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Video, A-V Lessons, ideas, and resources for teaching the stories of Peter and Cornelius, Peter's Rooftop Vision Acts 10

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Cornelius Calls for Peter, Cornelius' Vision, Peter and Cornelius, Peter's Vision, Peter's Rooftop Vision, Peter at Cornelius’s House, Acts 10, Acts 11:1-18 Peter Explains his Actions.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Adventures with Peter: A New Vision

Movie Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will view clips from two videos about the story:  Friends and Heroes Series:  A Friend in High Places, Tyndale House Publishers; The Visual Bible:  Acts, International Bible Society, 1984.

This was part of a summer series on Peter. In previous rotations we studied Peter's denial, his restoration by Jesus, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Peter's healing of a lame man at the Temple gate. In this rotation we continued our study of Peter's transformation with the story of Peter's vision and his meeting with the Roman Centurion, Cornelius.

Scripture References:

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

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

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

Memory Verse:
Acts 10:34

Bible Background is found in the Bible Background forum.

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

Objectives and Life Application:

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

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review background information, Behavioral Covenant and lesson materials.
  • Preview the video clips from Friends and Heroes and The Visual Bible.  Familiarize yourself with the DVD player so you can easily pause, switch scenes and replay scenes if necessary.
  • Prepare the popcorn before children arrive and have it bagged and ready to distribute so your attention can be given to the children.  

Important Note for Video Workshop Leaders:

Children LOVE this workshop!  Often the video is a direct correlation with the Bible story and creates a concrete, visual image in the children’s minds.  They refer to this image over and over throughout the rotation as they visit other workshops. Some videos may take some liberties with the story – you may need to point out these discrepancies.  As much as possible sit down with the children and watch the video together.  Feel free to pause the video to discuss something that you especially want them to note.  Please ensure that the children treat the room with respect – no standing, jumping, or otherwise abusing the seats.

Lesson Plan


Gather the children together at the tables with their Bibles. Make sure children are wearing name tags. Welcome the children and introduce yourself.Tell the children that today we will continue our study of Peter.

Opening Prayer:
Loving and patient God, Thank you for allowing us to gather with our friends and learn of your many miracles. Continue to be at our sides, as we learn how faith changes our lives.  Amen.

Important Teacher Notes:

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

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

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


Briefly review with the children some of highlights from Peter's life including:

  • Peter was a fisherman
  • He was called to fish for people by Jesus
  • Jesus changed his name from Simon to Cephas or Peter meaning rock
  • He promised to stick with Jesus always
  • He denied knowing Jesus three times
  • Jesus forgave on the beach and commissioned Peter to "tend and feed" his sheep
  • The Holy Spirit filled him at Pentecost
  • He preached a powerful message and 3000 people were saved
  • He and John healed a lame man outside the Temple Gate.

You may wish to write down the items on a flip chart as the children recall them.

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

Pass out The Picture Bible to each pair of children.  Help them locate page 708.  Read "God, A Roman and a Jew," on pages 708-710 as the children follow along.

Next help the find "The Story of Cornelius" on page 374-376 of the Little Kids' Adventure Bible.  Paraphrase the story, noting the blue sub-titles.

Why was Peter surprised when God told him to kill and eat the animals in his vision?  (because Jewish food laws forbid eating certain foods)

Why did God give Peter this strange vision?  (to show him that he loved everyone and that the gospel message was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews)

What happened when Peter went to visit Cornelius?  (he told him about Jesus and the Holy Spirit filled Cornelius and his family)

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

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

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

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

Review the following Bible note with the children:

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

Memory Verse
Help the children locate and review the memory verse.

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

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

The Visual Bible - Acts

(International Bible Society, 1984)


  1. Have children pick up their popcorn and add salt to taste.
  2. Have the children sit in the theatre seats. Explain to children that once they are seated they are to remain in their seats so they do not disturb others.
  3. Follow the guide below to show specific clips from the DVD.
  4. Begin the DVD.

Video Guide - The Visual Bible

Steps 1-6 are review.  If time is short, skip to #9.

