus speak to him “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  Saul is dumbfounded.  He can’t speak or see after this happens.  His whole world is turned upside down and inside out. 
  7. Say: This dishwashing liquid represents Jesus.  Jesus pours into Saul’s life. (Now place two drops of liquid dish soap into the milk.) And look what happens! (Let the kids watch the transformation that happens when the detergent is added to the milk.)


Ask:  What happened to Paul’s thoughts and feelings?  (They were turned upside down and inside out, they blended all together, etc.)

Say: Because of Jesus Saul was a new person. He was completely different on the inside.  He couldn’t go back to being the way he was before. 

EXTRA (IF THERE IS TIME): Do the second milk demonstration again.  Before you drop in the food coloring have the kids name things about themselves that are thoughts or feelings they have. 

A lesson by member Cat Blue

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

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