Adventures with Peter: A New Vision
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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
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)
- Have children pick up their popcorn and add salt to taste.
- 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.
- Follow the guide below to show specific clips from the DVD.
- Begin the DVD.
Video Guide - The Visual Bible
Steps 1-6 are review. If time is short, skip to #9.
- Insert Disc 1.
- Click "Search by Event."
- Click "Early Church and Peter."
- Click "Receiving the Promised Gift."
- Click "The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost."
- Stop after Peter says, "and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
- Click Menu.
- Click Main.
- Click "Search by Chapter."
- Click "Chapter 10."
- 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.
- Continue the video.
- Pause after the explanation of Peter's vision. What appeared in his vision?
- Pause as Peter comes down the stairs. Note the flat roof and outside stairs typical of biblical houses.
- 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)
- 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.
- Replay or continue.
- Continue briefly into Chapter 11 - Peter explains his actions to the Jews.
- Stop after, "and they praised God saying, so then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."
- 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.
- Insert the Friends and Heroes DVD.
- Click Scene 5 - Peter's Friendship with Cornelius.
- Play DVD.
- 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.
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.
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. AdventureBristol, 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.
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