  1. Insert Disc 1.
  2. Click "Search by Event."
  3. Click "Early Church and Peter."
  4. Click "Receiving the Promised Gift."
  5. Click "The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost."
  6. Stop after Peter says, "and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
  7. Click Menu.
  8. Click Main.
  9. Click "Search by Chapter."
  10. Click "Chapter 10."
  11. Pause at the beginning of the boat scene.  Explain that the man speaking is Luke, the author of Acts.  He is telling the story to those on the boat.
  12. Continue the video.
  13. Pause after the explanation of Peter's vision.  What appeared in his vision?
  14. Continue.
  15. Pause as Peter comes down the stairs.  Note the flat roof and outside stairs typical of biblical houses.
  16. Continue.
  17. Pause after Peter asks Cornelius, "May I ask why you sent for me?"  What does Peter say is against the Jewish law?  (for Jews and Gentiles to associate with one another)  What is a Gentile?  (someone who is not Jewish)
  18. Continue.
  19. Pause after Peter says, "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism…."  This is our memory verse.  Review it with the children.
  20. Replay or continue.
  21. Continue briefly into Chapter 11 - Peter explains his actions to the Jews.
  22. Stop after, "and they praised God saying, so then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."  
  23. Remove DVD.

Video Guide - Friends and Heroes

This video begins with an argument between friends who come from different cultures and are having trouble getting along. The story of Peter and Cornelius is told to help the children understand God's love for everyone.

  1. Insert the Friends and Heroes DVD.
  2. Click Scene 5 - Peter's Friendship with Cornelius.
  3. Play DVD.
  4. Stop after "that story was for you Rebekah."

Story Review Activities
(based upon curriculum guide provided with the Friends and Heroes DVD - play the Inclusion game provided by the curriculum guide. The purpose of this game is to help children see that God loves everyone!)


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

Journal Questions:

Grades 1-3: Draw a picture of your favorite part of the story.

Grades 4-6: It was difficult for Peter to go to Cornelius' house.  Have you ever spent time with someone very different from you?  What did you learn from that experience?

Extra Activity - Memory Verse Review
If you have extra time, play a game to review the memory verse. Write the memory verse out on a large sheet of construction paper. Seat the children in the theatre seats. Assign one child one word of the verse. (children may need to take more than one word) Point to each word of the verse and have the children stand up and say their word, then sit back down. After the entire verse has been said, have all the children stand and recite the verse together. Play several times going faster and faster.

Closing Prayer:
Gather the children together in a circle. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session.  (Gentile, love, favoritism, centurion are some suggestions)   Ask for prayer requests and pray together.

Have the children throw away their popcorn bags and cups.  Clean out popcorn machine and sweep up any stray kernels.

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

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

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Peter and Cornelius

Mountaintop Movies

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will watch a movie “Respect” from the Book of Virtues series in which Annie and Zack are unkind to a junk yard owner who has been very helpful to them.

Bible Background:

is found in the Bible Background forum.

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Children can identify ways that Zack and Annie are unkind and can creatively imagine what they might have been thinking
  2. Children can identify ways that they personally have been unkind, or ways that other children have been unkind, to someone “different” and can explain the reasons behind those attitudes.
  3. In reading the story of Peter and Cornelius, children can see the parallels to the story of Zack and Annie, and their own stories.

Supplies List:

  • Movie “Respect” from the series The Book of Virtues
  • Paper easel and markers
  • Popcorn supplies

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the biblical background notes and answer the questions raised in the “themes” section to figure out what this story means to you.
  • Read through the lesson and decide how best to manage your time.
  • Preview the movie and identify exactly where you want to stop the movie for discussion and which story you will fast forward through if time is running short.

Movie Summary
The general format of the movie is that the situation is presented first– Zack and Annie are unkind towards a man who is different, but nonetheless very kind and helpful.

When Plato (the buffalo) and the others hear of this, they tell stories that illustrate the errors of Annie and Zack’s ways.

The story concludes with Zack and Annie making things right.

To see a preview see here

Lesson Plan


Divide the paper into three columns
With the children’s help, make a list of “strange” or “weird” people in the left column.
Ask: Why do you consider them strange? (write answers on the easel in the center column)
Ask: How do you/other kids treat the strange person (write answers in the third column)

Explain that in this movie, Zack and Annie are going to come across a man they find to be kind of different.


Watch the first part of the movie. Stop before Plato (buffalo) begins telling stories.
Place the name of the junk yard worker in the first column.
Ask: Why did Zack and Annie think he was strange? (answers in 2nd column)
How did they treat him? (answers 3rd column)

Point to the 3rd column – the way “strange” people are treated in real life and in the movie.
Ask, what do you think God would say to Zack and Annie? What would God say to us?

Explain who Cornelius was (see the background notes, especially about centurions of the Roman cohort). Can you think of some reasons that Peter might not have liked Cornelius?
Read together what God told Peter in Acts 10:9-16

Start a new piece of paper and write “Stories” on top and write “Peter’s Vision of Unclean Animals.”

Explain that God is trying to teach Peter a lesson through the story.
Ask: What lesson is God trying to teach Peter?

Return to the video and watch it to the end. (You can fast forward if time is an object.)

List the other stories told by Plato and the animals.
What lesson is Plato teaching Zack and Annie in (name each story)?

How are these stories similar to the story of Peter’s vision?

Life Application
Look again at the original list of strange people and the feelings/actions.
What might Peter’s vision tell us about these situations?
How does God want us to treat people who are different/strange/weird?

*NOTE* There ARE times where our instinctive reaction against someone might be because the person really is unsafe or wanting to do us harm. It is difficult, even for adults, to distinguish these helpful “gut feelings” from culturally dictated prejudices. Children have probably had discussions about not taking rides from strangers, etc. (or if not, they should have). What is the difference between showing Christian love to all people and putting yourself in a situation where you can easily become a victim? Be aware of these competing themes as you have this discussion.


Dream God’s Dream – What kind of world do you think God envisions? How can you make that a reality?

A lesson written by Lisa Martin from: Trinity UCC
Pottstown, PA

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Video Idea

We are using a video "Friends and Heroes - #2" for the story of Peter and Cornelius. It has a great message about God's love being for everyone. Approx. 30 mins. (the video clip on Peter's friendship with Cornelius is approx. 3 mins.)

There are at least 12 videos in this set and they have great Bible story/application lessons.

Episode 2 - A Friend in High Places

In A Friend in High Places, Macky rescues an aristocratic Roman girl, Portia.

With help from Portia, Macky and his family foil a money-making scheme run by the evil Tobias and Brutacus.

Through their experiences and retelling of the dramatic Bible stories of Samson and Delilah, and Peter’s friendship with Cornelius, we discover how important it is to listen to God and love others.

Jaymie also uses this video in her lesson here.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Video Ideas - Peter & Cornelius, Peter's Vision

DVD - "Acts" Visual Bible

The ACTS DVD from Visual Bible feels more like a reverent TV mini-series of the Book of Acts. It does a good job of dramatizing many of Acts scenes, chapter by chapter. Chapter and verse appear on screen as the movie progresses. A narrator provides the "word for word" reading when Jesus or others are not speaking.

Found on DVD 1 - Search by Event - #36 OR Search by Chapter - #10
Event Timings below (approximate):

  • Event #36 - Acts 10:1-8 Cornelius Calls for Peter [1:01:30 - 1:03:00]
    - you see Cornelius' vision
  • Event #37 - Acts 10:9-23 Peter's Vision [1:03:01 - 1:04:43]
    - Luke only retells Peter's vision
  • Event #38 - Acts 10:24-48 Peter at Cornelius' House [1:04:44 - 1:08:34]
    -  Cornelius retells Peter his vision, shows Cornelius being baptized at end
  • Event #39 - Acts 11:1-18 Peter Explains his Actions [1:08:35 - 1:011:26]
    - Peter explains his vision (retells it)

Jaymie uses this DVD in here lesson here.

DVD - "The Lion of Judah"

(The Lamb that Saved the World), Warner Home Entertainment, 0883929201976.  Note:  this story is told from the animals viewpoint. Animated, feature film.

Timings below (approximate):

START at 23:37 (Raven Alley) - to get there back track from Scene 4 (29:54) Boss' Dream.

END at the start (32:54) or end of song "Carry Me" sung by Kari Jobe.

Video Study Guide link at his site.  There is a downloadable PDF of guide at very end.

Sections of Study Guide you may find useful are:

  • Storyline & Character Bios - Boss (Raven) & Monty (Horse)
  • Key Words - Cleansing, Kosher, Sacrifice (Sacrificial Lamb), and Unclean.
  • Scripture References - several related to above key words.
  • Quiz Questions
    Raven Alley #22-#24
    - Boss' Dream (Scene 4) #25-#29
    - Birth of The King #30-#32
  • Games - "The Unclean's Game" and the "Raven Game".
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Video Clip - Baptism of Cornelius and his Family

"The Bible" (2013, the one by Roma Downey)

Episode 10: "Courage" covers the resurrection and several scenes from the Book of Acts, including very moving section featuring the baptism of Cornelius and his family by Peter.  Show the minute or so before the story where Peter and Jesus talk (in prayer). After the baptism, let the video roll for about a minute after the baptism to see Peter taking the Gospel to others.


Supporting Members can read the Teaching Outlines to the Episodes in this series <HERE>

Peter's Vision of Animals, Peter & Cornelius

Video Idea used back one summer 2008

We used a selection from the video A.D. (the Book of Acts miniseries by the same people who produced Jesus of Nazareth, available from Amazon. There are two versions, one for the church which takes out some of the 'extra' hollywood story line the series originally had).

Prior to showing Cornelius/Peter section, I drew out a timeline of events starting with Jesus' resurrection. I discussed the arrival of Paul on the scene and the disciple's early arguments about whether the message of Christ was for Jews or everyone.

<>< Neil


Images (1)
  • Peter-Cornelius-THEBIBLEmovie
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Lifeway's "Gospel Project" posted a free video on YouTube of their four-minute animated retelling of the story of Peter's rooftop vision and visit to baptize Cornelius.

Y'all see the craft and drama project in this video? 
A "lunch bag drama"!

Peter and Cornelius (New Superbook Series)402_Episode_Preview

Joy and Chris are late for school and get caught by the letter-of-the-law hall monitor. Chris has been late one too many times and receives an after-school detention. Chris begs for mercy but the strict Hall Monitor has no interest in giving Chris special treatment over anyone else. Superbook arrives and much to Chris' disapproval, Superbook brings the hall monitor with them on their adventure! Superbook brings them back to a time when Peter needed to learn that God doesn't have favorites. (Animated - approx. 28 mins)

  • Cornelius visited by an angel
  • Peter's Vision
  • Peter greets Cornelius' messenger
  • Peter visits Cornelius
  • Peter explains actions to the disciples

See reviews of the "New Superbook" DVD Series for more details on this series link.


Images (1)
  • Peter and Cornelius Superbook

Illustrations for Peter's rooftop vision and visit with Cornelius (Acts 10), from the Annie Vallotton Bible Illustrations Collection

Peters vision with animals let down in a sheet illustration by Annie Vallotton
Peter sees a vision of unclean animals; he is told  “Do not consider anything unclean that the Lord declared clean.” (Acts 10)

Men sent by Cornelius illustration by Annie Vallotton
Three men come to get Peter to take him to see Cornelius.

Peter preaching to Cornelius and his household about Jesus.

a right-pointing orange arrow Link to larger and higher resolution versions of the Vallotton illustrations as well as color background options that are in our Vallotton Bible Images Forum. (A Supporting Membership is required to view. Become one today). Copyright and usage information here.


Images (3)
  • Peter's vision of animals
  • Men sent by Cornelius
  • Peter preaches to Cornelius
Last edited by CreativeCarol

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